PC games have long been the domain of ambitious and creative modders. Whether it’s someone who just wants to insert their favored anime waifu or sci-fi icon into a game, or it’s gamers adding entirely new storylines, the boundaries are constantly being pushed by modders, So when the announcement of Halo Reach heading to the PC broke, there was one question on the minds of many. Will the game allow modding?
The question popped up throughout the testing and development period of the port, with 343 kind of cryptic on the issue. The Halo franchise has been a target of modders since the early days of Halo: CE. Of course, when the franchise exploded in popularity, so too did the hacking and cheating scene surrounding the game. Sure, plenty of modders were making content for harmless fun. But most memories people have surrounding Halo 2 are of hackers using modded console to cheat before being banned. That begs the question of what could be modded in Halo Reach.
The first response is visuals, but hang on. The game already looks incredibly good on the PC. And early reports say that Halo Reach runs smoothly at 4K even on more modest hardware. Not really surprising though given how easy this port is to run. But let’s get back to mods. In short, the developer will allow modding with singleplayer or custom games only. That means texture and model swaps, level alterations, AI tweaks and anything else you might be able to engineer is fair game as long as you don’t upset the competitive multiplayer.
As 343 Industries stated when a fan asked whether the game will support mods.
“We’re still working to improve this down the road, but for now you will have an option when you launch to bypass anticheat. This will allow you to play around with campaign and customs but not allow you to play any match made games. I highly suggest making a copy/backup of anything you modify so you’ll be able to switch back and forth easily.”
Halo Reach dropped earlier today via an update to the Master Chief Collection, and it looks quite good. I cannot wait to see what weird things modders get up to once they really start digging into the shooter video game. Sadly, unless plans change, 343 has no plans to port Halo 5 to the PC via this same method. So Halo fanatics will just have to make do with the rest of the iconic FPS franchise for now.