The Needler is best used at close to medium range against groups of enemies in the open. The wielder should be familiar with the amount of lead necessary to make the shots connect, and have a fundamental understanding of the weapons strengths and weaknesses.
- An ammo-conserving tactic used against lower-ranking Sangheili is to simply weaken or knock-out the Elite's shields, then shoot with the Needler.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Needler proves effective against large quantities of Flood Infection Forms when there's no MA5B available, as each form requires only one projectile to be killed. Since infection forms take no evasive action, it's a simple matter to fire off single shots and let the needle's homing do the rest while backpedaling.
- It is not advisable to engage enemies whom are equipped with Active Camouflage with a Needler, as the needle shards will not track them. A good tactic is to switch to an automatic weapon and fire it at them, as soon as they become visible switch back to the Needler and lay into them.
- In Halo 2, Needlers should be dual-wielded if possible, or it will be nearly impossible to lodge seven needles in an enemy before some of them detonate.
- Target the enemy group leader unless the leader is a high-ranked Sangheili, Jiralhanae Chieftain, or Jiralhanae War Chieftain, in which case you should fall back and switch tactics and weapons for the situation. The three aforementioned special units' shielding will disable the needles' impact.
- When you are in a tight spot with a lot of enemies near by on higher difficulties, it's best to hide behind something and pick them off with tracking weapons like the Needler. Just stick your head out and target an Elite, or Brute, fire off a clip of needles, and repeat.
- If you are facing an opponent who's wielding a Needler, stay at a distance. If this is not possible, run sideways at 90 degree angles from the direction your opponent is. This way the needles have more time to travel and it's easier for you to run away and avoid them. If you're far enough away, the projectiles may not even reach you.
- Needlers are almost useless against vehicles, harmlessly bouncing off the vehicle rather than impacting the player.
- The best place to use Needlers are where enemies cannot escape or are not paying attention to the user.
- Never train the Needler on a single target for too long. Rather, with the technique of fire, acquire, repeat you can end up demolishing enemy ranks as the needles do their own job of finding targets.
- Do not head into an open area with no cover and blast away at your enemies. The projectiles may only strike one enemy if the user does not switch targets, and since the needles take a few seconds to explode, said user could be killed before any explosion occurs.