Here are some frequently asked questions for Halo 2

What is Project Cartographer?

Project Cartographer is a modification for Halo 2 PC (Halo 2 for Windows Vista) that restores online play (Microsoft abandoned the LIVE servers) and adds additional features that are not present in the base game.

How do I download / get / install Halo 2 PC?

The entire install process, including game download, is covered here

Where can I download the Project Cartographer launcher?

Launcher is no longer used. Download the latest Cartographer update here. to remove the launcher and login in game

What are all the new features present in Project Cartographer?

Please visit this forum thread.

I can't login?

Make sure you are using the cartographer account you created in game, not this forum account. Password recovery here

When I try to create an account, pressing the @ key opens the console

On the Halo 2 virtual keyboard, press the "Shift" button so you can select the @ on the virtual keyboard

I can’t see any games in the network server browser?

  • Make sure you are logged in. Should say "Status: Online" in top left corner of game window"
  • Make sure you are using the NETWORK menu, not LIVE
  • The server browser times out if you idle for an extended period of time. Go back to the main menu and wait 30 seconds
  • If you still can't see servers, change your base port in %localappdata%/Microsoft/Halo 2/halo2configX.ini to a random number like 43235

How do I create private games to play with my friends

  • The host needs to port forward ports 2000-2009 TCP/UDP to their computer. Visit for more assistance. The base port can be changed in the halo2configX.ini file. Port range = base port + 9
  • Host also needs to verify that halo2.exe is allowed through all firewalls and that all inbound and outbound connects are allowed for the executable.
  • After port forwarding, the host needs to select "Create a new game" at the top of the NETWORK Server list
  • Players should now be able to join the custom game.
  • Currently, there is no way to invite or block people from joining. Once all players have joined, the host can close the lobby through the quick options menu.

I can't play with my friends on the same network

Each client that is behind the same external IP needs to have a different port setting. Open the config (%localappdata%/Microsoft/Halo 2/halo2configX.ini) and change port = 2000 to port = 3000 or whatever you want.

Insufficient PC identification / Unique Identifier error after logging in

Run halo2.exe as administrator. If that doesn't solve the issue, see this thread

d3d9.dll error on game launch

Download and install the DirectX Runtime

MSVCR120.dll error on game launch

Download and install Visual C++ Runtimes

MFPlat.dll errors?

Download and install the Media Feature Pack for your version of Windows

My game says my game version is out of date?

Download the latest Halo 2 PC update

Does Halo 2 have any startup parameters?

Right Click halo2.exe, go to properties, add options to end of the target line: “C:\Games\Halo 2 Project Cartographer\halo2.exe” –windowed

  • -windowed -Switch to run the game in windowed mode.
  • -novsync -Disables V-sync. May improve the game performance.
  • -monitor:X -Switch to allow users to move the game between monitors when running in full screen. Replace X with monitor number (found in Windows Display Settings)
  • -nosound -Switch to run the game without audio.

Does Halo 2 support higher resolutions / frame rates?

  • See this thread
  • For higher resolutions, switch to windowed mode through the in-game video settings page, and maximize the window to fill your screen
  • Halo 2 has issues above 60 fps, it is not recommended to go above this

Textures in game are flickering/flashing

This is due to driver bugs in Intel HD Graphics, see this thread for more info.

How can I eliminate game stuttering / input lag?

Try any combination of these options:

  • If your mouse input feels slow / laggy, make sure your FPS is limited to 60. Modern graphics cards run the game at 400 fps which is not supported at all by the game engine.
  • Switch to windowed mode through the in-game video settings page
  • Disable the in game fps limiter (fps_limit = 0 in halo2config.ini) and use an external frame limiter such as Rivatuner Statistics Server to limit halo2.exe to 60 fps
  • Change vsync settings, either through graphics control panel or by adding -novsync to the Halo 2 shortcut.
  • On Windows 10, go to exe properties, click the "Compatibility" tab and disable full screen optimizations
  • Set compatibility mode to "Windows Vista Service Pack 2" (this will break reshade mod)
  • Assign CPU affinity of halo2.exe to something thats not CPU 0 or 1 using Task Manager
  • If you are running Windows 10, try this patch from Microsoft

Where can I report hackers?

You must have irrefutable video proof with usernames visible. Please make a post in the reports section

How can I remap the controller buttons to Bumper Jumper/Recon/Boxer?

We recommend you use Durazno. Pre-made config files can be found here

I have having strange issues with my controller, such as inverted axes and wrong button assignments

Connect / turn on your controller before starting Halo 2

What are all the available Cartographer game variants?

Cartographer game variants are enabled by creating a game variant (Slayer template) with the Cartographer variant name included.

  • Zombies - Zombies/infection mode. Be sure there are no weapons on map, no vehicles, and no team changing allowed.
  • Infection - Zombies/infection mode. Be sure there are no weapons on map, no vehicles, and no team changing allowed.
  • GunGame - Guns change as you get more kills
  • H2X - Changes certain Halo 2 PC weapons to match their behavior to their Halo 2 Xbox counterparts

My Network and LIVE tabs are greyed out on the menu

You are missing the custom MF.dll file in the game install folder. Run the Cartographer mod installer again.

What are default Crosshair and FOV settings for Halo 2 Vista and Halo 2 Xbox?

Game's Default (PC)

  • FOV: 57 on 4:3 aspect ratio
  • FOV: 72 on 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Crosshair: 0.165

Console's Default (Xbox)

  • FOV: 62 on 4:3 aspect ratio
  • FOV: 78 on 16:9 aspect ratio
  • Crosshair: 0.138

Centered crosshair: 0

My game is crashing when I launch it.

If your game window is solid white, black, or doesn't open followed by a stopped working message when you run it, then try this solution.

I'm stuck at the pre-game lobby with the message "Waiting for all players to load the map"

Player in your lobby does not have the game installed properly. This is a frequent issue with ISO/Disc installs. If you create your own private game and you still can't load maps, then it is your install... To repair this:

  • 1. Close Halo 2
  • 2. Mount the Halo 2 ISO
  • 3. Run startup.exe
  • 4. Click 'Play Halo 2 for Windows Vista
  • 5. Ignore all warnings
  • 6. Hit Activate later when the window pops up
  • 7. The game should start and go to the main menu
  • 8. You should see text in the bottom right corner... Copying % done
  • 9. Wait for 100%, then game should work

How can I play co-op?

Follow the instructions here, but take note of the first line in that tutorial