Armor Abilities represent customized attachments developed by the UNSC, the Covenant Empire, and the Ecumene to enhance the performance of armor worn by Spartans, Sangheili, Jiralhanae, Skirmishers and Forerunners. These armor modules can either upgrade a specific function of the armor or synchronize separate hardware with the armor to create new functionality, while others add entirely new physical components.
Armor Abilities are gameplay enhancements featured in Halo: Reach and Halo 4. They are a refined version of Halo 3's equipment feature where instead of being used once, each ability is reusable, with a cooldown time between uses. These can be accessed through each loadout before a match is started or during your respawn time. For campaign, the player begins with a specific armor ability at the start of each mission, and is able to swap them out at specified locations. All Armor Abilities are rendered useless to players when transporting objects such as flags and skulls. If players attempt to use an Ability, the object simply drops out of their hands. In custom games the cooldown time can be altered and the ability to use armor abilities while holding objectives can be added. Before, it was previously thought that each species can only use certain armor abilities. During the 2010 Comic-con, it was revealed that both species can use all seven Armor Abilities.
Most of the abilities are enabled by a small, rectangular device attached to the user's lower back with each ability having a different color, most likely for friendly forces or players to tell which ability the person in question is using at the time. When not in use, these devices also project a hologram that displays an icon of the ability, allowing for quick recognition when switching abilities.
- Main article: Type-3 Refraction Dissonance Modifier/Camouflage
Go off the grid by engaging Active Camo. Your enemies can’t kill what they cannot see. Stalk, seek, and destroy.
The Active Camo Armor Ability provides players the ability to have Active camouflage for a period of time, similar to Thel 'Vadam's active camo from Halo 2. The Camo depletes faster if you run, so crouching or slowly walking is ideal for a prolonged period of time. Also, when the player moves faster, the camo will not entirely camouflage the player, but when moving slowly or immobile, the Camouflage will cover the player completely. It also serves as a Radar Jammer, but this jams the player's radar as well those of their enemies. However, the radar jamming effect is only about 25m, letting one know if someone around them is using Active camouflage. Allies will not be affected. When the player uses the Camo, all sound is heavily muffled, so it is not as easy to notice a grenade or an opponent shooting. It is possible to guess the general area where the user of Active camouflage is. If there seem to be more red dots around one edge of your radar, you can reasonably guess someone is using Active camouflage in that area.
Its pick-up color is cyan.
- Main article: Armor Lockup
Become invincible, but immobile. While you're locked down, Elites can't touch you.
The Armor Lock Armor Ability provides the player's shield with a massive boost, preventing the user from taking any damage, acting similar to Halo 3's Invincibility. However, the player becomes locked in place, unable to move. When deactivated after two seconds or longer, it sends out an EMP blast to nearby enemies, and pushes them away from the player before emerging. Any Plasma Grenades sticking to the user are removed upon activation. Activating the ability can also repel incoming Rockets. It also has the useful ability of being able to push a Falcon out of the sky when standing on it. This also deactivates the vehicle causing it to fall to the ground because of the EMP. The ability can be used by both Elites and Spartans. Both the human and Elite version of Armor Lock are enabled through an external shielding attachment. Since the title update if the Armor Lock takes too much damage then you will exit it and take damage to the player, so previously survivable situations like a Wraith ramming a player in Armor Lock will result in the Armor Locked player dying.
This ability also varies with how long the button is pressed: the longer the button is held, the larger the final blast radius will be. This ability not only works against other players, but against enemy vehicles. If an enemy vehicle traveling at full speed hits a player using Armor Lock, the vehicle will crash and be destroyed.
Its pickup color is orange.
A temporary bubble of protection that heals those fortunate enough to be within its sphere of influence.
The Drop Shield Armor Ability is a spherical energy shield that functions similarly to a Bubble Shield, but it also heals the health (but not the shields) of Spartan players inside it in a manner similar to the Regenerator. It will deactivate if it takes too much damage. The damage is represented in color stages similar to the Deployable Cover in Halo 3. The strength of the shield is approximately 3 times that of a MJOLNIR MK V's energy shielding. Unlike the bubble shield in Halo 3, plasma grenades will stick to the surface of the shield. The Armor Ability is known to be used on the Medic loadout in Firefight and Multiplayer. When deploying the Drop Shield, the player crouches into a stance similar to an Armor Lock, but they extend their left leg out. The player can then move and walk through the shield. Activating the Drop Shield fully drains the Armor Ability meter. The Drop Shield expires and deactivates once the Armor Ability meter is at 2/3 full, unless it is prematurely deactivated from damage.
Its pickup color is light blue.
Play with your food! As an Elite, you'll be able to bob, weave, and juke to get into the most effective combat position.
The Evade Armor Ability allows the player to roll in any direction to avoid danger, breaking enemy lock-ons and tracking in the process. You can evade twice before having to recharge. The recharge time is like that of the Sprint ability. This was a Sangheili exclusive ability during the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, but it can now be used by both Spartans and Elites. This is the only ability not available in campaign.
In any custom game with speed set to high numbers such as 300%, the player will dash forward so quickly that they can traverse Hemorrhage in a matter of seconds. If the speed is set to 300%, while gravity is set to 50%, it is possible to evade from the Quarry area of Forge World all the way to Hemorrhage in one leap. When used against a reasonably flat surface, moving towards a wall, it is possible to splatter one's self.
Its pickup color is purple.
- Main article: Type-27 Responsive Holographic Form Emulator
Create a virtual doppelganger of yourself to draw enemy fire or lure unsuspecting opponents out into the open.
The Holographic Decoy Armor Ability produces an identical holographic copy of the user. It functions by pointing your reticle at a destination and deploying it like other Armor Abilities. When activated, the hologram will head to the destination and stop if it reaches it. If one points the cursor directly beneath themselves, the hologram will stand perfectly still. This can be used to trick opponents into thinking the player is the hologram. The hologram will flicker away if it is either damaged enough or if it reaches its lifespan limit (10 seconds).
Its pickup color is yellow.
Identifying a HologramEdit
A good strategy in identifying a hologram is to spray-fire shots at the suspected hologram to look for the distinct flicker, or if you are equipped with a Sniper Rifle, a hologram will blink in the small night-vision screen of the rifle (the same is true for the Spartan Laser's small viewscreen as well as the Focus Rifle's vertical viewscreen; the small screens on vehicles such as the Revenant's driver-side monitor and the Gauss Warthog's/Rocket Warthog's targeting screens will also show the hologram as blinking.) Additionally, a hologram casts absolutely no shadow, and has pale colors, so a good way to spot one is to glance at the ground surface to check for shade or the right colors—if there is no shadow or the colors look suspicious to you, then it's a hologram. Also, the Hologram doesn't carry any secondary weapons and has no Armor Ability on its back, or GamerTag above its head. To allies, the hologram is a yellow dot on the motion tracker (regardless if it is moving or standing still). Holograms also don't walk like players do, in fact, their walking animation is the players walking animation in Halo Combat Evolved. The Hologram armor ability is incredibly useful while wielding a melee weapon such as an Energy Sword in Campaign or Firefight, as Covenant enemies often go for a clone rather than the player, providing opportunities for lethal attacks while their attention is diverted.
Fly like a bird. Target your opponents. Laugh maniacally.
The Jet Pack Armor Ability allows players to maneuver in mid-air, with the use of Jet Pack propulsion equipment (UNSC) or an Antigravity Pack (Covenant). The ability varies with how long the button is pressed. If the button is held without releasing, it will deplete continuously, but the player can also use it in bursts which deplete it less than a sustained flight. It is useful for evading vehicles, grenades, and navigating maps. The Jet Pack paired with a rocket launcher can be devastating in a firefight. Fall damage still applies to Jet Pack users should they fall from the air. If you are playing a custom game with Armor Abilities set to unlimited, sustained holding down the Armor Ability button will only take you a few meters off the ground and you won't keep going straight and merely hang in the air, gradually losing altitude. To rectify this, you must use the Jet Pack in short to medium bursts to gain maximum thrust and travel further.
Its pickup color is white.
Feel the need? Engage this Ability for a burst of speed that's great for quickly covering ground or escaping sticky situations.
The Sprint Armor Ability allows the player to lower their weapon and move at an increased speed for approximately 7 seconds . Sprint was a Spartan-exclusive ability during the Halo: Reach Beta. When you use the sprint ability you now pant heavily, and it can be heard by nearby players. It is the default Armor Ability in the campaign. As said in the instruction manual, this ability is a hack affecting the motion restrictors in the armour that prevent a Spartan from injuring themselves by moving too quickly. According to the Halo: Reach manual, Kat-B320 was largely responsible for this Armor Ability.
Its pickup color is green.
NOTE: Sprinting is universal in Halo 4 and is no longer an Armor Ability.
- Main article: Z-5080 Short-Range Spectrum Augmenter/Vision
The Promethean Vision enables the user to see through walls, but players can tell it's in use by the noise it emits and the wave it produces on the motion tracker. It also shows a red light on your helmet when activated. It is similar to the VISR from Halo 3: ODST, but with the ability to see through walls.
- Main article: Z-2500 Automated Protection Drone
The Autosentry is an automated turret which can be deployed to defend the player or command a busy battlefield checkpoint. It is similar to the Auto-turret from Halo 3. This ability is also used in-game by Promethean Knights.
- Main article: M2705 Regenerative Kinetic Dispersal Field
The Regeneration Field creates a large green bubble that recharges the player's shield when inside it. It is almost identical in function to the Regenerator equipment piece from Halo 3. Seen in a RoosterTeeth video, it can actually deflect rocket shots if done properly. This is the only armor ability not available in the campaign of Halo 4.
- Main article: Z-90 Photonic Coalescence Emitter/Aegis
The Hardlight Shield is similar to the hand-held shields carried by the Kig-Yar. When activated, a blue shield appears in front of the player that will deflect rounds from enemy weapons; however, one's movement will be slowed, and no weapons can be used when it is activated. A drawback is that the shield leaves one's rear, flanks, and feet exposed. A player's standard MJOLNIR shielding will also not recharge while the Hardlight Shield is in use. The Hardlight Shield, unlike the Drop Shield and Kig-Yar Point Defense Gauntlet, cannot be destroyed and will remain active until its energy is depleted or until the player deactivates it. This ability is also used in-game by Promethean Watchers .
- Main article: M805X Forward Acceleration System/Fulcrum Mitigating
The Thruster Pack is an acceleration system that allows the user to move quickly and aggressively in combat. This ability will provide a quick burst of speed that propels the player laterally, rather than the upward movement of the Jet Pack from Halo: Reach. It is a replacement for the Evade Armor Ability from Halo: Reach as it has a similar effect. However, it launches the player a noticeably shorter distance, just enough to get out of the way of a charging mongoose or to get away from a live grenade. For this reason, some players see it as next to useless.
- Main article: Jetpack
The Jet Pack returns in Halo 4, and behaves almost identically to its Reach counterpart. However it seems to run out of energy a lot faster than it did in Halo: Reach and it also does not have the thrust length limitation that was on its Halo: Reach counterpart. And instead of hovering in place for a few seconds like in Reach, there isn't a height limit, so the player continues to boost skyward indefinitely until it runs out of juice.
- Main article: Type-27 Responsive Holographic Form Emulator
The Hologram also makes an appearance in Halo 4. It's function is identical to that of the Hologram in Halo: Reach, although if shot it only flickers for an instant and goes back to being solid, unlike in Reach where it would keep flickering if it took damage. The Hologram will also teabag dead bodies if commanded to stand over one.
- Main article: Type-3 Refraction Dissonance Modifier/Camouflage
The Active Camouflage also returns in Halo 4. It's function is similar to that of the Active Camo in Halo: Reach, only instead of mobile red dots appearing on the user and enemies' radars, there are neutral blue dots.
- Hologram is a great ability to use during Infection gametypes, as it will confuse the "zombies".
- When Playing Firefight, it is often advantageous to have a teammate using the Drop Shield ability. This is due to the fact that this ability will heal wounded teammates without wasting any Health kits.
- When using Active Camo, try "crouch walking." This will allow your invisibility to last longer and make it harder for your opponents to see you while you are still moving.
- When using Armor Lock, most enemies will typically throw grenades at you or sneak behind you and wait for your armor lock to run out. The grenades aren't a problem as long as you are in an open area where they will be rejected away, and breaking out of Armor Lock early can surprise your opponent and allow you to get a kill.
- A good technique to use when your opponent goes into Armor Lock would be to go up close to them and use your own Armor Lock, as since they activated it first they will be the first to run out which then you can deactivate yours to take out our opponent's shield and go in for a quick melee to finish him/her off.
- Using Armor Lock right before an enemy Mongoose, Warthog, Ghost, Revenant, or Banshee hits you at full speed will cause them to explode. However, if the vehicle hits the Armor Lock user and slowed to a stop (this includes the Scorpion and the Wraith), the EMP from the Armor Lock release will disable them, giving the opportunity to either hijack or destroy the vehicle.
- If you are in a gametype that has no radar and you are able to choose armor abilities, then go for the Active Camo as its radar jamming effect won't give you away.
- When using the Jet Pack try jumping before using it. Activate it when you are jumping up, as it uses your momentum to fly farther, whereas activating it at the apex of your jump, you just waste the energy. By activating the jetpack as you jump you increase the distance that you could achieve while flying.
- Different abilities are useful for different levels and situations. Levels with open spaces might call for Sprinting to close distances faster or a Drop Shield to make a gap safer, Evade would be good for a level with lots of nooks and crannies to disappear into, Jet Packs make it easier to get to sniper perches in levels with good ones, Hologram is always a good loadout for a level with turns and corners so you can confuse other players.
- While using Sprint, you can switch weapons.
- In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, there were some Spartan only abilities like Sprint and Sangheili only abilities such as Evade. In the final game, all Armor Abilities can be used by both models meaning Sangheili will be able to use Sprint and Spartans can use the Evade ability, however, in the campaign certain abilities are used by certain factions and not others.
- Armor Abilities function similarly to the Arbiter's Active camouflage from Halo 2, because the HUD indicators are both circles and must be recharged before reactivating the ability.
- Sprint appears to be Noble Six's signature Armor Ability, as he/she starts with it at the start of all Campaign missions. It may just be the game's default Armor Ability in Campaign, either to balance gameplay or to represent the fact that SPARTANs are faster than regular humans.
- When activating Armor Lock and Drop Shield, players enter a pose similar to that of John-117 when activating the Bubble Shield in the Starry Night commercial.
- In both the Campaign and Firefight Mode, Brute Chieftains and Elite Generals will sometimes use Armor Lock when under heavy fire.
- In canon terms, the Armor Abilities have only been seen in use during the Fall of Reach, due to the fact they were introduced in Halo: Reach as a gameplay element. As Reach was the UNSC's primary military complex, prototype technologies such as Armor Abilities may have been developed and tested exclusively on the planet, thus explaining their absence in the other games. In addition, other Halo games occur in the time period after Reach falls, having John-117 as the only Spartan working alongside regular UNSC forces with limited military assets due to the Fall of Reach. Halo: Reach is centered around a Spartan team on a UNSC fortress world, with support and equipment more readily available. The ability to lock the MJOLNIR armor is demonstrated in Halo 3, however, as John-117's armor automatically locks itself to enable him to survive the fall from the Forerunner Keyship at the start of Halo 3. Though it is possible that either manual activation wasn't yet implemented on the Mark VI suit, or it malfunctioned and became disabled with John's crash.
- It is possible that the Armor Abilities were prototypes to future technologies such as the Bubble Shield and the aforementioned armor lockdown in the Mark VI armor.
- There are a total of 7 Armor Abilities in Halo: Reach, another reference to Bungie's favorite number.
- Skirmishers have the ability to use the Hologram armor ability.
- There is an Armor Ability glitch which can be performed in Forge mode. If you activate the Hologram, then enter Monitor mode a split second after, your hologram will generate random armor. For example, it will appear either as male or female, and possess locked armor (and possibly Armor Effects) such as the flaming helmet.
- Another glitch involving Forge happens when Player A picks up Armor Lock, and Player B is in Monitor mode. Player B will delete all Armor Lock equipment off of the map while Player A is still using Armor Lock. The result will be invulnerability to Player A, even when they are moving. Though you are still vunerable in vehicles and assassinations (it is also possible to do this glitch with only one player, where when you go into Armor Lock, go into Monitor Mode, then delete all Armor Lock and it works).
- Evade seems to be the only Covenant made armor ability as it is made of purple metal, the Covenants staple metal, and it also as a Forerunner glyph. But it seems that a lot of Covenant can use their own version of UNSC armor abilities, such as the Jetpack becoming an Anti-Gravity Pack if an Elite picks it up.
- The Forerunner glyphs on the Covenant Armor Abilities form the Marathon Symbol.
- Elites can evade farther and faster than Spartans, probably due to the fact that the ability was meant for Elites, but there are other possible reasons.
- In the early stages of the game development, Elites using the Armor Lock ability were shown with a red aura instead of blue, while Spartans had a large and bulky attachment to their backs. However, these changes were erased before the game was released, so now both Elites and Spartans use the same blue armor lock.
- Elites use an Anti-Gravity Pack instead of the UNSC jetpack. The anti-gravity pack is the same attachment that is used by Brute Jet-Pack infantry in past Halo games.
- If a player is using the Jetpack and the Jetpack itself if stuck with a Plasma Grenade, swapping armor abilities will make you drop the Jetpack and the Grenade.
- Using certain abilities will cancel certain actions. For instance, using the Dropshield will cancel any weapon firing/reloading. If a player fires a Spartan Laser shot and uses Dropshield as soon as possible, the Spartan Laser will continue to fire even though it will be holstered to the player's back.
- In Firefight, if the settings are configured so the player has 10% damage resistance and no shields, a plasma grenade bouncing off the player's head can be lethal even when Armor Lock is being used.
- When a game has 300% speed and jump height and 50% gravity, using Evade when too close to a wall or solid object will kill the player.
- Similar to the "Forge Hologram Glitch", if the player using a Hologram dies while the Hologram is being activated, the Hologram has randomly generated armor and gender.
- Hologram animations don't always match what the player sees, for example, when a SPARTAN is wielding a plasma pistol, it shows the player they are holding with one hand on the handle (where presumably the trigger is.) and one hand on the base. However the hologram of that SPARTAN shows them holding it with 2 hands on the handle.
- In the recent Title Update, Armor Lock will now go down faster when taking damage. However how much energy is reduced depends on the weapon.
- Plasma Grenades will now no longer be shed if the player is stuck before entering Armour Lock.
- Active Camo's overall length both when moving and remaining stationary have been reduced in the Title Update.
- In the codes of Halo 4, one could find two unused armor abilities. The two are Teleportation and Hacker. They were possibly cut from the game because if one were to teleport at a certain angle, he/she would die. Hacker was also removed possibly because it was overpowered, as it disasbled all enemy armor abilities. Evidence of the two can be seen here .
- In Halo 4, if one sends a Hologram to go past a railing, it will turn around once it reaches the railing and start walking back.
- During one of Halo: Reach's campaign missions, Winter Contingency, all the members of Noble Team, besides the player, can use Armor Ability's longer than the time you're given. Also, they can have more than one Armor Ability. For an example, Carter can be seen using Armor Lock and then later using Sprint.
List of AppearancesEdit
- ↑ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 15
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Bungie.net: Armor Abilities
- ↑ Bungie.net: Bungie Weekly Update 06.18.10
- ↑ Halo: Reach - Multiplayer Trailer
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 GameInformer - Interview on Halo: Reach sandbox
- ↑ IGN.com: E3 2010: Firefight in Halo: Reach - Bigger & Better
- ↑ GameTrailers: E3 2010: Multiplayer Walkthrough Pt 2 HD
- ↑ Bungie.net: Bungie Weekly Update: 09/10/10
- ↑ here at 4:50
- ↑ Small scene from the Forge World vidoc.
- ↑ Youtube: RvB Deja View
- ↑ RvB Wiki: Deja View
- ↑ Twitter: Ken Taya's Twitter
- ↑ Gametrailers: Gametrailers TV with Geoff Keighley, 12:08
- ↑ Bungie.net: Bungie Weekly Update: 4/16/10 - "And if you were worried about players flying with the flag via Jet Pack, I can assuage those fears. Won’t happen. If you have hold of the flag, using an Armor Ability will cause you to drop it instantly. Pick it back up, and the effects from your Armor Ability will vanish. Same goes for any multiplayer specific object you can hold in your hot little hands."
- ↑ http://www.bungie.net/Stats/Reach/FileDetails.aspx?fid=966525