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Player customization returns in Halo: Reach, but with far deeper customization options than Halo 3. In Halo 3, unlocking armor permutations involved getting a certain Achievement, or a group of achievements. In Halo: Reach, armor is acquired by purchasing it with "credits" (cR) in The Armory, although some armor permutations may have to be unlocked through Halo: Reach's Achievements, previous purchases, or by reaching a certain rank. Credits are earned by winning or finishing games in Campaign, Matchmaking, Firefight, and Forge, or by completing Achievements, getting commendations, or completing daily and weekly challenges.
In Halo: Reach, there are ten available slots for Spartan armor customization. The ten available slots customizable to Spartans feature the Helmet, Left and Right Shoulder, and the Chest piece, returning from Halo 3. The six new slots for customization include Wrist, Utility, Visor Color, Knee Guards, Armor Effect, and Firefight Voice. In addition, the player's helmet can be "upgraded" with various gadgets, known as Helmet Variants. The player will also be able to choose their character's gender, but unlike Halo 3, the Spartan's gender will also be reflected in their body type, instead of just their voice. Additionally, the player's character will also appear in Campaign mode, as Noble Six.
In Halo: Reach, players are no longer be able to use Elites as their default player model in Matchmaking, likely for balancing reasons. Instead, Elites are used in Matchmaking for the new Spartan-vs-Elite gametypes, and will still be able to use Elites in Custom Games, through a "Preferred Species" setting. Elite armor customization in Halo: Reach has been downgraded from Halo 3 to a complete model swap. Elite armor does not cost additional cR, but instead requires the player to reach a certain rank for certain armor; for example, to obtain the armor of an Ultra Elite, the player must reach the rank of Warrant Officer.
Additionally, the Limited and Legendary Editions of Reach include exclusive armor permutations/effects for your player character. The Limited Edition comes with the "Sangheili Officer" Elite permutation, while the Legendary Edition includes the aforementioned permutation, along with a Spartan "Flaming Head" effect. A redeemable token that gives the player access to the Recon Helmet is bundled with the game to all sales made on the release date, and with all pre-orders outside of North America. However, if the player is equipped with the exclusive flaming helmet effect, the flames will be visible during gameplay but will not be shown in cinematics. As with Halo 3, every armor permutation in Halo: Reach is purely for aesthetic purposes and do not impact gameplay whatsoever.
The last two sets of helmets for Halo: Reach are available through Halo Waypoint only. Using Waypoint will show you how to unlock said armor pieces, which each have a base and two additional styles. The unlocks are linked to overall Halo Career Milestones (linked to universal Halo Gamerscore) and specialist achievements throughout the Halo game. For example: the Military Police helmet requires the user to have completed Halo: Reach on Normal Difficulty, Stage two of the helmet requires the user to have the A Spoonful of Blamite achievement and Halo 3 Fear the Pink Mist achievement (accompanied by the right Career Milestone award and the base helmet variant).
Armor is unlocked when an individual increases their multiplayer online rank. A table of this can be seen here: Rank & armor table.
|Elite Armor Permutations|
|Officer||Limited and Legendary|