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Weapons Guide

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary Walkthrough and Guide

by CMBF  

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Weapons Guide

For so popular a shooter the selection of weapons in the game is actually quite limited, mostly because the game was not created to feature a historic collection of weapons as a primary game element, but rather the weapons in the game are intended to facilitate moving the story along ans as such, are much more utilitarian in their functionality and placement.

First and foremost Halo: CEA is primarily a story-based adventure, with the weapons systems being heavily standardized to make obtaining ammunition and replacement weapons easier.  With that in mind the player will still find that developing skill with, and understanding the best tactical use of the weapons has direct consequences upon performance and success -- the process of switching out your weapon is accomplished by a single button-press, and the practice of carrying a pair of complementary weapons allows the player to select the correct took for the job in most cases.

When running-and-gunning remember that it is ALWAYS faster to change weapons than it is to reload.


Section A: UNSC Weapons

Many of the weapons systems that are employed by the modern day UNSC as well as ground-based special operations units are either based upon or a product of the Short-Stroke Gas-Operated Rotating-Bolt firing system that was developed by the Misriah Armory to solve issues related to discharge of chemically-propelled weapon systems in the vacuum of space. 

The standard UNSC ammunition design includes oxygen-boosting filler as part of the propellant charge to counteract the effects of vacuum; the presence of these additives in atmosphere has the effect of slightly boosting the muzzle and breach pressure of the rounds, creating a more pronounced muzzle flash.

Weapons tested by the Verdoon Proving Grounds that fall within the top 1% for accuracy are stamped with a VPG Star-Emblem to the left of their serial number.  Star-Barrel Weapons are highly desired by special operators in the field for their improved accuracy and reliability.


BR55 Rifle (Battle Rifle)

The BR55 Battle Rifle is the standard designated UNSC Infantry Service Weapon first issued in 2525, when it replaced the M221 as the standard infantry longarm.    The original design for the BR55 was for a switch-selectable variable rate weapon with four available selections: Safe, Single-Fire, Burst-Fire (3 Shot) and Fully Automatic.

The current specifications for the BR55 include the M634X Experimental Military-Grade Ammunition Load which consists of a 9.5mm x 40mm High-Power / Semi Armor-Piercing half-jacketed Teflon round.

It was discovered during the live troop evaluation phase during the standard weapon testing at Verdoon Proving Grounds that 9 out of 10 Marines preferred to leave the weapon set to fully-automatic mode, which delivered an effective accuracy rate of just 7% (93 out of every 100 rounds fired failed to hit the target or hit a different target than the one being aimed at), while accuracy in the Burst-Fire configuration averaged 98% (with only 2 rounds per 100 fired failing to hit the designated target).  The Fully-Automatic mode was subsequently removed from the weapon design prior to it being accepted by the UNSC.

Further development of the BR55 lead to the addition of a 2x aiming scope, boosting the accuracy and effectiveness of the weapon and increasing its effective range to almost double that obtained from use of the iron sights alone.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? No
Effective Range: 100m to 950m
Clip Capacity: 36 Rounds, M634X  9.5mm x 40mm HP-SAP (Experimental)
Standard Ammunition Load: 144 Rounds (4 Clips)

--== Recommended Applications ==--

Effective vs. all organic targets.

Limited effectiveness vs. mechanical targets - use of this weapon system on mechanical targets requires firm stability to allow all three rounds from a single burst to penetrare the same target area, especially at longer ranges where the shot spread (or splintering) can render the weapon ineffective.

Remember the UNSC Infantry rhyme: When in Danger, If in Doubt, the BR55 will Get You Out.


M6C/M6D Magnum (M6C Personal Defense Weapon System / M6D Covert Pistol, Suppressed)

Standard-issue sidearm for United Nations Space Command organizations, and particularly the UNSC Marine Corps, UNSC Navy, UNSC Defense Security Forces, and the UNSC Special Operations Command.

The design of the M6C Sidearm is based upon the well-established Misriah Armory's M6 handgun series, and is best described as a semi-automatic, spring-based recoil-operated gas-fed double-action handgun.   A number of different special-use variants of the M6 series have been created throughout its eight decades of active use, with their primary differences being the ammunition caliber they are chambered to fire and the aiming-assistance schemes built into them, with the most common example being the M6C, which is chambered for the M228 12.7mm x 40mm Semi-Armor Piercing, High Penetration  (SAP-HP) round.

Known for its rugged and reliable frame, its accuracy, and its high rate of fire (the C-variant has an average cyclic rate of 6 rounds per second, or 360 rounds per minute), the M6C has an effective killing range of 200 meters under normal conditions, but its target accurately rating is generally thought to be only 1/10 that range, or roughly 20 meters, is it is configured and intended for use as a close-range personal defense sidearm.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable?  Yes
Effective Range: 20 Meters
Clip Capacity: 12 Standard Rounds, M228 12.7mm x 40mm SAP-HP
Standard Ammunition Load: 48 rounds (4-clips)

--== Recommended Applications ==--



M90 Shotgun (M90 CAWS -- Close Assault Weapon System)

The M90 Close Assault Weapon System (AKA M90 CAWS), is perhaps the least understood and most desired weapon system in the services of the United Nations Space Command due to its extremely limited operations function and sexy appearance.   The primary shotgun system approved for use by UNSC troops, access is restricted only to soldiers who have completed the CAWS Training Program de to the inherent limitations of the weapon. 

The M90 and is one of the most effective close range infantry weapons used by front line and shipboard security forces; with a maximum effective range of less than 10m however it is not considered to be a useful weapon system for troops stationed and deployed in open areas.  

The use of the M90 -- and its limitations -- are best summed up by the words of Master Gunnery Sergeant Leroy Jethro, who said: "The M90 is the most devastating and effective hall-clearing tool in our inventory, but the Golden Rule for its use is simple; the only targets you should aim the M90 at are targets that are close enough for you to hit with a thrown can of cat food.  If they are not close enough to hit with a can of cat food, they are too far away.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? No
Effective Range: 1m to 10m
Clip Capacity: 12 Round Tube, 8-Gauge Magnum, 3.5-Inch
Standard Ammunition Load: 60 Rounds (2 Belts)

--== Recommended Applications ==--

Close-Range Targets.  The M90 is like a knife; you need to be close to the target to attack it.  At close range the M90 is extremely effective against armored targets and shields.



M199 SSM Rocket Launcher

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? No.
Effective Range: Long
Clip Capacity: 2 Rounds, 102mm Uranium Core Tungsten Jacketed HEAT
Standard Ammunition Load: 8 Rounds (4 Canisters)

--== Recommended Applications ==--

The M199 is designed for maximum effectiveness in direct application versus armored targets; while it is also effective against larger units, groups of smaller units,  in the case of the latter it is the splash damage (shrapnel) responsible for the effectiveness and not the kinetic or explosive force of the round itself.  When dealing with unarmored targets it is recommended that you aim the M199 at their feet nearby the targets or at any object likely to explode and add its mass to the shrapnel created by the explosion.



MA5B Individual Combat Weapon System (MA5B ICWS or MA5B Assault Rifle)

The MA5B is an air-cooled, gas-operated, magazine-fed assault-class weapon system that was designed to compliment the established squad tactics of the UNSC, and is widely considered to be "the workhorse of the UNSC" due to its wide application in a variety of settings and its rock-solid reliability.

The MA5B includes a built-in electronics suite which, in addition to monitoring the status of the weapon and to display its remaining ammunition, also provides directional aids such as an electronic compass heading, and directly connects to the Front Line (TM) Battle Tracking and Logistics Coordination System that is used by CENTCOM to track the location of every UNSC Marine. 

The MA5 weapon system can be outfitted with a number of optional modifications thanks to its versatile hard-threaded and rail-based mounting systems, including sound suppressors, grenade launchers, or a standard issue flashlight, as well as utility and special-use ammunition like the shredder and H-PAP rounds, being one of the most versatile weapons in the UNSC’s arsenal.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? Yes
Effective Range: Varies depending upon Ammo Type and Extensions but generally 4m to 50m.
Clip Capacity: 60 Rounds, M118 7.62mmx51 AP-FMJ
Standard Ammunition Load: 600 Rounds (10 Clips)

--== Recommended Applications ==--

The MA5 series of assault rifles has a mixed effectiveness level due to the need to utilize proper tactics when the weapon system is designated as the primary rather than back-up weapon.  Specifically when it is used as the primary weapon system -- and this only under conditions that meet with close-combat -- it should be used as a dual-wielded weapon in order to compensate for the extremely long delay in reloading (up to 1.5 seconds) so that the combatant is never without available firepower.

Ideally the dual-wielded MA5's are fired alternating left and right, so that a full clip is available while the empty weapon is reloaded.  It cannot, however, be emphasized enough that a pair of MA5's together provide an incredible amount of firepower, and when combined with the tactic of strategic retreat have been found to be very effective at preventing loss of life by UNSC operatives.

The MA5 is considered to be one of the more effective firearms for melee combat.


S99C-S2 AM (Sniper Rifle System 99 Revision 2, Anti-Matériel)

The S99C series is a long-range sensor-assisted weapon system that was originally developed to address the threat posed by the  Covenant Banshee and its armored windscreens.  The Banshee made use of three different techniques that served to protect its operator from vulnerability to standard-issue UNSC weapons: triple-laminated glass (AKA "armored glass"), severe angled redirection design, and kinetics-resistant material.

Advances in kinetics-resistant material were undertaken by Covenant armorers when they came to better appreciate the effectiveness of new ammunition systems that were deployed by the UNSC in the years just before the Covenant attack on Reach; specifically these developments stem from what is historically known as "The Commonwealth Incident."

The new type of kinetics-resistant material used for constructing the Mark-VIII Model Banshee allows the viewing ports and cockpit screens to intentionally deform rather than shatter when they are subjected to the forces of the standard UNSC kinetic ammunition that was previously standard-issue in the UNSC.  Combining the kinetics-resistant material with a third layer of laminate and mounting it with a severe angle allowed the new armored glass to shrug-off hits, deflecting the energy of the round away from the material and thus preventing fracture and failure.

This new design and material effectively protected the Banshee from attack by the three-round Burst-Fire in the standard-issue UNSC rifle regardless of accuracy and stability of the placement of the rounds, however the new Vacuum-Compensating rounds proved to cut through the new armor like it was made out of fairy floss -- which caused great concern on the part of the Covenant.

-- The Commonwealth Incident --

During its deployment with the 4th Expeditionary Forces the Frigate UNSC Commonwealth was detached from the main fleet with orders to transport the (CENSORED UNIT DESIGNATION) which was made up entirely of the new Spartan-II Unit, accompanied by (CENSORED) and Dr. Halsey, who were being dispatched as per the requirements of Operation (CENSORED) to the Verdoon Proving Grounds located at the Damascus Testing Facilities on Chi Ceti IV.

When it arrived at Chi Ceti UNSC Commonwealth discovered a battle underway as irregular Covenant forces were attempting to invade and seize the planet; it is speculated (and later confirmed) that their primary goal in addition to capturing the planet and its military assets was to capture the data contained in the computer database of the  Damascus Testing Facilities. 

Recently declassified Printed orders recovered from the body of a Covenant officer thought to be in command of the main SpecOp Unit charged with capturing the offices at the Proving Grounds indicates that the enemy were concerned with the "very effective new ammunition" being used by UNSC Marines, and part of the objectives contained in the Strike Team orders were to obtain samples of the ammunition as well as any technical documents, manufacturing information, and test results pertaining to it discovered in the facility.

Elements of the (CENSORED UNIT DESIGNATOR) remaining on board the Commonwealth during the battle successfully repelled a boarding party from the Covenant Light Cruiser Unrelenting and, in the process, fired for the first time the experimental Vacuum-Compensating ammunition while inside the Commonwealth and so observed the increased effects of the ammunition when it is fired in atmosphere, which easily penetrated both the shields and body armor of the enemy.

Noting the unexpected but markedly improved effectiveness of the ammunition, the commanding officer of the Spartan boarding party ordered his Marines to replace their clips of standard-issue jacketed ammunition with the experimental Vacuum-Compensating rounds for their boarding operation against the Covenant Light Cruiser, and it is speculated that the ammunition, combined with the new MJOLNIR Mark IV Armor, greatly contributed to the success of the boarding party, which was able to
destroy the light cruiser in record time.

The UNSC Commonwealth was severely damaged during the battle and, following a standard  damage  survey conducted in the UNSC shipyards on Chi Ceti IV, it was declared damaged beyond repair and subsequently ordered to the breaking yards on Reach where it was to be salvaged.

Thanks to the observations contained in the after-action reports and subsequent debriefing sessions of the Spartans, and information discovered within the orders recovered from the bodies of Covenant forces, the UNSC armorers became aware of the unusual properties of the Vacuum-Compensating rounds, and their increased power in atmospheric conditions provided by the filler that is used to generate extra gases for the effective discharge of light and medium impact ammunition in vacuum. 

Experimentation with the new mixtures for ammunition propellant directly lead to the creation of the S2 and S3 variants of the Sniper Rifle System 99 Anti-Matériel, which is itself loosely based upon the ancient Barrett Model 82A1 CQ US Marine AM weapon system. 

Although the Sniper Rifle System 99 Anti-Matériel weapon system is an entirely new and modern design, as an homage to the weapon system from which it draws its inspiration, its design team engineers retained the original soft-mount system and the M1913 Floating Optics Rail.

Use of and issuance of the System 99AM in all of its variances requires certification and the successful completion of a special series of UNSC training classes.  While it is officially designated as an  Anti-Matériel weapons system (and thus is not approved for use against unarmored targets), the System 99 is widely considered to be one of the best Sniper Rifles ever made.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable?  No.
Effective Range:  Limited only by line-of-sight.
Clip Capacity: 4 Rounds, 14.5mm x 114mm Fin-Stabilized AP-Sabot
Standard Ammunition Load: 24 Rounds (5 Clips)

--== Recommended Applications ==--

The System 99 Sniper Rifle is effective against all targets and in all environments, however it should be noted that the use of sound suppression and/or subsonic rounds severely handicaps the effectiveness of this weapon system.


Section B: Covenant Weapons

While it has been said that the standardization of UNSC weapon systems has created a very limited range of weapons this is more true for the weapons used by the Covenant forces, which essentially consists of two basic technologies: Superheated Plasma and Proximity-based Needle Ammunition.


Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol (Plasma Pistol)

The Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol -- more commonly known as the "Plasma Pistol,"  is a Covenant infantry weapon commonly issued to the smaller species in Covenant military services including the Kig-yar, the Unggoy, and the Yanme'e as well as occasionally being issued as the designated sidearms for larger species such like the Jiralhanae and the Sangheili.

The Plasma Pistol is a Directed Energy Weapon that appears to have been reverse engineered from Forerunner mining tech that was weaponized. 

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? Yes.
Effective Range: 2m to 30m.
Clip Capacity: N/A Charged Energy Weapon Pack
Standard Ammunition Load: N/A 2500 Standard Shots / 25 Charged Shots

--== Recommended Applications ==--

An overcharged plasma bolt is capable of completely removing the shield protecting an enemy due to its EMP effect -- a tactic that is extremely useful on higher difficulties.  This weapon system is most effectively used in combination with a traditional UNSC weapon -- particularly the M6C or the MA5.

Simply use the Type-25 to disable the enemy shields and then quickly switch to your M6 or MA5 and finish-off the enemy using their excellent kinetic rounds!

Marines using this as a weapon of opportunity when picking them up on the battlefield should be made aware that the standard Plasma Weapon Tech of Covenant forces was engineered to be used by units drawn from some of the less intelligent species in the universe, and because of this it includes saftey overrides that prevent the weapon from being damaged through overheating, which can happen when it is repeatedly fired without giving the system time to cool.

The safety overrides on the Type-25 DEP temporarily shut down the weapon and open cooling vents built into it that allow excess heat to be quickly released before the weapon reactivates -- but during this process the weapon system is non-functional and, obviously, a Marine who is not aware that this will happen can find themselves without a weapon...  It is for this reason -- and the increased effectiveness of the tactic -- that Marines are recommended to use the Type-25 only to remove shields, and to do their actual killing with a UNSC weapon system.


Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle (Plasma Rifle)

The Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle (Plasma Rifle) is a Covenant directed energy weapon reverse engineered from commercial Forerunner mining tech that generates a superheated ionized gas called Plasma instead of projectile ammunition through the use of a battery charge pack and a Plasma coil and is capable of semi-automatic and full automatic fire in part due to the dual plasma collimator design from which it is engineered. 

The Type-25 DER is the primary weapon system for Covenant officers and is routinely used by both Brutes and Elites, the bodies of both of which are an excellent source for obtaining this weapon in the field if you need a replacement or run low on ammunition for your rifle.

Please consult the entry for the Type-25 Directed Energy Pistol for additional background information.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? Yes.
Effective Range: 3m to 100m.
Clip Capacity: N/A Charged Energy Weapon Pack
Standard Ammunition Load: N/A 400 Standard Shots

--== Recommended Applications ==--

The Type-25 DER is particularly effective at dropping enemy shields and will usually dispatch a Grunt with a single-shot, making it an ideal choice for an emergency replacement weapon on the battlefield.\\

As with the Plasma Pistol Marines are recommended to utilize this weapon expressly for disabling the enemies shields, and then switching to a UNSC kinetic weapon to dispatch the enemy.


Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher (Needler)

The Needler is a Covenant projectile weapon that fires an ammunition that is engineered from sharp crystalline shards that are guided until they reach the target by a complex system of energy discharged from their surface areas that, several seconds after reaching their target, discharges at a vastly increased rate and thus generating the appearance of an explosion.

The effect that is observed as an explosion is not actually a detonation -- rather it is the rapid discharge of all of the stored energy in the crystal that was not expended in its guidance -- but it may as well be an explosion as it has the same basic effect.

The Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher is one of the most unusual weapons in the Covenant arsenal and until recently the least understood; the technology behind how the weapon functioned and how the shards were able to track their targets remained a mystery to human military weapon engineers and scientists until the capture and deciphering of a handheld computer that belonged to a Covenant weapons researcher attached to the SpecOp unit deployed in the invasion of Chi Ceti IV during the event known as The Commonwealth Incident.

From the recently declassified data that was recovered from the handheld computer it was revealed that each of the ammunition crystals is actually a living sentient being -- an artificially created crystalline entity that is specially endowed with the ability to store and discharge energy --  with each of the "rounds" having been programmed to track and attach (embed) themselves to the designated target and, when a sufficient number of entities reach the desired density, to release all of the remaining energy stored in their bodies as one rapid discharge to devastating effect.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? Yes.
Effective Range: Model-dependent but thought to be 100m.
Clip Capacity: 20 Rounds, Low-Order Density-Based Guided Explosive Rounds
Standard Ammunition Load:  80 Rounds (4 Charging Clips)

--== Recommended Applications ==--

Use of the Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher (Needler) by UNSC troops is especially troubling due to the fact that its construction violates the Hegemony Accords of 2560 that outlaw the use of AI and sentient beings in weapons.  While it is true that these weapons were created by the Covenant, who are not signatories of the Hegemony Accords, according to the wording of the interstellar agreement the simple use of these weapons is a violation of the Accords.

In spite of this fact no official order has been issued by the UNSC with respect to the use of the weapon, though Marines are reminded that any Needlers that are obtained on the battlefield are subject to immediate confiscation and destruction as contraband upon return to their UNSC ship, base, or operational area.  This has not prevented Marines from retaining and smuggling these weapons home as war trophies.


Section C: Munitions & Special Weapons

M9 HE-DP Grenade

The M9 High-Explosive Dual-Purpose grenade is of a type commonly referred to as Grenade, Fragmentation, and its design and function has remained unchanged for over a thousand years. 

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? N/A
Effective Range: N/A
Clip Capacity:  N/A -- Single Disposable Container
Standard Ammunition Load:  4 Rounds, High-Explosive Concussion/Shrapnel

--== Recommended Applications ==--

Recommended for use when you just want to clear a room or send the enemy running for cover.


Type-1 Antipersonnel Grenade (Plasma Grenade)

The Type-1 Antipersonnel grenade -- which is more commonly known as the Plasma Grenade -- also happens to be the Sticky Grenade that most players are referring to when they tell you to hit an enemy with a Sticky Grenade, or when they mean to unlock the Achievement Lee R. Wilson Memorial in Halo 3, an Achievement that is of particularly high value to the players because of the twisted way that gamer minds think in...  There is actually a story behind this you see...

Lee Wilson, also known as Phlegm Brulee, is an English artist and at the time of the establishment of the Lee R. Wilson Memorial Achievement was a relatively new employee at Bungie Studios -- the game development studio that can be blamed -- or credited as it depends on your PoV -- for the Halo games...

Wilson moved to America to pursue a career in film production in 1991 but, in 1995 he moved to New York to attend film school with his ultimate goal to be a film director -- but real life has a way of crushing such dreams and the story of little Lee is no exception, because fate, Karma, life -- call it what you will -- had other ideas.  In a common accident Wilson was exposed to a video game and, no surprise here, the viral infection that exposure to this video game caused became deep-rooted and incurable, so he had no choice but to relocate to Seattle, Washington in February of 2005.

Seeking treatment at the Bungie Clinic, where he served as a storyboard artist for Halo 2, Wilson was very nearly cured of the infection but, as often happens, caught CJ Cowan stealing the bag lunch of Joseph Staten, who upon condition of his ongoing silence in the matter was offered the Memorial Achievement.  Being no fool and having a keen sense for history, Wilson agreed to the bribe...  And now you know...

Oh yeah, you should probably also know that the Plasma Grenade is a Covenant anti-personnel weapon that explodes a short time after coming to rest you know, wherever you happen to throw it, which had better not be next to me!

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? N/A
Effective Range: N/A
Clip Capacity:  N/A Single Disposable Container
Standard Ammunition Load: 4 Rounds, Chemical-Reaction Plasma/Heat Damage

--== Recommended Applications ==--

The ability of the Plasma grenade to stick to its target is very useful for taking out moving targets that keep evading your other grenades, and besides the funny looks on their faces when they run up to a group of their buddies and then explode are priceless.


Type-26 Anti-Infantry Stationary Gun (Shade Stationary Gun)

The Type-26 Anti-Infantry Stationary Gun -- commonly referred to as the Shade Turret -- is the Covenant's standard stationary gun turret and anti-infantry weapons platform.

--== Model Stats ==--

Dual-Wieldable? N/A
Effective Range: Longer than you feel comfortable with...
Clip Capacity: No Clip.
Standard Ammunition Load: Boat loads.

--== Recommended Applications ==--

The Shade is very effective against both enemy ground forces and light vehicles and is often very helpfully placed in the center of the enemy defenses, making it an ideal target to hijack and turn against the emeny!

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Comments for Weapons Guide

4 comments, latest first.
Sep 28th 2014 Guest
halo reach weapons and vehicles only!
ID #452707
Sep 22nd 2014 Guest
Also they don't have the focus rifle, concussion rifle incineration cannon binary rifle bolt shot scatter shot light rifle suppressor covenant carbine DMR sentinel beam beam rifle grenade launcher plasma launcher plasma repeater spiker SAW energy sword gravity hammer spike grenade fire grenade forerunner grenade and in those rare cases(custom games or forge) 7 Wood. Oh and I forgot to mention the sticky detonator. Plasma turret plasma cannon oh and last but not least what about master chiefs flippen knife.forgot another one my bad the storm rifle railgun. Did I miss any? Wait yeah I did the rare yet astonishing scarab gun.343 characters left to use.
ID #450632
Jan 15th 2013 Guest
I would just like to say that this list is missing alot. There is no Needle Rifle, Fuel Rod Gun, or Energy Sword. If someone could would they please fill in the rest of the blanks.
ID #242916
Nov 21st 2012 Guest
What about the sparten lazer?
ID #210874