The Halo franchise is one of gaming’s best, and it took center stage on the Xbox console when it launched in 2001. Since the first game in the series, Halo: Combat Evolved, the franchise has gone on to spawn six additional sequels, as well as numerous spin-offs.
This first person shooter effortlessly mixed the drama of futuristic politics and the action of space warfare. Using a slew of both military and alien-tech weapons, we’ve enjoyed countless hours of blasting down evil alien foes.
The Halo franchise hassome incredibly memorable weapons, regardless of whether you’re playing the lengthy campaigns or engaging in multiplayer battles. Below, we’ve listed our favorite guns from the Halo franchise, picking from the first person shooters only. From overpowered cannons to accurate rifles, these are our picks for the best weapons in the Halo series.
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#1 Battle Rifle
While it's not used as much in the main campaign modes, the Battle Rifle is one of the most iconic guns in Halo simply for its abundance in multiplayer. If you spent any time playing Halo 2 or Halo 3 online, you've undoubtedly ran into a handful of headshots from a battle rifle. In fact, many players were judged on their accuracy with a Battle Rifle, as a lot of firefights boiled down to that one simple ability.
There's nothing extraordinary about the Battle Rifle in design or practice, it's simply your best friend when fighting online. The range is great for both close and medium-distance fights, allowing you place accurate shots on target without trouble. When it comes to playing Halo competitively, one of your first focuses should be improving your play with the Battle Rifle.
#2 M6D Pistol
When you think of first person shooters, you usually don't think of the pistols as the most iconic guns. While there are a few pistols in gaming that are exceptionally cool, they're most often just a simple pea-shooter that acts as a last-ditch effort for when all other ammo runs out. The pistol in the original Halo: Combat Evolved is the exception to that rule.
The pistol in Halo: Combat Evolved is not only ultra-cool in design, but it also packs a ridiculously powerful punch. Although the recoil might impact your accuracy, a focused marksman can use the M6D Pistol to fell enemies at impressive distance. It's not all that flashy, but if you can make your shots land, few guns can provide both the versatility and lethality of the M6D Pistol.
#3 Sniper Rifle
The Sniper Rifle is easily one of Halo's most iconic weapons, propelled by hyped-up multiplayer headshots and deadly stopping power. It's a marksman's best friend, capable of killing most enemies with one headshot (although smaller foes can be crumpled with just a body shot). It might seem simple enough, but becoming proficient with the Sniper Rifle requires a lot of precision.
The Sniper Rifle is often the unsung hero of many multiplayer matches, where patient snipers can quietly gain points on the scoreboard by sitting on the sidelines. You won't want to camp too much with it though, as the Sniper Rifle carries a significant reload time. Whether you've just bagged another no-scope or taken down a Hunter from long distance, the Sniper Rifle rewards those with proper aim.
#4 DMR (Designated Marksman Rifle)
The DMR is a favorite for more “new-school” Halo players, as the gun only appears in later entries in the franchise. It basically replaces the Battle Rifle in Halo: Reach multiplayer, but also has some uses in Halo 4 and Halo 5. Whereas the Battle Rifle offers a consistent three-burst shot, the DMR is all about precision, firing a single shot at a decent rate. Like most of the great Halo weapons, accuracy is exceptionally important when wielding the DMR.
We love the DMR for not only the satisfying “pop” you get when capping an enemy player, but for its excellent damage and accuracy. The DMR is a great tool for chasing down enemies with placed headshots and picking off low-health foes. It's not only a great weapon for an offensive push, but also a trusty companion for holding down objectives and providing support.
The Shotgun has always been a reliable tool of destruction in the Halo franchise. Its high damage makes it perfect for multiplayer rampages, flattening enemies in the blink of an eye. It's also very useful when dealing with annoying enemies like the Flood, which pop up as a major annoyance in almost every Halo game.
You never want to find yourself on the opposite end of a shotgun in Halo, as it surely means instant death. Combining one pull of the trigger with a quick melee attack is an excellent one-two punch to get you in the lead. Regardless of what Halo game you're playing, picking up the shotgun is probably a good move.
#6 Assault Rifle
In many ways, the Assault Rifle is the campaign-equivalent of the Battle Rifle. It's not incredibly cool or powerful, but you can always rely on it for consistent damage when all else fails. Unless you're playing Halo 2, you'll usually off with an assault rifle in campaign levels. We have a lot of love for the iconic MA5B Assault Rifle from Halo: Combat Evolved, but each Assault Rifle in Halo is usually worthwhile.
When it comes to Halo, there are a lot of automatic weapons. Only a select few are quite as iconic as the Assault Rifle. Sure, you could grab an SMG and Plasma Rifle combo for some effective damage, but there are few guns as satisfying to use as the Assault Rifle. It's accurate, consistent, and reliable, and we can't count the number of aliens we've killed with it over the years.
#7 The Needler
The Needler is one of Halo's best inventions, with its bright pink spikes and explosive ammunition. It doesn't matter if you're using the Needler to blast through waves of aliens or take down other human opponents in multiplayer; you're going to have a lot of fun. This alien SMG delivers its spiked ammo with a homing ability, locking onto evasive enemies and chasing them down. If you're able to pack enough of the ammo onto one enemy it will explode, usually resulting in a point in your favor (or progression through the level).
There are only a few downsides to the Needler, namely its inconsistent nature and awkward range. There's an inherent risk and reward factor to using the Needler, as you are often left vulnerable while waiting for the accumulative explosion. That said, laying into an enemy team with countless Needler shots is an ultra-quick way to get them tilted and annoyed. In campaign, the Needler is an easy pick simply for the visual flair that punctuates your successive kills.
#8 The Scarab Gun
This extremely powerful gun could be discovered in Halo 2's campaign mode, either on the “Outskirts” or “Metropolis” level. The most common method of obtaining this obscenely explosive plasma gun involved maneuvering one of the flying Banshees through “Metropolis” to access a hidden outcropping. You won't be able to simply stumble across the Scarab Gun; only the most patient of players will be able to use it.
Although it looks pretty unassuming, the Scarab gun fires off massive plasma bolts which explode with incredible splash damage. It's easy to barrage enemies with endless fire, but you'll probably kill yourself in the process. For even more ridiculousness, you can actually dual-wield two Scarab guns. That's a power that no Spartan should possess.
#9 Spartan Laser
The Spartan Laser is one of Halo 3's coolest and most powerful weapons, providing both incredible range and damage. Originally designed as an anti-vehicle weapon, this giant energy rifle shoots a single red laser with impeccable accuracy, easily destroying anything in its path. Like the Rocket Launcher or other “power” weapons in Halo, the Spartan Laser can quickly turn the tide of any battle.
The Spartan Laser takes a few seconds to charge up, but once you unleash that red laser of death, there's nothing quite like it. It's best used when you find yourself under heavy fire from flying Banshees and other vehicles, but it is also great as a sniper substitute. You will need some pretty good aim if you want to use the Spartan Laser to its full potential, but once you have a steady shot there's nothing it can't handle.
The Bruteshot isn't the best weapon in every scenario, but it's ridiculously fun to use. In addition to being a grenade launcher that can flip enemy vehicles and splash damage enemies, it also has a giant blade on the underside for cutting down foes. You can unleash a barrage of six grenades, often displacing enemies and causing general chaos.
Despite its low damage when compared to other explosive weapons, the Bruteshot is very versatile. It's capable of blowing up enemy vehicles with relative ease, can destroy groups of pesky enemies in mere seconds, and the blade makes melee attacks twice as powerful. While it might seem sluggish and weird to use at first, there's a certain finesse to the Bruteshot that makes it more than just a grenade launcher with an edge.