Multiplayer Combat Manual - Guide for Halo

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                      MULTIPLAYER COMBAT MANUAL v0.7 BETA
                      By Blade ([email protected])
                      26th February 2003
                      Halo: Combat Evolved -- Xbox

                             ••¤•• INDEX ••¤••

• Introduction
• Why?
• Weapons & Vehicles
• Offensive Tactics
• Defensive Tactics
• Situational Awareness
• Tips and Tricks
• Version History
• Credits
• Copyright Information

                          ••¤•• INTRODUCTION ••¤••

- This FAQ is coming in a bit late. Most veteran players have moved on to
other games by now but Halo sales haven't slowed down much since it's launch
more than a year ago. We now have a gap between the elite, many of whom no
longer play the game as much and the newbies, who are discoving the
greatness of Halo's multiplayer. I intend to fill that gap with this FAQ.

Alot of the skill you develop in this game is innate. You can't exactly
describe or specify all the tactics you may use. But I will try to keep
adding to the FAQ as appropriately as possible.

                             ••¤•• WHY? ••¤••

- Most people will take a while to figure out the finer points of Halo
multiplayer on their own. This FAQ will provide basic and more advanced
tactics as well as assistance on weapon choice and effectiveness. Besides,
I really want a Halo FAQ on my GameFaqs Contributor list. :)

                           ••¤•• WEAPONS ••¤••

In Halo, unlike other FPS games, you can realisticly only carry two weapons.
On top of that all the weapons in the game are balanced to give certain
advantages and disadvantages pending the situation. This means that you must
make choices, the right choices, when you decide to change weapons. However,
as with all weapons, you need to know how to use it to be effective.

• UNSC Weapons & Vehicles •

It's only logical that a civilisation will build it's weapons based on the
damage it can do to it's own people. Hence the simple fact that ballistic
weaponery is most effective in multiplayer.

- MA5B Assault Rifle -
  Firing Rate : Excellent, Automatic Fire
  Accuracy    : Average to Poor
  Magazine    : 60 rounds
  Max Reserves: 600 rounds

Probably the least favourite UNSC weapon in it's arsenal. While it dishes
out rounds at an incredible rate, it's low damage and inaccurate. On top
of that the magazine only holds 60 rounds which finish all too quickly.
But it's not useless. Firing in short bursts will greatly increase accuracy.
It's best used in mid-range combat situations. Head shots do deal more
damage but being as inaccurate as it is, it's best to aim at the body.

- M90  Shotgun  -
  Firing Rate : Slow
  Accuracy    : Poor
  Loads       : 10 rounds
  Max Reserves: 50 rounds

Most players replace their Assault Rifle with the Shotgun. Both weapons do
the same damage at mid-range but that's where their similiarities end. The
Assault Rifle is more viable over longer distances while the Shotgun is
quite useless. However the Shotgun shows it's power in tight spaces. One
shot with the Shotgun can be fatal. To make up for it's slow firing rate,
it releases 15 slugs per round. The trick is to make most of that 15 hit
your target. Body shots are far more effective with this weapon,
specifically below the neck and above the waist. 

- M6D  Pistol -
  Firing Rate : Good, Semi-Automatic Fire
  Accuracy    : Good
  Magazine    : 12 rounds
  Max Reserves: 120 rounds

By far the most effective multiplayer weapon available. It's semi-explosive
rounds can kill with three rounds. Two to drop your opponnent's shields and
a third at the head to kill instantly. With it's semi-automatic fire
(hold down trigger) the gun fires quite fast and it stores more than enough
ammo in reserves. Casual players won't notice it but gravity does affect
bullets so when aiming it's best to use the bottom curve of the targeting
recticle for head shots.

- M19 SSM Rocket Launcher -
  Firing Rate : Poor
  Accuracy    : Good
  Loads       : 2 rockets
  Max Reserves: 8 rockets

In two words the Rocket Launcher can be described as brute force. Some
consider it to be the 'cheapest' weapon in Halo's arsenal but that is far
from the truth. Low ammo reserves, a slow firing rate and slow rocket speed
balances off the sheer power of this monster. When aiming you should target
the ground beneath your target or a close solid object. Remember that the
splash damage is what matters so never aim at the body, the rocket travels
slow enough to be dodged. The Rocket Launcher's targeting recticle leaves
much to be desired over distance, if you have the Sniper Rifle handy you
can aim with that to enhance your accuracy.

When it's used at mid-range you should jump and shoot in the air to ensure
that the explosion will be close enough to your opponent to kill them. You
won't get a second chance and you shouldn't need one.

- S2 AM Sniper Rifle -
  Firing Rate : Good, Semi-Automatic Fire
  Accuracy    : Excellent
  Magazine    : 4 rounds
  Max Reserves: 50 rounds

Now this is a weapon that reqires some mastery to be used the right way.
It's a piece of cake to hit a still target but it takes true skill to hit
a moving one. You should find some higher ground preferably in the shadows
or some cover before looking for victims. When looking around 2x zoom
should be used since obviously you can see more. Once your target is found
zoom in to 10x. If it's moving you should aim a little in front of the head
and let your victim move into the targeting recticle. If done correctly
you'll get an instant kill.

- M9 HE DP Fragmentation Grenade -
  Damage      : Excellent
  Max Reserves: 4 Grenades
  Fuse        : Short

Fragmentation Grenades is the better of the two available grenades in Halo.
It's hard so it can be bounced, rolled and thrown in hard to reach areas.
This is an art in the game since there is no targeting system for throwing
grenades. It detonates once it has come to a complete stop leaving less time
to escape the explosion. Once thrown properly it make not always kill but it
will certainly drop your opponent's shields leaving very vulnerable.

- M12  LRV  Warthog -
  Speed       : Good
  Handling    : Good
  Capacity    : Three (One driver, one side passenger and one gunner)
  Armor       : Average

  Weapon      : M41 LAAG Mini Gun
  Accuracy    : Average to Poor
  Firing Rate : Excellent
  Max Reserves: Unlimited

The Warthog is the fastest of the UNSC vehicles in multiplayer but hopping
in leaves you extremely vulnerable since the driver has no control over the
LAAG. The LAAG is a powerful weapon, however much like the Assault Rifle it
needs to be fired in short burts to be accurate. Even so you can make a kill
before pausing due to it's amazing firing rate. Mounting the LAAG leaves you
makes you an easy target so if you do decide to get up there it had better
be a short term decision.

So, why is a player driving Warthog a threat? Because he can turn you into
roadkill. One hit with any vehicle is an instant kill. Some will try to
dodge but it's easy to tail swing the Warthog by turning in the opposite

- M8O8B Scorpion MBT Tank -
  Speed       : Slow
  Handling    : Average
  Capacity    : Five (One driver, four side passengers)
  Armor       : Excellent

  Weapon A    : Cannon
  Accuracy    : Average
  Firing Rate : Poor (Four second reload per shot)
  Max Reserves: Unlimited

  Weapon B    : Mini Gun (Similar to the M41 LAAG)
  Accuracy    : Average to Poor
  Firing Rate : Excellent
  Max Reserves: Unlimited

Just like WrestleMania, the Scorpion Tank is the "Grandaddy of 'em all".
This beast is powerful. The main Cannon does the damage of the
Rocket Launcher but with the speed of the Sniper Rifle. While you're waiting
for the reload, the secondary Mini Gun can be used to suppress your
opponnents and often times kill them off. Even though the Scorpion Tank is
heavily armored you can be sniped from the front of the tank quite easily.
This is one of the easier ways to kill someone inside a Scorpion Tank. A
counter measure to this is to reverse into position, then turn around the
Cannon to aim. The only thing that can really kill you then is explosive
weaponery. ie. Grenades, Rockets ect.

Another weakness of the Scorpion Tank is it's "dead zone" around the tank
which cannot be aimed at. One an oponnent is close enough he can attack you
virtually unchallenged.

• Covenant Weapons & Vehicles •

Most Covenant equipment go unused in multiplayer battles but that doesn't
mean that they're useless or sometimes better than the UNSC equivalent.

- Plasma Rifle -
  Firing Rate : Excellent
  Accuracy    : Good
  Battery     : 100/100 (420-600 rounds)
  Features    : Stuns target momentarily

Fully automatic fire that will stun your target to almost a complete stop.
Not much else to this weapon. With plasma based weaponery it's critical to
pause ocassionally to avoid over heating the gun.

- Plasma Pistol -
  Firing Rate : Good to Excellent
  Accuracy    : Good
  Battery     : 100/100 
  Features    : Overcharge with a slight homing ability

The Plasma Pistol may not be fully automatic like the Plasma Rifle but it's
possible to attain a similar rate of fire with a quick trigger finger.
The Overcharge feature is powerful enough to completely disable an 
opponnents shield, even with an Over Shield on. With plasma based weaponery
it's critical to pause ocassionally to avoid over heating the gun.

- Needler -
  Firing Rate : Excellent
  Accuracy    : Good
  Rounds      : 20
  Max Reserves: 80
  Features    : Homing ability and potentially explosive rounds

Probably the coolest weapon on the Halo roster but definitely not one of the
best. It fires slow moving homing projectiles and is only viable at
mid-range and closer. To compensate for this getting seven or more rounds on
an opponent means a wicked pink explosion and almost certain death. When
this happens you should get out of the way fast since there is considerable
splash damage especially if you hit the target with more than seven rounds.
A full clip creates three explosions. 

The best way to use the Needler is to circle-strafe your opponent so the
rounds will come from too many directions to dodge. It can also be used to
temporarily blind a sniper, provided you know where he is, allowing you to
quickly escape.

- Plasma Grenade -
  Damage      : Excellent
  Max Reserves: 4 Grenades
  Fuse        : Long
  Features    : It sticks

Taking a lengthy three seconds to explode the Plasma Grenade isn't the best
but as with all things it does have it's uses. It sticks to players and
vehicles which most often results in an instant kill. Due to it's glow it can
possibly even give away your position if you're hidden.

- Ghost -
  Speed       : Excellent
  Handling    : Excellent
  Capacity    : One
  Armor       : Average

  Weapon      : Dual Plasma Cannons (Stuns)
  Accuracy    : Average to Poor
  Firing Rate : Good
  Max Reserves: Unlimited

We all love the Warthog but no experienced player will deny that the Ghost
is the most versitile of all the multiplayer vehicles. It has incredible
speed and the best manuverability since it hovers off the ground. It's
Plasma Cannons have the stun ability of the Plasma Rifle. You can sneak
behind an opponent in a Scorpion Tank and kill him before he can ever turn
around. Your main weakness is that the Ghost offers little protection to
it's driver

* Note: I was disapointed that Banshees were left out of Multiplayer and now
I can't wait until Halo 2 for the Banshee vs. Banshee air fights. Who knows
maybe there'll be a UNSC fighter of sorts.

                        ••¤•• OFFENSIVE TACTICS ••¤••

- Weapon Selection -
The decisions you make in weapon selection can and will make or break you.
Unlike other FPS (First Person Shooter) games you can only choose two
weapons. Now there is no perfect combination since all maps and your
current situation will make for hard choices. Generally speaking the Pistol
is the most versitile weapon you can have.

In Halo there are three general sizes of maps. The huge levels namely
Sidewinder and Blood Gulch. The medium sized levels i.e. Hang em' High and
Damnation. And the smaller ones like Rat Race, Derelict and Prisoner. Now
that's not the only thing that differentiates these maps. Some maps were
made with certain weapons in mind.

On large maps it's better, a one would logically realize, to stick to one
long range weapon preferably the Sniper Rifle and one variable weapon
pending your location.

Medium sized maps are a good place to use the Pistol and the 
Rocket Launcher. No other two weapons are as dominant in medium sized maps.

Small maps are quite different. They range from the four level high Prisoner
to the tight Rat Race and the openess of Battle Creek. In the small maps
with more open space you'll want the Pistol handy as well as the
Rocket Launcher if it's available. In the tighter maps you'll definitely
need the Shotgun handy.

I can't tell you explicitly what to use in each situation which is why I
did the Weapons & Vehicles section so that you will be able to do figure
it out for yourself. Only wih experience can you learn the finer details.

- Shield Bursting -
However you decide to kill, your chances are greatly increased when your
opponent's shield is down. That in itself is one of the major offensive
goals. Why do I call it 'shield bursting'? Because you can actualy see when
a player's shield falls. A hit glows longer than when a shield is goes down.

The easiest way to do this is with a grenade. Now that doesn't mean
you should go throwing grenades wildly because you only have four of each.
Plasma Grenades glow, they take long to explode and are good for not much
else than inflicting fear. Fragmentation Grenades however have much more
potential. The best way to use Fragmentation Grenades is to toss them close
to your opponent BEFORE opening fire. This will in the worst case scenario
cause them to turn and throw one back. By that time your grenade will have
exploded and you'll only have to fire a few rounds to make the kill. It
shouldn't be hard to dodge his grenade because you saw where he threw it.

Other notably easy ways to burst shields include the overcharge on the
Plasma Pistol which will drop an even a full Over Shield.

Then there's the Pistol which will take shields down in two body shots
leaving you to make a final head shot to get the kill. Proficiency with the
Pistol is something that you gain over time but once you achieve it you're
very dangerous.

- Circle Strafe -
Strafing is a nice tactic but a Circle Strafe is even better. Now this takes
some practice before its used instinctively. Properly executed it allows you
to fully circle an opponent without letting him out of your targeting

- General Strategy -
You need to keep your eyes open all the time. Remember that not much of the
maps have moving objects. Tall trees may sway at the top and there's the
odd river or waterfall but they don't move that much. I can spot someone
out of the corner of my eye, you need to be sharp always.

Grab powerups whenever possible and advantageous. Most of the time it's to
your advantage but sometimes it's not worth the effort. For example the
Over Shield in Damnation means making yourself an easy target. If you're
lucky you'll make it back out alive. On Hang em'High it's easy to get the
Over Shield, the Rocket Launcher and Invisibility within seconds.

                        ••¤•• DEFENSIVE TACTICS ••¤••

- On the run -
Many times you will find yourself on the run be it from a sniper or someone
right on your heels. If it's a sniper you need to be fast, stooping and
zig zags will help and hopefully you'll survive. However if you're being
chased the worst thing you can do is turn your back. Run backwards and keep
firing until you're safely around a corner, then you can toss a grenade as
he rounds the bend.

- Reloading -
Yeah. You're probably thinking WTF? Why does this guy have Reloading as a
Defensive Tactic? It all comes down to this... if you have no rounds in your
weapon you're an easy kill. If you don't monitor your ammunition you will
have to reload in the middle of a confrontation which will result in your
certain death. There is no magic number to reload at, you should reload
whenever you're not under attack. With that said don't reload in the open.
Position yourself under cover when you're reloading, this is especially
important when you're under fire.

There are some weapons that you should not always reload. Rocket Launcher
ammo is hard to come by and the delay between shots isn't much shorter than
the time it takes to reload. 

- Mobile Cover -
Vehicles are great as a form of mobile cover. The Warthog is the best
vehicle for this use. Park it in position, crouch and aim through the middle
of it's interior. Not only are you unlikely to be seen but the only major
threat is explosives ie. Grenades or the Rocket Launcher. As you would
likely guess the Ghost is the worst to do this with and the Scorpion Tank
is hard to position, offers the most cover but leaves no room for aiming.

- Shadows -
Stick to the darkness. It is much harder to be noticed in the shadowed
areas of the various maps. The extra few second it takes for your opponent
to locate you is enough for you to gain a significant advantage or even
complete the kill.

                      ••¤•• SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ••¤••

- Know Your Maps -
You could be the best Halo player in the world and still lose if you have
little to no knowledge of the maps. This is what I recommend.

- If possible walk through every map. 
- Find out where the Over Shield and Invisibility is hidden.
- Find out where every weapon is placed.
- Use all the teleports and remember where they take you.
- Look for sniper spots and hidden caves.
- Note where vehicles are when the game starts.

Yes, it sounds like alot and it is but you'll thank your lucky stars when
you can run circles around weaker opposition. This is your best chance of
hanging in there with stronger opposition.

- Settings -
One of the best things about Halo is that you can adjust your player
profile to suit you. For left handers there's the 'Southpaw' control scheme
and a variety of others for your convience. Most players will choose between
a Normal or Inverted vertical axis for starters. 

The most important of them all is your Look Sensitivity. This determines how
fast you look and turn. The default setting is 3 but you should at least set
that to 5 to begin with. It will take some time to get used to this and as
you become more confortable with it you should go up a digit. The true uber
elite players have their's at 10. The highest I've ever set mine is 8. You
need to play very regularly to be able to effectively use it at 10. The
higher you go, the easier the short-mid battles are but sniping becomes
much harder.

                          ••¤•• TIPS & TRICKS ••¤••

                This section currently under development.

                         ••¤•• VERSION HISTORY ••¤••

- v0.1 BETA: Just began working on the FAQ.
- v0.3 BETA: Weapons & Vehicles section finished.
- v0.4 BETA: Offensive Tactics started.
- v0.5 BETA: Defensive Tactics started.
- v0.6 BETA: Situational Awareness started.
- v0.7 BETA: First submitted version.

                            ••¤•• CREDITS ••¤••

- God most importantly.
- for it's great collection of FAQ's
- Bungie for making a five ¤¤¤¤¤ star game.
- The Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences for naming Halo as the
2001 Overall Game of the Year. --
- The new players who desperately need this information to be better at
their game.

- If you like WRESTLING be sure to check out my message board at...

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                      ••¤•• COPYRIGHT INFORMATION ••¤••

- You may use and alter this FAQ with your notes for your own personal use.
- You cannot re-distribute this FAQ in any way or form other than in it's
original format.
- You may print this FAQ for your personal use.
- You cannot profit from this FAQ. Not even 1 cent for the cost of paper or
$1 for the cost of the CD you copied it to.
- If you disagree with these conditions please remove/delete this FAQ from
your storage archives.

- I have done Business Law, in addition to which I have a very experienced
lawyer in my immediate family so there WILL be a law suit if you violate
the copyright of this document.

- The only sites that have permission to use this FAQ are

If you wish to use this FAQ e-mail me for permission first.

                     ••¤•• 2001© COPYRIGHT Blade ••¤••

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