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Getting Started With Halo Reach an Overview of Halo Reach Weapons and Armor Abilities

I suggest using the DMR and plasma pistol combination throughout the majority of the Halo Reach campaign because it allows you to easily eliminate most enemy types. However, every weapon has pros and cons, and you should experiment with all of them to choose a loadout that best fits you play style. The below descriptions are only intended to be used for firefight and campaign. The strategies for fighting AI do not apply for fighting human players and the uses of each weapon greatly differ in online matchmaking. The numbers after the name of each weapon indicate the bullets per magazine and maximum extra ammo.

UNSC weapons

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

Assault rifle: 32/288: The assault rifle is an accurate fully automatic rifle with very little recoil. If you find that you are too poor of an aimer to achieve headshots with the DMR, I would suggest using the assault rifle instead. When using automatic guns like the assault rifle, aim for the body instead of the head. There is usually plenty of assault rifle ammo placed throughout each mission.

DMR: 15/60: The DMR is an incredibly accurate, semi-automatic rifle with a 3x zoom. A single headshot with this weapon imparts infinite damage on unshielded enemies without helmets. This makes it incredibly useful for killing every enemy type except Hunters. If you have a high accuracy, there is enough DMR ammo placed throughout each mission that you will not run out.

Grenade launcher: 1/15: The grenade launcher fires remote detonated grenades that inflict higher damage than frag grenades and inflict EMP damage. The EMP capabilities allow grenade launchers to both stun vehicles and remove shields. Some players prefer using grenade launchers to plasma pistols, yet grenade launcher require much more skill to use and do not fully remove the shields of some higher ranking Elites. Furthermore, grenade launchers are also rarely seen throughout the Halo Reach campaign so cannot be depended on for fighting Elites. They are, however, very useful when fighting Hunters.

Magnum: 8/40: The magnum is an accurate, semi-automatic pistol very similar to the DMR. The magnum also has the property of instant killing headshots. However, the magnum is less accurate and has only a 2x zoom, so the DMR is a far superior weapon. The magnum also inflicts less damage per shot, so cannot remove Brutes' helmets efficiently. A magnum should be used in place of a DMR when a DMR is not present.

Rocket launcher: 2/8: Rocket launchers fire fast moving rockets, dealing immense damage and high collateral damage. However, rocket launchers are incredibly rare, and should usually be saved for Hunter fights. A single rocket is capable of killing most infantry and heavily damaging a Hunter. Rocket launchers also have a 2x zoom and a homing capability on vehicles. To achieve a lock-on, follow the vehicle with your reticule until the reticule turns red and beeps.

Shotgun: 6/40: The shotgun inflicts large amounts of damage at close range, but quickly decreases in power the farther away you are from the target. Even at point blank range, a shotgun requires multiple shots to kill Elites and Brutes on Legendary, so is not very useful for this purpose. Shotguns also require you to charge the enemy, a process that usually results in death on Legendary. However, shotguns are very useful against Hunters, and are always found before a Hunter fight.

Sniper rifle: 4/20: Sniper rifles are the most accurate weapons in Halo Reach, containing a variable zoom of 5x and 10x. Like a DMR, a sniper rifle will instantly kill any enemy with an unprotected head. In addition, sniper rifles impart enough damage to instantly kill helmeted enemies without shields and enemies with low capacity shields with a single headshot, making sniper rifles useful for killing both Brutes and Elites from a distance. However, sniper rifles are very rarely found throughout the campaign.

Spartan laser: Energy weapon/25 units per shot: The Spartan laser is the only UNSC weapon that uses energy instead of ammunition. To fire a Spartan laser, hold down the trigger to charge it up, and it will fire after approximately one second. This laser is powerful enough to kill any infantry except a Hunter and most vehicles in a single shot. Two shots will allow you to destroy stronger vehicles including wraiths. Spartan lasers are incredibly rare, and since they must be charged up, they are difficult to use as well. Spartan lasers have a 2x zoom.

Target Locator: 1/2: The target locator provides the coordinates for an artillery strike. By holding the trigger, it paints a circle on the ground that an orbital artillery strike will fire upon. This is useful for destroying enemy vehicles or large groups of infantry, but is only provided once throughout the entire campaign. The target locator must recharge after each shot. It has a variable zoom of 3x and 6x.

Covenant Weapons

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

Concussion rifle: 6/24: The Concussion rife fires explosive charges that explode on contact, dealing large amounts of damage to a player. These projectiles are both effected by gravity and are relatively slow, making them easy to dodge. The best ways to combat an enemy with a concussion rifle is either to kill them from a distance or jump around a lot in front of them, making yourself a harder target to hit. The concussion rifle does not deal enough damage to use effectively against enemies.

Energy sword: Energy weapon/10 units per stab: The energy sword is a melee weapon that imparts immense amounts of damage, instantly killing the player or many covenant instantly. However, Elite generals, Elite Zealots, and Brute chieftains all require two attacks to kill. High ranking Elites such as generals, ultras, and Zealots are the only units capable of wielding an energy sword. It is essential that you kill an enemy with an energy sword from a distance before they reach you because they will kill you instantly. If you hit a charging Elite with an overcharged plasma pistol, they will momentarily stop moving, providing you with the opportunity to kill them before they reach you. When you are using an energy sword, you have the capability of lunge attacking enemies when your reticule turns red.

Focus rifle: Energy weapon/5 units per second: The focus rifle is the covenant equivalent of a sniper rifle, but instead of firing bullets, it creates an accurate laser. When the covenant use a focus rifle, they will only ever shoot in bursts, but these bursts still inflict large amounts of damage if they hit you. For this reason, killing snipers with focus rifles should be one of your top priorities when entering a battle. Although the focus rifle has pinpoint accuracy and a variable 5x and 10x zoom scope, it is not a very useful weapon because it requires a very long burst to kill enemies, and is almost useless against high ranking Brutes and Elites.

Fuel rod gun: 5/25: The fuel rod gun is the covenant equivalent of the rocket launcher, instead firing fuel rods. Although the fuel rod gun has a larger magazine and higher fire rate than the rocket launcher, the projectiles inflict less damage, travel slower, and do not lock-on. A single fuel rod will kill the player, so must be avoided at all costs. To kill a Grunt wielding a fuel rod gun, simply pick it off from a distance. To kill an Elite wielding a fuel rod gun, stun it with an overcharged plasma pistol before it can shoot you, then then kill it while it is stunned. To kill a Brute chieftain wielding a fuel rod gun, get close very close to the Brute and it will be unable to fire. The fuel rod is very useful for killing Elites and Brutes, but is not nearly common enough to replace the plasma pistol. Fuel rods have a 2x zoom.

Gravity hammer: Energy weapon/2.5 units per shot: The gravity hammer is a melee weapon very similar to the energy sword. However, the gravity hammer is only every used by Brutes and lasts much longer. Gravity hammer Brutes must also be killed from a distance, but unlike Elites with energy swords, Brutes with gravity hammers will sometimes hit the player with a glancing blow in which the player is knocked back and severely hurt. I suggest using the gravity hammer much more often than the energy sword throughout my walkthroughs simply because you find gravity hammers when fighting Brutes, and it is when fighting Brutes that plasma pistols are useless. Gravity hammers are also very useful for fighting Hunters because they explode on impact, knocking the Hunter back slightly and damaging their weak spots.

Needle rifle: 21/84: The needle rifle is the only covenant weapon capable of instantly killing enemies with headshots, just like the DMR or magnum. However, unlike the DMR, needle rifles will not cause Jackals to drop their shields when shot in the hand. This combined with lower accuracy and only a 2x zoom makes DMRs highly superior to needle rifles. On the other hand, when you shoot three needles into an unshielded enemy in a short time span, the enemy will die from a supercombine explosion, making needle rifles very useful against Brutes. It is important to kill an enemy wielding a needle rifle quickly because they are very accurate. If the enemy is a Jackal sniper or Skirmisher, simply kill it quickly with a headshot. However, if the enemy is an Elite, wait in cover until your shields are full while overcharging a plasma pistol, then quickly step out of cover, stun them, and kill them with a headshot. Needles from a needle rifle travel with infinite speed.

Needler: 24/96: Needlers are the fastest firing fully automatic weapon in the Halo Reach, and create supercombine explosions as well. Roughly ½ of a needler magazine will kill an unshielded target. Needles also home onto infantry slightly, but are easy to dodge due to a very slow bullet velocity. Luckily, enemies using the needler fire it semi-automatically, so do not pose a high threat and can be killed using normal tactics. It is best to kill an enemy with a needle rifle from a distance so you can simply return to cover when you see a large stream of needles heading towards you.

Plasma launcher: Energy weapon/8 units per plasma grenade: Plasma launchers must be charged up like a Spartan laser, and fire up to four plasma grenades. These grenades are fired roughly at throwing speed. For this reason, it is easy to dodge the projectiles of an enemy with a plasma launcher. The best strategy is to move horizontally to the enemy, and since the AIs are not intelligent enough to lead you, the shots will always pass behind you. In addition, you can prepare yourself for their next attack by watching for a blue light, indicating the enemy is charging its plasma launcher. On the other hand, when you are using a plasma launcher, you can lock-on to both infantry and vehicles, making it much harder to dodge. For this reason, plasma launchers are very useful for fighting both weak vehicles and high level infantry, including Hunters. However, plasma launchers are not nearly common enough to replace the plasma pistol, and also do not kill enemies as quickly as an overcharged plasma pistol headshot do due to the charge up time and grenade detonation time of a plasma launcher. Plasma launchers have a 2x zoom.

Plasma pistol: Energy weapon/25 units per shot: The plasma pistol has two types of fire, a semi-automatic fire and a charging capability. By holding down the trigger, you can charge up a plasma pistol to fire an EMP overcharged blast. These EMP blasts remove almost any enemies' shields, but do little to health. The longer you charge the blast, the more damage it will impart. For this reason, plasma pistols are the most useful secondary weapon for fighting Elites. In addition, the EMP of an overcharged will allowing you to stun and easily jack vehicles. Furthermore, overcharged blasts home onto both infantry and vehicles, so are easy to aim. It is also very easy to find plasma pistols because more than half of all light infantry use them. The only downside to a plasma pistol is a low bullet velocity, allowing far away Elites to sometimes doge overcharged blasts. Because most enemies do not overcharge their plasma pistols, they pose very little threat to the player and can be killed easily. When an enemy does overcharge a plasma pistol, either kill the enemy before it can shoot or step behind cover to dodge the blast.

Plasma repeater: Energy weapon/¼ of a unit per shot: The plasma repeater is a fully automatic plasma weapon with high fire rate and damage but low range and bullet velocity. For this reason, you should not approach enemies with plasma repeaters, but instead kill them from a medium distance. When fighting Elites with plasma repeaters, come close enough to achieve a plasma pistol lock-on but stay far enough away that the Elites has difficulty hitting you. If you constantly move side to side, this makes yourself an even harder target to hit. If you have good cover, you can pop out and stun the Elite before it can removes much of your shields. Due to its inaccuracy, I would not suggest using the plasma repeater.

Plasma rifle: Energy weapon/¼ of a unit per shot: The plasma rifle has a slower fire rate and damage than the plasma repeater, but is also much more accurate. Some higher ranking Elites can also dual wield the plasma rifle. Once again, remove the shields of Elites wielding plasma rifles from distance when possible. If you are in good cover, simply pop out and stun the Elite before it has time to damage you heavily. Plasma rifles are a good option for players who aim too poorly to use a DMR. If you choose to use a plasma rifle, aim for the body of the enemy.

Spiker: 40/120: Spikers are the most common Brute weapon, and operate similarly to plasma rifles. Spikers have low bullet velocity, low accuracy, medium fire rate, and high damage. The projectiles of a spiker drop slightly over long distances. They also have a bayonet, providing increased melee damage. Use the same tactics for fighting enemies with plasma repeaters and plasma rifles when fighting enemies with Spikers. Spikers are a good option for aggressive players who aim too poorly to use a DMR, and are best used up close due to low accuracy and the bayonet.

Turrets and Grenades

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