A Kig-Yar Major is a rank for more experienced Kig-Yar. They are effectively equal in rank to the that of a UNSC Corporal or Sergeant. They are recognized by the color of their shields: orange (Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2), purple (Halo 3), or red (Halo: Reach) Point Defense Gauntlets, and are known to don gold-brown combat harnesses, though this is not always the case.
Similar to their less experienced brethren, the Kig-Yar Majors are commonly seen in combat and are deployed as expendable cannon fodder. Because of this, they are seen in almost every ground engagement with other types of Covenant forces. Kig-Yar Majors simply devote their combat time to bombard enemies with volleys of plasma bolts on the ground. At some point in an engagement, they are seen commanding small squads of Kig-Yar Minors and Unggoy Minors.
Kig-Yar Majors are known for wielding Plasma Pistols as their standard weapon of choice, though canonically they have also been known to utilize Needlers. When engaging an enemy, they tend to overcharge their Plasma Pistols to eliminate enemy Spartans' energy shields and release volleys of plasma bolts to quickly eliminate them. When engaged by an enemy, a Major will use its personal arm shield to block enemy fire.
When engaging a Kig-Yar Major from afar, it is best to use a precision weapon such as an M6 pistol, Battle rifle, or Covenant Carbine and aim at their exposed left hand. From medium range, weapons such as the Plasma Rifle, the SMG and the Assault Rifle provide good suppressive fire against the Major, as a hit on their body will cause the Kig-Yar to stumble, momentarily exposing it to a melee or headshot. Alternatively, one can eliminate the Kig-Yar's personal arm shield by firing a volley from a Plasma Rifle or an overcharged shot from a Plasma Pistol. Once the personal arm shield collapses, the Kig-Yar Major is open to all attacks.
On higher difficulties, it is advisable for players to utilize either long-range firing technique using a precision weapon or the overcharged plasma bolt. It is inadvisable to engage Majors in close combat as they have an effective sidestep which does not slow their firing at all, meaning a rather quick death if more than one is in the vicinity.
- In the PC Halo: Combat Evolved, it looks like the textures, coloring and all-out graphics were never completed or they didn't transfer from the Xbox to the PC very well. This causes Kig-Yar Minors and Kig-Yar Majors to have the same shield color (turquoise). In the Xbox version, the Kig-Yar Majors have orange shields while Kig-Yar Minors have blue shields.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, Kig-Yar Majors are not only differentiated from Kig-Yar Minors by the color of their shields, but also the color of their skin. Kig-Yar Majors have orange skin, while Minors have grey-green skin.
- In Halo 2, Kig-Yar Majors have an orange combat suit, rather than the grey ones seen in the other games.
- In Halo: Reach, Kig-Yar Majors appear to have bright red shields and wear added armor on the forearms and shoulders.
- There is a single Kig-Yar Major on the Halo: Reach level The Pillar of Autumn, that wields a Plasma Rifle .