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Yanme'e Majors are differentiated from lower ranks by their crimson shells and energy shields. They have longer wings and can fly faster than Drone Minors. They are first introduced in Halo 3: ODST, which has several levels which involve extensive fights with Yanme'e. They usually have Needlers as their weapons in the games.
Due to the difference in mentality of Drones compared to other species, it is possible that Drones become a Major once they have reached a certain age by which point they will have a certain amount of experience, meaning less experienced Drones can follow them, rather than due to distinguished service or bravery as seen in other major creatures such as Unggoy and Kig-Yar. This is similar to how older insects in sociable colonies take on different roles, such as from scout to guard.
Drone Majors return in Halo: Reach. They are differentiated from Minors by a protruding prong-like extension on their head and by their red exoskeleton. Also confirmed in Halo: Reach are deep-green Majors with a large horn on their head, similar to a stag beetle. No significant difference has been confirmed between the two (Which rank is above which is also unknown).
Drone Majors are one step higher than the Minor Drones. They still appear low in rank, about the same as a Jackal Minor. They are most often seen commanded by Jackal Majors, Brutes, and even Special Operations Grunts. They are fairly common on higher difficulty levels.
Drone Majors are more skilled in combat than Drone Minors and will often use Needlers or Brute Plasma Rifles. On easier difficulties, they will not supercombine the needles. However, on Heroic and Legendary, it is recommended you take cover frequently to recharge armor/stamina. They still are a fairly easy kill.
Majors normally command a group of 6-10 minors. If there is a Major swarm, try to stick one with a Plasma Grenade or bombard them with Needler fire. One can also use ballistic fire, but some Majors will have shields, especially in the presence of Engineers. The Noob Combo is a good tactic. Majors also land on the ground much less often than their Minor brethren, making them less prone to melee. As with all enemies who move in groups, supercombining Needler round will produce an explosion that will most likely kill multiple Drones.
- Using the Noob Combo with a Plasma Pistol and Pistol, you can take down Majors. It is recommended you kill them first, then use the SMG to kill the rest of the swarm.
- Supercombining Needler rounds on Drone Majors is an effective tactic, and you can also strip them of ammo after you kill them—they often carry Needlers.
- Yanme'e Majors (as well as most Yanme'e) seem to have an uncanny ability to fly towards and attack the player when their Stamina is low, thereby heightening the chance for a kill and most likely stripping away some precious, much-needed Health. When and if they charge you, use your M7S Submachine Gun to gun them down.
- On Legendary difficulty in Firefight, the Drone Majors can easily strip a player's armor with a few Brute Plasma Rifle shots, and have high accuracy when flying and moving. Plasma Rifle wielding Drones should be killed at range with pistols.
- In a swarm Yanme'e can be overwhelming, and it is advised to use a Brute Plasma Rifle and M7S Submachine Gun or Spiker against these enemies. Both weapons have a high rate of fire and deliver staggering amounts of damage to unshielded organic targets.
- Making use of one of the mounted turrets littered about is another way to deal with these foes; however it can be a double-edge sword as the turret is very slow and offers sluggish maneuverability.
- Using the M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, Type-51 Carbine, or any other precision weapon is good against the Drone Majors.