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- “The only thing worse than Jackals are Jackals with Sniper Rifles!”— Marine about Kig-Yar Snipers
A Kig-Yar Sniper, also referred as Kig-Yar Sniper, is a highly trained Covenant marksman and one of the more uncommon ranks in the Kig-Yar rank structure. They were first seen in Halo 2's Outskirts level.
Exceptionally skilled in precision shooting, Kig-Yar Snipers wield Beam Rifles and Covenant Carbines to great effect. They act as counterparts to UNSC Marine sharpshooters, although they are much more common. Although they still do represent a threat, they are relatively weak and their armor allows for little punishment before failing.
Generally, Kig-Yar snipers are considered as support units to the Covenant forces when engaging the enemy. With their superior accuracy, the Kig-Yar snipers can eliminate any enemy from a safe distance with their long range weaponry. They are known to be able to snipe from hard to reach places such as ledges, cliffs, rooftops, Deployable lookout towers and occasionally large branches of trees. Their position is easily revealed when they fire their Beam Rifle or Covenant Carbine.
In Halo 3, the Kig-Yar Sniper's headpieces emit a faint purple glow that can be seen from a distance, thus giving away the Kig-Yar's position. This is an advantage for the player since he simply needs to search for the purple glow of the headpiece and target the headpiece, usually resulting in a headshot. On lower difficulties, the Kig-Yar Snipers are commonly seen with Covenant Carbines, though players will encounter some with Beam Rifles. On higher difficulties, they are more commonly seen to wield the Beam Rifle and delivering a one-hit kill to the player regardless where it hits.
The most efficient way to eliminate Kig-Yar Snipers is by using long-range weaponry such as the Sniper Rifle, Battle rifle, Covenant Carbine, or Beam Rifle and killing them from afar before being detected. Sidearms with mounted scopes such as the M6C/SOCOM are also exceptional in killing them off, provided that the player aims at the head. Medium-range weaponry such as the Plasma Rifle, the SMG and the Assault Rifle can suppress the Kig-Yar sniper, allowing the player to finish them off with a single quick melee attack.
- In Halo 2, the Kig-Yar Snipers do not wear helmets, instead they wear a silver combat suit.
- It is stated on the Bungie site that only battle hardened veterans are selected to become Kig-Yar Snipers. This could suggest that as well as being a special type of rank, Kig-Yar Sniper is an elevated rank either for Kig-Yar Majors (i.e. the next promotion) or in between Kig-Yar Minors and Kig-Yar Majors. However, their duties do not tend to involve commanding other troops.
- In Halo Wars, an upgrade for Kig-Yar anti-infantry units replaces their weapons with Particle Beam Rifles, implying that all Kig-Yar can become Snipers. In addition, these Kig-Yar do not lose the ability to wear the Kig-Yar' trademark energy shield gauntlets.
- During the level Sierra 117 in Halo 3, when the difficulty is set to Legendary, the Kig-Yar on the ridge that are equipped with carbines on Easy, Normal, and Heroic, will instead be equipped with much more accurate and much more powerful Beam Rifles.
- In Halo 3: ODST, in Crater Firefight, Kig-Yar Snipers only appear during the day version (with Engineers appearing at night.)
- Kig-Yar snipers still have the shield gauntlet, it is just not activated. Theoretically, they could drop their sniper weapon and function like any regular Kig-Yar.
- In Halo: Reach, Kig-Yar Snipers wield Needle Rifles and Focus Rifles, instead of Carbines and Beam Rifles.
- In Halo: Reach, Kig-Yar Snipers usually appear in a squad consisting of Kig-Yar Majors and Minors.
- In Halo: Reach, very rarely, Kig-Yar Snipers appear on the ground in Firefight wielding the long ranged Focus Rifles rather than the usual Needle Rifle.
- In Halo 4, like the regular Kig-Yar in the Halo Games prior to Halo: Reach, the Kig-Yar Snipers are the only ones that are left-handed, while the regular (Storm) Kig-Yar are right-handed.
- ↑ Only on Spartan Ops mission 'Hacksaw'