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Halo 3 manual

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The Halo 3 manual is a publication by Bungie Studios that accompanies all copies of Halo 3. It serves as an introduction to Halo 3, revealing characters, weaponry, controls, and further.

Sections of the manual[edit]

The manual has 33 pages. It is divided into a number of sections.


This section contains health and safety information, as well as a guide to the rating system (differing depending on region).

The Story So Far[edit]

"It is the year 2552. Humanity has long been at war with the terrifying alien civilization that collectively calls itself the Covenant. This monstrous conglomerate of warlike species sees Humanity as a form of heresy against their religion—a religion based in the single-minded belief that a Great Journey awaits its faithful and that this Journey can be embarked upon by firing an array of vast ringlike weapons scattered throughout the galaxy.

"These immense terraformed rings, known as Halos, have been abandoned by their mysterious and long-vanished creators, the Forerunners.

"This conflict, terrible and destructive though it is, has recently been complicated by a series of cascading events. One of these artificial worlds, these Halos, was discovered and subsequently destroyed by Human forces, led by Spartan-117—the Master Chief—the last fighting member of the legendary SPARTAN II military program and Humanity’s last, best hope.

"Conflict at a second Halo installation then ignited a galaxy-spanning conflagration as civil war erupted within the Covenant, driven by revelations that the Covenant leadership, the Prophets, had been deliberately deceiving its populace.

"In truth, these Halos would not take the Covenant on a Great Journey but rather eradicate all sentient life in the galaxy—a last-resort defense against the most terrifying menace the galaxy has ever known—and a menace the deluded Covenant has reawakened for the second time in a hundred thousand years.

"That horror is the Flood—a sentient, all-consuming parasite that makes monstrous puppets of those it kills and will not stop until every last thinking creature is absorbed into its ferociously intelligent plan.

"The second Halo has been activated, putting all of the remaining installations in a dangerous state of emergency standby—they are now primed to fire. Worse still, the Covenant has discovered the long-hidden location of Earth and crushed almost all Human resistance as it seeks vital clues to the nature of the Halo array, some of which may have been hidden under our very feet for untold millennia.

"Even with our newfound allies, the Elites, and their valiant and honorable leader, the Arbiter, we are still hopelessly outnumbered. The Prophets set their wills against us—and forces greater than the Covenant wheel malevolently into place, intent upon the destruction of all but the Flood.

"As the Master Chief hurtles Earthward in a Forerunner spacecraft, he may be our last chance to stop the Covenant, the Flood, and the ticking time bomb that is the Halo network, before every last soul in the galaxy is destroyed. The stakes have never been higher.

"It’s time to finish the fight."

Game Controls (Default)[edit]

This section explains the default game controls, including the film and forge mode controls.

Heads-Up Display (HUD)[edit]

This section describes the different components of the heads-up display, as well as their functions. It details Grenades, Equipment, Shields, Motion Tracker, Waypoint, Weapons and Ammo/Charge, and Multiplayer Information.


This section describes the different characters present in the game.

Spartan-117: The Master Chief

The Master Chief is the last of the elite SPARTAN II soldiers. These genetically superior, highly trained super-soldiers stand nearly 7 feet tall and, in MJOLNIR Mark VI powered assault armor, weigh almost 1000 pounds. Spartan-117 is an expert in all weapons and combat systems and can run faster, jump higher, and hit harder than any normal Human. Honed by years of battlefield experience, he has an unparalleled natural talent for war.

The Arbiter

The disgraced Commander of the Covenant Fleet of Particular Justice was stripped of his rank and forced to don the ancient Armor of the Arbiter—an Elite custom where a warrior is sent on a suicide mission to claim great honor in death. The Arbiter discovered, however, that the Covenant’s Great Journey was a lie and he subsequently started a civil war that has shaken the foundations of the Covenant. The Arbiter’s people, the Elites, have joined Humanity’s struggle against the rest of the Covenant.


The UNSC’s most sophisticated AI, Cortana is the onetime shipboard intelligence of the Halcyon-class cruiser Pillar of Autumn. After helping to destroy the first Halo, she was lost during events on Delta Halo. Her last known location was aboard the Flood-infested Covenant capital ship High Charity, in the thrall of the Flood. Cortana is the only link to the incredible secret of Halo. She must be saved.

The Prophet of Truth

The deluded leader of the Covenant, this zealot is forcing his civilization down a suicidal path. He intends to activate the Halo and will sacrifice anything or anyone to do so. The Prophet believes he can follow the Forerunners to their mysterious final destination and share their ancient and unlimited power. He now knows that the secret to this power may lie in the ancient sands of Earth.


The virulent Flood spreads by absorbing sentient creatures. When it reaches a certain critical mass, it develops a centralized intelligence known as a Gravemind. It was destroyed once before by activation of the Halo array, but it will not be stopped this time in its campaign to consume every thinking creature in the galaxy. The Gravemind now roams free aboard the former Covenant ship High Charity.

Sergeant Johnson

Sergeant Major Avery Johnson is the battle-hardened and longtime cohort of the Master Chief. An excellent soldier and unmatched marksman who’s seen more than his fair share of combat, no other Human knows the Master Chief like Johnson does. Johnson is never more at home than in the thick of battle and he will do anything for his men and his homeworld.

Commander Miranda Keyes

Commander Miranda Keyes now finds herself in the unenviable position of coordinating post-invasion resistance on a battered and occupied Earth. Her father, Captain Jacob Keyes, died on Halo as one of the first Human victims of the Flood. Her dedication to duty and raw ability have helped her avoid accusations of nepotism during her short but distinguished career.

Covenant Species[edit]

This section covers the alien species encountered in-game.

Grunts (Unggoy)

Tough, vicious, and capable with a wide range of Covenant hardware, Grunts are a significant military force. Their discipline, however, is hierarchy-reliant and dependant upon strong leadership and strength of numbers. Leaderless, they present significantly less resistance.

Prophets (San ‘Shyuum)

The religious and political leaders of the Covenant, Prophets enforce a misguided theology based on the belief that firing the Halo array will herald some kind of sublimation event called the Great Journey. Physically frail, Prophets wield power through absolute command of Covenant (and scavenged) technology.

Jackals (Kig-yar)

Physically less powerful than some other Covenant species, Jackals are employed mainly as sharpshooters thanks to their excellent vision and dexterity. Their lack of physical durability means they often employ energy shields during combat. Countersniping them takes extraordinary skill.

Drones (Yanme’e)

These flying, insectile warriors serve almost exclusively as professional soldiers rather than conforming to Covenant societal norms. Their ability to fight on the wing makes them an excellent strategic weapon against ground-based opponents.

Brutes (Jiralhanae)

A shift in Covenant hierarchy at the time of the Elite insurrection elevated Brutes to a position of military command. The Brutes wasted no time in applying their pack and Alpha male mentality to their new Covenant role. They are powerful, dangerous, and prone to acts of berserker violence.

Elites (Sangheili)

Formerly the ruling military class of the Covenant, Elites are proud fighters with a valiant history. Their recent split from the Covenant was sparked by religious differences, but the schism runs deeper than that. Elites now ally with their former Human foes in part because of a deep-seated resentment of Prophet rule and in part because they understand the scale of the Flood threat.

Hunters (Lekgolo)

Hunters are actually an assemblage of wormlike entities that create a communal, armor-plated form. They always fight in pairs, are the strongest Covenant fighting units, and wield powerful Plasma Cannons. Their political motivation is completely unknown.


This section covers the UNSC and Covenant weapons usable in the game.

"Spartans are trained to use any weapon found on the battlefield—Human or otherwise. This training and philosophy means that resupply is always just one victory away. Efficient and deadly, Spartans often look at opposing forces as a kind of mobile weapons cache."

UNSC Weapons

Pistol* M6G

12 Rounds/Magazine


60 Rounds/Magazine


32 Rounds/Magazine


36 Rounds/Magazine


6 8 Gauge Shells


4 Rounds/Magazine


2 HE Rockets/Launch Assembly


5 Shots/Charge

* Denotes weapons that can be dual-wielded.

Covenant Weapons

Plasma Pistol*

100–150 kV, 2–3 dA

Plasma Rifle*

420–600 Rounds/Minute (variable)

Brute Spiker*

48 Spikes/Magazine


30 Needles/Caddy


36 Rounds/Magazine

Brute Shot

6 Rounds/Belt

Beam Rifle

18 Shots/Charge

Energy Sword

10 Uses/Charge

* Denotes weapons that can be dual-wielded.


"You can carry a maximum of two of each grenade type at a time. Press Left-Bumper to switch between available grenade types when not dual-wielding."

Frag Grenade

M9HE-DP Fragmentation

Kill Radius: 5m

Casualty Radius: 15m

Plasma Grenade

Type-1 Antipersonnel

Kill Radius: 4m

Casualty Radius: 12m

Spike Grenade

Type-2 Antipersonnel

Kill Radius: 3m

Casualty Radius: 11m

Support Weapons

"A turret is typically activated by pressing Right-Bumper. A Spartan, however, is strong enough to tear off these weapons (press B-Button while using the turret) and use them almost like rifles. When detached, these weapons have limited ammunition capacity."

Plasma Cannon

Type-52 Automatic Plasma Cannon

200 Shots/Charge

Machine Gun


200 Rounds/Belt

Missile Pod


8 Guided Missiles/Charger


This section covers the equipment usable in the game, giving several examples.

"UNSC and Covenant forces have recently deployed powerful new combat equipment to all fronts in the war. Once you pick up a piece of equipment, you can activate it by pressing X-Button or swap it with a different piece of equipment by holding Right-Bumper. Note: Some equipment is activated immediately upon acquisition.

Here are a few of the many equipment options you’ll encounter in the field:"

Bubble Shield

This globular local-radius energy shield deflects all projectile weapons and thrown grenades. Its effect is short-lived, and it can be penetrated by simply walking through its field. The generator itself is very fragile once deployed.

Trip Mine

This pressure-sensitive explosive can be set off by any contact with a physical object or by close contact with vehicular gravitational or energy fields. Trip Mine explosive power is significant, and mines should be handled with extreme caution.

Grav Lift

This basic tool use of the gravity field generators found on Covenant vehicles provides a short-range lift allowing the easy vertical elevation of beings, objects, and even vehicles.


This section covers the UNSC and Covenant vehicles found in the game.

UNSC Vehicles[edit]


Crew: 2

Weaponry: No Armament

Warthog LRV/LAAV

Crew: 2 (+ 1 gunner)

Weaponry: Variable


Crew: 1 (+ 1 gunner and 4 jumpseats)

Weaponry: 90mm High-Velocity Cannon, 7.62mm Machine Gun


Crew: 1 (+ 2 jumpseats)

Weaponry: 2 Class-2 Guided Munitions Launch Systems


Crew: 1 (+ 10 in cargo hold)

Weaponry: Variable

Covenant Vehicles[edit]


Crew: 1

Weaponry:Twin Plasma Cannons (100–250 kW range)


Crew: 1

Weaponry: 2 Class-2 Energy


Crew: 1 (+ 1 gunner)

Weaponry: Plasma Mortar, Dual Auto-Firing Plasma Cannons


Crew: 1

Weaponry: 2 Class-2 Energy, 1 Class-2 Projectile


Crew: 1 (+ 2 gunners and 24 in cargo hold)

Weaponry: 3 Class-2 Energy


This section covers the basics of playing the game, such as game lobbies and settings. It details Campaign, Matchmaking, Custom Games, Forge, and Theater, as well as the customization of in-game identity and experience through the Media and Settings functionalities.


This section covers the basics of multiplayer gameplay, such as Matchmaking, Custom Games, and Co-Op. It details the Xbox Live system, System Link connections, the Party system, Voice Communication, Custom Game Variant creation, the Carnage Report, the Spartan Ratings system, File Share, and Campaign Scoring.

Viewing Films[edit]

This section provides an overview of the Theater mode, a game film functionality.

The Forge[edit]

This section provides an overview of the Forge mode, a new map editing game mode.[edit]

This section provides an overview of, the official website of Bungie and on-line home for Halo 3 resources.

Xbox Live[edit]

This section provides an overview of Xbox Live, including connecting and family settings.

The Xbox 360 Hard Drive[edit]

This section covers the Xbox 360's hard drive functionality in the game.


This section lists those who worked on the game.

Warranty and Customer Service[edit]

This section covers information about the game warranty and customer service, as well as including copyright information.



Variant 1[edit]

Variant 2[edit]

Variant 3[edit]

See also[edit]

Download the PDF versions from