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The Power Drain creates a short-range electromagnetic pulse (EMP) effect, which interferes with all electronic equipment within the radius of the pulse. It is designed primarily to interfere with common varieties of electrical field-based shielding, as well as the electrical components of vehicles. After a short time, the device overheats and explodes, which can wound or kill combatants in its resulting explosion. The electricity it produces can also harm biological systems and cause damage to unshielded targets.
In combat, the Power Drain weakens shields that come within range of its EMP, and immobilizes any nearby vehicles.
Because it shares a similar design aesthetic to other examples of Jiralhanae technology, it is likely that this piece of equipment is of Brute manufacture.
- This equipment will stall a vehicle's engine, but the weapon/weapons on the vehicle still work. The most effective way to take out an armored vehicle such as a Warthog is to throw a Power Drain followed by a grenade, killing most of the players on board. Several follow-up shots will take out any survivors.
- This is a good piece of equipment that is well-used in conjunction with headshot-capable weapons such as the Battle rifle, Carbine and Magnum.
- This is the piece of equipment that is useful when outnumbered; once drained, the whole group of enemies becomes a big one-hit-kill target.
- Bubble Shields cannot block the Power Drain from entering, so it's a good idea to throw one inside of a Bubble Shield while your enemies are inside of it.
- If the Power Drain unit hits the Bubble Shield unit, the Bubble Shield may move, depending on how fast the Power Drain is going at the point of impact. This can sometimes rob your enemies of the shield's protection, making them incredibly easy targets and can lead to some rather degrading deaths.
- Deploy this equipment near a popular sniper position or an area where people land after they get off of the Man Cannon, after that, it's another one-hit-kill target.
- Try keeping some distance between you and your foe when in combat, as when in close quarters battle, they tend to use power drains.
- The Power Drain is a great way of 'jacking' an enemy's vehicle. For example, you can throw one at a Warthog or Wraith, and then when they're low on energy shields, hijack their vehicle and it will most likely kill them and gain you a vehicle. Also, if a Banshee is close to the ground, a Power Drain can force it down, then you can skyjack their vehicle.
- The Power Drain will still drain an enemy shield inside a Regenerator's healing radius
- This, alongside a Trip Mine, is a great way to get the We're in for Some Chop achievement. This is especially good for a Ghost or Chopper.
- The Power Drain lasts for approximately 6.5 seconds, with 0.5 seconds rendered inactive while throwing, equaling a total of 7 seconds. A possible reference.
- The Power Drain, Radar Jammer, and Flare are all visually identical, save for the color of the glow each item emits.
- The effects of the Power Drain can also pass through walls and floors, so simply fleeing to the bottom floor of a structure after an enemy activates one may still strip your shields through the ceiling if you pass through it. This is most noticeable on levels such as Guardian.
- The Power Drain can be used in a glitch called Equipment Jumping by moving your character against a wall, jumping, and then at highest point of the jump deploy the Power Drain, and you will be able to jump off of it in mid air. This is a great tactic for reaching high areas of a map such as the second level of the tower on The Pit. This can also be done with the Radar Jammer and Flare, however, the Power Drain variation of the glitch can only be performed as an Elite.
- Strangely, in Halo 3: ODST, when you are in the radius of a Power Drain, your stamina will drain, even though it's not powered by anything at all. This is simply for gameplay purposes, although there is research that seems to indicate that electromagnetic frequencies can affect one's sense of well-being, sometimes making them feel unusually tired. It is also possible that it is meant to represent the electricity causing damage to the ODST.