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Sangheili Zealot

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Zealot redirects here. For more uses, please see Zealot (disambiguation).

H4 Sangheili Zealot
Sangheili Zealot
Biographical and armament information





Political and military information


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Covenant/Swords of Sanghelios

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“The true devotee honors our name with actions, not words.”
— Sangheili Zealot's mantra

The Sangheili Zealot is a high-ranking Covenant Sangheili who is charged with the recovery of Forerunner artifacts. Unparalleled among the Covenant for their skill at arms, Zealots will stop at nothing, not even the eradication of heretical species, in order to recover these holy relics.[1]

Zealot is also a generic term for a Sangheili with official command responsibilities.[2][3] Members of the Zealot-class include Shipmaster, Fleet Master, Field Marshal, Field Master, and Supreme Commander. The only known ranks above Zealot are Councilor, Arbiter, and Imperial Admiral.

While some Zealots are strictly deployed to non-combat Fleet or Field Command posts, they often operate on the front lines and possess considerable battlefield experience, having killed countless enemies of the Covenant before attaining their post. 


As members of the Ministry of Fervent Intercession, true Zealots form the razor's edge of any significant Covenant military operation. Zealot squads are tasked with the location and analysis of any information which might lead to a reliquary site. Once located they are then charged with its recovery, typically through apostolic intervention by force, though no measure is considered too extreme. They wear a number of different armor iterations, from gold to red, which are highly advanced with advanced shielding tech and improved protection.[1]

Zealot titlesEdit

Zealot is the highest military rank a Sangheili can achieve with the exception of the Arbiter, Councilor, and Imperial Admiral. The Special Operations Commander of the Covenant is lower than higher Zealot ranks such as Supreme Commander,[4] but probably higher than lesser ones such as Field Master. The positions a Zealot can hold include:

  • Field Master: This rank is equivalent to the UNSC Army and Marine Corps numerous General ranks. Field Masters command entire armies, legion strength or greater. Unlike Human Generals, Field Masters take a much more active role in combat, as in charging into the battle with their troops rather than giving orders from an area away from the ongoing conflict. They are in charge of all warriors of any race within that army, as well as all armor, air support and material utilized by that army. An example of this is Noga 'Putumee, who led the Covenant forces against the Human-held Alpha Base during the Battle of Installation 04.
  • Field Marshal: The Field Marshal rank falls under the Zealot-class, but appears to outrank regular Zealots. Besides leading large-scale ground operations, Field Marshals are known to lead small strike teams composed of Zealot officers. While other Zealots use the Energy Sword, the Field Marshall uses heavy weaponry such as the Fuel Rod Cannon and only uses an Energy Sword as a backup weapon.
  • Fleet Master: This rank is the equivalent to the UNSC Navy's numerous Admiral ranks. A Fleet Master commands all of the ships in his particular fleet, in addition to his own vessel. In the case of a De Facto Fleet Master or Fleet Master/De Facto Commander a Sangheili is a normal Ship Master and controls only one ship, but when a Fleet needs to do a special objective, the Fleet Master/De Facto Commander acts as the commander for the ships participating in that objective (normally called Task force). Voro Nar 'Mantakree was a Fleet Master/De Facto Commander and was in charge of leading a task force to Onyx to pursue the Bloodied Spirit.


Zealots are significantly more challenging to fight than other Elites. In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots are known to wield Energy Swords and Plasma Rifles. They are much tougher than regular Elites, as they shoot faster and tend to actively pursue and hunt their target, rather than shoot at the closest one. They also have extremely strong shields that are twice as strong as those of a Sangheili Major (In Halo: Combat Evolved, they can survive a rocket on Easy). They are much faster than lower ranking Elites and can leap at an enemy as well. They are considerably harder to hit and they constantly duck behind obstacles to avoid fire, although this can be used against them if they are on a bridge. Zealots wielding an Energy Sword are extremely dangerous in close quarters and should be dealt with quickly and preferably while they are still reasonably far away since a blow from an energy sword is typically an instant kill. They are a powerful, smart, and very dangerous foes to be reckoned with, especially on higher difficulties.

H4 Elite Render

An early render of a Zealot wielding an Energy Sword.

The best way to deal with a Zealot is to either use a Plasma Grenade or to attack it from long range, as they are deadly in hand-to-hand combat because of their Energy Sword (and in Halo: Combat Evolved can kill the player with one hit from an Energy Sword in anything higher than Easy difficulty). In Halo 2, it is possible to side step and assassinate a Zealot, or any sword wielding Elite. Due to their strong shields, it is advisable to use heavy weaponry, such as the Sniper Rifle or Rocket launcher, if they are available. The M6D pistol is only moderately effective, taking 16 head shots to kill a fully shielded Zealot on Normal difficulty. The Needler is both common and extremely effective, due to the fact that seven rounds will kill most enemies and the weapon's large magazine and ability to home in even when the reticle is not red or on the enemy.

In Halo 2, they do not use Overshields and their shields are as strong as those of a Sangheili Major and Special Operations Elite, but they are a lot smarter and tougher. They are still very deadly in close-quarters, though in Halo 2, their sword animation has been changed to being "more realistic" in the sense that in Halo: Combat Evolved, a sword swing had a huge area of effect, and it was impossible to dodge a swing. In Halo 2, it is possible to side step and assassinate a Zealot, or any other elite with a sword. When the Zealot is swinging, quickly step to the side and behind him, than melee him, which results in an instant kill. This is the quickest and most effective way of dispatching Zealots, or other sword wielding Elites. It is also very risky. Zealots can take more damage when their Energy Shields are down. In addition to the tactics mentioned in the preceding paragraph, dual M6C Magnums can be very effective at close ranges so long as you stay outside of their sword's reach. Dual Needlers are also effective. Also, Zealot AI is noticeably different in Halo 2; Zealots are always found wielding Energy Swords, ceremonial weapons befitting their high rank. In most cases, they will not fire a weapon if given one and will try to melee with it.

Another fact that should be known is that Zealots will never, under any circumstances, ride in or drive a vehicle for religious purposes;[citation needed] they do not believe it is honorable to kill their enemies with vehicles instead of hand to hand combat. If a player tries to give them a chance to get in one, such as in Uprising, their animation will glitch and they will start to walk toward the vehicle and turn around, they will then keep doing this.

In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots had a "flaw" that made killing one slightly easier. It would do some form of roaring animation (similar to the Elite berserkers in Halo 2), or pointing out the player and yelling. This animation makes the Zealot's body more open and gives the player a moment to snipe, fire a rocket at, or damage the shields of the Zealot. This Elite is the only Elite that will only spawn when scripted to, unlike Minors to Ultras, whose chances depend purely on difficulty.

List of appearancesEdit

Halo: Combat EvolvedEdit

In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealot Elites appear with about the same frequency on all settings, although their strength on each difficulty increases significantly in a direct proportion with the difficulty level. They are difficult to kill on Normal mode and even more so on Heroic or Legendary. They first appear in the stage Truth and Reconciliation on Legendary difficulty. Zealots will replace all the Stealth Elites except one, and are encountered in the ship's Gravity Lift bay.

On Legendary, they always have extremely powerful energy shields (four times more powerful than standard MJOLNIR Armor shields) and almost always wield Energy Swords (though they are seen on at least three occasions wielding plasma rifles in the level Two Betrayals and in Assault on the Control Room). Zealots are also almost always accompanied by a vanguard group of lesser ranking Elites. The ranks of these Elites vary depending on the difficulty, with Sangheili Minors making up the vanguard on Normal mode and Sangheili Majors and Stealth Elites accompanying the Zealots on Heroic and Legendary difficulty. However, in Two Betrayals, a Zealot is seen leading a squad of Jackals as well as Elites.


  • Truth and Reconciliation - On Legendary, 4-6 Zealots will spawn in the Grav Lift bay, leading the groups of attacking Covenant. On any difficulty, there will also be a Zealot at the control center or bridge that is thought to be the Ship Master and one guarding Marine prisoners. This is the first appearance of the Zealot.
  • The Silent Cartographer - Behind the locked door that you are supposed to open, and sometimes by a spot close to the door.
  • Assault on the Control Room - The first Zealot is on the first bridge, the second is in a room commanding two other Elites and the third is near the Control Room.
  • Two Betrayals - Zealots are scattered all throughout the level, about 7-10 of them in all, most of them commanding large battle groups of Covenant battling the Flood.

Halo 2Edit

On the Level Uprising in Halo 2 a Zealot emerges from an Orbital Insertion Pod. Unlike in Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots rarely appear as enemies in any difficulty other than Legendary, with few exceptions.

Zealots are always seen with groups of subordinate Elites, as seen in Halo: Combat Evolved. They have strong energy shielding, which are roughly equivalent to that of Elite Majors, and will continually charge their enemies until killed. It appears their stronger shields were traded to the Ultra and Councilor Elites. They also exclusively wield Energy Swords, unless given a different weapon by an allied player.

The following is a list of Zealot appearances in Halo 2.

  • Cairo Station (Legendary only) - In Hangar B-01 (the second Hangar Bay), a Zealot armed with an Energy Sword along with 2 Ultra Elites lead the fifth Covenant wave out of the boarding craft to fight the player-controlled Master Chief.
  • Outskirts (Legendary only) - At a point in the level where a Covenant Phantom dropship approaches and drops off troops, it will drop one Covenant Zealot off, along with the rest of the units. The Zealot will then normally charge toward and attack the player and any remaining Marines. Another example is a section of the same level near the Hotel Zanzibar, after Sniper Alley. There is always a Zealot in the half collapsed building, which will jump down and attack if the player walks down the streets near it.
  • Metropolis (Legendary only) - As you reach the service tunnel at the end of the Highway tunnel, a sword-wielding Zealot will emerge from there.
  • Gravemind - At the end of the level, the Honor Guard Councilor, which is supposed to be a Zealot but appears differently due to a programming error, will appear regardless of difficulty.
  • Uprising - Thel 'Vadamee always gains one Zealot ally in the early part of the level Uprising, regardless of difficulty.
  • The Great Journey - In the final battle with Tartarus, an infinite amount of Zealots with Energy Swords will be generated to aid you, either before or during the fight. Their usefulness is limited however, as Tartarus' shield protects him from Energy Swords and melee attacks. Since these are a Zealot's primary methods of attack, the Elites simply deal no damage and are left open to a close range attack from the Fist of Rukt. They can cause him to be slow, giving Johnson time to snipe Tartarus and for you and your allies to kill him quickly after the shots are fired.

Halo 3Edit

Zealots do not appear in Halo 3. Their absence has not been currently explained by Bungie or 343 Industries. However, Bungie's changing the Sangheili species from enemy to ally may have had some part in it. Zealots would have been present at the Battle of Installation 00, but were probably on their ships rather than on the ground. They might have been on the ground as well, but had been deployed to other places. Considering the Arbiter was leading the forces seen in unison with the UNSC, the dispersal of Zealots elsewhere seems likely. It is possible, however, that soon after the Sangheili broke away from the Covenant the rank of Zealot was abandoned, because they are no longer particularly religious. In many areas throughout the game where Zealots would normally appear, they may have been replaced by Brute Chieftains, as many of the former Elite positions were awarded to the Brutes when the Prophets replaced them.

  • Halo: Combat Evolved
  • Halo 2
  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Halo 4

Halo WarsEdit

While they make no noticeable in-game appearance, several Zealots are in a few cutscenes, most often accompanying the Arbiter, only to be insulted or knocked down by him.

Halo: ReachEdit

Zealots appear in only three levels of the campaign: Winter Contingency, Tip of the Spear, and The Pillar of Autumn. In Reach they wield the Energy Sword (main), Fuel Rod Gun, Plasma Repeater, Plasma Rifle and Concussion Rifle. They appear nothing like Zealots in previous games, having more ornate armor, which is now a maroon color, instead of the usual gold. Also, they do not appear to be set in a boss fight context and are somewhat more comparable to a fight with regular infantry, albeit with better shields. They are also much more agile making them difficult to fight at close and long range. They are deployed in key locations, accompanying Sangheili Field Marshals on missions, or guarding them.

Known ZealotsEdit

Fleet Masters Edit

Ship Masters Edit

Field Masters Edit

Physical appearanceEdit

In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots wear solid gold armor, a pointed helmet and shoulder pauldrons (signifying rank), blue lights running on their armor, and a Forerunner glyph on their back. Their shields are much more powerful than those of their subordinates, and wield either an Energy Sword or Plasma Rifle (They fire much faster than other Elites and with greater accuracy). In Anniversary, they have their Halo: Reach appearance with Combat Evolved gold color.

In Halo 2, Zealots wear the standard armor of all Elites, with orange lights running on their armor, but this time wear gold and tan armor.

In Halo: Reach, the Zealot wears a more ornamental helmet, with blue lights running on their helmets and shoulder pauldrons and also a little bit on their body and thighs. Zealots now have a maroon color, similar to the Field Marshall.

In Halo 4, the Zealot wears what appear to be a mixture of the Halo: Reach Zealot armor and the Special Operations Sangheili armor, albeit with a battle-scarred look. The inner toes have a small, hook-like projections on them. The helmets have four noticeable lights on the top.  


  • The Zealots featured so far do not have a black or steel secondary color like lower-ranking Elites. In Halo: Combat Evolved, they are solid gold. In Halo 2, they have a differing tan secondary color.
  • Zealots will never ride or drive in a vehicle, they will not board an enemy vehicle either.
  • Zealots and Field Marshalls are the only enemies you cannot fight in Firefight.
  • The plasma rifle-wielding Zealots of Halo: Combat Evolved will not melee. This is due to the fact that they are programmed to berserk when they see you, and have no provisions to melee while in berserk mode.
  • On the Legendary difficulty in Halo: Combat Evolved, it usually takes two to three Plasma Grenades to kill a Zealot.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, Zealots (as with all Elites), will usually jump out of the way to avoid a grenade: when near a ledge, they will jump over and will fall to their deaths. However, on Legendary, the Zealots will sometimes charge through the blast and try to kill the player.
  • Zealots only have the shields of a Sangheili Major in Halo 2, but what they lack in shields they make up for in skill.
  • Zealots' gauntlets are blue in Halo: Combat Evolved, (the same color Stealth Elites and Spec Ops Elites have), but in Halo 2, they wear the usual orange gauntlets of all other Elites.
  • In Halo: Reach, there are two loadout naming options called "Zealot" and "Royal Zealot". By default, these loadouts spawn with the Evade Armor Ability, a Needle Rifle primary and either a Needler or Plasma Pistol secondary.
  • The real-time strategy game StarCraft features a Protoss unit known as the zealot; these warriors also wear golden armor and wield powerful energy blades.
    • However, unlike the Sangheili, the Protoss Zealot is a lower ranking front line unit similar to the Elite Minor.
  • In Halo: Reach, the Zealot armor is available as an Armor Permutation if the player reaches the in-game rank of Captain.
  • During the standoff cutscene in Lone Wolf, Noble Six may have met his/her demise by the Energy dagger of a Zealot, however another elite's foot was in the way, and since Noble Six had evaded every attempt up to that moment, this may not be the case.
  • The only two Halo games Zealots don't appear in are Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST.
  • The armor of the Zealot is identical to that of the Sangheili Field Marshall, with the only differences being two distinguished horns on the Field Marshall's headdress and differing pauldrons.
  • In the Halo: Reach campaign there are a total of 9 Zealots, a pair of Zealots assisting the Field Marshall in Winter Contingency, a third in Tip of the Spear, a pair which attack (and are killed by) Emile, a trio assisting the Field Marshall and the one who finishes off Noble Six in the final cutscene in Lone Wolf.
  • In Halo: Reach, Noble Six was almost killed by a Sangheili Zealot in the campaign mission Winter Contingency.
  • In Halo 4, the Storm Zealots look like extremely battle-scarred Special Operations Sangheili.
  • The armor worn by the Zealots in Halo 4 is the traditional Zealot armor worn in-field before the Sangheili joined the Covenant.[6]
  • The Zealots in Halo 4 were originally supposed to wear a scarlet variant of the Ultra armor from Halo: Reach.[7]
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the Stealth Sangheili seen in the Legendary ending, is replaced by a Sangheili Zealot. 343 Industries has yet to give a reason for this change.
  • Zealot Blargball, a version of Grifball that uses Elites, gets it name from the Sangheili Zealots.



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