Halo 3 is a fun speedgame. You go fast and fly far. Here is a playlist of StuffedCrustGogGamer showing a basic introduction to running the game on easy. This guide is outdated and in need of a revamp. If you are interested in learning the game on Legendary, check out This Playlist of Legendary guides by a variety of legendary runners. These legendary guides are mostly up to date.
Halo 3 is the third installment of the Halo franchise. The physics engine is a modified version of the Havok engine, and is identical to the physics engine used for Halo 3: ODST. Halo 3 is not a difficult game to learn, and with multiple releases and ports of this game it is easily accessible to many a new runner. Halo 3 is timed via sum of theater films. There are no known version differences between theater times and RTA minus load times. Individual Levels are timed by Carnage Report, and Campaign Scoring must be turned on.
If a level has a video tutorial it will be linked at the top of each Individual level's page. To see some fullgame runs with commentary, check out Sorix's 2018 ESA run or Dark's 2015 ESA run or The BlazeJp's 2015 SDGQ run. Sorix's run is the most up to date and contains some skips not found in the latter two.
- 1 Version Differences
- 2 Level Strategies
- 3 Movement Techniques
- 4 Enemies
- 5 Shields And Health
- 6 Weapons and Equipment
- 7 Training for Legendary
- 8 The Halo 3 Data Collection Project
Halo 3 (H3) originally released on the Xbox 360, this version of H3 is referred to as the Original Game (OG). Halo 3 released as part of the Master Chief Collection is commonly referred to as H3 MCC. There are small differences between the two that are a result of frame rate differences, as well as potentially hardware. Enemies on MCC are more aggressive and notice you more quickly, making legendary more difficult on MCC than on OG. However, momentum is more easily conserved through gravemind and cortana moments on MCC, which makes some skips easier. Animation sequences are also slightly faster on MCC, so the drones on crow's nest come out of their pipe faster on MCC than on OG (for example).
Similar to many other FPS games, you can use the acceleration from a grenade explosion to jump higher or farther. Throw the grenade at your feet and time your jump so that you jump just before the grenade explodes.
Brute Shot/Fuel Rod jumping
Like grenade jumping, Brute shots and fuel rod guns can be used to accelerate jumps due to their explosive rounds. The idea behind the jumps is the same as grenade jumping; jump just before the explosion occurs.
With the Newtonian physics engine in Halo 3, extra horizontal speed can be obtained by jumping upon landing on a sloped surface. By jumping immediately after landing on a sloped surface, the physics engine will convert the player's downward velocity into horizontal velocity. The effect is most pronounced if the player crouches in mid-air, then uncrouches at the same time they jump off the sloped surface.
When an object hits you with some velocity in Halo 3, that object will collide elastically with you and transfer some of its kinetic energy over to you. Heavy objects usually end up killing you, but lighter objects like barrels or cones will give you boosts without splattering you. To perform a cone launch, simply place a grenade (or shoot a rocket or brute shot) on one side of the cone and stand on the opposite side so the cone will hit you. It helps to already be in the air when the cone hits you for maximum velocity.
Hammer Launching in Halo 3 is a trick utilizing the Newtonian physics engine, and it requires the Gravity Hammer. Because the Gravity Hammer causes a shockwave and causes some objects to spin at high angular velocities, players in contact with those objects will be launched away from the objects at very high speeds, allowing runners to cover large distances in little time. Hammer Launches can be done on various objects, including UNSC Weapon Lockers, Covenant Weapon Crates, small cubic boxes, and even small vehicles. To perform a Hammer Launch, the player needs to be in contact with an object that will spin if struck by the Gravity Hammer. Different objects require different positions in relation to the object. A tutorial on how positioning affects the launch can be found here: Hammer Launching Nuances
You can achieve increased power and distance by deploying a Trip Mine or Power Drain and combine their explosions with the push from the object used to Hammer Launch. Similarly, box launches can be enhanced with grenades or nearby explosives, albeit to a lesser extent.
Butterflying is an exploitation of the melee and reload mechanics. When a player melees while close to an enemy, the player will lunge at the enemy and deal damage after the melee animation makes contact with the enemy. At the same time, the player can cancel the damage but retain the lunging ability by doing a manual reload. Manual reloads can happen if the player has a partially filled clip with ammo reserves left.
In order to perform the Butterfly, the player must have a partially filled clip to be able to manually reload; if not, the player can fire a round. Then, approach an enemy and rapidly alternate between Melee and Action/Reload to do the Butterfly. The net effect is that the player will continuously lunge at an enemy without damaging the enemy, effectively using the enemy as a form of transportation if it is moving.
Under most situations, the Butterfly is useless as enemies are often fighting the player rather than moving around. However, the Butterfly is very useful on Crow's Nest, where Drones are scripted to fly down a hallway near the end of the level. Because the Drones are moving towards the next destination without fighting, the player can Butterfly to move quickly to the next area and save time.
Deployable Cover (DC) Launching
On MCC, it is possible to clip through walls with the DC Launch. To do so, perform a full strength DC Launch very close to a wall. Once the launch is performed, the player will launch past the wall before the game can perform a collision check, essentially going through it.
Here are different methods of doing the DC Launch:
rorcin's method: look down, jump (don't crouch), deploy at peak of jump, walk backwards a step, and release all buttons to their default position. If you don't release backwards, you can get a mini-launch instead.
SlidingGhost's method: look down, jump (don't crouch), deploy, crouch after landing, wait a second, walk forward
slYnki's method: look down, jump (don't crouch), deploy just as you are about to land, crouch before or as you hit the floor, inch forward twice
Look down, jump, throw an equipment, and jump again. Most equipment jumps will only work with the Master Chief player, Power Drain and Trip Mine are exclusive to Elites.
For Auto Turrets, it works a bit differently, but bear in mind that you're better off using other equipment for the jump. As a Spartan (Master Chief), you have to look down, run forward, and throw the Auto Turret slightly in front of you, where you can crouch to jump instantly (at the peak of your jump), or you can delay the throw, where you have to wait until you land on it, then jump. You can use this to change the direction of your jump. As an Elite, you have to use the 2nd method. This trick speeds up the 343 Guilty Spark fight in Halo (Halo 3).
Disclaimer: The descriptions for these enemies are written for Legendary runners. Most of the details about these enemies will remain true for Easy runners, but damage and durability for these enemies will be severely reduced.
Brutes are the one of the main enemies encountered in Halo 3. They have Power Armor, which must be fully destroyed before killing the Brute, and it functions similarly to the player's shields. However, unlike the player's shields, once fully removed, the Power Armor will not recharge, leaving the Brute permanently vulnerable to a Headshot.
Brutes are one of the more dangerous enemies in the game, depending on what weapon they wield. Brutes with Spikers are fairly formidable but bearable; they shoot bursts of 8-14 Spikes on Legendary and give players a few seconds to find cover. Higher-ranking Brutes, especially Captains, often wield the Brute Shot, which is extremely dangerous as the Brute can fire a quick burst of 3 Grenades to kill the player in less than 1 second.
There are many ranks of Brutes, but most of them are similar. Brute Infantry are ranked Minor, Major and Ultra, each with Cyan, Blue, and Violet armor respectively. Brute Minors are the weakest but often drop Deployable Covers, which is valuable for Deployable Cover Launches. The other two ranks of Brute Infantry usually drop Bubble Shields when killed.
Above Brute Infantry are Brute Captains, ranking from Brute Captain, Brute Captain Major, and Brute Captain Ultra with Purple, Gold, and Blue armor respectively. They have a bit of decoration on their helmets to differentiate them from Brute Infantry, and they have tougher shields. Brute Captains often have Brute Shots and carry various equipment, such like Regenerators, Flares, and Bubble Shields. The Noob Combo or Sniper weapons are recommended for dispatching Captains. There are also Brute Bodyguards, who accompany Chieftains sometimes, and they resemble Brute Captains. However, they have weaker shields and Pale Blue armor.
The highest ranks of Brutes are Chieftains and War Chieftains, who wear decorated Black/Red Armor and Dark Gold Armor respectively. Chieftains will always have a Gravity Hammer and either a Flare or Invincibility. They can be dispatched easily by dodging their lunging attack and assassinating them or by doing the Noob Combo with 3 Headshots. War Chieftains will wield either a Fuel Rod Cannon or a detached Turret and carry either a Flare or a Power Drain. They require quite a bit of effort to kill, though they will never carry an Invincibility, but they do regenerate health quite quickly.
In addition to the standard ranks of Brutes, there are specialist ranks, which have unique abilities. Jump-pack Brutes have the ability to jump far distances with their Jet Packs, though they are extremely vulnerable mid-air, and they have weak shields. In The Ark and The Covenant, there are Brute Stalkers, who sport camouflaged armor and wield Spikers or Plasma Rifles. They have weak shields and have a visible ripple while moving. Once killed, they will sometimes drop Incendiary Grenades and Cloaking equipment.
More information about Brutes can be found here
Despite being one of the jokes of video game enemies, Grunts fare well as a support enemy against the player. While they, by themselves, do not excel at killing the player with their weapons, Grunts are actually competent in supporting other enemies, such as Brute Captains and Jackal Marksmen, by lowering the player's shields to dangerously low levels. Grunts commonly have shield-stripping weapons like the Plasma Pistol and Needler, and they throw Plasma Grenades frequently, especially while in a group.
If a Brute leading a pack of Grunt dies, the Grunts will tend to panic and run around in fear, making them harmless. However, they will often go in a fanatical kamikaze state where they run towards the player with two primed Plasma Grenades in their hands. Should they do this, it is strongly recommended to take them out quickly before they get too close.
While they are adept at a support role, Grunts are still weak compared to other enemies. Regardless of rank, one headshot will kill a Grunt, making the Battle Rifle and Carbine ideal choices against them. Explosives are also effective at taking out whole groups of Grunts as one explosion from a grenade, Rocket Launcher, or Fuel Rod Cannon is capable of taking out Grunts with splash damage. When up close, melee attacks are feasible as all Grunts will die from no more than 2 melee attacks regardless of weapons.
Grunts come in only 4 Ranks in Halo 3: Minor, Major, Spec-Ops, and Heavy. They wear Orange, Red, White/Grey and Green armor respectively. Grunt Minors are the weakest and die with very little effort; 3 BR body shots, 4 Carbine body shots or 1 Melee is enough to kill them. Grunt Majors are a bit more durable, but they are still fairly weak and have only slightly more health than a Grunt Minor. Spec Ops and Heavy Grunts are the most durable, having about twice as much health as a Grunt Minors. Also, Grunt Heavies will sometimes wield Fuel Rod Cannons, making them a high-level threat from range.
Jackals are one of the most annoying enemies to deal with in Halo 3. They fight as either a support or specialist role in combat, and they can take down the player if they are not dealt with properly.
Jackals come in 3 ranks: Minor, Major, and Marksmen. Jackal Minor and Majors carry a shield in their right hand and a Plasma Pistol in their left hand. While the shield is very robust, there is a gap on in the shield that reveals their left hand. Shooting their hand will cause the Jackal to stagger, leaving it open for a headshot. Alternatively, Grenades are viable as the explosion will bypass their shield and damage their health directly.
Jackal Marksmen often carry either Carbines and occasionally wield a Beam Rifle and Plasma Pistol. Often, they are positioned in high areas where they can gun down the player, and they are very dangerous. Jackals with Carbines are capable of killing an unshielded player with a single headshot, and Jackals with Beam Rifles can kill a player with only a single shot, regardless of where the shot hits. However, they are still relatively simple to kill; a single headshot will kill them, though their heads are small so bullets may miss sometimes.
Hunters are seldom encountered in Halo 3, and they are almost never fought during a speedrun. There are only three levels in which Hunters appear: The Storm, The Ark, and The Covenant. The ones on The Storm are occasionally fought, though they can be taken down with Rockets, and the ones on The Ark are typically taken down easily with a Tank. The pair of Hunters on The Covenant are almost always ignored.
However, despite their rarity, they are very dangerous. Hunters are beefy walking tanks with dangerous attacks. They are armed with a Fuel Rod Gun that fires a green beam and with a heavy metal shield for melee attacks. The Fuel Rod Gun will kill the player in less than a second on Legendary if the Hunter lands a direct hit. In melee combat, the Hunter's melee attacks are capable of killing a fully-shielded player in one hit, though it is slow and relatively easy to dodge.
Drones, like Hunters, are rarely encountered during speedruns of Halo 3, but whenever encountered, they come in large swarms of up to 16 Drones. However, they are each very weak and have no shields, making it easy to dispatch them with rapid-fire or explosive weapons.. However, due to their sheer numbers, it is possible to die in a few seconds on Legendary.
Despite the danger of their large numbers, dealing with them is can be easy with the right weapons. On Crow's Nest, a swarm of Drones come from a pipe and can be mowed down with a Turret in the area as they exit the pipe. On Covenant, the only other level in which they are encountered and fought, the whole swarm can be dispatched with a grenade and/or a few Brute Shot grenades.
Flood Combat Forms
Flood Combat Forms are one of the most common enemies on levels in which the Flood appear. They come in 3 variants: Human, Brute, and Elite. Like most Covenant enemies, Flood Combat Forms can be killed with a headshot, but doing so requires aiming at their chest, where an Infection Form is, rather than the head.
Human and Brute variants are very similar; they have no shields and are quite fragile. One melee or headshot will kill them easily. Elite variants, on the other hand, differ significantly since they often have shielding to protect them from headshots, and their shields are extremely robust. It takes a significant amount of ammunition in order to break their shields. Instead of ranged weaponry, it may be better to engage them in melee combat, especially with a Brute Shot. However, there is a glitch where an Elite Combat Form will become invulnerable to Melee attacks so Plasma, Spike, or Incendiary Grenades may be necessary should this happen.
Flood Carrier Forms
Flood Carrier forms are slow and pose no threat from ranged. Their only attack is to walk up to the player, drop dead, and explode. Doing so will release a swarm of Infection Forms. If the player happens to be close to a Flood Carrier form, the explosion can be very dangerous since the explosion will deplete the player's shields while the Infection Forms latch onto the player and kill him.
Carrier Forms are very weak. They have about the same amount of health as a Grunt Minor so any weapon can kill Carrier Forms effectively. However, upon death, about a dozen Infection Forms will spawn so a rapid-fire weapon, like the Plasma Rifle may be preferred.
There are several ways to kill a Carrier Form without having it spawn more Infection Forms. Sticking the Infection Form with Plasma Grenades, Spike Grenades, or Incendiary Grenades will kill both the Carrier Form and the Infection Forms it spawns. Needler Supercombine or a direct hit with the Rocket Launcher will also achieve the same effect. The Spartan Laser can also kill Carrier Forms and the Infection Forms it spawns, though sometimes the laser may leave some Infection Forms alive.
Flood Pure Form (Stalker)
Flood Stalker Forms are mobile enemies which usually move around or climb on a wall to turn into a Ranged Form. Sometimes, they will run towards the player and then mutate into a Flood Tank Form. They often do not participate in combat, but they do have melee attacks. Their melee attack is strong enough to deplete the player's shields, but they rarely attack. Defensively, Flood Stalker Forms have as much durability as a Grunt Spec Ops, dying to just two melee attacks.
Flood Pure Form (Ranged)
Flood Ranged Forms are one of the most frustrating enemies to deal with, especially on Cortana. They often stick themselves onto walls, out of melee range while sending barrages of Carbine-like projectiles. Unfortunately, they are very resilient to mid-range weapons like the Battle Rifle and Carbine, making them very hard to kill, especially when they cover their weak spot. Like Carbine-wielding Jackals, they are capable of killing the player with a headshot if the player's shields are depleted.
The best way to deal with them is to try and engage them in melee combat as they are quite weak to melee attacks. If melee combat is no a possibility, try to stick them with Plasma, Spike, or Incendiary Grenades. If grenades are not available, the Needler is the next best alternative as a single Supercombine will kill them regardless of their pose.
Flood Pure Form (Tank)
Flood Tank Forms are somewhat similar to Hunters, though they do not have any ranged attacks. They are beefy, and they have powerful melee attacks. Caution should be advised when engaging in melee combat as they can kill the player with one single swipe. Despite their tankiness and strong melee capabilities, they are quite slow on the battlefield, but they can charge towards the player.
Dealing with them is not too difficult. Although they are primarily melee fighters, melee combat is one of the more effective ways at dealing with them. Flood Tank Forms die from 2 Brute Shot melees or 1 Energy Sword swipe. Ranged weapons tend to not deal significant damage to them, with the exception of heavy ranged weapons. The Rocket Launcher can kill a Tank Form in 2 direct hits, and a Spartan Laser can kill with 1 direct hit. However, all other weapons tend to not fare well.
Shields And Health
- Note that the exact values given below are taken from the Multiplayer portion of Halo 3. It is not known if the values differ in campaign.
You have two kinds of hitpoints in Halo 3; Shield points (sp) which are kept track of via the shield meter at the top of the HUD, and Body points (bp) which are invisible to the player. You have 70 shield points and they will begin recharging at 40 pts/second after not taking damage for 5 seconds. You have 45 body points and they begin recharging at 9 pts/second after not taking damage for 10 seconds. If you take ANY damage while either shield points or body points are recharging, BOTH will stop recharging and you must wait 5 and 10 seconds again for shield and body points to begin recharging again respectively.
Weapons and Equipment
The information on weapon damage and reload times given here was taken from an archived Bungie.net post. These times will be verified and updated as more information becomes available, such as data collected from The Halo 3 Data Collection Project.
sp = Shield Points bp = Body points
Weapon Damage per Hit ordered from most damage to least damage
- Spartan Laser: 284.0 dmg (This value is for the full length of the laser shot. At roughly 22 dmg/frame for 13 frames.)
- Gravity Hammer: 230.0 dmg
- Rocket Launcher: 220.0 dmg
- Energy Sword: 150.0 dmg
- Shotgun: 150.0 dmg
- Missile Pod: 126.0 dmg
- Mauler: 107.0 dmg
- Beam Rifle: 80.0 dmg
- Sniper Rifle: 80.0 dmg
- Brute Shot: 38.0 dmg
- Battle Rifle: 18.0 dmg/burst (6.0 dmg/bullet)
- Machine Gun Turret: 15.0 dmg
- Magnum: 15.0 dmg
- Plasma Rifle: 14.5 dmg(sp) & 3.5 dmg(bp)
- Carbine: 10.0 dmg
- Plasma Pistol: 10.0 dmg(sp) & 2.4 dmg(bp) (charged-shot deals ∞ dmg(sp) and 0 dmg(bp))
- Spiker: 9.0 dmg
- Assault Rifle: 7.5 dmg
- Needler: 5.0 dmg (after 8 needles embed themselves they deal 225 dmg explosively)
- SMG: 4.8 dmg
- Massive Melee; Brute Shot, (Sentinel Beam): 90 dmg
- Heavy Melee; Rockets, Laser, Hammer, (Fuel Rod): 80 dmg
- Strong Melee; Spiker, Mauler:72 dmg
- Normal Melee: 70 dmg
Note - while Bungie has never stated that any weapon's melee does more than 72 damage, conclusive tests seem to prove otherwise.
Reload/Cooldown times (approximate values) ordered from longest to shortest
- Rockets 4.3 s
- Brute Shot 3 s
- Beam Rifle 2.9 s
- Plasma Rifle 2.6 s
- Sniper Rifle 2.6 s
- Spartan Laser 2.4 s
- Carbine 2.4 s
- Mauler 2.4 s
- Plasma Pistol 2.1 s
- Battle Rifle 2 s
- Magnum 1.9 s
- Assault Rifle 1.8 s
- Spiker 1.6 s
- SMG 1.4 s
- Needler 1.1 s
- Shotgun 2/4.5** s
Training for Legendary
Part of being good at legendary revolves around being good at combat and dealing with unexpected scenarios. the best way to improve your combat is to play through the levels on Legendary with all skulls on except Black eye, Iron, Catch, Cowbell, and Blind. This forces you to increase your accuracy and get better at dodging. Removing the aforementioned skulls keeps AI behaviour similar to a regular Legendary run, and allows you to keep regular shields as well as to retry sections from the last checkpoint when you die.
The secret to going fast on Legendary is to never miss a headshot. Ever. Try playing through the sniper forest section of Sierra 117 and hitting every jackal with a headshot first try, and don't stop moving forwards. Once you can do that consistently you will find your headshot abilities have drastically increased.
The Halo 3 Data Collection Project
There is an in-development spreadsheet to collect data on how many shots it takes to kill an enemy (and strip shields if applicable) for almost every handheld weapon and melees for Halo 3. Although there is damage data above and some info on pages like Halo Nation, there is no complete aggregation off all Halo 3 weapon data. This data will show, for example, that on Legendary Difficulty it takes 3 sniper bullets to the body to kill a Brute Captain Ultra. Data will be collected for Easy and Legendary only, since those are the categories that are ran.
Click here to view/edit the spreadsheet. If you choose to contribute, don't worry if things get messed up because there is a master copy.
This project was started by HaloRuns fan Mangabey9000. Message him on discord if you want more info. So far this project only exists for Halo 3. If you want to start a similar project for the other Halo games, go ahead and have fun.
- There are separate categories for headshot capable weapons, e.g. BR body and BR head.
- The spreadsheet has 4 types of melees in accordance with the damage data shown above. It is not confirmed if there are 4 types of melee damages in campaign like there are in the multiplayer, but it's a good assumption.
- If collecting data, DO NOT DUAL-WIELD for dual-wieldable weapons like the SMG. This is because while dual-wielding, each weapon is weaker than if the weapon were single-wiedled (except for the plasma pistol). Maybe eventually we can get data on how much weaker each weapon becomes when dual-wielded.
- If you want to discuss this project or have questions, post it in the halo 3 channel in the Halo Runs discord.
Tips for Data Collection
- It's sometimes hard to distinguish between a headshot and a body shot, especially for grunts and jackals. To help this problem, use the Grunt Birthday Party skull. Also, you can shoot at the legs to make sure you're getting body shots.
- In Halo 3, the brute ranks are differentiated by armor color, and some of the colors look very similar. If you choose to help collect data, make sure you distinguish between a Brute Ultra vs a Brute Captain, for example.
- If not collecting data by playing yourself, a good way to get data is to watch casual playthroughs on YouTube.
- Try not to record data when there are allies around. The possible damage done by allies will throw off the results (i.e. if a brute dies to 10 bullets of a gun, he may die to 9 if allies also shot him).
- To get data for automatic weapons like the Assault Rifle from recorded videos, slow down the video speed to 0.25 times. Then, use the mouse to count the bullets that were expelled to kill or strip shields.
- A good reference point for counting AR bullets is that in Halo 3, the AR magazine holds 32 bullets, which are displayed in two lines of 16. Similarly, the SMG magazine holds 60 bullets, displayed in three lines of 20 bullets.