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History of Halo: Everything You Want to Know

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History of Halo: Everything You Want to Know

Halo is a series of first-person shooter video games. The wider Halo franchise encompasses not just the video games pertaining to the series but also the books and TV series. Halo was created by Bungie and is now developed by 343 Industries, one of Microsoft’s developer teams.

The story of Halo follows an interstellar war between humans and a collection of alien races known in-game as the Covenant. The protagonist of the series, Master Chief, is a supersoldier in the United Nations Space Command (USNC), responsible for defending humanity against the onslaught of Covenant invaders. While the game is primarily a first-person shooter, the game also includes elements like vehicular combat and other types of gameplay. 

The first game, Halo: Combat Evolved, was extremely popular, and its sequels have retained their chart-topping popularity. Since the first game’s release, more than a dozen entries to the series have been made. Continuations to the widely praised story of the game have received multiple awards and critical acclaim.

Storytelling is a pride point for Halo games, and it shows with its immersive and deep lore. Those who are particularly taken with the Halo universe’s story can read the accompanying novels that go into more depth with the world-building.

Further, spin-off games include their own important storylines and world-building for the Halo universe. They’re an excellent way to learn more about the Halo story and get a nice break from the regular shooty-shooty-bang-bang of first-person shooter dynamics.

Hardest to Find
Halo: Combat Evolved – Xbox (Renewed)
$14.80
  • Renewed copy
  • Xbox
  • Game of the Year Award and voted Game Of The Year by IGN.com, Electonic Gaming Monthly and Xbox Magazine
  • All new multiplayer mode for up to 16 players
  • 15 multiplayer maps and 6 brand new maps
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/16/2024 01:48 pm GMT

5 Facts About Halo

  • Halo was initially conceived as a real-time strategy game in the same vein as Command & Conquer and Warcraft before being changed to a first-person shooter.
  • At the start of the Halo story, Master Chief is already in his forties.
  • The original Halo was intended to have 25 levels rather than 10.
  • The phrase “Noob Tube” comes from Halo 2.
  • Roughly 11 million copies of Halo books have been sold worldwide.

How to Play Halo

Halo’s controls have largely stayed the same throughout its lifespan.

Initially, Halo was released multiplatform. However, starting with Halo 2, Microsoft released the game as an Xbox exclusive. It wouldn’t be released on another platform until the introduction of the Master Chief Collection for PC. The game has never been released for PlayStation.

The game uses the left joystick to move (WASD in the PC version) and the right stick to aim the camera. The right trigger shoots the gun you’re holding, and the left trigger uses grenades or secondary weapons. You can use the A button to jump and the B button to perform a melee attack. Other commands are peppered across the controller or keyboard if you’re playing on PC.

Design Your Own Levels
Halo 5 (Xbox One)
$6.65
  • First Halo title for the Xbox console
  • Updated weapons arsenal and improved speed and mobility
  • Features numerous competitive and cooperative multiplayer game modes
  • Play the classic Halo Arena experience or try your luck in the new 24-player mode, Warzone
  • Design your own levels with robust level-building tools


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 08:45 pm GMT

How to Learn Halo

Learning Halo largely depends on whether you play on a PC or console. The game has traditionally been a console exclusive but, more recently, the game has been available on PC for players who want to use a mouse and keyboard.

Whether you’re playing the single-player campaign (which we highly recommend) or the multiplayer versus modes, you’ll need a few major skills that are common in shooters.

Firstly, you’ll need good aim. While your aim is most important for people who prefer to use sniper rifles, you’ll need some amount of aim regardless of what weapon you’re using to ensure that you actually hit your target.

Secondly, you’ll need good twitch reflexes and reaction times. While most people’s reaction time tends to get worse with age, you can train your reaction time and twitch reflexes to provide you with better coverage in-game. Without twitch reflexes and good reaction time, you’re liable to end up on the business end of someone’s gun.

Luckily, all the skills you need to train to be “good” at Halo are ones you’ll learn naturally as you play the game. Even just playing the single-player campaign will help you learn and master the basics of all the skills you need to succeed in the multiplayer arenas.

Unfortunately, with no VS AI mode for multiplayer modes in the MCC, the only way to train your skills is to simply jump into the multiplayer modes and practice. This means you’ll have to accept a period of low skill where you don’t necessarily play at your best, even in versus modes. But you’ll get better as you play.

Thankfully, Halo Infinite included an AI mode that players can use to train their skills before taking on other players. This mode has a limited map pool, but allows players to hone their skills and learn more about the game’s mechanics in a low-stress, low-stakes environment.

Legendary Multiplayer Mode
Halo Infinite: Standard Edition – Xbox Series X & Xbox One
$28.89
  • Groundbreaking multiplayer experience and the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet
  • Multiplayer: Halo’s celebrated multiplayer returns, reimagined and free to play. Seasonal updates evolve the experience over time with unique events, new modes and maps, and community-focused content.
  • Halo Infinite provides an amazing experience across the Xbox One and newer family of consoles with stunning graphics and world-class cross-platform play. On Xbox Series X, enjoy enhanced features like up to 120 FPS and greatly reduced load times creating seamless gameplay that ushers in the next generation of gaming.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 08:45 pm GMT

The Difference Between Halo and Call of Duty

On the competitive level, Halo and Call of Duty do not feel like similar games.

Before the Halo Master Chief Collection was released on PC, the game was an Xbox exclusive. So, anyone who wanted to play had to learn to aim and interact with the Xbox controller. Call of Duty has always been multiplatform. Since many Call of Duty players use a mouse and keyboard, the skill sets you to learn from Call of Duty vastly differ from those you initially learned while playing Halo.

With the Halo Master Chief Collection having been released on the PC, the skill sets for Call of Duty and Halo have become slightly more similar. However, their design differences prevent the skill sets from being entirely similar.

Halo’s multiplayer has historically focused more on teamwork than Call of Duty’s. Single-player skill can carry a Call of Duty game in ways that would simply not work in a Halo game. Likewise, Call of Duty rewards individual skills more than Halo does.

Since both games can now be played on a mouse and keyboard, Halo games have experienced a change in the necessary skill sets and the feel of each game. The mouse and keyboard allow players to move and react quicker and with more precise movements than controller schemes do. The additional speed and precision make the game feel vastly different both for the player and their opponents.

halo outpost
Master Chief’s reign lives on with the ever-growing popularity of the Halo games, and we’re excited to see what the future will bring for this iconic franchise.

Halo Version History

Halo: Combat Evolved

Halo: Combat Evolved was the beginning of a legend. This game was the first Halo game to be released, having been developed by Bungie. The game was released Xbox, Windows, MacOS, and Xbox 360. It began the story of Master Chief and his adventures as he combats the assault from the Covenant, a group of alien races allied against the United Nations Space Command.

Awesome Graphics
Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary (Renewed)
$24.99
  • Bundled with seven of the most popular multiplayer maps.
  • Include a bounty of new features including cooperative play over Xbox LIVE.
  • Achievements
  • New challenges
  • New fiction to uncover
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01/17/2024 03:55 am GMT

Halo 2

Halo 2 is an Xbox-exclusive first-person shooter that continues the story of Master Chief as he combats a military assault on the United Nations Space Command.

It was developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft Game Studios.  It featured new enemies, maps, and weapons. It also shipped with an online multiplayer mode, which was not immediately introduced to the original Halo: Combat Evolved due to the lack of initial online support by Microsoft when Combat Evolved shipped to the Xbox.

Become a Covenant Elite
Halo 2 – Xbox
$3.35
  • Master Chief can now wield two weapons at once, board Covenant vehicles and steal Covenant weapons like the incredible double energy sword
  • Lead an all-new unit of super-soldiers, the ODST -- tougher, badder and deadlier versions of your old comrades
  • New enemies, allies and surprises
  • Intense combat with enhanced AI and real-time lighting
  • Incredible single-player action with massive landscapes and huge cities to explore and defend
  • Destructible and interactive environments
  • Take the action online with your Xbox Live and switch sides
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01/17/2024 08:50 pm GMT

Halo 3

Halo 3 concludes the story that began in Halo: Combat Evolved. It was a first-person shooter developed by Bungie and published by Microsoft for the Xbox 360. Halo 3’s storyline focuses on the interstellar war between the United Nations Space Command and the Covenant, especially regarding the alien parasite known as Flood.

Incredible Graphics
Halo 3 – Xbox 360
$7.24
  • Expands on the franchise and adds a wealth of technical and gameplay advancements
  • Unparalleled first-person shooter experience and the most compelling story of the trilogy
  • Builds upon the social multiplayer experience and innovative, evolving, online gameplay of Halo 2
  • Loaded with high-definition visuals, enhanced AI, an advanced lighting engine, new weapons, characters, and challenges
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01/17/2024 08:50 pm GMT

Halo 3: ODST

In Halo 3: ODST the player takes control of Orbital Drop Shock Troopers, or ODSTs. They explore the now-ruined city of New Mombasa following the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2. The players are tasked with finding out what happened to their missing teammates.

Everything You Love About Halo and More
Halo 3: ODST
$17.48
  • Renewed copy
  • Xbox 360
  • New hero
  • New campaign
  • New multiplayer
  • 4-player co-op "Firefight" mode
  • Xbox Live compatibility
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 08:50 pm GMT

Halo: Reach

Halo: Reach is a direct prequel to Halo: Combat Evolved. The player character is Noble Six, one member of an elite supersoldier squad that is tasked with defending a human settlement known as Reach from attacks by the Covenant.

Next-Level Special Effects
Halo Reach
$29.08
  • Fight alongside iconic Spartan soldiers, each with deadly talents, customized gear, and unique individual personalities
  • All-new engine technology designed to take full advantage of next-generation graphics, audio, special effects, AI and animation
  • A new standard for competitive gameplay, customization, variety and community integration
  • Expands on the industry-leading suite of features found in Halo 3, including four-player cooperative
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01/17/2024 08:50 pm GMT

Halo 4

Halo 4 marks the end of the Bungie era for Halo. Halo 4 was developed by 343 Industries rather than Bungie. It follows Master Chief and Cortana as they explore a new planet while under siege from the Covenant.

All New Class of Enemies
Halo 4
$14.02
  • Xbox 360
  • Renewed copy
  • Battle an ancient evil bent on vengeance and annihilation as Master Chief
  • Solo or split screen with up to three friends
  • Infinity Multiplayer features a vastly expanded suite of multiplayer modes, weapons, vehicles, armor abilities, a new loadout and Spartan-IV player progression system
  • Mysterious and deadly new class of enemies
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 08:50 pm GMT

Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 5: Guardians follows the story of two fireteams, Blue Team, led by Master Chief, and Fireteam Osiris, led by Spartan Locke. When Blue Team goes AWOL to find Cortana, Master Chief’s loyalty to the cause is called into question, and Fireteam Osiris is sent to retrieve the missing fireteam.

Design Your Own Levels
Halo 5 (Xbox One)
$6.65
  • First Halo title for the Xbox console
  • Updated weapons arsenal and improved speed and mobility
  • Features numerous competitive and cooperative multiplayer game modes
  • Play the classic Halo Arena experience or try your luck in the new 24-player mode, Warzone
  • Design your own levels with robust level-building tools


We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 08:45 pm GMT

Halo: Infinite

Halo: Infinite follows the story of Halo 5: Guardians. The story follows Master Chief as he fights against the Banished on the ringworld of Zeta Halo, or Installation 07. Unlike previous series installations, the multiplayer modes for Halo: Infinite are free-to-play.

Legendary Multiplayer Mode
Halo Infinite: Standard Edition – Xbox Series X & Xbox One
$28.89
  • Groundbreaking multiplayer experience and the most expansive Master Chief campaign yet
  • Multiplayer: Halo’s celebrated multiplayer returns, reimagined and free to play. Seasonal updates evolve the experience over time with unique events, new modes and maps, and community-focused content.
  • Halo Infinite provides an amazing experience across the Xbox One and newer family of consoles with stunning graphics and world-class cross-platform play. On Xbox Series X, enjoy enhanced features like up to 120 FPS and greatly reduced load times creating seamless gameplay that ushers in the next generation of gaming.
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
01/17/2024 08:45 pm GMT

The Legend Lives On

While the game has a long and decorated history, Halo remains one of the most popular first-person shooters on the market. Its influential position in the first-person shooter genre is unchallenged, and we’re excited to see what 343 Industries brings us next with future Halo campaigns.

First Release DateNovember 15, 2001
Most Recent Release DateDecember 8, 2021
Platforms Released OnXbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Windows, MacOS
DeveloperBungie, 343 Industries
PublisherMicrosoft Games Studio

Frequently Asked Questions

When did Halo first release?

Halo‘s first release came on November 15, 2001.

What was Halo's launch price?

Halo launched at a price point of $49.99 USD.

What is the name of the main character of the Halo series?

The Halo series follows the story of a nameless protagonist referred to as Petty Officer John-117 or Master Chief.

What is the name of the artificial intelligence that supports Master Chief?

Master Chief’s artificial companion is named Cortana.

How many mainline Halo games have been released?

Halo has six mainline titles under its belt and many spinoffs totaling around one dozen Halo games.

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