Halo Wars 2 FAQ

Have a question about Halo Wars 2? Check here for answers to common questions.

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Halo Wars 2 is an Xbox Play Anywhere title. What does that mean?

When you purchase an Xbox Play Anywhere title digitally, it's yours to play on both Xbox and Windows 10. You only need to purchase the game once via the Microsoft Store on your Xbox or Windows 10 device and it will appear in your game library wherever you sign in.

If you've purchased the game on Xbox and you want to play on your Windows 10 device, sign in on your device. If the game is already installed on your device, it will appear in your list of apps. Otherwise you can install it by opening the Store and selecting My library.

If you've purchased the game on Windows 10 and you want to play on your Xbox console, sign in on your console and go to My games & apps. If the game is already installed, it will appear in your game list. Otherwise, you can find it in the Ready to install section.

To learn more about Xbox Play Anywhere and see which games are supported, visit the Xbox Play Anywhere website. You can also visit Troubleshoot problems with Xbox Play Anywhere games if you're having any problems finding Halo Wars 2 or content on your Xbox One or Windows 10 device.

I was prompted to upgrade my Windows device to play Halo Wars 2. Which version of Windows do I need?

To download and install Halo Wars 2 on Windows 10, you need a device running version 1607, with OS Build 14393.447 or later.

Additionally, your device must be running a 64-bit version of Windows 10. If you have a 32-bit version, you won't be able to play Halo Wars 2.

To see whether you're running an appropriate version of Windows on your device:

  1. Go to Start, enter About your PC, and then select About your PC.
  2. Look under PC for Edition to find out which version and edition of Windows your PC is running. Make sure this is at least 1607.
  3. Look under PC for OS Build and make sure this is at least 14393.447.
  4. Look under PC for System type to see if you're running a 32-bit or a 64-bit version of Windows.

If you don't see a version listed, you need to update before you can download the game. There are a couple of ways you can do this:

  • Go to Start > Settings > Update & security > Windows Update. Check to see if any relevant updates are available.
    Note If it's been less than 31 days since you upgraded to Windows 10, you won't get the update right away. This is to allow you to go back to your previous version of Windows if you choose. After the 31 days have passed, your PC will automatically download the latest update.
  • See the Windows Update: FAQ page to upgrade your device to Windows 10 with the latest update.

If you have version K or KN of Windows 10, you may need to download additional software. These are available as a free download. To do this, visit Media Feature Pack for Windows 10 N and Windows 10 KN editions (November 2015).

Do I need additional software to play Halo Wars 2?

Yes, you need to have DirectX 12 with feature level 11 or later installed to play Halo Wars 2.

If you're not sure if you have DirectX 12 installed, here's how you can check:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type "dxdiag" and then press Enter to launch the DirectX Diagnostic Tool.
  3. On the System tab in the System Information window, look for the DirectX version listed. The version must be 12 or higher to run Halo Wars 2.
  4. On the Display tab for your graphics card, look under Drivers for the Feature Levels supported and make sure that 11_0 or 11_1 appear in the list.

What are the hardware requirements?

The hardware requirements for Halo Wars 2 will vary depending on whether you are playing on Xbox or Windows 10. Visit the product detail page for each platform to determine the size of the game, the system requirements (particularly for Windows 10 devices), and any additional info about the game.

Note Since this is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, you can purchase digitally on Xbox or Windows 10 and you'll own both versions of the game. The product detail pages are called out separately for each platform for information only. You don't need to purchase the game twice.

For Xbox:

To view the installation requirements for Xbox, visit the Halo Wars 2 product detail page.

To check if your Xbox has enough available disc space to install Halo Wars 2:

  1. Press the Xbox button  on your controller, and then select My games & apps.
  2. Check the available drive space displayed at the bottom-left corner of the screen. If you don't have enough space, you'll either need to remove some of your existing games and apps, or add an external drive to your console.

If you're using an external storage device with your console and you want to change the default installation location:

  1. Press the Xbox button  to open the guide.
  2. Select Settings > System > Storage.
  3. Under Manage storage, your default storage location is indicated by a triangle in the top-right corner.

For Windows 10:

To view the system requirements for Windows 10, visit the Windows 10 Halo Wars: Definitive Edition product detail page. The "Additional info" section will give you the approximate download size, indicating how large the game is.

If you don't know your GPU (graphics processor) or VRAM (video memory), here's how you can check:

  1. Go to Start > Settings > System.
  2. On the Display tab, scroll to the bottom and select Advanced display settings.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and select Display adapter properties. The Adapter Type will display the name of the GPU, and the Dedicated Memory will display the VRAM.

See How to find out if a game will work on your Windows 10 device  for more information about how to check your device.

To check how much available disk space your Windows 10 device has and to change the location that your game will save to:

  1. Go to Settings > System > Storage.
  2. The used disk space for each drive on your device will be displayed. Make sure you have enough available space on your hard drive.

See Find out how much storage your PC has for more info about how to check your Windows 10 device.

What happens if I download Halo Wars 2 on a device that doesn't meet the hardware requirements?

We recommend that you check the device specifications before purchasing the game to make sure your device meets the minimum requirements.

If you've already purchased the game, you can try adjusting the in-game graphics options.

For a full list of tips and tricks to improve your in-game performance, visit the Halo Wars website.

How long does it take to download Halo Wars 2?

The download time can vary depending on the speed of your Internet connection. On average, it takes about 4 hours to download 40 GB over a 20-Mbps connection.

Follow the steps in the What are the hardware requirements? section above to find the size of the game on Xbox and Windows 10. These may vary depending on which device you are installing to.

The table below represents estimated download times based on current download speed.

Note This information is intended as a guide only, not an actual representation of download time. Bandwidth will be constrained and download time will increase during activities such as streaming content, playing games, or game streaming from your Xbox One to a Windows 10 PC.

Current download speed

30-GB file

40-GB file

50-GB file

60-GB file

70-GB file

2 Mb/s

33.3 hours

44.4 hours

55.6 hours

66.7 hours

77.8 hours

5 Mb/s

13.3 hours

17.8 hours

22.2 hours

26.7 hours

31.1 hours

10 Mb/s

6.7 hours

8.9 hours

11.1 hours


15.6 hours

20 Mb/s

3.3 hours

4.4 hours

5.6 hours

6.7 hours

7.8 hours

50 Mb/s

1.3 hours

1.8 hours

2.2 hours

2.7 hours

3.1 hours

100 Mb/s

0.7 hours

0.9 hours

1.1 hours

1.3 hours

1.6 hours

200 Mb/s

0.3 hours

0.4 hours

0.6 hours

0.7 hours

0.8 hours

For example:

If you're installing a 20-GB file and it's 25 percent downloaded (15 GB remaining) and your connection speed is 10 Mb/s, it should take about 3.4 hours for the download to complete. (This assumes that the download speed stays the same.)

While you're downloading the game, do not cancel the download or shut down your computer. The Halo Wars 2 icon will appear in the listed Installed Apps section of the Start menu on Xbox, and in My Library on your Windows 10 device.

Note You may be subject to additional Internet fees while you download the game.

If you believe you're experiencing a slow download of the game, visit Troubleshoot slow game or app downloads on Xbox One or Fix network connection issues on Windows for additional troubleshooting steps.

What kind of accessory device do I need to control Halo Wars 2?

You can use a mouse and keyboard or a game controller (Xbox One or Xbox 360 controller is recommended). If you use an Xbox One controller, you'll need either a USB cable to connect it to your device or an Xbox Wireless Adapter for Windows.

You can also connect an Xbox One S or Xbox Design Lab controller to your device using Bluetooth. For more details, visit Using Xbox One Wireless Controllers on a PC.

Other USB game controllers supported by Windows may also work.

Do I need a Microsoft account to play Halo Wars 2?

Yes, you'll need a Microsoft account to play Halo Wars 2. If you already play games on Xbox 360 or Xbox One, you can use the same account you use for those games to also play on Windows 10. For more detail, see the Microsoft account on the Xbox console FAQ page.

Do I need to be online or connected to the internet to play Halo Wars 2?

If you're planning to be in an area with no online coverage, you can prepare your Windows 10 device to allow you to play Halo Wars 2 offline.

For details on how to configure your Windows 10 device for offline play, see Play games offline on Windows 10 using Offline mode.

The following in-game modes are supported while playing offline:

  • Single Player Campaign
  • Single Player Skirmish

The following in-game modes require an online connection:

  • Online multiplayer

If you play offline, some features, such as the ability to purchase additional items from Microsoft Store, will not be available. Additionally, any leaderboards will be unavailable while you're offline.

If you earn any achievements while playing offline, they'll sync to your account the next time you sign in to Xbox Live on your device. Your game save progress will also sync when you sign in to Xbox Live.

You also won't be able to use the benefits of Xbox Live while offline. See Why should I sign in to Xbox Live with a Microsoft account? below for details.

On how many devices can I install Halo Wars 2?

On Xbox, you can install Halo Wars 2 and play offline on your home console, as well as install and play on your friends' consoles if you sign in to Xbox Live before playing.

On Windows 10, you can install Halo Wars 2 and play offline on your main device (usually the first device you install the game on), and install on multiple devices if you sign in to Xbox Live before playing.

You can only be signed in at one place at a time while playing Halo Wars 2, or any other title that supports Xbox Play Anywhere.

Why should I sign in to Xbox Live with a Microsoft account?

When you connect Halo Wars 2 to the Xbox Live service, you get the following benefits while you play on your Windows 10 device.

Note You must connect to Xbox Live through the Xbox app to launch Halo Wars 2. See Do I need to be online or connected to the Internet to play? above.

  • Stay connected to the Xbox Live community, view achievements, watch game clips, and more.
  • Store your saved games in the cloud and continue playing on a different PC right from where you left off.
  • Play with your Xbox Wireless Controller on Windows 10 using the Xbox Wireless Adapter.
  • Easily record, narrate, and share your most epic gaming moments.
  • Any game clips that you capture while playing Halo Wars 2 can be accessed via the Xbox app. See Benefits of running the Xbox app while playing a game on Windows 10 for more information.

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