Halo: The Master Chief Collection Dev Offers An Update On Cross-Play And Other Features

Cross-play between Xbox One and PC is coming--and here's the latest on how it's progressing.

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Halo developer 343 Industries has provided an update on some of the features coming to The Master Chief Collection in the future, including cross-play.

In a blog post, the studio said cross-play between Xbox One and PC is currently "in test with our QA team," which suggests it may be ready for release relatively soon. More specifically, 343 said cross-play and other new features could begin to appear in MCC through an upcoming beta test, or "flight," for Halo 4 on PC. The beta test will also be available on Xbox One. To get in, you'll need to sign up for the free Halo Insider program and hope to be chosen.

Cross-play will come to MCC with another new feature, the ability to select your preferred input device for matchmaking. This will give players the ability to choose who they play against when it comes to controls--that could be a big deal because mouse & keyboard is generally understood to be a more precise manner of controls compared to a gamepad. You can see a work-in-progress screenshot of the new menu below.

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In addition to cross-play, the upcoming beta test for MCC will include other much-requested features such as the ability to choose your server by region and new customization options for Halo 4, which is the sixth and final game in MCC coming to PC. You can see a rundown of the new features for the upcoming beta test below, but note that everything is subject to change.

New Features

  • Customization: Updated customization will be available for Halo 4.
  • Forge: Forge will be available for players during this flight.
  • Theater: Theater will be available for Halo 4.
  • Challenges: The complete Challenge System, including the Challenge Hub screen, will be available during this flight with new Challenges for Halo 4.
  • Season 4 Content: Currently TBD based on flight readiness for Ring 3. These pieces require evaluation with both our internal QA and Rings 1 & 2 for if they are ready for flighting prime time.
  • Input Based Matchmaking and Crossplay: Currently TBD based on flight readiness for Ring 3.
  • Server Region Selection: Currently TBD based on flight readiness for Ring 3.
  • Video Graphics Options: Currently TBD based on flight readiness for Ring 3.
  • Disable Text Chat Option: A new feature for players to choose to see specific channels of in-game text chat in this flight.

Looking out further, 343 said "really big features" like the custom game browser will be released later, and in stages. "We'd start by getting it into flighting once we feel good about it, and at this point, it’s going to be post-Halo 4," 343 said. "Then we'd roll it out for one game in the collection to properly evaluate. We want to see not only how it works, but how the community uses it in a more public setting. And then, we'll take those learnings to iterate and roll it out to the rest of the games."

343 also shared a list of features that are currently "actively in development," and there are a lot that the studio is preparing alongside its development partners, including Saber Interactive. Some features that are planned, but only in the design stage, include mod support and bringing some PC features to Xbox. And finally, features that are in the "backlog" for consideration even further down the track include split-screen and HDR support on PC.

ACTIVELY IN DEVELOPMENT

  • UI/UX Improvements around navigation, roster, customization, and many more areas of the game
    • Saber is in the process of fixing integration bugs around this work
  • View Model Adjustment for all games
    • Saber is in the process of fixing integration bugs around this work as well as bringing this to all the other games in the collection
  • Steam Account Linking
    • This is lower priority so for now, it’s sitting in a separate branch. We’ll pick this back up once higher priority features are completed.
  • In-Game FPS Cap/Adjustments
    • In test with our QA team
  • PC File Share
    • Still making good progress here but this is a large feature and is taking a lot of engineering and design iteration time
  • Additional Video Settings/Options
    • In test with our QA team
  • Custom Game Browser
    • Another large feature that we are taking our time with
  • Input-based Matchmaking
    • In test with our QA team
  • Regional Server Selection
    • In test with our QA team
  • Cross-Play between Xbox & PC
    • In test with our QA team
  • Double Key Binds for all games
    • Saber is in the process of fixing integration bugs around this work
  • Better ways to Report Players
    • This work is now being bucketed alongside our file share work, as that stream progresses, so will this
  • Per Game Audio Options
    • Work is starting to come in for this now, we should be transitioning to testing soon
  • Additional season content (season 4+)
    • Looking really good, I think you all will be excited
  • Text Chat Improvements (added)
    • More on what we’re planning here in a later update

IN DESIGN ITERATION

  • Additional Mod Support
    • Part of our plan for next year currently. We will have additional information in a later update
  • VFR Improvements to Reach & H2A
    • This should move up before the next blog but will depend on how our H4 integration and investigation into these goes
  • Bringing PC Features to Console (Like FOV Sliders)
    • Hoping to move this into development soon
  • Additional Accessibility Support

IN BACKLOG PENDING FURTHER DISCUSSIONS

  • Idle System Improvements
  • Split Screen on PC
  • HDR Support on PC
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