Flood carrier form
From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
The carrier form has more varieties such as the Flood Spawner, which can produce a mass amount of Flood forms without killing itself, and the Flood burster. The Flood Spawner can notably spawn Flood forms anywhere it wishes, while Flood bursters spawns a variety of Flood forms once its internal pressure has reached a certain point.
Combat forms that have outlived their usefulness or become too damaged to fight will begin to spontaneously generate Pod infectors within their host bodies. As the upper body swells to grotesque proportions, the limbs of the combat form wither away into stumpy legs and flailing tentacle-like appendages. The Flood form is now unable to defend itself, but still retains enough mobility to move toward potential hosts.
Carrier forms perpetuate the Flood species by acting as mobile incubators for newly created Pod infectors. If potential hosts are detected, the Flood form will simply waddle within range of them, throw itself on the ground, and expand its incubation sac with gases until it explodes. This detonation scatters the Pod infectors and can injure or kill potential hosts, with the explosion being comparable to that of a fragmentation grenade. Early sightings state that the carrier form can produce short bursts of speed once it spots a target. Later sightings claim they can also jump.
Carrier forms are usually considered slow and of little threat unless they are close to the player. However, one particularly dangerous trait of exploding Carrier Forms is the explosive chain reactions they can cause. A Carrier explosion will cause any other Carrier Forms close enough to explode also. They also cause any nearby explosives or objects to explode. This means a single Carrier can cause a massive explosion through a chain reaction filling much of a small area. This can be used to a soldier's advantage if there are Combat or Pod infectors surrounding the Carrier(s). They are sometimes considered a "Flood grenade".
Any direct explosion eliminates the threat of the Carrier, as well as any Pod infectors that were incubating inside of it. This means that enough needles from a Needler will kill it, or one can throw a grenade at it.
Carrier forms are one of the easiest enemies to take down. One shot from any weapon, say the Plasma Pistol, will force it to explode. However, there is not a single weapon that can actually blow it up, not even a direct Rocket Launcher. Therefore, this has to be taken into account, strategically. For example, when confronting a large number of Flood, one may wish to destroy the Carrier forms, which in turn will kill all nearby Flood. First, allow the Combat forms and other to get reasonably close. Then, use any weapon - preferably one which has ample ammunition - to kill it.
It is not recommended to use sniper rifles against the Flood; it is simply a waste of valuable ammo. In any case, sniper bullets simply pass through Carrier forms, dealing virtually no damage.
In Halo: Combat Evolved a good tactic is to hook one with a Plasma Grenade and shoot it with the Shotgun; this will kill the Pod infectors inside. Another good tactic is to splatter it with vehicles, since it does not explode directly upon contact. If there are several Flood Combat Form nearby, taking down the Carrier Form should eliminate most of the threat. Players often call it Flood Grenade due to the explosion function similar to a grenade that can harm anyone nearby.
In Halo 3 it is a good idea to individually lure a Carrier form away from the rest of the Flood forms and then shoot it down, if its done right one can take down a Carrier form with an assault rifle and the Pod infectors inside just needs accuracy and very good timing. The luring bit needing patience as its quite tricky to lure them out as if one gets too close they'll explode, if one gets too far they'll just walk away. A Spartan Laser beam can only penetrate two Carrier forms. In turn, this will make the Carrier forms explode without releasing any Pod infectors at all, similar to sticking a Carrier form with a grenade or killing it with a Needler supercombine explosion.
Running over Carrier forms by a vehicle, on the other hand, is a very bad idea. Their explosions will easily flip the vehicle, wasting precious time, especially on a level like Halo 3's final level.
In Halo Wars 2 prioritize destroying Flood Spawner, since it can produce units to counter any units and buildings that player uses to attack it.
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