It’s hard to believe how long it has been since the September 25, 2007 release of Halo 3. In such a short period of time, Halo 3 has sold millions of copies of the third installment in the Halo trilogy. But when all is said and done, what will Halo 3 be remembered for? Surely not the mediocre Campaign mode. Halo 3 has one of the most popular online multiplayer experiences of all time. Yet, some players are still finding it hard to master basic techniques, stunting their ability to get better.
By following these simple steps for handling weapons, you can find yourself getting more headshots, more double kills, and maybe even getting yourself that shiny Katana to go on your back.
The Battle Rifle
One of the most important weapons in the game is the Battle Rifle. Although it is usually a primary or secondary starting weapon, most people will immediately switch to the Assault Rifle as soon as the game begins. Why? Because while the Battle Rifle takes some skill of precision and only fires in 3 round bursts, many players believe that the Assault Rifle will work better for them. Yet in a Battle versus Assault Rifle gunfight, it is obvious who would win.
With the Battle Rifle comes more power but a smaller crosshair. This means that the player must be able to aim. Precision is needed to operate the Battle Rifle. The only way to get better at aiming with the Battle Rifle is to use it and stop switching to the Assault Rifle every chance you get. Take your time to aim before firing like a madman, and don’t be afraid to use the scope even in close up fights. If you find aiming to be too hard or frustrating, lower your Look Sensitivity, which will slow you down while aiming.
The scope is a very useful feature of the Battle Rifle. As you get better, you can begin to use the Battle Rifle as a mini Sniper Rifle to pick off enemies from far distances. If you are shot or hurt while in scope mode, you will be exited from the mode. Use this little feature to your advantage. If you are trying to scope another player who is trying to scope you, the person who gets hit first will almost always be the one to lose. If you can shoot the enemy before they shoot you, they will not be able to enter scope mode as long as you keep shooting them. This means that while they are struggling to scope you out, you can continue shooting, resulting in their unfortunate demise almost every time.
Often times, players will race at the start of the game to reach the power weapons and use them to their team’s advantage. But power weapons aren’t always the best choice since they all have limited uses and ranges. There are five common power weapons, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Most times, if an opposing player knows their way around power weapons, the weaknesses will outweigh the strengths.
The Energy Sword will always kill an enemy in one single hit, if the crosshair is locked on. Amazing, right? Wrong. The Energy Sword has such a small attack range that any skilled player with a Battle Rifle can easily kill an enemy with a Sword before they even reach their destination. If an enemy is coming towards you with a Sword, begin to shoot them while backing up. Since running forward is faster than running backward, they will eventually catch up. But if you are quick and begin shooting early on, you will kill them. Also, if you know you are doomed (backed up into a wall) then wait until they are about to lunge at you and immediately throw a Plasma or Spike Grenade. Although you will die, you will often kill the player along with you.
If you are in a Sword versus Sword fight, and you both hit each other at the same time, you will both lose your shields, but remain alive. When this happens, don’t try to lock on and lunge again. Instead, get right up close and hit the melee button as fast as you can. The melee attack with the Sword is faster than the lunge, usually resulting in you winning the Sword fight.
The Gravity Hammer is such a slow and inaccurate weapon that I suggest to never use. Much like the Energy Sword, you can easily back away and kill a Hammer enemy before they reach you. Only use the Hammer if you are ducking around a corner waiting for people, smacking them in the air as they pass you.
The Rocket Launcher can be extremely useful when many enemies are in one space. However, at short range the Rockets will most likely kill you along with the other player. They are also useful for taking out players using Turrets, as it takes a few seconds for the player to get off the Turret. Rockets should only be used in open areas or shot into doorways as enemies approach. Never use Rockets in a one-on-one fight, as you’ll probably end up killing yourself.
The Shotgun is probably the second most useful weapon in the game, and (because of its two shot kills) most players will resent you for using it. But you’re not playing Halo to get friends, you’re playing for the glory of becoming the best, and the Shotgun will help to reach it.
The Shotgun is primarily a short ranged weapon but can be used at mid-range by shooting multiple times. At short range, one shot to the head will kill an enemy, or one shot to the body and one melee hit will result in a kill. For this reason, it is extremely important to use stealth with the Shotgun. Nobody is going to let you get near them if they see that you have a Shotgun. By hiding around corners and waiting for players to come to you, you maintain the element of surprise.
Another strategy with the Shotgun is to keep your Battle Rifle out so that people will come close to you to try to “beat you down”. As they approach, pull out your Shotgun and use the shoot/melee method to ensure your kill. Because of this, I feel that a Battle Rifle/Shotgun setup is one of the best in the game. Try to always have these two weapons.
Used properly, the Sniper Rifle can be the best weapon in the game. With a lot of practice, a quick trigger finger, and good hand/eye coordination, you’ll find yourself getting headshots more frequently than ever. First, if you’re really bad at aiming, turn your Look Sensitivity down a lot. The default is 3, so 2 or 1 is your only option. This will make your aiming much slower, therefore make aiming more precise. Be warned, this does make it extremely slow to even turn around corners, and regular gunfights will be a pain with low Look Sensitivity.
Always take your time when aiming at people. Most enemies don’t know you’re aiming at their heads, so they aren’t likely to hide from you. Take it slow, aim for the head, and shoot. If you try to go too quick and end up hitting their leg, they know you’re sniping and will hide.
A great way to practice your sniping skills is to get two controllers, put an elastic band around the analog sticks on one, and make it run in circles. Then, go into a two player match and try your hand at getting headshots on your second player.
It may be a shock, but the rest of the weapons aren’t really worth using. The Battle Rifle paired with a Power Weapon is usually the best weapon combination.
Remember, practice is the key to getting better at Halo 3. Don’t expect to be getting MVP on your first game. So, what are you waiting for? Go get level 50 already!