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Type-31 Rifle

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Type-31 Rifle
Production information


Sacred Promissory[1]





Technical specifications

Damage Per Hit

12.1 (shields), 0.45 (health), 263 (explosion)

Magazine Size

21 Rounds

Fire Mode

Fully Automatic

Ammunition Type

Crystalline Explosive Projectiles

Rate of Fire

200 RPM


Medium to Long





Covenant Empire

[Source]   [Talk]

The Type-31 Rifle,[2] also known as the Needle Rifle, is a Covenant infantry weapon. It is known to be used by Sangheili, Jiralhanae, and Kig-Yar, including Skirmishers.

Design DetailsEdit

ReachSchematic - NeederRifle

A blueprint of the Needle Rifle

The Type-31 Rifle fires unconventional, long and sharp projectiles similar to those of the Needler. The projectiles detonate several seconds after impacting on soft tissue. Like the Needler, if enough needles are fired into a target, a supercombine explosion occurs.

Although most players use it as a semi-automatic weapon for long range, the Needle Rifle is a fully automatic, medium-to-long range, headshot-capable rifle.[3] Unlike the Needler, however, the needles do not "home in", or track on the enemy. They fire in a straight line at high velocities, similar to the M392 Designated Marksman Rifle. Rounds travel much faster than that of the Needler, leaving the Needle Rifle's only destructive similarity to the Needler being the individual/collected needle explosion. The Needle Rifle also seems similar in appearance and functionality to the Covenant Carbine, and also bears a barrel similar to that of the Beam Rifle. The Needle Rifle will take out a Spartan's shield in Multiplayer with 6 rounds, 2 more than the 4 rounds required by the DMR.[4] Three needles in an unshielded target will cause a 'needle supercombine,' similar to the Needler, killing the victim. Thus, in most SWAT game types, this weapon is not present due to the fact that it can kill an enemy quickly without the requirement of a headshot.

The reload process for the Needle Rifle is very similar to that of the Covenant Carbine. The scope for the weapon acts as a hatch, which flips open to expose a small canister that ejects upon opening, and a new canister is inserted by the user. The only difference between the reloads for the Carbine and the Needle Rifle is that the canister for the Carbine is not covered by any sort of hatch, which in the case of the Needle Rifle is its scope. This reload process implements another difference from the Needler, which actually summons new needles from the inside of the weapon through the operation of what is suspected to be an internal mechanism.

Compared to its counterpart, the M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, the Needle Rifle trades in damage per projectile and projectile flight time for a faster firing rate, lower recoil/reticle bloom, more accuracy, and larger magazine size, and also has the ability to kill an unshielded enemy with three needles, which will detonate no matter where they hit. The Needle Rifle still retains the ability to kill an unshielded enemy with a headshot.


  • The Needle Rifle is equipped with 2x magnification scope. This makes it less effective at longer ranges compared to its counterpart, the DMR, which is equipped with a 3x magnification scope. 
  • The needle rifle can be seen in Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, which is set in 2526, despite the fact that the Needle Rifle is designated 'Type-31'. It is possible that the type in Forward Unto Dawn is a different model of the rifle. It is also possible that the UNSC did not actually record the use of this weapon, due perhaps to the darkness or confusion.[5]
  • The magazine size is another reference to Bungie's love for the number seven (7 x 3 = 21).
  • The scope of the Needle Rifle has a hash-mark compass. To the right of the scope, it also features a symbol which turns red when the crosshairs are aimed at an enemy.
  • The Needle Rifle is in fact a fully-automatic weapon, and will fire continuously when the trigger is held, but its rate of fire is rather low and it suffers from reticule bloom. Few players actually make use of its fully-automatic function due to the high reticle bloom.
  • Unlike the Silenced SMG, the Needle Rifle is the only automatic weapon that can be used to get a headshot.
  • Catherine-B320 was killed by a Needle Rifle by an unnamed Sangheili Field Marshal.
  • The Needle Rifle is incredibly effective against Jiralhanae. As most do not possess shields in Halo: Reach, they can be killed in three shots with a supercombined detonation. However, some of them may use Armor Lock to counter the Needle Rifle. Others may dodge/Evade.
  • Enemies in Campaign and Firefight are extremely cautious when the Needle Rifle is used against them, regarding its projectiles as if they were explosives (and with good reason). Grunts dodge them the same way they dodge Plasma Grenades, Brutes will frequently dodge or use Armor Lock when shot at, and Elites will evade constantly even if their shields are at full strength and occasionally use Armor Lock.
  • The Needle Rifle is not in SWAT, even though it is the Covenant's analog DMR, such as the Carbine and the Battle Rifle in Halo 3, as it can create a Super Combine Explosion in 3 shots.
  • Apparently, the Needle rifle was originally going to have green spikes/needles, but was changed for unknown reasons. Perhaps to retain the color of a "Needle" e.g. the Needler's.
  • In Campaign and Firefight, no matter how many needles the enemies put onto you, you never explode with the combine explosion. This may be a bug or an oversight by Bungie. This could also be for gameplay reasons as 3 shots, even if some were from a different source, would cause detonation and the player's death, making Campaign and Firefight much more dangerous and difficult.
  • If a player lands two body shots and a final headshot, the needles will supercombine normally but the player will only get the "headshot" medal for the kill, this suggests that the supercombine is not instantaneous but takes place a split second after the third shot lands.
  • If you look carefully at the needles they will slowly pulsate as if they were lit internally.
  • The Needle rifle is one of the most versatile weapons in the game as it combines the DMR's headshot capability, the Needler's super-combine and full-auto capability and the sniper rifle's accuracy. However, it does not zoom in as much as the DMR, it is less effective against shields than the DMR, and it is less effective against vehicles than the DMR.
  • The Needle rifle is proven to have more aim assist in gameplay than the DMR.
  • Hunters can survive up to 5 super combine explosions on Heroic or higher.
  • Originally, the Needle Rifle had only 16 rounds per magazine. However, sometime after the Halo Reach beta, this was increased to 21 rounds per magazine. Likely this was so a player with perfect accuracy could get 3 kills without needing to reload, an upgrade which its counterpart the DMR also received.
  • The Needle Rifle was still used by Jackals in the post-war era.[6]
  • This is the only weapon in the game that the enemy AI can reload, as seen in theatre mode in Campaign and Firefight, Jackal Snipers and Skirmishers may occasional walk away from the battlefield into cover, quickly reload the weapon the same way Spartans do, and return to the battlefield to attack.




  1. Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 127
  2. Type-31 Rifle
  3. Reach Sandbox Preview
  4. GameInformer: February Edition
  5. At the beginning of Episode 4, a Jackal can be seen holding a Type-31 rifle. Also, when the survivors are under attack by snipers, needles are fired at them.
  6. Halo: Glasslands

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