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Cut Halo 4 weapons

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This page discusses elements of deleted material and cut content. Some information on the page is sourced from game files and may not be verifiable through external sources. Where possible, such information should be clearly-marked and replaced with a proper external source as soon as one is available.
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Halo 4 cut content

Cut content


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During the development of Halo 4, a number of various weapons were concepted and prototyped by 343 Industries for inclusion in the game, though were ultimately cut for various reasons. Some weapons were concepted but never reached 3D prototypes, and others were left in the game files as leftovers from the previous game, Halo: Reach.

In-engine prototypes[edit]

Attach beam[edit]

The "attach beam" is an early version of the Binary Rifle, and uses an early model of the weapon. It uses the final game's Binary Rifle HUD but the reload sounds and animation of the Sniper Rifle, and an early model of the LightRifle.[1][2]

With the release of Halo 4 on PC as part of The Master Chief Collection, files for this weapon - now named the "storm attach beam" - were added to the game's shared file directory, allowing them to be spawned in via modding..[3]

Bishop beam[edit]

The "bishop beam" is a seemingly-Forerunner beam weapon, similar in operation to the Sentinel Beam and Focus Rifle. It can be found in the files for the level Shutdown.[1][2] When fired at vehicles, the beam locks onto the vehicle in question even if it outside the player's reticule, and will destroy the vehicle after a few moments of firing.[3]

Notably, the Promethean Watcher enemies were named bishops during the early stages of Halo 4, indicating they may have been intended to use this weapon, akin to the Sentinels and their use of the sentinel beam. This weapon was one of several made available for use in modding, following the release of Halo 4 on PC in The Master Chief Collection.[3]

Burst pistol[edit]

The "burst pistol" is a weapon which can be in the files for the Lockup map in Spartan Ops. It can fire a single shot or up to a six-round burst. This weapon is notably similar to the iteration of the Bolshot found in Halo 5: Guardians.

This weapon was one of several made available for use in modding, following the release of Halo 4 on PC in The Master Chief Collection.[3]


Not to be confused with a cut Halo 2 weapon of the same name, the disintegrator was intended to be a Forerunner equivalent to the Spartan Laser. The weapon requires a charge-up before firing, and fires a blue beam. It uses the model of the UNSC Spartan Laser, though is buggy in first-person and has various parts of the geometry rotated in odd directions.[4]

Early concussion rifle design[edit]

Early concepts by Glenn Israel considered a full redesign for the Concussion Rifle first introduced in Halo: Reach. The weapon was given a limited early model pass in early Halo 4 builds, though was ultimately scrapped with the final game weapon consisting of a retexture of the Reach model.[5] Israel's sketches also produced the Plasma Caster weapon design that would ultimately go on to be used in Halo 5: Guardians.

Early Needler design[edit]

An unused Needler design can be found in early builds of Halo 4.[6] The design of this iteration of the Needler was developed by artist Can Tuncer for use in Halo 4 - but was ultimately never realised in the final game. It was later taken and expanded upon by Kolby Jukes for inclusion in Halo 5: Guardians, with additional bio-organic detail based on the Harvester Jukes had previously created for Spartan Ops. Ultimately, this design was never realised in either game.[7]

Halo 5 plasma pistol[edit]

Found in early builds appears to be a model for the Type-54 plasma pistol, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. The final game of Halo 4 shipped with a Type-25 plasma pistol more similar to that found in Halo: Reach, indicating this may have been cut for time.[8][9]

Homing rifle[edit]

The homing rifle is a weapon found in various Alpha builds of Halo 4. The weapon is fully-modelled and partially animated, with later builds containing a first-person viewmodel. In early builds, the weapon's function varies from firing a single large explosive bolt to firing a handful of smaller shots like a shotgun. Strings in the final game's LightRifle reference the homing rifle, indicating this weapon may have eventually evolved into the Light Rifle.[10][11]

Some early renditions of the Prometheans wielded the homing rifle.[12]

Hunter LMG[edit]

Using the model of Jorge-052's machine gun from Reach, Etilka, the Hunter LMG fires a bolt similar to those fired by the assault cannons of the Hunters.[1] When held by the player, the player uses the weapon in third-person similar to other support weapons, indicating this may be an early version of the assault cannon weapons featured in Halo 5: Guardians - notably the Beserker's Claw and Wicked Grasp. This weapon can be found in the files of the Fortress map in Spartan Ops.

Mortar launcher[edit]

This weapon bears heavy resemblance to the Fuel Rod Gun used by the Covenant. It is shoulder-mounted and reloads in a similar manner, and appears to fire blue plasma mortars with a heavy arc into the distance, not dissimilarly to the fuel rod variant predominantly featured in Halo: Combat Evolved multiplayer. The weapon can fire several times in rapid succession, with each shot draining the charge bar a little. The charge system works akin to other plasma weapons, with paced shots allowing the charge bar to recharged while rapid spam quickly depletes the bar and requires a reload - six shots can be fired rapidly before reload is needed.[13][14] This weapon has several similarities to the Tufasumo-pattern plasma caster featured in Halo 5: Guardians, and may be a conceptual predecessor.


Found in Awakening: The Art of Halo 4 is a concept design for the M7 SMG previously featured in Halo 2 and Halo 3.[15] A 3D model for this iteration of the SMG is present in the Halo 4 Alpha, though lacks dedicated animations or a first-person viewmodel, indicating it did not get too far along in development.[16][17]

Unlike the SMG found in Halo 2 and Halo 3, the Halo 4 design lacks the side-mounted magazine characteristic of the M7 and instead replaces it with a magazine located inside the grip of the SMG - more akin to traditional modern equivalents. Although this model was scrapped, these design cues can be found in the multiplayer rendition of the SMG featured in Halo 2: Anniversary (which was built atop the Halo 4 iteration of the Blam engine), albeit with adjustments such as the traditional magazine placement. Nonetheless, the carryover of these design cues makes it likely that the Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer SMG reused elements of the Halo 4 SMG iteration.

Stasis rifle[edit]

The "stasis rifle" appears in the game files of Halo 4, unused on the Two Giants Spartan Ops map, among others. The weapon fires a green projectile which creates a purple sphere upon impact with geometry - similar to that of the regeneration field ability. The field appears not to damage players or vehicles, but does slow them as they walk through it - though crouching while in the field does not apply this effect. It can also scare Covenant out of turrets, as if it was a harmful projectile.[1]

This weapon was one of several made available for use in modding, following the release of Halo 4 on PC in The Master Chief Collection.[3]

Concept-only weapons[edit]

Early light rifle design[edit]

Early in development, the design that would ultimately be used for the Light Rifle was originally intended to be the Binary Rifle. In these early stages, a unique design was concepted for the Light Rifle, which ultimately went unused.[18]

Halo: Reach leftovers[edit]

Halo 4 was built on the engine previously-used for the creation of Halo: Reach. Due to this, many aspects of Reach are left in the game files of Halo 4. In some cases, such as the Scorpion tank, the Reach model was re-textured and fully-integrated into the game. However, several weapon models from Reach remain unused as leftovers within Halo 4's game files.


The M392 DMR from Halo: Reach remains in the files of Halo 4, found in the files for the multiplayer map Harvest. The weapon model in the files is known as xsr_proto.[1] This weapon was one of several made available for use in modding, following the release of Halo 4 on PC in The Master Chief Collection.[3]

The loadout menus of both Halo 4 and The Master Chief Collection incorrectly use the M392 icon instead of that of the M395 featured in-game, despite the icon being used in pre-release footage.

Energy sword[edit]

Found in the files of the Harvester Spartan Ops map, or Halo 4 on PC, this is the leftover of the energy sword as found in Reach. The model is missing most of its visual effects and HUD.[3]

Target locator[edit]

The model of the H-165 target locator from Reach can be found in the files of the Quarry map. The weapon functions exactly as it did in Reach, though does not call in the artillery strike. This was likely used to test the H-295 target designator used to call in MAC strikes from the Mammoth in the Reclaimer level.


  1. ^ a b c d e YouTube - Lord Zedd, Halo 4 - Unused Weapons Compilation
  2. ^ a b YouTube - Lord Zedd, Halo 4 - Bishop Beam/Attach Beam Gamesave
  3. ^ a b c d e f g YouTube - Generalkidd, Halo 4 The Secret Weapons & Vehicles You Normally Can't Use
  4. ^ YouTube - Gamecheat13, Halo 4 - The Revenant and Disintegrator
  5. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "Fun Fact: The Concussion Rifle at one point was going to use a new redesigned model like the Plasma Pistol and Needler in Halo 4, but it sadly was never used and the old design was used instead. I really like the model." (Retrieved on Mar 6, 2023) [archive]
  6. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "Can't forget the Needler as well." (Retrieved on Feb 10, 2022) [archive]
  7. ^ ArtStation, Halo 5: Guardians - Needler concept: "This is a concept sculpt I made for the Covenant Needler for Halo 5. The model is based on Can Tuncer's model from Halo 4. I was tasked with exploring a redesign of the weapon, applying the bio-mech Covenant style I had used for the Harvester for Halo 4: Spartan Ops. Ultimately this concept/model wasn't used. Halo 5 shipped with a Covenant Needler designed by Glenn Israel and Modeled/Textured by Andrew Bradbury." (Retrieved on Feb 10, 2022) [archive]
  8. ^ Twitter, cheato (@Gamecheat13): "The Halo 5 Plasma Pistol redesign was originally made during Halo 4's development." (Retrieved on Feb 10, 2022) [archive]
  9. ^ Twitter, Corbin (@Unseen_Halo): "My favorite pic from Halo 4's Development. The same plasma pistol model has made it all the way to Halo Infinite :) @___Gal4xy___ Thanks for the capture" (Retrieved on Jan 27, 2022) [archive]
  10. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "Really cool to see the homing rifle's view model!" (Retrieved on Jan 27, 2021) [archive]
  11. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "Here's a cut forerunner weapon called the "Homing Rifle". I believe this was possibly an early iteration of the light rifle due to the fact that the weapon tag of the light rifle references a few things to the homing rifle. Even the pick up strings are referred to as "homing"." (Retrieved on Jan 27, 2021) [archive]
  12. ^ Twitter, zeddikins (@zeddikins): "These dudes are creepy" (Retrieved on Jan 27, 2021) [archive]
  13. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "So here's an interesting cut weapon for Halo 4. It's a mortar launcher. It seems to fire weaker versions of the Wraith mortar. Looks like something that would be in Halo 1999 to be honest." (Retrieved on Feb 10, 2022) [archive]
  14. ^ Twitter, zeddikins (@zeddikins): "343 was like "but what if we gave the player a handheld wraith mortar?"" (Retrieved on Feb 12, 2022) [archive]
  15. ^ Awakening: The Art of Halo 4, page 106
  16. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "Fun Fact! The SMG was prototyped for inclusion in Halo 4! It has a model as seen here in-game and in the concept art. It would feature a magazine in the grip instead of a side mag like in the previous games." (Retrieved on Jan 27, 2021) [archive]
  17. ^ Twitter, Galaxy (@___Gal4xy___): "No view model exists however, suggesting that it was cut fairly early on." (Retrieved on Jan 27, 2021) [archive]
  18. ^ Awakening: The Art of Halo 4, page 156-157