Two Weeks Later, Halo Multiplayer Is Still A Mess

Two Weeks Later, Halo Multiplayer Is Still A Mess

Welcome to 2014, where it is apparently unreasonable to buy a video game and expect it to work properly. One of this month’s biggest culprits has been Halo: The Master Chief Collection, a compilation of Halo remakes that’s been infested with bugs since it came out two weeks ago, with the most prominent problems surrounding multiplayer matchmaking.

Last week, Halo developers 343 released a patch that they said would fix the matchmaking and connectivity issues players have been facing since the game launched. That didn’t work. Halo fans still seem to often find themselves trapped in queues and running into freezes when they try to play matches online.

So now, 343 is apologising. Here’s the full statement posted by studio head Bonnie Ross on their website late last night:

On Nov 11th we released Halo: The Master Chief Collection. The goal being to create a tribute to Halo fans around the world, and to celebrate the Master Chief’s debut on Xbox One. With the initial release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, however, we have not delivered the experience you deserve. I personally apologise for this on behalf of us all at 343 Industries. Our team is committed to working around the clock until these issues are resolved.

While our team works on continual improvements and towards solutions, my commitment to you is that we will take care of all owners of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Our primary and continued focus is first on fixing the issues at hand. Once we’ve done that, we will detail how we will make this right with our fans.

On the matchmaking front, we have encountered unexpected issues that were not apparent in our internal test environment and that have resulted in a frustrating experience, including long matchmaking times and low session success rates. Within 343 Industries and Xbox, I can assure you that resolving these issues is our #1 priority. We continue to partner with the Xbox platform team to analyse all data to make ongoing server-side adjustments to continually improve the matchmaking experience. We are also preparing additional content updates that will address existing campaign, UI, and other issues to improve the overall experience. With each update we will carefully analyse data to confirm that the improvements we’re seeing internally are also happening with fans at home.

Know that we’re trying to be as nimble as possible to put fixes in place. We are planning multiple server-side tweaks and game content updates over the coming weeks. Looking forward, I want to give you a high-level cadence of the latest updates we’re currently working on. Development and testing of our latest content update continues and we are on track for release later this week. We will update you on the status and patch notes of the content update once we have a better understanding of our release window. Only through making changes on both the “server side” (matchmaking and other server rulesets) and, via content updates (to the game itself), can we make the significant progress we’re working towards. And in the interest of expediency, we’re attacking the problem from both sides, non-stop.

As we have been, we will continue to post the details of our updates and other adjustments on Halo Waypoint. Please check our forums at for the latest details as we roll out further fixes.

Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the delay and for the negative aspects of your experience to date. We’re doing everything in our power to resolve it as quickly as possible.

So are they going to offer refunds? Free games? Some sort of assurance that we won’t run into these same problems when Halo 5 comes out next year?

The scarier question: has this become the new status quo?


  • Just last week I was looking at purchasing a next gen console. After copious amounts of research, I opted for the PS4, despite the fact I desperately wanted the Halo MCC. I did this because Halo MCC was NOT working, otherwise it would have been my choice. Instead, I got a PS4 with GTAV and Battlefield 4 – no regrets. This is such a shame and is becoming more and more common

      • Yeah I know, inexcusable for BF4 too, but at this stage I knew it was working. Probably shouldn’t have supported it but I wanted a good online multiplayer shooter and its scratching that itch.

        • I love Battlefield and it was such a shame, I stuck with it over the year but was never the same when all my mates ditched it cos it was so broken, now its fixed got Final Stand last night, yet to try it out.

          • On Ps4? I have no friends with a Ps4 I quite enjoy playing solo in multi. Would gladly enjoy a couple rounds with you though – Waldofoo20XX (I think)

      • GTA5 is fine, since they’ve learned their mistakes from the first release. They wouldn’t have wanted this one to screw up.

        I’ve also had no problems playing online. I’d wait for the PC version though, if you have a decent rig.

        • Im reluctant to throw my money at games anymore (its like i just came out of rehab as im a big spender on games), I will wait till enough friends buy it as well as seeing it works fine.

          I dont have have a PC anymore since my gaming laptop got damaged….to be honest I dont intend to buy one anytime soon – unless Total War: warhammer gets announced lol as I just left a msg to Creative Assembly of this nature and I guess Im a man of my words.

    • so even though they will eventually fix these issues you made a choice to go with a different console for the next 5 years? That’s a MASSIVE call to base your purchase on.

      Don’t get me wrong, im extremely annoyed at the broken game. Just saying i think its a big call. I know ill be playing halo shortly. You will not be

      • I should mention I wanted both eventually, this was more a decision as to which I’ll get first. Previous gen I had both consoles and will likely do the same again in maybe a years time

  • Shame as this and Halo 5 were really making me consider an Xbone to sit next to my PS4. Looks like I’ll be holding onto my money a bit longer.

  • It’s not surprising that a game launches with these kinds of issues – it’s utterly pathetic, but not surprising.
    What IS surprising, however, is that the game in question is Microsoft’s flagship franchise. Developed internally, and designed primarily to be used online, on a service created and maintained by the same parent company.
    How they could POSSIBLY have ignorant if these issues pre-release is beyond me. And if they DID know, and released anyway, well… that’s even worse.

    • From what I read 343 were working on Halo 5 and most of the MCC was outsourced to other companies like Ruffian… that was their first mistake. Been having a blast with solo and coop online but yeah multiplayer… back to Titanfall 🙁

      • That’s true, I’ve read around the place that a whole lotta companies were involved. It makes their problems more understandable, if not more forgivable.
        I’m just surprised they let it happen, is all. Clearly the game would have benefited from a private beta and, following the results of that, another month or two behind closed doors to prop up the netcode.

      • You get the sense that they ported the games net code from the original versions perhaps instead of writing new net code for x86 infrastructure

  • Has the studio considered releasing a PC version of the game as a way of making it up to halo fans who do not have an Xbone and making more money in the process?

    • Sure. Pizza Hut should start selling pizzas through KFC – they’d make more money surely. And great for all those pizza “fans” who couldn’t be arced going to Pizza Hut and primarily go to KFC.

      They’re owned by the same group, why not? Sells more stuff = more monies right?

      Or just cannibalize one investment to marginally increase turnover in another.

        • You’re missing the point. When you have a flagship title like Halo that’s being used to drive sales on your console, you don’t port it to PC so that anyone can grab it unless you want to sabotage your own console sales. If Pizza Hut allowed KFC to sell their pizzas on top of what they already sell, why would anyone ever go to Pizza Hut?

      • Maybe, though I really feel MS & 343 are beating a dead horse. I hope they prove me wrong with Halo V. Halo 4 was a pale imitation of Bungies’ Halo, the multiplayer was spot on but the single player was lacklustre at best. I reckon Halo should just scrap the single player and focus on the multiplayer as an online service that is updated monthly. Instead of the current, profit driven plan, of artificially stringing the story along until Halo is not making any money anymore. Halo 6, Halo 7, Halo 8, Halo 9, Halo 10 – Halo was once an original concept!

  • I’m going to go against better judgement and say, perhaps the recent issues with games coming out is simply a result of the community placing too much pressure on the industry.

    There is clearly a desire from fans of these games that they want everything now, they just don’t want to wait a single day longer for a title (see what happens when a game is delayed) and as such when the developer or publisher announces a release date they tend go stick to it regardless of the products quality.

    The media itself doesn’t help the situation. From the title of the article one could assume that no body could play Halo in multiplayer. Let’s put things into context before we start exaggerating or using highly emotive words designed to get clicks. Halo multiplayer hasn’t been done on this scale before or any game for that matter, so issues are bound to happen. I really think everyone just needs to calm down and put it all into some perspective.

    Are they working on it ? Yes they are. Are people too quick to call for a refund, in my opinion yes. It’ll all hopefully be fixed eventually, but at least the game still works.

    • You’ve got a point but the only way to counter that is by taking the time properly complete the game before release, regardless of pressure. Nintendo are great in that regard, and their games always work. Except Other M but let’s just pretend that game doesn’t exist.

    • I don’t think anyone forced 343i to release the MCC on the coveted Skyrim release date.
      Uh, that is, I don’t think anyone in the community forced them to do it.
      It was entirely up to them (or, Microsoft? whoever was in charge) to release this clearly-not-ready pile of bugs to the word, and for that they (or, Microsoft? whoever was in charge) deserve most if not all of the blame.

  • I know I’m going to sound like a total asshole here, but a part of me is kind of giddy over this whole mess. Mainly because of my personal dislike (and distrust) of 343i over the Halo franchise. Feels good to be justified like this, and I don’t really like that feeling. Especially when that attitude has annoyed me from other people in the past (especially over smaller insignificant stuff).

    • With Halo 4 I gave 343i the benefit of the doubt and bought the special edition and was right on board. After the steaming pile of laggy disappointment that was Halo 4, I held off on purchasing the Master Chief Collection because I just don’t feel like 343i either knows how to ship a working game or know what people want. Looks like I was right to do so.

  • I am glad I bit the bullet and returned the XBone and the game.

    I know my vote will be lost in the noise, but I am not going to support companies releasing shit that doesn’t work, especially something as highly anticipated as this.

  • Since we’re whinging, you know what sh*ts me almost as bad as straight up broken?

    F*cking 5 million massive patches.

    Everytime I go to boot up an Xbone game that I haven’t played for more than a fortnight I get a message ‘X game requires an update’ and they’re anything between a couple of hundred mb and 15+gb.

    Sure you can set the Xbone to download them automatically (I think you can anyway) but how many people have a download cap that allows them to download potentially dozens of gb of patches for any number of games that you may or may not ever intend to play again.

    It sh*ts me to tears. Nothing’s worse than having a mate over and turning on the Xbone to play some random games only to find that ‘Trials needs a 1.5gb update’, ‘UFC requires a 2gb update’, ‘Diablo requires a 2gb update’……. The only games that actually work are the ones I’ve been playing that week.

    • Yeah, recently cleaned out my x1 (because I had used more than 90% of the hdd capacity) down to only the games I intend to play. (Back to about 70%)

      You’re right, you can set the x1 to download the patches automatically. And then you could plan it and leave the x1 on “instant on” (the power brick light stays white) on the days/nights you allocate to getting everything patched, rather than shutting it down fully. That seems to be the easiest way to do it, still painful however.

      • It’s all well and good to automatically download patches, but if you’ve finished Dead Rising 3 and have no intention of purchasing the DLC then you might be more than a little shitty when the game automatically downloads 18gb worth of DLC that you can’t even access as part of the “patch”.

        That puts a pretty decent dent in plenty of peoples monthly caps!

        • Haha, that would suck! Look at it as encouragement to uninstall games you’re not going to play sooner rather than later!

  • For those whinging about the Xbox One and it’s games, I don’t see you getting any better, actually at the moment you will get worse, performance from Sony PS Plus and their “flagship” games.

      • I think he’s just mindlessly defending the Xbone from some perceived criticism from a Sony fan…. Although I can’t see anything like that on here.

        That said, I don’t own a PS4 yet but the PS3 is SOOOOOOOO much worse than the 360 was for downloading/installing/patching games.

        To tell a quick story I downloaded LBP2 once because it said it was a 13gb download or something like that. It ended up being 30+gb because of hidden patches than had to be downloaded in 20+ separate blocks, plus it had to install everything (including the game itself after it had been downloaded). It ended up taking me a week of micromanaging the console in my spare time before I could even boot the thing! Freaking ridiculous!

  • This is why I don’t buy games day one anymore, I just wait for the inevitable patches and feedback from the Internet to inform me when a game is actually ready to play. Unless it’s a Nintendo game, they’re more or less flawless in my experience.

    • Hehe, at least there’s ONE benefit to Nintendo’s complete inability to manage a competent online environment!

      Their games have always been extremely polished though, good to see they haven’t gotten lazy and let that slip.

  • I’ve been trying to figure out if the matchmaking is worse in Australia… On reddit some people in the US are reporting 50/50 chance to getting a game, I’ve been trying sporadically over the last week and have yet to ‘find’ a single player.

  • It’s why I’m getting Smash Bros for my Wii U and still not bothering with an Xbox One or PS4. There’s nothing new that’s any good, just glitchy ports and my friend really regretted MCC, no matter how great the Halo 2 new cut scenes are.

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