Halo: Combat Evolved

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Halo: Combat Evolved
Halo: Combat Evolved cover
Windows Gearbox Software
macOS (OS X) Westlake Interactive
Microsoft Game Studios
macOS (OS X) MacSoft
Halo Engine
Release dates
Windows September 30, 2003
macOS (OS X) December 3, 2003
Halo: Combat Evolved guide at StrategyWiki
Halo: Combat Evolved at Wikipedia
Halo: Combat Evolved 2003
Halo 2 2007
Halo: Spartan Assault 2013
Halo: Spartan Strike 2015
Halo 5: Forge 2016
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition 2016
Halo Wars 2 2017

Key points

Patch 1.10 fixes issues with modern hardware and replaces the GameSpy master server.
Cutscenes, as well as animations and effects are capped at 30 FPS.[1]

General information

Bungie.net - The developer's site
Halo Nation - A very detailed wiki for everything Halo related
Halo.Bungie.org - One of the biggest Halo fan sites around
Halo Maps - A fan site for downloading mods and maps for Halo: Custom Edition
Bungie forum thread about enhancing many aspects of Halo CE and Halo PC


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Disc check (requires the CD/DVD in the drive to play)
CD key
macOS (OS X)
The official demo for the game can be found here.
Disc checking was removed in Patch 1.08.

Essential improvements[edit]


Patch 1.10 updates the Windows version. Includes all previous patches. Patch notes may be found here.
The Mavericks/Lobby patches for the OS X version switches to the new Patch 1.10 lobby servers and optionally fixes compatibility with OS X Mavericks (10.9). Still requires the latest official patch to function properly.

Halo Custom Edition[edit]

Halo Custom Edition allows players to play multiplayer Halo games on user-created maps.
Doesn't include the single-player campaign by default. See Halo Custom Edition Campaign Port.

Open Sauce[edit]

Open Sauce is a mod for Halo Custom Edition that fixes multiple issues and adds several features for modders.
Only compatible with HAC 2 after downloading an additional fix for HAC 2.[2]

Halo Anticheat 2[edit]

Halo Anticheat 2 is a mod that fixes multiple issues and adds several features, while supporting all versions of both Combat Evolved and Custom Edition.
Only compatible with Open Sauce after downloading an additional fix.[2]

Halo Mini Demo[edit]

HaloMD is a mod (perhaps even the only one) for the Mac release of Halo that addresses compatibility issues with later OSes and adds support for hosting and playing on custom maps (Custom Edition was not released for the Mac).

Skip intro videos[edit]

Add -novideo parameter[citation needed]
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Add the -novideo parameter.


CMT SPV3[edit]

Texture, model, and gameplay enhancement for Halo: Custom Edition.
Includes high resolution textures and models; new weapons, enemies, and gameplay features that are inspired by content from future Halo games and multimedia; and includes remade maps to fit the new content.
Only the first six missions are available to play, with the team planning to release the second half of the campaign at a later date.

Project Lumoria[edit]

A brand new campaign story for Halo CE
Stays true to the classic Halo CE feel

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Halo\
macOS (OS X)

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Windows %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Halo\
macOS (OS X) %USERPROFILE%\Documents\Halo\
Custom Edition saves in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Halo CE\
Mini Demo saves in %USERPROFILE%\Documents\HLMD\

Video settings[edit]

In-game video settings.
In-game video settings.

Widescreen resolution[edit]

Patch 1.10 supports resolutions up to 4800x3600. For exotic resolutions follow fix below.
Force custom resolution and refresh rate[3]
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Add -vidmode x,y,z where x,y,z corresponds to horizontal resolution, vertical resolution and refresh rate.
    • Example: -vidmode 1920,1080,60
  3. See Field of view (FOV) to set a proper FOV.


Use Open Sauce or Halo Anticheat 2 to scale HUD elements.

Field of view (FOV)[edit]

By default, Halo compresses its vertical FOV rather than stretching its horizontal FOV in widescreen resolutions.
Set custom gameplay and weapon FOV[citation needed]
  1. Install Open Sauce.
  2. Start the game and press F7 while playing.
  3. Adjust the FOV slider to your liking. Weapon offset can also be adjusted.
Set custom FOV[4]
  1. Install Halo Anticheat 2.
  2. Start the game and press F6 while playing.
  3. Move the mouse to adjust the FOV and press F6 to set it. Press Shift+F6 to reset.


Run the game in windowed/borderless mode[citation needed]
  1. Download and run DxWnd.
  2. Click on Edit, then Add.
  3. Set Path to <path-to-game>\halo.exe or <path-to-game>\haloce.exe.
  4. Enable Do not notify on task switch.
  5. Type in the window size and position or enable Desktop for borderless fullscreen windowed.
  6. Click on Input tab, set Unacquire input devices on focus lost.
  7. Click OK, File, Save, and start the game with DxWnd running.

Anti-aliasing (AA)[edit]

Forcing MSAA in the graphics card control panel has no effect.
Force post-process SMAA[citation needed]
  1. Download injectSMAA.
  2. Extract the contents of d3d9 to <path-to-game>.
  3. Open <path-to-game>\injector.ini.
  4. Set preset to SMAA_PRESET_ULTRA.

Input settings[edit]

In-game controls settings.
In-game controls settings.
In-game mouse settings.
In-game mouse settings.
In-game gamepad settings.
In-game gamepad settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Mouse acceleration
Use Halo CE Mouse Tool to disable the mouse acceleration.
Mouse sensitivity
Use Halo CE Mouse Tool to fine tune the mouse sensitivity.
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Full controller support
Menus can not be navigated with a controller.
Controller remapping
You cannot bind two actions to a single button under any circumstances.
Controller sensitivity
Found by clicking ADVANCED in Control Setup while the gamepad is selected as a Device.
Controller Y-axis inversion
Set in Mouse Setup.
Additional information
Button prompts Input settings icon - Generic Controller.svg
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Master, effects and music.
Surround sound
Up to 7.0 output.[5] May require DirectSound 3D restoration software.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
EAX support
Needs a fix for modern systems; see Restoring Legacy Audio Effects.


Language UI Audio CC Notes
Only in French version of the game


In-game network settings.
In-game network settings.

Multiplayer types

Type Native Notes
Local play
Xbox version only.
LAN play
Online play
See Patches.

Connection types


Protocol Port(s) and/or port range(s)
TCP (outbound) 80
UDP (outbound) 2302, 2303

Issues fixed[edit]

Activating Hardware Acceleration or Environmental Sound causes sounds to cut out randomly[edit]

ASUS sound cards cut out short-duration audio streams for power management, as a result the assault rifle will become silent when holding the fire button.[6]
Add the sound card to the config.txt file[citation needed]
  1. Go to the Device Manager and expand the Sound, video and game controllers section.
  2. Right-click on the primary playback device (Example: ASUS Essence STX II) and click Proporties.
  3. Go to the Details tab and change the Property listbox to show the Hardware IDs.
  4. Write down the Vendor ID (Example: VEN_13F6) and the Device ID (Example: DEV_8788).
  5. Open <path-to-game>\config.txt.
  6. Press Ctrl+F and type 0x plus the Vendor ID (Example: 0x13F6) and click Find Next to see if the Vendor ID is already listed in the config.
//If the AudioVendor already exists:
0xDEVID = "Sound Card Name" // EXAMPLE: 0x8788 = "ASUS Essence STX II"
//If the AudioVendor doesn't exist:
AudioVendor = 0xVENDOR_ID "Vendor Name" // EXAMPLE: AudioVendor = 0x13F6 "C-Media"
0xDEVICE_ID = "Sound Card Name" // EXAMPLE: 0x8788 = "ASUS Essence STX II"

Broken main menu background flyby[edit]

i.e. The flyby for the Halo ring in the main menu background is not following the correct path.
Enable Vsync[7]

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 9
OpenGL 1 OS X only.
Shader Model support 1.1, 1.4, 2.0
64-bit executable


Middleware Notes
Cutscenes Bink Video
Multiplayer GameSpy Was shutdown in late 2014. New host uses HostPC.com

Halo Custom Edition Campaign Port[edit]

Play the campaign with Custom Edition[citation needed]
  1. Download Universal UI and the map files.
  2. Extract all .map files to <path-to-game>\maps\.
  3. Replace the original ui.map when prompted.


You can also run any level manually by starting the game with the -console command line argument, and using the console command map_name <name> (for example map_name a30 to run the Halo level).[8]

Command line parameters[edit]

See command line arguments on how to use the following options.
Parameter Description
-nosound Disable all sound
-novideo Disable video playback
-nojoystick Disable joysticks and gamepads
-nogamma Disables adjustment of gamma
-useff Forces the game to run as a fixed function card
-use11 Forces the game to run as a shader 1.1 card
-use14 Forces the game to run as a shader 1.4 card
-use20 Forces the game to run as a shader 2.0 card
-safemode Disables as much as possible when running the game
-window Run the game in windowed mode
-width x Forces the game to run at a specified resolution
-vidmode w,h,r Forces the game to run at the width(w), height(h), and refresh(r) specified
-adapter x Forces the game to run fullscreen on a multimon (multiple monitors) adapter
-port x Server port address used when hosting multiplayer games
-cport x Client port address used when joining multiplayer games
-ip x.x.x.x Server IP address used when you have multiple IP addresses
-screenshot Enables the Print screen key to generate screenshots. Having this always enabled can cause a slight decrease in performance
-console Enables the debugging console
-devmode Enables the Halo Developer Mode

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) 98SE ME, 2000, XP
Processor (CPU) 733 MHz
System memory (RAM) 128 MB 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.3 GB
Video card (GPU) 32 MB of VRAM
DirectX 9.0b compatible
macOS (OS X)
Operating system (OS) 10.2.8 (10.3.9 for UB version)
Processor (CPU) PowerPC G4
System memory (RAM) 256 MB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 1.4 GB (1.5 GB for UB version)
Video card (GPU) Nvidia GeForce 2MX/ATI 7500 or better (ATI Radeon 8500/9000, GeForce 3Ti/4Ti for UB version)
32 MB of VRAM


  1. 1.0 1.1 KornnerStudios / OpenSauce-Release / issues / #33 - remove 30fps animations — Bitbucket - last accessed on 2017-05-13
  2. 2.0 2.1 Halo Maps Forum - last accessed on 2017-03-17
  3. Halo: Combat Evolved | WSGF - last accessed on 2017-03-13
  4. HAC 2 Development » Commands - last accessed on 2017-03-13
  5. PC Gaming Surround Sound Round-up
  6. ASUS Soundcard: EAX/GX Issues
  7. Verified by User:ThatOneReaper on September 9, 2016
  8. Halo Custom Edition How Do I Play the Single Player Campaign