Beacon tower

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

A beacon tower on Installation 04.

"Those beacons are part of a ring-wide communications network. They can adapt to any frequency, any purpose."
The Weapon to John-117.[1]

The beacon tower (sometimes shortened as beacon),[1] also known as an energy beacon,[2] is a Forerunner structure found on shield worlds,[3] Halo rings,[4] and Installation 00.[5]



Beacon towers are large delta-shaped structures typically with a cleave down the approximate center where a beam is emitted upwards to the sky and into space.[6][7] This emits a loud sound that can be heard by those in the surrounding area.[8][9] The towers typically feature an open-air elevated platform.[7] The beacons display a variety of minor differences in layout, likely reflecting the multiple purposes they serve: while some hold a small room in its center,[8][9] others host underground chambers that display a continuous data stream,[1] which contain data such as logs from the installation's monitor.[10] Furthermore, certain underground chambers have a cathedral-type ceiling cut through with supports and spokes that rose in the center.[11] The interior may feature an interface—either on a wall or on a plinth in the center of the chamber—for users to access the beacon's functions or retrieve the data being held in the data stream.[1][3][11]

Beacon towers are commonly positioned within deep canyons to protect the facility from off-world debris, and allow them to leverage the steep environment's natural harmonics to amplify their signals when firing deep into space.[5] During their occupation of Installation 07, because of the towers' elevated position over their surrounding areas, the Banished used the towers as makeshift garrisons or lookout towers.[11]


A beacon tower's underground chamber and its terminal in The Sequence.
A beacon tower's underground chamber.

The beacon towers are built to channel, convert, and refine energy streams of almost any types.[4] Each beacon tower is equipped with a supraluminal communications array;[12] as such, at their base function, the beacon towers act as communication channels to send specific commands to other remote locations.[5] This is done via a pulse of energy being fired from the tower towards the sky. The pulse of energy is known to carry at least navigation data and communications protocols.[3] On Halo rings, the beacon towers serve a multitude of purposes, including ring-wide communication and aiding in the activation process of the ring's primary firing mechanism. On Requiem, beacon towers also function as part of the shield world's teleportation grid, featuring teleportation portals that can transport objects to various other parts of the installation.[13]

Entry to the beacon's interior can be restricted either with a locked door or an energy shield.[1][3] Access to its function can also be locked down, though it could be overridden: during the Battle for Zeta Halo, the installation's monitor 117649 Despondent Pyre generated a data key that could override the lockout Cortana had placed on a beacon tower. Furthermore, the data key contained adaptation protocols that instructed the tower to send a superluminal message,[2] allowing Spartan-IV Nina Kovan to transmit the ring's current galactic coordinates as well as pertinent data into human-occupied space during a battle at a beacon tower.[11] Later during the conflict, John-117 and the Weapon accessed four beacon towers and their data streams to construct the security sequence needed to enter the Command Spire.[1]

Production notes[edit]

  • The beacon towers in Halo: Combat Evolved were designed and modelled by artist Chris Lee.[14]
  • According to designer Jaime Griesemer and Art Director Marcus Lehto, the beams emitted from the towers were intended to be high bandwidth communications "lasers" being fired from one side of the ring to the opposite side.[14] Although this was never explicitly explained in any media released by Bungie—only being hinted at by the inclusion of an antenna on the beacon tower in Forge World—it was eventually canonized in Halo 4's Spartan Ops and Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide.[3][5]
  • Beacon towers serve as base buildings on certain multiplayer maps, including Infinity in Halo: Combat Evolved, Valhalla in Halo 3, Ragnarok in Halo 4, and Fragmentation in Halo Infinite. On Fragmentation, when a team scores a point, their beacon tower fires a pulse into the sky.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 3, if the player stands at the top of a beam tower, over the chute in which the beam fires from, the beam can either kill them, sending the player over a hundred feet in the air, or completely pass through the player. When killed by the beam, it will say "(Player) was killed by the Guardians".
  • During the Halo Wars 2 Open Beta, the Control Towers—which serve as objectives in the Domination multiplayer mode—heavily resembled the beacon towers. In the final version of Halo Wars 2, they were redesigned with three prongs.


Concept art[edit]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Halo Infinite, campaign mission Reformation: The Sequence
  2. ^ a b Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 34
  3. ^ a b c d e Halo 4 - Spartan Ops, episode Catherine, level Spartan Mountain
  4. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 353
  5. ^ a b c d Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 215
  6. ^ Halo: The Flood, chapter 3
  7. ^ a b Halo: Combat Evolved, campaign level Halo
  8. ^ a b Halo 3, multiplayer map Valhalla
  9. ^ a b Halo Infinite, multiplayer map Fragmentation
  10. ^ Halo Infinite, Banished Audio log: Archeological Findings #01 - Reintroduction
  11. ^ a b c d Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 35
  12. ^ Halo: The Rubicon Protocol, chapter 32
  13. ^ Halo 4 - Spartan Ops, episode Didact's Hand, level Rally Point
  14. ^ a b YouTube - IGN, Halo: Combat Evolved Devs React to Speedrun (Martin O’Donnell, Marcus Lehto)