Halo: Reach launched on PC for the first time on Dec. 3, as part of the Halo: The Master Chief Collection. While the game is mostly the same as its console counterpart, developer 343 Industries has already confirmed that it would support community mods in the PC version of the game. As a first sign of that support, the release features an easy way to turn off Halo: Reach’s anti-cheat.
While this may sound dangerous for players that just want to enjoy the game’s standard multiplayer, it actually isn’t. This is a creative solution that will allow players use mods and play modded maps in Custom Matches and Campaign mode. But to help keep things competitive, players who don’t have the game’s anti-cheat software active won’t be able to play matchmade game modes.
For players launching The Master Chief Collection on Steam, you’ll see a pop-up that asks if you’d like to run the game with or without anti-cheat. For players using the Xbox App, you’ll have two separate programs you can launch, one called “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” and one called, “Halo: MCC anti-cheat disabled.”
This news comes as a welcome addition to longtime Halo PC fans who have always known modding as part of the game. Halo: Combat Evolved modders opened up new sections of familiar maps, such as the cliffs high above Blood Gulch, and modded weapons to make machine-gun rocket launchers or sniper rifles that fired like tanks.
Modding eventually became so popular in the PC community that the developer that originally ported Halo: Combat Evolved to the platform, Gearbox Software (yes, the Borderlands developer), released a new multiplayer-only version of the game called Halo: Custom Edition that was essentially an expansion designed to be a playground for modders.
While only basic mods were possible in Combat Evolved, Custom Edition let players import huge numbers of new assets. In Custom Edition, modders recreated Call of Duty levels, made entirely new maps and game modes, and even created fully-pilot-able Longsword spaceships for players to fly.
Most of the mods that players created for Halo: Custom Edition were made using the Halo Editing Kit, a piece of software Gearbox developed specifically to make map creation easier for modders. 343 Industries has said that it’s also working on custom modding tools for Halo: Reach creators that will launch shortly after the game.