A huge Halo Wars 2 update is in the works to fix a range of issues on Windows 10 and Xbox One [Update]

Halo Wars 2
Halo Wars 2 (Image credit: Windows Central)

Halo Wars 2 is a stellar real-time strategy game based in the Halo universe. Set concurrently against the events of Halo 5, Halo Wars 2 resumes the mission of Captain Cutter and the UNSC Spirit of Fire, as they attempt to wrest control of the Ark from Atriox and his vicious Banished army.

Halo Wars 2 features a beefy campaign, classic RTS player vs. player modes, and a more arcade-style Blitz mode, aimed towards gamers who might want quicker-paced action. It's quite easily the best strategy game on Xbox One right now, and you should definitely check it out. While I haven't encountered many bugs myself on the Xbox One version, 343i and Creative Assembly aren't finished with polishing the game, as these patch notes detail. Additionally, this patch will contain "under the hood" preparations for the upcoming free inclusion of competitive Ranked mode.

Update, March 7th, 2017: The update is 9.9 GB and is available now for Xbox One, and is passing through certification for Windows 10. See below for the full list of changes.

Buy Halo Wars 2 at Windows Store (opens in new tab)

The Halo Wars 2 team is putting the finishing touches on a significant patch for Xbox One and Windows 10 to address a host of issues that some players are reporting. We don't have an ETA for public release but rest assured that this is a top priority and the goal is as soon as possible. The patch is expected to go into certification in the next day or two and then, upon clearing cert, will require some additional testing and then, barring any issues, is ready to be deployed into the wild. While not ideal, it is possible that this patch will release for Xbox One first, with Windows 10 to follow, given the longer lead times needed for cert and testing on PC (simply put, it's a much more complicated platform).

The Creative Assembly and 343 teams want to release this update to players as soon as possible but there is a chance that this won't get out the door before this coming weekend. Stay tuned and we'll provide updates as we have them.

In the meantime, here are the top issues that you can expect to be addressed in this upcoming patch:


  • Fixed an issue where players could get stuck on the loading screen
  • Fixed an issue that caused some PC players to see a black screen on startup
  • Several "desync" fixes, one of which covered most of the tracked occurrences
  • Fixed a variety of PC crashes that were hardware-dependent
  • Fixed a Network Error on opening Blitz Packs
  • Fixed some AI issues in Skirmish that could cause performance hits
  • Fixed some performance hitches in Cooperative Campaign
  • Made performance improvements on various hardware
  • Overall multiplayer performance improvements
  • Fixed some crashes that could occur when loading a saved game
  • Fixed an issue that would cause a Campaign mission to get stuck after loading a save
  • Fixed a bug with joining a party and getting a network error
  • Added a driver check on PC to alert users to the presence of old drivers
  • Fixed an issue that caused players to disconnect from multiplayer games at the beginning of the match


  • Fixed issue with 'Detect' on some starting units not working properly
  • Fixed an issue with getting the Palmer's Pure Gold Achievement
  • Fixed some bugs with Kodiaks in Campaign
  • Fixed a bug with garrisoned Snipers not getting additional stats
  • Fixed issue with squads getting stuck trying to garrison if another squad beats them to it
  • Gold medal can now be more easily attained in 'Hold the Line'
  • Fixed a Cyclops and Reaver pathing bug where they would sometimes stop moving
  • Fixed an issue with units getting stuck in bases after being made
  • Fixed various skull functionality not working on some units or abilities
  • Fixed some cross-skull interactions between Annihilation and Pestilence
  • Fixed some Locust pathing issues in Blitz (even though they're driven by Grunts)
  • Fixed an issue with units becoming unresponsive in Blitz
  • Fixed an issue in Blitz with units getting a x4 speed boost in a specific situation
  • Fixed a conflict created by swapping d-pad functionality in Blitz
  • Fixed an issue with the Blisterback not recovering from damage in Blitz
  • Fixed behavior of Marines sometimes failing to get new targets after throwing a grenade
  • Friendly cloaked units now appear on the minimap
  • Made some adjustments to Scarab creation
  • Tweaks to Grunt Mob, Bloodfuel Grunts, and Bloodfuel Locust
  • Holo Decoy can no longer be used on Pelicans or Spirits
  • Fixed card level of units affected by Holo Decoy not showing over clones
  • Glassing beam always creates vision now in Blitz
  • Adjusted AI to make better use of Healing and Cloaking fields
  • Skirmish AI now uses Extraction and Teleport
  • AIs have been practicing their Domination game


  • Fixed a bug where parties were always assigned to Team 1
  • Fixed a rare issue with users not actually getting to play the leader they selected in Blitz
  • "Halt" cinematic should no longer be unlocked early in theater
  • Fixed some daily/weekly challenge issues where they were not tracked in some playlists
  • PC players can no longer tab target to whisper to themselves
  • Phoenix Log page adjustments
  • Pause menu adjustments
  • Set default difficulty of AI to normal from easy


  • Cleaned up some language localizations
  • Fixed a bug with UI textures failing to load
  • Fixed some minimap graphical issues
  • Fixed a PC issue with starting army text overlapping some UI
  • Fixed some issues with individual card pack opening animations
  • Fixed an issue with a terminal for a red barrier not having a display string
  • Fixed a Domination icon issue, where it would rotate briefly when being recaptured
  • Fixed an issue with Health bars getting stuck on the screen
  • Fixed some issues with particles randomly shooting across the maps for various objects
  • Adjusted transparency on locked skulls in the side panel
  • Radial menu has been cleaned up a bit
  • Added extra visual indicator to aid players when they are selecting cards
  • Made some enhancements to the leader selection carousel


  • Fixed an issue with the announcer constantly reporting Zone B is contested when it's not
  • Fixed an issue with the Condor being able to be heard through fog of war
  • Fixed incorrect audio playing on some units when damaged
  • Fixed some issues with units calling out the wrong attackers
  • Fixed an issue with using right trigger or mouse wheel would cause audio spam
  • Added audio to Plasma Mines deploy
  • Added a variety of sound effects, and adjusted timing on some existing ones

Last, But Not Least

  • Under-the-hood preparation for future ranked multiplayer

Known Issues

In addition to these fixes, the teams are continuing to investigate and track various issues being reported by some players. A few known issues that are not fixed in this patch but are being worked on include:

  • We are still working on a fix for a known issue where a game can sometimes freeze or result in a very low frame rate
  • Investigating some reports of performance issues with cinematics
  • Investigating reports of the mini-map occasionally being unresponsive on PC
  • Occasional infinite loading screen when loading into consecutive missions in co-op
  • Game can sometimes hang indefinitely when restarting a mission
  • Unit balance feedback and assessment is ongoing by the design team

This is not a full list of in-progress fixes, the team has a number of player-reported bugs at various stages of investigation/fixing. As always we appreciate your feedback here in the Waypoint forums and we'll provide more details and updates as we have them. Thank you!

It's hugely encouraging to see 343i and Creative Assembly continue to improve Halo Wars 2. There's no date beyond "ASAP" slated for this patch just yet, but we'll bump this post to let you know when it finally goes live.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • When is crossplay?
  • Probably never, they can't balance the differences between keyboard and controller play.
  • I really wish they would at least add crossplay for co-op
  • Or custom games
  • Agreed, would like to see it
  • Keeping that in mind you would think, they would at least have an adaptive UI for kb/m vs Controller players, instead on forcing everyone to use a controller designed UI.
  • Definitely needed, its unplayable at times
  • Haven't had any issues on Xbox, are you playing on W10?
  • I'm playing on Xbox, games freeze or Sync issues
  • No issues here on Xbox. Couple of stuck on load screens. But no performance issues.
  • I've had a 9 GB update today
  • X1 loading screen freezes one out of 3 times. And by the way, I dont find it encouraging that they are fixing bugs. It's quite normal.
  • I've put 37 hours in this game already. Great game.
  • Wow that's a ton of fixes
  • Trying the demo at the mo, but I can't seem to gel with the game play. I really want to like this game. I sunk many days into Command and Conquer RA2 on PC, and I hoped this would rekindle my love for it. Would love mouse and keyboard options.
  • So many hours of my life were lost to RA2. Good times
  • They need to add forge emblems and ranks!
  • Great game but the bugs suck. I hope they add new fractions with DLCs. And something like forge from the halo games would be awesome. Custom maps and game modes.
  • This 'news' is a week old already, the patch was apparently done, but now we have to wait for MS' ridiculous certification process before they release the patch. PC multiplayer is essentially broken and even if the devs have got it fixed with this patch we (and the devs) are stuck waiting to see if it fixes anything... I've tried hard to support MS UWP gaming, but it's been a very painful and expensive process so far :(
  • This is more of an ICYMI, I was waiting on a firm release date but still waiting.
  • The hardware requirements are too high for normal computer to run it   I can't run Halo Wars2 in a Surface 4 Core i5 (4GB), but C&C and StarCraft II can run fine without problems.  The game needs more optimizations to run on common hardware.
  • Both of those games you mentioned are quite a bit older than Halo Wars 2 and you are trying to run it on a tablet with a very basic GPU.
  • The real issue is the performance of the integrated graphics on the X86 processors (particularly Intel) .  I mean, every generation I've heard how the built in GPU performance has improved, and yet they always end up being a disappointment. I've been testing out the Win10 version of Halo Wars 2 on a couple of ancient desktops with 4 core Athlon II processors.  Both are similar specs, similar 1080p screens, 8GB RAM, but both I upgraded to GTX1050Ti cards late last year as a temporary stopgap update.  (I plan to update the motherboards later this year after the we get some more data between Ryzen and Intel's offerings.)  These are the latest gen GPU architechture, but the low end of the range. Halo Wars 2 has been completely playable on these PCs so far.  I've just been running the game at whatever default settings it's using.  Haven't tweaked anything yet; just seeing how it is if I treat it sort of console like.  Got a little laggy, but still playable, when my son and I were doing a local network 3v3 skirmish battle with 2 AI players on each side.  (I'm guessing that's the CPU showing it's limitations.) It would be nice I think for the Windows platform if we could get some processors for the tablet/2-in-1/ultrabook space that were more balanced in terms of CPU, GPU, and memory bandwidth than what's been available to this point.
  • There's been huge improvements on integrated graphics. But then new games come out pushing and targeting high-end graphics cards. But you can play most few year old games really nicely with a regular laptop these days.
  • Yeah I haven't even played the game yet because it won't play on my i7 8GB SP3. I really expected to be able to play a game of this type on my Surface, ok sure I'll check it out ok my XBOX eventually.
  • Old games are most often very easy on the hardware.
  • Wow lots of fixes! Good to know! Love this game.
  • <p>Still not playable online on W10</p> <p>Still getting network error when loading server configuration data. I can only play against AI </p> <p>Bought the ultimate edition and I only have access to 30 % of the game it's so sad</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>
  • Anything for the Definitive Edition? I was having an issue where it was crashing on my laptop even though my friends laptop, which had very similar specs but an integrated graphics card rather than a dedicated one, was running just fine.
  • Does it have skirmish mode like halo wars 1? That added replay value for years
  • Yes.
  • Unless they 'fix' the stupid controller in-game UI and replace it with proper kb/m UI when you are playing on PC with kb/m then nothing will help this game; the massive radial popups to do anything are beyond annoying, when you have plenty on sceen real estate and mouse precision to have a proper RTS UI. I haven't checked, but have they at least finally fixed the key rebinding so you can actually rebind mouse keys and not just keyboard keys?  
  • question: when starting the game on XB1, a popup says the patch is available. But in "my games" section of the XB1, it says there are no updates to anything i own. Does it update on its own, in time? or is there some action i take to update the game?