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With the loadout of a DMR, plasma pistol, and sprint, you can easily kill every enemy type in the Halo Reach campaign. In almost all missions, you can easily find these weapons because DMRs are located throughout each map, many enemies drop plasma pistols, and you usually start with sprint. When you cannot find a DMR, you can use the same techniques with a magnum or needle rifle.

A headshot with the DMR, magnum, and needle rifle impart infinite damage on any enemy without shields or a helmet. This is very useful because no matter how much health the enemy has, a single headshot will kill them, so these same strategies work on all difficulties and skull combinations. For enemies with helmets, shoot their helmet until it pops off, and then you can kill them with a single headshot. For enemies with shields, use an overcharged plasma pistol to remove their shields and then a single headshot to kill them.

Brutes and Hunters are the only two enemies that the DMR/plasma pistol combination cannot easily kill. If you have enough DMR ammo, you can kill Brutes with three to five headshots, but the DMR helmet strategy is not ideal in low ammo situations. In a mission with a large number of Brutes and no Elites, such as “Exodus” or the holdout section of “The Pillar of Autumn”, swap your plasma pistol for a needle rifle. Three body shots with the needle rifle will cause a supercombine explosion, killing the Brute. You can also use a sniper rifle instead of a needle rifle because a single sniper rifle headshot will kill both brute minors and majors.

DMRs are also not practical against Hunters because they rarely expose their weak spots and have extremely high health. Because the head of a hunter is permanently protected by an invincible helmet, you cannot kill hunters with headshots. Explosives, on the other hand, are much more successful against Hunters because the collateral damage will hit their weak spots even if the explosive is only near the Hunter. For missions with Hunters, save up your grenades beforehand so you will be fully stocked during the fight. Throw frags at the Hunters feet so they roll under them and explode behind them, damaging their rear weak spot. Stick them in their weak spots if possible, but anywhere on their body works too. With fuel rods and rocket launchers, shoot at their feet to avoid missing. If none of these weapons are available, there is almost always a shotgun near a Hunter fight. Move around to the Hunters back, shoot them once in the weak spot, and sprint away before they melee you.

Sprint is the best campaign armor ability because it allows you to quickly travel between areas, escape from areas with too many enemies, outrun melee threats, and run away from explosions. Almost all the other armor abilities are practically pointless in the campaign, although the drop shield is good if you find yourself constantly needing health. However, if you play carefully, you will not need a drop shield and they are relatively rare. Evade is a better version of sprint, but is only available in multiplayer and firefight.

Below are some tips for using the DMR and plasma pistol combination:
1. Overcharged plasma pistol rounds lock-on and follow enemies. If your reticule turns red when pointed at the enemy you wish to shoot, let go of the trigger and the shot will automatically home on that enemy. To achieve a lock-on, you must be close to the enemy and point at them for around half a second.
2. Overcharge plasma pistol rounds often cause enemies to stop when hit. This is especially useful for charging enemies with energy swords or gravity hammers.
3. The semiautomatic shots from a plasma pistol are especially effective against shields. However, it is faster and more efficient to use a single overcharged shot because it will remove all shields in one shot and homes.
4. The DMR is much more accurate when fired slowly. Be sure to fire especially slowly when removing Brute’s helmets to conserve ammo. This technique is known as passing your shots.
5. It is important to note the size of enemy heads. The Grunts and Elites have huge heads, so are easiest to headshot. The Jackals and Skirmishers have medium size heads, so zoom in for higher accuracy when shooting them. The Brutes have the smallest heads, so be especially patient and pace your shots when fighting them.
6. The DMR has a 3x scope, so it is useful for picking off unshielded enemies from afar. However, it is almost impossible to hit a target with a plasma round from a distance, so Elites should be taken out up close without zooming in. You also should not zoom in when fighting Grunts up close because they have large heads so make easy no-scope targets.
7. When zoomed in with the DMR, you cannot see your health or radar. It is usually best to shoot a few shots, come out of zoom, reload, survey your surroundings for threats, and then continue sniping. This way, enemies cannot sneak up on you, and you will never empty an entire mag. It is important not to empty a magazine because then you will always be ready for a charging enemy.
8. If you have any plasma weapon equipped and walk over a plasma weapon of the same type with more energy remaining, you can swap out for the more full weapon by holding x.



Grunts are the most abundant infantry in the covenant army. However, as implied by their name, they are also the weakest and easiest to kill enemy. All Grunts have very large heads, no shields, and rarely wear helmets, so are easy to kill with a headshot. They also tend to wield low power weapons such as needlers and plasma pistols, so do not inflict as much damage as other enemies. Grunts usually fight in packs of three to five and stay near Elites or Brutes if possible. Grunts are only mildly aggressive and rather unintelligent, rarely rushing the player and moving in very predicable patterns.

The most threating aspect of Grunts is their use of grenades. Of all of the covenant infantry, Grunts throw the most plasma grenades. In addition, they usually throw grenades shortly after one another, requiring the player to doge three or even four stickies at one time. In addition to this, Grunts also have a suicide attack, in which they will light two plasma grenades in each hand and charge the player. They will detonate themselves once they come within killing distance of the player. Furthermore, even if you can kill the suicide Grunt, it will drop its plasma grenades when it dies, which can damage you with splash damage. In most cases, the entire pack of Grunts will begin their suicide attack at the same time.

Grunt minor: Grunt minors are the weakest type of Grunt. They are only capable of wielding plasma pistols and needlers.
Grunt major: Grunt majors are nearly identical to Grunt minors, and are much more abundant. They have different shaped methane tanks and color schemes, but share the same intelligence and health. They are also able to wield fuel rods and plasma launchers, but this is very rare.
Grunt spec ops: Grunt spec ops wear similarly shaped amror to Grunt majors, but their armor is jet black. Grunt spec ops are very rare, and are identical to Grunt majors in every way besides appearance.
Grunt heavy: Grunt heavies are uncommon in the campaign, and usually appear operating vehicles such as ghosts and turrets. You will also occasionally find them fighting on the ground, when they will usually use fuel rods, yet they can also wield plasma pistols and needlers.
Grunt ultra: Grunt ultras are the most powerful types of Grunts because they are equipped with a helmet. To kill them, shoot them twice in the head with a DMR or magnum, once to pop of their helmet and once to kill them with a headshot. You will usually find one Grunt Ultra per pack of Grunts. Almost all Grunt ultras wield plasma pistols, although they very rarely will wield needlers and fuel rods. If fighting Grunt ultras when you are using a needle rifle, it will require two shots to pop off their helmet. For this reason, it is more efficient to shoot them three times in the body to cause a supercombine explosion.


Jackals are another common infantry in the covenant army. Similarly, to Grunts, Jackals usually stay in packs of two to four near stronger infantry. They mostly use plasma pistols and needlers as well. However, Jackals are much harder to kill than Grunts because they have smaller heads and carry an energy shield. To kill a Jackal with an energy shield, shoot it once in the hand, causing it to drop the shield, and then once in the head to kill it. This is a somewhat challenging maneuver, so I would suggest doing this zoomed in when possible. Notice that shooting a Jackal’s hand with a needle rifle will not cause it to drop its shield.

Jackal: All standard Jackals carry an energy shield. Use the strategy specified above to kill them. They only ever use plasma pistols and needlers. The one exception to this is a single jackal on the “Pillar of Autumn” mission that wields a plasma rifle. This could be an error or an Easter egg.
Jackal sniper: Grunt majors are nearly identical to Grunt minors, and are much more abundant. They have different shaped methane tanks and color schemes, but share the same intelligence and health. They are also able to wield fuel rods and plasma launchers, but this is very rare.


Skirmishers are the same species as Jackals, yet they fight very differently and pose a much larger threat. Skirmishers are specialist covenant infantry, and are only occasionally seen throughout a level. They are incredibly mobile, both the fastest moving and highest jumping covenant units. In addition, they are much smarter than Jackals or Grunts, often flanking and surrounding the player, greatly increasing the threat they pose. They are capable of jumping on top of two or even three story buildings, allowing them to flank you when you least expect it. They can move faster than you can sprint, and tend to move in a weaving pattern, so are somewhat difficult to headshot. For this reason, I suggest that you try to kill the Skirmishers from far away so that it is easier to follow their rapid movements.

Skirmisher minor: Skirmisher minors mainly wield plasma pistols and needlers, but also occasionally wield needle rifles as well.
Skirmisher major: Skirmisher majors are very similar to Skirmisher minors, but wield needle rifles slightly more often and are a bit more aggressive.
Skirmisher commando: Skirmisher commandos are snipers. They do not run around like the other Skirmishers, but instead stay in one place and constantly fire needle rifles or focus rifles at the player. They rarely ever jump, and tend to walk slowly like a Jackals sniper. Commandos can deploy holograms.
Skirmisher murmillo: Skirmisher murmillos are a more powerful version of Skirmisher majors. They have shoulder energy shields that partly cover their head, so are even harder to hit. In addition to wielding plasma pistols, needlers, and needle rifles, they can also use focus rifles. However, they are most commonly seen using needle rifles. Murmillos can deploy holograms.
Skirmisher champion: Skirmisher champions look very similar to Skirmisher murmillos, yet have a more golden color scheme. They too have shoulder mounted energy shields. Unlike murmillos, champions mostly use plasma pistols and only occasionally use needle rifles. Skirmisher champions can deploy holograms.


Elites are the most intelligent units in the covenant army, and are the most similar units to the player. All Elites use shields, so cannot be killed with a single headshot. Instead, remove their shields with an overcharged plasma pistol and then kill them with a headshot. Elites will also melee the player and use plasma grenades, yet not nearly as often as Grunts. All Elites have two types of melee attacks, punching and kicking. An Elite’s punch will remove your shields and two to four bars of health. A kick will instantly kill you, although an Elite takes longer to perform a kick, providing you with more time to react. An important trait that all Elites share is that they temporarily stop moving and growl once you remove their shields, giving you the perfect opportunity to kill them with a headshot after stunning them with a plasma pistol. This is especially useful for stopping charging Elites with an energy sword.

Elite minor: Elite minors are the weakest type of Elites with low shield capacities. For this reason, you can kill them from a distance by shooting them four times in the body to remove their shields and then once in the head to kill them. Elite minors usually wield plasma rifles, but can also use needlers and plasma repeaters. Elite majors are relatively uncommon.
Elite major: Elite majors are the most abundant type of Elite. They have normal shield capacities, so must be killed with an overcharged plasma pistol and a DMR headshot. Elite majors most commonly wield plasma rifles, but also use needlers, plasma repeaters, and plasma launchers.
Elite ultra: Elite ultras are a more dangerous version of Elite majors and are also very common. Their most common weapon is the concussion rifle, but can also wield plasma rifles, plasma launchers, plasma repeaters, and occasionally even dual wield plasma rifles. Due to their use of heavier weaponry, they inflict much more damage than Elite majors, so should be killed sooner and approached carefully. Elite ultras have higher shield capacity than elite majors, but a single overcharged plasma pistol will still remove all of their shields. In addition, Elite ultras doge much more than other Elites, so are harder to hit with overcharged plasma blasts. They also use the armor lock ability.
Elite spec ops: Elite spec ops are weaker than Elite majors, yet are very dangerous as well. They are equipped with low capacity shields, yet constantly use active camo. Unlike when a player uses active camo, Elite spec ops appear on the radar normally. The most commonly use plasma rifles, but also dual wield plasma rifles and use energy swords. Due to their low capacity shields, they can be killed from a distance with four body shots and one headshot with a DMR.
Elite Ranger: Elite rangers are also equipped with low capacity shields, but they use longer-range weapons and jetpacks. Elite rangers tend to spawn and stay together in packs of three to five, and will jetpack together onto areas of high altitude. It is difficult to kill Elite rangers because once you remove the shields of one, it will jetpack away while the others provide it covering fire, forcing you to take cover before you can pull off a headshot. Elite rangers most commonly use needle rifles and plasma repeaters, but also use focus rifles and concussion rifles.
Elite General: Elite generals are very powerful, both wielding the strongest weapons and employing high capacity shields. For this reason, you must charge you plasma pistol longer when to remove an Elite general’s sheilds. Elite generals most commonly use concussion rifles, but also wield fuel rods, energy swords, plasma launchers, and even plasma turrets, making them incredibly dangerous.
Elite Zealot: Elite Zealots are the second strongest and second most dangerous type of Elite. They have incredibly high capacity shields, so usually take two overcharged plasma shots or a long charged plasma shot to kill. They wield the most dangerous weapons, using energy swords, fuel rods, plasma launchers, concussion rifles, dual wielded plasma rifles. Elite Zealots are the only enemy capable of carrying two weapons.
Elite Field Marshal: Elite field marshalls are the highest ranked enemy seen throughout Halo Reach. You only encounter one Elite field marshall throughout the entire campaign at the very end of the “Pilllar of Autumn”. Field marshalls are by far the most dangerous and strongest type of elite. They have even higher capacity shields than Elite Zealots, so almost always require two plasam pistol blasts to kill. They also are the only covenatn capable of carrying two weapons. The Field marshall that you encounter is weilding a fuel rod a energy sword.


While most Brutes do not have shields like Elites, they instead are protected by large amounts of health and helmets. Brutes are incredibly aggressive but unintelligent. To protect themselves, they dive often and also use armor lock. To kill a Brute, shoot it multiple times in the head. The first few shots will take off the helmet, and the last will kill it. Notice that different types of Brutes have different strengths of helmets, so some will take more shots to kill using this method than others will. Furthermore, Brutes have the smallest heads of all of the covenant infantry, so pose much more of a challenge to kill than other enemies because they require multiple shots in a small area to kill. To overcome this, pace your shots. This means that instead of pulling the trigger as fast as you can, wait for your reticule to return to normal before firing again.

In certain sections, there is not enough DMR ammo to kill Brutes with helmet headshots. Other weapons useful for killing Brutes include needle rifles, gravity hammers, and sniper rifles. Sniper rifles will kill most Brutes with a single headshot, so are incredible useful for killing these enemies at a long range. Needle rifles will create a supercombine explosion after you shoot three needles into the Brute. However, Brutes will protect themselves from this by diving around and using armor lock. Gravity hammers will instantly kill most Brutes and can be used by standing behind a doorway and hammering the Brutes as they come in. This is especially effective due to Brutes lack of intelligence and heavy aggression.

Brute minor: Brute minors are the weakest types of Brutes. They take only two DMR headshots to remove their helmets, so are relatively easy to kill. Brute minors usually use spikers, but very rarely use concussion rifles.
Brute major: Brute majors require four headshots to remove their helmets, making them more formidable then Brute minors. However, they can still be killed by three needle rifle needles, a single sniper rifle headshot, and a single gravity hammer hit. Brute majors most commonly wield spikers, but are often seen wielding concussion rifles, plasma repeaters, and gravity hammers as well.
Brute chieftain: Brute chieftains are very rare enemies, but are also incredibly dangerous. In addition to requiring four shots to remove their helmets, they also have standard capacity shields, equal to the shields of an Elite major. For this reason, Brute chieftains cannot be killed simply using a DMR, sniper rifle, or needle rifle. There are three good methods for killing a Brute chieftain. First, you can remove its shields with an overcharged plasma pistol and then kill it DMR helmet headshots. Second, you can remove its shields with an overcharged plasma pistol and then kill it by sticking it. Finally, you can kill it with three gravity hammer swings. Brute chieftains also wield the most powerful weapons. They most commonly use gravity hammers and fuel rods, but also wield concussion rifles, plasma launchers, and plasma turrets.


Bugger: Buggers are rarely seen throughout the Reach campaign, but are not very difficult to kill. They are similar to Grunts in that they have nothing protecting their head, so can be killed with a single headshot. However, buggers constantly fly and have much smaller heads than Grunts, so can be difficult to kill for players inexperienced with the DMR. To overcome this, pace your shots and wait for the buggers to stop moving to kill them. If this is still too difficult for you, you can kill them with an assault rifle to. Buggers only every wield needlers and plasma pistols, another similarity to Grunts.
-- Hunter: Hunters are the strongest covenant infantry, and always fight in pairs. Unlike all other enemies, their helmets do not pop off and therfore cannot be killed with headshots. Instead, to damage a Hunter, you must attack them in either of their weak spots, located on their backs and under their necks. However, the DMR simply does not impart enough damage to kill a Hunter even in these areas, so different load outs must be used. First of all, explosives are very useful against Hunters because the splash damage hits their weak spots. For these reason, grenades, rocket launchers, fuel rods, grenade launchers, and plasma launchers are all very useful against Hunters. When using frag grenades, try to roll them under the Hunters legs so more damage is done to the rear weak spot. Second, shotguns are also useful against Hunter, but are much more dangerous to use. When using a shotgun, sprint up behind the Hunter, shoot it once in the back at close range, and then sprint away. Hunters have two types of attacks. On their left arm, they have a fuel rod. This usually can be avoided by jumping over it. You can predict when a Hunter will shoot because the fuel rod gun will glow green as the Hunter charges up its next shot. On their right arm, Hunters have a large shield, which is used for melee purposes and imparts much damage. When a Hunter is charging you, sprint at a 45 degree angle to its right (your left) to avoid being hit. The Hunter will not be able to turn in time to hit you.
Engineer: Engineers are calm and peaceful animals forced to work for the covenant. They are completely harmless, but provide overshields to all covenant within a certain radius. This means that enemies usually without shields receive the same shields as an Elite major, and enemies already with shields gain an extra layer of shields the equivalent to that of an Elite major. This makes killing all enemies nearly impossible, so Engineers should always be killed first. To kill an Engineer, either shoot it in the body eight times if it has its back to you or shoot it in the head twice, once to remove the helmet and once to kill it.
Gueta: Guetas are bipedal animals native to Reach. Unlike the covenant, they have no reason to attack you, so generally wander throughout an area calmly. However, if you attack a gueta or get too close, it may feel threatened and attack you. They are very difficult to kill, and can only be killed through large amounts of damage, not headshots. Their only attack is a melee attack, but this will remove both your shields and most of your health, as well as send you flying long distances. For these reasons, it is best to avoid guetas and not provoke them.


Throughout the Halo Reach campaign, the UNSC aids you in the form of vehicles, infantry, and the other five Spartans of Noble team. The Spartans in Nobel team are especially helpful AI because they are invincible, somewhat intelligent, and somewhat effective at killing enemies. A single Spartan can even kill an Elite, although it takes them much time to do so. They have unlimited ammo and cannot hurt you as well. It is usually best to stay apart from the other Spartans during the campaign so that they draw some of the enemy fire and do not get in your way. The Spartans of Noble team will fill any of unused seats in vehicles if you drive up next to them, and are relatively good gunners. They sometimes even enter empty enemy vehicles, greatly increasing their effectiveness. For this reason, you may wish to “give” a jacked ghost or revenant to an ally by driving up next to them and exiting the vehicle. This usually causes the Spartan to enter the vehicle, increasing their firepower and ability to draw enemy fire. All Spartans on Noble Team are equipped with armor lock, yet this is pointless due to their invincibility.

Noble 1: Carter: Carter is the leader of the Noble Team, characterized by a noble and cool-headed personality. He uses both assault rifles and DMRs throughout different missions. Carter usually stays within medium range of the enemies and moves completely separately of the player. For this reason, Carter sometimes gets in the way, but also draws much of the enemy fire.
Noble 2: Kat: Kat is the most intelligent member of Noble Team, implementing both creative and highly successful tactics throughout the fall of Reach. She is also a highly trained Engineer, so is always chosen to perform tasks involving electronics and covenant technology. Kat uses both magnums and assault rifles throughout the campaign and is much more successful when using an assault rifle because she cannot achieve headshots. Kat’s combat style is very similar to Carter’s, although she uses slightly more intelligent tactics.
Noble 3: Jun: Jun is the sniper of Noble Team, always using a sniper rifle. He has a somewhat annoying and sarcastic demeanor. Jun will always try to hang back, staying slightly behind the player or other Spartans. Although Jun has the highest accuracy of all of the Spartans, he is unable to achieve a headshot. For this reason, he rarely kills any enemies. He also fails to draw much enemy fire because he stays behind the player, although he subsequently never gets in the way.
Noble 4: Emile: Emile is the arrogant, close range soldier of Noble Team. He always uses a shotgun and charges the enemies, usually staying ahead of the player and other members of Noble Team. For this reason, Emile draws much of the enemy’s fire and rarely gets in the way, making him one of the more useful allies. Due to the high damage of the shotgun, Emile is also capable of killing enemies with high health and shields with relatively high efficiency.
Noble 5: Jorge: Jorge is the biggest, strongest member of Noble Team, but is also the kindest and most caring. Jorge always wields a heavy machinegun, a weapon similar to a detached machinegun. He therefore moves very slowly, but delivers large amounts of firepower. His fighting style is very simple; Jorge usually marches straight towards the enemies while constantly firing his machinegun, never taking cover or avoiding enemy threats like the other Spartans. For this reason, Jorge rarely gets in the way and is somewhat capable of killing both groups of light infantry and individual heavy infantry.

Throughout certain missions in the reach campaign, you will encounter soldiers of the UNSC army and ODSTs who join your fire team. Similar to Spartans, they follow you and attempt to kill any covenant near you. However, soldiers and ODSTs are not only capable of dying, but are rather weak and never last very long. Unlike the other Spartans, these allies are nearly incapable of killing covenant infantry, struggling to kill even the weakest of Grunts. Soldiers and ODSTs are still useful for drawing enemy fire, but can only do so for a short while before dying. Like Spartans, soldiers can fill empty places in a vehicle, but do not gun or drive as well as members of Noble Team.

One ability soldiers and ODSTs have that Spartans do not is the ability to swap weapons with the player. If you stand next to a non-Spartan ally and press x, you will swap your current weapon for their weapon. Because soldiers usually wield assault rifles, this is rarely a sufficient method for obtaining useful ammo. However, this allows you to supply allies with stronger weapons such as fuel rods and rocket launchers that you are not using. Because soldiers and ODSTs have bottomless clips, this allows them to provide constant, high-powered fire upon the enemies. When driving vehicles with extra passenger seats, it is often ideal to give a soldier a high-powered weapon and then have them ride in the passenger seat of the vehicle. Notice that you cannot give marines detached turrets, target locators, or melee weapons.


Although I suggest using the DMR and plasma pistol throughout the majority of the Reach campaign, every weapon has pros and cons. You should experiment with all of them to choose a loadout that best fits you play style. Keep in mind that I wrote this website assuming that you were using the suggested loadout, so you may need to stray from the provided strategies if you choose to use other weapons. The below descriptions are only intended to be used for firefight and campaign. The strategies for fighting AI do not apply for fighting human players and the uses of each weapon greatly differ in online matchmaking. The numbers after the name of each weapon indicate the bullets per magazine and maximum extra ammo.

UNSC weapons

UNSC weapons tend to be more accurate than their covenant equivalents. You can occasionally find UNSC guns from the corpses of UNSC soldiers and ODSTs, but your major supply will be from the areas of the level that they are placed in. Other than the grenade launcher and rocket launcher, all UNSC guns fire infinitely fast projectiles, so are impossible to dodge. UNSC guns inflict bullet damage, making them more effective against health and less effective against shields.

Assault rifle: 32/288: The assault rifle is an accurate fully automatic rifle with very little recoil. If you find that you are too poor of an aimer to achieve headshots with the DMR, I would suggest using the assault rifle instead. When using automatic guns like the assault rifle, aim for the body instead of the head. There is usually plenty of assault rifle ammo placed throughout each mission.
DMR: 15/60: The DMR is an incredibly accurate, semi-automatic rifle with a 3x zoom. A single headshot with this weapon imparts infinite damage on unshielded enemies without helmets. This makes it incredibly useful for killing every enemy type except Hunters. If you have a high accuracy, there is enough DMR ammo placed throughout each mission that you will not run out.
Grenade launcher: 1/15: The grenade launcher fires remote detonated grenades that inflict higher damage than frag grenades and inflict EMP damage. The EMP capabilities allow grenade launchers to both stun vehicles and remove shields. Some players prefer using grenade launchers to plasma pistols, yet grenade launcher require much more skill to use and do not fully remove the shields of some higher ranking Elites. Furthermore, grenade launchers are also rarely seen throughout the Halo Reach campaign so cannot be depended on for fighting Elites. They are, however, very useful when fighting Hunters.
Magnum: 8/40: The magnum is an accurate, semi-automatic pistol very similar to the DMR. The magnum also has the property of instant killing headshots. However, the magnum is less accurate and has only a 2x zoom, so the DMR is a far superior weapon. The magnum also inflicts less damage per shot, so cannot remove Brutes’ helmets efficiently. A magnum should be used in place of a DMR when a DMR is not present.
Rocket launcher: 2/8: Rocket launchers fire fast moving rockets, dealing immense damage and high collateral damage. However, rocket launchers are incredibly rare, and should usually be saved for Hunter fights. A single rocket is capable of killing most infantry and heavily damaging a Hunter. Rocket launchers also have a 2x zoom and a homing capability on vehicles. To achieve a lock-on, follow the vehicle with your reticule until the reticule turns red and beeps.
Shotgun: 6/40: The shotgun inflicts large amounts of damage at close range, but quickly decreases in power the farther away you are from the target. Even at point blank range, a shotgun requires multiple shots to kill Elites and Brutes on Legendary, so is not very useful for this purpose. Shotguns also require you to charge the enemy, a process that usually results in death on Legendary. However, shotguns are very useful against Hunters, and are always found before a Hunter fight.
Sniper rifle: 4/20: Sniper rifles are the most accurate weapons in Halo Reach, containing a variable zoom of 5x and 10x. Like a DMR, a sniper rifle will instantly kill any enemy with an unprotected head. In addition, sniper rifles impart enough damage to instantly kill helmeted enemies without shields and enemies with low capacity shields with a single headshot, making sniper rifles useful for killing both Brutes and Elites from a distance. However, sniper rifles are very rarely found throughout the campaign.
Spartan laser: Energy weapon/25 units per shot: The Spartan laser is the only UNSC weapon that uses energy instead of ammunition. To fire a Spartan laser, hold down the trigger to charge it up, and it will fire after approximately one second. This laser is powerful enough to kill any infantry except a Hunter and most vehicles in a single shot. Two shots will allow you to destroy stronger vehicles including wraiths. Spartan lasers are incredibly rare, and since they must be charged up, they are difficult to use as well. Spartan lasers have a 2x zoom.
Target Locator: 1/2: The target locator provides the coordinates for an artillery strike. By holding the trigger, it paints a circle on the ground that an orbital artillery strike will fire upon. This is useful for destroying enemy vehicles or large groups of infantry, but is only provided once throughout the entire campaign. The target locator must recharge after each shot. It has a variable zoom of 3x and 6x.

Covenant Weapons

While the covenant have a larger variety of guns, they tend to be less accurate and overall inferior to the UNSC equivalent. However, some covenant weapons provide special bonus that UNSC weapons do not, such as supercombine explosions and EMP. Most covenant weapons use energy instead of ammunition, which means that each gun starts with 100 units of energy, and as the weapon is fired, this energy level depletes. If you walk over an energy weapon that you are currently using, your energy level will not increase, so you therefore must constantly swap for new weapons. Unlike UNSC guns, many covenant weapons fire projectiles that are not infinitely fast and must travel to their target. All plasma weapons are very effective against shields, but are less effective against health.

Concussion rifle: The Concussion rife fires explosive charges that explode on contact, dealing large amounts of damage to a player. These projectiles are both effected by gravity and are relatively slow, making them easy to dodge. The best ways to combat an enemy with a concussion rifle is either to kill them from a distance or jump around a lot in front of them, making yourself a harder target to hit. The concussion rifle does not deal enough damage to use effectively against enemies.
Energy sword: Energy weapon/10 units per stab: The energy sword is a melee weapon that imparts immense amounts of damage, instantly killing the player or many covenant instantly. However, Elite generals, Elite Zealots, and Brute chieftains all require two attacks to kill. High ranking Elites such as generals, ultras, and Zealots are the only units capable of wielding an energy sword. It is essential that you kill an enemy with an energy sword from a distance before they reach you because they will kill you instantly. If you hit a charging Elite with an overcharged plasma pistol, they will momentarily stop moving, providing you with the opportunity to kill them before they reach you. When you are using an energy sword, you have the capability of lunge attacking enemies when your reticule turns red.
Focus rifle: Energy weapon/5 units per second: The focus rifle is the covenant equivalent of a sniper rifle, but instead of firing bullets, it creates an accurate laser. When the covenant use a focus rifle, they will only ever shoot in bursts, but these bursts still inflict large amounts of damage if they hit you. For this reason, killing snipers with focus rifles should be one of your top priorities when entering a battle. Although the focus rifle has pinpoint accuracy and a variable 5x and 10x zoom scope, it is not a very useful weapon because it requires a very long burst to kill enemies, and is almost useless against high ranking Brutes and Elites.
Fuel rod gun: 5/25: The fuel rod gun is the covenant equivalent of the rocket launcher, instead firing fuel rods. Although the fuel rod gun has a larger magazine and higher fire rate than the rocket launcher, the projectiles inflict less damage, travel slower, and do not lock-on. A single fuel rod will kill the player, so must be avoided at all costs. To kill a Grunt wielding a fuel rod gun, simply pick it off from a distance. To kill an Elite wielding a fuel rod gun, stun it with an overcharged plasma pistol before it can shoot you, then then kill it while it is stunned. To kill a Brute chieftain wielding a fuel rod gun, get close very close to the Brute and it will be unable to fire. The fuel rod is very useful for killing Elites and Brutes, but is not nearly common enough to replace the plasma pistol. Fuel rods have a 2x zoom.
Gravity hammer: Energy weapon/2.5 units per shot: The gravity hammer is a melee weapon very similar to the energy sword. However, the gravity hammer is only every used by Brutes and lasts much longer. Gravity hammer Brutes must also be killed from a distance, but unlike Elites with energy swords, Brutes with gravity hammers will sometimes hit the player with a glancing blow in which the player is knocked back and severely hurt. I suggest using the gravity hammer much more often than the energy sword throughout my walkthroughs simply because you find gravity hammers when fighting Brutes, and it is when fighting Brutes that plasma pistols are useless. Gravity hammers are also very useful for fighting Hunters because they explode on impact, knocking the Hunter back slightly and damaging their weak spots.
Needle rifle: 21/84: The needle rifle is the only covenant weapon capable of instantly killing enemies with headshots, just like the DMR or magnum. However, unlike the DMR, needle rifles will not cause Jackals to drop their shields when shot in the hand. This combined with lower accuracy and only a 2x zoom makes DMRs highly superior to needle rifles. On the other hand, when you shoot three needles into an unshielded enemy in a short time span, the enemy will die from a supercombine explosion, making needle rifles very useful against Brutes. It is important to kill an enemy wielding a needle rifle quickly because they are very accurate. If the enemy is a Jackal sniper or Skirmisher, simply kill it quickly with a headshot. However, if the enemy is an Elite, wait in cover until your shields are full while overcharging a plasma pistol, then quickly step out of cover, stun them, and kill them with a headshot. Needles from a needle rifle travel with infinite speed.
Needler: 24/96: Needlers are the fastest firing fully automatic weapon in the Halo Reach, and create supercombine explosions as well. Roughly ½ of a needler magazine will kill an unshielded target. Needles also home onto infantry slightly, but are easy to dodge due to a very slow bullet velocity. Luckily, enemies using the needler fire it semi-automatically, so do not pose a high threat and can be killed using normal tactics. It is best to kill an enemy with a needle rifle from a distance so you can simply return to cover when you see a large stream of needles heading towards you.
-- Plasma launcher: Energy weapon/8 units per plasma grenade: Plasma launchers must be charged up like a Spartan laser, and fire up to four plasma grenades. These grenades are fired roughly at throwing speed. For this reason, it is easy to dodge the projectiles of an enemy with a plasma launcher. The best strategy is to move horizontally to the enemy, and since the AIs are not intelligent enough to lead you, the shots will always pass behind you. In addition, you can prepare yourself for their next attack by watching for a blue light, indicating the enemy is charging its plasma launcher. On the other hand, when you are using a plasma launcher, you can lock-on to both infantry and vehicles, making it much harder to dodge. For this reason, plasma launchers are very useful for fighting both weak vehicles and high level infantry, including Hunters. However, plasma launchers are not nearly common enough to replace the plasma pistol, and also do not kill enemies as quickly as an overcharged plasma pistol headshot do due to the charge up time and grenade detonation time of a plasma launcher. Plasma launchers have a 2x zoom.
-- Plasma pistol: Energy weapon/25 units per shot: The plasma pistol has two types of fire, a semi-automatic fire and a charging capability. By holding down the trigger, you can charge up a plasma pistol to fire an EMP overcharged blast. These EMP blasts remove almost any enemies’ shields, but do little to health. The longer you charge the blast, the more damage it will impart. For this reason, plasma pistols are the most useful secondary weapon for fighting Elites. In addition, the EMP of an overcharged will allowing you to stun and easily jack vehicles. Furthermore, overcharged blasts home onto both infantry and vehicles, so are easy to aim. It is also very easy to find plasma pistols because more than half of all light infantry use them. The only downside to a plasma pistol is a low bullet velocity, allowing far away Elites to sometimes doge overcharged blasts. Because most enemies do not overcharge their plasma pistols, they pose very little threat to the player and can be killed easily. When an enemy does overcharge a plasma pistol, either kill the enemy before it can shoot or step behind cover to dodge the blast.
Plasma repeater: Energy weapon/¼ of a unit per shot: The plasma repeater is a fully automatic plasma weapon with high fire rate and damage but low range and bullet velocity. For this reason, you should not approach enemies with plasma repeaters, but instead kill them from a medium distance. When fighting Elites with plasma repeaters, come close enough to achieve a plasma pistol lock-on but stay far enough away that the Elites has difficulty hitting you. If you constantly move side to side, this makes yourself an even harder target to hit. If you have good cover, you can pop out and stun the Elite before it can removes much of your shields. Due to its inaccuracy, I would not suggest using the plasma repeater.
Plasma rifle: Energy weapon/¼ of a unit per shot: The plasma rifle has a slower fire rate and damage than the plasma repeater, but is also much more accurate. Some higher ranking Elites can also dual wield the plasma rifle. Once again, remove the shields of Elites wielding plasma rifles from distance when possible. If you are in good cover, simply pop out and stun the Elite before it has time to damage you heavily. Plasma rifles are a good option for players who aim too poorly to use a DMR. If you choose to use a plasma rifle, aim for the body of the enemy.
Spiker: 40/120: Spikers are the most common Brute weapon, and operate similarly to plasma rifles. Spikers have low bullet velocity, low accuracy, medium fire rate, and high damage. The projectiles of a spiker drop slightly over long distances. They also have a bayonet, providing increased melee damage. Use the same tactics for fighting enemies with plasma repeaters and plasma rifles when fighting enemies with Spikers. Spikers are a good option for aggressive players who aim too poorly to use a DMR, and are best used up close due to low accuracy and the bayonet.

Turrets and Grenades

Notice that turrets have unlimited ammo when attached, but do overheat after prolonged fire.

Machinegun turret: 200 ammo detached: Machinegun turrets deal very large amounts of damage and are very accurate, so are capable of killing groups of weak infantry, high ranking infantry, and light vehicles. You must fire a machinegun for a short period of time before it reaches its full fire rate. However, it is impossible to successfully operate a mounted machinegun when playing on legendary because you cannot take cover or avoid enemy threats. Detaching and using a machinegun is also challenging because it greatly reduces your mobility, reducing your ability to avoid dangers as well. For this reason, machineguns should only be used when detached and in good cover.
Plasma turret: 200 ammo detached: Plasma turrets instantly reach full fire rate, but have less accuracy and impart less damage than a machinegun turret. They inflict the same mobility issues, so I do not suggest using plasma turrets. When fighting an enemy carrying a plasma turret, use the same tactics as when fighting an enemy using any other fully automatic rifle. Try to eliminate all other enemies first so you will only have to focus on the enemy with the turret. When fighting a Grunt operating a mounted plasma turret, pick it off from a distance with your DMR. When fighting an Elite, remove its shields with a plasma pistol out of the turrets range and then pick off the Elite with a DMR headshot. Even when you do not have a lock-on, the Elite cannot dodge so can be killed from far away.
Fragmented grenade: 2 max: Fragmented grenades, also known as frags, explode roughly one second after touching any surface. They do not explode with very much force, so are not very useful against most enemies. When fighting a Hunter with frags, throw them between its legs so that they detonate directly behind the Hunter, hitting its rear weak spot.
-- Plasma grenade: 2 max: Also known as stickies, plasma grenades stick to most surfaces they touch, including the player, enemies, and vehicles. A plasma grenade will explode roughly one second after contacting any surface. An unshielded enemy and any player will die instantly from the explosion if stuck, making plasma grenades much more dangerous than frag grenades. They are also easier to use because they do not roll and bounce, so are more likely to land near their target. Plasma grenades also produce more splash damage than normal grenades, and can even kill a full health player within a few feet. For this reason, sticking Hunters, especially in their weak spot, is a very successful strategy. Many enemies drop plasma grenades when dead, so it is easy to stay restocked on plasma grenades. For this reason, when planting a grenade in a wraith, it is best to plant a sticky because you will easily find more soon. When fighting an enemy capable of throwing plasma grenades, watch for when they reach back to throw. When standing behind good cover, plasma grenades will only bounce off the front and will not damage you. However, when using poor cover or when in the open, sprint in a direction opposition to the sticky as soon as you can tell where it will land. For example, if you know a sticky will land to your left and behind you, sprint forward and too the right.


There are many opportunities throughout the Halo Reach Campaign to pilot a variety of vehicles. However, I usually do not suggest using these vehicles in combat for a few key reasons. First, unlike when you are on foot, you cannot use cover in a vehicle. Second, when playing on legendary, most vehicles do not provide enough damage resistance to overcome this lack of cover. The combination of these two things makes it more dangerous to use a vehicle then to fight on foot. Third, most vehicles have limited firepower and accuracy, so using a DMR and plasma pistol combination kills enemies faster and from a longer distance. Finally, enemies will stun your vehicles with overcharged plasma pistols, and since half of all Grunts, Jackals, and Skirmishers have plasma pistols, this happens often. These reasons combined make using vehicles impractical on Legendary. Therefore, I suggest only using them for transportation.

Some vehicles have passenger seats, allowing an ally to ride in the vehicle. When a passenger enters a vehicle, they are allowed to fire and swap weapons normally, providing the vehicle with extra firepower. This is useful for transporting multiple players as well.

Covenant vehicles

Overcharged plasma shots allow you to EMP banshees and all covenant land vehicles except scarabs, allowing you to jack or kill them easily. Once you jack a covenant vehicle, I generally suggest not using it for combat. Drive the vehicle away from the enemies so that they will not enter it. If possible, leave it near the main path so that it can be used for quick transportation in the future.

-- Banshee: The banshee is a very maneuverable and quick aircraft with double plasma turrets and a fuel rod. Banshees also can perform complex maneuvers, known as banshee tricks. By pressing the left bumper and tapping the right joystick left or right, the Banshee will perform a barrel roll. By pressing the left bumper, holding the right joystick to either side, and holding the left trigger down, the Banshee will perform a 180 degree flip turn, very useful for turning to face enemy aircraft from behind. A combination of these maneuvers and boost (left trigger) allow you outmaneuver enemy aircraft and homing enemy projectiles. When entering a banshee, it will default to the plasma turrets, good for killing infantry and finishing off injured vehicles. To change to the fuel rod, press Y. These missiles deal high amounts of damage, lock-on to vehicles, and have high splash damage so are useful against both infantry and vehicles. Banshees can also be operated in space.

In most missions, you cannot jack banshees. Enemy banshees most commonly use plasma turrets so do not pose a large threat. However, if they become too much of problem, you can kill them with mounted machineguns, Spartan lasers, rocket launchers, and scorpion shots. However, in the 3rd rally point of the mission Tip of the Spear, you are able to jack downed banshees, earning you an achievement. First, stun them with an overcharged plasma pistol and start charging another one as you sprint to the crash site. Once you arrive at the crashed banshee, use the second plasma shot you have been charging to keep it stunned. Once you are next to the banshee, press x to jack it.
-- Ghost: The ghost is the fastest and most maneuverable land vehicles, with relatively weak weapons but great ramming capabilities. This makes the ghost perfect for transporting between fights during outdoor campaign missions and boosting past enemies. If you hit any enemy not using armor lock at full speed while boosting, it will instantly kill that enemy.

To jack a ghost, stay in cover and charge a plasma pistol as it approaches you. After it gets close, run out of cover and jump around a lot to avoid the plasma bullets. Once you achieve lock-on, stun it and jack it. Ghosts are driven by Grunt heavies, Elite minors, and Elite majors, although any other types of Elite, Brute, or Grunt often enter unattended ghosts. Jacking a ghost operated by a Grunt will kill automatically kill the driver, but jacking a ghost operated by an Elite will only remove around half of an Elite’s shields. If you jack a ghost driven by an Elite, boost away so the Elite cannot jack you. You can also destroy a ghost by shooting the motor, located behind the left wing. Five DMR shots will cause it to explode, destroying the entire ghost.
-- Phantom: Phantoms are the main drop ship for the covenant army, and are most often seen dropping enemies before a fight. A phantom can carry many infantry as well as one ghost, revenant, or wraith on the bottom. Every phantom has a concussion turret mounted on the bottom, and also has two Grunt operated plasma turret on either sides. Phantoms can also be operated in space, in which case they are sealed and armed with heavy plasma cannons.

Most phantoms throughout the game are invincible, so avoid the concussion rifle shots and plasma turrets by getting behind cover or running around a lot. After they deploy the covenant on board, they will leave, allowing you to move freely once again. At times when phantoms are destroyable, it is best to kill them with scorpion shots or with a Mac cannon. In addition, rocket launchers, Spartan lasers, and mounted machineguns can all kill a Phantom, but all of these will take many shots so will waste ammo and take much time. The Grunts operating the plasma turrets of a Phantom can be easily shot out with a DMR, even if the phantom is invincible.
-- Scarab: The scarab is the largest of the covenant land vehicles, containing two very large lasers and infantry operated plasma turrets mounted on the rear and sides. On the front, the scarab has an incredibly high damage laser that must be powered up before firing, much like a gigantic Spartan laser. This laser is green, and will kill nearly anything it touches instantly. At the top of the scarab, there is an anti-aircraft laser, which shoots many short, high damaging laser bursts, incredibly effective against aircraft. On board a scarab, there are also three plasma turrets and usually a large group of covenant, allowing it to eliminate infantry and light vehicles as well. The scarab walks on four legs, allowing it to turn and move very quickly for its size. On the inside of a scarab there is an energy core similar to a Tyrant Anti-Aircraft battery, allowing Spartans to destroy a scarab by mounting it.

The only scarabs you encounter during the Halo Reach campaign have been altered for their gaming purpose for that level. These scarabs do not fire either of their main lasers, do not have cores, and are invincible. Therefore, they are intended to be avoided. This is easiest to do by driving directly between their legs.
-- Seraph: the seraph is a covenant space fighter used to escort larger covenant spacecraft and attack enemy fighters. Seraphs are armed with a strong shield that both deflects missiles and absorbs some bullet fire, potecting the hull. Seraphs are armed with two powerful plasma turrets much stronger than that of a banshee or ghost.

To kill a seraph with a saber, first remove its shields with your machinegun. Then achieve a missile lock-on and destroy it with a volley of missiles.
-- Spirit: Spirits are smaller drop ships much less common then phantoms. A spirit’s only firepower is a concussion turret in the back, so is not as dangerous as a phantom. Spirits can carry less infantry than phantoms, and only rarely carry vehicles, although they are capable of carrying both ghosts and wraiths.

Most spirits throughout the game are invincible, so avoid the concussion rifle shots by getting behind cover or running around a lot. After they deploy the covenant on board, they will leave, allowing you to move freely once again. At times when spirits are destroyable, it is best to kill them with scorpion shots. In addition, rocket launchers, Spartan lasers, and mounted machineguns can all kill a spirits, but all of these will take many shots so will waste ammo and take much time.
-- Revenant: The revenant is a medium sized vehicle with more armor and firepower than a ghost and more maneuverability than a wraith. Due to their size, revenants are slightly slower and less maneuverable than ghosts, but due to a powerful boost, can still effectively ram infantry. Revenants have a small turret in the rear that fires large plasma balls, similar to wraith shots. However, revenant shots inflict less damage and less collateral damage, but fire much faster. Unlike the ghost and wraith, stunned revenants are still able to fire. There is one passenger seat to the right of the driver in a revenant.

Because revenants can still fire upon you once they are stunned and a single shot will kill you, it is very hard to jack a revenant. If you have a ghost, it is much easier to avoid the revenant by boosting past it. Because revenant plasma balls travel slowly and are arc considerably, you can easily avoid the revenant in a ghost without being hit as long as you do not stop moving. If you are going to jack a revenant, stun it from behind. Although the revenant will still be able to shoot, it will not be able turn around at shoot you, so you can approach it safely from behind. Enter the passenger seat and then melee the driver repeatedly to kill it. This way, you will not need to worry about the driver jacking you in the future.
-- Wraith: Wraiths are the covenants heavy artillery, firing large plasma balls capable of destroying vehicles and killing large groups of infantry. These arching plasma balls induce large collateral damage, and can kill the player from a short distance. These balls travel very slowly and are fired at a slow rate so are easy to dodge. Wraiths also have a passenger operated plasma turret, used for killing infantry too close to kill the main gun. When stunned, the plasma turret can still fire, but the main plasma launcher cannot. Wraiths travel very slowly and are hard to maneuver, but have short, powerful boost allowing them to ram infantry attempting to jack them. Covenant infantry can signal a wraith where to shoot, allowing it to shoot players and other UNSC forces that it cannot see.

To kill a wraith, you first will need to kill the plasma turret gunner from cover. This is usually a Grunt heavy, which can easily be killed with a DMR headshot. If it is an Elite, shoot it multiple times with a DMR to remove the shields and then once more in the head to kill. Once you have killed the gunner, move out of cover and stun the wraith before it can shoot you. Then sprint towards the wraith while charging up another plasma pistol shot and stun it once again when the first EMP wears off. Press x to mount the wraith on either the back or the front. To kill it, either plant a grenade with left trigger or melee it multiple times with the right trigger.

UNSC and human vehicles

In many large outdoor missions, you will have the option of using UNSC vehicles. These vehicles are usually delivered by Pelican or found near the edge of the road.

-- Falcon: The falcon is the primary UNSC aircraft, used for transportation and air support. Due to a helicopter like design, the falcon can take off and land vertically, as well as hover. Each falcon is equipped with a frontal burst fire machinegun, operated by the pilot, and two turrets on both sides, operated by the passengers. These side-mounted turrets are usually machineguns similar to the mounted machinegun, although some falcons contain rapid fire grenade turrets. These turrets do not overheat, supplying a steady stream of high accuracy grenades, detonating with much force on impact. Despite its helicopter design, falcons are capable of reaching a top speed higher than that of a banshee and are very maneuverable, so much so that an experience pilot can dodge a locked on missile. Falcons also have three passenger seats, allowing them to transport small groups of infantry. For this reason, you ride in falcons many times throughout the campaign for transportation to the beginning and end of missions, as well as moving between different sections of a level. You operate the turrets of a falcon twice throughout the reach campaign, and pilot a falcon once.
-- Forklift: The forklift is a slow, weak vehicle found in some civilian settlements. The forklift is slower than walking speed and has absolutely no weapons, so is completely pointless as a vehicle. The one use for a forklift is as moveable cover, due to its high height. You can drive the forklift into a good cover position and use it as cover, although I suggest using cover that is part of the level.
-- Mongoose: The mongoose is the fastest and most maneuverable UNSC land vehicle, so it is ideal for transportation. The mongoose has no weapons, but does have one passenger seat in the back, providing it with some firepower. The covenant ghost is both more maneuverable and faster than the mongoose, so only use the mongoose when there are no available ghosts.
-- Pelican: The pelican is the primary UNSC drop ship, used to transport large numbers of infantry and medium sized vehicles. Pelicans are also equipped with multiple weapons, including multiple missile launchers and a heavy machinegun on the front and a passenger operated machinegun turret on the rear. Due to an adjustable jet propulsion system, pelicans are very maneuverable and capable of hovering and landing on any flat surface. Many times throughout the reach campaign, Pelicans will deliver you both marine reinforcements and vehicles. You occasionally ride in a pelican during some cut scenes in the campaign as well. Other than an Easter egg in the mission “New Alexandria”, you can never fly a pelican throughout the Halo Reach campaign.
-- Scorpion: Unlike most other vehicles, the scorpion is powerful enough to be used in combat. Due to high damage resistance and an accurate, high damage cannon, the Scorpion exceeds where other vehicles lack. The main turret of the scorpion is accurate and easy to aim, delivering an explosive shell capable of killing large groups of infantry and vehicles as strong as a revenant in a single shot. Stronger vehicles and structures such as wraiths and AA batteries can be killed in multiple shots, which pose little difficulty due to the scorpions relatively fast fire rate. Furthermore, these shells travel so quickly that they can even kill flying banshees with ease. In addition to this main turret, the scorpion also has a passenger operated machinegun and four passenger seats.
-- Saber: The saber is the UNSC space fighter, capable of destroying enemy spacecraft ranging in size from banshees to corvettes. A sabre can perform evasive maneuvers with the left bumper and can boost with the left trigger, allowing it to both follow and out-maneuver enemy aircraft. Sabers are equipped with two weapons, an accurate machinegun and a heat seeking multi-missile launcher. The combination of these weapon allow sabers to kill a variety of enemy aircraft, both with shields and without.
-- Short sword: Short swords are the bomber planes of the UNSC air force, used to destroy large covenant structures and vehicles. Short swords are rarely seen throughout the game, and you never have the opportunity to use one.
-- Truck: The truck is similar to the mongoose, but is a civilian vehicle instead of a UNSC vehicle. Trucks are roughly as fast and maneuverable as a mongoose, but are larger so are easier to hit. Like a Mongoose, trucks have single passenger seat, although this seat is located to the right of the driver, not behind. In addition, another player can jump onto the flatbed of the truck, providing a similar effect to riding in the passenger seat. This allows players and Jorge to ride a truck while carrying a turret, providing the truck with the equivalent firepower of a warthog.
-- Warthog: The warthog is the UNSCs medium sized vehicle, used for both scouting and combat. Warthogs are quick and maneuverable, but can easily be flipped, so must be driven carefully. The driver of a warthog has control of no weaponry. However, the rear of every warthog is outfitted with a turret, providing warthogs with decent firepower. To the right of the driver, there is also a passenger seat, allowing up to three players or AIs to use a warthog at one time.
I usually do not suggest using a warthog for two reasons. Warthogs provide a fair amount of damage resistance, but no nearly enough to be used effectively on Legendary. More importantly, you must rely entirely on AIs to provide your firepower when playing alone. Although the AIs are decent shots, they rarely shoot what you want them to shoot. However, when playing co-op, warthogs are much more effective because both the driver and gunner can communicate
There are three types of warthogs, categorized by the type of turret they have. Standard warthogs have a machinegun turret on the back. This turret has three barrels instead of one so provides more firepower than a mounted machinegun turret. This type of warthog is useful for killing large groups of infantry and small vehicles. Gauss warthogs have a gauss turret on the rear, a semi-automatic turret similar to a sniper rifle. Gauss turrets are incredibly accurate and fire high damaging, high velocity rounds, so are great for killing vehicles and aircraft. However, due to its slow fire rate, large groups of infantry can overwhelm a gauss warthog. Rocket warthogs are equipped with a rocket launcher turret, firing six rockets in short succession. However, these rocket both travel slowly and are very inaccurate, so are difficult to use. They do not lock-on as well, so also have trouble destroying moving vehicles. I prefer the gauss hog over the other two warthogs.

Armor Abilities

Armor abilities are activated by pressing the left bumper and provide the player with some advantage for a short period of time. As you use an armor ability, your armor energy will begin to fall. After some amount of use, your armor energy will become completely depleted, and the armor ability will stop functioning. The energy will then begin to regenerate over time.

Sprint is the best armor ability in the reach campaign because it allows you to quickly move around, yet other armor abilities can be useful for some situations and play styles. Evade is completely superior to sprint, but is never found throughout the campaign.

Active camouflage: When activated, active camouflage makes you completely invisible when standing still and progressively more visible the faster you move. This is occasionally useful for sneaking past enemies or for staying hidden while sniping. The problem with the later tactic is that once you shoot, the enemies will know your position due to the muzzle flash and sound of your gun. Therefore, active camouflage only keeps you protected for the first shot, so is not particularly useful.
Armor lock: Armor lock causes the joints of your armor to lock and your shields to enter overdrive, providing you with temporarily invincibility and immobility. When you exit armor lock, it also produces an EMP shockwave. For this reason, armor lock is useful for surviving otherwise lethal situations. For example, if you see that a fuel rod, wraith shot, or plasma grenade is about to hit you and you do not have enough time to get into cover, you could use armor lock to survive the explosion without damage. If you enter armor lock when a vehicle tries to ram you, it will destroy the vehicle as well. However, armor lock is not particularly useful if you always stay in good cover because solid cover will protect you from all the threats that armor lock does and does not require armor energy to use.
-- Drop Shield: When used, drop shield creates a large spherical energy shield on the ground that can be entered, healing the player and any other players inside. This is a very useful ability because it provides you with both health and cover. To best use a drop shield as cover, stand inside the energy shield and step towards the enemies only to shoot. Once you are hurt or see a high damage projectile moving towards you, step back inside of the shield. The two advantages drop shields provide, however, are only somewhat useful. If you play carefully, you should never lose any health, so the drop shield is only good for less experienced players. Most levels also have many health kits as well, so I only suggest using the drop shield if you find that you loosing health more often than you can find health kits. The cover a drop shield supplies is not entirely reliable because it disappears after 15 seconds or when the covenant damage it enough. For this reason, it is better to use solid cover because you can always rely on it.
Evade: Evade allows you to dive in any direction at a speed much higher than sprint. Because you can evade at any angle, it allows you to dive into cover or avoid threats much faster than you can with sprint, so is much more useful. Evade is also superior for transportation because you move faster when evading and it regenerates faster. You can evade twice before depleting your armor energy, but evade then returns very quickly. For these combined reasons, evade is highly superior to sprint, but is unfortunately never found throughout the campaign.
Hologram: The hologram armor ability produces a realistic hologram of your Spartan that walks towards a waypoint. This is occasionally capable of drawing enemy fire, but on Legendary, the covenant are usually smart enough not to shoot at the hologram. Holograms can be used to test if there are enemies in a certain area. For example, if you send your hologram around a corner, you could learn if there are any enemies around this corner depending on if you see or hear firing. However, simply moving carefully and slowly provides a sufficient level of safety, so holograms are not particularly useful.
Jetpack: The jetpack armor ability allows you to reach high altitudes and hover for long periods of time. Unlike all other armor abilities, jetpacks appear on your back so are visible to other players. Jetpacks are great for avoiding melee threats and reaching high sniping perches. However, you are entirely exposed when in the air, making yourself any easy target for covenant forces to kill.
Sprint: Sprint increases your movement speed when moving forward. This is great for moving between areas of cover, reducing the time in which you are vulnerable. Sprint is also useful for escaping incoming threats such as plasma grenades, concussion rifle shots, and fuel rods. A less important but still appreciable advantage of sprint is that it allows you to transport between different sections of a mission, reducing the time spent exploring. The biggest problem with sprint is that you can only sprint forward, reducing its dodging capabilities.

Shields and Health

Throughout the reach campaign and most other reach game types, you take damage with your shields and health. Enemies must first remove all of you shields before they can remove your health, and after all health is removed, you will die. If you avoid all types of damage for five seconds, your shields will begin regenerating until you reach full shields or begin taking more damage. Your health will also regenerate if you avoid damage, but will not always regenerate fully. Your health will regenerate to the first of the following amounts that it reaches; three dots (red), nine dots (orange), or full health (blue). For this reason, you can lose all of your shields and some of your health yet still regenerate fully.

To replenish your health after injury, you can use a health kit or a drop shield. Health kits are scattered throughout the reach campaign, as well as firefight and multiplayer maps. If you hold x near a health kit, your health will fully refill immediately and your shields will automatically begin regenerating at twice the usual speed. Generally, when you are fighting in an area in the campaign, you should only use a health kit if your health is below or at three dots. After you have eliminated all of the enemies in an area, you should use any health kit if your health is at either nine or three dots. However, if you are in an area with copious amounts of health kits, feel free to use them when your health falls below nine dots. Another way to regain health is to stand in a drop shield. Unlike health kits, drop shields regenerate over time, so provide a sustainable source of health. However, if you carry a drop shields as your armor ability, you will be unable to sprint.

Ideally, you should never take health damage during the reach campaign. To achieve this, always stand near cover. Once you see an enemy threat moving towards you such as a plasma grenade, concussion rifle shot, or an overcharged plasma pistol blast, step behind the cover to avoid damage. I personally prefer playing even safer by moving behind cover whenever I see any type of enemy fire heading my way. You should always take cover once your shields fall below 25%. By following these tactics, you will almost never die and will rarely take health damage as well.

Some weapons gain bonus against either health or shields. For example, a headshot against any enemy without a helmet inflicts infinite health damage with a DMR, magnum, needle rifle, and sniper rifle. Needle weapons will cause supercombine explosions in enemies without shields after varying numbers of successful hits. Plasma pistols and the grenade launcher are extremely effective against shields due to their EMP capabilities. All bullet firing weapons have a slight edge against health, and all plasma firing weapons have a slight edge against shields.


When playing on difficulties of legendary or higher, it crucial that you use cover at all times when fighting enemies. While playing on lower difficulties, you can easily survive by fighting in the open and only taking cover once you are injured. However, due to your low level of shields on legendary, this method simply does not suffice. Instead, always stand or crouch next to cover so that you immediately avoid all damage simply moving one or two steps. Whenever you see enemy fire moving towards you, especially high damaging projectiles, move into cover to avoid damage. When your shields fall below 25 %, you should move entirely into safety.

To shoot from cover, move the smallest amount required in one direction so that you can shoot the enemies that you wish to kill while exposing as little of your body as possible. This way, you are both a harder target to hit and can move to complete safety almost immediately. Cover can also be used to protect you from some enemies while still allowing you to fire upon others. Take the example that I was behind a large rock, and there were an Elite to either sides of this rock. If I moved slightly to the right of the rock, I would have a clear shot at the Elite to the right, but only this Elite could shoot at me. The rock would still protect me from the Elite to the left. This tactic can be used with multiple enemies, allowing you to kill large groups of infantry one by one while only ever allowing one of them to shoot at you.

There are certain types of cover that should not be used except under desperate circumstances. First, cover that can be moved or destroyed such as drop shields and vehicles are not ideal because you must constantly monitor the condition of your cover, requiring unnecessary concentration and often resulting in unwanted exposure. Second, crouching cover, cover that requires you to crouch to obtain complete protection, can be potentially dangerous as well. Because you automatically stand up when shot, you will become completely exposed if shot even once when in crouching cover, often leading to serious injury or death. Location can also play a key role in determining the value of a position. Cover located in an area in which enemies can flank you is clearly not ideal because you must constantly watch your back to remain safe.

Cover too close to the enemy can also pose an issue for multiple reasons. Because you will always be using a high accuracy weapon throughout the Halo Reach campaign, it is best to take full advantage of this by picking enemies off from out of their range. However, close cover, no matter how large or protective, allows you to be shot by an assortment of enemies when you exit the cover to shoot. Whereas only needle rifles and focus rifles pose any threat to a player in faraway cover, a player in close cover must constantly protect themselves from every enemy, and stand in range of high damaging weapons such as plasma grenades, concussion rifles, and plasma launchers. Furthermore, enemies will be more likely to charge a player in close cover.

The best cover is located near other pieces of strong cover. This way, if you find yourself flanked or see an enemy charging, you can retreat to different cover while only being exposed for a short period of time.


Although the environments of each mission are relatively unique, there are some common reoccurring structures. It is important to know how to use these structures to your advantage in order to gain the most benefit from the environment of each mission.

Covenant structures

Throughout the game, especially in the later mission when the covenant have established a presence on reach, you will find many covenant structures. You can identify covenant structures because they are usually purple or other bright colors. Many of these provide cover, and some are even large enough to be entered.

-- Tyrant Anti-aircraft battery: This two story building is used by the covenant to destroy various sized aircraft, and is similar in function to a Mac cannon. An AA battery is equipped with a large laser which must be charged up before each shot. A Tyrant cannot be controlled by the player, yet the building provides very good cover. A spiral ramp provides access to the top level, which provides an excellent DMR sniping position. Inside, you can stand in the doorway to snipe enemies and step back inside if you become injured.

Often throughout the campaign, you will need to destroy AA batteries to clear the UNSC’s airspace. This is easy to do with strong vehicles, but can also be achieved on foot. By shooting the battery anywhere with seven to ten scorpion shells or two to three wraith shots, you can destroy it. On foot, you can overload the plasma source of the AA battery, causing it to explode. Melee the plasma shield protecting the core twice to remove it, throw a fragmented or plasma grenade into the core, and sprint out of the battery before it explodes.
Antenna: Covenant antennas are presumably used by covenant forces to relay information to allies groups. This structure is far too thin to provide any cover.
Barricade: Covenant barricades are placed by the covenant both to provide cover and to blockade roads. These structures are incredibly sturdy and nearly impossible to knock down. As they become damaged, their tops chip off, but they cannot be destroyed. Barricades provide very good standing cover because they are both tall and long enough to protect from a many angles of fire.
Crate: Covenant crates are used to store covenant weapons, and provide the player with both covenant weapons and decent cover. When standing up, a crate is tall enough to provide standing cover, but is not very long so provide poor cover from the sides. Crates can be easily knocked over by explosives and provide no cover on their sides. In addition, many crates are open on one side, revealing many different covenant weapons. Any energy weapon found in a covenant crate will have full energy. This is useful for providing full plasma pistols and needle rifles, and can even yield more powerful weapons such as plasma launchers or fuel rod guns.
Drop pod: Drop pods are used to deliver covenant infantry from orbit and come in two different sizes. Large drop pods, shown in the picture to the left, carry up groups of infantry. Although these structures cannot be entered, they provide good one-angled cover from behind. Small drop pods carry only one Elite or Brute, and provide good standing cover, but only protect the player from enemies directly in front.
Energy shield: Energy shields are placed by the covenant to provide cover to their infantry. This shield is similar to that of a Jackals; it absorbs explosives and projectiles, progressively turning more red until it finally breaks. The shield is then regenerated after a few seconds. Due to their curved shape and high height, energy shields provide good cover against few or far away enemies. However, energy shields are not optimal for protecting against large groups of close enemies because it will quickly break, leaving you unprotected. When using an energy shield, always pay attention to its color. When it turns a rose color, sprint to new cover.
Jammer: Jammers are used by the covenant to disrupt radio transmissions and UNSC ground scanning. They are smaller and less powerful than jammer arrays, producing a smaller area of disruption. To destroy a jammer array, walk up to it and press x. This will cause the jammer to overload, permenantly destroying it. Jammers can be used as standing cover as well.
Jammer array: Jammer arrays are used by the covenant to hide an area from the UNSC Navy’s radar. This type of jamming produces no effect on your motion tracker. The Jammer array is somewhat similar in shape to a large turret tower, consisting of a raised platform accessible by a gravity lift. Unlike turret towers, there are four legs securing the structure to the ground and the jamming device is located above the second story. Jammer arrays are equipped with three mounted plasma turrets, which are usually operated by grunts. Although the second story of the jammer array provides you some elevation, it leaves you exposed if you are attacked from multiple angles, so is not a sufficient sniping position. The legs provide good one directional cover.
Methane refill station: This structure is placed by the covenant so that Grunts can refill their methane tanks between battles. Each station is capable of refilling up to four Grunts at one time. These stations are very useful because Grunts are unable to move or shoot when refilling, making them easy targets to kill. Up close, methane refill stations provide decent crouching cover.
Plasma battery: Plasma batteries are a type of fuel tank used by the covenant. Presumably, these batteries are used to refil plasma based vehicles and weapons. Because the plasma in plasma batteries is highly explosive, they will explode if fired upon. As a plasma battery takes damage, its color will change from blue to red. If it continues to take damage once it is red, it will explode, killing any infantry in a close proximity and dealing high colatoral damage to farther away infantry. For this reason, you should never stand near a plasma battery.
Plasma storage: Plasma storage is another type of fuel tank used by the covenant, containing a different type of plasma than the plasma in a plasma battery. Similarly to a plasma battery, a plasm storage will change color from blue to red and then explode if repeatedly fired upon. When a plasma storage explodes, it errupts in bright light, blinding nearby infantry, including the player. Unlike plasma batteries, plasma storages deal no damage when detonated.
-- Shade turret: The shade turret is a permanently mounted turret equipped with two rapid-fire, high accuracy plasma guns. Because they have two plasma guns and they have a higher accuracy than plasma turrets, shade turrets pose much more of a threat than plasma turrets. Less than half a second of shade turret fire will kill a player on foot, and continuous shade turret fire can destroy vehicles, including scorpions, relatively quickly. Shade turrets are usually operated by Grunts, although Elites and Brutes will enter an empty shade turret.

The easiest way to eliminate a shade turret is to kill the Grunt operator. When the shade turret is either facing directly at you or directly perpendicular to you, you will have a clear shot at the Grunts head. Therefore, a single DMR headshot can quickly eliminate the operator. When attempting to kill an enemy in a shade turret, make sure that you are very close to cover and ideally far away. This way, you can immediately step back into cover if the shade turret fires upon you, avoiding the plasma rounds before they reach you. You can also stun a shade turret with an overcharged plasma pistol, providing you with a longer opportunity to remove the operator.
-- Fuel rod shade turret: Fuel rod shade turrets look and operate similarly to standard shade turrets. However, fuel rod shade turrets fire fuel rods, greatly increasing the threat they pose to players both on foot and in vehicles. The fuel rods fired from a shade turret travel at a slower speed and are fired in slower succession then from a fuel rod gun, making them easier to dodge. On the other hand, fuel rod shade turrets do not need to reload, allowing them to bombard the player with a continuous stream of projectiles.

Because of the slightly different shape of the fuel rod gun on a fuel rod shade turret, is it much harder to kill the Grunt in a fuel rod shade turret. The size of the gun blocks your view of the Grunts head if you are below the shade turret. To overcome this, either fire from a position of equal or higher elevation to the shade turret or stun it with an overcharged plasma pistol. If you stun the shade turret, you can safely approach it and melee the operator.
-- Long ranged shade turret: : Long ranged shade turrets are supurior versions of shadeturrets. As implyed by the name, the plasma guns of a long ranged shade turrets have a much longer range and higher accuracy, as well as higher bullet velocity and much higher damage. The body of a long ranged shade turret is also encased in multiple energy shields, completely protecting the opperator and increasing the durability of the turret. The covenant mostly use long ranged shade turrets for anti-aircraft puroses due to their longer range and higher damage.

The only time you encounter long ranged shade turrets throughout the campaign is durring the “New Alexandria” mission when you are flying your falcon. Destroy these shade turrets with the burst fire machinegun of your falcon while flying sporadically to avoid the shade turret’s fire.
Sniper tower: Sniper towers are placed by the covenant to provide Jackal snipers with an elevated perch. This allows the Jackals to both view more of the landscape and provides them with a clearer shot at UNSC forces. Sniper towers consist of a floating, circular platform with a gravity lift below that allows infantry to enter the top of the tower. Although they provide a good view and clear shot at most of the landscape, turret towers do not have any cover, so are not useful sniping positions for the player.

Whenever you see a sniper tower in the campaign, zoom in and carefully view the top level with your DMR. Watch for any Jackal snipers and kill them immediately with headshots. Since there is no cover on the tower, the Jackals are easy targets to eliminate. It is important to kill the Jackal snipers fist because they will be able to shoot you from a long range, unlike other covenant infantry.
Turret Tower: Turret towers are identical in design to sniper tower, but also have three plasma turrets mounted near the edges 120 degrees apart. These turrets are usually operated by Grunts. Turret towers provide no more cover than sniper towers, so provide poor sniping positions as well.

When you see a turret tower during the campaign, kill the Grunts with headshots when you are out of range of their plasma turrets so that they cannot return fire upon you. Their entire heads are exposed when they face perpendicular to you, so are easily killed in this position. Even when they are facing at you, a small portion of their foreheads are exposed, so still can be killed with a single headshot.

UNSC and civilian structures

Although the majority of each level is built from human or UNSC structures such as the houses of “Nightfall” and the skyscrapers of “Exodus”, this section only includes reoccurring and identical objects such as weapons crates and cement barricades. These are most commonly seen in and around UNSC buildings such as Sword Base of the Saber launch facility.

Cement barricade: Cement barricades are used to blockade roads and are almost identical to the real life equivalent you find dividing the lanes of a highway. These cement barricades are both long and invincible, so provide relatively good cover. However, because they are somewhat short, so you must crouch for optimal protection when using a cement barricade as cover. The best tactic is usually to crouch and walk to either end of the barricade so you are just far enough out to see your target while still staying mostly covered. Once you require more protection, step back towards the middle of the barricade so that you are completely covered.
Short cement barricade: short cement barricades are similar in design, length, and strength to cement barricades. However, as implied by their name, they are also about half of the height, so provide poor cover. Even if you crouch behind a short cement barricade, your head will be slightly exposed to enemies on the same elevation as you, and you will be entirely exposed to enemies on a higher elevation than you. For this reason, I only suggest using a cement barricade as cover if there is no better cover nearby. If you are forced to use one, impliment the same cover tactics described for a cement barricade above.
UNSC Cover: Covers are steel structures placed by the UNSC around their bases to provide their infantry with protection. UNSC covers are U shade and have a large hole cut in the front, allowing you and UNSC soldiers to easily fire at covenant infantry. While this hole does provide you with a clear shot at infantry in front of you, it also provides the covenant with a clear shot at you. For this reason, UNSC covers should be used for fighting enemies at a distance, but not for fighting enemies nearby.
Small cover: Small UNSC covers are equal in height to UNSC covers, but are much skinnier and do not have a large hole cut in them. They do have a small, eye-level slit in the middle, but it is extremely hard to fire out of or into this slit. Covenant forces can knock small covers over with explosives, after which the cover becomes unusable. To use a small UNSC cover, stand to either side of it when firing and step into the middle for protection. Notice that when you stand in the center, the small cover will not protect either of your sides or diagonals due to its thin shape.
Large cover: Since large covers are both larger than normal covers and do not have hole cut in them, they provide very reliable protection. Furthermore, due to their heavy base, large covers cannot be knocked over. To use a large cover, stand next to it to fire and step towards the middle for protection.
Crate: Crates are used by both the civilians and UNSC on Reach to organize and easily transport items and materials. These crates cannot be opened by the player, yet they provide very good cover due to their size and durability. Crates are tall enough to be used as standing cover and heavy enough to stay in place. Stand next to a crate so that only a small amount of your body is exposed to shoot, and move to the middle of the crate for cover.
Small crate: Small crates are similar in use and design to large crates but have an eighth of the volume. Due to their small size, small crates do not provide any cover. A stack of small crates should also not be used as cover because they can easily be knocked down by explosives.
Gas tank: Gas tanks are large steel cylinders containing natural gas placed around some civilian facilities. If shot, these tanks will leak and begin burning. After burning for a few seconds, the gas tank will explode with immense force, imparting more collateral damage than a plasma battery. For this reason, you should never use a gas tanks as cover, and you should avoid them when possible. If you see a tank catch on fire, sprint away immediately.
Weapons case: With a durable exterior and foam eggshell interior, weapon cases are used by the UNSC to safely transport weaponry. Up to two of any UNSC weapon excluding machinegun turrets and grenades can fit in a weapons case. It is important to know the location of all DMR weapons cases throughout a mission so that you can stay fully stocked.
Wall mounted weapons case: Wall mounted weapons cases are found secured on walls or columns and contain up to three shotguns, assault rifles, or DMRs and up to three fragmented grenades. It is important to know the location of all wall mounted DMR weapons cases throughout a mission so that you can stay fully stocked.
Weapons crate: Weapons crates are much larger than weapons cases and are capable of carrying many more weapons. A weapons crate has multiple shelves, each designed to secure one type of UNSC weapon. For this reason, any UNSC weapon excluding machinegun turrets and target locators can be found in a weapons crate. Every single weapons crate carries at least four assault rifles or four DMRs in the center section. Therefore, DMR weapons crates are extremely valuable because they carry enough ammunition to allow you to restock indefinitely.


Before starting any mission of the Halo Reach campaign, you can set the difficulty of the mission. As implied by the name, difficulty is used to affect the challenge that a level will present. Higher difficulties will create stronger covenant by increasing their health, shields, damage, number, class, and intelligence. Higher difficulties will also create weaker players and allies by reducing their health, shields, and damage. Playing on higher difficulties will provide you with a higher score multiplier and allow you to unlock more achievements.

The more players you play with cooperatively, the higher difficulty of the missions as well. More players will create stronger covenant by increasing their health, shields, damage, number, class, and intelligence. They will also create weaker players and allies by reducing their health, shields, and damage.

Notice that each walkthrough is written expecting that you are playing the mission alone on Legendary. If you are playing on a lower difficulty, use the same tactics but expect to find fewer enemies than are listed in each walkthrough. If you are playing co-op, you may wish to use different tactics than the ones I supply, although many of the tactics that you will find in each walkthrough can be applied to multiplayer co-op. Notice that if you are playing co-op on Legendary, you will find more enemies than are listed.

Although Legendary is usually viewed as the highest difficulty setting in Halo Reach, there are actually two higher difficulties. The term LASO (legendary all skulls on) is used to refer to playing a campaign or firefight mission on legendary with all gold skulls are turned on. LASO is considerably harder than Legendary, especially due to skulls such as iron, black eye, and mythic. LASO is recognized by and referred to by both Bungie and 343 industries, and is a requirement for some weekly challenges. Mythic is the highest difficulty that Halo Reach can be played on, containing all of the requirements of LASO and more. When playing on Mythic, players must also turn on all silver skulls. Although grunt birthday party, IWBUD, and cowbell have little effect on gameplay, blind greatly increases the challenge that Mythic presents. In addition, when playing cooperatively on Mythic difficulty, players must restart the level whenever any player dies, expanding on the difficulty of iron. Mythic is not formally recognized or referred to by either Bungie or 343 industries, and was created solely by fans of the Halo franchise.


Skulls are added at the beginning of a game and are used to change certain aspect of how the gameplay operates. The game defaults to having no skulls activated.

Gold skulls

Gold Skulls allow you to increase the challenge of a mission in specific ways. Unlike raising the difficulty, skulls change a specific trait of the enemies or the player, creating more challenge. Like changing difficulty levels, there is an added score multiplier for each skull, depending on how hard skull makes the game. If more than one gold skull is turned on, the multipliers are added. For example, if you were to play on normal with iron and black eye, there would be a 2.3 score multiplier. Therefore, 11.9 is the highest skull and difficulty multiplier without a time bonus. Notice that difficulty multipliers are also added to skull multipliers.

Iron: 1.2: Iron causes the entire mission to restart every time you die when you are playing alone. If a player dies when you are playing co-op, the game restarts from the last checkpoint. To overcome this, be extra careful and patient. Move through each section slowly and carefully, making sure that you have killed all enemies before move to the next cover. You may want to count the enemies that you kill so that you will always know how many are left ahead of you. Be sure to play on a mission that you know well and rarely die in so that you are familiar with which cover to use and where to go. I would highly suggest reading my entire walkthrough for a mission you choose to play with iron.
Tough Luck: 1.1: Tough luck causes enemies to dive and dodge much more often. Luckily, this does not affect you when using a DMR because DMR bullets travel with infinite speed. When using an overcharged plasma pistol, be sure you have a lock-on before firing.
Catch: 1.1: Catch causes enemies who can throw plasma grenades to throw them twice as fast and twice as often. They will also drop two grenades instead of one. Watch for when a Grunt, Brute, or Elite pulls back its hand to throw a plasma grenade and immediately step behind cover. With Grunts and Brutes, kill them from far away with your DMR so that they cannot come within grenade range.
Black Eye: 1.1: Black Eye causes your shields to only regenerate after you melee an enemy, but your health still regenerates normally. To overcome this, play incredibly carefully and always stay near cover. As soon as you are hit even once, get back into cover. Expect to lose you shields early on, and instead live off the regeneration of your health. Always try to stay above 9 dots of health so that it will regenerate to full health. If you find a drop shield, swap your sprint for it so you can always regenerate your health fully. Also, be sure to know the locations of all of the health kits in a mission. Do not, under any circumstance, run into the hordes of enemies and try to melee a lot. This will result in certain death if you are playing on legendary.
Mythic: 1.2: Mythic causes all enemies to have twice as much health and shields. This will not affect how you kill most enemies because DMR headshots will still instantly kill unshielded enemies without helmets. However, it will require twice as many shots to pop of enemies helmets. This presents little challenge for killing Grunt ultras, but makes killing Brutes with helmet headshots impossible. Instead, resort to using gravity hammers, needle rifles, and sniper rifles, keeping in mind that some of these will require more shots to kill. In addition, shooting Jackals in the hand will not cause them to drop their shields. Instead, kill them with headshots when they are moving or looking perpendicular to you. When removing an Elite’s shields, either use two plasma pistol shots or charge your shots much longer.
Tilt: 1.2: Tilt causes bullets to impart practically no damage to shields, and causes plasma weapons to impart practically no damage to health. However, the DMR and plasma pistol combination are not affected by this at all, because bullets are only used on health and plasma is only used on shields.
Thunderstorm: 1.2: Thunderstorm causes all enemies to appear in their highest rank. This means that all Grunts are replaced with Grunt ultras, all Elite majors and minors with Elite ultras, and all Brute minors with Brute majors. Specialty units such as Elite rangers, and Elite generals, and Brute chieftains are not affected. This skull poses little of a challenge as long as you are capable of killing all levels of enemies. As always, the DMR and plasma pistol loadout is extremely useful because even the highest ranking enemies still only require a single headshot and possibly a single overcharged plasma pistol shot to kill.
Famine: 1.2: Famine causes all enemies to drop weapons with one half as much ammo or energy as they would have. It also causes all weapons placed in the map to have half as much ammo or energy. To combat this, know the locations of all DMRs in a mission. Only shoot when you are sure that you will get a headshot, and take extra time to aim between shots. Be prepared to swap for a new plasma pistol constantly.
Cloud: 1.1: Cloud removes your motion tracker from your HUD. Overcome this by listening more carefully and looking around more carefully before moving between cover. When DMR sniping, you are even more susceptible to being snuck up on, so only fire three to four shots before exiting your scope and surveying your surroundings for possible threats. I suggest counting the enemies you kill so you know how many remain at all times.

Silver Skulls

Silver skulls are added purely for amusement and do not affect the overall multiplier. However, some of the silver skulls can be used to provide a minor advantage.

Grunt birthday party: Grunt birthday party causes any Grunt you kill with a headshot to explode with confetti and create a “Hooray!” sound. This skull can be used to confirm if you kill an enemy Grunt. However, by turning on scoring, it will provide you with the same advantage for all enemies, so it is a better option. In addition, when playing co-op, it is often a good idea to have every player set their death animation to confetti to alert other players when someone dies. Therefore, Grunt birthday party interferes with this tactic.

Bonus information: The sound from Grunt birthday party is the same sound used when a piñata dies in Viva Piñata.
IWBUD: This acronym stands for “I would have been your daddy”, and allies say unusual things. This provides absolutely no benefit.

Bonus information: In the firefight voices section of the armory, one of Sergeant Johnson's preview voice quotes is "I would have been your daddy but…never mind."
-- Cowbell: Cowbell greatly increases the amount that explosives push all infantry and vehicles. It does not change the damage that the explosives inflict. Keep in mind that this is very different then lowering the gravity level because it does not increase how high infantry can jump. This skull provides a small benefit because it allows you to escape from bad situations. For example, if a Brute with a gravity hammer attacks you but only achieves a glancing blow, it will knock you back far enough that you will have plenty of time to kill him or escape. If cowbell was not turned on, you would have remained in place after his attack, allowing him to quickly follow up with a second blow. As another example, if an enemy with an explosive weapon such as a concussion rifle shoots near you, it would knock you very far away, out of range of his following shots. However, cowbell also creates a disadvantage because explosive have a change to throw you off the map or into a group of enemies.
Blind: Blind removes your entire HUD and body. This greatly hinders you aiming abilities, makes it impossible to tell how much ammo you have, difficult to tell how much shields and health you have, and makes it hard to tell what gun you are using. It also removes your radar, inducing the effects of cloud without providing a score multiplier. The one advantage of blind is that it allows you to see more of the landscape at one time because your gun is gone. However, this benefit is not worth the disadvantages the blind skull creates.

Last Updated: August 9, 2012 at 13:53
Contact me at HaloReachWalkthrough@hotmail.com

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