Halo is one of the most famous and well-regarded action-scifi game series of all time. The franchise began in 2001 as a launch title for the original Xbox.
Since that initial release, Halo has expanded into a wide variety of different entries on an equally wide variety of platforms.
Today it’s not just thought of as an Xbox console game. Halo has reached out to a wide variety of different mediums.
What began as a single game has spread out into everything from voice interfaces to novels and even an upcoming TV series.
However, the game series is so popular that it’s often a little hard to know just how to play it.
Likewise, it’s not always clear if any individual entry into the series supports crossplay over different platforms.
This all leads up to an important question for Playstation owners. Is the Halo series available on Playstation and does it support crossplay?
To answer this we first need to look at the main platforms where Halo is available.
On Which Platforms can you play Halo Games?
Halo is available to some extent on a vast amount of platforms. This includes the original Xbox, Microsoft Windows, macOS, Xbox 360, iOS, Android, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that not all of these platforms have equal support.
For example, Android’s sole official entry is Halo Waypoint. The app is essentially a secondary component for Halo Infinite on PC/Console.
Likewise, iOS has very sparse pickings for Halo fans. Both mobile platforms do have one solid option to play Halo – Xbox Game Pass.
The Game Pass system works through cloud streaming. You’re not technically running Game Pass games on your mobile devices.
You’re instead linking your device up to a cloud system that essentially runs and streams Xbox games. This creates some restrictions.
The biggest problem with Game Pass is that it chews through data at a pretty rapid pace.
You’re most certainly going to want to avoid using the service on a limited data plan.
But if you have fast and unlimited data on your cell plan or through a home internet connection? Under those circumstances, Xbox Game Pass can be a viable way to enjoy the vast majority of the Halo series on a mobile device.
Though you’ll probably also want to have a Bluetooth gamepad to get the full experience.
Halo is, technically, available on Macs. However, the selection is extremely limited.
The very first Halo game had native support on OSX. But otherwise, Mac users need to go with a similar method to what we see on mobile platforms.
OSX still doesn’t have a dedicated app to access Xbox Game Pass. However, Mac users can still access the service through a web browser.
Accessing Xbox Game Pass on Macs is just a matter of going full screen on the web client to get a fully immersive experience.
The cloud streaming route still has the same disadvantages that we see on mobile platforms.
You’ll need to make sure that you have a reliable, fast, and ideally unlimited data connection to play most Halo games through Xbox Game Pass on a Mac.
Can you play Halo Games on Playstation (PS4, PS5)?
If you can play Halo on a mobile platform it’s natural to assume that you’d be able to do the same with something as powerful as the PS4 or PS5.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Halo is not available on any Playstation console.
Microsoft has been out of the mobile operating system game for a while now. As such, there’s no need to worry about platform exclusivity on mobile devices.
This allows Microsoft the freedom to open up its game streaming system to both Android and iOS without losing any market advantage.
On the other hand, Microsoft is in heavy competition with Sony. The best way to sell the Xbox is to provide games that can’t be played outside Microsoft’s ecosystem. This means that Halo is probably never going to show up on the Playstation.
Is Halo a Microsoft Exclusive Game?
It’s natural to wonder whether Halo is a Microsoft exclusive game. After all, playing it natively without any sort of emulation or cloud streaming is pretty rare outside of Windows and Xbox.
The short answer is that Halo is a Microsoft exclusive franchise. But there’s a lot more to this story than a simple explanation would suggest.
In fact, to understand Halo’s targeted platforms we need to look back to a non-Microsoft event.
Today Halo is synonymous with Microsoft. But it was initially linked to one of their biggest rivals. The public’s first look at Halo came from Steve Jobs himself.
Jobs announced the title at Macworld 1999. At this point, people were hailing Halo as a sign of newfound interest in gaming on the Mac.
It’d be natural to assume Halo was going to move forward on both Macs and Windows.
However, the franchise’s course was shifted radically in 2000 when Microsoft purchased Halo’s development studio – Bungie.
The first Halo game would eventually see a release on OSX. But only after Halo was released on Windows and Xbox. Macs would then be left wanting after that first release.
As we’ve seen, there are some workarounds to play Halo on platforms that aren’t owned or controlled by Microsoft.
But for the most part, Halo can still be considered a Microsoft exclusive. It’s true that cloud streaming has brought Halo, in some respects, to Android, iOS, and OSX.
But there’s an important distinction to keep in mind. Playing Halo on those platforms means running Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass service.
Microsoft might not control the operating system the service is running on. But the company does control Game Pass and runs it in a similar way to the standard Xbox system.
When you’re running Game Pass on Android or iOS you’re still essentially running a Microsoft system. It’s just that you’re using Android or iOS as a way to access that system.
Why won’t Halo games be released for PlayStation?
All of this leads to the underlying reason why Halo will never appear on the Playstation.
Microsoft dipped its toes into game releases on competing consoles early in the original Xbox’s release cycle.
But even that small effort was tentative and quickly abandoned. We only saw continuations of properties that had come under Microsoft’s ownership after releasing on a non-Microsoft platform.
These include Banjo-Pilot and Diddy Kong Racing for the Game Boy Advance and DS. And releasing a game for a low-powered handheld system is a far cry from releasing it to a true competitor to the Xbox.
If Microsoft wasn’t interested in publishing for a competing hardware platform then there’s almost no chance of it happening now or in the foreseeable future.
Is Halo Crossplay?
Of course, Halo still supports a wide range of platforms outside of the Playstation.
It’s natural to wonder if we can expect crossplay between them. The answer is yes, but it’s not quite as straightforward as one might assume.
Both Halo Infinite and the older games in the Master Chief Collection can be cross played between PC and console. But the way matchmaking works isn’t altogether intuitive.
Crossplay is enabled by default on both PC and console. However, if you’re on PC you can limit yourself to other PC players in ranked games by using the “Keyboard/Mouse” option.
Matching is done through the primary input devices rather than the underlying game system.
So, a PC and console player who are both using gamepads might be matched with each other.
But if someone’s using a keyboard and mouse they’ll only be matched with other PC users. Players are out of luck if they want to limit crossplay in Big Team Battle or Quikplay.
Using crossplay is extremely easy due to the fact that it’s enabled by default across all platforms.
However, this isn’t necessarily a perfect solution. The biggest problem is that a PC’s performance can vary tremendously when compared to consoles.
A PC gamer with a top-of-the-line gaming rig can achieve uncapped FPS with absolutely no input lag.
In addition to that, they can often get better performance from a monitor when compared to TVs. And at the same time, some PC gamers suffer limitations from their more modest gaming rigs that put them at a disadvantage when playing against people on consoles.
Microsoft made crossplay easy to use. But there are times when players might wish that they could simply disable it.