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Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: New Weapons and Armor Types

by: Simon Williams ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

Bright Hub kicks off its multiplayer guide for Bungie's latest and greatest with a look at the new Halo: Reach weapon and armor additions to the Halo universe for both Spartan and Covenant forces.

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    Halo: Reach Weapon Guide - Introduction

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Halo Reach In the first part of our multiplayer guide for Halo: Reach for the Xbox 360, we're going to take a close-up look at the new members of the Halo weapons fraternity, as well as the all-new Armor Abilities. While plenty of old favorites have returned for this final Bungie-produced installment in the Halo franchise, including a Magnum finally as good as the one in the original Halo: Combat Evolved, the developers have not rested on their laurels, instead coming up with a whole batch of cool armaments that will give Halo; Reach fans plenty of pleasure in multiplayer on Xbox Live for some time to come. In this Halo: Reach Weapon Guide, we'll first look at the new UNSC weapons before moving on to the Covenant additions and finally looking at the introduction of Armor Types to Halo multiplayer. In future installments of this guide, we'll take in the vehicles, maps, game-modes and Xbox 360 Achievements on offer in Halo: Reach.

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    Tactical Shotgun

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Tactical Shotgun Details:

    • Full Designation: M45 Tactical Shotgun
    • Range: Close
    • Magazine: 6
    • Max Ammo: 30
    • Firing Rate: Single Fire

    Bungie have rejigged the Shotgun in Halo: Reach, making it a far more powerful and useful weapon than the M90 that featured in both Halo 3 and ODST. The overall range has been improved and the cone of fire is now a bit tighter, meaning it is brutal against individual opponents but with the drawback of less scattershot hitting other enemies around you. The Tactical Shotgun is perfect for close quarters corridor work on enclosed maps and a good counter to an Energy Sword wielding foe charging you.

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    Grenade Launcher

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Individual Grenade Launcher Details:

    • Full Designation: M319 Individual Grenade Launcher
    • Range: Close to Long
    • Magazine: 1
    • Max Ammo: 15
    • Firing Rate: Single Fire

    The Halo: Reach Individual Grenade Launcher is a fantastic dual-purpose weapon, great for action in confined multiplayer map spaces. In its normal mode of operation, the Launcher shoots a standard Frag Grenade in a similar manner to a thrown grenade, detonating after an initial bounce on a surface (and like the Frag Grenade, it can injure opponents when fired directly at them even without exploding). The Launcher's second mode of fire, however, really expands its tactical uses. If a player holds the Right Trigger down without releasing, the Frag Grenade will launch but will not explode until the RT is released. This is fantastic for setting up cunning traps in corridors for unsuspecting opponents, and biding your time for the perfect synchronized explosion. The grenade will also detonate at the moment of your death, allowing you to take enemies with you to the grave. Overall, the Individual Grenade Launcher is a brilliant addition to the Halo: Reach weapon arsenal, really coming into its own on tight indoor maps. The only downside is its required to be reloaded after every single shot.

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    Designated Marksman Rifle

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Designated Marksman Rifle Details:

    • Full Designation: M392 Designated Marksman Rifle
    • Range: Medium to Long
    • Magazine: 15
    • Max Ammo: 60
    • Firing Rate: Semi-Automatic

    The replacement for the Battle Rifle, or, in the timeline of the Halo universe, its predecessor, the Designated Marksman Rifle is the primary long-range weapon of the UNSC in Halo: Reach. For those who never got on with the Battle Rifle in previous Halo multiplayer iterations, the bad news is that the DMR requires more skill on the player's behalf to pick up those headshots. This is due to the introduction with this weapon of an expanding and contracting aiming reticule, meaning that at distance you really have to lead your target and wait for the reticule to zero in to get an accurate shot, leaving you sometimes at the mercy of your ping on Xbox Live for this weapon to be truly useful. On the plus side, the truly skilled Halo gamers will have a ball with its ability to drop Shields in 4 shots and then take an enemy out with a final bullet to the head, and the improvement in the magazine capacity since the Beta (up from 12 to 15) allows for 3 Spartans to be downed before reloading.

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    Needle Rifle

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Needle Rifle Details:

    • Full Designation: Covenant Type-31 Rifle
    • Range: Medium to Long
    • Magazine: 21
    • Max Ammo: -
    • Firing Rate: Fully Automatic

    The first up of the new Covenant weapons, the Needle Rifle is essentially the alien counterpart to the UNSC Designated Marksman Rifle. While it is on the surface related to the classic Needler, the similarities are only skin-deep: Needle Rifle projectiles travel at a far higher speed and don't home in on the target, acting essentially as bullets. However, the Needles do still gather and explode on an unshielded opponent. The Needle Rifle requires 6 hits to bring down a Spartan's Shields, and, like the DMR, has seen a magazine increase since the Halo: Reach Beta to allow it to deal with 3 enemies before requiring a reload.

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    Concussion Rifle

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Concussion Rifle Details:

    • Full Designation: Covenant Type-50 Directed Energy Rifle
    • Range: Medium to Long
    • Magazine: 6
    • Max Ammo: -
    • Firing Rate: Single Fire

    The all-new Concussion Rifle gives the Covenant the same sort of firepower as the Individual Grenade Launcher, instead launching what are in essence Plasma Grenades in a slight arc to explode on contact with a surface and take groups of enemies out in one fell blow. It's certainly superior to the unloved Brute Shot, and great for defensive action at choke points on various maps, as well as directed anti-vehicle fire.

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    Plasma Repeater

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Plasma Repeater Details:

    • Full Designation: Covenant Type-51 Directed Energy Rifle
    • Range: Close to Medium
    • Magazine: 100
    • Max Ammo: 100
    • Firing Rate: Automatic

    Acting as the Assault Rifle equivalent for the Covenant, the Plasma Repeater is closely related to the Plasma Rifle of the previous Halo titles, but with a few much-needed tweaks. These Halo: Reach weapons are great for sapping Shields rapidly before swapping to another gun to deliver the knock out blow (they do less damage to unshielded opponent's than to shielded ones), and Bungie have finally remedied the most annoying feature of past Covenant weapons - now, when the Plasma Repeater overheats, it simply slows down the rate of fire, rather than requiring a cooldown period, usually just when you need to use it the most. This makes it now a highly useful addition to the Halo: Reach multiplayer stable, and provides some balance against the Assault Rifle.

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    Focus Rifle

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Focus Rifle Details:

    • Full Designation: Covenant Type-52 Special Applications Rifle
    • Range: Long
    • Magazine: 100
    • Max Ammo: 100
    • Firing Rate: Continuous Beam

    Perhaps our favorite of all the new Halo: Reach weapons, due to a combination of brilliant visual design on Bungie's part - it looks like the skull of some long-dead flying reptile - and imaginative gameplay implementation. Unlike other long-distance "sniping" weapons, the Focus Rifle emits a continual stream of purple energy, requiring the shooter to track their target for the second and a half or so it takes to destroy it. This opens up a whole new approach to long distance killing, conjuring up cat-and-mouse games of movement and targeting amongst buildings and structures, and outright panic when you find yourself targeted when out in the wide open. The skill demands are still there though, as the Focus Rifle sports no Aim-Assist whatsoever.

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    Plasma Launcher

    Halo Reach Weapon Guide - Plasma Launcher Details:

    • Full Designation: Covenant Type-52 Guided Munitions Launcher
    • Range: Long
    • Magazine: 4
    • Max Ammo: -
    • Firing Rate: Burst

    The Plasma launcher is like some demented cross between a grenade launcher and a Spartan Laser, and is going to lead to some epic fun in Matchmaking on Halo: Reach - we confidently predict that Plasma launcher-only game types will be wildly popular. The Plasma launcher requires an initial charging like the Spartan Laser, but it then fires a burst of up to 4 Plasma bolts, which act like Plasma Grenades in that they will stick to enemies or vehicles, and their delay means you can still take an opponent down even after they've got you. So far, so fair enough, but the genius addition is that the Plasma Bolts track a target just like the Needler. As can be imagined, this leads to some insane haring around the map, Plasma Bolts on your tail, as well as the always enjoyable "beyond the grave"-style revenge kills. Amongst the best of Bungie's new additions to the Halo: Reach weapon line-up.

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    Halo: Reach New Armor Types

    One of the biggest changes in Halo multiplayer in Halo: Reach is the removal of temporary, single-use equipment present in Halo 3, and the incorporation of similar abilities in a permanent form as part of a player's Armor. These abilities include old favorites such as the Active Camo and Bubble Shield replacement Drop Shield to the much-talked about addition of Jet Packs to the Halo universe. These new Armor types have such a profound effect on tactics in Multiplayer game modes that Bright Hub has dedicated a Halo: Reach Guide to Armor Abilities to them, packed with information on all the new upgrades.

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    There is plenty for any multiplayer fan to get stuck into amongst the new Halo: Reach weapon types, while Armor Abilities will change the way more tactical players approach the game. In the next installments of this Halo: Reach multiplayer guide, we'll examine the vehicles, multiplayer maps, different game modes and 360 Achievements to be discovered at the Fall of Reach.

Ultimate Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide

Bright Hub gives you all the info you need to dominate online with its Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide, including comprehensive coverage of the new weapons, armor types, vehicles, game modes and Xbox Live Achievements in Bungie's blockbuster FPS Halo: Reach.
  1. Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: New Weapons and Armor Types
  2. Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: The New Multiplayer Maps
  3. Halo: Reach Multiplayer Guide: The New Vehicles
  4. Xbox 360 Multiplayer Guide for Halo: Reach
  5. The Complete Halo: Reach Xbox 360 Achievements Guide