Halo: The Master Chief Collection Xbox Series X, Series S upgrades now live

Halo 3
Halo 3 (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has launched its latest Halo: The Master Chief Collection update, which includes new visual upgrades for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles.
  • The title supports up to 120 FPS on next-gen systems, with custom FOV support, improvements to split-screen multiplayer, and more.

Microsoft has released its latest update to Halo: The Master Chief Collection on Xbox consoles, kickstarting its fourth season of content and enabling visual enhancements for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles. The next-generation refresh bolsters the six-part compilation with 120 frames-per-second (FPS) and custom field of view (FOV) support on its new consoles, coupled with further refinements throughout the package.

The new 120 FPS option doubles the former maximum framerate on Xbox One, with increased fluidity on the best 4K TVs for Xbox Series X and Series S, if 120Hz options are available. The Xbox Series X pushes out 4K resolution at 120 FPS, while the more affordable Xbox Series S sees similar performance at 1080p. Custom FOV support also arrives on both systems, variable from 70 to 120 degrees, although with the option only available when locked to a 60Hz refresh rate.

Its arrival means further tweaks enabled by that added horsepower, including new "enhanced" graphics settings taken from its PC version. Local split-screen multiplayer receives some love with four-player supporting 60 FPS while also tidying up past performance limitations in some titles. The menu also integrates a new high dynamic range (HDR) menu in-game, allowing players to fine-tune its implementation based on your display and preferences.

Microsoft also warned of a handful of known issues impacting Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, although relatively minor for most.

  • When playing Halo: Combat Evolved's campaign with Anniversary graphics enabled on an Xbox Series X console and at 4K 120Hz, the framerate may drop noticeably in some areas and/or create noticeable screen tearing
    • If the display supports variable refresh rate (VRR), enabling this feature may reduce the impact of this issue
    • If the display does not support VRR, playing at 60Hz will provide a smoother gameplay experience
  • On both Xbox Series X|S consoles, increasing the Gamma option above 5 may result in oversaturation of darker areas in the menus and gameplay

The update is now live on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, with a 42GB download and 120GB final installation size on both next-gen consoles. New Season 4 content joins the update, available on Xbox One and PC, too, with expanded customization and gameplay improvements. Cross-platform multiplayer has been enabled as of November 17, with input-based matchmaking across systems.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection supports Smart Delivery, meaning a free upgrade now awaits for existing Xbox One owners with Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S. The game is available for $30 via Amazon in the meantime or included with Xbox Game Pass.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown was formerly a Windows Central's Senior Editor, Xbox & PC, at Future. Following over seven years of professional consumer technology and gaming coverage, he’s focused on the world of Microsoft's gaming efforts. You can follow him on Twitter @mattjbrown.