Now that Halo: The Master Chief Collection is available on PC, many players have picked up the game and started diving into Halo: Reach, the first game available on the platform. While a lot of the game’s systems work great on the PC, the way that you have to interact with friends can be a bit confusing. That’s why we’ve put together this definitive guide on how to play with friends on PC.
How to play with friends on PC – Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Before we dive in, we want to take a moment to note that there are two possible versions of Halo: The Master Chief Collection for the PC; the Steam version and the Microsoft Store/Game Pass version. Thankfully, the player pool between these two versions aren’t separated, which means you can team up with others no matter which store they purchased their copy from.
Unfortunately, though, playing with your friends can be a bit tricky. For example, when playing in the Microsoft or Game Pass version of the game, you can’t pull up your Steam friends list. This means you can’t easily just invite people using the Steam interface, which has led to quite a bit of confusion for some.
Similarly, those playing the Steam version of The Master Chief Collection will find that they can’t access a full list of all their Xbox friends. This makes it difficult to invite those who are using the Microsoft or Game Pass version of the game, resulting in quite a few people scratching their heads in confusion. Thankfully, we’ve figured out how the system works, and while it isn’t the most efficient, it will allow you to play with your friends.
First, if you’re going to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection at all, you’re going to need to have an Xbox account. Even if you pick up the Steam version of the game, you’ll still be required to sign into an Xbox account. That’s because the entire invite system for the game works off of the Xbox framework, at least as best we can tell. This means that once you log in to the game, you’re going to need to make sure you have people added on your Xbox friend’s list.
How to play with Xbox friends on the Steam version
One of the biggest points of confusion we’ve seen around the Steam release of Halo: The Master Chief Collection has been inviting your Xbox friends to games. While you can readily access your Steam friend’s list in the game menu, you can’t actually see a list of all your Xbox friends. This means you’re going to need to invite them manually. From the main menu, click on the player icon at the top, next to your name.
Next, look for the Find Player option. Select this and then type in your friend’s Xbox Gamertag. Once you do that, you should be taken to their profile, where you can invite them to the game. Similarly, your Xbox friends should show up under your own name after you select the player profile, so long as they have the game open at that moment in time.
How to play with Steam friends on the Game Pass version
If you’re looking to play with your Steam friends, but you have the Microsoft or Game Pass version, then things get a bit trickier. First, you’re going to need to get your friend’s Xbox name and add them through the Xbox application. Once you’ve done that, you should then be able to invite them to your games freely. You won’t actually make use of the Steam integrations at all when using the Game Pass version, so just ignore the friends list on Steam and go right for your Xbox friends list.
While it’s a bit convoluted to make players jump through all these hoops, it isn’t impossible to play with your friends. That should tell you all you need to know to play with friends, though, so head back over to our Halo: Reach guides for even more help.