Gameplay

Rocket Launcher

From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This article is about the weapon usable in the Halo games. For other uses of the term "rocket launcher", see its disambiguation page.
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Rocket Launcher
Rocket Launcher in Halo 5: Guardians.
Gameplay role

Faction:

Human (UNSC)

Weapon tier:

Power weapon

Weapon class:

Launcher

Effective range:

Medium

Counterparts:

Covenant:

Forerunner:

Weapon stats

Damage type:

Explosive

Firing mode:

Semi-automatic

Damage:

Very high

Rate of fire:

Slow

Accuracy:

High

Projectile speed:

Very slow

Magazine size:

2 rockets

Reserve ammo capacity:

4-8 rockets (2-4 mags)

Variants and attachments

Halo 5 REQ variant(s):

Halo Infinite variant(s):

 

"Make some noise! Twin-tube shoulder-fired rocket launcher with Smart-Link sights."
Halo 5: Guardians REQ description, SPNKr Rocket Launcher

The Rocket Launcher, also referred to as the M41 SPNKr in Halo Infinite, is a human power weapon first introduced in Halo: Combat Evolved, but featured prominently throughout the entire series. It is a semi-automatic weapon which fires slow-moving rockets which explode on impact, and deal enough damage to kill most enemies - including other players in multiplayer - in a single detonation, if they are nearby the point of impact. To compensate for its incredible power, it only has two rockets per magazine, and can usually only carry 2 to 4 mags in reserve, with ammo being very difficult to come by.

Universe and lore[edit]

Better known by its nicknames "SPNKr" and "Jackhammer", Misriah Armory's M41 rocket launcher is by far the most prominent shoulder-launched rocket launcher in the UNSC's arsenal, and has been in service at least as early as the Insurrection. The M41 consists of a reusable launcher, and a magazine in the form of two disposable firing tubes which contain the rockets themselves.[1] It can fire both M19 surface-to-surface missiles,[2] and M21 antipersonnel rockets.[3] At least three production models of the M41 exist, including the M41D, and the cut-down M41B.[4] The M41 rocket launcher typically features either a brown or grey-black body, with the launch tubes consistently being a lighter grey.

Despite the M41 having been functionally obsolete since before the start of the Human-Covenant War, it was not until after the end of the war that it began to be phased out, in favour of a new weapon, the M57 Pilum. Both cheaper and lighter than the M41, the Pilum was instead manufactured by a competitor to Misriah, Chalybs Defense Solutions. Unlike its predecessor, the M57 Pilum features a reusable firing tube, and instead loads its ammunition into the tube using a detachable box magazine.[1] The Pilum features a dark green body, with a lighter yellow-green on the handle, magazine and sights.

Overview[edit]

The Rocket Launcher is one of the most powerful weapons in any given Halo game. It features in both campaign and multiplayer, but is a rare weapon. In multiplayer, it is a power weapon and will typically be found in central map locations, where its spawn can be easily contested by multiple players. In campaign, it can be found in a handful of places in certain levels, and should only be used against more powerful enemies or vehicles due to the rarity of its ammo. It is capable of outright killing most enemies in a single detonation, even if not a direct hit, and dealing substantial damage to more powerful foes. To balance this out, as well as its ammunition being rare, it has a small magazine and both its reload speed and firing rate are slow.

Unlock and acquisition requirements[edit]

In the majority of Halo games, the Rocket Launcher does not need to be unlocked, and is simply acquired by finding it on the map, or, in the case of some game modes, spawning with it. However, there are three notable exceptions:

Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

In Halo 5: Guardians' campaign and Arena multiplayer modes, the Rocket Launcher can be found on the level or map as usual, and does not need to be unlocked.[5][6]

However, in Warzone, the weapon can only be acquired via the REQ system. To unlock the Rocket Launcher, the player must acquire a Rocket Launcher certification, an Uncommon REQ card that can be found randomly in any REQ pack that has a chance of containing Uncommon cards. Upon receiving the certification, the player will also be given a number of Rocket Launcher REQ cards, and will begin to randomly receive more when opening future packs. Each of these cards can be redeemed in a Warzone match to spawn a Rocket Launcher, at the cost of 6 energy. Doing so will consume the card. Alternatively, the cards can be sold for REQ Points 75 each.[7][8]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Uncommon
Energy cost 5 energy
Sale price REQ Points 75

Halo Infinite[edit]

In Halo Infinite's multiplayer modes, the Rocket Launcher can be found spawning on the map, as usual. In campaign, it can also spawn in certain locations on the open-world map and in missions, but to unlock it for on-demand spawning at FOBs, the player must earn 1,700 total Valor. After this, it can be summoned at any point from the weapon crates at any FOB, at no cost.[9]

Halo: Spartan Assault[edit]

In Halo: Spartan Assault, the Rocket Launcher can only be acquired via the loadout screen. It does not need to be unlocked, but costs CR 50 or XP 1,000 to equip. Once equipped, you will spawn with the Rocket Launcher at the start of the level, and will spawn with it every time you die, so long as you do not quit back to the menu. It is single use - that is, it will not carry over to the next level, nor will it be available next time you play the level on which you purchased it.[10]

Cost: CR 50 / XP 1,000

Halo: Spartan Strike[edit]

Halo: Spartan Strike is similar to Spartan Assault; the Rocket Launcher is unlocked by default, but costs XP 500 to equip for a single play session. The Rocket Launcher will not carry over to subsequent missions, and you will no longer spawn with it on that mission after quitting to the menu or beating the level.[11]

Cost: XP 500

However in Spartan Strike, the Rocket Launcher also spawns in the campaign itself, exclusively on the final mission: E-6: Hold the Line. In total, four Rocket Launchers spawn on this mission, along with four Sniper Rifless and four Spartan Lasers, the two other previously loadout-exclusive weapons.[12]

Variants[edit]

There are seven notable variants of the Rocket Launcher, most of which were featured in Halo 5: Guardians as REQ variants.

Halo 5: Guardians REQ variants[edit]

Ad Victoriam[edit]
Ad Victoriam in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: Ad Victoriam

"There's nowhere to hide. Improved Rocket Launcher that fires two additional missiles in a "V" pattern with each shot. All three missiles can be laser-guided when using Smart-Link and feature an airburst proximity fuse."
— REQ description[13]

Ad Victoriam is a Rare REQ variant of the Rocket Launcher, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. Instead of firing one rocket, Ad Victoriam fires three at a time, in a V-shaped formation. When zoomed in, these rockets will constantly home in on the area currently targetted by the user's reticle, allowing them to be guided into a target with ease, and change target mid-flight. It also has a much faster reload animation, and its missiles will automatically detonate mid-air when near an enemy.[14]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Rare
Energy cost 5 energy
Sale price REQ Points 100
High Five[edit]
High Five in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: High Five

"BOOM! Advanced Rocket Launcher loaded with experimental submunition ammo. Each shot unleashes five Hydra mini-missiles that will lock-on to ground and air targets."
— REQ description[15]

High Five is an Ultra-Rate REQ variant of the Rocket Launcher, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. It fires five mini-missiles, the same type as the Hydra fires, instead of one large rocket. The weapon can lock on to both ground and airborne targets, but unlike Ad Victoriam, the missiles cannot be guided mid-flight. High Five also features a second zoom magnification level, unlike the standard Rocket Launcher, allowing it to target and lock on to more distant enemies.[16]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Ultra-Rare
Energy cost 6 energy
Sale price REQ Points 150
SPNKr Rocket Launcher[edit]
SPNKr Rocket Launcher in Halo 5: Guardians.

"Make some noise! Twin-tube shoulder-fired rocket launcher with Smart-Link sights. Rockets can lock-on to air targets."
— REQ description[17]

The SPNKr Rocket Launcher is a Rare REQ variant of the Rocket Launcher, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. It is virtually identical to the standard Rocket Launcher in all aspects, with the only difference being that it gains the ability to lock onto airborne vehicles.[18] The SPNKr Rocket Launcher was introduced to make the classic Rocket Launcher visual design available in Halo 5: Guardians, as the standard Rocket Launcher had been significantly redesigned. This was done as a response to feedback from the Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta.[19]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Rare
Energy cost 5 energy
Sale price REQ Points 100
SPNKr EM[edit]
SPNKr EM in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: SPNKr EM

"Four rockets, two tubes, one launcher. Improved SPNKr Rocket Launcher with four-round magazine. SPNKr EM rockets can home on both air and ground targets."
— REQ description[20]

SPNKr EM is a Rare REQ variant of the SPNKr Rocket Launcher, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. Its most notable difference from the standard SPNKr is that its magazine contains four rockets, rather than two, meaning it can go twice as long without reloading. Additionally, its rockets can also lock onto ground targets as well as airborne ones. Otherwise, it performs identically to the standard SPNKr.[21]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Rare
Energy cost 5 energy
Sale price REQ Points 100
SPNKr EX[edit]
File:H5G M41 EX.png
SPNKr EX in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: SPNKr EX

"No place to run. No place to hide. Advanced SPNKr Rocket Launcher that fires laser-guided cluster warhead munitions. SPNKr EX Rockets detonate in proximity to enemies, releasing explosive submunitions."
— REQ description[22]

SPNKr EX is an Ultra-Rare REQ variant of the SPNKr Rocket Launcher, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. The EX's most notable difference is that upon detonation, its rockets release a number of smaller, Splinter Grenade-like projectiles that spread outward from the detonation, hang in the air for a few moments, then detonate. These secondary projectiles significantly increase the area of effect of the explosion. Additionally, the SPNKr EX can hold 5 magazines (10 rockets) in reserve, a significant improvement over the standard SPNKr's 2 magazines (4 rockets).[23]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Ultra-Rare
Energy cost 6 energy
Sale price REQ Points 150
SPNKr Prime[edit]
SPNKr Prime in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: SPNKr Prime

"This pain train has no brakes. Mythic SPNKr Rocket Launcher that fires fast, powerful rockets. Equipping the SPNKr Prime also boosts movement speed, shield strength, and jump height. "
— REQ description[24]

SPNKr Prime is a Mythic Legendary REQ variant of the SPNKr Rocket Launcher, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. The Prime fires rockets that deal slightly more damage than the standard SPNKr, but travel incredibly fast, making accurate shots over long distances much easier. It can also hold 6 magazines (12 rockets) in reserve, where the standard SPNKr can only hold 2 (4 rockets). Finally, it also provides the user with a boost to movement speed, jump height and shield strength when held as their primary weapon.[25]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Legendary, Mythic
Energy cost 7 energy
Sale price REQ Points 200

Halo Infinite variants[edit]

M41 Tracker[edit]
M41 Tracker in Halo Infinite.
Main article: M41 Tracker

The M41 Tracker in Halo Infinite is a variant of the Rocket Launcher which gains the ability to lock on to targets, both on ground and airborne, and have its rockets track them when fired. It is otherwise identical to the standard M41 SPNKr.[26]

Counterparts[edit]

The Halo games have only featured two notable weapons similar in role to the Rocket Launcher, one for each major enemy faction.

On the Covenant side is the Fuel Rod Gun. Similar to the Rocket Launcher, it fires a relatively slow-moving explosive projectile, which is capable of instantly killing most enemies. However, unlike the Rocket Launcher, the Fuel Rod Gun typically has a larger magazine featuring 5 shots, and its projectiles move slightly faster - though at the cost of a reduced explosion radius and slightly reduced damage. One notable exception to this is Halo: Combat Evolved, where the Fuel Rod Gun performs substantially differently, using a battery ammunition system rather than a magazine and firing shots that arc significantly, deal less damage than a rocket launcher's, but have a comparable explosion radius.

Secondly, there is the Forerunner Incineration Cannon. In Halo 4, where it was first introduced, the Incineration Cannon was more powerful than the Rocket Launcher, dealing more damage with a larger explosion radius, and spawning four secondary projectiles upon detonation which would travel slightly in perpendicular directions before detonating themselves, further increasing the effective explosion radius. To compansate for this more powerful attack, the Incineration Cannon only had one shot per magazine. By comparison in Halo 5: Guardians, the Incineration Cannon used a battery ammo system and had two firing modes. When fired normally, it shot a burst of two moderately powerful explosive projectiles, which had a significant trajectory arc. It could also fire a single very powerful explosive projectile when charged up, which had no arc and dealt more damage than the standard projectile. However, these costed more battery to fire.

Gameplay[edit]

First-person shooters[edit]

Stats[edit]

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Advantages[edit]

  • Very high damage, typically an instant kill
  • Large explosion radius, making it easier to aim
  • Usually features a 2x zoom, for more precise shots
  • Sometimes features vehicle lock-on, allowing projectiles to track vehicles

Disadvantages[edit]

  • Ammo is very rare
  • Projectile travels slowly, making it ineffective at longer ranges unless lock-on is available
  • Reload speed is slow
  • Easy to accidentally kill yourself with, if the projectile impacts too close

Tactics and strategies[edit]

  • Among the most poweful weapons in the games.
    • In campaign, save it for powerful enemies like Zealots or Hunters, and if enemies are using it, prioritise killing them over any other enemies in the vicinity.
    • In multiplayer, ensure you or your teammates acquire the weapon before an enemy does, if possible.
  • Lead your shots, to account for the slow projectile travel time.
  • For airborne infantry enemies, fire at static structures or objects near the enemy, rather than the enemy themselves, to catch them in the detonation; hitting enemies with the rocket itself is much harder than hitting them with the splash damage.
  • In close quarters, fire the weapon at a floor or object nearby the enemy but far enough away that you will not be caught in the blast

Twin-stick shooters[edit]

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Evolution[edit]

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

  • The weapon has a different firing sound effect.
  • The weapon's melee attack and reload speeds are faster.
  • Holding the right trigger allows the player to home on vehicles, gun turrets, and Sentinel Enforcers in the campaign.
  • Ammunition is indicated in the scope when zoomed in.
  • The HUD ammunition indicator illustration is changed.
  • The weapon's firepower and splash damage are decreased.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and ODST[edit]

  • The weapon's missiles travel faster.
  • The tubing has a metallic silver color rather than a synthetic black finish.
  • It lacks the homing feature from Halo 2.
  • It has a different firing sound effect.
  • The weapon's melee attack and reload speeds are further decreased.
  • The HUD ammunition indicator is again changed.

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

  • The grips of the weapon are enclosed in a thumbhole design.
  • It can now lock on to aircraft, but not other types of vehicles.
  • It has slightly different firing and rocket detonation sounds.
  • Rockets travel noticeably faster.
  • Splash damage is increased.
  • Rockets are mildly affected by gravity.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[edit]

  • Rockets' travel speed increased.
  • The sound of the weapon firing has been changed, akin to the "tube" sound of a grenade launcher.
  • The weapon no longer has an audible indicator to verify that a lock has been achieved.
  • The rocket now leaves a noticeable vapor trail when fired.
  • Rockets make more noise as they travel.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 2: Anniversary[edit]

  • Like the original Halo 2 version the M41 can lock onto both aircraft and land vehicles.
  • While the campaign uses the Halo: Reach model, the multiplayer version uses the Halo 4 redesign.

Changes from Halo 2: Anniversary to Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

  • The M41, like its Halo: Reach and Halo 4 incarnations, can only lock onto aircraft.
  • The M41 comes in many variations.
  • Its firing sound is similar to the Halo: Combat Evolved version.
  • Features some minor color changes with some spots on the weapon being orange.

Changes from Halo Wars to Halo Wars 2[edit]

  • Rate of fire increased slightly.
  • Base damage decreased; damage increases proportionally to unit veterancy.
  • Projectiles move more slowly.
  • Research requirements for RPG Trooper becomes easier.
  • M41 SPNKr now can be wielded exclusively by Douglas-042 with Professor Anders as the leader on level 2 hero upgrade on non-campaign gameplay.

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

  • The M41's rockets glow a deep orange, making them more obvious in flight.
  • The rockets' splash damage drops off more sharply, compared to previous games.

Skins and cosmetics[edit]

The Rocket Launcher has seen many equipable weapon skins and coatings across the various games it's been featured in.

Halo: Combat Evolved (MCC)[edit]

Main article: Skins (Halo: Combat Evolved)
Rocket Launcher
vde
Icon Image Name Description Unlock requirements
Default Default skin. Unlocked by default
HCE RocketLauncher HuntersBlood Skin.png
Hunter's Blood Well armed. Well armored. Series 2, Tier 32 (Season point 1)
HCE RocketLauncher Corrosion Skin.png
Corrosion The Oxidation Sensation. Series 2, Tier 77 (Season point 1)
HCE RocketLauncher Desert Skin.png
Desert Looks very stylish with a poncho. Series 2, Tier 13 (Season point 1)

Halo 2: Anniversary[edit]

Main article: Skins (Halo 2: Anniversary)
Rocket Launcher
vde
Icon Image Name Description Unlock requirements
Default Default skin. Unlocked by default
Halo 2 Anniversary skin icon
Black Tiger Never save the best for last; take them out first! The Exchange
Halo 2 Anniversary skin icon
Bloodscorched Bleed for the boom. The Exchange
Halo 2 Anniversary skin icon
Chroma Blue Hotter than a Warthog's tailpipe. The Exchange
Halo 2 Anniversary skin icon
Sandstorm A storm in a bottle. The Exchange

Halo 3 (MCC)[edit]

In-game Appearance Name Unlock Requirements Description
N/A Default Unlocked by default Default skin.
H3 RocketLauncher HuntersBlood Skin.png
Hunter's Blood Series 4, Tier 10 (Season point 1) Well armed. Well armored.
H3 RocketLauncher Corrosion Skin.png
Corrosion Series 4, Tier 19 (Season point 1) The Oxidation Sensation.
H3 RocketLauncher HazardPay Skin.png
Hazard Pay Series 5, Tier 22 (Season point 1) Safety first!
H3 RocketLauncher BlackRhino Skin.png
Black Rhine Series 6, The Exchange (Season point 3) Dream big.
Season 8 skin icon.
Scorned Fate The Exchange, (Season point 4) Ancient weapons brought to light for a new age of war.
HTMCC Season 8 battlepass icon.
Vexing Tomorrow Series 8, Tier 44 (Season point 1) Each battle is a canvas, each rocket a brush.
MCC Menu icon.
OGX SPNKR The Exchange

Halo Infinite[edit]

Main article: Weapon coatings (Halo Infinite)
M41 SPNKr
vde
Icon Image Name Manufacturer Description Rarity Unlock requirements
Icon of the Crimson Skied coating. Crimson Skyed UNSC Hardware representing limitless potential for victory. Epic Purchase "Crimson Serpent Weapon Set" Bundle from the Shop for 600 cR
Icon for the Standard Issue weapon coating. Standard Issue Materials Group Standard UNSC paint and materials. Common Unlocked by default
Icon of the Setting Sun Coating. Setting Sun UNSC Cast your gaze upon the horizon at Golden Hour. Epic Purchase from the Shop for 300 cR
Icon of the Warmaster's Prize Coating. Warmaster's Prize UNSC Custom paint and materials. Common Unlocked in Halo Infinite campaign by accessing the Mjolnir Armory locker in a cave north of FOB Alpha
Icon of the Woodland Mystic Coating. Woodland Mystic UNSC Rumble in the jungle. Epic Purchase "Cool Guy" Bundle from the Shop for 1000 cR

Medals[edit]

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Icon Name Game Unlock requirements
Halo Infinite Bomber Medal Bomber Halo Infinite Kill 5 enemies with launchers

Achievements[edit]

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Production notes[edit]

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Gallery[edit]

Concept art[edit]

Renders and cutouts[edit]

HUD icons[edit]

Screenshots[edit]

List of appearances[edit]


Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Universe: Rocket Launcher (Retrieved on Apr 13, 2016) [archive]
  2. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 156
  3. ^ Halo: Silent Storm, chapter 3
  4. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 176
  5. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, campaign
  6. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, multiplayer
  7. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, requisition system
  8. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Rocket Launcher
  9. ^ Halo Infinite, campaign: Valor unlocks
  10. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, loadout screen
  11. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, loadout screen
  12. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level E-6: Hold the Line
  13. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Ad Victoriam
  14. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, weapon: Ad Victoriam
  15. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: High Five
  16. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, weapon: High Five
  17. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: SPNKr Rocket Launcher
  18. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, weapon: SPNKr Rocket Launcher
  19. ^ Halo Waypoint, News, How Fans Helped Shape the Multiplayer of Halo 5: Guardians (Retrieved on Jul 3, 2016) [local archive] [external archive]
  20. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: SPNKr EM
  21. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, weapon: SPNKr EM
  22. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: SPNKr EX
  23. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, weapon: SPNKr EX
  24. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: SPNKr Prime
  25. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, weapon: SPNKr Prime
  26. ^ Halo Infinite, weapon: M41 Tracker