Halo: Reach Armor Abilities: One of the Many New Halo: Reach Weapons

Halo: Reach Armor Abilities: One of the Many New Halo: Reach Weapons
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Halo: Reach Armor Abilities

One of the coolest new features of the multiplayer portion of Halo: Reach is customizable armor abilities. Players can now not only customize the appearance of their in-game avatar, they can also assign specific abilities and swap them out as the situation demands it.

Over the course of a match, you can go from aerial death machine to an immovable, invincible juggernaut to a lithe scout running ahead of the pack with the flag. It’s all in the armor ability you choose. Here’s a quick rundown of the seven different options.

Active Camo

Active camo is not unfamiliar to veterans of the Halo series. Reach will mark the first time it’s available pretty much at will, though.

Using Active Camo, players can become nearly transparent. It’ll still be possible to be detected by a keen eye, but for the casual observer it’ll appear as if you’re not there at all. This ability will make sneaking up on a flag or an unsuspecting enemy a breeze, and will be a favorite among players who prefer cunning to bravado.

Armor Lock

Halo Reach

Armor lock is potentially very useful ability, granting you temporary invulnerability at the cost of all movement. Essentially, you can activate your Armor lock as an enemy Warthog comes bearing down on you, and you’ll be able to walk away without a scratch while the vehicle goes flying.

Armor lock also has a built-in countermeasure against those who would just wait for it to wear off and then melee you from behind. When armor lock becomes inactive, it releases a short-range burst of energy that damages anyone who is close by.

Drop Shield

Halo Reach Drop Shield

Similar to Halo 3’s bubble shield, the drop shield deploys around a player and deflects bullets, protecting anyone inside. Those inside will also be healed as long as the shield is active.

The major difference is that the drop shield is not invulnerable. While the bubble shield would shed all weapons fire, the drop shield will take damage and eventually deplete if your enemies attack it earnestly enough.


Elites have been using this move to frustrate grenade-throwing Spartans since the original Halo. Now, you can turn the tide, at least against your fellow players.

It seems simple, but evade can make the difference between a direct rocket hit and a mere glancing blow. Quickly hitting LB can save you from certain death, and that’s a fairly useful option to have, especially against multiple explosive-wielding opponents.

Page two has the rest of the Halo: Reach armor abilities, including sprint, hologram, and the sure to be popular jetpack.


Gamers who are old enough to remember the multiplayer in Duke Nukem 3D will surely appreciate the value of the hologram armor ability (Holoduke, anybody?). Activating this ability sends a holographic copy of you running off in the direction you’re facing.

It’ll probably be obvious after a second or two that the errant Spartan running headlong toward the wall is a hologram, but that second or two may be just what a player needs to turn the tables on their opponents.


Halo Reach Jetpack

Destined to be one of the most frequently-used abilities, the jetpack allows you to fly through the air for a few seconds, enough to reach a high platform or deliver death from above to unsuspecting enemies.

This ability has a multitude of potential uses, and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly players adjust to firing a sniper rifle while gliding through the air.


Rocket Launcher Damage

When the original trailer for Halo 3 came out, many speculated that Master Chief was going to be given a sprint ability based on his actions in the video. Halo 3 lacked this ability, but Halo: Reach will finally allow Spartans to beat feet across the battlefield.

Considering that most major shooters on the market allow players to sprint for short distances, it’s no big surprise that Bungie finally opted to include a similar ability. Useful for flag carriers or those who just like to get the drop on their enemies, sprint will be a very popular ability.

Halo: Reach Armor Abilities

Halo Reach Multiplayer

Halo: Reach is sure to be a blockbuster title, and the famously addictive multiplayer portion of the game will surely be largely to blame. While Bungie knows not to mess too much with the formula that has made them leaders in the first-person shooter industry, they also know how to tweak the game just enough to keep in interesting.

Armor abilities are just one of the many Halo: Reach tweaks we’re sure to enjoy this fall.