The Xbox One exclusive Halo: The Master Chief Collection received a large content update today. This patch fixes numerous bugs while also introducing an entire new campaign.

This new campaign is Halo 4's Spartan Ops mode. Spartan Ops was released for free in ten episodes following that game's initial release. Each episode contains five missions that can be played solo or with friends. Players can use custom loadouts just like in competitive multiplayer.

Spartan Ops takes place six months after the events of Halo 4. The story centers around the Spartan squads on the UNSC Infinity, the ship deployed to the shield world Requiem. Every episode has a new CGI cutscene to further the plot.

343 Industries originally planned to include Spartan Ops along with The Master Chief Collection at launch. However, they made the decision to delay its launch until December "to make sure it’s smoother and even better than before."

In addition to the new campaign, today's update includes several matchmaking changes. Matches will only start with even teams and players who disconnect before the end will get a loss on their record. Bugs causing players to get stuck in matchmaking or dropped because they disconnected a controller should be fixed as well.

Laggy, inconsistent online play has been a problem for The Master Chief Collection players. Some of these players have been demanding dedicated servers to clear up the issues. However, 343 Industries said today that they're already in use.

"Dedicated servers have been up and running since launch, and we continue to optimize and improve connectivity. The vast majority of games are being played on dedicated servers, but in the event that players cannot connect to a dedicated server, the lobby will stay together and the match will still occur on a peer-to-peer connection. Please be aware that you may connect to the dedicated server quickly enough that you won’t see the ‘connecting to dedicated server’ dialog. The absence of that dialog doesn’t mean that you’re not playing on a dedicated server."

The update should download automatically once you log into the game. Here are the full patch notes posted at Halo Waypoint today:
Spartan Ops:

- Added the entirety of Halo 4’s Spartan Ops mode

Matchmaking:

- Made an update to make sure a match only starts when teams are even.
- Players will now receive a ‘loss’ when disconnecting before a round has ended.
- Made an update to include all split screen players in vote tally.
- Resolved an issue that caused players to become stuck “Joining Session.”
- Resolved an issue where players could be dropped from matchmaking after disconnecting their controller.

General Multiplayer Updates:

- Made additional improvements to Halo: CE hit registration.
- Made an update to the “Halo 2: Anniversary Career Progress” page to ensure achievements are correctly tracked.
- Fixed an issue where it took a long time to join players that are in a Multiplayer lobby.

General UI/Menu Updates:

- Made additional improvements to Roster update times.
- Fixed Halo 3 game type text when viewing saved data in “My Files”.

Halo 2: Anniversary Campaign:

- Fixed an issue where the ‘Black Eye Skull’ incorrectly prevented players from reaching checkpoints.

Campaign Playlists:

- Fixed an issue where cross-game playlists could fail to progress to the next level.
- Made several fixes to Campaign Playlist Carnage Reports.
- Fixed an issue where Halo 3 Cooperative Playlist progress would not save correctly when completing a mission.
- Made changes to ensure that Competitive Scoring and Timing are tracked correctly in Halo CE and Halo 2 Campaign Playlists.

Stats & Medals:

- Made updates to improve stat tracking.
- Fixed an issue where the “Steaktacular” medal would not be correctly awarded in Halo 3.
- Fixed an issue where the “Supercombine” medal would be incorrectly awarded in the Halo 4 Campaign.

Achievements:

- Made an update to ensure that the “Flaming Ninja Anniversary” achievement unlocks when prerequisites are met.

Control Layouts:

- Updated the Halo 2 “Boxer” Button Layout.
- Updated the Halo 4 “Legacy” Thumbstick Layout.

General Stability:

- Made several updates to improve overall game stability.

343 Industries plans to expand Halo: The Master Chief Collection again this spring. They'll release a remake of Halo 3: ODST at no charge for early adopters.

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