ONI: Sword Base/Walkthrough

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

Halo Reach box art.png


Winter Contingency



ONI: Sword Base
Target Locator Two Wraiths.jpg
Level overview




Secure SWORD Base from the Covenant. Eliminate all hostiles.


SWORD Base, Babd Catha Ice Shelf, Eposz, Reach

Gameplay overview

Default weapons:

Available weapons:



This is a walkthrough for the third level of Halo: Reach, ONI: Sword Base. It is written for play at the Legendary difficulty, but contains notes for lower difficulties. Your mission is to clear ONI: Sword Base of all Covenant hostiles, with additional objectives to be added later.

Level Notes[edit]

  • On average, a good run of this mission on Legendary with no skips or excessive stalling will be roughly 50 minutes to an hour, about a quarter longer than Winter Contingency.
  • The Daily Challenge for beating this is "Office of Not Dying". It awards 1250 cR.
  • If doing a "kill X enemies" daily challenge, vehicles will count as two kills and dropship chin turrets will award a kill.
  • If looking for a BOB to kill for the challenge "Golden Opportunity", the white BOB at SWORD Base will count despite not being a "Gold Ranger-class Elite". It can easily be sought out from Rally Point Beta, and one will always be in either the courtyard or the atrium second floor.
  • There will be a Phantom hovering above and around Airview Base for the AA gun to destroy when activated. If it is destroyed by the player, it will be immediately replaced by another Phantom, and so on until the anti-aircraft gun is activated. The Phantom(s) in question will not attack the player; they only shift position from one side of the area to the other to avoid hostile fire. These two conditions on the Phantom(s) allow for very easy point (but not cR) farming; the player can constantly earn 2700 or more points depending on the difficulty and the number of skulls activated. It is recommended to drive a Warthog with a trooper carrying a Rocket Launcher as the Passenger (Kat will be on the LAAG and rather useless), which will keep pace and in range with the Phantom flying back and forth, or use a Wraith (steal one instead of blowing it up right after Rally Point Alpha) for higher damage per shot.
  • Three sniper rifles can be found on this level. The first one is in the starting courtyard, on the far end of the left wall, and contains twelve rounds. The second is at the building next to the comms outpost with the power generator. It is found on the balcony where Jackal snipers were fought, and carries twelve rounds. The third is in a small building with armor abilities next to Airview Base, and carries sixteen rounds.
  • Two rocket launchers can be found outside the base, one next to a dead trooper on a hill nearby the two Wraiths, and another inside the comms building on the second floor. Both contain four rockets.

The Best Defense (Mission Start)[edit]

The Courtyard[edit]

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Kat, Six: push back the attack on Sword Base, find out what we're dealing with."
  • Kat-B320: "Roger that, we're your strike team."

Your landing site consists of two courtyards, and the Covenant have control of the one to your north. When you land, four Grunts, one Elite, and two Jackals will attack you. Your starting loudout is an assault rifle, a DMR and 2 grenades. Two or three Army troopers be should with you, as will be Kat, now armed with an assault rifle. Your first objective should be to gain a plasma pistol.

The four Grunts will come over the barricades to your north, the Jackals will attack from the stairs to your left and the Elite will attack from the right. Once you kill two Grunts, the enemies will retreat. So to gain that plasma pistol, let the Grunts charge until they reach the cover in front of you, this will bring their weapons close for easy grabbing. Pick off the Jackals then the Grunts; the Elite will usually just fire a bit at the troopers then fall back. Once the enemies have fled, swap your assault rifle for one of the plasma pistols and prepare to move up to the left balcony.

Once you step onto the left balcony's stairs, quickly fall back; a Phantom has spawned and will rain down fire on you. Wait for it to leave then move halfway up the left balcony stairs. Kat will usually head to the balcony on your right and the troopers will go to the left. While Kat will be a useful distraction with her assault rifle, the troopers won't be much help, as most of them have shotguns and are too far and weak to be of any help.

In the courtyard ahead of you there will be numerous Jackals, assorted Grunts, and three or four Elites, the leader of which is an Ultra with a concussion rifle. They'll be behind four stationary shield generators, though they'll be shooting so much that at least one or two will be down. The Ultra is the biggest threat; on Legendary his concussion rifle takes just two direct shots to kill you and he is not shy about tossing plasma grenades. But you can't get him now; first you have to get him alone. Pick off as many Grunts and Jackals as you can with your DMR while on the left balcony stairs; this is the safest place to fall back from the concussion rifle. If the enemies get clustered, move up to the balcony and toss grenades over the side; feel free to use all of them, including the two spare ones left by a dead trooper. He also has spare DMR ammo if you need it.

Once most of the small infantry are dead, all but the Ultra Elite will fall back. While he's distracted fighting Kat, arm your plasma pistol, jump down to the first courtyard where you landed, head up to the barricades under the bridge, then surprise him with a plasma overcharge and a headshot. If he spots you, then keep strafing to avoid his concussion shots or fall back and wait for him to refocus on Kat. Watch out for plasma grenades, he tosses them very quickly.

When the Ultra is dead, head to the right balcony where Kat is and pick off more infantry. The Covenant will have fallen back to behind the freight crates so they're pretty far from you. On occasion one of the Elites will charge to your balcony. If you see him approaching, fall back, arm your plasma pistol, watch your radar, and surprise him with a noob combo. Once he's dead, move off the balcony into the courtyard and keep picking off enemies. While you're there, try not to enter the pathway to your right that leads to the gate; this will trigger the Skirmishers. Wait until all the enemies are dead before going there.

Once they're all dead, head in front of the right pathway. When you see a checkpoint load, scope in your DMR and aim for a fusion coil lying in front of a barricade. Skirmishers will charge over and around this barricade. If you land two shots on the fusion coil just in time, the coil will explode and kill most of the Skirmishers. Mop up any that are left. Once all the enemies are dead, go back for DMR ammo, grab a new plasma pistol, and then head for the gate.

You may have noticed that we did not use the sniper rifle on the far end of the left balcony here. That's for two reasons: 1. on Legendary it will be of little use in this close-quarters area full of cover, and 2. we're saving it for later; it will still be there when you return.

Get The Hell Off My Lawn! (Rally Point Alpha)[edit]

Two Wraiths at the Gate[edit]

  • 3 Echo 57 (COM): "3 Echo 57 heading back to base, we got enemy tangos on our six. How copy?"
  • Kat-B320: "Six! Use the Target Locator on that Wraith!"

In this next area, you, Kat, and three or so troopers will face two Wraiths, an Elite, and several Grunts in a long valley. While it's easy enough to kill them all with your new Target Locator, try for a new goal here: hijack one of the Wraiths and leave with one shot left on your Locator. Here's how to do so.

At the gate entrance will be the Target Locator, which Kat and an ordnance marker point out for you. But you still need the weapons you've brought with you, so drop-carry the plasma pistol and Target Locator out the gate by swapping weapons while moving. Head for the rock on your left; sometimes going straight forward will cause a glitch where the weapon gets stuck inside the gate threshold and can't be picked up anymore.

When you hear 3 Echo 57 call for help, arm your Target Locator and aim for the Wraith on the left. Done right and you'll destroy it and maybe even a few of the infantry that cross the blast zone. But now there's still one more Wraith, and most likely an Elite and several Grunts with it, so you've still got a challenge ahead of you. Strafe back and forth to dodge the Wraith's mortars, Sprint if you see one headed your way. While you're dodging, pick off all the Grunts with your DMR, including the Grunt in the Wraith's plasma turret. When most of the Grunts are dead, Kat and any living troopers will move up to attack the Elite. He'll likely be too far away for you to noob combo him, so let your allies wear down his shield then finish him off with your DMR.

Now it's time to hijack the Wraith. When all the infantry are dead, the Wraith will focus on Kat, who will take position on a hill with a dead trooper and rocket launchers. Swap your locator for your plasma pistol, sprint to the base of the hill, and wrap around it to the left. Keep your eye on Kat; oftentimes the Wraith's mortar will fly over her and might strike you. Once you're behind the hill, charge your plasma pistol, move around, and disable the Wraith with an EMP. As soon as the Wraith is disabled, run and jump on top of it; do not hold X to board the Wraith. Hit it with a second charge if the Wraith starts recover before you can get aboard.

Once you're on top of the Wraith, it won't fire and will slowly drive around in confusion. Get in the Wraith's plasma turret and then immediately get out. This will trigger the Wraith's driver to leap out. Once he's outside, the Elite (usually an Ultra) will try to do one of two things. He'll either try to attack you with his plasma rifle or jump in the Wraith's turret and mow you down. Don't give him time to do either; hit him with a plasma pistol overcharge then swap to the DMR for a headshot.

Things not to do: 1. Do not stay in the turret when the Elite jumps out; he is much stronger than you and can kill you faster than you can shoot him. 2. Do not immediately take control of the Wraith while he's still alive; he'll be close enough to board it and will often punch you out. 3. Do not approach the Wraith while a gunner is still in the turret; sometimes one of the Grunts or the Elite will jump into it after the first gunner is killed, so stay back and headshot them if they do. 4. Do not hold X to board the Wraith; this will kill the driver but will also damage the tank and knock the door hatch off, making you more vulnerable while driving it.

  • Kat-B320: "AA gun is to the west, comms array to the east. Let's roll."

Once all the Covenant are dead, go back for your Target Locator, leave your plasma pistol, jump into the Wraith, and let Kat take the gunner seat. It's now time to reclaim some bases. From there you have two choices. You can either head west to Airview Base to activate its AA gun, or head on the east path to activate the comms array. They can be done in either order, but the strategy for each is roughly the same. Therefore, the following walkthrough will go in the order of traveling from Airview to Farragut, with specifying notes for either route.

The Western Ponds[edit]

On the way to Airview Base, your Wraith will come to a small valley with ponds, where you'll encounter a Ghost and three Grunts. They won't be a problem unless they disable your Wraith with an overcharge and toss grenades; even the Ghost will take a while to damage you. Keep your distance and shell them; fall back if you see an overcharge approaching. When they're all dead, keep driving up the path.

If you're leaving Airview after activating everything and so heading back to the gate, you'll encounter the Ghost first, followed by an Elite and Grunt. The Ghost will charge for your vehicle, so it's best to stay back once you see it and blast it as it approaches. The Elite and Grunt are past the ponds behind a rock on a hill. They're little threat, as they're out in the open with no cover.

A few words of caution. First note when returning is that the Phantom that just dropped off the Ghost may still be nearby and will be powerful at close range. Wait for it to leave then engage. Second is that sometimes, though rarely, a Revenant may leave the gate and hide in this area. Keep an eye on your radar and fall back behind a boulder if it's there; you'll be fighting it at very close range.

Airview Base (Anti-Air Gun)[edit]

  • Kat-B320: "I'm picking up a power source, we're close to the AA gun."

Tons of Covenant are occupying the base and defending the captured AA gun. Elites, Grunts, and a formidable Sangheili General with a plasma launcher. Approach too close and Elites will dodge all your shots, the Grunts will disable you, followed by the General sticking you with the launcher and blowing you up. What's more, there are more dropships waiting as soon you kill too many enemies. If you want to nail them all with the Target Locator and clear this area in 30 seconds, here's how.

If you're doing this site first, drive your Wraith to the edge of the pond and park it; If you're doing it second, park your Wraith at the cliff overlooking the hill. You should be far enough that the Covenant will notice you but won't approach. Get out of the Wraith, target the General with the locator, and get back into the Wraith as an airstrike blasts him in the head and kills everything else in the base. If this site is done first, all that should be left are a few confused Grunts; approach with the Wraith and Kat will mop them up. If it's done, a few Elites will survive and take position at a spare Warthog. They'll jump into the Hog and fire its turret, though they don't seem to be able to drive it, making them sitting ducks. Circle your Wraith carefully around the boulder between you and their Hog, so that their turret can't quickly damage your tank. One mortar will blow up their Hog and wipe them both out.

But now that everything's dead, the two dropships are coming. One is a Spirit carrying two Sangheili Rangers and a group of Grunts and another is a Phantom dropping two Ghosts (the third Phantom milling about the area will completely ignore you.) This is more than enough firepower to finish you off, so you have to move fast. Just after calling in the airstrike, jump back in your Wraith, mop up anything left, and watch for the approaching Spirit. It will park to the left of you and the base, just above a prominent rock. Aim to the right of the rock, and your mortar should wipe out everything as soon as they land. If the Rangers live, fall back. The Ranger with the concussion rifle is the biggest threat; he's fast and has “bottomless clip”, meaning he will quickly blast your Wraith apart. If you can't hit him directly, at least get his shield with the mortar's shockwave and Kat will finish him off with her turret. If he's too close to blast, boost and ram into him.

When the Spirit's infantry are down, the Phantom carrying Ghosts will arrive. Luckily, this one is much easier. It will drop them in the pond, but you can easily blast them both while they're still on the Phantom. Kill them both, maybe even blow up that third wandering Phantom, and so you've killed everything in the area. Done correctly and this entire encounter, from the moment you called in the airstrike, can be done in under 30 seconds.

Climb out of the Wraith, head into Airview Base, and press the button on the second floor to activate the AA gun. While you're there, you'll find DMR ammo and the General's plasma launcher. If your target locator is empty but you have the comms array next, then swap it for the launcher.

The Steep Hill[edit]

  • Sword Control (COM): "Spartans, what's the ETA on that comms array/AA gun?"
  • Kat-B320: "On our way. Let's move, Six."

In between Farragut and Airview is a plain with large boulders and a steep hill. There a Phantom will drop off two Elite Majors, four Grunts, and two Ghosts. If you're coming from the comms to the AA gun, then this area is easy. Your Wraith can easily hide behind a hill near the start of the area, fire mortars, and take cover with attacked.

If you're going from the AA gun to comms, then this area is harder. You'll be at the very top of the hill, with almost no cover on the way down. Those Ghosts have incredibly long range, and your aim with the mortar is likely not going to be great, as you'll have to aim extremely high to account for its firing arc. So instead park your Wraith out of their sight, and pull out your plasma launcher. Then aim down the hill, lock on to a Ghost, and fire a homing grenade at it. It takes two shots to destroy a Ghost, but only fire one at a time because sometimes the first explosion will cancel out the second one.

If you can't get a fix on the Ghosts, move up in the Wraith and stick to the left side of the path for cover. As long as you engage one Ghost at a time you should be fine; they take a while to damage the Wraith. Once they're down, move up and engage the Elites before they flee, then engage the Grunts who are hiding behind the big rock at the cliff. The Elites will focus more on dodging than fighting back, and the Grunts will be too far away to aid them. As such, they can all be picked off one by one.

Farragut Station (Comms Array)[edit]

  • Kat-B320: "Hope that comms array has a working generator."

At Farragut Station, there are two source of enemies: the Covenant infantry coming out of the power generator house and the Revenant guarding it. The Revenant is the greater threat; it's more maneuverable than your Wraith, has better aim, better range, and can fire faster and so send multiple mortars your way. That said, your Wraith can withstand one direct shot from it, and you might still have the plasma launcher if you just came from Airview. You have two options to take out the Revenant. You can either shell it from afar (it will stay fairly still if you keep your distance), try to shell it from close by traveling along the raised ridge on the side of the area (riskier but you'll have better aim) or using your plasma launcher (which may have low ammo). If you're shelling from afar and doing the comms first, then keep your Wraith at the top of the entrance slope overlooking the area and raise your reticle until it aligns with the top edge of Reach's moon Csodaszarvas in the sky; bring your reticule to align with its edge before firing. You'll have more or less the right angle to strike the Revenant and can adjust until the shot connects. If you're doing this second and got a plasma launcher, it will take four homing grenades to destroy it. At least three will damage it badly enough that you can finish it off with DMR shots to its hull.

If you're coming from the steep hill, you'll have only so much room to fight the enemies coming from the house, since moving up past the large rock will alert the Revenant. Stay back and try not to pass the large rock in front of the door to the generator house until you've cleared out the infantry. There will be a few Elites and many Grunts coming at you. Back away from them as they charge and shell them. You're looking out for plasma overcharges and grenades as your priority threats. If they stand by the rock, aim at it and the shockwave should get them. Kat will help with the turret. After enemies have stopped charging, all that should be left are possibly the Revenant and two Jackal marksmen far back on the house's balcony. These two are trivial; their needle rifles are useless against your tank, take only one headshot to die, and they don't even try to dodge incoming mortars. Make sure everything is dead then activate the generator switch inside the house.

Once you activate the generator, a Spirit will land at the other house carrying Skirmishers and Grunt Heavies. Keep moving as the Spirit approaches but once it leaves shell everything with the Wraith. The Skirmishers' needle rifles are completely useless against the Wraith, and Kat can mow them down pretty easily. The Grunt Heavies too are only armed with plasma pistols so unless they throw a grenade their overcharges will be just a nuisance. If you're feeling confident, you can exit the Wraith and fight them boots on the ground. Swap out your plasma launcher for an assault rifle or one of the Jackal's needle rifles. Finish them all off, then activate the comms array on the third floor to call in the Gauss Hog.

The Icy Path[edit]

When going to Farragut first down an icy road, you'll encounter a Ghost and several Grunts hiding behind some ice stagmites. At close range, they're easy targets. Shell them then proceed up the path. Be wary about boosting; there's no railings, the path is narrow, and the Wraith's momentum might send you over the edge and into the ocean.

If you go through here to return to the gate after completing comms last, there will be a single Revenant waiting for you. In an area this narrow, its mortar is deadly. If you're in a Wraith, keep your distance and shell from afar until your mortar connects. If you're in the Gauss Hog, drive forward carefully then pull back when it shoots; the Revenant may misjudge your direction and fire too far ahead. It takes one mortar or two shots from the gauss cannon or rockets to destroy it.

Curiously, this Revenant has a tendency to drive into the ocean right after it's deployed, so you may not even have to fight it.

Minimum Safe Distance (Rally Point Bravo)[edit]

The Return to the Gate[edit]

  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Noble Strike, this is Noble Leader. Get back to Sword Base ASAP."
  • Kat-B320: "On our way, Commander. Six, let's go."
  • Sword Control (COM): "Good work, Spartans. Return to Sword Base, the rest of your team is inbound, imminent."

It's time to return to SWORD Base, but its gate is defended by several Revenants and Ghosts. If you did the comms first, you'll fight three Revenants and a Ghost there; if you did the AA gun first it will be two Ghosts and two Revenants. It's possible to complete this next area with either the Wraith or the newly dropped off Gauss Hog. Therefore, this guide will list both.

In the Wraith, travel back via either the icy path or the western ponds (refer to earlier in the guide for battling through either). At either end the Ghost will be the first to engage, firing peppering shots from long range. The Revenants will wait for you to get closer before attacking, and a few Elites and Grunts will accompany as well. Target the Ghost and the infantry before fighting the Revenants, as they may turn from annoying distractions to hazardous if they toss grenades. Keep making use of covers, whether the large hill on the left or the rocks on the right and keep your distance.

In the Gauss Hog, you have half the firepower and durability of the Wraith but greater accuracy and twice the speed. The key to beating this next area in the Hog is hit-and-run attacks with rockets. When taking the Gauss Hog, go to the trooper that came with it and give him a rocket launcher; you'll find one on the second floor of the comms building. Hand it to him and he'll give you an assault rifle, which you'll want to trade for a sniper rifle. You'll find two with twelve rounds, one at the generator building's balcony where the Jackal marksmen were and another in a small building next to Airview with armor abilities inside. Get into the Hog's driver seat, have the trooper get in the side seat, and have Kat take command of the gauss cannon. Then drive around the bases for the sniper rifles before heading to the gate. If you have trouble getting Kat and the trooper in the correct seats, try getting them out then driving up a bit so Kat reaches the Hog first; she should jump in the back.

When you arrive at the gate, your first priority is the Ghost (or Ghosts). Their constant streams of fire are harder to dodge than the Revenants’ mortars, and they can quickly strip your shield. Approach it from around cover carefully, let Kat or the trooper fire a shot, and pull back before doing it again. If you're coming from the left, use the large hill for cover; the Ghost will wait in the open area behind it. If you're coming from the right, drive up the slope carefully while the Ghost waits at the top; it won't be able to fire shots at a downward angle.

When it's dead, next priority is the Revenants. With more than one in the area, dodging them is not easy. So above all, keep moving. Drive across the area in roughly a figure-eight shape, moving around and behind cover boulders. The Revenants only need one shot to destroy your Hog, and even a graze can overturn it. Drive fast, but ease up on the throttle control stick just the smallest amount, since at top speed you'll easily flip over. In between then Kat and the trooper will be firing gauss shots and rockets with great accuracy, and it takes two shots total from either to destroy each Revenant.

When they're destroyed, finish off any remaining Covenant in the area. If you did this area in the Wraith, go back from the Gauss Hog and arm it as instructed earlier in this section. You can use the spare turret hog by the gate to shorten the trip and to bring Kat with you. Make sure you have full sniper rifle ammo, a DMR, a Gauss Hog, a trooper with full rocket ammo (which you'll find more of on the hill where Kat fought the Wraith), and Kat. Once you have all of them, drive up to the gate and press the return to return to SWORD.

The Hunters[edit]

  • Jun-A266 (COM): "We're stalled in the tower atrium. Kat, where are you?"
  • Kat-B320: "Opening the gate now."

Drive the Warthog to the barricades blocking the pathway to the courtyard. When Kat and the trooper jump out, get into the Gauss Hog's turret seat and aim for the left top corner of the pathway. Covenant will charge from there and if you shoot quickly you can blast most of them and gain a multikill. Once they've stopped attacking, it's time for a little trick. There are Hunters coming up and high difficulties they are brutal. If you want, you can use the rockets from the trooper to take them out, or you could try something a little sneaky.

Aim the Gauss turret toward the edges of the barricades and shoot off their corners. Get in the Hog's driver seat and parallel park it so that the Hog is lengthwise along the barricades. Orient it so that the driver's seat is at a gap between two barricades. Then get out and grab an Armor Lock plug nearby. Go into Armor Lock, stand next to the Hog, activate it and charge it to maximum power, then release to send a shockwave at the Hog. Done right, and the Hog will flip over upside down. Charge the Armor Lock again, release, and the Hog will flip over the barricades. It should take just two attempts at minimum. If you're impatient waiting for the Armor Lock to recharge, go back for Sprint, grab the other Armor Lock plug, then try again. Note that Kat and the trooper will not get back into the Hog.

Move up the hill to the courtyard but stay vigilant; usually a single Elite Major or Ultra and Grunt Heavy will still be alive. Take them both out; Kat and the trooper should help you. Use your DMR and any plasma pistols on the ground to fight them. Additionally, sometimes a BOB will spawn here. He's a white-armored Elite dual-wielding plasma rifles. He usually attacks a bit then flees to the far courtyard where the level started. Here's where your sniper rifle comes in handy. Follow him to the far courtyard via the balcony to your left, where Kat fought from in the first fight. Snipe the BOB from there; it will take four shots but you have plenty of ammo. Once he's did, pick up ammo from the sniper rifle in the main courtyard, the one that was ignored the first time.

Now it's time to fight some Hunters. Drive the Warthog to the entrance to the base and park it before it enters the slope leading to where the Hunters are. Get into the gunner seat and shoot the Hunters dead from there. They'll take several shots each to kill but are too far away to cause you trouble and are stunned when the projectile hits. Once they're dead, fight the Elite and few Grunts in the area down there. You could drive up the Hog closer and take them out with the Gauss, but be wary of plasma grenades.

Once they're all dead, head into the elevator with Kat, carrying the DMR and the sniper rifle. Refill your DMR ammo at the gate entrance; ammo for it will be fairly scarce inside. If you still have the rocket launcher nearby, you can take it with you too; it will be your panic button inside the base should anything go wrong. Take from the trooper with you (don't give him your DMR or sniper ) and drop-carry the launcher to the elevator. Note that a glitch sometimes occurs in which a weapon gets embedded in the elevator floor and thus becomes inaccessible. So be careful to drop the rocket launcher in the center of the elevator floor; near the doors is where the glitch happens. When you're sure it isn't stuck, press the button to activate the elevator.

Office of Naval Intelligence[edit]

The Ground and First Floor[edit]

  • Sword Base Automated PA: "Welcome to the Office of Naval Intelligence. An ONI representative will meet you shortly."
  • Kat-B320: "I doubt that very much."

Once you're off the elevator, you'll be in a long hallway facing off against an Elite and a few Grunts. The Elite is an Ultra with a concussion rifle, so he'll be the biggest threat. The glass here can be troublesome; you can use the assault rifle lying around to break it. Headshot the Grunts, and Kat will move up and push the Elite around the corner. Since you won't have a plasma pistol to noob combo him, you can either: 1. try to blast him with a rocket, 2. wear down his shields with the sniper rifle, or 3. wait for Kat to wear down his shields with her assault rifle. Once he's dead, drop-carry your weapons to the other end and open the door to reunite with NOBLE Team.

Your team will be fighting four Jackals and an Elite but there are plenty of spare frag grenades in the hallway that you came from. Toss plenty of presents for the Jackals and Noble Team should help you against the Elite. Once they're dead, carry your rocket launcher and sniper rifle to the atrium floor and leave them there while you go find a plasma pistol. Head to the room on your right where you'll encounter three Unggoy Heavies. While they're carrying plasma rifles, not pistols, for some reason they tend to be inattentive and staring at your teammates in the room next door, so you can easily take them with some quick melees or a grenade before they realize you're there.

Once everything on the ground floor is dead, your next objective is the floor on the other side, where there will be Grunts of assorted ranks, a Jackal marksman, and an Elite Ultra. There are three ways into this floor: 1. across the walkway where Noble Team is shooting them from, 2. up the ramp leading to the front of that floor's first room, or 3. a back entrance at the far end of the atrium. The latter is the safest way. Go to the far end of the ground floor, take the stairs to your left, then toss a grenade to surprise the Grunts there. Pick off any survivors with the DMR; any who flee with retreat to the next room.

Noble Team and any troopers with them will push into the second room with you. The Jackal marksman will likely already be dead, but the Elite Ultra will be watching from the back of the room. Pop Grunts in the head with the DMR, but watch for grenades; the doorway is very small and it's easy to get stuck as you pass through. It might thus be worth it to let Noble or the troopers enter in first. When most of the Grunts are dead, the Elite and the last Grunt will retreat into the third room on the second floor, which leads to the walkway to the second floor. Enter the second room and take the route to the right; the room is split in two by a wall with a window. After the base rumbles, ready your plasma pistol or grab one off the floor, ready a charge, and advance to noob combo the Elite.

When he's dead, advance to the third room and face the walkway to the second floor. At the other end will be an Elite (usually a Major) and two Jackal Marksmen. Headshot the Jackals first, fall back if they break your shields, then advance to noob combo the Elite.

The Second Floor and the General[edit]

  • Sword Control (COM): "Corvette's gonna rip this base apart! What's the situation, Noble?"
  • Emile-A239 (COM): "Can't do this on my own! Need another Spartan up here!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Six, get to the top floor and assist Emile."

Everything you do on the second floor has to be done with one thing in mind: climbing the ramp in the second floor will summon an Sangheili General with a Fuel Rod Gun. As such, you'll really want to avoid triggering him until the time is right.

When crossing the walkway from the first floor to the second, you'll see some troopers firing at Covenant on the other side of the second floor, towards a room just above the one you're crossing from. Leaving that room will be several Grunts, but in it might be a BOB. If he's there, go back for your sniper rifle and shoot with him until he's dead. It'll take three snipes on Heroic and four on Legendary. You can easily angle yourself so that you can shoot his head but he can't shoot you, since his shots will strike the guardrails of his room's balcony. As he doesn't throw grenades, he'll be no threat to you this way. If you drop his shield but fail to kill him, he'll retreat and hide farther back in his room. You'd then have to face him later, but he'll be no threat for now and you won't have to face him until you're ready. If you already fought a BOB in the courtyard, this one will not spawn. If there was no courtyard BOB, this one will spawn.

It's time to clear out the second floor. This room is bigger than the first floor's room, and is split into a lower floor and a ramp that leads to a glass balcony above you. On the lower part there will be Jackals and an Elite, and on the upper balcony there will be Grunts. Additionally, the lower floor is split in half, and on the left side you can find DMR ammo and recruit the troopers who were shooting at the BOB into your fireteam. Jorge and Kat will be hanging back on the first floor for some reason while Jun will join you here. Unfortunately, he won't be much help against Jackals.

The Grunts on the balcony can't shoot you, but they can toss grenades, so stay under the balcony. The Jackals are close enough to be a nuisance, you can easily blast them with your own grenade. Once they're dead, the Grunts and the Elite will fall back. Jorge will advance at this point and oftentimes head up the ramp to engage the Elite. Any living troopers will also advance, but they're not great against the Elite. Headshot the Grunts from a distance, then focus on the Elite. While he'll be far and high enough that you won't be able to see much more than his feet, making him a pain to wear down with the DMR, you can use the needle rifles from the dead Jackal marksmen to supercombine him. Wait for Jorge to drop his shields, then shoot him three time with needles for him to explode.

Once everything on the second floor is dead, it's time to battle the General. Make sure you have a DMR and a sniper rifle, then walk up the ramp. You'll immediately hear a loud pounding letting you know the General is bombing your floor. He's on a balcony on the third floor, blasting across towards yours. He'll first focus on Noble Team and any living troopers, and one fuel rod is all it takes to kill you. But that's why you brought the sniper rifle. Go back down the ramp, ready your sniper rifle, and carefully strafe past one of the doorways to get a sightline on him. Hit him with one shot, then immediately fall back. Wait a few seconds for his shots to pass, then snipe him again. It should take four or three shots to kill him. His shield recharge in just five seconds, but you'll likely have plenty of ammo. Usually he won't leave the balcony while you're still on the second floor.

Once he's dead, grab the rocket launcher or a plasma pistol and cross the walkway leading to the BOB's room. If the BOB is still alive you can finish him off here, either with the noob combo or a rocket. Inside is a ramp leading to the third floor, where they'll just be Jackals. DMR or rocket them, then prepare for the final encounter.

The Banshee Squadron[edit]

  • Sword Control (COM): "Commander, this base won't survive another salvo from that corvette. Kill those Banshees!"
  • Carter-A259 (COM): "Upstairs, Lieutenant, we need those Longswords in the air."

At the doorway to the last room on the third floor is more rocket launcher ammo. There's tons lying around inside it, so you don't have to be conservative of it. Two Jackals will appear first, but they're no match for rockets. Blast them and enter the room.

The wall is blasted open revealing Emile fighting numerous Banshees and a Phantom. The greatest threat is the Phantom's plasma turret on its side; it will briefly expose it when deploying troops. The Phantom will drop two Special Operations Sangheili. These Elites are cloaked, but have weak shields and only carry plasma rifles. If you stay back in the room they usually won't hunt for you, and Jorge, who's advanced with you, can expose them with his machine gun. You also try blasting their landing site, since they land to your right on the left side of the Phantom, but doing this exposes you to the plasma turret so be cautious.

It takes eight rockets to destroy the Phantom and one to destroy each Banshee. Fortunately, the shots lock on. Concentrate on the Phantom first, especially its concussion turret. The Banshees will dodge your rockets, but they usually won't fire much at you.

Once you hear Emile say, "That's the way we get it done, Spartan", that means the mission is complete. Shoot some last rockets, watch the Corvette get pierced by MACs, and say hi to Dr. Halsey.


Enemy Notes[edit]

  • Elite Ultras throw grenades but Minors don't and Major rarely do.
  • The AI in Reach is based on distance; the further an enemy is from you, the simpler its AI is. This results in powerful enemies like Generals or Revenants simply staring at you if they're too far away to hurt you. Use this to make sniping or long range mortar shots easier.
  • If a Wraith has no turret gunner but you're too close for it to mortar you, it will boost and charge into you. EMP when close to prevent it, but if it's already charging you can try jumping in hopes of landing on the Wraith. You might survive, but with low health.
  • The Wraith, when Covenant-controlled, can fire its mortar sideways, while the player is limited to firing forward. Do not assume you're safe when approaching it from the side.
  • The Plasma Launcher's grenades when fired by the General at Airview do not track your vehicle. If you alert him, keep moving to avoid them.
  • The Revenant on the icy path tends to drive itself into the ocean at random. If it does, you could possibly grab the Revenant for yourself if it's within wading distance.

Ally Notes[edit]

  • Kat is a helpful ally in a vehicle's gunner seat, as her aim is great in a turret. Outside of it she'll mostly be a distraction, but her assault rifle wears down shields, she'll sometimes toss grenades, and she shows enough initiative to perform flanking attacks while your foes aim for you.
  • Don't let Kat pilot the Wraith. Her aim with the mortar is not great and sometimes she'll drive it away to another area and get it destroyed. She will also try to drive your location and frequently run you over.
  • The troopers who come with the vehicles dropped by Pelican will sometimes drive it and accompany your Wraith. However, without a gunner they won't be much more than distractions.
  • The troopers you fight with in the courtyard will have assault rifles, shotguns, and maybe one DMR. They're usually too weak and short-ranged to be off much help, and won't last long against a concussion rifle, but can be useful if given a plasma rifle from a fallen Elite. Since you won't use your assault rifle, you can give it to a shotgun trooper to increase their range.
  • The Fireteam mechanic is introduced inside SWORD Base. On high difficulties the troopers won't be much help, but arming one with a rocket launcher could make one pack a punch. Be careful they don't fire through a narrow door while you're passing through, though.

Weapon Notes[edit]

  • Any DMR ammo taken from the spot by the Target Locator will still be missing when you return, though there will be another DMR on the ground nearby from a fallen trooper.
  • It pays in the first courtyard battle to save the plasma pistol with the most battery for last. That way you can have multiple shots at the Wraith and its driver should your aim be off or they get aggressive. If you pick up one 85 percent battery, use another pistol for the time being then return for it when the courtyard is cleared.
  • If starting from Rally Point Alpha, the Target Locator will have three shots instead or two. You can use the extra shot however you wish.

Alternate Strategies[edit]

  • Completing the base missions in a Warthog is possible but riskier. If you bring a rocket trooper with you, you'll have roughly the same firepower but you won't be able to control when the shot's fired, making sections like the concussion Rangers harder to fight. Plasma pistol overcharges and grenades will also be much more damaging. However, you'll have much greater speed, making areas like the steep hill and the generator much easier with their abundance of low cover. If you use the Warthog, retain a shot in the Target Locator for Airview.
  • If the player holds onto the target locator until after the comms array or anti-aircraft gun has been activated, the target locator will replenish, allowing the player to call in up to two more bombardments. The locator will only replenish up to two bombardments; if the player has only used the locator once they will only receive one more bombardment; if they have not used it at all they will not receive any more; if the player begins the level at Rally Point Alpha where the locator contains three bombardments it will only replenish to two. This method can particularly useful for eliminating opposition outside SWORD Base as well achieving large multikills on the ramp just inside the gate.
  • If you'd rather assassinate the General in SWORD Base rather than snipe him, here's how. Instead of going up the ramp to summon him, cross the walkway leading to the BOB's room. This will also summon the General, and the plan will be to assassinate him or blast with a rocket or overcharge. That said, the third floor is pretty cramped, he's got a one-hit-kill weapon now at close-range, and it will take a direct rocket hit to kill him. Watch your radar to make sure he's still distracted by NOBLE Team. Jun will also sometimes snipe him mid-assassination. If he survives, he'll fall back to the final room with the Banshees.
  • Good Skulls are Thunderstorm and Tough Luck. Since you'll be in a vehicle, the greater ranks won't matter, but on foot you'll expend DMR ammo more quickly. You'll also encounter grenades more from the many Ultras.
  • While Kat and the trooper won't get into the Gauss Hog if you flip it over the gate's concrete barriers, the trooper will get in if it's a Revenant. If you steal a Revenant, you can use the Armor Lock strategy to bring it in the base to fight the Hunters. Keep strafing to avoid their fuel rods while blasting them with mortars and rockets from the trooper.
  • This level is home to a popular credit farming method. Simply sprint from the very beginning of the level to the closed gate where the target locator is found, past down the incline. Do not kill too many enemies. After picking up the Target Locator, target the enemies behind one, and move to the back of the area. If done correctly one will receive a checkpoint right after arming the locator and thus speed up the kill count after each revert and subsequently, the credits one earns. This also boosts the Splash Damage and Walking Tank commendations, which also reward the player with large amounts of credits. Contrary to popular belief, players cannot get banned for utilizing this method.[1] By turning certain skulls on or off, this can be used to advance other commendations as well, albeit at a slower rate.

Notes for Lower Difficulties[edit]

  • The Elite Generals will be Ultras with concussion rifles on Normal and lower.
  • Wraiths and Revenants have worse aim on lower difficulties, and the player can survive an indirect mortar blast.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Winter Contingency
Halo Reach Campaign Walkthrough for:
ONI: Sword Base
Succeeded by