From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This article does not have enough inline citations and/or does not adhere to the proper citation format. You can help Halopedia by adding citations.
Era-rw.png This article is a stub. You can help Halopedia by expanding it.
"Sniper" redirects here. You may be looking for the Sniper Rifle gameplay page or the Sniper armor permutation in Halo: Reach.
UNSC Marine sniper spotter pair in the ruins of Mombasa.
A sniper-spotter team of the UNSC Marine Corps during the Battle of Mombasa.

A sniper is an infantry specialist equipped with a high-precision weapon, typically a sniper rifle. Snipers engage targets from concealed positions or distances exceeding the detection capabilities of enemy personnel.

United Nations Space Command[edit]

All snipers in the United Nations Space Command armed forces receive similar training and equipment, but their method of employment varies by service and unit. UNSC Army snipers are arranged into specialized reconnaissance units at the battalion level, and operate as scouts and forward observers first, snipers second.[1] Army snipers and marksmen are trained to live off the land for years, allowing them to operate in the field for extended periods of time.[2] Though snipers provide anti-infantry and anti-vehicle capabilities to the units they work with, the primary objective of a sniper is defined as augmenting the main strategic effort of their unit by placing sensors and extending the UNSC battle network into enemy territory.[1] The Army fields cavalry scouts, while the UNSC Marine Corps has reconnaissance divisions and force reconnaissance units.[2]

Snipers may carry specialist accessories on their combat armor, such as the Supplementary bandoleer, Semi-rigid, Special Applications Rifle (Anti-materiel), which enables the wearer to carry extra sniper rifle ammunition on their shoulder.

Sniper-spotter team[edit]

With some exceptions, snipers of the United Nations Space Command are generally deployed as part of a two-person sniper-spotter team (also referred to as scout-sniper team). Such a team consists of two people, a sniper and a spotter. Both the sniper and spotter are often fully qualified as a sniper, but have different duties. These duties are often rotated for various reasons, such as to reduce eye fatigue of the spotter during observation and to reduce arm fatigue of the sniper.

The sniper takes the advice and commands of the spotter, changing and firing on targets. The sniper is very vulnerable to attack when sniping, which is why snipers will have their spotters providing security. The sniper, of which there is only one, is armed with a long-ranged weapon.

The spotter detects, observes, and assigns targets and watches for the results of the shot. Using a spotting scope, they will also read the wind by using physical indicators and the mirage caused by the heat on the ground. Also, in conjunction with the shooter, the spotter will accurately make calculations for distance, angle shooting (slant range), mil dot related calculations, correction for atmospheric conditions, and leads for moving targets. The spotter is also usually tasked to ensure proper communication with adjacent units, adjusting how the indirect fire and close air support will work for the team. The spotter is also charged with team security. Because of this, they are usually armed with medium to close-ranged weapons.

Some UNSC snipers, such as those serving aboard the UNSC Spirit of Fire, are accompanied by two MQ-96 Support Drones in lieu of a spotter, with one drone designed to spot targets and the other to detect cloaked enemies.[3]


In 2502, then-Corporal Avery Johnson worked with another Marine during an operation to assassinate the Insurrectionist leader Jerald Mulkey Ander on the planet Harvest. Johnson was the sniper, while the other Marine was the spotter.[4]

While SPARTAN-II Linda-058 preferred to work alone, the other Spartans always had a spotter when sniping.[5] Fred was the best spotter, in addition to his other talents.[6]

During the Battle of Mombasa, a Marine scout sniper-spotter team in Old Mombasa informed Sergeant Johnson's Pelicans that Grid Kilo 23 was "hot" with Covenant and recommended them to abort the mission.[7]

During the UNSC Spirit of Fire crew's campaign against the Banished, a unit of surviving snipers on Installation 00 led by Sergeant Allieri spotted targets within a Banished base for Kodiak artillery to clear a path for Jerome-092.[8]


Covenant snipers during the Human-Covenant War were predominantly Kig-Yar marksmen who were equipped with an array of precision carbines and rifles for medium-to-long ranged combat.[9][10] The Covenant made effective use of the Kig-Yar's natural stealth skills and superior senses of sight, smell and hearing to deploy them as effective long-ranged combatants, often able to eliminate hidden enemies from extreme ranges.[11] Kig-Yar snipers were often stationed within Covenant watchtowers on the battlefield, which granted them a height advantage over enemy ground troops and provided them with clean lines of fire.[12][13][14][15][16] When deployed in urban environments, Covenant snipers often took position in the upper levels of buildings and other large structures.[12][13][14][15][16]

The Jha'kaar were a specialized order of Kig-Yar snipers that served within the Covenant. They were selected by the Prophet of Regret to serve as deadly enforcers of his will. The Jha'kaar were virtually indistinguishable from other Kig-Yar snipers, as they bore no particularly externally-identifiable markings, armour or weaponry beyond the standard equipment assigned to all snipers, which allowed them to appear as ordinary as any other unit to external observers, and each member's name was only known to their commander. The few who knew of their existence generally understood that they were extremely capable snipers, able to perform shots considered otherwise impossible, with some attributing this extreme marksmanship to preternatural instinct possessed by the Jha'kaar.[17]

As well as Kig-Yar, the Covenant also employed select Sangheili to serve as snipers, who were often deployed in similar fashion.[9] Sangheili personnel within the Covenant's Special Operations division sometimes deployed with particle beam rifles, acting as long ranged support for others in their units.[18] Following the onset of the Great Schism in November 2552, the Jiralhanae took the place of the Sangheili as operators of long-ranged weaponry.[13]

Following the end of the Human-Covenant War, several remnant factions of the former Covenant employed Kig-Yar snipers in largely the same fashion as those of the original hegemony. The largest of these groups, a faction led by Supreme Commander Jul 'Mdama, contained numerous Kig-Yar snipers who were deployed during the many battles fought by the alliance.[19][20][21] An offshoot of Jul's Covenant led by Vata 'Gajat also had several Kig-Yar mercenaries who served as snipers within their numbers.[22]


The Covenant made heavy use of personnel specialized in sniper roles throughout their genocidal campaign against humanity. During the early years of the war, the Covenant's battle doctrine often hindered the users of long-ranged weaponry from making full use of their capabilities, but as the war continued, human snipers proved how accurate and precise use of firepower could throw entire armies into disarray. This prompted a change in Covenant combat doctrine, and they began to elevate production of armaments such as particle beam rifles, which they selected as their primary special application precision weapon to combat the UNSC's SRS99 series of sniper rifles.[9][23] By the final few months of 2552, the Sulok-pattern beam rifle was the most commonly-encountered Covenant long-ranged weapon by UNSC troops.[24]

During the Fall of Reach, a Sangheili Field Marshal of the Devoted Sentries armed with a Gadulo-pattern needle rifle fatally shot Spartan-III Catherine-B320 in the head from an overhead Ru'swum-pattern Phantom as NOBLE Team were running towards a fallout bunker to escape from the glassing of New Alexandria on August 23, 2552. Following the outbreak of the Flood in the later stages of the Battle of Installation 04 in September 2552, Kig-Yar snipers of the Fleet of Particular Justice armed with Type-50 Alpha beam rifles fought valiantly against the parasite on the ring, displaying uncharacteristic bravery during the battle.[25] During his invasion of Mombasa and the later Battle of Installation 05, the Prophet of Regret deployed Jha'kaar personnel alongside other Covenant forces.[17] Following the outbreak of the Great Schism, the Prophet of Truth deployed an elite team armed with Type-50 Delta beam rifles to hunt down his political enemies.[26]

Following the end of the Human-Covenant War, Kig-Yar snipers within Jul 'Mdama's Covenant were among the forces deployed on Requiem where they partook in the engagement against UNSC forces in July 2552.[19] The faction continued to make heavy use of snipers during the Requiem Campaign in February 2558,[27] as well as the various battles that the group participated in throughout that year,[20] until the destruction of the faction on Sanghelios in October 2558. A Kig-Yar sniper part of Vata 'Gajat's mercenary group participated in a raid against a peace delegation between the Swords of Sanghelios and the Children of Oth Sonin on Ealen IV. During the attack, the sniper targeted Jiralhanae Chieftain Lydus, but was slain by Arbiter Thel 'Vadam before he could fire his beam rifle.[22]


Kig-Yar snipers typically donned similar combat harnesses to other Kig-Yar. They sometimes wore point defense gauntlets, but typically did not activate them so as to have better aim with their weapons.[28] Kig-Yar snipers were generally distinguished from their brethren by their targeting headgear, which is smart-linked to their weapon, providing the sniper with increased range and other ocular enhancements.[11][29] Kig-Yar snipers within Jul 'Mdama's Covenant occasionally wore colored armor to blend into their environment.[30][31]. Additionally, some of 'Mdama's snipers carried Type-3 active camouflage armor plug-ins to provide additional stealth capabilities.[32] The combat harnesses worn by Sangheili snipers within the Covenant and its remnants also possessed smart-linking technology that allowed them to make effective use of their weaponry.[33]

Covenant snipers employed the particle beam rifle as their primary special application precision weapon. The various patterns of beam rifle were incredibly powerful and accurate, allowing users to perform kills at extreme distances. While commonly used by Covenant recon squads and security details, beam rifles were most prodigiously used by skilled snipers.[23] The Zubo-pattern beam rifle was employed early in the Human-Covenant War, and were largely favored by Kig-Yar due to the weapon's ergonomic design. Despite this, the Zubo-pattern was largely superseded by the Sulok-pattern beam rifle and was only resurrected near the end of the war, later being the primary long-range weapon of choice for Jul 'Mdama's Covenant. The Sulok-pattern was considered a weapon with few equals during the Human-Covenant War,[23] and it was put into elevated production, becoming the most commonly encountered Covenant long-range weapon in the final months of the war.[9][24]

The M'tara-pattern focus rifle was another long-range system employed by the Covenant. Instead of using individual beams of ionized particles, the focus rifle allowed users to effectively suppress enemy combatants with a continuous stream of electromagnetically guided plasma. The focus rifle possessed an enormous energy draw which the Covenant were unable to reduce, which meant that the weapon was generally relegated to shock troops and to provide suppressing fire. While several patterns of focus rifle were employed by the Covenant, only the M'tara-pattern was extensively used throughout the Human-Covenant War, seeing usage in pivotal battles such as the Fall of Reach,[23] as well as limited usage by Sangheili personnel of several Covenant remnant factions in the years following the war.[34][35]


The Banished employ dedicated sniper units comprised of both Jiralhanae and Kig-Yar soldiers.[36] Jiralhanae snipers belonging to the Banished are drawn from the greatest of the species' outland hunters. Naturally skilled at tracking their prey, Jiralhanae snipers are vigorously trained within their birth-clans. They are incredibly deadly and stealthy warriors, able to effectively eliminate enemy combatants from ranges of several thousand meters away, oftentimes without being detected. Banished hunting and raiding parties often host Jiralhanae snipers on their war-sleds and skiffs, from which they used their superior abilities to track and neutralize their quarry, often during the heat of a chase. Additionally, Jiralhanae snipers were often stationed in elevated positions around Banished bases and redoubts, allowing them to scan the surrounding areas for signs of enemy movement[37]

Kig-Yar snipers within the Banished operate largely the same as they did within the Covenant. Kig-Yar snipers of the Banished are used in hunting parties to attack enemy forces, as well as to provide support for other Banished ground forces. They were also used in defensive roles, augmenting their Jiralhanae brethren in protecting Banished outposts and other key locations.[38]


The Banished made heavy use of snipers during their war against the UNSC on Zeta Halo in 2560. During their initial campaign on Zeta Halo, highly complex hunting parties of Kig-Yar snipers were used to devastating effect against the humans, inflicting heavy casualties as they combed the surface of the installation.[38] War Chief Escharum commited units comprised entirely of Jiralhanae snipers to hunt down and kill the surviving Spartans on Zeta Halo, an effort that was met with some success.[37] Following his revival by Fernando Esparza in May 2560, John-117 encountered numerous Banished snipers on the surface of the ring.[36]


Jiralhanae snipers in the Banished are equipped with moderate body armor, which comes in both a red and blue variation,[36] and wear an armored helmet which contains a specialized sensor array and a native-link optic suite,[37] while Kig-Yar wear similar harnesses and targeting headgear as their Covenant counterparts.[38]

Blue-armored Jiralhanae snipers deployed on Zeta Halo usually equip Flaktura Workshop skewers as their primary weapon,[36] which they used to devastating effect against vehicles as well as while hunting prey on the surface of the ring.[39] They also carried Ukala Workshop Manglers as sidearms.[36] Red-armored Jiralhanae snipers instead preferred to use Sicatt Workshop shock rifle as their weapon of choice,[36] using the rifle's brutal precision to kill enemy targets at extreme ranges,[40] while using Sicatt Workshop disruptors as sidearms.[36]

Notable snipers[edit]


Halo Wars 2[edit]

A sniper alongside a support drone.
  • Info: Anti-Infantry, Very long range, Cloaked unit, Detects cloaked units, only one person per squad deployment.
  • Tier: 1
  • Cost: Population 3, Supplies 75, Power 135

Sniper upgrade: Active Camo

  • Info:
  • Tier: 2
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 400

Sniper upgrade: Stanchion sniper system

  • Info:
  • Tier:' 3
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 750

UNSC Snipers can be built by all UNSC leaders at the Barracks. Snipers are effective against infantry, but cannot attack vehicles, aircraft, and structures. In Blitz they cost 60 energy.

Veteran Sniper[edit]

The Veteran Sniper is a Blitz card available to Jerome.

  • Rarity: Common
  • Infantry: Anti-Infantry
  • Cloak: This unit is hidden and cannot be targeted for a short period, unless revealed by an enemy with detect.
  • Detect: This unit detects and reveals nearby cloaked enemies.

Pro and Cons[edit]


  • Excellent at taking out infantries, including Infantry Hero Unit.
  • Can detect stealth unit.
  • Can attack infantries without being hit (or spotted if from high ground) due to range.
  • Very lethal once upgraded with Stanchion sniper system. A group of six can take out a full-upgraded enemy infantry hero without being hit.


  • Has low health. With full upgrade, three direct hit from Siege Turret can eliminate the sniper.
  • Cannot attack any units other than infantries.
  • Must be in a group of five for maximum efficiency (Counting each Infantry's maximum squad member unit is 5 with upgrades).




List of appearances[edit]


  1. ^ a b Halo: Ground Command, UNSC Recon Team description
  2. ^ a b Halo Waypoint: Canon Fodder - THE ART OF WAR(S)
  3. ^ Halo Wars 2
  4. ^ Halo Graphic Novel, page 122
  5. ^ Halo: The Fall of Reach
  6. ^ Halo: First Strike, page 158
  7. ^ Halo 2, campaign level Outskirts
  8. ^ Halo Wars 2, campaign level Under The Dark
  9. ^ a b c d Halo Waypoint, Beam Rifle (Retrieved on Apr 13, 2016) [archive]
  10. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 292
  11. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Halo 4 Interactive Guide (Retrieved on Nov 1, 2012) [archive]
  12. ^ a b Halo 2
  13. ^ a b c Halo 3
  14. ^ a b Halo Wars
  15. ^ a b Halo 3: ODST
  16. ^ a b Halo: Reach
  17. ^ a b Halo Waypoint, Canon Fodder - High Value Histories (Retrieved on Sep 8, 2022) [archive]
  18. ^ Halo 2, campaign level The Arbiter
  19. ^ a b Halo 4
  20. ^ a b Halo: Escalation
  21. ^ Halo 5: Guardians
  22. ^ a b Halo: Escalation, issue 2
  23. ^ a b c d Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 293
  24. ^ a b, Type-50 Sniper Rifle System (Retrieved on Jan 16, 2021) [local archive] [external archive]
  25. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ Card: Halo 2 Beam Rifle 'Alpha'
  26. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ Card: Halo 2 Beam Rifle 'Delta'
  27. ^ Halo 4 - Spartan Ops
  28. ^ Believe campaign website (defunct)
  29. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2011 edition), page 154-155
  30. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Requiem
  31. ^ Halo 4, campaign level Infinity
  32. ^ Halo 4 - Spartan Ops, episode Scattered, level Search and Destroy
  33. ^ Halo Waypoint, Universe - Weapons - Focus Rifle (Retrieved on May 14, 2021) [archive]
  34. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault
  35. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike
  36. ^ a b c d e f g Halo Infinite
  37. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 426
  38. ^ a b c Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 433
  39. ^ Halo Infinite, Forge - Skewer description: "Bold and brutal, this Banished weapon fires a single massive armor-piercing harpoon. It has proven useful in hunting both beast and machine on Zeta Halo."
  40. ^ Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 477