Halo: The Master Chief Collection is the first time we’ve seen dedicated servers used in a Halo game. At E3’s announcement last year, we were told that all competitive multiplayer games would use dedicated servers hosted on Microsoft’s Azure cloud powering Xbox Live. Much to our disappointment, this only translated to matchmaking in the final version of the game.
The Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta ran on dedicated servers, which we know matchmaking would continue to use when the game finally releases later this year, but we have confirmation over on the Team Beyond forums from Josh Holmes that custom games will also use dedicated servers. This doesn’t address LAN or local console multiplayer play or other game modes like Campaign, Cooperative and Forge, but it’s a great step for playing online where dedicated server games are much more reliable than peer-to-peer hosted games. Dedicated servers removes the infamous “host advantage” many players are familiar with and reduces the effects of lag on a game for a more fair and overall better experience.