Long-range combat, support
- "The only thing worse than Jackals are Jackals with sniper rifles!"
- — Anonymous Marine during the Battle of Mombasa
Sniper is a specialized combat role for Kig-Yar in the Covenant and its remnants. They are highly skilled marksmen, though they are not deployed as often as their infantry comrades. Unlike most Kig-Yar, Snipers rarely make use of personal energy shields.
Kig-Yar Snipers are generally tasked with roles revolving around long-range combat, sniper support, scouting, and assassinations. Kig-Yar Snipers have served in the Covenant military for centuries. The role of Kig-Yar Snipers has been viewed as critical to achieve success in most groundside engagements. Only battle-hardened veteran Kig-Yar are chosen to become a part of the Sniper class. All Kig-Yar are born gifted with extraordinarily acute senses of sight, hearing, and smell, making them adept as scouts and snipers in the Covenant military. The Kig-Yar's natural ability and skill at stealth makes them efficient hunters. Exceptionally skilled in precision shooting, Kig-Yar snipers wield beam rifles or Covenant carbines to great effect, eliminating long-range targets that are often hidden from sight. Kig-Yar Snipers were often used as lookouts posted on patrol or on sniper perches around Covenant installations and military bases. These lookout positions would be rotated multiple times a day between several Kig-Yar.
Following the Human-Covenant War, Kig-Yar Snipers continued to serve in Jul 'Mdama's reformed Covenant faction, holding largely the same position they once did in the Covenant military. Some Kig-Yar Snipers also served as mercenaries in Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group.
Kig-Yar Snipers are protected by a moderate amount of armor. They are largely distinguished among their Kig-Yar brethren by their ocular enhancement helmet—targeting headgear that is smart-linked to their weapon of choice, which provides the Kig-Yar Sniper with targeting capabilities including an enhanced zoom that allows the sniper to target hostiles at extreme distances. The helmet comes in at least two varieties; one is mostly used by the Covenant, while the other is most commonly associated with the snipers that serve Jul 'Mdama's Covenant faction. Some Kig-Yar Snipers in 'Mdama's Covenant are equipped with Type-3 active camouflage armor plug-ins for additional stealth. The armor donned by the Kig-Yar Sniper class was slightly more protective and covering than the armor worn by other classes of Kig-Yar—in both the original Covenant and 'Mdama's faction. Some snipers wear colored armor to blend in with their surroundings. Unlike most Kig-Yar, snipers did not equip themselves with personal energy shields.
Kig-Yar Snipers in service with the Covenant military were armed with a variety of weapons. For long range combat positions, snipers were generally armed with Type-31 needle rifles, Type-50 particle beam rifles, and Type-52 focus rifle. For medium range encounters, Kig-Yar would be armed with Type-51 carbines. In the event of a close-quarter encounter, snipers equipped Type-25 plasma pistols as a sidearm. Kig-Yar Snipers serving in Jul 'Mdama's reformed Covenant faction during the Battle of Requiem and Requiem Campaign were mostly armed with Type-27 beam rifles and occasionally Type-55 storm rifles or Type-50 concussion rifles, in addition to the Type-51 carbine. By October, 2558 snipers began to use Type-57B carbines.
Generally, Kig-Yar Snipers are considered as support units to other Covenant forces when engaging an enemy. With their superior accuracy, the Kig-Yar Snipers can eliminate any enemy from a distance with their long range weaponry. They are known to snipe from hard to reach places such as ledges, cliffs, rooftops, deployable lookout towers, and occasionally large branches on trees which provide them a wide view of the battleground, and more importantly, conceal their location. Their positions are often easily revealed when they fire their weapons.
Kig-Yar Snipers often wear headpieces which emit a faint purple glow. This glow can be seen from a distance, thus giving away the sniper's position. On lower difficulties, Kig-Yar Snipers are commonly seen with Covenant carbines, though snipers armed with particle beam rifles will still be encountered, albeit less frequently. On higher difficulties, they are more commonly seen to wield the particle beam rifle. In Halo 2, a single particle beam rifle shot on the Legendary difficulty will kill the player, regardless of the hit location. In Halo: Reach, Kig-Yar Snipers wield needle rifles and focus rifles instead of carbines and particle beam rifles, preventing them from achieving one-hit kills. In Halo 4, Kig-Yar Snipers are nearly always seen with beam rifles, with Kig-Yar Rangers being the primary wielders of carbines. Some snipers also wield storm rifles.
The most efficient and effective way to eliminate Kig-Yar Snipers is by using a long-range weapon such as the sniper rifle, battle rifle, Covenant carbine, particle beam rifle, lightrifle, or binary rifle and by firing from afar without them discovering the player's location. Sidearms with mounted scopes such as the M6C/SOCOM are also exceptional at killing them, provided that the player aims at the head. Medium-range weaponry such as the plasma rifle, the SMG, and the assault rifle can suppress the sniper, allowing the player to finish them off with a quick melee. Sometimes if the player gets close enough to a sniper and is detected by it, it may drop its rifle and flee. Snipers in Halo 4, however, will almost never flee from melee combat, instead firing their weapon at close range.
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- In Halo 2, the Kig-Yar Snipers do not wear helmets, instead wearing a silver combat suit.
- It is stated on the Bungie site that only battle hardened veterans are selected to become Jackal Snipers. This could suggest that as well as being a special type of rank, Sniper is an elevated rank either for Kig-Yar Majors, or that the rank exists between Kig-Yar Minor and Major. However, their duties do not tend to involve commanding other troops.
- In Halo Wars, an upgrade for Kig-Yar anti-infantry units replaces their weapons with particle beam rifles, implying that all Kig-Yar can become snipers. In addition, these Kig-Yar do not lose the ability to wear the species' trademark energy shield gauntlets.
- In Halo 4, Kig-Yar Snipers can be colored red, orange, blue/grey, or green. In the missions Infinity and Requiem, green snipers can blend in with the vegetation if a player is inattentive.
In-game view of a Kig-Yar Sniper in Halo 2.
Full-body portrait of a Kig-Yar Sniper in Halo 3.
Kig-Yar wielding Covenant carbines in the Halo 3 level Sierra 117.
A Kig-Yar Sniper wielding a Type-50 particle beam rifle.
A Kig-Yar Sniper on a scouting outpost on an unnamed moon.
A Kig-Yar Sniper in Halo: Reach.
A Kig-Yar Sniper in Halo 4.
A Kig-Yar Sniper on Requiem wielding a Type-51 carbine
A Kig-Yar Sniper taking aim in Halo 4 Spartan Ops.
A Kig-Yar Sniper on Urban.
List of appearances
- Halo 2 (First appearance)
- Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
- Halo 3
- Halo: The Cole Protocol
- Halo Wars
- Halo 3: ODST
- Halo Legends
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe
- Halo: Reach
- Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
- Halo 4
- Halo: Escalation
- Halo 2: Anniversary
- Halo 5: Guardians
- Halo: Ground Command
- Halo Mythos
- Spartan Ops, S1E6 Search and Destroy
- Halo 2, campaign level, Outskirts
- Halo Encyclopedia, pages 146-147
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 100
- Halo 4 Interactive Guide
- Halo 4 Prima Official Game Guide (Collector's Edition), page 52
- Bungie.net: Stats
- Halo Encyclopedia, pages 154-155 (2011 edition)
- Halo: Evolutions - Essential Tales of the Halo Universe, "Headhunters", pages 165-167
- Halo: Escalation, Issue #1
- Halo 3
- Halo 4
- Halo 4, campaign level, Infinity
- Halo 4, campaign level, Requiem
- Halo 5: Guardians