Modding Halo: The Master Chief Collection with Vortex
Work in progress
Halo: The Master Chief Collection
The Master Chief’s iconic journey includes six games, built for PC and collected in a single integrated experience where each game is delivered over time. Whether you’re a long-time fan or meeting Spartan 117 for the first time, The Master Chief Collection is the definitive Halo gaming experience.
This guide is designed to help you set up Vortex to install and manage mods for Halo: The Master Chief Collection
Getting Set Up
This section only applies to the Windows Store version of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
Follow the "How to enable mods" section of this guide from Microsoft: https://support.xbox.com/en-US/help/games-apps/game-setup-and-play/enable-pc-game-mods. This will let you modify the files in C:\Program Files\ModifiableWindowsApps\HaloMCC.
Setting the deployment method (Optional)
Depending on your settings, Vortex may select "Symlink Deployment (Run as Administrator)" as the default. This is perfectly fine to use but will require you to accept a security prompt from Windows each time you deploy or change your mods.
To avoid this, you may want to go to Settings > Mods and change the deployment method to "Hardlink deployment", then click "Apply". This will require one final security prompt to save the change.
See also: Deployment Methods
To get started you'll need to visit the Nexus Mods page for Halo: The Master Chief Collection and choose a mod you'd like to download. On the mod page, the Vortex buttons will allow you to download mods directly into the mod manager.
Mods that make changes to specific games will show a game specific icon in the "Game(s)" column for quick reference. Vortex will also report conflicts when two mods attempt to modify the same files and allow you to choose which files or mods have priority.
Some mods may not be packed in a compatible format, so may not work out of the box. See the advice below on how to repack the mod to be detected by Vortex.
There are several types of mods to be aware of for Halo: MCC.
|Standard Mods||These mods will work in Vortex natively without any user intervention. Including map replacements main menu replacers and more.|
|Assembly Patches||Some mods are made to work with the community tool, Assembly. Vortex will extract the patches to the correct folder if the archives are packed as expected, however you still need to use the Assembly tool itself to apply the patches. At time of writing we have reached out to the Assembly team to see if this can be automated. The patches are usually files with the .asmap|
|Advanced Mods||Some mods require manual edits to the game files beyond the scope of normal mods (such as using a binary editor on the game EXE file). Vortex cannot automate this process, but should work as expected if you are able to follow the posted instructions.|
Packing mods to work with Vortex
When installing mods for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Vortex expects all mods to be packed relative to the game's base folder. e.g. C:\Games\steamapps\common\Halo The Master Chief Collection
An example mod structure for a map mod designed for Halo: Combat Evolved
halo1\ halo1\original halo1\original\build halo1\original\build\maps halo1\original\build\maps\a10.map halo1\prebuild halo1\prebuild\paks halo1\prebuild\paks\a10.fmeta
Some mods are packed with just the edited files, and lack the folder structure that is required above them. This is fine to install files manually as a human operator can read the instructions, however for Vortex to automatically know where to put the files this is not effective. If you encounter mods that are packed incorrectly there are two options to correct it:
- Download the mod manually, extract the files then repack with the correct folder paths. Drag this new archive into Vortex and allow it to be installed.
- With the mod installed already, right click on it in Vortex and choose "Open in File Manager", this will open the staging folder for that mod. Inside this folder you can restructure the files and folders to match the game directory. One you are done, click deploy inside Vortex and accept the "External changes" warning if it appears.