New Halo: The Master Chief Collection update brings multiplayer to Steam Deck

Halo: MCC
(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • While Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been partially playable on Steam Deck since the device launched, an issue with the game's anti-cheat has prevented Steam Deck users from accessing multiplayer and the Custom Games Browser.
  • A new update for the game has resolved this issue, allowing players on Valve's handheld to access The Master Chief Collection's full suite of multiplayer content.
  • In the update's official support post, the game's developers have also committed to releasing updates that "improve Steam Deck compatibility" in the future.

While Halo: The Master Chief Collection has always been partially playable on Steam Deck, users of Valve's handheld gaming PC have been locked out of multiplayer matchmaking and the Custom Games Browser due to issues with the game's Easy Anti-Cheat (EAC) solution. Now, though, a new update has made the MCC's anti-cheat fully compatible with Steam Deck, finally allowing users of the system to jump in and experience classic Halo multiplayer.

Additionally, in an official support post for the update, the developers have also stated that "future updates for MCC will continue to improve Steam Deck compatibility as well." With any luck, these patches will improve the game's performance and stability on Valve's handheld.

(Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

Notably, the update has shipped with some known issues that might affect your in-game experience. We've listed them below:

  • When launching Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Steam Deck, selecting one of the available Anti-Cheat launch options will result in the game launching with the opposite launch option. For example, selecting “Anti-Cheat Disabled” will result in MCC launching with Anti-Cheat enabled.
    • Until this issue is resolved in a future update, players on Steam Deck must select the “Anti-Cheat Disabled” launch option to access multiplayer matchmaking and the Custom Game Browser.
  • Shortly after being removed from or leaving a party with other players via the Roster menu, players on Steam Deck may experience Halo: The Master Chief Collection freezing or crashing.
  • Players on Steam Deck are unable to play Campaign Co-op or Spartan Ops with players on PC or Xbox consoles. Attempting to do so may result in players accessing gameplay, however, all sessions will eventually experience a “Connection Interrupted” error or a similar disconnection.
    • Campaign Co-op and Spartan Ops will function as expected if all players in the group are playing on Steam Deck.

It's also important to note that when you sign into the game on Steam Deck and are prompted to sign into a Microsoft account, the game won't automatically pull up the handheld's on-screen keyboard. You'll need to manually do it by pressing the Steam button + X.

If you don't already have Halo: The Master Chief Collection, we highly recommend picking it up. For just $40, it gives you full access to every mode from Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4, as well as the Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and Halo 2: Anniversary remasters. On top of that, you can also unlock brand new cosmetics that weren't in the original games by completing gameplay challenges and earning "Spartan Points," spicing up the look of the games you know and love. Undoubtedly, it's one of the best Xbox games of all time, and it's phenomenal on PC too.


Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Halo: MCC is the best way to experience the classic Halo games on modern systems, as it gives you access to eight different titles and all of their modes for less than  the price of a single modern AAA game.

Buy at: Steam | Microsoft

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.