Type-26 Banshee/Gameplay

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The Banshee is an extremely agile aircraft. Under the control of an experienced pilot, it can be extraordinarily difficult to destroy, making it an easy way to penetrate enemy lines and harass enemy infantry. The Banshee's plasma cannons are highly efficient at killing individual soldiers, and a single fuel rod can eliminate an entire group of infantry. The boosting capability of the vehicle allows for quick entry and exit from combat situations, or to catch up with a particular target. Boosting and evasive abilities allow a pilot to outpace a homing projectile or slip away from opposing vehicles and small arms fire. By utilising aileron rolls and flips, the Banshee is able to avoid slow-moving projectiles at medium or long ranges, while also facilitating quick turns around obstacles or close threats. As a support aircraft, the Banshee is able to pin down enemy forces until ground forces can move in, or destroy light structures that may be obstructing ground forces from advancing.


The Banshee is lightly armored and, thus, vulnerable to high velocity rounds, explosives, anti-vehicle weaponry, and even small arms fire from human projectile weaponry. The Banshee's low flight ceiling makes it very vulnerable to weapons like the M41 Vulcan, which can easily punch through the armor of the Banshee and injure or kill the pilot. The Banshee is also vulnerable to EMPs, which can disable the craft temporarily.

Banshee variants that are not vacuum-sealed leave the pilot exposed from the rear, and the small gap between the cowl and fuselage can be exploited by a highly skilled sniper. Linda-058, one of the UNSC's best snipers, is known to have achieved such a shot.

The Banshee also cannot reverse unlike most aerial vehicles, forcing round trips to be made.

Gameplay changes[edit]

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

  • The Banshee is now capable of hovering in midair.
  • The Banshee, as well as all the other Covenant vehicles, no longer has a health bar.
  • The ability to boost the Banshee's engines was added, at the cost of maneuverability and weapon power. Overall, a Banshee that is not boosting moves at a slower velocity than in Halo: Combat Evolved.
  • The ability to hijack an occupied enemy Banshee has been added.
  • The Banshee is more maneuverable and capable of performing tricks, allowing it to strafe more effectively.
  • High-velocity impacts will now injure the Banshee's pilot.
  • The Banshee's plasma cannons are now more accurate but the bolts only travel half as far before dissipating.
  • Banshees can no longer be flown backwards.
  • The fire from the cannons is no longer linked and now fire alternately instead of simultaneously.
  • Like all vehicles from Halo: Combat Evolved, the Banshee is no longer indestructible when not mounted.
    • Splatter kill becomes less effective following game mechanics change on splatter.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3[edit]

  • The Banshee's boosting velocity has been increased.
  • The Banshee's fuel rod cannon can now be used in multiplayer matches.
  • The Banshee can no longer face any lower than 45 degrees to prevent it from overpowering ground players.
  • The Banshee's wings cannot be fully shot off; canonically, without anti-gravity pods, the Banshee would not be able to stay aloft.

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

  • The Banshee now hovers when it is not moving.
  • The Banshee can now face nearly completely downwards.
  • The Banshee can now rotate 360 degrees in mid air.
  • The fuel rod projectile does not arc downward when fired.

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

  • The Banshee's wings are larger than its previous incarnations and can move individually.
  • The Banshee's wings now turn in the direction the Banshee moves, acting like ailerons.
  • The Banshee can no longer hover in place.
  • The Banshee's tricks now cannot be used as often as in Halo 2 and Halo 3.
  • A boost limit has been imposed.
  • The Banshee now has two separate reticules for the fuel rod cannon and twin plasma cannons. The 'switch weapons' button (default 'Y') toggles which weapon is armed.
  • The Banshee's fuel rod cannon can now home in on other vehicles, as well as any Shades or support weapons that are still mounted. To compensate for the fuel rod's ability to home in on vehicles, the velocity of the projectile has been severely reduced, so much so that a Banshee can actually go faster than its projectile.
  • The Banshee now has a closed canopy so the pilot's legs can no longer be seen.
  • The Banshee's hull is sturdier and is able to withstand two plasma grenade sticks.
  • A Sniper Rifle can now be used to shoot the pilot through the tiny crack between the Banshee's body and canopy, as Linda-058 did in Halo: First Strike. Doing so will not damage the Banshee.[1]

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[edit]

  • Acrobatic maneuvers are much slower and more cumbersome.
  • The gap between the front and back wing sections is far larger, in a style reminiscent of pre-Reach models.
  • The fuel rod cannon no longer locks on to vehicles and turrets.

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

  • Like the original Halo 2 multiplayer Banshee, the Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer Banshees are unable to use a fuel rod cannon.

Halo Wars[edit]

A render of the T-26A Banshee in Halo Wars.

The Banshee appears in most Halo Wars levels and can be used by players in skirmish mode who play as any one of the Covenant leaders. It can be built at the Summit with 200 resources, two population slots, and a tech level of 1. The Banshee has three available upgrades:

  • Boost: Enables the speed boost special ability.
    • Requirements:
      • 200 resources
      • Tech level 1
  • Repeating Cannon: Increases fire rate of cannons.
    • Requirements:
      • 400 resources
      • Tech level 2
  • Sacrifice: When critically damaged, the Banshee attempts to crash into ground targets and inflicts AOE damage.
    • Requirements:
      • 700 resources
      • Tech level 3

The Banshee is effective against most vehicles and some ground troops. It is capable of hovering like in Halo 3: ODST and is the fastest unit in Halo Wars. A common strategy is to create an army of about twenty Banshees and swarm the opposing army, especially if their forces are mainly composed of vehicles. Banshees are extremely vulnerable to M9 Wolverines or Bkowe'nei-pattern Vampires.

Halo Wars 2[edit]

  • Info: Core Air, Deadly against air
  • Tier: 2
  • Cost: Population 3, Supplies 250, Power 0
  • Upgrades:
    • Plasma Torpedo: Adds a Plasma Torpedo weapon, Effective against air
    • Tier: 3
    • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 650

Banshees in Halo Wars 2 can be built by all Banished leaders at an Apex. Unupgraded Banshees perform well against vehicles, but only okay against infantry, aircraft, and structures. Once the Plasma Torpedo upgrade is researched Banshees will perform well against aircraft. In Blitz Banshees cost 50 power and Unstable Banshees cost 90 power. Banshees can be infected by Flood Seeder infectors.

Changes from Halo Wars to Halo Wars 2[edit]

  • Banshees now have only one upgrade level.
  • Population consumption increased by 1 and Supplies needed increased by 100.
  • Now requires Fortress to construct a Banshee.