The Goblin combines exotic engineering with Covenant manufacturing technology and a user interface designed specifically for an Unggoy. The vehicle's cockpit is equipped with an energy shield while the main body of the Goblin is made of thick armor plates. The vehicle has a needle cannon mounted on its right arm and a Shardstorm launcher, which releases huge volleys of needles at once, mounted on its back. The Goblin can also perform close-quarter combat maneuvers, using its fist and legs to fight. The legs can produce an EMP when stomping, and its fist doubles as a grenade launcher that fires plasma grenades. When heavily damaged, Goblins can sometimes go berserk and start emitting electrical pulses from its body, pushing any players that get close to the Goblin away and possibly hurting them.
A second variant of the Goblin, known as the Beam Goblin, has also been produced. The Beam Goblin has different armaments than the standard Goblin. Instead of the Heavy Needler, it sports a focus beam similar to a Scarab's. Its fist-mounted grenade launcher has been significantly upgraded, this time firing a plasma bolt akin to that of a Wraith's plasma mortar. In addition, it fires tracking plasma bolts that produce an EMP effect on detonation from its Shardstorm Launcher, rather than firing clouds of tracking needles; the EMP effect kicks in if two or more plasma bolts attach to a vehicle. When heavily damaged, Beam Goblins will go berserk and act similar to a suicide Grunt and perform a last-ditch attempt to kill anyone nearby.