Halo Walkthrough

The GameSpot Walkthrough to Halo will tell you everything you need to know to overcome the Covenant and the Flood. You'll also get weapon and vehicle tips, as well as strategies for taking your game online with the PC version of this classic shooter.

By The Stratos Group
Design by Katie Bush

Introduction

Halo has a history that stands as a microcosm of the gaming industry itself. Originally slated as a revolutionary game for the PC and Mac, Microsoft bought out the developers and signed Halo as the signature title for their soon-to-come console, the Xbox. On the Xbox, Halo met with universal praise and piles of awards, despite the controversy involved in the delay of the PC/Mac versions. Two years later, Halo finally got re-ported back to the PC, along with a few changes and improvements.

In Halo, you play as the Master Chief, the last of a group of cybernetically-enhanced soldiers created by humanity to defend themselves from a group of religious-fanatic aliens known as the Covenant. Halo is an action game, and one that shows an astounding blend of balance and polish. You will fight incredibly strong enemies and hordes of weak ones. You will fight in beautiful outdoor locales, in cramped underground bases, and in spectacular starships. Sometimes you will fight on foot, alone and outnumbered, other times you will drive (or fly) a variety of vehicles, with a squad of United Nations Space Command (UNSC) Marines alongside you. There is enough variety and style (and just a bit of comic relief) here to keep you coming back for more.

In this guide, we will provide you with a detailed walk-through of every level of the single-player campaign, designed to help you make your way through the world of Halo and have fun doing it. Also provided is an extensive listing of the enemies you will encounter, along with the weapons and vehicles you will use to fight them. Tactics and techniques are given to help you use these tools with maximum efficiency against both the devious aliens in the campaign and against the even more dangerous human opponents you will face in multiplayer. Finally, you will find a comprehensive set of techniques, tricks, tactics, and strategies to make you a winner in any of Halo's extensive multiplayer modes.

Walk-Through

This walk-through was written based on the PC version of Halo played at Normal difficulty. The single-player campaign is essentially identical to the X-Box version, so everything here applies to it as well. If played at different difficulties, any number of things will be slightly different, such as the number or types of enemies, their intelligence, and the amount of ammunition you find.

General Strategies

  • Don't be afraid to use grenades. Halo, more than most shooters, uses lots of grenades, and most large fights will involve at least a few being tossed back and forth. This isn't an optional strategy; the fights are balanced on the assumption that you will make good use of grenades.
  • Your energy shields are 'free damage.' Any damage you take, as long as your shields don't drain completely, will be completely recharged after a few seconds. Learn to take advantage of this by learning to step into hostile fire, ignore it while you get a kill, then step back into cover to wait for a recharge.
  • Whenever you see a large group of creatures headed your way, soften them up by tossing a grenade into their midst before closing with other weapons.
  • Some, but not all, checkpoints can be reused by backtracking and going through them again.
  • Most of the time, when you find ammunition, it will be either in a weapon, or the weapon it fits in will be lying nearby. Because of this, it is rarely useful to carry around an empty gun waiting for ammunition. Ditch the empty gun and grab something you can use.
  • In general, use plasma weapons against the Covenant and UNSC weapons against the Flood.
  • This has been stated elsewhere, but should be said again: The UNSC assault rifle is not a long-range weapon. It has terrible accuracy.
  • Pick your fights. There are many situations in which you can choose to just walk past distracted or respawning enemies. Take advantage of these opportunities, saving your ammo for those fights you can't avoid.
  • Later in the game, you will often see multiple groups of enemies fighting each other. If you stand by and watch until they are finished, you will only have to fight a quarter of the number you would otherwise, and can still gather up all the equipment afterward.
  • Medical kits are often few and far between. Don't use them if you are only slightly injured; remember where they are and come back to them later when they are more vital.
  • Don't underestimate the pistol. It can be one of the most effective weapons in the game.
  • Learn to use cover. You will usually be seriously outnumbered, and you will not survive a straight slugfest. Kill a couple enemies, take cover, repeat.

The Pillar of Autumn

Overview

Following the Cole Protocol, which states that no vessel may return to Earth if pursued by the Covenant, the United Nations Space Command ship Pillar of Autumn made a 'blind jump,' leaving it in an unknown area of space. The last surviving SPARTAN-II cyborg soldier, known as the Master Chief, is awaken to help defend the ship. This is you.

This level is an easy one; think of it as a working tutorial. The routes are easy to find, and your tools and abilities will be introduced one by one as you move through it. It isn't too tough, and does a good job of getting you ready for the battles ahead. Take advantage of the opportunity to experiment with different tactics, and see how different weapons work against different enemies.

Walk-through

You wake up in your cryogenic sleep tube. Follow the tech's directions to get a feel for the controls. Before long, Covenant intruders in the ship will make their presence known. Follow the tech out into the hallway. After an explosion, jump over the low pipes and move toward the door with the green lit keypad. As of yet, you have no weapon, so avoid the battles and continue along the fairly linear path. Eventually, you will meet a Marine who asks you to follow him; do so. He will lead you to the bridge, triggering a cutscene.

This is you, the Master Chief. Good morning--ready to save humanity?
Cortana, the AI that operates the Pillar of Autumn, is transferred into your MJOLNIR Battle Suit, and you are charged with getting her safely from the ship. Unlike the hordes of dying crewmen you passed earlier, the Captain thinks to provide you with a gun.

Leave the way you came in. It won't be long before you kill your first Grunts. Continue into the cafeteria, picking up the MA5B assault rifle as you enter. A group of Marines are hard-pressed by Grunts and a few Elites. Concentrate on the Elites first, pummeling them with the rifle until their shields drop, then finishing them off quickly. Once they go down, select your pistol, move over one of the Covenant's dropped plasma rifles and hit your action key to exchange them. Remember that while plasma weapons are very effective against the Covenant, they cannot be reloaded; switch a used one for a freshly dropped one whenever you get the chance.

Continue on. Most of the doors are locked, and there are not a lot of options as to which way to go. You will encounter groups of mixed Grunts and Elites. Take them out, using cover when it is available and taking advantage of the groups of Marines nearby to absorb some of the fire. You will come to a team of Marines pinned down behind a barricade; this is a dead end, so go back and take the side corridor to outflank the Covenant attackers. Just beyond the barricade is a wall-mounted medical kit, if you need it.

Continue on, killing Covenant troops along the way. Eventually, Cortana will tell you that the Covenant are destroying the life pods, and will give you your first waypoint. Follow it to a nearby door; enter and turn immediately left. Use your flashlight to make your way through the tunnels--there are no wrong turns, so it should be easy. Cortana will enable your motion tracker to help you find a safe exit (look for the door with a green light). Follow Cortana's instructions to open the next door, and test out your melee attack on the deaf Grunt just beyond it.

Take the first left past the lone Grunt, and be ready--some Elites and a large group of Grunts wait just around the corner. Don't be afraid to retreat around the corner to reload or allow your shields to recharge if you need to. When the enemy is down, move past them to the side corridor, using the medical kit if you are injured.

Keep going, killing any Covenant in your way. When you find your way blocked by fire, make a left and go through the door into more tunnels. Follow them until you see more Covenant ahead through the exit. Take the left tunnel to come out behind them. Finish them off, and then continue; all paths lead to the same place. There are several larger groups of Covenant ahead, so be ready. Use the standing energy shields to reload or let your weapons cool off, and you should be able to best them without too much trouble.

When you come to a barricade, use it for cover while you pick off as many Grunts as you can reach. You will have picked up some grenades as you approached the barricade; use them against the Red Elite that is hiding behind the energy shield. When they are dead, jump over the barricade and enjoy the ride.

Halo

Overview

This level is your introduction to the ring world of Halo. It is a big change from the close-quarters fights aboard the Autumn, with lots of long, narrow valleys mixed with wide open areas. You will get your first taste of vehicle combat, and will meet some new enemies as well. This level isn't all that tough, and, like the last one, you should use it as an opportunity to practice with different techniques and strategies.

Walk-through

Ouch. If any landing you can walk away from is a good one, then eight Marines just had a very bad landing. Get out, gather up all the gear you can get you hands on, and head for the bridge over the canyon to your left. Head up the hill as fast as you can. If Covenant Banshee aircraft start strafing you, just ignore them and keep moving. As you round the cliff, you will come upon an Elite and some Grunts. Kill them and exchange your weapons if you so desire. Consider keeping the pistol--its zoom and long-range accuracy will come in handy in the wide open areas just ahead. The Banshees should have broken off their pursuit by now, so slow down and make your way through the canyon.

You will soon come to an alien building. Save the day and approach the survivors. After a few words, you will be asked to help with the defense. You will face several waves of Covenant troops coming in on dropships. Each wave will have a variety of Grunts, Elites, and a new enemy, the Jackal with his energy shield. Take out the Jackals by circling behind them while they are distracted or by tossing a grenade just past them. Beware of enemies carrying needlers. The pink projectiles don't look like much, but they can do significant damage, homing in on stationary targets and exploding after they hit. Keep moving, and take them out quickly!

After the last wave, more life pods from the Pillar of Autumn are spotted, and you are tasked with searching for and defending the three new groups of survivors. Gather up new weapons and ammo, find one of the medical packs scattered around the area if you need it (there is a big stash on top of the building), and follow the nav point to the waiting M 12 Warthog LRV. Take a minute to get used to it, and then head down the hill into the canyon beyond, and into the tunnel.

It is dark in the tunnel, but there is really only one way to go. At one point, you will reach a good-sized ramp leading upward. Be careful--there is a gap at the top, so you will need to get a good running start and hit the ramp with enough speed to jump it. Don't worry if you miss--just use your action key to flip the Warthog back over and jump back in. Don't forget to stop and pick your gunner back up!

When you get to this point, be ready to put on some speed and jump the gap.
Around the corner, you will come to a room with a road down the middle, a bridge in the center, and Covenant troops on each side. It is time to let your gunner pay for his ride! Drive down the road at moderate speed, letting the gunner take care of the Covenant troops. When you enter the bridge, stop; the middle of the bridge is missing! Turn around, and go back down the road to where you started. After another round trip or two, the majority of the enemy troops will be dead. The secret is just to keep moving, making yourself a hard target, and let your gunner do the dirty work.

Stop the Warthog and get out. On the right side of the room, against the wall, is an opening leading to an upward-sloping ramp. Head up, killing an Elite on the way. At the top is a console that will activate the center portion of the bridge. Get back in the Warthog; head across the bridge and into the tunnel on the far side. A few more twists and turns, and you will be back outside.

Halo - cont.

Head up the hill, following the line of the cliff on the right side. You will soon come to a path leading up and to the right. Follow it to where some Grunts are moving near a large formation of rocks. Drive back and forth in front of the rocks a couple of times to let your gunner clear out most of the Grunts, then dismount and move in on foot. As soon as you get close to the Marines in the rocks, Covenant dropships will start to land. Jump back into your Warthog and take the enemy troops out. It is easy if you keep moving and trust your gunner to get most of them. The easiest way to take out Jackals is simply to run over them. As you clear each wave, a new dropship will land. Try to maneuver so that you are beside it when the doors open, and your gunner will take out half of the wave before they even get off of the ship. Keep moving to avoid fire from the dropship's plasma cannons.

After the last wave, a UNSC Pelican dropship will come to pick up the Marines. Two will remain behind. If your gunner is hurt, kick him out (hop out of the Warthog and move to the back. Use the action key to get in, and he will get out. Hop back into the front and drive away before he can get back in). Pull up next to the healthy Marines and they will get in the Warthog, giving you a full, healthy crew. Hop out to gather ammunition and medical packs near the crashed life pod. There is also an S2 AM Sniper Rifle that will come in handy.

There are still two groups of survivors to save, so let's get moving. Exit the area through the same canyon you used coming in. Outside are two Banshees. If you keep the Warthog moving fast, your gunner will be able to take them out without too much trouble. Follow the river upstream until you get to the waterfall, and then make a left. Over the hill you will come upon another alien building under assault by Grunts and Jackals. Plow in, running down as many Jackals as you can, and trusting the rest to your passenger and gunner. Head up into the hills above the structure to meet up with the Marines and call down the dropship. You will have to fight off a last wave of enemies before it arrives. Once they are safely away, replace your passengers, rearm, or heal as needed.

To get to the third crash site, follow the river back downstream (just drive in the water to make it easy). When the river forks, take the right branch. Kill the small band of Covenant troops that you encounter and continue to follow the river until you see a road cutting off to your left. Follow it to the top of the hill. If you grabbed the sniper rifle earlier, this is a great spot to stop and give it a try. Once you have sniped everything that needs sniping, hop back in the Warthog and circle around, letting your crew clean up the rest of the visible enemies.

Once the outside is clear, you will receive a message telling you to clear out the interiors on foot. Each of the two smaller buildings have entrances; both lead to the same place, so take your pick. Go in and clear the small underground area of enemies (mostly Grunts). When they are all dead, you will receive a communication and orders to dust off. Follow the waypoint to the Pelican Dropship and hop aboard.

The Truth and Reconciliation

Overview

I hope you paid attention on the last two levels when it was suggested that you get used to your weapons. Beginning with this level, Halo quits holding your hand and makes you work for your progress. You'll meet several extremely tough Covenant troops in it and take part in some pretty hairy battles. You will fight outside in the dark and inside a Covenant ship (it is purple and green--no wonder they are so grumpy!)

Walk-through

As soon as the cutscene ends, be ready to get moving. Head straight ahead toward the cliffs, and up the hill, hugging the wall on your right side. The rest of the Marines will hold back until you are fired on. Bring up the scope on your sniper rifle, noting that you can use your 'flashlight' key to turn on the night vision feature built into the scope. There are two Shade stationary guns manned by Grunts. Snipe the Grunts, and then turn your sniper rifle on the enemies below. Focus on the Elites and Jackals until they notice you and things get chaotic. If you want to play it safe, hold on the hill and provide sniper support for your comrades. If you want to cause carnage amongst the Covenant, get off the hill and run straight ahead to the Shade stationary gun, hop on, and clear out the valley. When everything seems to have calmed down, run to the other side of the valley and quickly mount the other Shade. Kill whatever comes down the path and wait for rest of the Marines.

Continue up the path and around the corner, killing the Elites and Grunts that you meet. When you get a message from Cortana concerning the 'path on the left,' stop. Find and snipe the Shade gunner on the cliff, and then move ahead along the cliff edge slowly, sniper rifle at the ready. The Marines will wait behind. Keep your eye on the top of the cliff and around the corner for Elites and Jackals, sniping them before they see you. When you round the hill, the other fire team will move up the center; that is your cue. Move quickly toward the hidden Shade that you will see firing from on down the path. When you get close, take out the Grunt at the controls and jump on, blasting anything that isn't a Marine. A Covenant dropship will come and go, giving you more targets.

Once the dropship leaves, hop off the Shade, rearm from the nearby casualties if you need to, and head toward the corner of the canyon directly across from you, keeping near the left cliff face. Jump the gap, hop on the other Shade, and again take care of any Covenant forces present. When they are all dead, get off the Shade and head down the hill.

Jump this gap, get on the Shade, and try not to hit your comrades!
Go up the canyon that the Covenant was coming out of. Snipe the Shade and kill the mixed troops that are in the area, staying in the mouth of the canyon. When they are all dead, get your sniper rifle ready and move slowly out. If you stand on the light fixture on the ground to the right of the canyon mouth and look to the left, you will be able to see another Shade just ahead on a short cliff. Snipe the bugger. Keeping your scope/night vision up, move along the cliff face a few paces. Between you and the far wall of Halo is another Shade that needs sniping.

Get ready. Do you see the big purple shimmering pillar of light? That is the gravity lift from the Covenant ship. Things are about to get nasty. Your next goal is to move along the left cliff as quickly as you can and get into the second Shade that you sniped. Spin it around toward the gravity lift, and do your best to help the Marines fend off the hordes of Covenant troops that come pouring out. Get down and fight on foot if you have to, but when the Marines let out a cheer like they've won, and you get a checkpoint, get back in that gun fast! The next two fellows that show up are called Hunters.

Unless you have a pistol, kill them with the Shade. Focus on the one that goes to the right first--the Marines will slow the other one down. Pummel him with as much plasma as you can manage, wiggling your aim up and down a bit to get a better spread around his shield. He will go down, but it will take a while. By the time he dies, his friend should have finished off the Marines, so spin around and repeat the process. The fuel rod guns that they fire do tons of damage, but the Shade should absorb most of the hits for you.

The Truth and Reconciliation - cont.

Once they both go down, a Pelican dropship will drop off some more Marines. Rearm yourself; walk into the energy lift when you're ready.

Welcome to the Truth and Reconciliation. Nice place. Stay in the center of the room, because you are about to be ambushed. The first Covenant through a door will be an Invisible Elite. He is fairly weak, but don't let him get near you--his plasma sword can kill in a single blow. After he is down, mixed groups of Elites, Grunts, and Jackals will start pouring in through the various doors in the room. Keep moving from fight to fight, helping the Marines out as much as possible. Be careful if you hear someone call "Frag out!;" it means that a live grenade has made an appearance.

When things calm down, the surviving Marines will head through one of the doors. Follow them down, have a chat, and then head back up to find a way around. Only two doors in the entry room will open, and both lead to the same place. Follow the corridors, killing all the enemies in your path. Soon you will reach a large room. Kill off the Grunts, and snipe the Jackals and Elites from near the door (including those on the lower level). When ready, go across the walkway, out the door on the far side, and follow the corridors until you enter the lower level of the room you just sniped clean. Ammunition and medical kits await you just inside the door. Kill the newly arrived enemies, then head to the waypoint and activate the holographic panel to open the door for the Marines outside.

Follow the new waypoint to a new door opening into a hallway. Go down, turn left to the end, and follow the passageways. As in the Autumn, only the doors you need to go through will be unlocked, so it is impossible to get lost. When you come to a closed blue door, be ready. Inside is the toughest fight yet.

Enter and immediately head right. A door will open in front of you. Toss a plasma grenade (or two) in, then lay down some fire to slow down the troops inside until it explodes. Turn around and fight. You will be assaulted by a constant stream of Elites, Jackals, and Grunts, while more fire on you from unreachable ledges above. Don't be shy to use lots of grenades and ammo. If you get injured, back off into the corridor you entered from until your shield recharges, then charge in again.

The Marines you entered with will likely die early. Cortana will call in for reinforcements, but until they arrive, all the Covenant inside the room will be focused on you--a very dangerous situation, so consider retreating into the corridor until your backup gets there. When the Marines arrive, move back in and keep mowing down Covenant troops. Soon, you will receive a communication about getting a door open. This is your warning that a pair of Hunters are about to arrive. Shoot them in the orange areas from behind to take them out. Be careful with plasma grenades; if you get too close to throw them, they may charge you before it explodes. When they finally go down, follow the waypoint to the next set of corridors.

Follow the corridor, shooting Covenant forces on the way, but beware of an Invisible Elite amongst them. Go out onto the ledges above the shuttle bay and follow your waypoint to a console. Activate it to allow a shuttle with a load of reinforcements to arrive. With your newfound friends in tow, go through the only other unlocked door on the walkway, through the corridor, and out onto the next walkway. Go around the walkway to the door on the far side. When the corridor forks, go left for grenades and a med pack. The door straight ahead goes out into a room full of Covenant troops. There are a couple of Gold Elites in the room. These are the nastiest Elites, and can take out your entire squad (yourself included) in seconds. If you still have your sniper rifle, approach the door cautiously. It will open, and, with luck, the troops inside won't notice you. Snipe the Gold Elites first (use head shots), and then move in with other weapons to take out the remainder of the Covenant forces. If you don't have the rifle, then you are in for a heck of a fight. Focus all your firepower on the Gold Elites first.

When everything is dead, a group of Grunts will come in the far door. Take them out, then go through the same door they came out of. You are close. Down the corridor you go, and left at the intersection. Follow the open corridors, ignoring the red doors. When you come to a white door on your left, go in. Close, but no Captain. Use the holographic console at the end to open the cells; one has a med kit and grenades. Exit the cell block and go straight, past the open white doors, then left. When you see the white door on the right, get ready; Gold and Invisible Elites wait within. Toss some grenades in from the doorway to soften them up before going in yourself. When they are dead, open the cells and watch the cutscene.

As soon as you are in control again, two Invisible Elites will come through the door. Dispose of them and retrace your route back to the shuttle bay. Be careful, though. If the Captain dies, you will lose, and the Captain is a bit of an idiot. You will have to move fast to stay ahead of him and keep him from charging into danger. When you get to the control room, you'll find out that your ride left without you, forcing you to borrow a Covenant ship. Follow the waypoint to get back to the shuttle bay, kill the Covenant troops waiting there, and activate the holographic console. Enjoy the ride.

The Silent Cartographer

Overview

This level puts you on a small island with a large underground complex. You will fight on foot and in vehicles, in wide open areas and in close quarters. It is a fun level, not too tough, but enough of a challenge to keep you moving.

Walk-through

Enjoy the view on the way in, because you are about to be dropped into the middle of a battle. When you are on your feet, quickly toss a grenade into the rocks to your left and one into the rocks straight ahead, taking out lots of Grunts. Sprint straight ahead into the midst of the fight, helping your comrades wherever they need it. Once the situation is in hand, a dropship will deliver a Warthog. Hop in and get a crew. Try not to get anybody that is already too badly injured. Rearm as you see fit, but hang on to your pistol.

Continue down the beach, keeping the water to your right. Around the bend are a few Jackals that need to be run over. Do so and continue straight ahead and up the ramp. As you round the curve on the ramp, you will see the road split. Take the left route, leading toward a large structure. Drive out onto the concrete platform, killing the Covenant troops you see. There are three Elites up there, so be careful. Hop out, head into the structure, and down the ramp. Toss a pair of plasma grenades into the group below, finish off the survivors, and listen to the conversation with Captain Keyes.

Time to go exploring. Hop back into the Warthog and make your way back to where the road split. This time take the right branch, going down to the beach below the structure. There are a few Jackals down there that need killing, so oblige them and grab the overshield they were guarding. Continue down the beach, the ocean again at your right, under the stone archway and into the next area. Jackals and Grunts and Elites, oh my! Run over as many as you can while your gunners take care of the rest.

Once they are down, stop near the overturned Warthog for ammunition, med packs, and grenades. If you have lost crew members, drive down the beach just a bit further and you will be back at your original LZ. Load up and come back to where the wrecked Warthog is. Drive up the hill as far as you can, then hop out and continue on foot. Don't worry, you'll be coming back for the Warthog later.

Make your way up the hill, past Grunts and Elites until the pathway narrows at the top. Stop! There are a couple of Hunters just ahead; take them out with your pistol (you did keep it, right?). The first one will be easy; if the second one starts shooting back, you may be better off closing and playing the charge-strafe game (see the section on enemies for details). At the top of the hill near the entrance to the area is a pair of dead marines along with a pile of supplies.

Aim right here to put these giants down before they can turn back around.
Head past the dead Hunters, up the hill, and through a mix of Covenant troops. Soon you will arrive at your destination, a concrete structure you may have seen earlier from the beach. There are lots of Grunts guarding the door, as well as some overshields on the opposite side. Do what you need to do, and then enter the building.

The Silent Cartographer - cont.

The room full of crates looks empty, but you should know better by now. Ready your pistol, keep your eyes on the far wall, and move slowly. A pair of Hunters lives here; if you are careful, you should be able to take one of them by surprise. Keep going, activate the holographic panel, and make your way back out. A pair of Invisible Elites has moved into the recently-vacated Hunter room. Take care of them and head back outside.

From the ledge outside, you can see the aftermath of the distress call you just heard. If you like, this is a great opportunity for some pistol sniping. When you are done, head back to where you left your Warthog. Be careful, though; the area where you killed the two Hunters is now full of Jackals, both Yellow and Blue. If they give you too much trouble, try getting close to the center and circling around the pillar, forcing them to come at you one or two at a time.

Grab your Warthog and head left down the beach, the water again at your right. Take out any remaining Jackals near the wrecked Pelican dropship, hop out, and swap your pistol for the M19 Rocket Launcher and plenty of ammo. Continue along the beach, past the original LZ, and back up the ramp. Stop at the top of the ramp to let your gunner take out the three Jackals there, then hop out and move ahead a bit on foot. Two Hunters are up ahead; take them out with your rocket launcher and enter the building again.

The door that the Covenant troops locked before will be open now. Go in and to the right to admire the view. Turn around and go back past the entrance to find another hallway leading to Grunts and Red Elites. Enter the large room via either door (or the ramp), deal with the smattering of troops inside, and keep going through the green door near the bottom of the ramp. Don't fall off!

At the bottom you will have to take out two pairs of Jackals and a pair of Hunters. Use the rocket launcher on the Hunters, then backtrack to the ledge just outside and swap it for the pistol. Go through the Hunter room and down the ramp on the far side. Keep going; the route is obvious. Eventually, you will end up in a room with two sealed doors. Go through the left one to an area with a holographic display and an active camouflage pickup. Grab it and drop down to the space below you. Go down the ramp and take advantage of your camouflage to kill the Covenant troops in the area. You could just sneak past them, but you would have to deal with them on the way back out anyway. There are two additional ramps down in the room, one straight ahead from the entrance ramp, and one on the left side of the room. Take your pick.

Either way, you will end up in a room with a holographic display. Activate it, listen to Cortana, and head back out via the bridge in the main room. Be prepared for lots of Jackals and their friends on the way out. When you get back to the hallway leading to the entrance (near the ledge with the view), you will find a Gold Elite waiting. You won't have much room to maneuver, so consider turning the surprise around by tossing in a couple of plasma grenades before he sees you. The final challenge awaits you at ground level. The final hall to the outside contains several Invisible Elites. As long as you have plenty of ammo, they shouldn't be too much of a problem. Once you get outside, the level will end.

Assault on the Control Room

Overview

This level is a huge one. You will fight in a variety of environments, from wide open expanses of snow to close underground spaces to big round rooms (lots of these). You will have access to every weapon you have seen so far, and will use them against every enemy you have yet encountered. You will have access to several different vehicles, and will engage in some of the toughest fights in the game so far. Good luck.

Walk-through

As soon as you are dropped off, an Elite and some Grunts will come through the door. Introduce yourself, and then head inside. Past a short hallway is a distinctive big round room full of Covenant troops. Clear it out and continue out the far side. Another short hallway and you will emerge on a snowy bridge. Immediately take out the Grunts on the Shade stationary guns, hop on one, and mow down the rest of the enemies. Make your way across the bridge, keeping in mind that enemies can attack from the lower level as well. At the far end you will have to kill a Gold Elite before entering the door.

Another short section of hallway leads to a big round room very much like the one on the other side of the bridge. Toss a plasma grenade into the group of Grunts to the left, then clear the remainder of the room. Look out for Grunts on ledges and for an Invisible Elite. Circle around the room to your left. You will pass some dead Marines with medical kits and ammunition before coming to a corridor leading to an elevator that you need to take to get to the next level.

When you get to the bottom, follow the corridor to a hallway full of Grunts. Aren't they cute when they're sleeping? It makes them easier to shoot, too. Do so, along with the Elites and Jackals nearby and make your way around to the right until you reach the next door. Follow the corridor and walk through the door into the midst of a battle.

A few Marines are holding out in the corner to your left. Quickly pick off the Shade stationary gun right by the door, plus the one across the canyon if you still have your pistol. Run toward the Marines and grab the rocket launcher on the ground near the overturned Warthog, then run for the far end of the valley, where the Wraith mortar tank is lobbing all the plasma balls your way. Two or three solid hits from the rocket launcher will take it out, eliminating the biggest threat in the area. Head back to the Warthog. Use your action key to flip it over, select your weapons of choice from the ground nearby, and hop aboard. Get some Marines for crew and take out the rest of the Covenant forces in the canyon. Be careful driving on the snow and ice; the Warthog won't handle as well as it does on regular terrain.

When you are done, gun it and head for the end of the valley. You will drive over a ledge. Forget the Covenant troops for a second and head straight for the M808B Scorpion tank you see. Jump out and run to the far side and get in. Use the Scorpion to take out the Covenant in the area. All the Marines will run over to join you, so avoid firing your main weapon at extremely close targets for a few seconds (otherwise you will blow your backup across the valley).

You are left with two routes; a cave, and the road going down. Take the Scorpion into the cave. When the cave exit comes into view, go slowly, firing your main weapon at anything that moves. You can take out a ton of troops from here without exposing yourself to fire. When there is nothing else moving, exit the tunnel and move straight to the top of the rise directly in front of you. A Wraith will be at the bottom of the cliff, directly below you. Take out any troops or Shades you see, and wait for the Wraith to move forward. When it does, two quick shots from your main cannon will take it out.

You can take out most of your opposition from here.
When you move forward toward the underground entrance ahead, you will be attacked by a Banshee aircraft from above and by another Wraith on the ledge above the entrance. Focus on the Wraith first. When it is gone, turn your guns on the Banshee. If you wait until it is flying directly toward you on a strafing run, you should be able to hit it with your main gun. As soon as it is down, move up to the top of the ramp leading underground. Two Hunters should be making their way toward you; chuckle as you blow them back down where they came from.

Assault on the Control Room - cont.

Drive the Scorpion down the ramp. You will have to get out at the bottom to activate the panel that opens the door; get back in as soon as you do and continue down the ramp. Use the Scorpion's weapons to clear the path when you get to the bottom. As you cross the bridge, beware of a Shade on the far left, and of two Hunters coming from the right. On the far side, you will have to get out again to open the big door in the middle. Mount back up and keep going.

Shoot the Ghost at the bottom of the ramp, and then glance up the boulder-strewn hill. It's nice of those Jackals to have glowing targets on their arms, eh? As you head up the path, a Covenant dropship will show up and a couple of Ghosts will come down after you. Shoot them. Make your way to the top, killing whatever is worth killing on the way; make sure you notice the Shade on the rock to the right.

Head around the rock pillar on the right side. Blow up the Wraith ahead on the ice, and be ready when the door on the left opens, releasing a horde of soon-to-be-dead Covenant troops. When you reach the ice, you will again be confronted with a pair of Hunters and an airborne Banshee. Take the Hunters and their fuel rod guns first, then worry about the Ghost. Take out whatever is left. Go into the tower if you like. There may be some enemies in there, but other than an active camouflage, there isn't much of interest in there. When you are ready, head past the ice and down the canyon from where the last two Hunters came out.

Go in and down, watching for Shades. You will meet up with a small contingent of Marines at the bottom. Let them mount and pick off the Covenant forces moving down the ramp. Move across the ice, taking out the two Hunters. When you reach the two tall pillars, it will be time to say goodbye to your Scorpion and continue on foot. To the left of the pillars are some supplies hidden amongst the bushes. Grab the rocket launcher that is there.

Move out through the cave, past a handful of enemies, and to the path leading up. Move up slowly, picking off the Grunts. At the top, just behind a rock, is a Shade. Take it out with a rocket, then fall back and help the Marines mop up the Grunts. When you move forward toward the lighted structure, three Banshees will show up. Use the rocket launcher to bring them down, and then turn it on the two Shades along the right wall (if the Marines haven't gotten them first). Head back into the depression to rearm and heal.

Go to the large doors on the right wall of the canyon. As you approach, a couple of Elites will come out; kill them and head inside. Here you will encounter another big round room, just like the ones on either side of the bridge. Also just like the other rooms, it is full of Covenant (Grunts with an Elite for company this time). Make your way around and out the exit on the far side and take the elevator up.

A Jackal awaits you at the top of the elevator, so be ready; three more are in the next room. Take them all out. If you need them, there are supplies and a pistol on top of the pillar in the room the Jackals were in. Head up the ramp and deal with a small horde of Grunts, then turn to your left. The hall dead ends in a few feet but jump up on the ledge on the left wall and look through the hole into the blocking wall. Fire a few shots at the Jackal inside, and, if you are lucky, a Gold Elite will run over to see what is happening. Stick a plasma grenade to him to avoid having to fight him later. Finish working your way around the room (another round one, just like the others). There is a pair of Blue Elites inside, plus the Gold one if you didn't handle him earlier. The exit is on the far side.

You will end up on another bridge. Shoot the nearby Grunts, follow them around the corner on your right, and lob a couple grenades ahead to where they and some Jackals gather. Do not go past the glass on your right. This bridge is only one level, so you won't have to worry about attacks from below, but there is a second bridge running parallel to it. You will have to fight a couple of Elites on your way across, and the last thing you need is to be shot at by the pack of Grunts on the other bridge. Take out your pistol and snipe them from near the glass (which is bulletproof). Once they are dead, continue across the bridge. It can be a tough fight, so stay behind cover whenever you can, and use lots of grenades. One more Elite awaits you in the doorway on the far side.

Kill the Grunts from the protection of this bulletproof glass before going any further.
Inside you will find… you guessed it… another big round room. This one has a pair of Blue Elites, and you will find a pile of supplies on the ground near the exit. Grab the rocket launcher lying here. Carry on through a hall and into another big, round room full of mixed Covenant forces. Kill whatever needs killing, and leave via the exit on the far side.

Assault on the Control Room - cont.

You will find yourself back on the twin bridges, this time on the opposite side. This situation is a bit different; instead of Grunts, the other bridge has a pair of Hunters launching balls of plasma at you. Stay behind the glass until you handle any enemies close to you on your bridge, and then carefully take out the Hunters with your rocket launcher. Continue across and enter the door on the far side. You will enter another big round room full of Grunts. You know what to do. Go down the exit ramp on the far side.

The next area has a pair of Invisible Elites and an active camouflage. Grab it and ready your rocket launcher. The Big Round Room around the corner has a pair of Hunters in it; try to take them out with rockets before the camouflage expires. In the middle is a pair of dead Marines with a nice pile of supplies. Gear up, making sure you have a rocket launcher, and head through the exit. Hold still during the cutscene.

After the cutscene, get ready. Outside the door is a mix of creatures that you will want to take out quickly so that you can concentrate on bigger foes. Open the door and toss a pair of plasma grenades into their midst. Quickly finish off whatever is left and pull out your rocket launcher to deal with the two Banshees that will be strafing you by now. Once they go down, backtrack and grab any supplies that you left behind. Go outside and finish working your way to the other side. Enter the door and pass the checkpoint.

You have a few options here, if you like. That big structure with the ramps that you saw outside is your eventual destination. If you want to give yourself an advantage later on, you can go back and grab the pistol out of the supply room and snipe creatures on the ground below you from the bridge you just crossed. You can also use some rockets to knock the Shades off of the ramps on the structure. None of this is necessary, but it will make things easier later on. I do recommend that you use the rocket launcher to destroy the Wraith mortar tank on the ground below.

When you are finished, go on through the door to the big round room (Jackals and Grunts, this time) and down the ramp into the elevator. Guess what's at the bottom? It's a big round room, this time with an Invisible Elite, Jackals, and Grunts. There are some supplies on the upper floor.

When you exit, you will be on the floor of the canyon you just crossed from above. Turn left and immediately attack the Blue Elite standing there. Kill him before he gets on the Ghost. Hop on the Ghost yourself and clear out the Grunts on the ground near you. There are two Hunters on the first level of the structure; their fuel rod guns are dangerous to you, even on the Ghost, so hop off and take them down with rockets. Do you see the long, angled support extending from the structure way out into the canyon? Walk to the point of that support and go down into the chasm. At the bottom is a huge cache of supplies. Grab what you need, including the sniper rifle, and head back up.

Using the sniper rifle, shoot at whatever you can find on the ramps up to the pyramid. Resourceful players will also note that they can climb up the support itself to give themselves a better vantage for sniping. Once you have cleared everything out, retrieve your rocket launcher and head on up. Take the Ghost; you don't need the firepower anymore, but it is a long, lonely road to the top.

Climb the support to clear your way.
When you get to just below the top level, ditch the Ghost and pull out your rocket launcher. There is a pair of Hunters hiding on the ramps above the door. Once the Hunters have been killed, make sure that you have a full supply of plasma grenades and walk to the panel to the right of the door. Have your weapon of choice ready (the assault rifle is good), and be ready to move quickly.

Activate the panel. The door will open right in the middle. As soon as it cracks open, start lobbing grenades. Throw all four plasma grenades inside as quickly as you can. Inside are a pack of Grunts and a pair of Gold Elites. The grenades should take out most of the Grunts, leaving you free to deal with the deadly Elites.

If that method proves too troublesome, you can also try to activate the panel; quickly throw a plasma grenade on the ground near where the doors open, then and turn and sprint for the ramps behind you. If you are fast enough, none of the Covenant troops will follow you. You can then go the top level and toss more grenades down from safety.

This is a tough fight, and once you win, you will likely be short on health and ammo. Play it cautious--you will not have passed a checkpoint yet, and an accidental death means repeating the entire fight. There may be one or two Elites near the back of the room that survived the initial fight. They will stay there and let you come to them. Once they are defeated, round the corner. Don't worry, you're done. Open two more doors and enjoy the cutscene. Sounds like trouble a'brewin'!

343 Guilty Spark

Overview

This level isn't too long, but it is different from what you are used to. It takes place in a swampland and underground, and introduces you to a new enemy, the Flood. Instead of strategically fighting your way through a few strong enemies like you would the Covenant, the Flood, well, floods every room with massive hordes of enemies, calling for a drastic change in tactics. You will also be given a new weapon, the shotgun.

Walk-through

Hop off the Pelican and head straight to the land behind it. To your left is another Pelican, crashed; follow the sound of the radio transmission to find it. There are supplies nearby if you need them. Continue into the swamp in the direction you were headed when you got off of the ship. You will soon meet some Grunts and a few Jackals. Soon you will see a crashed Covenant dropship. Go underneath it and make an immediate left into a gully in the hill. Follow that gully until it ends, then go underneath the giant fallen tree. Just ahead are some jumbled boulders; go around them to the right, jumping if you need to, and head up the hill to the Shade on top.

Mount up, spin it around, and lay down fire on the enemies that emerge just ahead. When you have cleared out the resistance, make your way to the bottom of the hill and enter the large lighted structure you see. An elevator will emerge; activate the panel and ride it down.

Go around these rocks and get in the Shade at the top of the hill.
Clear out a handful of Grunts and Jackals at the bottom, and exit through the single door. Stay on the ledge in the next room until you finish off the enemies below, then jump down and proceed through the door on the right. Kill the pair of Jackals in the next room and keep going. Something has certainly made a mess, and left more of that dripping green goo! In the next room, jump up onto the ledge and enter the door by the flickering light.

Kill your buddy in the next room, noting all the Covenant that have been splattered on the walls and ceiling, then head for the corner where the fire is burning. Reach the ledge by jumping on the debris, and head up the ramp. Make your way across the ledge to the door on the far side and keep going; the path is straightforward for now. Eventually, you will reach a door and view a cutscene. Master Chief, meet the Flood.

Climb up the rubble right here.
You have a few seconds. Get your assault rifle ready, run to where Jenkins' team bought it and grab more ammo, then get ready. The first wave of Flood Spores will come from the door opposite you. Despite the ease with which they took out the Marines, they really aren't much of a danger. Keep moving and fire your rifle with short bursts to make quick work of them. Let the odd individual hit you rather than waste the ammo on them. Additional swarms will come from every side, one by one. As long as you keep moving, they are easy to take out. The last couple of waves include Flood Warriors--so that is where the Marines' bodies went! Pistol rounds to the head are the most effective way of dealing with them.

Note your new objective: Escape! Turn around and head back the way you came. There are several Warriors at the top of the ramp, so be ready to take them on. In the next room, Covenant forces are engaged in a battle with a large group of Warriors. This isn't an RPG; you don't get experience for killing them, so jump down and dash through the green door on your right while the Covenant troops have them tied up.

343 Guilty Spark - cont.

Another pack of Warriors with a few Spores wait in the next room. Take them out however you like, although the easiest way is still to keep backing away with your flashlight on, using your pistol and aiming for their rather large heads. The next room is more of the same. When you are done, use the crates in the far right corner to jump back up to the ledge above. Exit through the door with the glowing symbols to either side of it. In the next hallway are some med packs and a new weapon--the M90 Shotgun! Exchange your rifle for it and get going. When you get to the elevator room, you will have a chance to test your shotgun out on a few Warriors--nice! A pistol/shotgun combination is one of the best weapon combinations for the rest of the game, being adequate for taking out almost any enemy. Remember not to waste ammo on Spores if there are only a few. Let them hit you; your energy shields will absorb their damage and will recharge after a few seconds.

Unfortunately, instead of taking you to freedom, the elevator takes you down. The Carriers down here carry weapons, both Covenant and UNSC varieties. While the techniques for fighting them remain the same, they are much more dangerous than when unarmed. Wipe them out and enter the open door partially concealed behind a wall. In the next room, you may feel the temptation to stand on the ledge and pistol-snipe the Warriors below. Don't bother--they can easily jump up to your level. Instead, grab an active camouflage and jump down on the right side. The door near where you land is where you are headed; killing the Flood around you is optional.

From inside the door, take either route through the square room. There is one Warrior on each side. Into the next room you go, killing the Flood inside. Hop up the crates in the far corner to make your way onto the ledge running around the room. After going through the door and the room beyond, you will find that you have made it to the other side of the malfunctioning energy bridge you jumped down from earlier. Continue across and into the next room. Dispose of the Warriors you see and continue across. Be careful of the sections with glass floors; Warriors with weapons will shoot the glass out from under you.

Jump down and go through the open door. The next room has a few Warriors and some Spores, but they shouldn't be too tough. Charge the Warriors with your shotgun, and then absorb the hits from the Spores when your shields are ready. Exit through the broken down door on the opposite side (not the one on the ledge). The chamber beyond has a few more Flood in it. Be careful of the two on the upper level as you work your way through. Just to the right of the door you entered from is a concrete structure with a pile of supplies on top. Once you have grabbed what you need, jump from the top of the structure to the low place on the ledge nearby and make your way to the door on the far side of the room.

The next room is packed with Flood troops. Take out those nearby and then worry about the ones on the floor below. If you need to, jump down to the lower level to finish them off. The exit from the lower level will take you back to the room with the supplies. When all the Flood are dead, use the holographic panel to activate the energy bridge. Reload your weapons, because a horde of Warriors will come pouring out of the door on the far side. A frag grenade or two will help. Go on through that door to find another elevator--and this one goes up! Check your fire--the Marines at the top are on your side. Rearm and head outside.

Follow the squad of Marines. They will lead you through the swamp and through various encounters with Warriors and Spores. Help a bit if you want, but the poor fellows are doomed anyway. Eventually, you will end up in a clearing with a strange looking building ahead. Run straight to and toward the other side of the building, ignoring the flying Sentinels, to trigger a cutscene and end the level.

The Library

Overview

The Library is a fairly repetitive level. You will spend the entire thing following a smarmy git of a floating lightbulb around narrow passageways, fighting off hordes of Flood troops. This is a pure action level--you don't have many choices, but you do have plenty of enemies, and plenty of ammunition.

Walk-through

Most of this level makes finding the correct path fairly easy--simply follow the brightly glowing blue Monitor, Guilty Spark 343. Don't strain to keep up, though; it will pause every so often and wait for you. You need to advance more carefully, as you are going to be accosted by hordes of Flood Spores and a number of the newest Flood enemy, the Carrier. Kill them when they are far from you, as they explode when they die, doing massive amounts of damage. For the best results, retreat and wait until the Carriers are surrounded by Spores or near a Warrior before killing them.

This uppity will-o-wisp is Guilty Spark 343. Follow him and everything will be fine. Or will it?
Before long, you will begin to meet Warriors. Be sure to check back where you killed them after the situation is safe; they carry ammunition that you will find absolutely vital. If you are thorough, you can find enough ammunition to continue the assault rifle, pistol, or shotgun, although you will have best results with the last two; the shotgun to take out warriors up close, the pistol for the Carriers and distant Warriors.

Eventually, Spark will lead you to a large door. Wait for him to open it and follow him through. Flood will spawn in for a long time, and there is no real benefit to killing all of them, so just keep moving. Turn right and go toward the intersection ahead. At the end, expect an onslaught from the right. Toss frag grenades if you need to, then turn left and left again. Spark will be just ahead. It will move ahead and into a vent; apparently it is unaware that you are incapable of flight. No matter. Turn right and move straight ahead. Drop down into the first pit you come to for an overshield, and then continue to the end. Make a right and follow the only open path. Resist your temptation to shoot Spark; "…Class 12 Battle Suit" my arse! Soon you will encounter a pack of flying defensive Sentinels. If you need to catch your breath or recharge your flashlight, this is the place. Lots of dead Warriors nearby ensure lots of ammo. The Sentinels shoot any Flood in sight, making this the first safe place you have seen in this level.

When you are ready for more, continue on down to the end of the corridor with the Sentinels and take the passageway cutting off to your left. The area of glowing blue floor just ahead is an elevator. Step up onto it to activate it. When you get to the top, head out through the door and make a left. Follow the emerging Sentinels around the corner to find Spark. He will leave you for a bit, so continue straight ahead. In the pit beneath the hovering Sentinels are some medical packs if you need them. Move ahead to the corner. Your mission objective will change, telling you to hold your position until Spark gets back. You can stand there and practice shooting Flood, or you can go back and wait quietly in the pit with the medical kits. After a few minutes, Spark comes back and opens the door at the end of the hall.

Enter, kill a few warriors, and move to the right. You will encounter some Flood when you approach the yellow lighted area; pistol snipe the Carriers, then finish off the Warriors with your shotgun. As you approach the next lighted area, you will encounter more. Be careful, though--one of these Warriors is armed with a rocket launcher that will take you out in a single shot. Take the Warriors out quickly, preferably starting off with a grenade or two before closing in with the shotgun. When you get to Spark, he will leave you again for a few seconds. A few Spores drop down from above, but nothing else.

When Spark returns, he will open the door. Go through and kill the Flood inside. The room dead-ends, so drop down into the pit near the door and follow the passageway. There are quite a few Carriers that need to be taken out, and you will meet some Warriors at the end of the passage, but it is nothing you can't handle by now. Leave the passage and follow the halls; there is only one way to go. After the first right turn, you will run into a pair of Warriors at the end of the hall wielding rocket launchers. The easiest way of handling them is to stand behind the corner of the wall, step out, snipe at them with the pistol, and then step back around the corner when they fire rockets. Keep going until you end up in another elevator room.

The Library - cont.

Up you go, out, and around the corner. More Sentinels and another underground passage await. When you emerge from the passage, you will be faced with a huge wave of Flood, but the Sentinels are there to help. Give them a hand with some of the Warriors, but let them handle most of the dirty work. When you are done, follow the passageway around until you get a message to wait for Spark. There is a difference between bravery and stupidity; go back and wait by the Sentinels for a couple of minutes.

When enough time has passed, go back to the doors and meet up with Spark. He will open them, allowing you to follow him inside and to the left. Lots of Flood will be waiting for you; kill them and keep pressing forward until you hear Spark babbling by some open doors. Follow him until he disappears into another vent. You will have to go the opposite direction, but you will meet up with him (and any number of Flood) before long.

Go through the partially-open doors. Spark will tell you that he has to go and deactivate the security systems; just to be nice, he closes the other doors behind you. As with the other 'hold your position' missions, you do have some options here. You can stand and fight, or you can go over by the doors that just closed and go down the narrow space right next to it to wait it out. When you hear Spark humming inanely, head out and go through the now open doors. Sentinels will have appeared to help. Follow Spark down to the end and right; a large group of Flood will appear after a second. Help the Sentinels take them out, and then continue around the corner to another elevator room.

Wait here after Spark closes the doors on you to avoid needless combat.
Once the ride stops, get off and leave the elevator room, killing the Carriers just outside. When you round the next corner, you and the Sentinels will be attacked by a huge horde of Warriors. Just keep firing, backing off when your shields need recharging, and gathering ammunition from the fallen enemies. Keep going through another underground passage. As you emerge from the passage, you will be attacked. Do not try to fight the Flood from where you are standing; you will quickly be surrounded, and Carriers will come from the passage itself. Instead, make a left toward the closed doors and get your back into a corner. Make them come to you and you will stand a much better chance of survival.

When Warriors stop spawning, head out, following the hallways. They seem quiet, but watch out for Carriers dropping from the ceiling. You will soon be attacked by one more, smaller group of Flood, after which you will catch up with Spark by some closed doors. Be ready; when the doors open, Flood will come pouring out in droves. A couple of well-placed frag grenades are invaluable here, and can quickly take the enemies down to manageable numbers. Once they go down, you can enter the chamber. You will be set upon by massive hordes of Warriors. Fight them if you want; once you get bored doing so, all you need to do is walk toward the pillar of light in the center of the room to trigger a cutscene and get to the bottom of what has been going on.

Two Betrayals

Overview

The architecture in this level will be familiar. You will be repeating most of the Assault on the Control Room level, only backwards. The level, while physically identical, plays out differently this time as you move through battlefields of Flood and Covenant troops fighting each other (and you). You will also get plenty of chances to fly a Banshee, something that you have been denied up until now, as well as time in several other vehicles you are already familiar with.

Walk-through

After the cutscene ends, things look pretty bad. Don't worry, though--this is actually a very easy fight. On the walkway opposite the control panel are two vertical glass panes. Get behind one of them, as they block the laser fire from the Sentinels. You have in your hand (apparently through divine intervention) a plasma pistol. Charge it up, step out, and fire it in the general direction of one of the Sentinels. The shot will home in on the Sentinel and destroy it. Repeat the process with the others.

When the smoke clears, move toward the large door and activate the panel to get out. Your old friends the Covenant are waiting outside. Watch while they battle the Sentinels, then finish off the winners. Move ahead, opening the first blast door. The second one, which leads outside, will open on a pair of Elites with plenty of backup, so be prepared. When the top level is cleared, you can make your way up the ramps across from the blast door. At the top are some (probably much needed) supplies and some alternate weapons.

The sniper rifle doesn't have much ammunition, but you can use it to clear off the Jackals and Elites from the first couple of levels below you. When done sniping, fight your way through the surviving Jackals, Elites, and Grunts to the last level before the ground. When you receive a message from Cortana about stealing a Banshee, immediately head for the cover of the tunnel nearby. Beyond it is a rocket launcher; grab it. At the bottom of the ramps are a mix of troops, including a Gold Elite, and there is a Wraith tank at the far end of the valley lobbing plasma shells at you. Focus on the Covenant forces at the bottom of the ramps first, using the tunnel for cover from the Wraith. When they are gone, go down the ramp furthest from the Wraith, using the long support for cover from its shells. The Wraith should be fairly easy to take out. If you are in the open when it fires at you, just move directly toward it, causing its shells to land harmlessly behind you. Three rockets should be enough to remove it from the picture.

Grab the Banshee that is sitting at the bottom of one of the ramps and fly it up to the waypoint. Kill the Elite and Grunts on the landing platform, then hop out (be careful--you exit directly out of the back of the vehicle, and it is a long way down). Go inside, approach the glowing beam, and follow instructions. Wait in the middle for a few seconds to let your shields recharge, and then make a run for the door. The room is now full of Sentinels, but it is much, much simpler to just go past them than to try and destroy them all.

You can go into the unlocked doors, but there is nothing to do inside.
Go back out and get in the Banshee again. Your next waypoint is on the bridge in the middle of the canyon. As you approach, a number of Covenant troops will rush out onto the bridge. Time for some fun! Strafe the bridge with the Banshee, using its weapons to clear out the enemy. The alternate fire is especially effective, sending them plummeting over the side on a good shot. If your Banshee becomes heavily damaged, there is another one available on the landing platform you just left. When all of the enemies are dead, land and enter the door marked by the waypoint.

Does this area look familiar? That's right; it is one of the big, round rooms you cleared out earlier. Clear it out again, as it has become infested with Grunts, Jackals, and Elites. Exit out the other side, and then go down the long hallway, killing any Covenant troops you come across. As you reach the end of the hallway, look up the ramp. A bunch of Flood go swarming by. Wait at the bottom of the ramp until the sounds of battle die down, letting the Covenant forces do your work for you.

Two Betrayals - cont.

Head on up; the chances are that the Flood will have lost, probably because of the Gold Elite that is just around the corner. Use two point blank blasts from your shotgun on him, if you still have it with you. Clear out the remaining Covenant forces in the room. There are medical kits and a shotgun near the entrance, and the dead Flood troops should have dropped lots of much-needed ammunition. For right now, the shotgun and either the assault rifle or a plasma rifle make a great combination.

Head on through the door and the hallway beyond. You will find yourself back on the twin bridges. Sit back and wait while your enemies fight amongst themselves. When the battle dies down, head across the bridge. You will have to face another Gold Elite, as well as a number of Jackals. When you are about halfway across the bridge, Warriors will show up on the other side and leap across to your bridge.

The next big round room is full of Flood. Go left after you enter and absorb the hits from the Spores there. Once your shields have recharged, continue on around, killing hordes of Warriors along the way. Head through the door and into the hallway. The Warrior at the far end has a rocket launcher; go right, into the low part of the hallway to get close enough to him to use the shotgun. The next Big Round Room (tm) starts off with a couple of Warriors followed by Carriers. More Warriors wait on the other side. The exit door is full of Spores, but they are close together, so a single quick burst from your rifle will take most of them out.

Ok, now we find ourselves back on the bridges. Go around the barrier to the left and shoot the Carriers you see. Several Warriors will attack, and one should hold a pistol. Trade your rifle in for it and duck back behind the curving wall. Hold your position here and let the Banshees above fight the horde of Flood on the bridge. When the battle subsides, you will have to make your way out on the bridge. If any Flood survive, use the pistol and grenades to take them out from a distance, as many have rocket launchers. Once the Flood are gone, grab one of the aforementioned rocket launchers to take out any surviving Banshees. Grab some more ammo for the launcher and head the rest of the way across the bridge.

Open the door, go through the hallway, and take care of the handful of Spores just inside the next room. Enter; after a second, you will hear an explosion heralding an attack by a number of Warriors and more Spores. Take them out and head for the room exit. Activate the elevator for a ride down. Look up; cute, aren't they? Spores can't open doors, so just leave when you get to the bottom. Go through a few Warriors in the next room, then exit on the ground level.

You will have to move fast here. Run straight out the door and hop on the Ghost parked there (you will have to flip it over first). Turn it around and head to the right, then go down into the big hollow in the middle of the area. You will be safe down here, although you may have to take out another Ghost first; just keep strafing while you fire and it should be easy. Load up your rocket launcher (there are more rockets, plus medical kits if you need them, in the two tunnels down here). Move up the opposite embankment from the one you came down and take aim at the Wraith there. Back off if you need to let your shields recharge. Once the Wraith is down, the Banshee should have taken notice of you. Pull back into the hollow and use the launcher on the Banshee, being careful not to let its flaming shell land on you. You can then get back in your Ghost and clean out the rest of the canyon. When you are done, go down the ramp and through the cave at the bottom.

Somebody stole the tank we left here earlier. Figures. Anyway, around the bend you will find a Warthog and a pile of supplies. Get aboard and head up the ramp. Ignore the Grunts at the top--they are a pain to take out without a gunner. Continue around the corner. Go around the stone pillar past the ice lake on the right side. Two Hunters await, but can be dispatched simply by running them over. On the other side is a pair of Elites and a Shade. Pull the Warthog up next to the stone pillar and you should be able to get out, hop into the gunner's position, and take them all out without any trouble.

Park the Warthog here to take out the Elites and the Shade.
Hop onto one of the Banshees parked just past where the Elites were. Once aboard, take out that annoying Wraith tank. Stay high and his shots will be easy to dodge. It is possible that you will have to fight another Banshee; if so, move around to the opposite side so you won't have to worry about the Wraith. Stay below the top of the pillar. Once the Wraith is gone, get yourself a fresh Banshee and head for the part of the canyon that you entered from. Fly straight up until you are higher than the top of the pillar, then turn around and look back. The top of the pillar is covered with Shades, plus several Elites, including a Gold that will tear your Banshee up with his plasma rifle. You have much better range than they do, though, so stay far back and bombard the top with your alternate fire weapon. In particular, aim for the Shades. If you can flip them over, they won't be a danger anymore, allowing you to move in closer to deal with the Elites. Two new Banshees can be found atop the pillar if yours gets too badly damaged, though they may be tough to get to. When there is nothing left moving, put the Banshee down on the landing pad at the waypoint and head through the door.

Two Betrayals - cont.

Inside, Flood troops are fighting against Sentinels. Hold back until the shooting stops, then move in and make losers out of the winners. Step into the beam again to overload the generator, but be ready for an onslaught of Warriors as soon as you do. Take them out with your shotgun or grenades before heading back outside to your Banshee.

You still don't have a gunner, so forget the Warthog. Take the Banshee into the tunnels down below. Flood and Covenant are fighting about halfway down. If you are feeling destructive, take them out, but be warned that the Covenant has a Shade, and the Flood has a number of Warriors with rocket launchers. If you want to bypass all that, just stick close to the ceiling and fly right past them. You should be able to get past without taking a single shot. When you get to the closed doors, you will have to get out to activate them. They don't open all the way, so you'll have to leave the Banshee behind.

Head across the bridge. You will be met halfway by a number of Spores. One burst of gunfire into each group will remove the majority of them. Warriors will follow. Once you kill the Warriors and reach the end of the bridge, a second group of Warriors will appear. Be ready with a frag grenade, as one of them has a rocket launcher. Go through the two last sets of doors to get outside.

Go up the ramp and move immediately to your left. Head for the tree you see ahead of you on the left, and then to the rocks. There is a Covenant presence on the hill across the valley from you, as well as a Banshee in the air above. After a moment, two groups of Flood will attack the Covenant position. Stay behind the rocks and let them fight. The Flood will likely win, and will hopefully take out the Banshee for you, too. When the fighting has stopped, step out and move toward the Flood. When they charge, toss them a generous number of frag grenades, and then take out the rest with your shotgun.

Go to the site of the battle on the hill and grab a Ghost. The tunnel we brought the tank through last time has been blocked, so take the other route to the next section. Head far enough for the Covenant troops over the hill to notice you, fire on a few, but pull back when you see the Flood arrive. Again, wait until the battle stops and kill the winners. A huge cache of supplies rests by the entrance to the cave at your left; grab the rocket launcher and the sniper rifle. Take the Ghost on up the canyon, taking out the rocket armed Warriors just over the hill. When you get to the ledge, back up and get a running start. Hit the ridge just where it meets the left wall of the canyon and you should sail right up.

Once on the upper level, dismount and climb the tall hill to your left. Flood and Covenant are fighting up the canyon again. Stay back and watch the show; with the amount of plasma that is going to be flying through the air, the last place you want to be is 'in the action.' If any Flood wander too close, use the sniper rifle. Once the fighting has stopped, use the rocket launcher and sniper rifle to clean up the survivors. Use the rockets on the Wraiths first, and then on the Hunters. Focus your limited sniper rounds on the Elites (especially the Gold one). You might want to head back to where you got the sniper rifle and pick up some more versatile weapons before getting up close and personal with the survivors.

Your Banshee is waiting at the far end of the battlefield. Once you've got it, hop aboard and head back for the landing pad at the waypoint. When you arrive, you will have to deal with four Sentinels. You have a huge range advantage over them, so move a good distance ahead, turn to face them and move backwards to simulate a hover. Use your primary weapon to put as much plasma into the air around them as possible. They will eventually go down. Land on the platform and grab what you need from the extensive piles of gear in the area.

This time, the big round room is full of Sentinels. Take them out with your assault rifle and step into the beam. Enjoy the cutscene.

Keyes

Overview

This level is short, but intense. You will need to use everything you have learned so far to take out the hordes of Covenant and Flood forces you will now face. You will start off on Halo, in the dark of night, and end up back aboard the Covenant ship for one heck of a battle.

Walk-through

Head straight down the hall from where you start. At the first intersection, you will see a Grunt go running by, followed by a Warrior. Follow them, but keep back. They will turn a corner and battle it out at the end of the hall. Wait until a couple more Warriors and Grunts join in, then toss a grenade into their midst. Go over and trade that rifle in for a shotgun. Go back the way you came from and go through the unlocked (white-lit) door for some plasma grenades and an active camouflage.

Return to where you got the shotgun and continue past to the pit. Listen to Cortana have her say, then head back around the corner. Uh-oh; lots of Spores are in the hallway, soon to be followed by Warriors. Stay back and use your shotgun on any Warriors that get too close, and don't be afraid to toss a grenade or two down the hall if things get busy. The instant you hear Cortana say that the jump into the coolant sounds good, turn around and head through the door, dropping into the pit. Note: If you aren't worried about breaking the continuity of the story by using foreknowledge, you can just drop into the pit right off the bat without going back to mess with the Flood.

Climb out of the pool of goo. Ahead and to your left you will find an Elite. Take care of him and head through the passageway he was standing in. Around the corner, you will come upon another Flood/Elite battle. Take cover and wait for it to end. The survivors (almost certainly the Flood) will come after you. Take them out. One should drop a pistol; grab it to deal with the two Warriors on the ledge above. When all of the enemy are dead, head up the path under the ledge where the Warriors were. You should be attacked by several Warriors, some of whom will carry shotguns, giving you much needed ammo.

When you get to the top of the ramp, turn right. Cortana will give you a waypoint, and you will be accosted by a group of Warriors and Carriers. When they stop coming, go on around the corner. Pass by the sniper rifle and move to the ledge ahead. Some Hunters are battling swarms of Flood of all types. Wait until the battle ends (or until you get tired of waiting), then jump down and head into the cave. Kill the survivors and go through the narrow opening concealed in the darkness just inside the cave and behind the energy shields.

Keep going until you see some glowing spots ahead indicating the presence of some Grunts and a Shade. Move close, but hold your fire. A number of Warriors and Carriers will attack them from the left. The Grunts have no chance, and won't help you much, so toss a frag grenade near the Shade once the Warriors have gathered around it. If you time it right, the Carriers will be caught in the blast, and everything on the hill will die spectacularly. Move on. You will reach a drop off; drop off and go around the corner until you come to another battle in progress. Use a grenade to kill the survivors, and then use your pistol to snipe the Warriors off of the ledges above. On around the corner you go, and a new objective will present itself.

Hold your position until the fighting stops. When it does, fire your pistol at any surviving Flood you see, and then take out the rest that come charging forward. When the last one dies, run ahead around the left side of the shimmering purple column that represents the gravity lift, then up the ramp to the top. After a second, a cutscene will start, taking you to the Covenant ship.

This shimmering purple beam is the gravity lift, but you will have to fight your way to the top of the hill to use it.
Go through the open door with the dead Grunts on the threshold. Follow the passageway to the shuttle bay. Clear out the Flood that are visible on the lower level, but be ready for the Warriors that will soon attack you on yours. When you are done, exit through the unlocked door. Head down the passageway. You will eventually reach a spot where Warriors and Carriers drop from the ceiling in pairs. They will keep spawning, two at a time, for quite a while. There is no need to fight them all if you don't want to, but this is a fantastic opportunity to stock up on ammunition, especially for the shotgun. Just keep killing them until they have dropped enough for your needs, then continue on.

Keyes - cont.

Just like the last time you were aboard, all of the doors are locked except for the ones that lead to your destination. Keep going and you will end up in the shuttle bay. In one corner you will find a medical pack and an overshield. There is only one way out, but expect heavy resistance from Warriors around the first turn. Drop into the hole in the floor to continue; if you want to save yourself some stress, drop a couple of grenades down first.

Around the corner is another battle. Sit back and wait your turn. Kill any survivors, and then get ready for a nasty battle. Around the next corner is a Red Elite, and beyond him are two Blues. Get the Red's attention, have him follow you back around the corner, and take him down quickly with your shotgun. Go around and toss two or three plasma grenades into the crowd at the bottom of the ramp. As soon as they are dead, head down, around the corner, and straight into the passageway on the right. If you do not, packs of Flood will spawn on both sides of you, making for a very difficult battle.

You will find yourself in another shuttle bay. Ignore the door to your left and stick to the walkway. Pay no attention to the Elites in the center and run right past them to the door in the corner opposite the one you entered from. The route is obvious, but full of enemies. Keep back and let them fight with each other to minimize the risk to yourself, but be ready to take on the occasional Elite or Warrior whose attention you attract.

When you get out onto the top ledge around the shuttle bay, turn right and make for the door in the distance. Lots of Flood will come pouring out, so be ready to greet them with a couple of frag grenades. Plow your way through the survivors with your shotgun and enter the door. Get up a short ramp for a mini-cutscene, then keep going.

When you come to an Elite fighting Flood just ahead of you, again stop and wait. There is a medical pack in the passageway to your left if you need it. Once the fight is over, run straight ahead until you see a Red Elite step out at the end of the hall, then run back to where the medical kit was. More Flood should have entered from the left, and, with luck, will start a fight with the Red Elite. Kill the survivors, and be ready for more Flood to come from the second passageway. Use plenty of grenades, as the Warriors can become fairly thick here.

Stay back and let these fellows fight amongst themselves. There is a medical kit immediately to the left, if you need it.
When you are ready, head through the only door that doesn't dead end and get up onto the platform. Ick. When the cutscene finishes, you will be between a rock and a hard place. The door at the bottom-right will open, admitting a huge group of Flood, and the door you came in through will be packed with Covenant forces. Play bait; run to the door you came in through, coming just close enough to open it, then run for the nearest cubbyhole along the wall. The Flood and Covenant forces should fight each other, leaving much less for you to worry about.

Wait for the chaos to die down, then rush out and clean up the remnants. When you can, go through the door you came in through and backtrack. When you get to the shuttle bay, you will again be in a difficult situation. There is an Elite with Black Grunts to the right of the door and another set of the same straight ahead. If you walk out the door, you will be in a nasty crossfire. Use grenades if you can to take out at least one of the teams from inside the passageway, ducking back in to recharge your shields as needed, and then take out the second team with whatever you have left.

You now need to get to the Banshees on the lower level. Go to the edge of the ledge and try to pistol snipe some of the Grunts below; less to worry about later. Use a grenade on the Shade near the middle. Follow the ledge to the right until you can jump down to the middle level. Rest a second to bring your shields back up, then invest the remainder of your grenades on the two Elites below. Try tossing one beyond them, and then immediately drop one on your side of them. With luck, they will dodge the first one straight toward the second. Catch your breath and try to jump directly on top of one of the Banshees.

The Maw

Overview

You are back where you started, aboard the Pillar of Autumn. You are going to be facing the same foes, but lots and lots of the strongest versions of them. It is tough, but it is doable. This is the endgame; Trust me, it is a wild ride, and you'll go out with a bang.

Walk-through

Quit laughing and head through the hatch straight ahead. Pull out your plasma rifle and take care of the Sentinels that come in to either side of you. Go to the end of the corridor, into the access tube, and down the ladder, leading with a grenade to take out some Carriers below. At the bottom you will have to deal with three more Sentinels, so be ready. Continue down the passageway until you meet some Warriors. Take them out with your assault rifle, then swap it for a shotgun.

When you come to a set of doors bulging in the center, be ready with your shotgun. As soon as it bursts open, fire several shots inside, killing a score of Spores and setting off a Carrier that will, hopefully, take out everything else in the room. Keep going. Eventually, you will come upon a Hunter. Wait until he knocks down the door to the next area, then step into the room he was in. There is a pistol there; swap the plasma rifle for it and kill the Hunter. Two medical packs can be found in the side room off of the hallway if you need them.

The mess hall past the Hunter is a nasty area, with several Black Elites, another Hunter, and some Black Grunts with fuel rod guns. Do as much damage as you can from the two doorways with plasma grenades before going inside to finish the job. As you move through the room, stick close to the left wall. As you near the back of the room, two more Black Elites and some Grunts will enter. Be ready with lots of grenades.

Continue through the door they came in from. Just ahead and to your left is the door leading to the bridge. As you might guess, Black Elites and Grunts are inside. Grenades are your best bet once again, followed by your shotgun. Head inside and to the front of the bridge to activate a cutscene.

After the cutscene, you will be point blank with four Sentinels. Don't try for style, just fire as quickly as you can. They are close enough that the shotgun becomes very effective against them. When they go down, go back out the way you came in. The door to the mess hall will be closed, and a different one further down will have opened. Inside are a good number of Warriors; kill them and continue on.

Turn your flashlight off and ready your pistol before you exit the next door. Very carefully peek around the corner. There are two Hunters at the end of the hall with an Elite. Pick off one of the Hunters now, and toss the Elite a pair of plasma grenades. Take the other Hunter normally. If things go badly, there is a medical kit near the (now dead) Elite.

Now take the only open door out of this hallway. Soon you will come across a number of Sentinels firing on Spores. Use the distraction to charge up close and take the Sentinels out with your shotgun. Crouch under the broken door, take out another pair of Sentinels and continue on. When you hear shooting, stop and wait. Flood are fighting Sentinels in the next room. If you are injured, hop over the familiar-looking pipes for a medical kit.

When the noise dies down, enter the room where the battle was taking place. Kill off whatever is left and climb one of the ladders to get to the control room above. When you do, you will encounter lots of Flood troops, including some that enter into the room below you. Fight them off, and then take the left exit out of the control room. When you hit the large grey hallway, make a right and enter the access tube.

When you see weapons fire ahead, stop. That is Hunters versus Sentinels, and you don't want to be between them. The left and right branches of the tube lead to supplies. When you have what you need, and nothing is blowing up outside, stick your head out. Flood will likely come from ahead and to your left, and will go into battle with the survivors of the first fight. Pull your head back in and wait a bit more. When things have finally died down, exit the tube and head right. Go all the way down to the end, following the arrow on the floor that says, "Armory".

The Maw - cont.

Ah, the armory, full of guns, ammo, invisible Flood… Yep--some Warriors seem to have gotten into the active camouflage bin. They shimmer fairly obviously, and aren't really any harder to take out than the Warriors you are used to. Grab ammo for your shotgun, and swap your pistol for a rocket launcher, and stock up on Grenades. Backtrack and follow the other arrow that says, "Engineering".

Follow the passageways, taking the right branch after the mini-cutscene. Don't wait around after you enter the big room. Go to the right, up the ramp and toward the far corner. Make a mental note of the positions of the health kits you see on the way. Enemies will enter the room; only pay attention to the ones that get in your way. Go up the ramp marked "Level 2," which will lead you to another marked, "Level 3." Activate either panel and one of the exhaust manifolds will retract. Now you will be given a new waypoint. Go down to the floor below and you will see that the waypoint is on a vent some distance above the floor. You need to get an explosive deep down inside this vent. You can do this by throwing a grenade, or you can do it by launching a rocket. You will have to fire the rocket from a distance, and may have to jump in the air to get the rocket inside. The reticule will turn red when the time is right to fire. The rocket is easier once you figure out how to pull it off.

Get a grenade or rocket deep inside one of these vents.
Ok, now you know what to do; head back up to level three and do it all over again with the other panel and the next exhaust port. The good news is that you can leave and go back to the armory any time you like to get a different weapon or more ammo.

The two manifolds on the other side of the room are a bit of a pain to get to. You will have to jump up some barrels and across the top of all three manifolds to get to the ramp to the third floor. You can save yourself some hassle after the first one by jumping down onto the manifold as it retracts, riding it across the room. You can throw a grenade from here, and won't have to do as much jumping to get back to the final panel.

Once the last one is destroyed, go back up as if you were going to do it again, but go through the passageway that is full of flames (your shields will protect you), then make a left and go through the door. Follow the passageways until you come to a dead end. An elevator will arrive after a second, covered with Grunts and an Elite. Spare no ammo; just kill them and get on.

This is the way out. Your shields will protect you from the flames if you move fast.
When it stops, get out, grab a medical kit, and get into the first Warthog you see. You have six minutes to get out, and, to make things fun, you only get one checkpoint. Forget anything but driving. You will enter a long room; floor it and stay in the middle. You will go over jumps and under the floor, but just keep it fast and straight and you will get through without much trouble. If you flip or crash, get back in and keep going; forget about fighting. When you get to the curving hallway, avoid the little ramps. In the room just past it, you will likely have to go around the first couple of obstacles. Take the underground route just past them to avoid the Sentinels and keep going. Just continue driving as fast as you can manage toward the waypoint.

When you get close, Cortana will tell you to stop. This is another place where you can wait it out for story continuity, or you can just floor it and go. The dropship won't make it; it will be shot down and you will be given a new waypoint further on. Keep going; you will pass your checkpoint in a second. The next section isn't as tough as the areas you just went through.

Soon Cortana will tell you to floor it; floor it and line up for the jump. Oops! You missed, didn't you? No matter--you were expected to miss. Hop back in and keep going. In a second you will come to a passageway blocked with barrels. Jump out and run; you are almost there. Spray ammo and grenades at anything in your way. When you get to the ship, enjoy the cutscene.

Dust and echoes.

Multiplayer

General Strategies

  • Your team color may change between levels; always check which team you are on before you start shooting. By default, your own teammates have a green triangle above their heads (although this may be turned off by the server).
  • The game type icon in the upper part of the screen will have a blue background, but the image in the icon itself will be of your team color, either red or blue. This is the fastest way of checking which team you are on.
  • The announcer at the beginning of a match sometimes announces variants of a game type by the name of the overall type. For instance, Team Slayer, Classic Phantoms, and Classic Rockets will all be announced as 'Slayer'. Do not rely on the announcer alone to recognize what type of game you are playing.
  • The single-player campaign is great for learning the controls and the weapons of Halo, but expect human players to act and react very, very differently than the AI did. Different strategies are required to succeed.
  • You will not have time to pick and choose weapons in multiplayer. Learn to look for weapons on the ground, and to recognize them from a distance. Pick them up while you run by without stopping. Ready the weapon you want to discard and be ready to push the action key as soon as the image of the weapon appears in your HUD--there is plenty of time, and holding still while you pick a weapon up will get you killed.
  • Practice, practice, practice. If you really want to do well, learn the maps. Set up a LAN game (you don't need a LAN to do this) on any of the maps, and learn as much about that map as you can. Learn the quickest routes, find out where the best weapons are hidden, practice driving that Warthog from your base to the enemy's. Look for hidden spots for snipers, shortcuts for carrying flags, and places to dodge vehicles. The better you learn the maps, the better off you will be when you sit down to play.

Weapon and Vehicle Tips

  • One of the secrets to successful multiplayer is to carry the correct combination of weapons. The flamethrower and the shotgun, by example, are both short-ranged weapons, and you will be in trouble if you carry them together across an open field. It would be much better to have, say, the flamethrower with the pistol or energy rifle so you will be able to handle any combat situation.
  • Think of plasma grenades as distractions, not as weapons. True, you might get lucky and stick one to an opponent, or have someone come around a corner onto one, but most of the time, the bright glow and three-second delay will be more than enough for other players to avoid them. Don't be afraid to toss them, just don't expect the spectacular results you had in single player.
  • Frag grenades, on the other hand, are much more effective. They are hard to spot (and, thus, to dodge), and they explode after about a second. This doesn't give other players much time to get out of the way even when they do spot them.
  • The assault rifle is one of the worst weapons for multiplayer. Human players are too agile to stay in the sights long enough for the damage to add up significantly.
  • The pistol is one of the better weapons for multiplayer. It can be used against long-range targets, but has a fast-enough rate of fire to make it useful for close-quarters confrontations. The pistol's damage is enough that a few well-placed shots can take down an opponent's shields and another can finish him off.
  • The sniper rifle is great if you are in a position to use it as intended, but its slow rate of fire makes it almost useless against human players once they get too close to use the scope. If you miss one shot without the scope, your opponent will be on top of you before you can get a second shot. If you carry a sniper rifle, carry a shotgun, pistol, or flamethrower for protection.
  • The shotgun and flamethrower are great at close-range, but if you are further than a few yards from an opponent, they are almost completely useless.
  • A charged shot from a plasma pistol can completely drain the shields from an opponent. It is extremely valuable in this regard, especially against unaware targets.
  • When fired at a human player, rockets are hard to hit with and easy to dodge. Splash damage is harder to dodge, so aim at the ground beneath their feet, or at a wall they are standing next to and catch them in the explosion.
  • Don't wait for targets with the sniper rifle at maximum zoom. You will only be able to see a tiny area, and will lose track of the rest of the battlefield. Watch an area for targets with the rifle zoomed in half way, then zoom in the rest of the way when a target appears. After you kill your target, zoom back out.
  • Often, the most effective use of vehicles is as weapons. Getting hit by any vehicle results in a kill, so even the relatively weak Ghost can be effective for clearing out a group of enemies who are, say, trying to defend a flag.
  • Vehicles make great cover. If you are approaching an enemy base and need to get out, position the vehicle so that you get out with it between you and them.
  • Put the nose of your Scorpion against a wall, spin the turret around, and frustrate those pesky snipers.
  • LAAG guns on a Warthog tend to be more accurate when fired in short bursts, but the effect is irrelevant unless the target is distant. For close targets, just keep your finger on the trigger.
  • If you are up against a Scorpion, the driver is actually fairly exposed to incoming fire. Use a pistol or sniper rifle to target the driver and remove the tank quickly from play. If you are the one in the tank, avoid this by either turning constantly (making it hard for snipers to line up a shot) or by driving front-first into a wall, then stopping and turning just the turret around.
  • Don't fire directly at an opponent with a needler; the shots are easy to dodge. Move your point of aim around, firing some shots to the left of the target, some to the right. The homing ability of the projectiles will draw them to your victim. Keep moving while you do this, and your opponent will find the needles coming at him from all directions, making them tough to dodge.
  • Any time you are not actively fighting, reload your weapons. If you don't, you will likely have to reload while being shot at.
  • When you are being pursued, bounce a grenade off of a wall or object directly in front of you just before you turn. With practice (and luck), they will bounce over your head and land behind you, ready for your pursuer.
  • If being chased by a vehicle, never turn and run. Doing so makes you an easy target. Face your pursuer, and be ready to dodge. Run one way, then when he gets close, dodge in the opposite direction. Head for trees, other vehicles, or buildings. These all make you harder to run down.
  • Practice, practice, practice, part II. If you want to get good with vehicles and weapons, practice with them. Start a LAN game of Slayer on Death Island. It will be you, alone, on the island. Death Island has every weapon and vehicle in the game available, and has both open and enclosed areas, allowing you to practice with all of them to your heart's content.

Multiplayer Gameplay Modes

Slayer

Slayer is your traditional deathmatch mode. In Slayer, everybody is on their own, and the goal is to kill as many of your opponents as possible. The first person to make a certain number of kills (25 by default) wins the match. If nobody has reached the score by the end of a time limit, the player with the most kills wins.

Slayer strategies are both simple and complex. Know your weapons and how to use them effectively against human opponents. Learn your way around the maps so that you know how to find power-ups, medical kits, and your favorite weapons. Keep moving; if you stand still for more than a few seconds, you will likely die. Slayer is the simplest of the game modes, but represents the core gameplay of all of the other modes. Get good at Slayer and you can excel in any mode.

Variants:
Team Slayer
Team Slayer is just like Slayer, except that the players are divided into two teams. Instead of individual kills, the first team to get to a higher number of total kills (normally 50) wins. Play just like you would Slayer, but just be careful with area-of-effect weapons (like grenades, rockets, and flamethrowers); it is easy (and bad) to kill your own teammates.

Classic Slayer
This variant is just like Slayer, but the default number of kills required to win is 15 instead of 25. Don't expect to see PC-version weapons in Classic Slayer, either.

Classic Slayer Pro
This Slayer variant keeps the number of kills required to win at 25, but each player starts the game with a pistol, an assault rifle, and two grenades. PC-version weapons and vehicles are absent.

Classic Team Slayer
Just like regular Team Slayer, the first side to get 50 kills wins. To balance things out between experienced and new players, each time you get a kill, it slows you down a bit. Each time you die speeds you up. Only X-Box version weapons and vehicles will be found.

Classic Elimination
Using only weapons and vehicles from the original X-Box version of Halo, Classic Elimination plays a lot like Slayer, except that each player has only one life. The last player left alive is the winner.

Classic Phantoms
Classic Phantoms is a variation on the Classic Slayer theme. In it, every player has a permanent active camouflage. In other words, every player is invisible, save for a slight telltale shimmering effect. Your targets have waypoints, though, making it possible to find them.

Classic Endurance
Classic Endurance is a unique take on Slayer. The basics are simple: every player has only five lives, and the first player to score ten kills wins. To make it more complicated, every time you die, your respawn wait time increases by five seconds. Every time you make a kill, it decreases by five seconds. To add to the confusion, one player must always be dead. Therefore, every time you die, you must wait until another player dies to take your place before you can respawn.

Classic Rockets
In Classic Rockets, every player spawns with only a rocket launcher. Furthermore, the only weapons you will find will be more rocket launchers (or grenades). To increase the carnage, motion trackers are disabled in this mode. Keep moving, and remember to aim at the ground or a wall instead of at your victim, and you'll do fine.

Classic Snipers
This is very similar to Classic Rockets, but here everybody has a sniper rifle and a pistol (plus a pair of grenades).

Multiplayer Gameplay Modes - cont.

Oddball

In Oddball, once all the players have spawned, a skull will spawn somewhere on the map, and a waypoint will be placed at its location. The skull can be picked up and carried like a ball. The goal is to be the first player to have carried the skull for a total of two full minutes. This is not consecutive; you can carry the skull for twenty seconds, be killed, and get it again later for an additional ten seconds and so on until your total reaches two minutes.

I have this rather odd ball. If I can hold on to it for a total of two minutes, I will win.
Just to make it more of a challenge, you will have a waypoint on you and a big floating icon over you while you have the skull, letting everybody know exactly where you are. If you try to fire a weapon, you will drop the skull. You aren't completely defenseless; the skull can be used as an effective melee weapon. You can take the skull in a vehicle, but you don't get credit for the time you are aboard.

Variants:
Team Oddball
Played just like regular Oddball, Team Oddball adds up the times of the individual players on each team. The first team to achieve two total minutes with the skull wins. Strategy is simple. If you don't have the skull, get it; if you do have it, stay out of the way. If someone on your team has the ball, kill everyone who tries to take it from them.

Classic Oddball
Classic Oddball plays just like the regular version, except that all weapons and vehicles introduced in the PC version of the game have been removed from play.

Classic Team Ball
"Classic Team Oddball" would have been a more accurate name for this one, as it is essentially the team version of Classic Oddball.

Juggernaut

Juggernaut is a bit like Slayer, except that one player is the Juggernaut, doing significantly more damage than the other players. When somebody kills the Juggernaut, they become the next Juggernaut. 15 kills wins the game.

Variants:
Classic Juggernaut
This is a lot like regular Juggernaut, but it only takes ten kills to win. Don't expect to see any weapons or vehicles from the PC version of Halo in Classic Juggernaut, either.

Classic Stalker
The gameplay of Classic Stalker is much the same as in Classic Juggernaut, except that instead of being strong, one character is invisible.

Classic Reverse Tag
The first player in a game of Classic Reverse Tag to get a kill becomes 'It.' When you are It, you get a nice, big, visible waypoint over your head to make you easy to find, and you begin to move more slowly. If anyone kills you, they become It. The first player to spend two cumulative minutes as It wins the game.

Classic Accumulate
Classic Accumulate is very similar to Classic Reverse Tag. The main difference is that, while you are It, every kill you make while you are It increases the speed of your timer. If you are killed your timer speed is set back to normal. The time goal to win Classic Accumulate is five minutes rather than two. You have to find a balance between keeping out of harm's way to accumulate time and making kills to accumulate time faster.

Multiplayer Gameplay Modes - cont.

King

King is King of the Hill. Once the game starts, a waypoint will appear showing the way to a small area fenced in with a yellow border. If you are inside the border, you will begin to accrue time. The goal is to be the first person to reach the pre-designated amount of time spent 'on the hill' (inside the border). The time is cumulative, and the normal goal is two minutes.

Of course, every other person out there wants to be on the hill too, and they want to make sure that you are not. As a result, the hill is a very dangerous place to be. Remember: you don't get points for killing, so focus on spending as much time on the hill as possible. If other people want to play Slayer around the base, let them; they won't be the ones winning the match!

Variants:
Team King
This is played just like King, except that everybody is on a team, and gains time as a team. Note that although you can have multiple people on the hill at the same time, only one person from one team will actually add to the team's score. If you look around and see that there are five people from your team inside of the border, go outside and help defend the area, killing any opponents who come close.

Classic King
This has essentially the same gameplay as King, except that weapon and vehicle placement is that of the original X-Box version. Don't expect any fuel rod guns or flamethrowers!

Classic King Pro
This plays like Classic King, except that each player starts with a pistol, assault rifle, and grenades.

Classic Team King
A team-based version of Classic King.

Crazy King
Crazy King works just like King, except that the area designated as 'the hill' moves every few minutes. You have to keep on your toes and be ready to move to the next location if you want to do well here.

Classic Crazy King
Just like Crazy King, but without the PC-version weapons and vehicles.

Race

When a Race game starts, a waypoint will be given. When you reach that waypoint, another will appear somewhere else. There is a series of these waypoints, and hitting all of them in order gives you a 'lap.' The first player to make three complete laps wins the game.

Naturally, you can shoot your opponents, and it is a good way of slowing down a close competitor, but, in the end, it is finished laps that win the game. Vehicles are a great boon in Race games, and are often hotly contested. If you want to do well in Race, load up some maps in LAN mode by yourself and get good at driving.

Variants:
Team Race
Team Race plays just like Race, except that the first team to have every member complete all three laps wins the game. While it can be valuable to have someone stay back and prevent the enemy from completing laps, it is important to avoid letting yourself get too far behind. Likewise, if you are leading the pack in laps, consider spending a few minutes disrupting the enemy's laps. Once you have completed your three laps, go entirely on the offense. Note that a single waypoint well-defended by a few players who have completed their laps can effectively prevent the enemy from advancing.

Classic Race
Classic Race, like the other Classic games, removes all of the weapons and vehicles found in the PC version that weren't in the original. Other than that, the premise is the same as Race mode, above.

Classic Team Race
Just like Team Race, except that the PC-version vehicles and weapons have been removed.

Classic Rally
Classic Rally is a lot like Race, except that instead of trying to complete laps, you receive one point for every waypoint you reach. The first player to score 15 points, wins. As in Race, if you want to win, put killing on the back burner and focus on hitting those waypoints!

Classic Team Rally
Using the same scoring system, Classic Team Rally gives the win to the first team to have every one of its members collect five points.

Multiplayer Gameplay Modes - cont.

CTF

CTF stands for Capture the Flag. This is a team-based game wherein each team has a pre-designated base. Inside of that base is a flag. The goal is to go to the opposing team's base, steal their flag (by touching it), and bring it back to your own base. When you touch the enemy's flag to yours, you win a point. The first team to achieve a certain number of these points wins the game.

I have the enemy flag and just need to take it back to my base to score. Note the red flag icon in my HUD; this shows that I am on the red team.
It is important to work as a team if you want to succeed at CTF. If everybody goes after the enemy flag, then your opponents will have no trouble at all stealing yours. If everybody guards your flag, then your team will never score a point. Pay attention to what the rest of the team is doing. If lots of people are after the enemy flag, stay at the base and concentrate on defending your flag.

When you hear that the enemy has your flag, those players that are free should go after the enemy to get the flag back (by killing the carrier and touching the flag). Under no circumstances should everybody go, though! It is not unheard of to have two players go toward a flag, one hide, and the other grab the flag, leading the enemy off on a chase, then getting killed. The flag is returned to the base, and the player who was hiding takes it and runs it home by a different route while their opponents are halfway across the map from chasing the first guy.

Variants:
Classic CTF
Classic CTF is just like regular CTF, except that the PC-version weapons and vehicles (flamethrowers, fuel rod guns, Banshees, and Warthog LAAVs) have been removed, and it is not necessary to have your flag at your home base to make a capture.

Classic Iron CTF
This is like Classic CTF, plus every player spawns with double health, and each side has Scorpion tanks!

Classic CTF Pro
In this variation, each player starts off with a pistol, an assault rifle, and a pair of grenades. Only weapons and vehicles from the original version of Halo can be found on the maps.

Assault

Assault is a reversal of CTF. One team is on defense, the other on offense. The team on offense has a flag spawn in their base, just like in CTF, but this time the flag belongs to the enemy. The goal is to take the flag to the enemy's base, to their flag point. The goal of the defenders is to prevent this from happening by guarding the base. After a set period of time, the roles switch.

If you are on the offense, stick together. The enemy, if they have a well-organized defense, will easily kill players who trickle in one at a time, and any enemies you kill on a one-man rampage will just respawn again nearby before the flag gets there. The net result is that you will have achieved nothing. Furthermore, when the flag party approaches the enemy, go hard on the attack, killing as many and as quickly as possible to let the flag carrier in.

If you are on the defense, don't go hunting. Stay close to the base and defend. Don't bunch up too much, or a lucky enemy grenade or rocket can take out half of the defenders at once. Finally, if you die, get back to the base as quickly as possible.

Variants:
Classic Invasion
Classic Invasion is a variation on Assault that doesn't use any of the weapons or vehicles introduced with the PC version of Halo. The first team to get three points wins, but you only get five lives.

Vehicles and Equipment

Vehicles

There are a number of different vehicles that you will have the opportunity to control in single and multi player modes. While one may move faster than another, or one may turn slower, all of them are controlled more or less identically.

The instinctive thing to do when you try to drive a vehicle is to attempt to steer it with the mouse. Don't! Each vehicle has a reticule of some sort. Simply point that reticule where you want to go and let the Master Chief handle the steering. The difference is a subtle one, but it is the secret of effective driving in Halo. If you try to steer with the mouse, you will find yourself making small course adjustments as you skid and turn; this will usually just make the situation worse, as it causes the Master Chief to overcompensate. If you just keep the reticule on your destination, the Master Chief will handle the tiny steering adjustments automatically and much more efficiently than you can.

UNSC Vehicles

M808B Scorpion MBT (Main Battle Tank)
The Scorpion is the most powerful vehicle you will have the opportunity to drive in Halo. It is effective against every enemy you come across, killing almost anything with a single shot from its massive main gun.

The tank is almost impossible to turn over, and almost impervious to most weapons. Its main gun has a slow rate of fire, but the secondary fire weapon is a machine gun with infinite ammunition.

It moves fairly slowly, however, and the driver is slightly exposed while in the cockpit. This means that in a multiplayer game against experienced players, a driver will likely be killed by snipers before he becomes too much of a threat. The Scorpion's slow speed makes this tough to counter, but constantly changing your course and turning while lining up a shot can be a start.

M 12 Warthog LRV (Light Reconnaissance Vehicle)
The M 12 Warthog LRV is Halo's signature vehicle. Half dune buggy, half monster truck, the Warthog is just plain fun to drive. In fact, a whole community has grown up around the sport of 'Warthog Jumping.' In addition, in the proper situation, it can be a dangerous enemy.

The Warthog is fast, agile, and offers good protection to the driver. The only real drawback is that the driver has no weapons--none at all! The Warthog is only effective when crewed by one or two additional people, be they AI or human teammates. The Warthog is mounted with an M1 LAAG machine gun that can be used to good effect, and the person in the passenger seat can fire any weapon he is armed with, including rocket launchers, sniper rifles, and fuel rod guns.

In team multiplayer, the Warthog's ability to carry three players and move quickly can be taken advantage of, turning it into a high speed troop transport. If you are not playing a team-based game, the Warthog becomes useless as anything but a fast transport or a stationary gun platform.

M 12A1 Warthog LAAV (Light Anti-Armor Vehicle)
The M 12A1 Warthog is essentially identical to the M 12, above, except that the M1 LAAG machine gun has been replaced with a triple-barreled rocket launcher. This vehicle is unique to the PC version of the game.

The M 12A1's rocket launcher can do significant damage to an enemy, but still suffers from the same drawbacks as the M 12.
The rocket launcher is a very effective weapon, and can be used to fire three shots in rapid succession. Once all three shots have been fired, though, there is a reload period of around four seconds during which the weapon is useless. It is important for the gunner to be aware of this and to manually reload the launcher if it has been fired and there is no target immediately in sight. It can be useful for defense if parked near a base in a multiplayer game, acting almost as a stationary turret.

*Pelican Dropship
The Pelican dropship is the UNSC's troop insertion vehicle. You will never have the chance to pilot it, but you will spend a great deal of time aboard them during the single-player campaign.

Covenant Vehicles

Shade stationary gun
The Shade is a stationary, mounted gun with multiple barrels spewing out plasma shots. It can be fairly effective in the right situation, but its drawbacks prevent it from being too useful.

The individual plasma shots don't do all that much damage, requiring multiple hits to take down opponents. Unfortunately, the Shade's plasma shots move slowly and are easy to dodge. This means that it is effective against a slow-moving vehicle or aircraft, or when focused on a bottleneck (like a doorway), but is much less effective against infantry opponents in the open. It serves fairly well against the AI in single-player mode, but is only a distraction in multiplayer.

The gunner is extremely vulnerable to any fire from the sides and rear, and the fact that he is stationary makes him an easy target for snipers.

In the single-player campaign, you will find these manned by Grunts. If you kill the Grunt gunner, another will often take his place, creating a danger when you least expect it. To prevent this, a rocket, plasma ball (from a Banshee) or a grenade can be used to flip the Shade over. Most of the Shades in multiplayer are locked down, preventing this strategy from working.

Ghost
The Ghost is a lightly-armored, fast moving Covenant vehicle. It is armed with twin plasma guns that fire in fully-automatic mode, with a useful side effect of sometimes slowing an enemy soldier or vehicle down. It is also one of the easiest vehicles to tip over.

The Ghost is fast, small, and easily maneuvered. It can strafe, making it useful against other, more slow moving vehicles, but its real advantage is in its speed. It is great for situations where you want to move fast, and is good for getting through enemy lines, as its size and velocity make it hard to hit.

The Ghost is not a combat vehicle. It is very lightly armored, and its weapons don't pack a lot of punch. If enemies are far away, you may have an advantage in the range of the Ghost's weapons, but don't get into a prolonged fight up close. A good player on foot has an advantage over one on a Ghost up close.

Banshee
The Banshee is the Covenant's ground attack aircraft. While the manual says that it is very fast, that seems to be a relative term. It will outrun other vehicles in the game, but it actually moves more slowly than what you would expect for an aircraft. In multiplayer, the Banshee is only usable on the PC version of Halo.

It is armed with two weapons. The primary is a twin plasma burst, fully automatic, with limitless ammunition. This is a good general attack weapon, capable of doing significant damage to vehicles and troops.

The secret of effective Banshee use is learning to use the primary and secondary fire modes together.
The secondary attack is a plasma ball similar to that fired from the fuel rod gun. Upon impact, it creates a large explosion with good splash damage, capable of throwing a Warthog or Shade a good distance. Like the primary weapon, the ammunition is limitless, but the weapon has a long recharge rate. The plasma ball's trajectory is sharply curved, and it will take some practice to learn how high to aim to hit distant targets.

The Banshee is fairly easy to fly. Just get in and point the cursor where you want to go, including up or down, and hit your forward key. The Banshee cannot hover; it has to be moving to stay airborne. This can be overcome by flying backwards. The backward motion of the Banshee is extremely slow; slow enough to function as a hover, allowing you to bombard enemies below.

It can be effective to rush forward until high over a target, then immediately move the cursor down and switch to backward movement. This will cause you to become almost stationary for aerial bombardment.

If you don't use either acceleration key, the Banshee will drop quickly. This can also be used to your advantage as a method to get low quickly, either to get out of fire or into a better position to attack from.

The real drawback to the Banshee is that it is somewhat fragile. Most weapons don't do a great deal of damage, but a rocket launcher or Shade will take a slow-moving Banshee down very quickly. Stay high to avoid weapons fire and use the extreme range of your weapons to attack, or learn to make quick, strafing attacks in dense terrain where you will be able to get quickly behind a mountain or tree.

*Covenant Dropship
You will encounter a number of Covenant dropships in the course of the single-player campaign, although you will never have the opportunity to control one (at least, not directly).

They carry a number of Covenant troops along each side. The sides open as they approach the ground, and you have an opportunity to attack the helpless occupants for a few seconds before they are able to leap out.

The dropship is invulnerable to any weapons at your disposal, and it is mounted with a dangerous plasma cannon on the bottom.

*Wraith Mortar Tank
The Wraith mortar tank appears only in the single-player campaign, and only under the control of the AI.

It is a tough tank with a primary weapon that fires a massive ball of plasma capable of doing severe damage to you or any vehicle you are in. Its indirect trajectory gives it significant range.

The best way to deal with the Wraith's shots is to take cover. If you are in the open, wait until it fires and move directly toward it. This will cause you to move safely under the shot's trajectory. A few rockets or a couple of shots from the Scorpion's main cannon will take care of a Wraith for good.

Weapons

UNSC Weapons

M9 HE-DP Grenade
The M9 Grenade is a standard fragmentation grenade. It is thrown a short distance, and explodes a few seconds after becoming stationary. It can be bounced off of solid objects to get it around corners.

It is effective against the Flood, as well as against other Humans, but is less so against Covenant forces.

In Halo, using grenades in combination with other weapons is a vital strategy. Grenades are mapped to a separate key for a reason. Make sure it is set to a key that you can access easily while moving and shooting. The right mouse button (the default key) is ideal.

When you are in combat and are fighting a large group of creatures, toss a grenade or two into the largest concentration of them. In big fights, toss all four. You will find that many creatures drop grenades of one type or another, so you will rarely run completely out for long.

M6D Pistol
The M6D pistol is not a useless throwaway weapon like the pistols in so many other games. It does significant damage, much more per shot than the assault rifle, and is fairly accurate at long range. It comes with a built-in 2x scope, allowing you to target creatures from further out. Most creatures in the game will fall to a headshot or two.

This combination of factors makes the pistol function almost as a sniper rifle lite, and you will find lots of ammo for the pistol, unlike the actual sniper rifle.

Its high damage makes it a great weapon in multiplayer, one often neglected by players. Just a few shots can kill an opponent, and move quickly enough to fire accurately from a distance (unlike energy weapons).

MA5B assault rifle
The MA5B is not the assault rifle that you are used to in other shooters. It is a very inaccurate weapon, for one thing. A bullet fired from it will hit anywhere in its large reticule, making its pattern of fire more like that of a shotgun than a rifle, making it almost useless if you are any distance at all from the target.

Its high rate of fire, combined with a large clip make it extremely effective when used against large groups of weak creatures like Grunts or Spores, allowing you to spray the entire group with bullets. It is also effective against a single creature from close range where you can nickel and dime it to death or quickly wear down its defenses. In mid- or long-range fights, its usefulness is questionable. Few bullets will hit their targets, and the low damage from each bullet becomes an immediate factor.

The display on the rifle has a built-in compass (actually, it points to the nearby planet, not north, but the effect is the same). The game's levels tend to be linear enough, though, to make it unnecessary.

M90 Shotgun
The M90 shotgun is a very effective weapon. Its narrow shot pattern, combined with lots of shot pellets, make it more effective than the shotguns seen in most games.

Against larger creatures, like Elites and Warriors, the shotgun has no equal. Just get up close, point it in the general direction, and fire. It is useful for knocking Jackals off balance, following it up with a second shot for the kill. Against most other creatures, it is overkill, and the ammunition isn't all that common, so you are better off saving it for when it is needed.

Of course, it is a shotgun, and tends to be very limited in range. If something is far enough away that the reticule doesn't turn red, it will probably be futile to use it.

S2 AM Sniper Rifle
This is your typical sniper rifle. The scope can zoom in to 2x or 10x magnification, and the flashlight key will toggle a built-in night vision mode. This combination makes it useful for scouting an area as well as for sniping.

The S2 AM is an exceedingly powerful weapon, and can take out most creatures in the game with a single shot. It is, in fact, powerful enough to take out several creatures at once if they are lined up with each other.

Even when not zoomed in, the S2 AM is extremely accurate and powerful. When just held in the hands, it can easily take down most enemies in an emergency.

In a multiplayer situation, the S2 AM is a bit more tricky. In free-for-all games, the hectic action makes it all too likely that you will be torn to shreds before lining up a shot on an enemy. In team-based games, players tend to be very mobile, unlike conveniently waiting Grunts. It takes practice to be able to anticipate a target's movements well enough to make this a practical weapon, but in the hands of a master, it can be one of the most deadly.

M19 Rocket Launcher
The M19 rocket launcher is arguably the most potent weapon in the game. It holds two shells in its clip, allowing for two rapid shots before having to reload, and has a 2x zoom, allowing you to get a close-up look at whatever it is you are about to vaporize.

A direct hit from an M19 rocket will kill any opponent in the game, and although a Wraith mortar tank might take several hits, any other vehicle will fall to a single shot. The explosion caused by the rocket also creates a significant amount of splash damage, and can be used to clear out an area full of enemies.

The rockets, once fired, fly with an almost perfectly flat trajectory, allowing you to target enemies and vehicles from great distances. In fact, the only real drawback to the M19 is that the ammunition is so scarce.

When playing a multiplayer game, you will find that good players have learned to dodge incoming rockets. If you want to use it effectively, you will have to lead a moving target, and you will have to count on the splash damage rather than on direct hits. Aim the rocket at the ground or at a wall near the target, never at the target directly.

M41 LAAG
The M41 LAAG is the triple-barreled gun found mounted on the back of the Warthog reconnaissance vehicle. It fires armor-piercing rounds at a very high rate, and can be used to disassemble almost any enemy quickly and effectively.

The M41 comes with a limitless supply of ammunition. The big drawback in single-player or deathmatch modes is that the thing is stuck to thousands of pounds of vehicle that only you can drive. That means that most of the times that this gun comes into play, it will be at the hands of an NPC. You can take it over at any time, but you will remain stationary while you use it, making an excellent target for enemies.

In team-based multiplayer, the M41 loses this drawback, as it can be manned by one player while another drives. Unfortunately, the gunner is completely exposed to incoming gunfire while on the M41, making them easy for the other team to kill.

Flamethrower
The flamethrower, available only in multiplayer, (in the PC version) does exactly what it says: it throws flames.

The flamethrower is a great defensive weapon, and can be used to effectively block an entire entranceway.
It has an extremely limited range, making it almost useless out in the open, but it is great in cramped quarters because of the amount of area covered by its attack. One person with a flamethrower can hold a doorway or other chokepoint for a long time in a team game. The high damage ensures that enemies will be hesitant to walk through any door when they know that a flamethrower waits on the other side.

Covenant Weapons

Plasma Rifle
The Covenant plasma rifle fires a blast of energy at an enemy. It can fire a single blast by clicking the mouse button, or can fire in automatic mode by holding the button down for a second.

It is a great weapon, doing excellent damage against Covenant troops, although it is less effective against Humans or Flood. It is much more accurate than its UNSC counterpart, the assault rifle, and its shots can stun an opponent, slowing them down momentarily.

There are a couple of drawbacks to the plasma rifle. It is alien technology, and UNSC forces aren't entirely certain how to operate it. As a result, it cannot be reloaded. Once the energy reserves that were in it when you found it are used up, it becomes a useless piece of scrap. Furthermore, it is prone to overheating. If you fire it rapidly for more than a few seconds, the plasma rifle will overheat, deactivating itself until it has cooled. In the middle of a firefight, this can be a bad, bad thing.

Because of the limited ammo supply in the plasma rifle, you should grab a new one every chance you get.

Plasma Pistol
A smaller version of the plasma rifle, the plasma pistol might seem like an ineffective weapon at first, but it does have some charms all its own.

The regular, primary fire is almost useless. It fires slowly, the plasma moves slowly, and doesn't do much damage. You can, however, by holding down the attack button for a few seconds, create an overcharged ball of plasma that will home in on its target. Doing this seriously drains the pistol's ammunition, but the bolt will do serious damage to the shields of an Elite or Jackal, and can take down a Sentinel in with a single shot. If you like melee attacks, the plasma pistol allows you to swing very rapidly, great for whacking a bunch of Spores.

Like the plasma rifle, this weapon cannot be reloaded, which is why the energy drain from the charged shot is such a big drawback.

Needler
The needler is a Covenant weapon that fires a fully automatic barrage of tiny, explosive projectiles. The projectiles have a limited homing ability, making them particularly deadly against stationary or slow targets, and give an advantage against enemies that tend to dodge fire from other weapons.

The needler, unlike most other Covenant weapons, can be reloaded via a traditional magazine. This helps to ensure that it remains useful. Its projectiles are fairly weak, and cannot penetrate most armor. This makes the needler almost completely useless against Hunters, Jackals, and vehicles.

Fuel Rod Gun
The fuel rod gun is only available to the player in multiplayer mode (again, PC version only), although you will have seen it quite often in the single-player campaign; it is the weapon carried by Hunters and by some Black Grunts.

It has only one fire mode, lobbing an explosive ball of plasma a great distance with a curving trajectory. This is not a close-combat weapon, as the splash damage can hit the person firing as well as their enemies. Think of the fuel rod as you would a mortar; as a great, indirect fire, support weapon.

The fuel rod gun is a fantastic long-range defensive weapon. You can easily cover a bottleneck leading to your base from a safe distance.
Having a person with a fuel rod gun at your base in a team game can make it difficult for your opponents to approach. The curving trajectory means that a shooter can remain behind cover and still make a canyon or pass an explosive deathtrap. It can fire five shots in quick succession (at which point it overheats and becomes useless for a few seconds).

The biggest problem is the same one that applies to other energy weapons in Halo. It cannot be reloaded, and must be discarded when empty. Still, you can get thirty or so shots out of a fully-charged gun.

Plasma Grenade
Plasma grenades are balls of plasma that can be thrown just like a regular fragmentation grenade, exploding a few seconds after it lands. The resulting explosion is extremely effective against Covenant troops.

Most Covenant troops will actively flee a plasma grenade if they notice it, making it extremely effective for flushing enemies out of cover. Its long fuse (three seconds) and the tendency of enemies to flee make it a challenge, at times, to hit enemies. Luckily, both Elites and Grunts (as well as Flood Warriors) drop plasma grenades regularly, allowing you to use lots of them and not worry about running out.

The one big advantage of the plasma grenade over the UNSC equivalent is its ability to stick to targets. It will bounce off of walls like any other grenade, but will stick to an enemy or vehicle, doing a ton of damage when it goes off. Be careful, though, as some enemies will charge you when you get too close. If they have a grenade stuck to them, you may share their fate. It is also worth noting that plasma grenades flung by enemies can stick to you, and will normally always kill you when they go off; there is no way to remove the grenade once it is stuck.

Enemies

The Covenant

Grunts
Grunts are the cannon fodder of the Covenant. They are on Halo in great numbers; partially for comic relief, partially to give you something to test new weapons on. There are, of course, a few situations where they are actually dangerous, like when they are sticking plasma grenades to your forehead, or when they are accompanied by more powerful creatures.

Unfortunately, you cannot completely ignore Grunts, as they are sometimes well armed, and the damage they do can build up quickly when they come at you in large numbers. For this reason (plus the fact that they are very quick to kill), it is often a good idea to take out the Grunts before attacking their larger friends.

The easiest way to kill Grunts is… well, just shoot them. Shoot them with anything and they will go down in a few shots. Ammunition-limited weapons like the rocket launcher or sniper rifle are probably overkill unless you have ammo to burn. Grenades work especially well on them when they are in large groups.

Grunts are divided into three subtypes:

Yellow Grunts
These glorious fellows are on the bottom rung of the Covenant ladder. Armed with either a needler or a plasma pistol (and the occasional grenade), these guys are more likely to run than fight. When they do fight, the chance of them hitting anything is slim.

Red Grunts
Red Grunts are armed in the same manner as their Yellow relatives. The only real difference is that they are slightly better shots, and don't run away quite as much.

Black Grunts
These are the only Grunts that actually represent a serious threat to your safety. They can sometimes hit what they aim at, and often don't run away at all. In addition to the weaponry issued to lesser Grunts, they sometimes have plasma rifles or fuel rod guns. They make better use of grenades, and can actually present a challenge.

Jackals
Jackals are fairly weak Covenant troops, armed with plasma pistols and hand-held energy shields. Jackals aren't all that particularly tough or strong, but their energy shields can really make them a pain. When their shields are up, they are protected from most incoming fire, but are still able to fire out through a small slit in the shield.

Their weapon doesn't do that much damage (except for the occasional charged burst that can completely drain your shields), but Jackals are great for tying you up while their comrades dish out the damage.

The best way to deal with Jackals is from a distance with an accurate weapon like the pistol or the sniper rifle. With their shields down, a quick shot or two will take them out; if their shields are up, you can fire through the tiny slit in the side of their shield. This either kills them outright or causes them to stagger, giving you a clean shot at their body.

Fire through the weapon slit in the Jackal's shield to take him out.
In a close fight with Jackals mixed up with other creatures, don't fall for the trap of wasting your time on the Jackals--that is why they are there. Toss a grenade just past them, then fire a quick burst in their direction. This causes them to brace themselves behind their shield long enough for the grenade to do its work. In an even tighter situation, forget the burst; toss a grenade at the Jackals and concentrate your fire on their more dangerous companions.

If you have plenty of time and don't want to waste a grenade, you can take them down by firing full force into their shields while strafing around their weapon side. You will either move far enough to get access to their bodies, or will unbalance them, causing them to roll and give you a chance at a killing shot.

Jackals come in two types:

Blue Jackals
Blue Jackals are the lesser of the two types. They are armed with a plasma pistol and with the hand-held energy shield.

Yellow Jackals
Yellow Jackals are essentially identical to the Blue variety, save that they are just a bit more accurate with their weaponry and a bit harder to knock off balance.

The Covenant - cont.

Elites
Elites are just what their name says--the elite warriors of the Covenant. They are the most consistently dangerous foes the Covenant has to offer. They have full body, rechargeable energy shields (just like yours) that have to be taken down before you can hurt them. They are agile, dodging incoming weapon fire or grenades, and they pack deadly weapons. If you get too close, they will charge you, smacking you and doing some serious damage.

The best way to take down an Elite is with a sniper rifle from a nice, safe ridge. Failing that, take either a needler or a plasma rifle and just blast the crap out of him from a few feet away (the assault rifle works, too, but you need to be closer). You have to do enough damage to take down his shields and then enough to kill him. If you take a second to retreat and let your shields recharge, his will do the same and you will have to start from scratch. Be aware that an Elite with damaged shields will often retreat on his own to wait for them to recharge. A shotgun at point blank range can also kill most fully-shielded Elites in a single shot.

If you have the room, you can get a good head start on the shields with a grenade. A plasma grenade stuck directly to an Elite will often get an instant kill, but you have to be careful; if you get too close, the Elite will charge you to attack, killing you in the blast.

There are five ranks of Elites:

Blue Elite
Armed with a plasma rifle and plasma grenades, the Blue Elites are the most common, and the weakest, of the Elites. They are the first you meet, and while they are the weakest, they are not to be underestimated.

Red Elite
Red Elites are essentially the same as the Blue, and are armed the same way. The difference is that they are a bit smarter, and they are a bit tougher. They are more accurate and tend to make better use of their grenades.

Black Elite
Black Elites are in the same vein as the Blue and Red varieties, armed and equipped identically. In the same way that the Red is smarter and tougher than the Blue, the Black is the strongest and most tactically aware of the three. They are more accurate, make better use of their grenades, and will implement cunning plans to take out their opposition (you). Their shields are also the strongest of the three.

Invisible Elite
Invisible Elites have an active camouflage module that allows them to cloak. Think of the Predator and you'll have the right idea. They don't show up on your motion tracker, but the cloak distorts the light when they move, so it is possible to find them if you keep your eyes open. They are armed with a plasma rifle which they use to good effect, and with a plasma sword, which is absolutely devastating if they get in close. The one point in your favor is that Invisible Elites lack the protective energy shield that the rest of their type have.

Gold Elite
The Gold Elites are the toughest type. They are agile enough to dodge many weapon attacks, move quickly, and charge in aggressively. They take more of a beating than any other type of Elite. They are armed with plasma rifles and a plasma sword, but greatly prefer the sword. Getting close to a Gold Elite is a bad idea--they will leap through the air to attack with their sword, and one hit will kill you, regardless of your health.

Hunters
Hunters are great, hulking brutes. They move slowly, and at first glance seem almost invincible. They attack with fuel rod guns that launch explosive balls of plasma like artillery shells, or charge if you get too close, hitting with their armored shields for a ton of damage. You can pour round after round into them and not scratch them.

Luckily, Hunters have a weakness. When viewed from behind, Hunters have two orange flashing areas: one near their waist, one on their necks. A good shot into either of these areas will drop them.

The best way to take out a Hunter is from a distance. If you have the element of surprise, a shot from the sniper rifle or a zoomed-in pistol into their weak spot will kill them instantly. If they have seen you and are facing you, your best bet is a rocket launcher--even Hunters can't resist a rocket in the eye!

The other way requires good reflexes. Get close enough to a Hunter and they will quit firing their guns and charge you. At the last second, step to the side; they will run a few steps past you. Turn quickly and you will have a clear shot at their back and the weak spots there. Use your pistol to fire a quick shot and drop them. Other weapons will work with this technique (especially the shotgun), but none as effectively as the pistol.

The Flood

Flood Spore
Flood Spores are tiny creatures that look a bit like a jellyfish. They attack by attaching themselves to their target. If they succeed, they target becomes infected and turns into a Warrior. They do very, very little damage, but sometimes travel in packs numbering in the dozens. When they are killed, they explode, damaging nearby creatures.

When encountered in groups of a dozen or less, fighting Spores is blindingly easy. All you have to do is stand there. They attack, and, upon hitting your shields, die. Your shields can easily absorb 20 or so Spores before they run out. If you encounter a few Spores, just take the hits and wait a few seconds for your shields to recharge.

Spores may look nasty, but save your ammo. They are weak, destroying themselves as soon as they touch you.
When encountered in larger groups, the technique for disposing of Spores isn't much more complex. They are slow-moving, so just play keep away for a few seconds until they start to bunch up. When they do, kill one. It will explode, killing the ones next to it, which explode in turn, killing the next bunch, and so on. The chain reaction can sometimes result in several dozen kills from a single pistol shot.

When encountered in groups, the best strategy is just to fire a quick burst from whatever weapon you have at the moment, killing most of the Spores, and then simply absorbing the hits from the others with your shields.

No weapon is more or less effective against Spores, as any hit from any weapon will kill them every time. Grenades tend to be overkill, as do rockets, but anything else works just fine.

Flood Warrior
Flood Warriors are Human or Covenant troops who have lost a fight to Spores and have become infected. They bear only a vague resemblance to their former selves, but can use any weapon found in the hands of a Human of Covenant soldier throughout the course of the game. They do not use vehicles (or stationary guns). Occasionally a wounded Warrior will 'play dead,' dropping to the ground and staying immobile until a likely target strays near.

Flood Warriors can be tough, but getting up close and personal with a loaded shotgun should slow them down.
Warriors attack with weapons most of the time. If they have no weapon, they attack with an unarmed strike that can be severely damaging. They also have the ability to make astounding leaps, and can attack while in the air. They will often use this leap to reach otherwise inaccessible places or to close quickly with an enemy when unarmed.

The two best weapons to use against Warriors are the shotgun and the pistol. A shotgun blast from close range will kill any Warrior in one shot. Pistols do serious damage to Warriors, and two or three shots to the body will drop them. Additionally, pistol shots will sever a Warrior's limbs, and a shot to the head is almost always instantly fatal. The sniper rifle is equally effective, but Warriors tend to travel in packs, and sniper ammo is rare. Plasma weapons are particularly ineffective against Flood troops, and this includes plasma grenades. Frag grenades are as effective against Warriors as they are against anything else.

Flood Carrier
Flood Carriers are bloated, walking Spore nurseries. They don't use weapons and have no regular attack, but if they get close to an opponent, they will explode violently enough to drain your shields almost completely. Furthermore, once they explode they release a half-dozen Spores. Carriers are at their most dangerous when they surround you, as they can close in on you from behind while you are busy killing the ones in front.

Carriers are easy to fight, at least as long as you know that they are there. A few shots from a pistol or assault rifle, or a single shot from a sniper rifle or shotgun will kill them easily, causing them to explode and release their Spores. Other weapons are less effective against them, but they move very, very slowly, giving you plenty of time to shoot.

Wise players won't shoot Carriers on sight. They are not a threat unless they are close, and they often travel in the company of Spores and Warriors. Watch the Carriers and wait until they are close to another enemy or two before shooting them. The resulting explosion will damage or kill all of the nearby creatures. Be careful; exploding carriers will also cause any grenades lying on the ground (such as those dropped by killed creatures) to explode on the spot, compounding the damage.

Other Enemies

Sentinel
Sentinels are offensive/defensive drones built by the race that created Halo. They appear as flying machines, armed with a dangerous laser that puts out a sustained, damaging beam.

Sentinels are extremely vulnerable to plasma weapons. A charged shot from a plasma pistol will take them down in one shot, and a few bursts from a plasma rifle or a needler are very effective. Shotguns work at extremely close range, and assault rifles will take them down in a pinch.

The trick to fighting Sentinels is to stay out of their way. Their weapons are only dangerous if you take a sustained hit. You can easily step out into their line of fire and take the hits long enough to fire off a shot of your own, then step behind cover to recharge your shields and get ready for the next shot. In the open, keep moving. Sentinels don't aim all that quickly, and a moving target can often stay completely out of their beams.

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