Armor permutations (Halo: Reach)
For other uses, see armor permutations.
Player customization returns in Halo: Reach, but with far deeper customization options than Halo 3. In Halo 3, unlocking armor permutations involved getting a certain achievement, or a group of achievements. In Halo: Reach, armor is mostly acquired by purchasing it with "credits" (cR) in The Armory, although some armor permutations may have to be unlocked first by reaching a certain rank. Credits are earned by winning or finishing games in the Campaign, Matchmaking, Custom game, Firefight, or Forge modes; by completing achievements; by getting commendations; or by completing daily and weekly challenges. As with Halo 3, every armor permutation in Halo: Reach is purely for aesthetic purposes and does not impact gameplay whatsoever.
With Halo: Reach being added to Halo: The Master Chief Collection, 343 Industries overhauled the game's unlock system. Credits are dropped in favor of a "battle pass"-esque manner of progression, with XP being earned contributing to levels that, when passed, grants the player a "season point", which can be used to unlock the next tier in the progression system.
In Halo: Reach, there are ten available slots for SPARTAN armor customization. The ten available slots customizable to Spartans feature the Helmet (can be "upgraded" with various gadgets, known as Helmet Variants), Left and Right Shoulder, and the Chest piece, which returned from Halo 3. The new slots for customization include Wrist, Utility, Visor Color, Knee Guards, Armor Effect, and Firefight Voice. In addition to armor customization, players can also choose Noble Six's gender. Any customization done to Noble Six will be reflected in the campaign's cutscenes.
The game no longer allows players to use Elites as their default player model in matchmaking. Instead, Elites are limited to Elite Slayer, Invasion and Invasion Slayer gametypes. Elites are also usable in custom games (through a "Preferred Species" setting) and in Firefight. Armor customization for Elites has been largely simplified from Halo 3: players can only choose a complete armor set rather than making individual armor changes to their Elite player model. Unlocking each armor set requires the player to reach a certain rank for certain armor; for example, to obtain the armor of an Ultra Elite, the player must reach the rank of Warrant Officer.
Additionally, the Limited and Legendary Editions of Reach include exclusive armor permutations and effects for the player's character. The Limited Edition comes with the "Sangheili Officer" Elite permutation, while the Legendary Edition includes the aforementioned permutation, along with a Spartan "Flaming Head" effect. However, if the player is equipped with the exclusive flaming helmet effect, the flames will be visible during gameplay but will not be shown in cinematics. A redeemable token that gives the player access to an exclusive variant of the Recon helmet, featuring its own attachments, which was also bundled with the game to all sales made on the release date, and with all pre-orders outside of North America.
The last two sets of helmets for Halo: Reach are available through Halo Waypoint only. Using Waypoint will show the player how to unlock said armor pieces, which each have a base and two additional styles. The unlocks are linked to overall Halo Career Milestones (linked to universal Halo Gamerscore) and specialist achievements; for example, the Military Police helmet requires the user to have completed Halo: Reach on Normal difficulty, the second variant of the helmet requires the user to have the A Spoonful of Blamite achievement and Halo 3's Fear the Pink Mist achievement (accompanied by the right Career Milestone award and the base helmet variant).
Much like Halo 3's "Bungie" armor permutation that granted the player an exclusive flaming head, Halo: Reach featured a then Bungie-exclusive armor effect known as "Eternal", with flames that glowed a bright blue over the normal red-orange. This armor permutation was unobtainable originally, but was made available in 2011 through Bungie's iOS app.
Halo: Reach's port on Halo: The Master Chief Collection forgoes the prior information, instead opting to have all in-game permutations be unlockable through its revised season system.
List of permutations
Other armor attachments
Two Spartan armor sets were cut from the game, CONDEMNED-class Mjolnir and PRESERVE-class Mjolnir. These were originally spotted in promotional material for the Defiant Map Pack, where a player wore the PRESERVE-class helmet alongside the CONDEMNED-class chest piece. These were mistakenly assumed to be part of the same armor set, and was dubbed "GRD" armor by the community. 343 Industries employee David Ellis later confirmed that the studio originally planned to add these sets to the Armory as part of the Anniversary Map Pack, however it was cut before release due to time and resource constraints. As an acknowledgement of its existence, it was instead featured as the dolls Easter egg. 343 Industries has expressed interest in making these armors available in the Halo: The Master Chief Collection version of Reach, following requests from the community, but stated that they could not commit to at that time.