We’ve known for a while that Halo 5: Guardians, like other recent entries in the series, would use dedicated servers for its matchmaking multiplayer. What we didn’t know was whether or not custom games modes would use the same system.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection used peer-hosted rather than dedicated servers for its custom games, a decision that a lot of players were pretty unhappy with. Thankfully, it seems 343 has recognized those complaints, and will be using dedicated servers for all of Halo 5‘s multiplayer modes.
Josh Holmes, Halo 5 studio head, confirmed this fact on Team Beyond’s forums:
We only have dedicated servers for MP in Halo 5: Guardians. That’s true for matchmaking AND customs. There is no P2P.
What’s the difference between P2P and dedicated servers?
Simply put, dedicated means that the game has its own servers which players connect to, while P2P means that one of the players in the game also acts as the host, with the rest of the players connecting to that machine.
Dedicated is the better option, as it generally provides a consistent ping and often a higher connection speed. A P2P connection meanwhile may experience intermittent connection problems, if the player hosting it doesn’t have the adequate resources to run the game as well as the server; and if that player leaves the game, there may be a delay in play while the game migrates the hosting duties to another player.
So basically, it’s really great news that all of Halo 5‘s multiplayer modes will use dedicated servers.