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Learn the delicate art of survival, the Master Chief way.

by Greg Orlando

Knowing is half the battle, sayeth noted pundit G.I. Joe. The other half, at least for the first-person shooter Halo 3, is getting the basics down. Using these simple tips will help you begin your journey to Halo mastery.

Or they'll at least keep you from dying like clockwork every six seconds.


Step One: Know thy enemy...

The simplest thing you can do to stay alive in Halo 3's single-player adventure is to understand your enemy. You'll be facing a host of Covenant forces, from bumblebee-like drones to hulking Brutes. Each type of foe has its own set of reactions, battle tactics, and weapons. Once you know what a given enemy class is capable of, and what it's going to do in a given situation, you will be well prepared for a meaningful dialogue with it -- by which we mean kill the rat bastard and mock its corpse.

Diminutive grunts, for example, will panic in the face of pressure; kill the Brute leader they support, and the Grunts will throw up their arms and scatter. Jackals serve as snipers and, on the game's heroic difficulty level, are crack shots. When they're around it's best to use stealth to kill the ground enemies they support so as to find a good vantage point from which to snipe them, or else move from cover point to cover point to avoid their deadly fire.

Later on, during the Flood levels, Halo 3 becomes more of a run-and-gun affair. Here, it's not so much necessary to recognize the different Flood types, but rather escape from them. In fact, shooting some of the Flood is just asking for trouble; the little, twitching, bulbous-headed Flood (Flood carrier forms) will explode when shot, releasing a horde of tiny parasites in the process.


Step two: It's tool time!

Do not neglect your tools. They're handy in so many ways.

Bubble shields are invaluable, especially when Master Chief's facing a host of enemies and cover isn't readily available. Dropping one will give you the time you need to reload, recover lost shield power, and plot a new strategy.

Portable gravity lifts can be dropped in doorways or narrow corridors, creating a perfect trap for foes. Any enemy foolish enough to wander over one will be thrust upward toward the ceiling and rendered helpless. From here, it's easy to either shoot them or lob a grenade toward the generator (the generator will then hurl the grenade upward) to dispatch the trapped foes.

A power drainer is great to use on a concentrated group of enemies. It rapidly depletes enemy shields, and will kill anything stupid enough to remain in its area of effect. Players can then follow up the drainer's destructive attack with grenades, or simply plow through the problem spot with little resistance.

In multiplayer games, other players' radar can be temporarily wrecked with a radar jammer. This is great for players who like to take the high ground and snipe suckers from a distance, or for less experienced players who rely on praying and spraying (with the battle rifle, machine gun, etc.) or those who like to dispatch their foes close up with melee attacks.


Step three: Learn this combo...

The ability to wield two weapons at once is a godsend in Halo 3. Covenant enemies such as the Brutes now use armor, and taking them out while it's intact is really tough.

It may seem like an unlikely combination, but the pistol and pistol combination (human and Covenant plasma) works extremely well against armored or shielded foes. Charge up the plasma pistol by holding down the fire trigger (either left or right, depending on which hand the plasma pistol is being held in, and shoot when the pistol begins to hum and shake. This will knock out shields and destroy armor, allowing for two or three quick shots with the human pistol-a surefire way to destroy any foe.


Step four: One last thing...

Always aim for the head. One well-placed head shot is worth 5-10 hits on an enemy's body.


7 Response for the "Tips for mastering Halo 3"

  1. Anonymous says:

    in mulitpalyer what is the best strategy or best tactic to kill online players in slayer mode?

  2. William says:

    The first key to being good at any halo 3 online play is knowing the layout of the maps. If you know where each weapon spawns at, and where other items are then you will have a great advantage over those who do not know the layout.

    The second key to being good is mastering weapon combos. Some combo's are good, some aren't, and each have their own advantages.

    Plasma pistol is used in several combo's because it is good for taking down enemy shields.

    Plasma pistol + human pistol is a good close range weapon. Charge the plasma pistol and shoot the enemy with it. Use the other pistol to finish him off.

    Plasma pistol + battle rifle is a good mid-range combo. Use the plasma pistol to take down the enemy shields and use the battle rifle to finish him off. It should take only one or two shots with the battle rifle after the shields are down.

    Sniper rifle + Shotgun is a great long range combo. The sniper rifle is used for the long range killing, while the shotgun is there incase an enemy sneaks up and you need a close range weapon.

    Grenades are key in online play also. If you only have a plasma pistol, charge it then shoot at the enemy. Throw the grenade 1 or 2 seconds later and try to time the grenade to explode right after the plasma pistol shot hits the enemy.

    Grenades can also be used in the place of the plasma pistol in combination with battle rifle or human pistol. Just use the grenade to take down the enemy shields then use the pistol or battle rifle to finish him off.

    There are many other ways to better yourself in online play, but these are just a few. I hope this was helpful in some way

  3. Tom says:

    I am having trouble finishing Halo 3. I am stuck at the point where Master Chief has to run through the base as it is falling apart and get back to the Frigate. I figured out how to jump the jeep over to one side of the base and then run around to the point where the Frigate is. But every time I get to where the Frigate is, the floor falls out from under me just before I get there.

    What am I doing wrong??? It's driving me crazy.

    Someone PLEASE email me: darconsulting(at)

  4. WoRFuzz says:

    me and my friend had that happen like three times... you just have to try to stay off of the panels that fall every time

  5. The master says:

    The best combo is needler and plasma grenades because id you fire enough the needles explode, nearly killing any alien except a Chieftain Brute, then finish them with a hail of well-placed grenades

  6. Anonymous says:

    Another tip, if you need an anti-vehicle pair of weapons heres probably the best set.

    primary weapon: plasma pistol a charged shot can EMP/stall a vehicles engine and stop it dead in it's tracks.

    Secondary weapon: Gravity Hammer it can take out light vehicles in 1-3 hits and heavy vehicles in 2-4 hits, also easier to get a direct hit in when the vehicle has been stopped by the plasma pistol.

  7. Anonymous says:

    also (also because i was the 1 who sent the anti-vehicle combo) an instant death stratagy is bubble sheild+ spike grenades.

    You lure an enemy into a bubble sheild then throw a spike grenade in it, the spikes will bounce around the bubble and most likely mean instant death.

    PS: you can do this twice in the same bubble sheild before it destroys the genarator.