This hardcore Halo: Reach PC mod lets you play as a Marine

Concept art of Halo: Reach.
Concept art of Halo: Reach. (Image credit: Bungie)

With the arrival of Halo: Reach on PC, the modding community has been hard at work creating amazing projects that shake up the regular gameplay experience and offer players new ways to enjoy the beloved Halo title. This one, dubbed "Trooper Firefight," allows you to play through Firefight matches as UNSC Army troopers, Marines, or Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODSTs). Here's what you need to know about the mod, as well as how to install it.

What you need to know about the mod

The mod in action.

Source: vanya857 on Nexus Mods (Image credit: Source: vanya857 on Nexus Mods)

Trooper Firefight makes UNSC Army troopers, Marines, and ODSTs playable in place of Spartans in Halo: Reach's Firefight maps. Troopers have weaker armor, no shielding, and aren't genetically-enhanced, so playing as them means you'll be slower, weaker, and less durable. The mod essentially turns Halo into a tactical military shooter where one single mistake will likely mean death.

In addition to the new playable characters, the mod also tunes several UNSC weapons to make the gameplay experience feel more balanced. It also places you in third-person view, which will help you keep aware of your surroundings.

Because of the heightened challenge, the mod author, vanya857, recommends that you play this version of Firefight with friends. As long as everyone has the mod properly installed, it will work in Custom Firefight matches.

How to install the mod

Installing Trooper Firefight is simple and quick. All you need to do is replace the vanilla Firefight .map files with the modded ones.

First, you're going to need to download the mod files and navigate to your Halo: Reach maps folder. Here's how:

The mod files.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)
  1. Go to this page and download the mod files.
  2. Extract the files to your Desktop.
  3. Open up a separate File Explorer tab, and navigate to the drive you installed Steam on.
  4. Select the Program Files (x86) folder.
  5. Select the Steam folder.
  6. Select the steamapps folder.
  7. Select the common folder.
  8. Go into the Halo The Master Chief Collection folder.
  9. From there, go to the haloreach folder.
  10. Select the maps folder.

Source: Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Windows Central)

Now that you've got the mod files downloaded and the Halo: Reach maps folder open, you're going to want to create a backup of the vanilla files so you don't have to redownload them from Steam later if you want to go back to normal Firefight. Once that's done, your final step will be to replace the vanilla files in the Halo: Reach maps folder with the modded ones. Here's how to do all of that:

  1. In the maps folder, look for the names of the .map files that match the ones you downloaded from the mod page.
  2. Right-click the files and select Copy.
  3. In a separate folder of your choosing, select Paste.
  4. Select all of the modded .map files you downloaded.
  5. Right-click and Copy them.
  6. In your maps folder, right-click empty space and select Paste.
  7. When prompted (see above), select Replace the files in the destination.

And with that, the mod is properly installed and you've created a backup of the original files should you ever want to go back to regular Firefight. Make sure to launch the game in Anti-Cheat Disabled mode so the mod works properly.

If you own the Windows 10 Store version of Halo: Reach on PC, make sure to follow this guide from the helpful Halo community on how to get access to your files. The installation process for this mod is identical for Windows 10 Store users, with the only difference being where you'll need to go in order to find your Halo Master Chief Collection game directory and Halo: Reach map folder.

Your thoughts

What do you think of this mod? Personally, I think it's an awesome idea, and I love how it provides a brand new way to enjoy Firefight, a mode which most Halo fans have mastered at this point.

Halo: Reach on PC is available now for $10 through both Steam and the Windows 10 Store.

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.