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The Heavy Orbital Insertion Pod is a larger variant of the standard single-occupant Orbital Insertion Pod, which deploys troops in the pod from ships low orbit into the battle zone. It operates similarly to the standard Insertion Pod, but has the capacity to drop four Covenant warriors into battle simultaneously.
The Heavy Orbital Insertion Pod is the larger version of the standard Orbital Insertion Pod. It has a rounded shape, with a large hatch on each of the three sides. When the pod lands it deploys three landing struts to keep it steady and the three hatches slide upward. Once the pod has fully deployed it becomes pyramidal in shape. The pod most likely drops from ships, and freefalls through the atmosphere the same way the standard version does. It appears that when the Heavy Orbital Insertion Pod is nearing the ground, it fires three engines which are in the corners on the bottom of the pod to slow it down. The engines continue to slow the pod, until it reaches the ground. The hatches on the three sides of the pod start to open when the pod is several meters above ground. This variant is used by the Covenant to get troops, and possibly small vehicles, to the ground faster and in greater numbers. It was first sighted during the Fall of Reach, but possibly used in other battles.
- The Heavy Orbital Insertion Pod was first seen in the Halo: Reach Welcome to Firefight 2.0 Trailer.
- It's possible to be splattered by the Heavy Orbital Insertion Pod if you are unfortunate enough to be under it when it descends onto the battlefield. The Pod is so heavy that it is capable of destroying any vehicle that is caught underneath it.
- It is also possible to get stuck at the top of the Pod as the three doors open, with the player's death the only way out.
- If you're playing on an outdoors map on Firefight, a pod may end up dropping in during wave 2, 3, or 4 where they release either 4 Fuel Rod Gun wielding Unggoy Heavies, Jiralhanae Minors with Concussion Rifles, or Ultra Sangheili with Plasma Repeaters.
- The pod seems to have energy shields, which probably gives any organism in the pod shielding from any enemies outside of the pod as well as the heat created from re-entry.
- Covenant troops come out of the pod by walking/jumping through the shield. If an ally/enemy were to reenter the pod they wouldn't be able to exit. This is either for gameplay reasons or that the energy shielding on the pod is similar to the one-way shield in the forge objects of Forge 2.0.
- In Firefight of Halo: Reach, it is possible to get in a drop pod. If the player stands exactly where the pod lands, they will go right through the bottom and into the pod, if it lands on them. However, they cannot get out of the drop pod until it disappears or if they commit suicide. This is also possible (and much easier and safer) in theater mode, where the only way out is to warp back to the player character. You can also fly into the pod while it's in the air.
- This is risky to attempt because if you are not directly under the very center of the pod you will be crushed.
- A new, even larger, pod is seen in Halo 4. It is much larger with two stories of troop compartments and is large enough to deploy Hunter pairs. Another difference is that it does not actually impact the ground, instead it uses its thrusters to slow its descent and hover over the battlefield long enough to deliver its payload before flying back up into orbit.
- Halo: Reach (First appearance)