About this post and why I am making it.
I did not come up with all of this myself and I am only bringing all this information together to help people have an easier time getting everything set up.
First order of business. Halo 2 PC, Halo 2 Vista, H2V, H2PC, and any variation like that are all the same game.
Halo 2 PC online servers have been shut down since about 2015 which would mean you cannot play online and get the multiplayer achievements. This post will give you ways to still get the multiplayer achievements. The campaign achievements are still obtainable normally though. If you encounter any problems refer to the Problems
You have two options to get the multiplayer achievements, legitimately or illegitimately. I will provide information for both options and leave it up to you to decide which way you want to go.
I had quite a few problems getting everything set up and so I will go through my process and workarounds that I found. Some of the setup process is from forum posts that I used and I will give credit where necessary using a Credits
section. Purchasing Halo 2 PC
There are 3 ways to get a code for Halo2 PC.
- Buy a legitimate copy of Halo 2 PC
- Buy one of the games with GFWL codes that also work for Halo 2 PC. My favorite option
- If you already have a GFWL compatible game your code will work for Halo 2 PC. List of compatible games
You can google other codes that work for Halo 2 PC yourself. If you purchase the Steam game I listed then go to your Library on Steam, click on the game, and on the far right side under “Links” click on “CD Key” to see your code. Each code can be used up to 5 times. Basic Setup
- Download this set of files. This download contains Halo 2 PC (in RAR form) and the Games for Windows Live (GFWL) installer.
- Run the GFWL installer.
- Sign into the GFWL program with your GamerTag. After signing in, close the program.
- Unzip Halo 2 PC.
- Open up the Halo 2 PC folder and run the application named “Startup”
- Click on “Customize Install” and choose the option “Full Install, Do Not Start”.
- After some time you will be asked to activate the game now or later. Choose “Activate Now”. Use this code 8784Q-W6F92-DHQ7R-P3PKV-7DM8F
- After inputting the code there will be a popup, just click on “Finish”
- Wait for the rest of the installation to finish.
- There are 2 more things to install, an update to Halo 2 and Windows Live Assistant. I found the easiest way to get these it to just let Halo 2 take you to the file.
- Use the “Startup” application again and this time click “Play Halo 2” then “Play”
- If everything installed correctly the game will boot up. Then some popups will appear asking you to install an update. Click “Yes” and install it. It will install one the of the two files mentioned above.
- After installing the first file, repeat steps 11 and 12 and install the other item.
- After installing both of those things you should be good to go and Halo 2 should boot up completely with no problems.
- After purchasing the necessary code for Halo 2 PC you can start up Halo 2 and proceed to sign in to Xbox Live with your GamerTag.
- It will tell you that your code is invalid. Click “Try again” and wait for it to give you the code input screen. Input your code and continue on.
- If everything worked correctly you will be signed into Xbox Live and should be able to play the game and get the campaign achievements.
(Does not work anymore, you must do the Non Legit Way)
Halo 2 PC does not have any split screen capabilities, so for the multiplayer achievement that requires 3 other players you need 4 total computers (or you can try using 3 other virtual machines on 1 computer, I never tried this so you are on your own for that one) and 4 Xbox Live accounts.The idea is to use multiple computers with Halo 2 installed and create a LAN multiplayer match where you can have 4 players in one match. The legit way is definitely more time consuming and difficult but nobody can question the integrity of your achievements. Each code for GFWL games can be used up to 5 times, so you will only have to purchase the game once. What you need
- 4 computers/laptops with Halo 2 installed on them
- 4 “crossover enabled” Ethernet cords
- An Ethernet switch that has at least 5 ports
- 4 GamerTags with Xbox Live
Non Legit Way
- Install Halo 2 PC, GFWL, and the other 2 items on all 4 computers.
- Connect all 4 computers using “crossover enabled” Ethernet cords to the Ethernet switch.
- Use the 5th Ethernet port to connect the Ethernet switch to the internet via router, modem, or whatever.
- Open Halo 2 PC on all the computers and sign in on each computer using the respective Xbox Live accounts. Make sure all 4 accounts are friends with each other.
- If everything is set up correctly you can go to “Live” and “Create New Game” and then invite the other 3 players to join you.
- The only way to get achievements is to play games in the “Live” section.
- If you get everyone joined in then the hard part is over, now just start the game with the appropriate map and settings and get all those achievements!
This method is a lot easier and does not require any extra computers or purchases. This method is also frowned upon and certain websites, like TrueAchievements and other websites like it, will not honor this method and on their website they will not show you obtained them. This method requires using Cheat Engine to artificially turn on “split screen” so that you can play with 4 players on 1 computer. What you need This set of files
that contains Cheat Engine 6.1 and some other files to be able to change settings in Halo 2 PC.
Here are the YouTube videos by Kills Alone that I followed. Part 1 Part 2
. I will write a general text walkthrough, but I recommend watching the videos for better details and to visually see where everything is.
- Install Cheat Engine 6.1.
- Open Halo 2 first, after that is fully up and running open Cheat Engine.
- Click on File in the top left corner, click Open, navigate to HTM2 Campaign Mods file and open it.
- In Cheat Engine, click the flashing button in the top left area.
- In the popup that opens select Halo 2 and continue on.
- In the bottom area of Cheat Engine there should be a lot of options.
- Before you change any data, go to Halo 2 and go to “Live” and “Create New Game” and then go back to Cheat Engine
- Find the options listed as “Profile 1”, “Profile 2”, etc. In each of these lines, fill in the “Profile Name” for Profile 2, 3, and 4 with any name you want.
- In the “GamerTag ID” line, input any 8 digit number. I literally used 12345678, 12345679, 12345677 for my 3.
- On the “Enable Profile” line, change the 0 to a 1 for each profile.
- Now back in Halo 2, there should be all 4 profiles in your party if you did everything correctly.
- Now just start the game with the appropriate map and settings and get all those achievements!
These are issues I ran into and found the fix for. You may not have these problems. You may have different problems. I am not responsible for anything that happens to you or your stuff. GFWL Installation:
I had an initial problem of installing GFWL properly on my desktop, but my laptop had no issues. There can be many different problems but I am going to tell you about my issue and how to fix it. For any others issues, google is your friend.
During installation I had the error: "An error occurred during the installation of assembly 'Microsoft.VC90.CRT,version="9.0.21022.8",publicKeyToken="1fc8b3b9a1e18e3b",processorArchitecture="x86",type="win32"'. Please refer to Help and Support for more information."
My fix for this was in this article
. Here are the steps that fixed it for me:
Halo 2 Installation:
- Start menu > type "regedit" (without quotes) into the search box > Enter.
- Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control in your Registry.
- If you do not see an entry called RegistrySizeLimit along the right for the Control key, you will have to add it. Right-click on the white space > New > Key > DWORD (32-bit) Value.
- To set the Value, right-click on RegistrySizeLimit > Modify. Setup this entry as follows:
- Key: RegistrySizeLimit
- Type: REG_DWORD
- Value: 4294967295 - as base Decimal
- Reboot your computer.
- Test the update/install again.
If the above code doesn’t work during the installation process then you have to follow these steps:
Legit Way Setup:
- If you see an “Unable to Activate” error. Click on “Activate By Telephone”.
- Set the Region to United States and call the 1-866-740-1256 Toll-Free number. If you reside outside of the US, you can use Google Hangouts or another free internet phone call program, as well as asking a friend in the States to call for you.
- Follow the automated process step-by-step. First, enter your Installation ID and after it says "Verified" enter the digits it provides into the Confirmation ID sections A-H. Once complete, click Next and you will see "Halo 2 for Windows Vista has been successfully activated"
(This does not work anymore)
After setting up the 4 computers I could not get the 3 other accounts to join me. It would say “Joining Game” for a minute or two then popup with “Could not join the game”. I did not know what the issue was so I turned off all the firewalls on each computer. In the network settings I turned on visibility to others on the same network and changed other similar settings so that nothing was blocking visibility. If none of this helps, an easy way to identify the area with the problem is to create a non live game and see if the other computers can join. If they can then the problem resides in network connectivity issues like firewalls or visibility. If you can’t join then the problem is that the computers are not connected properly since you don’t need internet to play local custom games. Credits
A lot of the basic setup instructions came from this forum post
, I just rewrote most of it for clarity. He also provided the list of compatible games, the links to purchase codes (like the steam game I linked to in this document) and the instructions to follow if the initial code does not work.
The Non Legit Way instructions comes from Kills Alone
and his videos on YouTube. Kills Alone also provided the Cheat Engine and HTM2 files.
The GFWL installation error fix I used is linked to in the Problems section. I take no credit for it.
Bringing all this information together and everything else not mentioned above goes to me, LiquidDeath911
If you have any comments, questions, concerns feel free to message me on Reddit or leave a comment here. MODS: If there is a problem with the post tell me so I can fix it instead of it being taken down