343 Promises Fixes for Halo: Reach’s Audio and Stutters

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This month’s launch of Halo: Reach for The Master Chief Collection saw millions of players loading up Bungie’s 2010 send-off to the series. While PC players discovered it’s fairly easy to get Reach running at 4K, 60 FPS these days, many were disappointed to find that the port’s audio mix is muddied. 343 Industries acknowledged the audio matters and others shortly after, and now have a new update on when to expect fixes.

In a lengthy end-of-year update from 343 on all things Halo, the developer promises that work on a fix for the quality of Reach’s audio is in progress and aiming for a release as soon as possible. Shortly before Reach’s launch for the Master Chief Collection, 343 explained that it was aware of certain issues with the mix resulting from changing the way Reach’s audio encoding from the original Xbox 360 release, but many fans found the mix severely impacted their experience with the port at launch.

Fixes for other issues with Reach’s PC port like stuttering, screen tearing, and Vsync may lag a bit behind the patch that addresses the audio mix-in particular, 343 says the stuttering issue has been “a hard one to lock down” since it can vary based on users’ hardware, other applications running in the background, and networking issues. For now, 343 recommends that PC users turn off any third-party software to see if it fixes the stuttering.

In a bit of good news for PC Halo fans, 343 also says that its Master Chief Collection team is “making good progress” with Halo: Combat Evolved for PC and that users may be able to try out a test flight of the port as early as January 2020. The update specifies that many of the options added to Reach’s PC port, such as input latency reduction and support for variable frame rates, are in progress or already in a testing state for Halo: Combat Evolved. With Reach out now, 343’s plan for The Master Chief Collection on PC is to add each remaining title one at a time.

The re-release of Reach, which brought in close to 3 million players on PC and Xbox One in its first week, was a high point for the Halo series in 2019. 343’s update acknowledges that the studio hasn’t said much about Halo Infinite this year, but with the Xbox Series X officially announced and Infinite set to be a launch title in Holiday 2020, the focus will surely shift from Halo’s past to its future in the coming months.

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