Shardstorm launcher

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An image of the Grunt Goblin's Shardstorm launcher, image provided by User:Blitzard.
A closeup view of the Shardstorm launcher on the Pnap-pattern Goblin.

The shardstorm launcher is a needle weapon employed by the military forces of the former-Covenant empire and its splinter factions.[1][2][3]


A golden Pnap-pattern Goblin firing its back-mounted Shardstorm launcher on the map Raid on Apex 7.
A Goblin firing its Shardstorm launcher.

Design details[edit]

The shardstorm launcher operates similar to other needle weapons, firing large shards of Subanese crystal (or "blamite") which track a given target and explode in a "supercombine" reaction. The launchers are mounted on the back of Goblin vehicles developed by/for the Unggoy, with eight large launchers for use. Unlike other needler weapons, the blamite crystals do not protrude out of the eight holes, only emerging once fired.[4][5]

In operation, the Shardstorm fires a large number of Subanese crystal projectiles at once, homing onto various targets and individually tracking them. Destroying the Goblin's backpack destroys the launcher, and prevents it from firing.[6]


The Shardstorm launcher is a common fixture in the various iterations of the Goblin battlesuit - primarily the Pnap-pattern used by Covenant Unggoy forces.[2] The Eklon'Dal Workshop Goblins employed by the Banished do not fit this feature as standard, and must have it upgraded.[5]

Production notes[edit]

Concept artwork for the Pnap-pattern Goblin.
The Shardstorm launcher in the Halo 5: Guardians concept art for the Goblin, given the label "Shooty Back".

The shardstorm launcher was first envisioned for inclusion on the Grunt Goblin Warzone Firefight boss in Halo 5: Guardians. The weapon was originally developed as a prototype for an unnamed then-future project and internally known as the Multi-Target Tracked Attack, and came to useable state around the time of a studio internal "hackathon" (a period of time in which developers are free to prototype potential new Halo franchise features). As such, the weapon was taken by Halo 5 Senior Systems Designer Chris Proctor and his team applied to their then-prototyping Grunt Mech enemy. Due to the vehicle being built to fight eight players in Warzone Firefight rather than a usual 1-4 players of campaign, the weapon was a unique consideration as no others in the game had the ability to target so many players at once.[7]


List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Grunt Goblin
  2. ^ a b Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 277
  3. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 466
  4. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, Grunt Goblin in-game enemy
  5. ^ a b Halo Wars 2, Grunt Goblin in-game unit
  6. ^ Polygon, Meet Halo 5's new boss, then kill it with this new vehicle (Retrieved on Jun 9, 2023) [archive]
  7. ^ Halo Waypoint, Warzone Firefight Preview (Retrieved on Jun 25, 2016) [archive]