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"No shields, no sensors. Just you, your BR, and a lot of headshots."
— Playlist Description

Team SWAT is a Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, Halo 4, Halo 2: Anniversary and Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer matchmaking gametype. As of May 2008, Team SWAT is a ranked playlist in Halo 3, after being featured in two Double EXP Weekend playlists. The player has no shields, no motion tracker, and spawns with a precision weapon. Common starting weapons are the Battle Rifle, Covenant Carbine, DMR, and an M6 Series handgun. Mongoose ATVs can be found on maps such as Snowbound and Isolation. Inexperienced players should avoid this playlist as it can be particularly frustrating if they are not used to fast-paced gameplay. On October 5, 2010, Team SWAT became an official playlist in Halo: Reach multiplayer.[1] SWAT is included as a built-in on-disc Slayer variant in both Halo: Reach and Halo 4.

The lack of shields can significantly increase the speed of the game due to almost instantaneous kills, though there is often a tendency for people to be more cautious due to this vulnerability. Head shots are crucial, as they will take down one, or in some cases with the Battle Rifle, two or three opponents with a single burst.

Halo 2[edit]

The SWAT game playlist features mostly Slayer gametypes although it also has some objective games in it like CTF. SWAT gametypes are standard (Battle Rifle and Pistols), SWAT pistols, and SWAT Carbines, however SWAT Carbines is only available for Ascension, Midship, and Warlock. Preferred maps:

Halo 3[edit]

An example showing that shields  do flare in Halo 3 even if the current gametype is set to have no shields.
Two Elites trying to get headshots on each other on Team SWAT in Guardian.

Team SWAT was originally a Double EXP Weekend playlist, but is now a permanent, ranked playlist. It was under the Hardcore playlists group in the matchmaking menu, but, as of August 4, 2009, it has been moved to the Ranked Playlist with the other Hardcore Playlists, while the Hardcore Playlist itself has been retired.All DLC is required to play this playlist. Originally, it was Team SWAT and SWAT Magnums, but it has been expanded in the June Update to include ShWATguns, SWAT 2 Flag, and SWATBall. Unlike Halo 2, Halo 3 SWAT does not feature the SWAT Carbines gametype as it is not featured as a starting weapon due to a coding error. Carbines have since been added to standard maps as a secondary weapon for players.


  • Construct (SWAT) - Construct tweaked for SWAT game play.
  • SWAT Epilogue - Epitaph tweaked for SWAT game play. Based on "Epilogue"
  • Guardian (SWAT) - Guardian tweaked for SWAT game play.
  • High Ground (SWAT)- SWAT Ground - High Ground tweaked for SWAT game play.
  • Isolation (SWAT)- SWATolation - Isolation tweaked for SWAT game play.
  • Narrows (SWAT) - Narrows tweaked for SWAT game play.
  • SWATless - Snowbound tweaked for SWAT game play. Based on "Boundless"
  • SWAT Stop - The Pit tweaked for SWAT game play. Based on "Pit Stop."
  • Foundry (SWAT) - Foundry tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • Rat's Nest (SWAT)- Rat's Nest tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • Blackout (SWAT)- Blackout tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • Ghost Town (SWAT) - Ghost Town tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • Cold Storage (SWAT) -Cold Storage tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • SWATssembly - Assembly tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • SWArbital - Orbital tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • Tundra SWAT (Sandbox) - Sandbox variant "Tundra" tweaked for SWAT game play. REQUIRED.
  • Citidal on double EXP weekend Prepare To Dorp


  • Team SWAT - Score points by killing players on the opposing team. First team to 50 points wins. Players start with Battle Rifles and Magnums. Player traits: 150% damage resistance, 0× shield multiplier, infinite ammo, motion tracker disabled, no spawning grenades. 12 minute match time limit.
  • SWAT Magnums - Score points by killing players on the opposing team. First team to 50 points wins. Players start with Magnums. Player traits: 150% damage resistance, 0× shield multiplier, infinite ammo, motion tracker disabled, no spawning grenades. Map Traits: No weapons on map. 12 minute match time limit.
  • ShWATguns - Score points by killing players on the opposing team. First team to 50 points wins. Players start with Shotguns. Player traits: 200% damage resistance, 0× shield multiplier, infinite ammo, motion tracker disabled, no spawning grenades. Map traits: No weapons on map. 12 minute match time limit.
  • SWATBall - Carry the skull for points. First pair to 200 points wins. Players start with Battle Rifles and Magnums. Player traits: 150% damage resistance, 0× shield multiplier, infinite ammo, motion tracker disabled, no spawning grenades. 12 minute match time limit.
  • SWAT 2 Flag - Players attempt to capture the opposing team's flag. First team to three captures wins. Players start with Battle Rifles and Magnums. Player traits: 150% damage resistance, 0× shield multiplier, infinite ammo, motion tracker disabled, no spawning grenades. 15 minute match time limit.
  • Recon SWAT - Players start with only the Automag. (Halo 3 only.

Settings [2]:

  • Team Slayer
  • 50 Kills to win
  • Weapons: Battle Rifle and Magnum/ Only Magnums
  • Damage Resistance: 150%
  • No Shields
  • Infinite ammo: Enabled
  • Weapon pickup: Enabled
  • Grenades: Map Default
  • Grenades on map: Yes
  • Weapons on map: Yes
  • Vehicles: Mongoose only
  • Indestructible vehicles: Disabled
  • Motion Tracker: Off
  • Friendly Fire: Enabled
  • Betrayal booting: Enabled
  • Rounds: 1
  • Time Limit: 12 minutes

Changes to Team SWAT in the June Update[edit]

  • ShWATguns variant (Shotgun start, 150% resistance, no default grenades, rest are standard SWAT gameplay settings)
  • SWATball variant (oddball, 200 points to win, SWAT gameplay settings)
  • SWAT 2 Flag variant (2 Flag CTF, The Pit and Snowbound, no flag return, flag auto returns in 15 seconds of gameplay, 3 flag win)

The Team SWAT playlist, along with the other Hardcore playlists, were moved the Ranked Playlists while the Hardcore Playlist was retired as of August 4, 2009.

Changes to Team SWAT on September 16, 2008[edit]

  • Objective Gametypes, ShWATguns set to skip after veto.
  • Weighting on all Objective games, ShWATguns and Magnums reduced.
  • Player Damage Resistance set to 150% (was 200%), players no longer spawn with grenades.
  • Regular Team SWAT map variants now have Carbines and grenades available to pick up.

Halo: Reach[edit]

Team SWAT in Halo: Reach is very similar to the previous games, the player spawns with no shields or motion tracker, and an M6G Magnum sidearm. However, the player now spawns with a DMR as their primary weapon. The Needle Rifle has not made any appearence in Team SWAT, being as it has less recoil, a smaller reticule, more ammunition, and the ability to kill in 3 shots. The only Armor Ability available is Sprint. Gametypes such as SWAT Magnums, or SWAT Stockpile are in Halo Reach. A SWAT-specific playlist was established October 5, 2010.

The announcer now says "SWAT" at the start of a SWAT game.



  • Team SWAT
  • SWAT Magnums
  • SWAT Oddball
  • SWAT Stockpile
  • SWAT 3 Plots

Halo 4[edit]

SWAT appears much the same as it did in Reach. Though it received its own playlist on November 12, 2012, SWAT is considered a Slayer variant in Waypoint statistics, and works to advance Slayer commendations.[1] Players have a choice of two loadouts featuring either the BR85 Battle Rifle or M395 DMR. The secondary weapon is always the M6H Magnum. All weapons kill with a single headshot. The Magnum and DMR both kill with 3 body shots, while the Battle Rifle, due to its higher rate of fire, takes 7.[2]

A standard game is 4v4 with a score to win of 600 points (60 kills). Damage resistance is set to .8 (or 80% of normal).[2]


Halo 5: Guardians[edit]

SWAT has been an official playlist since the Halo 5: Guardians launch.

Game type variants:

  • SWAT: Battle Rifle as the primary weapon
  • SWATnums: M6H2 Magnum as the primary weapon
  • DMR SWAT: DMR as the primary weapon
  • H1 SWAT: M6D Magnum as the primary weapon
  • H2 SWAT: BR55 Battle Rifle as the primary weapon

Tips and Strategy[edit]

  • In Halo 2 and Halo 3, many players prefer Elite armor permutations in this game type due to claims that Elites are nearly impossible to headshot from behind. This, including claims that Elites have a disadvantage when shot from the side, have been verified by Bungie as untrue, although some players would disagree. The Elite's head sticks out farther than a Spartan's head from the side, making it a bigger target. However, there is a spot in the Elite's neck that grenades and projectiles can pass through without any damage.
  • If you do have trouble shooting Elites, try to aim between their mouth and neck, because it can be frustrating if you hit them too high.
  • If you stand an Elite beside a Spartan, the Elite's necks is roughly at the same height as the Spartan's head. In the end result it is equal, and the critical head shot area is the same in both.
  • Bungie has changed it so that many shots to the stomach will still kill the enemy, if you have a situation where an Elite is looking down and running away, many shots to the body will still bring him down.
  • This playlist more or less comes down to finding viewpoints and angles, quick reactions, and being ready for an opponent at every turn.
  • This playlist is good for practicing head shots with the Battle Rifle and DMR.
  • Players will often use a tactic called "spraying" in which the player in question "rolls" the reticule across the head of their opponent, resulting in all three bullets from the battle rifle hitting the head in three different place, often resulting in a higher chance of a kill.
  • Another tactic is to use the carbine if you are accurate, as it has a quicker shot rate, so if you miss the first shot you can still get the kill.
  • When you go up a lift and it's clear at the top, never look out at what's in front of you; most people can probably hear the lift making noises and will go to where you are. It is wise to just stay put and wait for them to come to you.
  • If you're playing on Blackout, a good camping spot is in the room underneath the sniper. Look across the corridor, and keep watching the side entrance.
  • Camping in Team SWAT is not recommended, as there is no radar to see where people are coming from.
  • Jumping or crouching around corners can be very useful as enemies expecting you will have to re-adjust their reticule.
  • Inexperienced players should use low sensitivity, as it may help keep your weapon steady.
  • If you're unfamiliar with a map it helps to go explore that map in Custom Games and find good hiding places.
  • If you're camping somewhere and looking for a target, it is wise to crouch, this way if people find you you have a better chance of surviving,
  • If there is an enemy close to you and you're not good at close-range combat with your Battle Rifle, switch to your Magnum.
  • You shouldn't have every member of your team bunched together, because if you get ambushed by two of your enemies anywhere, neither you or any of your teammates have time to react one opponent could get an Overkill and probably an Extermination. Instead, you should split up in pairs or have three people in a group and one person somewhere else.
  • All that is needed for a kill is one shot to the head. Long-range shooting is always worth an attempt here, unlike other game types, most likely because you have the element of surprise, and unless you want to risk a close-encounter run in, it is recommended that you should try this tactic.
  • Camping becomes a bigger problem in SWAT games than in any other game type, so always check around corners for people that may be lurking there.
  • Spawn killing also becomes a more noticeable problem than in any other game types. When you respawn, always try to find immediate cover and take out any nearby threats.
  • Never stand in front or directly behind somebody getting shot because if the person shooting them has a BR, the bullets could go through their head and kill you.
  • A good tactic is to go around in pairs, not next to each other, but spread out, as this means the enemy cannot get a double kill as easily, and if one gets shot, the other can take the guy out.
  • If you are hiding and you see three or all of the enemy team it would be smart not to shoot at them unless you are sure you can kill most of them or all of them. If you're not certain you can take them all out you should tell your teammates where they are.
  • Always remain calm, it takes one good shot to kill a person. Losing your cool can lead you to missing your chance, or the shot.
  • A tip to try every once in a while: crouching. If you hear shots flying around you, crouch to throw off your enemy's aim. Do not, however, do this in the open; your opponent may be stunned by a change in posture, but only for a split second. This also works if you're getting continuously sniped around corners, because your opponents will be expecting a certain height advantage.
  • Part of SWAT is also timing, especially in ShWATguns. Remember just because the reticule isn't red doesn't mean that you won't hit them. This gametype is also particularly frustrating if you are used to automatically meleeing after discharging your Shotgun, meaning if you don't kill them, the lunge brings you closer to your enemy, and this mistake is usually fatal.
  • Keep your weapon's reticule at head level. Many people are killed easily because they have to adjust the reticule.
  • If you're in a narrow hallway and someone starts shooting you from behind, don't turn around to shoot them. Turning around only increases the chance they will score a head shot, especially if you're an Elite. Just run behind a wall that the opponent cannot get you from. Then go back and start shooting.
  • If you're not that accurate at shooting, it is advised to not use a Carbine as it is single shot unlike a battle rifle.
  • Due to the lack of radar, in Team SWAT, getting assassinations becomes easier. However, this is one of the few ranked gametypes where it is possible to easily attain a high multi-kill, seeing as how you have a lot of ammo in one magazine and need to apply little damage to kill your opponent. Remember, this concept also applies to you.
  • If you are skilled with the Battle Rifle, and can pull off head shots with ease, it helps to raise your look sensitivity to help you react faster. It is recommended that you don't move it immediately up to 10 if you play on 3, but slowly work your way up. For example: put it up to 4, and once you can play like you did with three, move it up to 5, and so on.
  • On larger maps, such as High Ground or Rat's Nest, it can be effective if you and a partner get on a Mongoose and go around shooting enemies on foot in the head.
    • It is inadvisable to enter a mongoose in this playlist, as it is easy for even the most inexperienced players to headshot both the driver and passenger easily and quickly, result in an easy double kill.
  • To add to the jumping tactic, if you DO jump a lot, switch to the button layout of "Bumper Jumper." It allows you to jump with the left bumper, thus allowing you control of your thumbsticks because you never remove your thumb to press 'A'. You also melee with right bumper, which you'll need to get used to/time correctly for AR battles. You also swap grenades and reload left weapons with 'A' and reload your primary/right weapon with 'B'.
  • If Spartans are your preferred character type, choose a helmet with a small visor. It makes the head harder to see when in a dark corner.
  • During SWAT Magnums, it is important to remember that your weapon (especially when doubling your pistols) has only so much power. Firing both at the same time could cause your enemy to feel no damage from a distance, and you will use up your ammo a lot quicker. Try to fire one at a time to avoid having to reload a lot.


  • The double experience weekend playlist for Team SWAT 2 was on from March 20 through 23rd, but due to an unknown reason was stopped short by two days. To compensate for this error, the playlist was put up again the following weekend.
  • Even though it's a good close-quarters weapon most people will not switch to their Magnum in close-quarters, only when they need to reload their BR while still in combat.
  • Most people who play as Elites in Team SWAT will usually wear Elite helmets that are small and rounded instead of ones that jut out or stick up.
  • On SWAT 2 Flag or SWATball you may have a better chance to get an Overkill and/or an Extermination because most of the time the enemy is with the person with the Oddball or if the enemy team has your flag in SWAT 2 Flag and they are close to scoring.
  • Team SWAT has appeared twice so far as a Double XP Weekend, the first time it appeared from 20 March 2008 through 23rd, although experienced technical errors and was stopped 2 days short, the second time it appeared was from April 24, 2008 through April 27. This was its final appearance until it became a permanent playlist in Halo 3 Matchmaking in May.
  • Even though it's the secondary weapon, most people don't use the Magnum, and even more people don't dual-wield the Magnum in Team SWAT. The main problem is because Magnum possess the shortest range to score a one-hit kill headshot, making it unpopular amongst the Marksman player.
  • Another popular name for Team SWAT is World War 2 (or simply WW2) for its plain usage of rifles and pistols in combat.
  • If you're playing SWAT Magnums a good way to train shooting someone in the head with a Magnum is too shoot a little higher above their head because most people back up with the Magnums when they're shooting, so it may hit them in the head if you time it right.
  • As an Elite, it is actually possible to "run backwards into battle" and look down so that people can't score headshots on you—with a high look sensitivity, it's no problem to turn around and shoot them in the head; be careful, though, as you can easily be Assassinated.
  • On regular SWAT in Halo 3, melees are instant kills. This is not so in Halo: Reach, as it takes two melees to kill an opponent with full health. One-melee kills return in Halo 4.