MA5B assault rifle/Gameplay

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

The MA5B Assault Rifle is one of the weapons which players will love and loathe in equal measures. The rifle's rate of fire makes it a devastatingly powerful weapon in close range combats, and its melee attack usually ensures victory over close quarter battles. The only disadvantage is its reloading time, which takes about 1.5 seconds, which gives your opponent enough time to put you down with a hail of plasma bolts. In a skilled player's hand, the assault rifle can easily put down two to four opponents per magazine.


  • The MA5B Assault Rifle has one of the fastest melee speeds in Halo: Combat Evolved.
  • One strategy is to charge forward while firing in controlled bursts, then when in close range, break out into full auto, followed by a melee or two. This is a tried and true tactic for taking down shielded Elites.
  • Another tactic for medium range AR combat is to "rapid-pulse" the trigger; in other words, rapidly press your finger down on the trigger. This will result in rapid, accurate, and controlled bursts. This is very useful in the early levels of the game. However, this is impaired by the fact that the MA5B has somewhat low accuracy, although all projectiles will hit within the reticule with this tactic.
  • Combined with grenades, the MA5B decimates enemy ranks. Charge forward and toss some fragmentation grenades to clear out the weaker enemies and soften up the stronger ones, then before the dust clears, hose down anything that's still moving.
  • If you can't find a shotgun on a Flood-infested level, do not panic. Use the MA5B as a primary weapon while backing it with a Plasma Pistol as secondary. When the Flood get too close, just hold down the trigger and watch them wilt under the large volume of bullets. However, do not just stand there shooting, back-pedal into a previously secured area as the Flood can be overwhelming in waves.
  • Use melee on infection forms to save ammo - though if your shields are at max, do not even worry about them. Unless there is an entire swarm of them, they will simply burst on your shields, doing no substantial damage.
  • On Normal, less experienced players find that a good tactic is to use a Plasma Rifle or Plasma Pistol to deplete an Elite's shielding, and then switch to Assault Rifle to finish them off. The player can do the same thing with an assault rifle, followed up by a headshot from the M6D magnum, if the player chooses not to carry two full auto weapons at once. This is handy as even on Heroic the assault rifle can drop an Elite's shields at close range, if the player uses an entire magazine and follows up with a melee attack in order to drop the shields and cause said Elite to stagger back, which they can follow up by shooting it in the head.
  • The MA5B’s high rate of fire makes it excellent against grunts. Just hold down the trigger and watch them drop. This also works with jackals. Aim for the hand and when they stumble, let loose into them.


  • The MA5B's accuracy degrades after exactly 1.5 seconds of sustained fire. In order to use this weapon to its fullest, you must learn the most efficient bursts to use at different ranges. It takes just 16 rounds to kill one opponent.
  • When used with effective grenades, the Assault Rifle can hold its own. Back-pedal and use any grenade you have handy, and let the weapon take care of your enemy after his shields are down.
  • A combo of either Okarda'phaa-pattern plasma rifle or plasma pistol with the Assault Rifle is effective in killing the enemy; the plasma weapons can down the enemy's shields with ease and the Assault Rifle can kill the opponent in mere seconds.
  • The weapon can be used to suppress enemy's movement and/or vision with great effect; at medium range, it can deliver sufficient damage to down the enemy's shields; its sustained fire will cause many flashes on an enemy's screen enabling for a more effective retreat. This helps when facing vehicles since it can give the driver a hard time keeping control.