From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

Different incarnations of the Unggoy throughout the Halo series.

The Unggoy serve as a prominent Covenant infantry force and enemy of the player in all of the Halo games.


FPS games[edit]

Individually, Grunts are weak. However, in groups they are destructive and violent.

Grunts usually fight in groups consisting of mostly low ranked Grunts, one or two higher ranked Grunts, and an Elite or Brute leader. Most of the time, when their leader is dead, Grunts will run away, even the higher-ranking ones. Typically, Grunts fight by having the Minor Grunts combine their firepower to soften and lower the enemy's shields, so that their more dangerous allies can finish off enemy units more easily. Small groups of Grunts are generally used to slow enemy movements or deal minor damage to weaken enemy forces, and force them to waste ammunition and time. There are times they take advantage of their small size; they can easily hide and ambush or surprise their enemies with an overcharged plasma bolt or grenade. Grunts working in cooperation with Jackals are very good at seizing the initiative to flank unsuspecting enemies as well.

Grunts are near always armed with the ubiquitous Plasma Pistol, although they can be seen wielding Needlers or other one handed weapons. All Grunts are equipped with Plasma Grenades, with higher-ranking Grunts such as Ultras and Special Operations Grunts throw grenades in combat more often and with better accuracy. With the Catch skull enabled, Grunt Heavies have been observed throwing upwards of six plasma grenades. They have been known to "spam" Plasma Grenades on the Legendary difficulty, which means that in a group of 10 Grunts, as many as eight of them will throw Plasma Grenades, one after the other, in an attempt to easily dispatch their foes.

The most dangerous grunts are Special Operations Grunts and Grunt Heavies, by virtue of bearing heavy weapons such as the Fuel Rod Gun and Plasma Cannon or piloting Ghosts or Wraith turrets. These enemies should be priority targets, as they can deal immense damage while at the same time being relatively easy to kill. Starting from Halo: Reach and onwards, high ranking grunts also overcharge their plasma pistols, becoming potentially dangerous to vehicles.

A Kamikaze Grunt charging at his foes.

From Halo 3 and onward, Grunts have a tendency to arm two Plasma Grenades and rush to the player immolating themselves in an explosion, as a result of their Elite or Brute leader being killed in a brutal way (ie, being stuck with a plasma grenade, shot in the head or blown up by a Needler). These Grunts are generally referred to as "Kamikaze Grunts" or "Suicide Grunts". While dangerous if not noticed, a quick player can use the suicidal grunt's explosion to finish off any enemies that may be close to him if they kill them quickly. Rarely, grunts are encountered as already suicidal; this will be noted by the game's dialogue.

Halo Wars[edit]

In Halo Wars, the Grunt Squad serves as the main infantry unit for the Covenant army, as goes with all games. On default, the squad is composed of three Unggoy commanded by either an Elite Minor, or a Brute Minor, depending on whichever individual was selected to be the leader unit for the game. They are the direct counterpart to the "Marine Squad" unit of the UNSC, serving as an all-round infantry unit. Though they may be inferior to "Marine Squads", they do move slightly faster. As with all Covenant units, the Grunt Squad is inferior to the Marine Squad, in both armament and skill. Being the main infantry unit, the Grunt Squad is effective against most types of units due to its varied armament. Their standard, primary weapon is the plasma pistol, and their secondary weapon/special ability is the plasma grenade, which is much more effective against light vehicles and even armor. Grunt squads cost 100 resources, a tech level of 0, a population of 1, and can be built at a Hall. They function best in very large mobs, where their combined fire plus the overwhelming amount of plasma grenades can be a valuable asset. This is at its best when assaulting an enemy base.

As with all Halo Wars units, the Grunt Squad can receive three upgrades to significantly increase their combat effectiveness. The upgrades are in order as follows:

  • Peons - Upgrades the Squad with two additional grunts. 200 resources and a tech level of 1.
  • Needler - Upgrades the Grunts with Needlers rather than Plasma Pistol, increasing their damage. 400 resources and a tech level of 2.
  • Deacon - Adds a Grunt Deacon to the Squad. Deacons will sometimes outlive their Elite/Brute leader and the entire squad. They guide the squad with battle cries and promises of the Great Journey. A Deacon boosts combat values through spirituality. Note that the actual effect of the Deacon is a further increase in damage. 700 resources and a tech level of 3.

Note: Deacon grunts carry Plasma Pistols rather than Needlers however, the Deacon will charge his plasma pistol when needed.

Suicide Grunts are a special forces unit in the game, starting with a plasma pistol, being the leader-specific unit of the Arbiter. These Grunts have large, cylindrical methane tanks on their backs which hold far more of the gas than other Grunt's tanks. These tanks are used as explosives. The grunts charge at their enemies and detonate their methane bombs, causing massive splash damage. An example of this is the fact that at least 10 fully-upgraded Suicide Grunts can destroy a UNSC base. Suicide Grunts will also charge their plasma pistols, making them very effective against the Prophet of Regret, the Spartans, Zurdo-pattern Wraith and Karo'etba-pattern Ghosts with shields and Shield Generators.

Halo Wars 2[edit]

Jiralhanae-led Unggoy[edit]

  • Info: Core Infantry, Cheap and Expendable, Low. pop count, Quick capture unit
  • Tier: 0
  • Cost: Population 2, Supplies 100, Power 0

Grunt Squad upgrade: Shrapnel Mines

  • Info: New Ability, Can throw grenades, Small Area Attack, Cannot target air
  • Tier: 1
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 300

Grunt Squad upgrade: Pack Brother

  • Info: Additional Brute and Grunt join squad
  • Tier: 2
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 550

Sangheili-led Unggoy[edit]

  • Info: Core Infantry, Cheap and Expendable, Low. pop count, Quick capture unit
  • Tier: 0
  • Cost: Population 2, Supplies 100, Power 0

Grunt Squad upgrade: Active Camo

  • Info: New Ability, Enables the Elite squad leader to temporarily cloak the squad
  • Tier: 1
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 300

Grunt Squad upgrade: Squad Reserves

  • Info: Additional Elite joins squad
  • Tier: 2
  • Cost: Supplies 0, Power 550

Grunt Squads can be built by all Banished leaders at the Banished outpost. Unupgraded Grunts perform okay against infantry and aircraft but poorly against vehicles and structures. Once the Pack Brother or Squad Reserves upgrade is researched Grunt squads will fair okay against vehicles and structures. Elite-led Grunt squads perform better at ranged combat. In Blitz Grunt Squads cost 10 energy, Prowling Grunts cost 40 energy, Bloodfuel Grunts cost 50 energy, and Grunt Mobs cost 60 energy.


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Changes from Halo CE to Halo 2[edit]

  • New ranks added: Heavy, Ultra. Heretic Unggoy also appear.
  • Grunts carry and man plasma turrets.
  • Allied grunts appear in Arbiter missions. They can be given one handed weapons and launchers.
  • Spec Ops will use active camo along with their elite leaders.
  • They can now pilot Ghosts with their unique vehicle dialogue.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and Halo 3 ODST[edit]

  • Spec Ops and Ultra grunts appear almost indistinguishable from each other.
  • Grunts no longer use active camo.
  • Heavies often man the turrets of Phantoms.
  • They can once again and commonly pilot Ghosts.
  • When their leader dies, they have a chance to go suicidal.
  • Grunt backpacks can be destroyed, and their masks can be shot off.

Changes from Halo 3 ODST to Halo Reach[edit]

  • Suicide Grunts squads appear, altough they have no specific armor like they do in Halo Wars.
  • Grunts, like all Covenant, don't speak in the language the game is set in.
  • The Unggoy combat harness has different permutations depending on their rank.
  • Ultras have a face protection that must be shot off before headshots can be scored.
  • Heavy and above grunts will overcharge their plasma pistols.
  • When his backpack is shot off, a grunt will go flying wildly before bursting in a weak explosion.
  • Grunts can now man Wraith turrets.
  • Assassinations can be performed on grunts.

Changes from Halo Reach to Halo 4[edit]

  • Grunt ranks change. They now feature Storm, Heavy, Imperial and Ranger. Like elites, their armor comes in varied colors within the same rank.
  • Grunts can now make a sort of jump pack leap by overcharging their methane tanks. This move is slow and leaves them very vulnerable while being performed.
  • Grunt backpacks and masks cannot be shot off again.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 5 Guardians[edit]

  • Ranks are the same as the previous game in the campaign, but in Warzone, Bodyguards appear, as well as Jockeys, which pilot for the new Grunt-exclusive mech, the Goblin.
  • Grunts, like most enemies, speak in the language the game is set in again.
  • Grunts now have a weak melee attack.

Changes from Halo 5 Guardians to Halo Infinite[edit]

  • Featured ranks include Conscripts, Assault, Ultra, Bouncer and Mule.
  • Ultra grunts often have Energy shielding.
  • Lower rank grunts are more likely to go suicidal compared to higher ranked ones.
  • Brutes will rarely throw a suicidal grunt that runs close to them.
  • Grunt backpacks can now be destroyed again.
  • Grunts piloting ghosts will drive recklessly and often strafe close to the player, allowing for easier hijacks.


  • In Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo: Reach, and Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, the Grunt Birthday Party Skull will make Grunts explode into confetti when killed by a headshot. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary also features a skull called the Grunt Funeral Skull which makes every Grunt's methane tank explode in a similar fashion to a Plasma Grenade, once the Grunt possessing it is killed. This skull is only available for those who pre-ordered Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and it was released exclusively on Halo: The Master Chief Collection.
  • In Halo: Reach, the Unggoy's voices have been changed. Instead of being high pitched and squeaky, their voices sound slightly deeper and mechanical, possibly because of their breathing masks. In addition, unlike other Halo games, the Grunts are unable to speak English, a deliberate action made to emphasize the Covenant's alien nature and distance them from the friendly treatment some Covenant species received in the latter half of the Halo trilogy.
  • In Halo: Reach, when a Grunt's methane tank is shot off, its body will humorously rocket around like a balloon as the compressed gas is released. After a few seconds, the remaining gas will explode. This mini explosion can kill nearby character if they have no shields and have low health, and will often times set off any grenades laying around on the ground. This effect can also be seen in Halo Wars, though it is purely cosmetic. This effect returns in Halo 5: Guardians.
  • In Halo: Reach, on rare occasions if a Grunt is shot with a Spartan laser or rocket launcher he will fly out of the map.
  • Grunts drop their weapons as they kamikaze. On the rare occasions that a suicide Grunt survives having his grenades explode, he will be weaponless and unable to fight.
  • In Halo 5: Guardians, Grunts can now melee the player if they get too close. They also have more animations, such as reacting to being shot by snapping to the side.