How to switch between Halo: CE Anniversary's original and enhanced graphics

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary The Master Chief Collection
(Image credit: Microsoft)

How do you switch graphics in Halo: CE Anniversary? Following Halo: Reach's release, Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary is now available on PC. Notable optimisations for PC include ultrawide support, FOV customization, keyboard and mouse controls, and the capacity to run the game up to 4K UHD, and at 60 FPS, or higher. This edition of the game also has an option to toggle between the remastered graphics seen in the Anniversary edition, and the original graphics from Halo: Combat Evolved.    

Like many shooters from the early 2000s, Halo: Combat Evolved may not have aged as well as you think. Sentimentality is a wonderful thing, but your memories will likely be clouded by rose-tinted glasses, or in this case, a rose-tinted visor. Whether you're keen to get your fix of nostalgia, or you want to see Halo: CE at its absolute best, here's how to switch graphics in Halo: CE between old and new.  

Original or Enhanced? Switch as you please

The beauty of Halo: CE Anniversary's graphics switching feature is that you can change them whenever you please. Leisurely toggle between the two by pressing Tab.

Halo: CE with Original graphics (Image credit: Microsoft)

Halo:CE with Enhanced graphics (Image credit: Microsoft)

With ten years separating Halo: Combat Evolved and Anniversary, the graphical differences are night and day. While the original settings suffer from a grey colour palette and flat textures, I don't think I'll ever stop being impressed and slightly disturbed by the detailing in those turn-of-the-century face details. 

As you'd expect, the enhanced settings add considerable detail and prettier lighting effects. Environments are much easier on the eyes with higher resolution textures, too.      

Also, those living the ultrawide dream will be happy to learn that the second instalment in Halo: The Master Chief Collection supports such resolutions natively. If you're anything like me and dislike playing shooters on a controller, Halo: CE Anniversary allows you to customise your controls for the most comfortable setup. All of these additions will serve to elevate the experience, whether you're looking to revisit the campaign, or drop back into the multiplayer mode. Both the original and enhanced settings are a reminder of just how old this game is, and being able to revisit them has a certain charm, even on a modern PC. 

Emma Matthews

As PC Gamer's guides writer, Emma is usually juggling several games at once. She loves competitive first-person shooters like CS:GO and Call of Duty, but she always has time for a few rounds of Hearthstone. She's happiest when she's rescuing pugs in Spelunky 2.