What vehicles will I play with?

Halo's advanced animation and physics modeling allows for vehicles with detail and realistic behavior never seen before in a game. The vehicles have moving parts, accurate suspension, and little blinking brake lights. The human vehicles are mostly metal and armor, the Covenant vehicles use the Xbox's multitexturing abilities to shine with iridescence. Most of Halo's vehicles work best when used cooperatively: One player drives, while another aims the turret, or a third rides shotgun firing his weapons out the window. It will of course be possible to hijack enemy vehicles.Because spoilers are enabled, these entries have additional offensive and defensive gameplay tips.

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Warthog: Officially designated the M12 Light Reconnaissance Vehicle, this jeep forms the backbone of the human ground forces. It is fast, agile, and armed with a large chaingun. The Warthog uses Halo's animation system to feature true 4-wheel steering and deformable suspension. Three players can ride in it: one driving, one in the passenger seat firing a handheld weapon, and one manning the gun. The Chaingun mounted behind, the M41 light anti-aircraft gun is (according to the Halo manual) a "three-barreled, electric-powered linkless, drum-fed weapon." It fires roughly 500 rounds per minute.
  • Offense:
    • If at all possible, pick up a gunner. He will make your jeep far more powerful.
    • The marines' AI is good enough to use the gun under nearly any driving conditions. Maneuver as much as you can to avoid enemy fire and/or get some kills by running foes down.
    • Keep moving at top speed, it makes the jeep nearly impossible to hit with the Needler or grenades.
    • If the jeep gets a plasma grenade stuck to it, bail out. The jeep itself is indestructible, but anyone riding it will probably be killed. If a marine gets a plasma grenade stuck to himself while riding the jeep, he will jump out to save his comrades.
  • Defense:
    • The best way to kill a jeep is the rocket launcher.
    • The jeep stops and accelerates relatively slowly. Pour on the fire while it can't get away.
    • A character on foot is far more maneuverable than the jeep. Running down a single target is a lot harder than it looks.
Scorpion: Officially designated the M808B Sorpion Main Battle Tank, this huge tank was nicknamed the BAT (Big Ass Tank) (before its true name was discovered), and it fits. It is armed with a large cannon on a swiveling turret and a machine gun as well. Its tracks tilt to follow the terrain it is driving over. There is space for up to four characters to ride on its track pods, as well as a hatch for the driver to climb inside it.
  • Offense:
    • The cannon is pretty accurate, but doesn't fire exactly where the reticle is pointing.
    • The machine gun is only useful at very short range.
    • If you must stay in one place, turn the tank away from the enemy and swivel the turret backwards for shelling, using the tank's body to protect the driver.
    • Don't fire the cannon at the ground too close to the tank, you will kill anyone riding on the treads and maybe even yourself.
  • Defense:
    • The tank is the slowest of all the vehicles, so it's easy to avoid getting run over.
    • Aim for the driver. He'll take more damage than if you just hit the tank.
    • Drop grenades in the tank's path.
    • The tank's turret turns quite slowly. Circle strafe.
Pelican: This dropship is used for insertion and extraction of troops or equipment in the field. In the game, the player does not actually drive the Pelican, but is instead ferried around the Halo between missions. It is capable of VTOL with its swiveling lift jets, and kicks up dust when it hovers. Most of the Pelicans in the game have distinct names and personalities.
  • Offense:
    • The Pelican is unarmed, and the player cannot pilot it.
  • Defense:
    • The Pelican is unarmed, and is very good about not dropping Warthogs on characters.
    • This vehicle cannot be destroyed.
Banshee: A Covenant aircraft. When parked its roof is almost vertical; it folds down over the pilot when in use. Its weapons are stored in the two large pods on the front; it can be seen firing briefly at the end of the third BTV movie. It carries 1 person, who lies prone under the windshield with his legs sticking out the back. The most striking feature of the Banshee is the gorgeous twin contrail it leaves in the air behind it. It is armed with twin plasma cannons and a Fuel Rod Gun.
  • Offense:
    • The Fuel Rod Gun has a very long range. Hover high above your target and carpet-bomb.
    • The plasma cannons have quite a lot of aiming assistance, and can deflect pretty far to aim where the camera is pointing. Keep up a steady stream of fire while flying generally at your target and it will almost always hit.
    • It is possible to run people over with the Banshee, but you'll probably take a lot of damage while getting close enough to do so.
  • Defense:
    • When a Banshee flies directly at you, it is about to fire its plasma guns. Stand your ground, eat the damage, and put a rocket up its nose.
    • If a Banshee swoops low over you and luck is on your side, you can stick a plasma grenade to it for a guaranteed kill.
Wraith: This covenant mortar tank attacks by lobbing huge balls of plasma high into the air. It hovers above the ground, and is quite maneuverable.
  • Offense:
    • The player cannot drive the Wraith.
  • Defense:
    • The Wraith is very good at aiming around cover. Dodging the shot outright is always preferable.
    • The best weapon is the rocket launcher. After that is bombing by Banshee. Most weapons will eventually kill it, but it can take a LOT of damage.
Ghost: This one-person Covenant craft behaves like an airborne motorcycle. It is armed with twin plasma cannons.
  • Offense:
    • The ghost is capable of strafing. Use this to your advantage.
    • Don't bother trying to run people over in the Ghost, it's actually quite hard due to the ground clearance.
    • The Ghost is the fastest thing in the game (save projectile weapons).
    • Marines can drive the Ghost.
    • If you want to steal a ghost, aim for the driver. Kill him without blowing up the Ghost and it's yours.
    • Ghosts are indestructible in multiplayer games.
  • Defense:
    • The Ghost can't stop or turn on a dime. Wait for this moment of vulnerability and throw in a rocket or grenade.
    • The Ghost will always be killed by a plasma grenade, rocket impact, or direct hit from the Scorpion's cannon.
    • If you're fighting a Ghost from a Warthog or Scorpion, ram it. The Ghost will go flying, and this will eject the pilot or at least get him out of the way for a few seconds.
Covenant Dropship: This is the Covenant transport vehicle. Troops ride in the two large pods, and vehicles can be carried by a sort of forcefield in the middle. The vehicle is flying to the left in this image.
  • Offense:
    • The player cannot pilot the Covenant dropship.
  • Defense:
    • This vehicle cannot be destroyed.
    • The Covenant dropship is armed with a powerful cannon equivalent to the one mounted on the Shade. It will return fire if the ship is attacked. On higher difficulties, it will also provide covering fire for its troops.
  • Defense:
    • Troops ride in the two long pods. When they prepare to disembark, throw a grenade along the side of the ship. They will jump out right on top of it.
    • The jeep can't collide with the Covenant dropship, it will pass right under/through it. This is especially useful on level 2.
Shade: These Covenant gun turrets can be found scattered around the fields of combat. They can be used by either race, or uprooted and thrown around by nearby explosions.
  • Offense:
    • Shades never run out of ammo or overheat. Pour it on.
    • The Flood sometimes have trouble attacking Shades.
  • Defense:
    • Shades are stationary, and as such extremely vulnerable to grenades and rockets.
    • When using the sniper rifle against a Shade head-on, the turret's console will block most shots. Aim for the gaps in the side where the operator's arms are visible, or just above the console (the crosshair will turn blue, but you should hit anyway).
Bumblebee: These small pods are the emergency lifeboats of the Pillar of Autumn. They are equipped with storage lockers, seating for eight evacuees plus pilot, and an aerobraking system.
  • Offense:
    • The Bumblebee cannot be piloted by the player
  • Defense:
    • The Bumblebee is unarmed.
Longsword: The Pillar of Autumn carries a squadron of Longsword-class space superiority fighters. They can be spotted escorting her during Halo's opening sequence.
  • Offense:
    • The Longsword cannot be piloted by the player.
  • Defense:
    • The Longsword was designed for space combat and as such would not be used to attack a lone soldier like yourself.
The SCS Pillar of Autumn:
The Pillar of Autumn is a kilometer of hope. The only piece of Halcyon-class hardware between Earth and those bastards that want you and billions like you dead.

--Joseph Staten, Halo designer

The Pillar of Autumn is the ship that brings you to the Halo system, fleeing the destruction of Reach and the wrath of the Covenant fleet. It is forced to crash on the Halo, thus setting the events of the game in motion.
  • Offense:
    • Cortana has direct or indirect control of all of the Pillar of Autumn's systems, including the weapons. She's good at her job, let her do it.
  • Defense:
    • The ship is in no condition to be attacking anyone during the game.