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Halo: The Master Chief Collection moves to limited playlist in bid to improve matchmaking

"I realise this isn't ideal, but it's temporary while we sort things out."

343 has moved Halo: The Master Chief Collection to a limited playlist in a bid to improve matchmaking.

Many players have complained about long matchmaking since the Xbox One first-person shooter's launch earlier this week.

In a post on Halo Waypoint, executive producer Dan Ayoub said 343's engineers believe they have identified the primary matchmaking issue, and were working on a fix.

While that's happening, the hopper list has been trimmed temporarily to drive player population to those that are functioning the best, Ayoub said.

"This will serve to further increase the speed with which you find games," he added. "We will bring the other hoppers back online as things improve, but our primary focus right now is getting you into matches."

The following playlists have been temporarily removed:

  • Team Hardcore
  • Rumble Pit
  • Halo 4
  • SWAT (rotational)

The updated playlist layout is:

  • Team Halo 2: Anniversary
  • Halo Championship Series
  • Team Slayer
  • Big Team Battle
  • Halo 2 Classic
  • Halo 3

A content update is planned for today to address fixes for scoring and stats. This update does not include in-progress matchmaking fixes, outside of a minor fix for team skill matching, 343 said.

The majority of successful matchmaking matches are found within two to four minutes of searching, apparently. 343 recommended returning to the lobby and restarting the search if you do not find a match within five minutes. This will reset the search parameters and increase the likelihood of finding a match.

"Four minutes is a long time to wait for a match," Ayoub admitted, "but don't quit out too quickly as it will come. If you haven't found a match within about four minutes, please exit the search and restart, as this will reset the parameters and increase the likelihood of entering a match.

"I realise this isn't ideal, but it's temporary while we sort things out."

Ayoub finished by apologising to players for the current matchmaking problem.

"I can assure you we're attacking this from all directions from 343 Industries to the Xbox platform, and we won't rest until it's what it should be. People are reporting improvements across the board, which is great, but we're not backing down until we finish this fight."

Some players have noticed that Halo: The Master Chief Collection currently does not use dedicated servers. This came as a surprise given 343 had said it would.

Halo franchise chief Frank O'Connor stepped in to the debate to say the game does have dedicated servers, but they were currently not being used because of the matchmaking problems.

"First off - and I will say this for the next hundred years - SORRY - we are fixing it," he wrote in a post on NeoGAF.

"It's getting better slowly today and we expect that trend to continue, but what you're seeing currently is actually just an element of this complicated problem - we do in fact use dedicated servers for matchmade games, but as an emergency contingency, MCC is designed to fall back to traditional peer-hosted gameplay in the event that there are connectivity issues with the dedicated servers.

"This can happen for a variety of reasons including intermittent unavailability of dedicated servers, poor ping times to the dedicated server datacenters, or network configuration issues that prevent you from being able to access the dedicated servers."

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection

Xbox One, PC

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Wesley Yin-Poole


Wesley worked at Eurogamer from 2010 to 2023. He liked news, interviews, and more news. He also liked Street Fighter more than anyone could get him to shut up about it.