It’s been a long wait, but Halo is back. The Halo Infinite multiplayer mode has hit and is free to play for anyone with an Xbox console or a PC that can handle it. Fans who have been around since the original came out with the original Xbox — and players who have never touched a Halo game before — are all jumping into this throwback to the classic days of arena shooters. Unlike most FPS games released today, Halo Infinite has a much different pace. With a few exceptions, firefights will last more than a second and require more consistent aiming than simply getting the first shot on your opponent.
Those exceptions do exist, though, in the form of power weapons. Halo has always had those special weapons that, in the right hands, can turn the tide of a match around. Halo Infinite has brought back some of the most iconic of these devastating weapons from past games, with a few tweaks and balance changes here and there, but also gave us a bunch of new toys to learn. We’ve run each of them through their paces to determine how every power weapon in Halo Infinite ranks up so you can rack up a high kill count.
There’s no beating a classic. Included in one form or another in every main Halo game is the SPNKR Rocket Launcher. While not the overpowered monster it was in past games, specifically Halo 2, the Halo Infinite version of this explosive beast is still something to fear. What makes it so great is that you don’t even need to hit what you’re aiming at as long as you land the rocket close enough. The splash damage is easily enough to take out one or multiple enemy soldiers on foot, and most vehicles will erupt into a fireball with a single direct hit. This version doesn’t lock on to vehicles, and the rockets do have some travel time, so it isn’t a completely free kill. You get two shots before you need to reload, but one is more than enough to take out any threat.
The iconic weapon of the covenant was one we all wished we could get our hands on in the first Halo, and thankfully, we got our wish in the games following. Again, the Halo 2 iteration remains this weapon’s peak, but even with the balances, it stands as the best close-range weapon in Halo Infinite. In fact, thanks to the shotguns being a bit weaker and the inclusion of the new grappling hook equipment, the Energy Sword shines even brighter. A single swing will rip through any enemy like butter, and the lunge range is generous, while not ridiculous. Similar to the rocket launcher, as long as you see your crosshairs turn red, you basically get a free kill. The only things it won’t help you much against are vehicles and enemies at range, so plan around that when you draw this blade.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, we have the always flashy S7 Sniper Rifle. The focus of so many clips showing off insane skill, this was the weapon that started off the whole “no scope” craze. Scoped or not, this rifle is meant for long-range thanks to its multiple zoom levels, but in the right hands is just as deadly at medium- and close-range, too. The skill floor and ceiling are much higher on this gun than the two previous weapons, but if you’ve got steady hands, then it can easily go toe to toe. One headshot is a death sentence, and two to the body will drop any adversary. The fire rate is quick enough that you can hit two shots before most can escape, and the clip of four is big enough without being overpowered. Halo Infinite has no accuracy penalties for running or jumping, so you can pull off some crazy shots if you can line them up.
Our first new weapon is a new type of rocket launcher called the Hydra. The rockets this weapon spits out are much weaker than the SPNKR’s but come out faster and can track targets using a secondary fire mode. It is best used against vehicles but is by no means useless against normal foot soldiers. The regular shot is more powerful, taking about two hits to kill a normal enemy, while the tracking shots require double. Naturally, these homing shots are perfect for seeking out and blowing up vehicles, and while you can lock on to individuals as well, you’re going to be better off just taking a shot rather than waiting for the lock-on in most situations. Oh, and the Hydra has a punishing reload speed, so plan ahead for that.
Another new explosive weapon, this time feeling more like a grenade launcher, the Cindershot fires bouncing explosives that also act like little gravity wells. Direct hits don’t mean much, so using the bounce is key to making this power weapon work for you. The splash damage range is pretty good, especially when you use the secondary fire mode. With this, the grenades you shoot will become guided, going wherever you move your crosshairs. This can be tricky to master, but this allows you to navigate grenades around cover or to chase down a vehicle. More than most explosives, be careful with this one so you don’t catch yourself in the blast.
The Elites were known for the Energy Sword and the Brutes their Gravity Hammer. Unfortunately, the hammer has never quite been able to match the sword in terms of raw power, though it does have a few secondary uses exclusive to it. This is a big boy with a big windup, at least compared to the sword, which feels like swinging a paper tube, that will one-shot anyone caught on the business end of it. The range feels a little shorter than the sword’s, at least for a one-hit kill, but the gravity explosion is much wider. This thing can, and will, launch enemies, vehicles, and even some projectiles out of your path. You can even use it to give yourself a boost when platforming to reach new areas. This all makes the Gravity Hammer more versatile if you can master it.
The replacement for the Spartan Laser is the much more satisfying Skewer. Instead of charging up a big piercing red laser, the Skewer fires a single massive spike that will rip through a tank just as easily as a player. One direct hit will devastate a player, and if it doesn’t take a vehicle out, will at least put it on death’s door. However, it is just as precise as the sniper rifle, only you have just one shot before you need to spend a few precious seconds reloading. Also, unlike a sniper’s bullets, firing this at range will cause the spike to eventually suffer from gravity’s effects and start to drop. If you have a target too far, you’ll need to compensate by leading your shot and compensating for the drop. It’s best for wrecking bigger vehicles targets, but the allure of ripping a giant spike through a spartan is well worth it if you can land that hit.
The plasma version of the grenade launcher comes in the form of the Ravager, which isn’t quite as deadly as the name suggests. This gun fires a three-shot burst of plasma that has a pretty heavy arc associated with it or can be charged for a single, massive glob of plasma. The normal shots are like small plasma explosions, while the charged blast sticks around on whatever surface it lands on and will deal continuous damage to anything touching it. The regular shots are pretty weak, taking around six total hits to kill a regular spartan. The charged pool of plasma is a little more useful in objective modes where you may want to cut off lanes or pin down your flag or a control point, but it’s very situational and not likely to result in many direct kills.
Last up, we come to the new version of the covenant sniper rifle. While these have gone through many forms, this is perhaps the weakest an alien sniper has ever been. All it really has going for it is a fast rate of fire and no reloading as long as you don’t overheat it. You still have two zooming options, and because it’s plasma-based, it will take out shields pretty effectively, but getting a kill will be tricky. If you’re hitting your headshots perfectly, it will still take three hits to down an enemy, more if you’re hitting the body, which is quite a lot for a sniper that’s meant to be a power weapon. This is more useful as a secondary weapon you pair up with something like a BR to get shields down and then clean up the kill with a burst or use to support your team. This is basically just a slightly more powerful carbine from past games.