Halo: Reach Multiplayer Tips
Here’s the bad news: The Halo franchise had about a billion people stomping around in multiplayer long before the release of Halo: Reach. Those people are better at it than you. Sorry.
Here’s the good news: Reach takes a lot of the conceptions of the previous Halo games and tosses them out. That means you have a chance to beat all those 12-year-olds who don’t have jobs and spend their afternoons in sniper practice. Because just like you, they have to learn all the new aspects of Reach multiplayer.
We’ve been kicking around on the battlefields of Reach, and discovered there are certain things you should keep in mind. I’m not talking about the basic tips any player will tell you — things like learn all the maps in Forge mode before you play, always control the “power” weapons such as rockets and sniper rifles by knowing where they spawn, even if you suck with them, or crouch to increase your firing accuracy. That information has been standard since Halo: Combat Evolved. It goes without saying that you should also spend some time game types so you know what the objectives are, and so you can adjust your strategy accordingly.
I’m talking about strategy tips for adapting to your enemies’ tactics — and crushing them with superior might. After having polled my regular multiplayer team, I’ve come up with one major point: It all comes down to knowing your equipment and your capabilities.
Sprint: your greatest weapon
There’s a reason you have the Sprint ability so often throughout the campaign and in a lot of multiplayer loadouts — it’s the best armor ability.
Yes, I meant that as best with a period.
Seeing as this is Game Five in a series of extremely similar games, it’s fair to say everyone you go up against in multiplayer has you in their sights. They know your moves. Hell, they know how you move. They know your exact height, where to put their crosshairs, how long you’ll be in the air when you jump, and how low you’ll be when you duck.
However, you do have one trick that none of these members of the five-timers club have come across yet: sprinting.
Sprint changes the entire dynamic of Halo. Every time you go to sneak up on someone, every time you’re in a fight you can’t win, every time you need to dodge a sniper, Sprint has your back. With Sprint, you’ll be able to duck around corners and out of fights in order to recharge shields. Escape was almost never a viable option in earlier Halo games — if someone saw you before you saw him, you could almost hear the fat lady singing in your headset. Sprint also lets you cut down on snipers’ ability to pick you off from four city blocks away. Get good at it and you’ll be rewarded with more kills and fewer deaths.
Sprint makes it easier to sneak up on guys for assassinations, and it’ll let you traverse some maps more easily by letting you make jumps you can’t usually handle.
It’s tempting to use sprint to move around the level when you don’t see anyone, but don’t waste it. Sprint, like the Evade ability, is for emergencies. Treat it as such.
Counter your enemy’s loadout
Pay attention to who’s killing you. Do you get rocked every time you go up against the guy with the jetpack? The answer isn’t necessarily a jetpack of your own — it’s heat-seeking weapons like the Needler and Plasma Pistol. Use overhangs to cut his ability to shoot you and remove his accuracy advantage with weapons that don’t require it.
The Loadout is a spectacular new Halo feature that lets you adjust at every death what you’re carrying into battle with you. It offers you the capability of countering your enemy’s abilities and loadout. If you’re seeing a guy who’s a little too friendly with Armor Lock, consider how to beat him. For one, he’s stationary. Two, he’s immobile.
Deal with that guy by firing up Sprint. Bail on him when he’s battling you and goes into Lock mode – and use your speed to make him lose track of you, get behind him and assassinate the bastard.
Consider the weapons available to you and choose the best one for the job. Don’t just stick with one loadout because you’re comfortable – each weapon and item exists for a reason. Think about creative ways you can deal with your enemies.
Send in the holograms
If you’re playing a team match that offers the Hologram available to you, you’re going to want at least one person on your team to have it. It’s not a great ability in the campaign, but in multiplayer, holograms are almost always useful and always used incorrectly.
That doesn’t mean you should just go firing up holograms in every battle you’re in. This isn’t going to save you, necessarily. Using holograms tactically — especially when your enemy doesn’t know to expect them – is actually pretty tide-turning. Send a hologram every time you’re about to enter an enemy stronghold, whenever you’re about to execute an ambush, or whenever you want to check a room for enemy activity.
The trick is not giving away the hologram before the appropriate time. As soon as a hologram gets shot, it starts to be obvious that it’s fake – so send your hologram just ahead of you, or through a different door. The key is either to 1. get enemy attention on the hologram, or 2. get the enemy to waste fire on the hologram. So try sending it just ahead or even in the group with you as your four-man team storms into a room. It looks like another target.
Whenever possible, get the enemy to fire first and miss and to give away his position and his advantage. Use the hologram to scare him into doing so.
Double up with teammates and weapons
The great thing about loadouts is that you can tailor at team to use them effectively together. Yes, you can be great as an individual, but working as a team gives you the advantage of fully dismantling your enemies with humiliating results.
Try this: send in one guy with Armor Lock and let him take a beating. As soon as he goes into Lock mode, another teammate steps around the corner to pick off the guys who are now slightly injured and reloading. The biggest advantage of Armor Lock, just like the Hologram, is that it’s really distracting to have a frozen, invulnerable enemy just sitting in front of you. Use that to your advantage, by sneaking up on guys while they’re dealing with your Locked teammate.
You can exercise the same principle with weapons loadouts. One player takes a Needler, the other the DMR. After the first Spartan annihilates the enemy’s shields with needles, a quick round to the face from the DMR will put him down. As an individual fighter, you can execute that same move – you should, now that duel-wielding isn’t available – but you have to do all the shooting, aiming, and weapon switching on your own. Two players can do so much more efficiently, which means you save on shields and are ready to fight sooner than if you did the same in a one-on-one battle.
Conduct misinformation campaigns
How many times in multiplayer do you win a battle, only to find some other jerk rounding a corner to pick you off in your weakened state? This really is one of the ways that many good teams stay in games they shouldn’t win. By picking you off before you can heal or restore shields, they basically undo everything you just did in winning a hard-fought battle.
You can’t stop this from happening altogether, but you can avoid some premature death, and defeat your enemies, by confusing the enemy’s information about you.
Start with crouching. Reach’s amped-up motion tracking radar now reads elevations, so enemies get a lot of information from you when you move around. Lots of players depend heavily on the motion tracker to pin down your location, or at least make sure they’re facing the right direction, and murder you.
So get somewhere safe and walk while crouching to eliminate your motion tracker signal. You can also execute holograms to draw enemies away from your position while you get back on your feet, or use the Active Camoflage loadout to lose people. But whenever possible, you should be making the enemy lose track of your position.
This also means being a good teammate and distracting enemies with phantom motion tracker signals to save injured teammates. If you’ve got a friendly soldier pinned down in a room above you, run under it – and beyond it – to draw off attackers trying to figure out where they lost your man. The fewer times you or your teammates die, the fewer kills your opponents rack up.
Remember: Health packs and head shots
You don’t just get to heal anymore – you have to find First Aid when you’re shot. Fortunately, these packs are posted on walls all over Reach’s multiplayer levels. Learn to keep track of them. Seek them out when you’re injured.
Try to enter every battle you can at your absolute strongest – you can bet your opponents will, and in a game where the winner of a one-on-one skirmish is often determined by a single shot, you don’t want that shot to have already hit you in the fight you had with the last guy.
And speaking of single-shot victories: Keep your aim up. As much as possible and especially when you’re moving in a straight line, level your gun right at face-height. Remember what we talked about earlier, with everyone in Halo knowing your height? Well, you know theirs, too. Head shots drop enemies faster than any other kind of shot. Aim high and try to minimize the amount of time you require to start killing an opponent on seeing her.
By now most players already know this, but it’s also important to get a feel for the guns and what they’re capable of – and how they pair well with a second weapon. A concussion rifle on its own is interesting – a concussion rifle paired with a DMR is twice as deadly because splash damage isn’t good for killing people, only injuring them. Note which guns are handy for knocking out shields and keep them as your secondary. Practice with different found weapons in all kinds of situations, like when you’re jetpacking around or trying to hit a sprinter.
Get good with the jetpack
It’s as hilarious as it is confusing and irritating to your enemies.