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"They sure aren't as tough as their ships."

In battle, Jackals share many similarities with Grunts, but are far more intelligent. Like the Unggoy, they are a weak subordinate race and are somewhat cowardly. Despite their efforts to assure the Covenant of their superiority over the Unggoy, they often cower in battle and retreat with their shields up in the air.


Jackals are mainly seen wielding Plasma pistols and Needlers, but they may carry Type-50 particle beam rifles, Plasma Rifles or Carbines. Sniper Jackals are equipped with a Beam Rifle or a Carbine for maximum damage and range as seen in Halo 2 and Halo 3 respectively. Jackal marksmen are also equipped with a plasma pistol which they will switch to if in close quarters with an opponent, however most of the time they turn around and retreat.

The Jackal's Point Defense Gauntlet is almost completely impervious to all human firearms, and is strong against plasma based weaponry, but if a plasma weapon is fired at it for an extended period of time it will easily deplete the shield. The various ways of combating Jackals basically works like this: get an accurate weapon; such as a Carbine or Battle Rifle, and then fire at the Jackals exposed side, the Jackal will recoil in pain and move the shield away to leave the body bare, leaving the player free to perform a head shot. Another good way is to overcharge a Plasma Pistol and fire it at their shielding, deactivating it, giving you the time to fire at them or melee them. In the later games, meleeing the Jackal will end up deactivating the shield, and sending the alien fleeing. In some occasions, the Jackal may stand its ground and attempt to kill you.

The Jackals were revealed to have a new role in Halo 2 as the Covenant primary marksmen. The use of marksmen Jackals changes the game drastically, because up until now, all Covenant fighters were close range fighters, none of whom carried scoped weapons, and now the Covenant are utilizing tactics seen in Human warfare, in this case, more ranged combat.

Killing Jackals at range becomes much easier in Halo 3: ODST, due to two new available weapons: a more powerful Covenant Carbine, and the new M6C/SOCOM (the larger magazine, coupled with a scope almost as powerful as the sniper rifle's, makes a devastating combination). In both cases, the tactic is the same (the M6C is slightly better, as it is somewhat more accurate)- shoot the Jackal on its exposed right arm (the one with the plasma pistol, needler, or plasma rifle). The Jackal will quickly move its arm to a little bit above its head- but only temporarily. While the Jackal is exposed, get an easy headshot. Sniper rifles and particle beam rifles are one-hit kills if the player hits the exposed arm.

At close range, the tactics change somewhat, depending on the weapon the player is using. Always keep in mind that it is usually best to snipe down a few Jackals while they are charging at you, before the Jackals get so close as to make sniper weapons useless. A frag grenade under the energy shield can kill a group of Jackals with the overlapping energy shields. Brute shots are also effective- even on heroic or legendary, one grenade from the Brute shot can kill a Jackal. The noob combo (plasma pistol/rifle + assault rifle) is also effective (shoot down the shield with the plasma rifle, then kill it with the assault rifle. Shotguns are also effective at close range, and like the sniper rifle, a shot in the arm will kill the Jackal. If approaching a solitary Jackal from behind, keep two things in mind: 1. Don't waste your ammo for a close range kill- melee.

Halo Wars Stat[edit]

In Halo Wars, Jackals play a powerful anti-infantry role, having been given the capability to inflict a number of casualties upon regular enemy infantry that are disproportionate to their own numbers, much like the UNSC Hellbringers-though having the advantage of longer range weapons. They are deployed in groups of two, and their default armament is the medium range Covenant Carbine. However, being geared towards a single role, the effectiveness of Jackals against armor and aircraft is highly limited, and will easily fall victim to vehicles. However, Infantry do, generally, defeat aircraft and the Jackals, in groups, will easily destroy enemy aircraft. Like all units in Halo Wars (Excluding the Vulture and Scarab), Jackals have multiple upgrades as listed below in the precise order researched:

  • Defense Gauntlet: 200 supplies, 1st tech level. Adds a standard Kig-Yar Point Defense Gauntlet to every soldier, which provides some protection but eventually collapses under enemy fire.
  • Type-50 particle beam rifle: 400 supplies, 2nd tech level (Age of Doubt). Replaces all Covenant Carbines with Beam Rifles, which provide superior range and power to attack.
  • Supreme Gauntlet: 700 supplies, 3rd tech level (Age of Reclamation). Upgrades all defense gauntlets, so that they no longer collapse under enemy fire.


Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2[edit]

  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Jackals wore more armor, often had helmets, had shorter, stubbier beaks, more jewel-like eyes, and came in two skin color variations: black and orange. In Halo 2, they are more avian looking and have only an orange skin color. Also they have pink reptile like eyes which flicker off and on when dead, but still stay pink. They also have larger biceps and chests. It is unknown why these changes happened, and if the Halo 2 Jackals are a different variety/race of Jackals than the ones in Halo: Combat Evolved or if the changes were mostly just graphical. Besides the aesthetic differences, there have also been changes in the way the Jackal Personal Arm Shield works and looks, and the addition of a sniper rank. In neither game do Jackals utilize plasma grenades, although they do carry grenades in Halo 2.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, Jackals hunt predominantly in pairs, usually one major and a minor, 2 minors, or sometimes 2 majors (though more than one pair may be present in certain areas). In Halo 2, shielded Jackals work primarily in teams upwards of four, though they are occasionally found in pairs. Sniper Jackals can also be found working in teams on occasions.
  • In Halo 2, on rare occasions, Jackals wield plasma rifles.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3[edit]

  • Jackals now naturally wield the Covenant Carbines (although they could be given carbines in Halo 2, they did not spawn with them.)
  • Jackals in Halo 3 appear to no longer require the armored boots they wore in the previous Halo games. They feature huge talons on their feet.
  • Halo 3 Jackals have a massive "over-bite" and their razor-sharp teeth hang down over their entire bottom jaw.
  • Sniper Jackals wear a visor-like device on their heads that covers their left eye. It can be assumed this enhances their vision to allow for greater accuracy on the field of battle. When Jackal snipers sight a target, this visor emits a purple light; this functions both to warn the player and reveal the sniper's position. The visor, along with the now-slower targeting time for the creatures' Particle Beam Rifles, can best be described as an effort to balance the snipers out after Bungie's realization that they were too deadly in Halo 2.
  • When a Jackal is holding a Carbine or Beam Rifle, it can't use a shield at the same time.
  • Their appearance is more bird-like than their reptilian Combat Evolved and Halo 2 counterparts. Their heads now resemble those of a crow or vulture in comparison to the heads of their counterparts which had heads like a reptile.
  • On Heroic difficulty or lower, Jackals can now be killed with a single Sniper Rifle or Particle Beam Rifle shot to the torso or limbs, compared to requiring 2 shots in Halo 2. 2 torso shots are required to kill a Jackal on Legendary difficulty, however.
  • Jackal Snipers no longer drop their sniper rifles when running away, instead carrying their weapons over their head.

Changes from Halo 3 to Halo Wars[edit]

  • They are capable of wielding both shields and rifles at the same time.
  • They are capable of being outfitted with an indestructible shield.
  • Kig-yar Flood combat forms are introduced.

Changes from Halo 3 to Halo 3: ODST[edit]

  • Some Jackals wield weapons that they haven't used before in the series such as Needlers.
  • Jackal Marksmen no longer wear inactive defense gauntlets.
  • Marksmen no longer have a Plasma Pistol secondary weapon.
  • Jackals are more difficult to kill with melee attacks, since melee damage is noticeably less when playing as an ODST than when playing as a Spartan.

Changes from Halo 3/Halo 3: ODST to Halo: Reach[edit]

  • Jackals' armor jumpsuits sport brighter, more vibrant colors.
  • They wear more armor than before, such as shoulder pads, and larger gauntlets.
  • Jackals have more defined pupils.
  • Jackals wear their shield gauntlets on their left arm instead of their right arm.
  • The "light-up" helmet of Jackal Snipers has been replaced with a smaller one that no longer gives away their position.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[edit]

  • Jackals come in a larger variety of colored armor.
  • The Jackal Snipers' targeting headgear is now much larger and more visible.
  • Jackals can use Type-50 concussion rifles and Type-55 storm rifles.
  • Jackals can use active camouflage.
  • Jackals during campaign will sometimes have scripted animations, such as on the level Composer where a jackal leaps out on top of an ally and claws him to death. These animations can be interrupted and the victim saved.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

  • Jackals can now melee with their shields.
  • Jackal Snipers will no longer attempt to flee from the player if they get too close.
  • Jackals have more scripted animations, such as leaping on to an allied Sangheili to attack it. See the Halo 5: Guardians Launch Gameplay Trailer.
  • If encountered in Warzone simulations, Jackals can now be occasionally seen with Forerunner weapons, like LightRifles or Binary Rifles. Jackals with Binary Rifles can be a major threat if left unchecked, as they can easily kill an unaware player.