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The Basics

I suggest you read the "Overview" section of this website before you read this page. That way, you will better understand the tactics, enemies, and loadouts described in this section.

Firefight is a game mode first introduced in Halo ODST, based off horde mode in Gears of war 1. The objective of firefight is to survive with up to three other players, fighting increasingly difficult waves of covenant deployed from phantoms or spirits. These firefights take place in areas seen throughout the campaign, often in areas in which the player fought waves of enemies in drop ships. The firefight maps “Unearthed” “Installation 4” are never seen in the campaign and is part of the DLC Defiant and Anniversary map packs.

Progress during a firefight mission is measured in waves, rounds, and sets. Each wave, two drop ships deploy covenant at the edges of the battlefield. These enemies then break into smaller groups and move towards the players. One round consists of five waves, including one starter wave containing light infantry, three middle waves containing Elites, Brutes, or Hunters accompanied by light infantry, and one boss wave containing either Elite generals or Brute chieftains. Once you complete a round, the process repeats, now with a new skull added for difficulty. A set consists of three rounds, and most game types end after one set.

Each game, the group of players begin with a certain number of lives. Every time a player dies, he or she uses one life to respawn. After all lives are lost, dead players are unable to respawn and must rely on the remaining players to complete the wave. At the end of every wave, all dead players respawn if there are no lives remaining. At the end of each round, one new life is added for every player. If the last player dies when there are no lives left, the game ends and the Spartans lose.

Throughout each firefight map, players have access to health kits, weapon drops, and ammo crates. After one round, all of these items respawn. There are around four to six health kits in each map, usually around the center where the players spawn. Each map has three weapon drops, a small capsule containing a Spartan laser, a target locater, a rocket launcher, or a sniper rifle. Ammo crates, located near the center of the maps, provide the players with full ammo for basic UNSC guns when bumped into, but do not provide any ammo for weapons from weapon drops or covenant weapons. In addition to ammo crates, there are also one or two grenade crates on each map. A grenade crate contains four frag grenades and is usually located near ammo crates or health kits.

To earn the most points and credits as well as progressing your firefight commendations, you should play firefight matchmaking. From the main menu, choose matchmaking, then cooperative, then firefight. If you are currently in group with other friends, firefight matchmaking will keep you with your group. X-box live will then fill any open spots with other players until you have a group of four people. Halo will then randomly choose a firefight map and players will have the opportunity to vote on which sub-game type they wish to play on this map. If a majority votes none of the above, Halo will choose a new map and new sub-game types.

I suggest you play the firefight limited sub-game type because this offers the most traditional, and in my opinion, most fun firefight experience. The remainder of this page is written assuming you are playing firefight limited, although some of the strategies listed below can apply to other sub-game types. In firefight limited, your objective is to survive for either 30 minutes or an entire set. You begin this sub-game type with 10 lives. The player settings for firefight limited are identical to those of the campaign, so similar strategies should be used. Notice that firefight limited is played on the Heroic difficult.

Once the game loads, you can choose your initial loadout. I highly suggest choosing the second option, Corpsman, because it equips you with evade and a DMR. After the first wave, you will have an opportunity to grab a plasma pistol, completing the ideal loadout. As soon as you initially spawn, fill up on full ammo at the nearest ammo crate, move to an ideal position, and wait for the first wave to arrive.

In firefight limited, kill all of the enemies the same way that you kill them in the campaign. View the “Overview, Enemies” section of this website for a complete guide for killing each type of enemy. When killing Brutes, always use the DMR helmet headshot method because you have an unlimited supply of DMR ammo. When killing Hunters, eliminate all other enemies first. Then, all four players should surround the Hunters so that at least one of them always has a clear shot at the Hunters weak spot with their DMRs. Players can also use frag grenades and plasma grenades to weaken the Hunters more quickly.

The enemies in each wave of firefight limited are listed in the table below. The next wave will arrive after only three enemies remain on the map. Each round will end after no enemies remain on the map. Between each wave, grab a new plasma pistol if necessary and DMR ammo from the nearest ammo crate. Even if you still have much DMR ammo, you should still restock on ammo incase the next round contains Brutes or Hunters.

Round One Round Two Round Three
Skulls: Tough luck Skulls: Tough luck, catch Skulls: Tough luck, catch, cloud
Initial wave: Grunts and Jackals Initial wave: Grunts and Jackals Initial wave: Grunts and Jackals
Middle waves: randomly chosen from the options below Middle waves: randomly chosen from the options below Middle waves: randomly chosen from the options below
Skirmishers and Grunts Brutes and Grunts Skirmishers and Jackals
Elites and Grunts Elites and Grunts Brutes and Grunts
Elites and Jackals Elites and Jackals Elites and Jackals
Brutes and Grunts Brutes and Jackals Brutes and Jackals
Hunters and Jackals Hunters and Elites Hunters and Elites
Boss wave: more likely Elites generals Boss wave: more likely Brutes chieftains Boss wave: more likely Elites generals
Four Elite generals, Elite rangers, and Grunts Four Brute chieftains, Brute majors, and Grunts Four Elite generals, Elite rangers, and Grunts
Four Brute chieftains, Brute majors, and Grunts Four Elite generals, Elite rangers, and Grunts Four Brute chieftains, Brute majors, and Grunts

If the four players successfully complete the third round, they will fight the bonus round. In this round, a phantom will arrive in the middle of the map and deploy a steady stream of Grunts for 90 seconds. Grunts will enter from the boundaries of the map as well. During the bonus round, all skulls are turned on and players are unable to respawn. However, if they do die, they will not use a life. After completing the bonus round, the UNSC will send reinforcements to evacuate the players, ending the game.

Each map has certain hazards used to increase the difficulty of the game. On larger maps, phantoms will deploy wraiths and or ghosts in accompaniment to the usually wave. It is completely random if the phantoms will deploy a vehicle, and they have a higher probability of deploying vehicles on larger maps. In the smaller maps, Jackal snipers with focus rifles spawn at the beginning of certain waves on top of cliffs outside of the boundaries. Players must use DMRs or other long ranged weapons to kill these enemies. If the players take too long to complete a wave, the covenant will send in a drop pod to provide temporary reinforcements. Drop pods can land anywhere on the map and contain either four Brute minors with concussion rifles, four Grunt heavies with fuel rods, or four Elite ultras. Halo Reach does not treat map hazards as wave enemies, so they do not affect the arrival of new waves or rounds.

Map Guide

Below I have provided a short description of the best strategies for each firefight map.

Beachhead: Beachhead is the largest non-DLC firefight map containing a central indoor section and a much larger outdoor section. Due to the size of this map, phantoms regularly drop wraiths and ghosts. Unlike in any other non-DLC firefight map, players are also provided with vehicles that respawn every round. There are multiple mongooses scattered throughout this map, as well as a rocket warthog parked in the central building’s garage. I do not suggest using any of these vehicles.

Before the waves with wraiths arrive, all four players should hold the position at the front of the building that they spawn in and pick of enemies with their DMRs from the platform. Because the enemies rarely use the rear entrance, players can focus their attention on the front stairway. Two players should watch the stairs and the area immediately around them while the other two players should focus on picking off far away enemies.

However, this strategy falls apart once a wraith arrives. Therefore, the first wave that a phantom drops a wraith, one player, preferably the best wraith driver, should immediately move towards it while the other three players provide him or her covering fire and take out the wraith’s gunner. The first player should stun and jack the wraith by entering the gunner’s seat and killing the driver when it exits. This player should then continue to use the wraith for the remainder of the firefight. When a second wraith arrives, another player should jack this wraith as well. After a few waves, you should be left with the following positions: two players in wraiths, one player in the building watching the stairs, and one player in the building sniping far away enemies. It is the players with wraiths first priority to kill any Hunters, wraiths, or ghosts deployed in every wave.

Corvette: Unlike any other firefight map, Corvette takes place inside of a covenant facility. It is also is the smallest map and never receives drop pods. Players begin Corvette inside of the back most room, the only area containing ammo crates or health kits. Two players should exit through the left door and two should exit through the right. On each side, the less experienced player should stay in this hallway and the more experience player should move up to the platform to their left or right. The game begins with Grunts sleeping on these platforms, so they should be killed and their plasma pistols should be taken. Behind these platforms, there are dead-end rooms, each containing a plasma battery. Players should detonate these plasma batteries safely at the beginning of each wave so that they do not kill them later on.

During each wave, the players on the platforms should pick of enemies in the central area of the map. Because the map is small and these players have high elevation, they have a clear shot at almost all of the enemies from each wave. They can take cover from the enemies below by backing towards the center of the platform, and if necessary, can also retreat to the room behind. The players in the hallways do not have a clear shot at the majority of the map, but instead should kill any enemies that move up to the players on the platforms.

There are two types of hazards that appear in the Corvette map; wraiths and engineers. Engineers will occasionally spawn at the top of the map and should be killed immediately. Very rarely, spirits will deploy a wraith in the central area as well. When this happens, all players should retreat to the rear hallways and kill all of the infantry from there. When only a few infantry remain, one player should stun and plant a grenade in the wraith while the other provide him or her covering fire and kill the gunner.

Courtyard: In the courtyard map, players should break up into two groups of two. One group should hold the position on the elevated walkway directly outside of the starting doors and retreat inside for cover. One player should watch the courtyard and ramp to the left while one should watch the courtyard and ramp to the right. The second group should move to the far left of the elevated walkway to the second ammo crate (the area that the sniper rifle spawns in “ONI: Sword Base”). One of these players should guard the ramp against the far left wall while the other should DMR snipe enemies in the courtyard and assist the other group in killing enemies that reach the elevated walkway. Since there are ammo crates next to both groups, ammo will not be a problem.

Glacier: Unlike in the last rally point of “The Package”, the first room of Halsey’s lab is open when playing ‘Glacier’ on firefight. For this map, players should break into two groups of two. One group should stay inside of the main door of Halsey’s lab and walk around the corner to the left for cover. The second group should stay outside of the rear entrance to the lab behind the second building (the position I suggest holding in “The Package” walkthrough.) These players should either retreat through the back doors into the lab or behind the second building for cover. Since each group is guarding one entrance to the lab, no enemies will be able to get between the groups, so neither will need to watch their back.

Because of the size of this map, both wraiths and ghosts are often deployed with each wave. However, since the first group is inside and the second group is far away from a vehicular path, these vehicles pose little threat. Because of the position of the two groups, Hunters are also relatively easy to kill because they will always expose their rear weak spot to one of the two groups. Therefore, with coordinated crossfire, the two groups can berate the Hunters back with DMR fire and eventually kill them.

Holdout: When playing “Holdout” in firefight, you will need to use different strategies and positions than the ones you used in the campaign. You should not use the scaffolding when playing firefight because it has no escape route and you can easily be overrun. Instead, all players should stay in the second floor in which you initially spawn. This room has an ammo crate and health kits, providing all of the necessary supplies for the entire firefight.

Two players should use the left corner as cover and two players should use the right corner as cover. At all times, one player from each side should step just past the corner so that they can fire upon the enemies that come in from the second level door while the other two players should stand back behind their corners. The forward player on the left side should also watch the first level floor for enemies, all through they rarely come from here. Once the either of the forward players need to reload or take cover, they should swap places with the player behind them. When Elites enter through either doors, the players in the back position should overcharge a plasma pistol blast, step past the forward players, and remove the Elites shields so that the forward players can finish the Elite without switching weapons.

Although there are Banshee hazards on this map, they cannot hurt you as long as you stay inside on the second floor. Hunters also pose little threat because they cannot fit through the second or first story doors. Hunters will only be able to fire fuel rods into the room, which players can avoid by stepping behind the corners. Although two players should always keep plasma pistols as their secondary loadout, the other two players may wish to take fuel rod guns, gravity hammers, energy swords, or machinegun turrets as their secondary weapon. These weapons are great for assisting the forward players if they become overrun, and can kill the Hunters more easily. If the covenant overrun you at any time, all players should stay together and escape out the first floor door.

Outpost: Outpost is my favorite firefight map and is the easiest to survive on due to great cover. Two players should take positions on the main UNSC building’s roof. One player watches the stairs and rear entrance to the AA gun to the left and one player DMR snipes enemies from on top of the roof. The other two players should take positions in the covenant AA gun left of the UNSC building, one on the second story and one in the first story sniping out of the doors. All of the players on the roof level can take cover from the enemies below by backing towards the center of the roof. After the first boss wave, the player watching the stairs of the UNSC building may wish to take a gravity hammer or energy sword instead of a plasma pistol.

With such great cover, there are only a few major threats on “Outpost”. First, players on the roof of the UNSC building must be careful of the phantoms’ concussion turrets. They should avoid these projectiles by sidestepping them. Second, ghosts are occasionally deployed to accompany waves. Since the players are on or in buildings, these ghosts do not pose much of a threat. If they become a nuisance, players can stun and jack them at the end of waves, and then drive them underneath the UNSC building so covenant cannot renter them. Third, Hunters pose a threat as always due to their armor and high health. During waves with Hunters, all other enemies should be killed first, and then the players should quadruple-team the hunters. Players can also temporarily swap for heavy weapons such as fuel rods, plasma launchers, and gravity hammers to kill the hunter more quickly.

Overlook: Although the building in which you spawn provides a decent position to hold, I suggest leaving this building so that you have a longer shot at the enemies before they reach you. Two players should stand in the middle of the road left of the building and two players should stand in the grass area left of the road. The players in the grass area should use the abundant rocks and trees as cover. Although the players on the road have no cover, they instead can kill all of the infantry as they walk up the road before they come within firing range. If necessary, these two players can take cover in the cellar to the right at the end of the road.

Very rarely, phantoms will drop wraiths on the other side of the stream at the forward part of the map. When this happens, the players should kill the majority of the infantry while avoiding the wraiths plasma balls by walking around continuously. When only a few infantry are left, one of the players on the road should rush the wraith while the other kill the gunner and provide him or her with covering fire. This player should then stun the wraith and jack it by entering the gunner’s seat and killing the driver when it exits. This player should then return to the road and use the wraith to bombard enemies as they move up the road in waves to come.

Waterfront: This firefight map is one of the most difficult maps to play on because it has poor cover. Therefore, you will need to use different tactics and good teamwork to succeed on ‘Waterfront’. Although the buildings and rocks near the center of the ‘Waterfront’ map provide only decent cover, one area provides great cover. As soon as the game starts, fill up on ammunition and head towards the back of the map, the area that you come from when playing on the campaign. The ledge at the top of the hill with the green light provides good cover because it has a high altitude and only one path to it. However, you must travel a long way to restock on ammunition and health, making it a somewhat challenging position to hold.

Two players should stand at the very edge of the ledge and DMR snipe brutes and light infantry from a distance. The other two players should stand to the right of the ledge at the top of the hill in order to eliminate enemies that climb the path towards your position. Jackal snipers are the only hazard on this map and they spawn on the cliff left of the ledge almost every wave. One of the players DMR sniping on the ledge should occasionally check the cliff and kill the Jackal snipers as soon as they spawn. If you are ever overrun, all players should jump off the left side of the ledge together and hold out against the rock cliff until you have an opportunity to move back up to the ledge.

When players begin running low on ammo, it is important to restock as a team. Once most of a wave has been cleared, all of the players should head towards the center of the map in a tight circle, each player watching one direction. This way, enemies will not be able to sneak up on you. Once everyone moves into the first house, they should all restock on ammo and health and move back to the ledge. From here, finish off the remaining infantry of that wave.


You can acquire many achievements in firefight that are difficult or impossible to acquire in other game types of Halo Reach. The best way to obtain these achieves is to play custom firefight because this allows you to create a game type that creates weak enemies and an overpowered player. I have developed the following game type to make it easy to unlock these achievements.

Necessary changes

Time limit: no limit
Wave count: no limit
Player damage resistance: invulnerable
Player Speed: 300%
Player gravity: 50%
Player damage: 300%
Player ammo: bottom less clip
Player equipment: unlimited
Loadout 1: rocket launcher/fuel rod gun/jetpack
All waves: either Grunts (easy multi-kills) or Elite generals (high points)
Skulls for all rounds: all skulls on
Red skull wave damage resistance: 10%
Difficulty: legendary
Map: Corvette


These game modifications allows you to quickly progress through the rounds and waves while also receiving large amounts points for each wave. Jetpack above the center area of the map while launching a constant stream of rockets at the enemies. This will provide you with huge multi-kills, greatly contributing to your overall score. Since you can never die, you will quickly build up a high kill steak, increasing your multiplier as well.

Possible Achievements

Achievements that are otherwise very hard or impossible to unlock>:
Fire starter: Score 50,000 points in a firefight game. 10g
Blaze of Glory: Score 200,000 points in a firefight game. 25g
Heat in the Pipe: Score 1,000,000 in firefight on any map. 75g
Lucky me: Earned a triple kill while jet packing in Campaign, firefight or matchmaking. 25g
Crowd control: Earned a Killionaire medal in Firefight. (That is a 10x multi-kill.) 10g
Game, Set, Match: Complete a Firefight set on Legendary without dying. 25g

Achievements that are otherwise possible to unlock yet very easy with this game type:
A Spoonful of Blamite: Kill 10 enemies in Firefight or Campaign with a supercombine explosion. 10g
An Elegant Weapon…: Killed 10 enemies in a Firefight or Campaign session with the DMR. 10g
That’s a Knife: Perform an assassination on an enemy. 10g
I See You Favor a .45: Killed 10 enemies in a Firefight or Campaign session with the M6G pistol. 10g
Total possible Gamerscore: 210g

Last Updated: August 19, 2012 at 12:19
Contact me at HaloReachWalkthrough@hotmail.com

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