With the launch of Halo Infinite‘s multiplayer, fans have a chance to jump into the newest of the series’ storied competitive modes. Even if you’re a big-time Halo player, however, you’re likely to stumble a bit when you get into Infinite for the first time. There are a lot of new and tweaked elements that can be confusing–not the least of which are Halo Infinite’s guns. Many are new versions of familiar weapons, such as the assault rifle and battle rifle. But others are all-new weapons, or returning guns whose ranges and functionality have been altered. Figuring out how your new guns work while you’re in the middle of the match can be a good way to get killed by someone with more experience.
We’ve put together a complete rundown of all the guns in Halo Infinite, to help you get a sense of how each gun works and how you should try to use it–whether up close and personal or at longer ranges. You can also test out each gun yourself in the Academy section of the main menu, and we highly recommend you do so. It’ll probably save your life.
Halo’s original assault rifle is also your default weapon and the gun you’re likely to be using most often. It’s a straightforward assault rifle that’s effective at close and medium ranges, dumping a lot of ammo on a target quickly but with a tendency to spray around a lot. At anything longer than mid-range, the MA40 becomes pretty useless, but in close engagements it’s an effective gun for ripping apart an enemy shield and finishing the job. Pair the MA40 with a grenade explosion as either an opener or closer to a fight, and try to hit your opponent with as much of a magazine as possible. Don’t stop firing and keep the gun on target and you’ll find it can effectively tear through Spartans.
The Covenant plasma rifle of past games, favored by Covenant Elites, returns in Halo Infinite in a slightly different form. The carbine is now more akin to the BR75 battle rifle, making it more accurate at longer ranges and a little easier to handle without the gun overheating in your hand. The gun fires a three-round burst that tracks targets and is particularly effective at dropping shields, making it a good weapon to pair with a straight damage-dealer like the BR75 or Sidekick pistol.
Halo 2’s Battle Rifle is back in roughly the same form that you’ve seen in the past. This is the marksman rifle version of your assault rifle, firing an accurate three-round burst that’s highly effective at mid- to long-range. Land enough shots on target and you can even treat the BR75 as something of a sniper–while it has a hard time cutting through shields, it’s great for landing long-range headshots and finishing off opponents. In Halo Infinite, you’ll often find the BR is a good weapon for cleaning up opponents fighting your teammates, and you can also often effectively use it to chase people into cover, even if you can’t kill them.
The Commando is a new weapon that stands somewhere between the MA40 and the BR75. It’s a more accurate machine gun than the standard assault rifle, but lacks the effective range of the battle rifle. It’s also fully automatic, but with a smaller magazine than the MA40, which makes it a good mid-range weapon if you’ve got decent aim. With headshots, you can tear people apart with the Commando at ranges where they have a hard time fighting back with the default loadout, making this a good one to grab for larger team fights. Just note that the Commando runs out of ammo pretty quickly, especially if you’re trying to fight up close with opponents the way you would with the MA40.
While Halo Infinite sees a lot of Covenant plasma rifles and the occasional Sentinel gun, it also includes a class of energy weapons that basically shoot electricity. The Shock Rifle is one of these–it is, in essence, a lightning sniper rifle. The upshot of the Shock Rifle and other electricity guns is that energy will chain off your initial target and hit nearby opponents as well, so if you can snipe into a group with the Shock Rifle, you might get some collateral damage or even kills. You can also zap vehicles with the Shock Rifle, temporarily disabling them. Headshots will out Spartans in one blast, but note that the gun needs to recharge for a second between shots or you won’t get full damage. Watch your targeting reticule for it to pulse a bit–that’s how you know the shot is fully charged.
Your standard-issue pistol is a good rangy addition to your loadout, allowing you to effectively hit targets a little farther out than your MA40 AR can handle. The Sidekick can fire very quickly and do a fair amount of damage, and like the BR, it’s great for picking up headshots on enemies whose shields are broken. Breaking those shields, however, is tougher, especially because this is a semi-auto. If you can pull the trigger quickly, you can get some reliable kills out of this, but the Sidekick is what it seems like: a backup sidearm.
The Mangler is, more or less, Halo 3’s Mauler, and works roughly the same way. It’s a pistol-like shotgun, making it a good pairing with a longer-range gun in your second weapon slot. The Mangler can be very effective up close, but its pellets spread a lot when fired at anything more than the close side of mid-range. It can fire fast and has a pretty large magazine, though, so as long as you can land your shots, you can maim enemies pretty effectively with this one.
Halo’s classic Plasma Pistol is as you remember it. The pistol itself can be something of a weak weapon–it fires fast but its plasma rounds are slower than bullets, and while it’s strong against shields, it does less damage once they’re down than other weapons. You can charge up a shot that will quickly knock out an opponent’s shields, at the cost of the gun overheating on you. The charge shot doesn’t track nearly as well as it has in past games, so keep that in mind when you’re lining up a shot. Unlike in the past, the one-two punch of the Plasma Pistol and an accurate rifle like the BR is less of an effective pairing in Halo Infinite; this is a gun you want to use with teammates who can take advantage of your shield-dropping prowess.
The Disruptor is another electricity gun, and like the Shock Rifle, it benefits from hitting targets that are bunched together. The gun’s range isn’t particularly long, but while it fires slowly, it’s fully automatic, making it useful for firing into a crowd at, say, a control point. You’ll need some sustained fire to do real damage, though, so treat the Disruptor as a backup gun or a weapon for a particular set of circumstances; don’t bust it out unless you’re with your fireteam. Like the Shock Rifle, you can also use this against vehicles.
With the Bulldog, you get the most straightforward shotgun in Halo Infinite, although don’t expect it to one-shot other Spartans when you level it on their chests at close range. The Bulldog is powerful, but not overly so, and it’ll take two to three shots with the gun to bring down an opponent at various closer ranges. In the plus column, the Bulldog is an automatic with a decently large drum magazine, so you can keep firing away until you get the job done.
Where the Bulldog is a pretty standard combat shotgun, the Heatwave is a weirdo space shotgun. The shrapnel-launching weapon has two firing modes: by default, it whips pellets in a straight, horizontal line, allowing you to hit multiple targets at once. Hit your aim button and you’ll get a tighter, vertical spread, which does a lot more damage but requires a lot more accuracy on your part. The Heatwave’s pellets also overpenetrate targets and ricochet quite a bit, so try shooting this around corners or in tight quarters with lots of targets.
The laser sported by the Sentinel robots of the Halo rings returns in a more powerful form in Halo Infinite. The Sentinel Beam lets you lay down a constant stream of superheated death on a target, and like the Heatwave, the beam travels through targets. That means you can fire it through Spartans to hit Spartans behind them, or blast the driver and gunner of a Warthog, while also damaging the vehicle itself. Lining up the right angles can be tough in battle, but if you can catch enemies in narrow pathways, the Sentinel Beam can be very effective in taking out multiple enemies.
You know the Needler. Halo’s most iconic weapon shoots pointy pink crystal needles that stick in their target for minimal damage, then explode. If you get enough needles in a target, that target reliably dies, and the needles will track targets (so long as your targeting reticule turns red), helping to make sure you connect enough shots to land a kill. The Needler isn’t especially effective in Halo Infinite, though–the tracking is pretty weak, and you’ll need to stick at least half the needles in a magazine to get a kill, it seems, so this isn’t great for enemies who are strafing or even at middle ranges.
The Covenant’s take on a sniper rifle from past games is the weakest of your sniping options, but makes up for it with a larger magazine and higher firing rate than the alternatives. Like the S7 Sniper, it comes with two levels of zoom for extra long-range shooting, and it’s effective against shields. Usually, though, you’ll need three hits to drop a target–more, if you’re only landing body shots.
Like the MA40 AR, the S7 Sniper is basically untouched from past games. The gun has two levels of zoom and is incredibly powerful and accurate. A single headshot will drop a Spartan, while two body shots will do the job. There are only four rounds in the S7’s magazine, though, and not many in its ammo reserves when you pick one up–so make sure those shots count.
The Skewer is kind of a cross between a rocket launcher and a sniper rifle. It’s one of only a few one-shot weapons in the game, but the good news is that hitting a Spartan anywhere with this one will put an end to them. The trouble with the Skewer is that it requires accuracy and that it takes forever to reload. Its projectile will also drop as it flies, so you’ll want to spend some time getting a sense of how it arcs when you shoot it.
In the Cindershot, you get what’s pretty close to a straight-up grenade launcher. The gun’s projectiles bounce and explode, so when firing from the hip, you’ll want to try to aim short and bounce them toward your intended target. If you switch to aiming mode, the projectiles will seek a little instead of bouncing, but they’re a bit finicky and take some getting used to when it comes to aiming them. The explosion is pretty large and powerful, though, so fire this thing into a group and create some havoc.
Something of a Plasma version of a grenade launcher, the Ravager is a bit of a weird weapon. It fires a powerful three-shot burst of plasma that arcs and falls, so you’ll want to practice with this thing to avoid putting your shots right between the legs of your Spartan targets. Charge up the Ravager–which, admittedly, takes a while–and you can fire a larger blast that spreads burning Plasma on whatever it hits, including the ground. That allows you to create deadly patches of fire on key spots, like control points.
The explosive-firing Hydra works like a mini-rocket launcher, firing fast, straight explosive projectiles. The explosions aren’t huge or as powerful as some other explosive guns, so keep that in mind, and it’s best utilized by aiming at the feet of an enemy to try to catch them in the explosion. Switching to aim mode makes the projectiles track enemies, so you use them a little more like missiles. The Hydra is great against vehicles and groups, provided you can accurately land your explosions near people. Note that it takes forever to reload, so have an effective weapon at the ready if you need to switch and keep fighting.
Halo’s two-barreled rocket launcher is still one of the best in the business. The launcher is the biggest, most effective explosive launcher in the game, and a single rocket will wreck a vehicle and instantly kill anyone near the blast–which has a huge radius. You get two shots before you have to reload, but you won’t get many rockets when you pick this power weapon up. You can aim and zoom with the rocket launcher, but the rockets it fires are dumb, so make sure your aim is on point when you pull the trigger.
GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email [email protected]