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This article is about the gameplay mechanic. For the naval tactic, see Boarding (attack).
Boarding or hijacking is a technique featured in Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo Wars, Halo: Reach, Halo 4 , Halo: Spartan Assault and Halo 5: Guardians. It is a unique and interesting way of neutralizing an enemy vehicle or craft by stealing it from its current pilot for personal operation.
Boarding, is the process of forcibly ejecting a vehicle's pilot and proceeding to take over the vehicle and use it against them. It is accomplished simply by holding X in Halo 2, Halo 4, and Halo: Reach or RB in Halo 3 (default controls) when near an enemy vehicle and the message "Hold [action button] to board vehicle" appears.
The main difficulty in boarding a vehicle is getting close enough to board it: a player attempting to board a vehicle can get splattered or killed by the vehicle's gunner. If the player succeeds, however, they will have disarmed their opponent and earned a free vehicle for their trouble, thus making it worth the risk. Players who succeed at boarding should be careful, as the other player may be able to re-board the vehicle.
In Halo 3, when a user ejects an enemy driver, the melee attack that takes place as the user ejects them severely damages the enemy and may even kill them if their shields are down. After being successfully boarded, there is a brief period of time when the user who has been ejected is stunned and the moving speed is greatly decreased. In Halo 3, if a user is being boarded, it is impossible to dismount the vehicle and try to escape—the user is trapped inside until they are killed, ejected from the vehicle, or until they kill the hijacker (by destroying the vehicle or forcing the hijacker into an obstacle).
Boarding Certain Vehicles
Boarding is most often done on Banshees, Ghosts, Hornets, and Brute Choppers. The act begins with an animation in which the attacker jumps on top of the victim's vehicle and forces the victim out. The attacker then enters the vehicle and takes control over it. Ghosts and Choppers are the easiest to board because they only have forward firing guns, leaving them vulnerable from all other directions.
Boarding a Warthog, Spectre, or Prowler is different in that an attacker will still eject their victim, but without taking his or her seat. This can be dangerous as the player that was boarded can start shooting the attacker while the attacker is still returning to first-person view.
These vehicles also have turrets, making it difficult to get close enough to board them, and leaving an attacker vulnerable to fire from the turrets while boarding. These vehicles can still be neutralized by boarding them, however; ejecting the driver leaves the gunner a sitting duck, and ejecting the gunner makes the vehicle less dangerous, although a vehicle without a gunner can still escape the attacker, leaving the attacker and gunner by themselves to fight.
In battle, it is possible to board the passenger seat of a Warthog, emptying it; from there, you can enter the Warthog and melee the driver to death. You will, however, have to hop out and circle around the vehicle to take control of it after you kill the driver.
In Halo: Reach now when boarding a Warthog, the boarder now takes place of the Driver/Passenger/Gunner which makes it easier to take control of the vehicle.
Boarding works quite differently on Scorpions and Wraiths. The attacker does not eject the victim or take their seat. Instead, the boarder jumps onto the target vehicle. From that position, they may melee the vehicle—exposing and eventually killing the driver—or they may plant a grenade, killing all occupants, destroying the vehicle, and, in Halo 2, endangering themselves.
A Scorpion or Wraith's gunner can fire upon any players that attempt to board the vehicle; for this reason, attackers should make sure to kill the gunner before boarding the tank. Scorpion/Wraith boarding is different in every game. In Halo 2, you have to melee the hatch off before planting a grenade and the person being boarded can jump out. In Halo 3, both attacks are much faster, the grenade can be shoved through the hatch, and the occupant is trapped in the vehicle. Halo 3: ODST is the same as Halo 3, although the distance from which you can board seems to be larger.
Wraith boarding in Halo 3: ODST
In Halo 3: ODST, Wraiths can be boarded like in Halo 3, and the player can still melee or use grenades against the driver, however the wraith will be destroyed instantly when the driver dies. There is a method to overcome this and capture a wraith, however.
Halo 3's Mongoose cannot be boarded; however, a player may melee the driver off as they pass by. Alternatively, an attacker can enter the rear passenger seat of a target's Mongoose and then kill the driver with a few quick melee attacks or shots to the back of the head, although such a maneuver would take almost perfect timing and precision. The Mongoose can be boarded in Halo: Reach, however, with its own animation.
The Mantis is one of the more difficult ones to board, since the vehicle can only be entered from behind. The best thing you can do is either:
A: Hit the Mantis with a fully charged Plasma Pistol shot.
B: Evade the driver's sight by using Active Camouflage and rush him.
A player can indisputably avoid being boarded simply by constantly moving at full speed, sometimes even scoring some splatters along the way. However, if a player voluntarily exits the vehicle before they are ejected, they may be able to re-board the captured vehicle. Additionally, if you are boarded while inside a Banshee, a maneuver called "The Great Banshee Switch" can be used to recover the vehicle.
If you are willing to sacrifice the vehicle, simply throw a Plasma Grenade right when you are boarded. It will destroy the vehicle and kill your attacker, but you may die in the explosion if you're too close. Alternatively you can drive off the map before your opponent hijacks you (works on maps like Standoff and Avalanche, causing your would-be hijacker to fall to his/her death as well as yourself).
In Halo: Reach, with vehicles such as Wraiths and Scorpions, a tactic is to get out as soon as the attacker gets close to the vehicle. If you are willing to sacrifice the vehicle, board it as soon as the attacker gets in, then destroy the tank with a grenade or melee. On an upside, the attacker will no longer have your vehicle and you earn a kill, a downside is that you lost a powerful weapon.
In Halo 3 or Halo: Reach's Campaigns, if a Brute/Elite boards a player's Wraith, that player cannot leave the vehicle to escape being beaten to death. However, you can just fire the main cannon, which will damage the Wraith (and you) but kill the hijacker.
In Halo 3, if your Warthog's driver seat is boarded, turn your view 90 degrees to the right. If timed correctly, you will face the boarder and can easily melee him/her. If you board a Warthog, turn 90 degrees to the left to melee the stunned driver.
If an enemy boards a small vehicle such as a Ghost, you can boost toward a cliff. If you time it right, you will be kicked off your vehicle and the enemy will go off the edge and possibly die (depending on how deep the ledge is).
It is possible to splatter a boarder after they are on your vehicle. Simply smash them against a wall.
List of Characters able to Board
Here is a list of characters that can board vehicles:
- Drones (can only melee)
- Flood combat forms (can only melee)
- Promethean Knights (can only melee)
- In Halo Wars, if a SPARTAN hijacks an enemy warthog that has a person in the passenger or gunner seat, they will only hijack the driver and then the turret and passenger will become yours also.
- In Halo 3 when an Elite boards a Prowler turret from the left side, the Elite will do a backflip, and then proceed to kick the gunner out.
- In Halo 2, if you board any vehicle that is being shot at by any AI-controlled allies, they will keep shooting and you will take damage until you kill or eject the driver. This is extremely annoying if one of your teammates has a Rocket Launcher or a Sniper Rifle.
- In Halo: Reach, if you board a Mongoose, your character will jump on the side and kick both the driver and passenger off, similar to the Banshee boarding animation.
- In Halo 3, if you are playing a FFA matchmaking playlist, and can re-board a vehicle you have been kicked out of within ten seconds, you will earn the "Maybe Next Time Buddy" achievement.
- In Multiplayer, a successful boarding of a ground vehicle will award the player the Carjacking Medal. If the player boards an aircraft, the Skyjacker medal is awarded instead.
- In some machinimas, boarding positions are another place for a person to ride as passengers.
- As mentioned above, in a free for all match, boarding positions are an effective way of transporting extra people, but keep in mind, in Halo 2, on smaller vehicles such as Ghosts, Banshees, and Warthogs, hijacking rips the player out of the seat instead of manually meleeing.
- If a user betrays Marines and they turn on the player, users will then be able to board their vehicles.
- The likely reason that Promethean Knights can board but only melee is that they have blade arms.