From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
- "Those things ain't made to wound anyone—to make you use up time and resources treating casualties. They were designed to make you die screaming."
- — A UNSC E2-BAG/1/7 serviceman on the effects of a spike grenade
Spike weapons—or at the very least, the ubiquitous spike rifle—originated from the Jiralhanae conflicts on Doisac prior to the species' induction to the Covenant. Precursors to spike weapons, like the heavy speargun, were also used by Jiralhanae in big-game hunting. After the Jiralhanae joined the Covenant, most of the Jiralhanae-designed weapons—including spike weapons—were still manufactured by clan workshops on Doisac, albeit under the supervision of Covenant missionaries. Regardless, spike weapons were not commonly encountered in combat, with many Jiralhanae shock troops deferring to the San'Shyuum's guidance and adopting directed-energy weapons. However, in the months leading up to the Great Schism in 2552, the Prophet of Truth ordered the Sacred Promissory on High Charity to secretly expand its scope to the production of all Jiralhanae matériel, including many spike weapons, for the impending purge of the Sangheili. Spike weaponry then became a common sight in the final battles of the Human-Covenant War. Following the Great Schism and the dissolution of the Covenant, in the absence of the San'Shyuum, the Jiralhanae returned to their primitive, savage nature; Jiralhanae-designed spike weapons, such as the Ukala Workshop Mangler, returned to widespread circulation, especially within the Banished.
Spike weapons fire eponymous spike projectiles at enemies; the spike rifle—the most common spike weapon—fires long, sharp projectiles made of superheated tungsten alloy,[Note 1] which are coated in a pyrophoric compound unique to Doisac. When fired and exposed to atmospheric oxygen, the coating burns with a white-hot intensity, rendering the spikes superheated and semi-molten. The spikes thus glow with a yellow-white light for a short time after impact, before they cool. The spike rifle uses a gravitic accelerator to launch the spike at targets; it is likely other spike weaponry employ a similar mechanism.
In contrast, the varied roles and applications of spike weapons also likely determine the property of spike projectiles they fire: smaller armor-piercing spike projectiles fired from spike rifles can easily penetrate flesh and bones, even pinning a target to an object behind them, whereas their larger counterparts, like those fired from the skewer, can perforate a vehicle's battle plates or even a Spartan's armor with relative ease. Furthermore, larger spike projectiles tend to possess explosive properties: the shrapnel cannon—mounted on Choppers—and the infantry-portable Volatile Skewer can fire spike projectiles that detonate upon impact. Spike cannons are also equipped on aircraft such as the Dovotaa Workshop Griever and Qavardu Workshop Gravemaker.
While nearly all spike weapons fire single-use spike projectiles, there are exceptions. The Jovokada Workshop spike grenade is a shrapnel explosive that sends a cluster of super-heated spikes flying at a perpendicular trajectory to the surface the grenade has stuck to. The Banished's gunship variant of the Eklon'Dal Workshop Spirit uniquely employs a spike harpoon that allows the gunship to rapidly close its distance to a target. The Banished has also incorporated spikes, rather than blades, at the fore of their vehicles, including the Ironclad Wraith and Terror Wraith, for the purpose of increased ramming damage or repelling enemies. If a Reaver fires its Thrasher missiles without locking on to a specific target, like for suppression purposes, it may also fire tracer spikes.
List of spike weapons
- Flaktura Workshop Skewer
- Spike rifle
- Ukala Workshop Mangler
- Spike cannon
- Spike harpoon
- Spike turret
A marine takes cover from a spike grenade stuck to a wall in Halo: Last One Standing.
Jiralhanae Minors firing their spike rifles in Halo 3.
An Unggoy Minor impaled by numerous spike projectiles in Halo 3.
A Barukaza Workshop Chopper firing its spike cannon in Halo 3.
A Jiralhanae Captain firing a spike rifle in Halo: Reach.
A Barug'qel Workshop Chopper firing its spike cannons in Halo Wars 2.
Spike projectiles being loaded into a Riven Mangler in Halo Infinite.
A Bolroci Workshop Chopper firing its spike cannon in Halo Infinite.
A Catulus Chopper firing its spike cannon in Halo Infinite.
- On the Halo Waypoint article for the Spiker, the blades are noted as being created from the same metal as that of the weapon's ammunition, making both made of tungsten alloy.
- Bungie.net, Spike Grenade (Retrieved on Feb 7, 2021) [local archive] [external archive]
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 186
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 476
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 295
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 128
- Halo 3, campaign level The Covenant
- Halo: Evolutions - The Return
- Halo Waypoint, Spike Rifle (Retrieved on Sep 29, 2011) [local archive] [external archive]
- Halo: Official Spartan Field Manual, page 190
- Halo: Landfall, episode Halo: Last One Standing
- Halo Wars 2, Banished outpost: Chopper upgrade - Shrapnel Rounds "Unit Upgrade, Adds explosive rounds, Detects Cloaked units."
- Halo Infinite, gameplay
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 473
- Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 185
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 475
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 469
- Halo: Shadows of Reach, chapter 14: "The Reavers immediately began to spray suppression fire into the air, filling the brightening sky with missile trails and tracer spikes."
- Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Reaver
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 466
- Halo Wars 2, Phoenix Logs: Chopper
- Halo Encyclopedia (2022 edition), page 465