The Assassin medal is awarded and obtained by performing an assassination on an opponent from behind. It is available in all multiplayer gametypes. In Halo: Reach and Halo 4, there are two medals that are awarded to the players for meleeing an opponent from behind, which are the Beat Down and Assassin/Assassination medals.
The Assassin medal is represented by a knife in front of a stylized X. After the player kills an opponent by performing an assassination on an opponent from behind, a message appears on-screen that states: "You assassinated (player's name)." In Halo: Reach, the Beat Down medal is represented by a ninja on an eight-pointed star, previously called Assassin in Halo 3. It can be acquired when Campaign Scoring is activated and also in multiplayer. There are some occurrences where direct frontal punches result in an assassination, while assassinations sometimes result in beatdowns due to the attacker meleeing to the side.
The requirements for the Assassin medal have been altered for Halo: Reach. If the player melees an opponent from behind, the Beat Down medal is awarded. However, if the player assassinates an opponent through the third-person animation mode, they are awarded the Assassin medal instead of the regular Beat Down medal.
- If a player assassinates three players on a Legendary map pack map (either Avalanche, Ghost Town, or Blackout), the achievement "Came... From... Behind" will be unlocked for 50 Gamerscore. Similarly, the achievement can be earned on a Mythic map pack map (either Assembly, Orbital, Sandbox, Citadel, Heretic, or Longshore).
- In Halo: 3, what was a "beat down" in Halo: Reach is now a "pummel." What was an assassination (or a melee in the back) is now a "beat down," and an "assassination" is now holding the melee button and going into third person for an intricate death.
- The Halo: Reach achievement "That's A Knife" is awarded when a player gains this medal for the first time in Campaign on Normal and above, Firefight, or Matchmaking.
- In Halo 4, the multiplayer announcer now shouts "Assassination!" after assassinating an enemy.