Archive:Bungie.net/Halo 3: ODST: Field Guide

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The following is a verbatim transcription of an official document for archival reasons. As the original content is transcribed word-for-word, any possible discrepancies and/or errors are included.

The Field Guide was a project page available on Bungie.net as part of the promotional cycle for the game Halo 3: ODST between 2009 and the closure of halo.bungie.net in 2021. The page served to provide a lore and contextual reference point for the equipment, characters, and locations featured in the game. With the site's closure, the original Field Guide page has gone offline and is unusable via the Wayback Machine due to the page's use of nested folders to display content. As such, this page serves as a 1:1 text archive of the original Field Guide page for future reference.

Page content

This is a word-by-word replica of the original page at Bungie.net. All typos and discrepancies are included as originally written.


A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.

Each of Earth's six tether cities is managed with the aid of an AI. The Superintendent is a 2nd Generation "dumb" AI tasked with making sure that the city of New Mombasa's infrastructure (read: the Departments of Health and Human Services, Housing, Public Safety, Recreation, Streets and Sanitation, and Utilities and Transportation) is running smoothly and safely.

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Two hundred and fifty years ago New Mombasa—at that time the world's busiest sea port—was chosen to be Earth's first tether city. Over the next eleven years the city experienced explosive growth, but nothing compared to what followed. The city grew out as well as up, its urban sprawl unequaled throughout the continent. By 2430 New Mombasa had absorbed all of the island and many of the surrounding towns found themselves overrun by residents of the old city. The switch was never official and many of the neighborhoods within direct line of sight to the Mombasa Tether still distribute newspapers and chatter directories under their "old" names, but all municipalities within a 74 km radius of the island are now referred to as Old Mombasa.

New Mombasa, 20 OCT 2552:

A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.

A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.

A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.

A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.
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ATTENTION ALL UNSC PERSONNEL: Due to the ongoing evacuation efforts all health care personnel have been relocated to the Mombasa Quays area until which time they can be disembarked on outbound sea craft. In the unlikely event that you become separated from your unit or cannot contact a medic look for one of the many Optican™ MediGel™ First Aid stations around the city.
A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.

A screenshot of New Mombasa, taken from the old Halo 3: ODST Field Guide page.
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United Nations Space Command (UNSC) Orbital Drop Shock Troopers (ODST) are under the operational authority of Naval Special Weapons (NavSpecWeap). Their methods of operation allow them to conduct missions against targets that more conventional forces cannot approach undetected.

The ODSTs perform highly specialized, small scale, high-risk operations such as:

  • Deep ground surveillance (DGS)
  • Direct action (DA)
  • Unconventional warfare
  • Counter-terrorism operations
  • Counter-contraband operations
  • Personnel and special equipment recovery/capture
ODSTs are recruited from the Special Operations Groups of all the nations of the Unified Earth Government (UEG). Since the first group of “handpicked volunteers” was activated, ODSTs have been dropping “feet first” into combat.
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Tall, flying multi-limbed arthropods. Rapid clicking vocalizations. Have a slight musty odor associated with them.

They always travel in groups of four or more, are well disciplined, and extremely aggressive. Drones are best described as irregular troops—their high morale and fierceness may be biochemical in nature.
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Short and broad bipedal arthropods. Known to speak several human languages. Have a distinct vomit/manure smell about them.

Typically travel in groups up to eight. Lack discipline; tend to panic once local command has been eliminated. This will occasionally manifest itself as a suicidal attempt to eliminate the forces that eliminated its commander(s).
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Tall and lanky saurians. Most of their vocalizations may be described as barking or a ratchet-like grunting. There is a salty, occasionally acrid, smell associated with them.

They are typically found in small (one or two individuals) sniper/scout detachments or marksman half-squads (one marksman and three short range security). What they lack in overall discipline they make up for with bloodthirstiness.
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Gigantic, heavily armored bipeds. They don't speak often, but when they do it will sound like a thunderous, subsonic rumbling. They travel in pairs and exhibit excellent discipline, unwavering morale, and steady focus.

Hunters should be thought of more as mechanized weapon platforms rather than single enemy combatants. Avoid engagement whenever possible.
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Massive and ape-like. Many have been observed speaking human languages. Depending on location and MOS they will be encountered in groups up to eight.

They are fearless, vicious opponents and must not be underestimated. Currently, they fill the command role that Elites occupied previously. Whether or not this is indicative of a power shift within the Covenant is of no consequence to the current operation. ANYTHING that seeks to obstruct the successful completion of your mission is a legitimate target.
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The SOEIV is an angular pod, approximately eighteen (18) feet tall, eight and a half (8.5) feet wide, and nine (9) feet deep with an entry hatch on one side. Within it is a crash seat, communications gear, numerous equipment racks, and a rudimentary control system. In spite of the size of the pod, there is not much room to move around, as the space given over to equipment storage lines the interior attached to the frame.

The trooper enters the SOEIV and straps in facing the hatch. The hardened and shielded communications gear, which is built directly into the hatch, feeds the soldier information relevant to the current operation as well as providing a link between all members of the unit during the drop. While within the SOEIV a soldier's helmet integrated comm units are redundant and are normally only used if the pod's comm gear malfunctions.

A 30-second countdown begins on the commander’s mark, and the SOEIVs fire quickly down through the ship’s belly. The SOEIV is balanced to stabilize in a feet-down position. The pod has limited maneuvering capability, used primarily to coordinate landings, but may be used to avoid defensive anti-aircraft fire. However, if defensive anti-aircraft is present it is almost a mathematical certainty that some pods will be lost. If the armored skin that covers a pod is damaged before or during its entry into atmosphere it has a tendency to fail spectacularly. And this is the reason for the SOEIV's small size—each hit only results in one death rather than the deaths of the entire unit.

UNSC insertion protocols call for the CO’s SOEIV to accelerate after launch, placing it in the front rank of the advance. The reasons for this rule include the strongly held belief that officers should lead rather than follow, should be willing to do anything their troops are asked to do, and should expose themselves to the same level of danger as their subordinates.

The most compelling reason, however, is the need to collect, sort, and organize the troops the moment their boots touch ground. Experience demonstrates that whatever the ODSTs manage to accomplish during the first so-called “golden hour” on the ground will have a disproportionate effect on the success or failure of the entire mission. The commander’s pod is equipped with a lot of gear that the regular “eggs” are not, including high-powered imaging gear, tactical sensors, and a 4th generation "dumb" AI.

After the SOEIV has penetrated the atmosphere, the upper exterior panels separate acting as a drag-type chute, slowing its descent some. At about 50 meters, the pod’s computer controlled breaking rockets engage, slowing the pod further; allowing for a safe though somewhat abrupt landing.

Drag chutes on SOEIVs do fail on rare occasions, leaving the pod’s occupant to die on impact. It’s the death that every ODST trooper fears, and is referred to in hushed tones as “digging your own grave."

Upon landing, each ODST is responsible for stripping their pod of its store of extra weapons, ammo, and other supplies, which are then hauled to the unit’s temporary base camp. ODSTs are used to operating without resupply for extended periods, and they are well known to be at their best when under difficult conditions.

Crew: 1
Length: 2.74 meters (9 feet)
Span: 2.6 meters (8.5 feet)
Height: 5.5 meters (18 feet)
Weight (empty): 870 kg (1918 lbs)
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The M7 submachine gun is gas-operated and magazine-fed. It fires 5mm x 23 caseless ammunition. Recoil from all but sustained fire is very controllable. Although the M7 submachine-gun is primarily issued to vehicle crews, it is also a favorite of commando teams in its sound suppressed version – the M7S.

Sustained automatic fire tends to cause the muzzle to “walk” upwards as recoil compounds. Submachine guns, while not accurate over long distances, are particularly effective in close quarters.

Official Designation: M7/Caseless Submachine Gun

Common Slang Terms: bullet hose, black box, chum, popcorn

Cartridge: 5mm x 23 caseless
Max. effective range: 50m
Mag. capacity: 60
Rate of fire: 900 rnds/min
Unit Cost: 1484 cR.


  • Length, stock extended: 627mm (24.68 in.)
  • Length, stock retracted: 474mm (18.66 in.)
  • Weight (loaded): 1.3 kg (2.86 lbs)


  • M7: standard issue
  • M7S: issued with sound suppressor [SS/M 49] and smart-linked scope [[[SLS/V 5B]]]
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Type-25 Directed Energy Rifle

Official designation: Type-25 DER
Length o/a: 66 cm (26 in.)
Weight: 5.9 kg (13 lbs)
Cartridge: unknown
Max. effective range: 50 meters (155 ft)
Muzzle velocity: 126 m/s (413 f/s)
Battery capacity: 400 shots
Rate of fire: 360~540 shots/min
Unit Replacement cost: N/A

Description: The Type-25 DER is a battery-powered directed energy weapon capable of fully automatic fire. The exact mechanism by which it functions is currently under investigation.

Observations: Up until just recently the Plasma Rifle had been the primary weapon of the Covenant’s officer core. The weapon has a power output of 100~150 Kv@2~3 dA.

It has been widely noted that the disparity in the effective combat range between Covenant short and long arms are much greater than those of the UNSC—this is also reflected in the Covenant’s combat doctrine: destroy enemy morale with harassing fire from distant or hidden snipers and intimate exposure to the alien-ness of their infantry.

In addition to the standard issue "blue-purple" DER there is also a "red" variant that has a much higher rate of fire, and thus a greater likelihood of overheating. So far this variant has only been found in the hands of the brutes, and even then, only since they have seen a return as front-line combatants.
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The M6 Personal Defense Weapon System is the standard sidearm family of the UNSC. The M6 family is designed primarily for ruggedness and reliability. Certain models have been ‘up-sized’ to be used by Spartan’s in Mjolnir armor. Even though the 'Spartan" issue pistols are larger than the standard-issue variants (~117%) they can still share magazines.

The M6 series are recoil-operated and magazine-fed. It fires 12.7mm x 30 semi-armor-piercing high-explosive ammunition (standard issue). M6 series handguns are issued in three different finishes: hard chrome, black polymer, and electroless nickel.

The M6C/SOCOM variant has an integrated sound suppressor.

Official Designation: M6 PDWS (Personal Defense Weapon System)

Common Slang Terms: Go-mag, cannon, hand cannon, power drill, HE pistol, heavy pistol

Cartridge: 12.7mm x 40 SAP-HE (semi-armor-piercing, high-explosive)
Max. effective range: 50m
Mag. capacity: 8 rounds (6, 12 in some models)
Rate of fire: DAO
Unit cost: 1615 cR.


  • Length o/a: 22.86 cm (9 in.) standard
  • 26.7 cm (10.5 in.) 'up-sized'
  • Weight (loaded/12 rnds): 1.8 kg (4.09 lbs) standard
  • 2.7 kg (5.95 lbs) 'up-sized'


  • M6A: standard issue/black polymer finish
  • M6B: 'Officer's model'—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/hard chrome finish
  • M6C: 'up-sized', standard issue/black polymer finish
  • M6C/SOCOM: accurized—issued with smart-linked scope [VnSLS/V 6E]/black polymer finish
  • M6D: 'up-sized', 'Officer's model'—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/hard chrome finish
  • M6E: standard issue/electroless nickel finish
  • M6F: 'Officer's model'—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/electroless nickel finish
  • M6G: 'up-sized', standard issue/electroless nickel finish
  • M6H: 'up-sized', 'Officer's model'—issued with smart-linked scope [KFA-2]/electroless nickel finish
  • M6I: select-fire variant; detachable shoulder-stock/black polymer finish
  • M6J/C: carbine variant; 355mm barrel, detachable shoulder-stock/electroless nickel finish
  • M6K: police 'undercover' variant; 6 rnd magazine capacity/black polymer finish
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Many technologies initially developed for the MJOLNIR project have gained widespread adoption; the use of ceramic-titanium composites for body armor and helmet-integrated neural interfaces being the most visible. The ODST helmet is issued with the VISR proprietary data management suite. VISR enables a user to link into UEG, CAA, and UNSC infrastructure systems at the local, national, and global levels (actual access level is administered on a need/rating basis). This allows the user to store and review audio files (up to 610MB combined), street level navigational data, and receive secure real-time mission data. In addition, every current issue helmet is equipped with low-light vision enhancement [ODST BIOS A29.817941B.01 or later].


  • Sizes available: 6.5 — 8 (.125 increments)
  • Sound attenuation: 21 db @ 1,000Hz, 37 db @ 4,000 Hz
  • Impact deceleration: V—190g @ 17 fps; H—190g @ 20 fps
  • Penetration protection: 1.8 kg @ 1.5 m (4 lbs @ 5 ft)
  • Weight (average): 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs)
Unit cost: 1926 cR.
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Full name: [classified]
Blood type: [classified]
Height: [classified]
Weight: [classified]
Rating: [classified]
Unit: [classified]
Service number: [classified]
Enlistment date: [classified]
Location: [classified]
Born: [classified]
Gender: F
Citizen: [classified]
Age: [classified]
Occupation: [classified]
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Full name: [classified]
Blood type: O+
Height: 186cm
Weight: 88kg
Rating: Lance Corporal (LCpl/E3)
Unit: [classified]
Service number: 11282-31220-JD
Enlistment date: 07/07/2547
Location: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna
Born: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna
Gender: M
Citizen: Lunar
Age: [classified]
Occupation: Student
This Marine was recently transferred from the 26th MEF, part of a Rapid Offensive Picket that suffered near-annihilation at New Jerusalem, Cygnus. Like most ODSTs, his actions speak louder than words.
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Full name: BUCK, Edward

Blood type: O-
Height: 188cm
Weight: 89kg
Rating: Gunnery Sergeant (GySgt/E7)
Unit: [classified]
Service number: 92458-37017-EB
Enlistment date: 12/05/2528
Location: Karnak, Lombard, Draco III
Born: New Albany, Lombard, Draco III
Gender: M
Citizen: Draconian
Age: 42 –(b. 08/22/2510)
Occupation: Student
Eddie Buck is a career Marine that has seen more than his fair share of this war. He has had the dubious honor of participating in many of the wars’ most vicious battles; including both the liberation of Harvest and the fall of Reach. That he has survived through it all speaks volumes. Truly, if he was any better he’d be a Spartan.
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Full name: MILES, Taylor H.
Blood type: B+
Height: 190cm
Weight: 91kg
Rating: Corporal (Cpl/E4)
Unit: [classified]
Service number: 21175-12121-TM
Enlistment date: 09/09/2540
Location: Paris Island, New Paris, Mars
Born: Losantiville, Seven Hills, Mars
Gender: M
Citizen: Martian
Age: 33 –(b. 06/03/2519)
Occupation: Road train driver
Dutch’s former life as a road-train driver on Mars did well to prepare him for the arduous tasks of a heavy weapons specialist and driver in the ODSTs. Behind the death’s head rictus, jolly roger, and layer upon layer of black and gray armor is a man of deep spiritual convictions and respect for those he serves alongside.
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Full name: AGU, Kojo
Blood type: AB-
Height: 190cm
Weight: 91kg
Rating: Lance Corporal (LCpl/E3)
Unit: [classified]
Service number: 14606-85099-KA
Enlistment date: 03/12/2541 (MM)
Location: Holetown, New Barbados, Emerald Cove
Born: Castra arcology, Castra, Madrigal
Gender: M
Citizen: Madrigali
Age: 28 –(b. 06/12/2524)
Occupation: Merchant Marine
Romeo sees his true vocation as a ladies’ man. But just because he’s a lover doesn’t mean he can’t be a fighter—and a damned fine one at that. He keeps his gear clean, his suit looking sharp, and his body lean and strong. He may not be a shining example of the UNSC off the battlefield, but on it he is a consummate combatant.
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Full name: CRESPO, Michael
Blood type: A-
Height: 184cm
Weight: 85kg
Rating: Private First Class (PFC/E2)
Unit: [classified]
Service number: 51033-15973-MC
Enlistment date: 06/04/2548
Location: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna
Born: Crisium City, Naniwa, Luna
Gender: M
Citizen: Lunar
Age: 22 –(b. 10/20/2530)
Occupation: Student
Mickey LOVES being an ODST. More than he did being a pilot. More than he did being a crew chief on a Pelican gunship. He is no stranger to battle and has a fair number of notches in his belt, but he is unique amongst his ODST brothers in that he has never seen absolute ruination visited upon a human colony-world by the Covenant.
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