‘Halo: Master Chief Collection’ Update Adds ‘Spartan Ops,’ How Does Game Work Now?

The promised Halo: The Master Chief Collection patch for the Xbox One arrived Monday. It brings another round of fixes to the issue-filled game and also adds “Spartan Ops” from Halo 4. Developer 343 Industries also had a message concerning the question of whether dedicated servers are truly being used.

The patch download is a hefty 3GB, thanks to all the Halo 4: Spartan Ops episodes. Sadly, it does not appear that there are any additional achievements that go along with the new content.

The Halo matchmaking issues do appear to be improved, from my perspective. I was able to join matches much more quickly than before and did not experience any drops or other multiplayer issues. I can’t confirm if the problems with parties or playing co-op missions with friends still exist, however.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection (Xbox One)

Interestingly, 343 Industries finally addressed the controversy surrounding whether dedicated servers are being utilized for Halo: The Master Chief Collection or not. Franchise Director Frank O’Connor previously stated after launch that players were being dumped to peer-to-peer matchmaking as a fallback when there were network errors. A note from 343 Industries in the patch notes explains the situation further. It’s been an on-going issue, however, with players saying they never can tell that they are playing on a dedicated server.

“Dedicated servers have been up and running since launch, and we continue to optimize and improve connectivity. The vast majority of games are being played on dedicated servers, but in the event that players cannot connect to a dedicated server, the lobby will stay together and the match will still occur on a peer-to-peer connection. Please be aware that you may connect to the dedicated server quickly enough that you won’t see the ‘connecting to dedicated server’ dialog. The absence of that dialog doesn’t mean that you’re not playing on a dedicated server.”

Reaction to this has been mixed. Some players on the Xbox One sub-Reddit and Halo sub-Reddit say that they experience host migration issues, and others claims that they’ve noticed only P2P games. Others say they only occasionally notice.

That’s been a common refrain since launch, though. Some players have experienced game breaking issues while others have had much less. Either way, 343 Industries is offering Halo 3: ODST and a Halo 2 map for free, along with other goodies as an apology for the issues with The Master Chief Collection.

The full patch notes of everything fixed with this latest update is below.

Spartan Ops:

  • Added the entirety of Halo 4’s Spartan Ops mode


  • Made an update to make sure a match only starts when teams are even.
  • Players will now receive a ‘loss’ when disconnecting before a round has ended.
  • Made an update to include all split screen players in vote tally.
  • Resolved an issue that caused players to become stuck “Joining Session.”
  • Resolved an issue where players could be dropped from matchmaking after disconnecting their controller.

General Multiplayer Updates:

  • Made additional improvements to Halo: CE hit registration.
  • Made an update to the “Halo 2: Anniversary Career Progress” page to ensure achievements are correctly tracked.
  • Fixed an issue where it took a long time to join players that are in a Multiplayer lobby.

General UI/Menu Updates:

  • Made additional improvements to Roster update times.
  • Fixed Halo 3 game type text when viewing saved data in “My Files.”

Halo 2: Anniversary Campaign:

  • Fixed an issue where the ‘Black Eye Skull’ incorrectly prevented players from reaching checkpoints.

Campaign Playlists:

  • Fixed an issue where cross-game playlists could fail to progress to the next level.
  • Made several fixes to Campaign Playlist Carnage Reports.
  • Fixed an issue where Halo 3 Cooperative Playlist progress would not save correctly when completing a mission.
  • Made changes to ensure that Competitive Scoring and Timing are tracked correctly in Halo CE and Halo 2 Campaign Playlists.

Stats & Medals:

  • Made updates to improve stat tracking.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Steaktacular” medal would not be correctly awarded in Halo 3.
  • Fixed an issue where the “Supercombine” medal would be incorrectly awarded in the Halo 4 Campaign.


  • Made an update to ensure that the “Flaming Ninja Anniversary” achievement unlocks when prerequisites are met.

Control Layouts:

  • Updated the Halo 2 “Boxer” Button Layout.
  • Updated the Halo 4 “Legacy” Thumbstick Layout.

General Stability:

  • Made several updates to improve overall game stability

How is Halo: The Master Chief Collection playing for you now? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via Halo Waypoint]

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