- In Campaign, it is best to give your passenger Marine allies a heavy weapon like a Spartan Laser or a Fuel Rod Gun, as they can assist in destroying nearby infantry/vehicles that are often not in your sight.
- When engaging the Scarabs on The Covenant using a Hornet, be sure to continuously circle around the heavy attack platforms, as their weapons will take you down quickly on higher difficulties.
- Another handy way of taking on the Scarabs is to fly underneath them and attack their weak spot from behind, until the Scarab is destroyed. Stay mobile and keep your finger on the trigger (as the machineguns on the Hornet don't overheat and do a respectable amount of damage) until it blows.
- Another, more team-based method is to either pick up one wingman (on each Hornet if playing four player, two wingmen on one if playing 3 player) and drop them off on the Scarab as they land. If done quickly, the Brutes will all be bunched up in the corridor leading to the front, making it easy for the pilot to kill them with missiles and bullets. While the Hornet circles around, the wingman runs around the back, destroys the power core, then runs back to the front for extraction by the Hornet. If on four player with two Hornets, simultaneously dropping off wingmen from each Hornet is a quick and efficient way to get past a potentially difficult obstacle.
- The Hornet can only take so much damage before going down. Two missiles from a Missile Pod will take one out. If the Hornet is being tracked by someone with a Spartan Laser, it is best advised for you and your passengers to drop out of the vehicle or bring the vehicle to ground as quickly as possible.
- One discharge of a Spartan Laser is sufficient to either bring the vehicle down, or inflict critical damage and seriously injure the pilot on a near-hit. If a hit is landed on your aircraft, it is advisable to retreat immediately and recharge your shielding before engaging/reengaging.
- Passengers that are armed with Rocket Launchers or Spartan Lasers can help compensate for the lack of missile pods on the transport variant, although passengers can be hindered due to their limited field of view, restricted firing angles, and vulnerability to heavy weapons and small arms fire while riding on the skids. When this tactic is properly employed by a skilled crew on a standard variant, it creates a heavy weapons platform that is exceptionally difficult for the opposing team to engage without taking heavy casualties.
- A Hornet offers little protection to its passengers from the BR55HB SR Battle Rifle or Sniper Rifle fire; it is advisable to flee or return fire when engaged by such a weapon.
- Like the Mongoose, the Hornet can be used for rapid relocation of a sniper, or a firing platform as it can reach high altitudes, sufficient enough to reach structures that are otherwise inaccessible. It also serves as an excellent objective item-holding carrier, being a more durable and harder to hit target than a Mongoose or a Warthog.
- Do not engage Warthogs with the Hornet unless you have a range advantage, the element of surprise, or teammates providing sufficient supporting fire. The Warthog's turret can easily rip an overzealous Hornet to shreds. However, attacking a Wraith while in a Hornet is recommended, as the Wraith's arcing shots make it difficult to line up with a flying target and score a hit. Wraith mortars rarely hit a Hornet, but if there is someone on the Wraith's secondary turret, try to fight and fall back if your shields get low, as it can rip up a Hornet like a Warthog's turret if you are not careful. In addition, try to watch your back as the Hornet can be clumsy and easily bump into a tree or rock formation, giving the Wraith a chance at hitting you.
- Skilled pilots may decide to use the Hornet much like the Pelican, in that you could use the Hornet to drop off teammates near strategic locations. Be wary if using this tactic near enemy bases, as you are more than guaranteed to get hit by explosives.
- In a match where the Hornet is available, get two people riding jumpseat, and have the passengers equipped with a Bubble Shield. When someone attacks the Hornet with a heavy weapon, get one person to deploy the bubble shield. If done right the Bubble Shield will block the blast and then fall to the ground.
- In case you see an enemy Hornet and the Spartan Laser is unavailable, try using a Plasma Pistol, as it can easily disable a Hornet. Try to get near the Hornet so the plasma-charged bolts can follow the Hornet, but with caution so the pilot of the Hornet does not see you. Then shoot the Hornet with the plasma-charged bolts and wait until it reaches the ground, then destroy it with a Plasma Grenade, or wait until the effect of the Plasma Pistol passes to steal the Hornet.
- Surprisingly, even though the Hornet has dual turrets, the Warthog's LAAG will still outmatch them.
Halo Wars gameplay
In Halo Wars, the Hornet serves as the main-line UNSC aircraft. It can be built at the air pad for a cost of 250 resources with a minimum tech level of 2. It takes 2 population slots. It is capable of engaging both ground and air targets but is susceptible to anti-aircraft fire. Several upgrades make it more versatile against ground units:
- "Wingmen": Adds two Marine passengers who each carry a rocket launcher.
- "Chaff pod": Increases the Hornet's avoidance of anti-air fire.
- "Hawk": Upgrades the Hornet into an AV-22 Sparrowhawk attack craft, which has greater firepower and hitpoints, and is faster than a Banshee. It is armed with an M6 laser and two pairs of twin-linked autocannons. This upgrade is available only if Professor Anders is the selected leader.