Rangers are trained as zero-gravity combat units and wear vacuum suits. They are considered another component of the Covenant's extra-vehicular activity combat arm. Rangers are often deployed within infantry-based engagements in the vacuum of space, often in a defensive position. To a lesser extent, Rangers may be deployed to terrestrial environments where high mobility over vertical terrain serves as a significant advantage. Kig-Yar Rangers are trained in mid-range to long-range combat. Rangers are also used for boarding actions on hostile vessels and external maintenance on allied vessels. They were sometimes used to assist the Sangheili Rangers. Kig-Yar Rangers could be deployed into combat engagements through the use of Covenant drop pods, even in zero-gravity operations. Kig-Yar Rangers in Jul 'Mdama's reformed Covenant were often used as snipers and scouts.
The first known contact between Kig-Yar Rangers and humans occurred on board This End Up, a freighter attacked by Minor Transgression on January 17, 2525. These Kig-Yar, led by Zhar, were eventually defeated and killed by Staff Sergeants Avery Johnson and Nolan Byrne. Following this encounter, they were deployed in combat throughout the Human-Covenant War. Rangers were encountered boarding UNSC Prophecy during the Harvest campaign on February 3, 2531, where they engaged UNSC Marines from UNSC Spirit of Fire that were tasked with killing the Covenant boarders. During the Fall of Reach in late summer 2552, Kig-Yar and Sangheili Rangers were dispatched by three Covenant frigates to secure the navigation database of prowler UNSC Circumference docked in Gamma Station over Reach. These Kig-Yar were engaged by Blue Team's John-117 and Linda-058, the SPARTAN-IIs that destroyed the navigation database of the Circumference.
Following the Human-Covenant War, Kig-Yar Rangers were employed by Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. These Rangers participated in the boarding of UNSC Forward Unto Dawn over Requiem along with other Covenant forces. They later participated in several other engagements on the shield world. Kig-Yar Rangers were later deployed against the UNSC when the Infinity returned to the planet six months later. Many Kig-Yar Rangers were present on the Argent Moon when Blue Team boarded the ONI research station in order to return it to UNSC hands. Many more Rangers were present on Sanghelios, aiding the remnants of Jul's Covenant in their ongoing fight against the forces led by Arbiter Thel 'Vadam.
The equipment of the Kig-Yar Ranger varies. Kig-Yar Rangers are sometimes clad in blue vacuum suits, carrying point defense gauntlets and plasma pistols like their regular infantry counterparts. Others wear a different suit with orange chest armor plate and purple clawed boots, somewhat similar to the combat harness of the Kig-Yar Minor. This variant has no obvious helmet, instead being replaced by some type of energy bubble which produces oxygen for the Kig-Yar to breathe. Also, they wield a different kind of weapon that is strapped to the wrists of the Kig-Yar and have no visible energy shielding. They do not usually wear jetpacks and instead are equipped with surface-adhering boots—possibly magnetic—which allow them to walk safely in zero-gravity environments. The full body EVA suits, donned by some Kig-Yar Rangers in service with the Covenant, was considered uncomfortable by some. They were believed to be too bulky and cumbersome, as they were built for external maintenance rather than combat. The helmets of the suits did not give the spiny quills of the males much room to flex.
The armament of a Kig-Yar Ranger varies based on the operation. During the initial battle on Requiem as well as the campaign six months later, Kig-Yar Rangers employed in Jul 'Mdama's Covenant were typically armed with Type-25 plasma pistols and Type-33 Needlers, while others used Type-51 carbines, Type-55 Storm Rifles and Type-27 beam rifles. By the Raid on Argent Moon Kig-Yar Rangers had begun to make use of Type-54D plasma pistols and Type-57B carbines. In War Games simulations Kig-Yar Rangers would occasionally make use of Type-53 plasma casters, Z-250 lightrifles, and Z-750 binary rifles. Occasionally, they will carry point defense gauntlets for protection. Kig-Yar Rangers in service to Jul 'Mdama's Covenant appear to wear a heavily armored typical EVA harness formerly used by the Covenant, with a predominately blue color scheme. They are outfitted with a black body suit and a full-face helmet.
Kig-Yar Rangers are very capable marksmen, though not as accurate as Kig-Yar Snipers. They are typically encountered in vacuum environments, and are highly mobile. A Kig-Yar Ranger has approximately the same amount of health as that of a Kig-Yar Storm. Their point defense gauntlets can typically be disabled with a single overcharged plasma shot. A single precision headshot will usually take a Ranger down on any difficulty.
List of appearances