Another season of Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now live, bringing a whole array of new content to the game. We have a brand new map, some cosmetic items, and a custom game browser for Halo: Reach.
Perhaps one of the biggest new inclusions is a new map known as Edge, which was originally made for Halo Online. It joins the previously introduced Waterfall, as they're both now added into the social matchmaking playlists.
Along with this, you have new cosmetic items such as vehicle skins, elite armours, and nameplates. Bundled on top, a variety of bug fixes and improvements have also been made to make the game even better than ever.
Here's everything you'll find in the Season 7 update of Halo: The Master Chief Collection:
New Season 7 customization content
New cosmetic content for Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 3, and Halo 4 is here as part of Season 7. For the first time, this includes new armor for Elites. The full breakdown:
- New Halo: Combat Evolved vehicle skins
- New Halo 3 Elite armors
- New Halo 3 Energy Sword colors
- New Halo 3 Techsuits
- Halo 4 weapon skins
- Halo 4 armors (the “Champions Bundle”)
- New static and animated nameplates
Custom Game Browser live for Halo: Reach
The long-awaited Custom Game Browser is live for Halo: Reach. Players can use the Browse menu to find other people’s custom games or the Create menu to customize and host their own custom game session.
Thank you to the players who helped us test the Custom Game Browser during the scale test. Since then, we improved the experience in many ways:
- Full game sessions now appear at the bottom of the list.
- The Session Name field now has a longer character limit.
- The game now informs the party leader if they try to join a game session, but a member of the party does not have necessary content installed.
- When “Repeat Game” is enabled, the pause menu now says “Next Game” instead of “End Game”
- Fixed several issues with sorting the list of sessions.
- Made several improvements to how voice and text chat work with parties during gameplay.
- Fixed exploits that allowed known cheaters into sessions.
New Halo 3 map: Edge
Originally made for Halo Online, the second new map for Halo 3, “Edge,” has been added and can appear in Social Matchmaking. Edge is a symmetrical map that supports all major game variants in Halo 3 with 4 to 12 players.
Fight with sentinel beams and silenced SMGs across an open cliff-side vista and secluded ancient database in this new map on the remote frontier world of Partition.
Waterfall and Edge maps added to Social Matchmaking
Players may now play on both new Halo 3 maps, “Waterfall” and “Edge,” when queued up in Social Matchmaking. Thank you for the player feedback that helped us make fixes and improve visual polish on both maps before moving them into matchmaking.
Firefight matchmaking is now in Social Matchmaking
To help give the Firefight community a boost, Firefight matchmaking is now part of the Social Matchmaking flow (you can read the blog post here). We expect this to help in several ways:
- The Firefight game mode will have increased visibility by appearing alongside other social game modes.
- The Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach Firefight communities will be closer together, improving queue times for everyone. Players can still choose to queue up for only one of the games if they prefer.
- Players can be more specific with the game types they search for.
- This creates the possibility of rotating Firefight options and categories.
Better visual authenticity for Halo: Combat Evolved
Many graphical updates, from fog and shader effects to original character models and active camo quality, bring Halo: Combat Evolved even closer to the classic experience. Some updates include:
- Active Camo is closer to the original Xbox appearance, with a darker shade that is less reflective.
- Textures on all maps now display bump maps, which is most noticeable on metal and Forerunner surfaces
- The fog effects across multiple maps now render properly, such as above the canyon in Assault on the Control Room, Two Betrayals, 343 Guilty Spark, and Keyes.
- Covenant shields now react to being shot with plasma weapons by changing color.
- The visual effects of Jackal shields, teleporters, Spirit Dropships, and Cortana’s color pulsing while in the Ring’s control room now match the original Xbox version.
- Flashlight shine distance is further and better represents the distance on original Xbox version.
- Translucent textures such as the windows on Pillar of Autumn are no longer too opaque and now have the correct reflections.
- Captain Keyes’ original model from the Xbox version has returned.
- Layers of detail and reflection are now applied in the correct order on Master Chief's armor, Forerunner doors, Pelican Dropships, and more.
- The screen flash that displays when picking up camo or taking a teleporter is now closer to the original Xbox version.
- Combat Flood forms and health packs now glow the way they did in original Xbox version.
Halo: Combat Evolved Hardcore playlist changes
We updated the Hardcore settings for Halo: Combat Evolved based on competitive player feedback to improve this playlist and align it with the modded competitive gameplay experience popularized by the competitive community on Xbox. This includes the following changes:
- Weapon ready effects only play for local players.
- Dropped weapons have disabled collision and material sounds.
- Disabled footstep sounds.
- Killfeed messages only display if they are related to a local player or their teammates.
Updates to the Extras menu
The Extras menu has been updated to play the terminals and cinematics from Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 4, and Halo 2: Anniversary directly within the game instead of linking externally.
The other Extras menu options link externally:
- Halo Support site
- Halo Nightfall (only visible on the Xbox version of MCC)
- Halo 5 (only visible on the Xbox version of MCC)
Many improvements come from Halo Insiders feedback and Halo Support tickets submitted by our community. Thank you for participating and please keep submitting tickets! Below is a breakdown of fixes in this update:
- Fixed an issue that sometimes caused the game to crash on Xbox consoles while performing background operations.
- Fixed an issue that prevented secondary profiles in splitscreen play from being able to interact with the Exchange
- Fixed an issue where players could stay in the Exchange menu and attempt to unlock offers after they had already expired (which would always fail).
- Fixed an issue where game types not supported by the current Game Size within the Social Games menu still appeared selectable.
- Fixed an issue where the Seasonal Overview button in Options & Career incorrectly showed “Retrieving…” for guests.
- Fixed issues with how various icons were displayed when playing on low resolutions.
- Improved the season cosmetic unlock animation to be more responsive and reduced how often attempting to unlock an item will “fail.”
- Various improvements and optimizations to the Challenge system to improve reliability for progress saving.
- Improved performance across multiplayer modes where new customization options could be visible.
- Fixed several issues preventing players from navigating menus when launching MCC on Xbox with only a mouse and keyboard plugged in.
- Fixed several scenarios where players would get stuck after signing out of an account when using Mouse & Keyboard on Xbox.
- Per-title gamma adjustments are now possible on Xbox.
- Background is no longer blurred when adjusting the per-title gamma in gameplay, allowing for immediate preview of changes.
- Voice Chat now uses the active audio device set in Windows when “Voice Chat Output” within MCC is set to default.
- Emblems tied to watching episodes of “Halo: Nightfall” have now been made available to all players on both Xbox and PC.
- Fixed an issue where game volume could not be adjusted while in Halo 3 and Halo: Reach gameplay.
- Removed the SFX cue for restarting a matchmaking search that erroneously played when first entering a matchmaking search.
Halo: Combat Evolved
- Fixed an issue where the suicide respawn time penalty was not applied if the player died from falling in any way.
- Fixed an issue where the Anniversary visuals in the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign would slowly degrade after each mission load on Xbox Series X|S.
- Removed the “Off” option from the Unified Medal Display for Halo: Combat Evolved. This did the same thing as “Original” as there were no medals in the original Xbox version.
- Fixed an issue where zooming in with a scoped weapon would cause the HUD to jitter at higher FOVs.
- Fixed an issue where the player who was not the host of a co-op campaign session would not earn progress or completion for a mission or playlist, which impacted achievements.
- Fixed an issue that caused players to be placed on the wrong team when starting a Halo 2: Classic Custom Game.
- Fixed an issue where audio could become heavily distorted during a Halo 2 campaign splitscreen session.
- Fixed broken or missing textures throughout several Halo 3 maps.
- Improved performance in Edge and Waterfall by changing how scenery outside of visible sight is handled.
- Fixed an issue where the Spartan model did not rotate properly on the preview when selecting a backpack customization.
- Fixed visual issues with the ODST\COMM leg armor on the right hip.
- Fixed visual issues with the ODST\DEMO knee armor on the preview model in the Customization menu.
- Added the missing description text for Halo 3 animated visor colors.
- The ODST helmet no longer displays gaps in the neck during gameplay when “New Skins” are disabled.
- In-game Techsuit now displays the original first-person leg model during gameplay when “New Skins” are disabled.
- Fixed a visual glitch with a fan embedded in the ceiling near Blue spawn.
- Fixed various issues with unlit geometry throughout the environment.
- Fixed exploits allowing players to reach unintended areas.
- Fixed various issues where players could throw objectives into inaccessible areas.
- Adjusted weapon spawns throughout the map based on Insider feedback.
- Fixed an issue with weapons spawning off-center when initially loading into the map.
- Fixed several exploits that allowed players to reach unintended areas of the map.
- Fixed several spawn points that were not working properly.
- Fixed an issue where the respawn zones had small boundaries while playing Assault and Capture the Flag modes.
- Fixed inconsistent sound effects when walking on energy-based surfaces.
- Fixed an issue where players could throw objective items onto locations players could not reach.
- Fixed several areas with invisible bumps or uneven floors throughout the map.
- Fixed some grainy textures on Forerunner structures on the map preview image.
- Added the top-down blueprint to the loading screen for Edge.
- Fixed pop-in visual issues with the mist at the bottom of the waterfalls.
- Fixed the Forerunner room ambient audio to use the light hum normally associated with Forerunner machinery instead of UNSC ambient audio.
Halo 3: ODST
- Fixed an issue where mouse and keyboard prompts were not displayed in the VISR.
- Fixed an issue where the AKIS and MARINER helmets did not show the visor color during the ending cinematic of Lone Wolf.
- The first loadout in Firefight matches can now be selected.
- Fixed an issue where the Open Loadouts menu would not use rebound keys, only spacebar for Multiplayer and Spartan Ops.
- Fixed several visual issues in the closing cinematic of Reclaimer, including flickering hair and Cortana’s visual effects. The team is still investigating improvements for the overall scene lighting.
- Incidental chatter from allies now uses localized voice lines.
- Fixed several spots where objective markers were not placed correctly in the campaign mission Reclaimer and during some Spartan Ops missions.
Resolved issues since last flight
A sampling of fixes added after the last Halo Insider flight:
- Numerous fixes to the new map Edge, including fixed map geometry and eliminating exploits.
- Weapons and pickups now spawn properly during SWAT games on Edge and Waterfall.
- Fixed an issue in Halo: Combat Evolved where Active Camo would cause held weapons to revert to their default textures.
- Fixed the Halo 3 Elite customization menu language to be consistent with other customization menus.
- Fixed some scripted dialogue from Marines in the Halo: Combat Evolved campaign so they play as expected.
It's a pretty hefty list and absolutely crazy that another brand new map has been added after all this time. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is still going strong, and we're excited to dive in with the 30GB+ update. It's also proving to be a great way to bridge the gap until Halo Infinite later this year.
Will you be checking out Halo: The Master Chief Collection Season 7? Let us know in the comments below.