From Halopedia, the Halo wiki

This article is about the weapon featured in most Halo games. For other uses of the term "sniper rifle", see its disambiguation page.
Sniper Rifle
H5G-SRS99S5.png
Gameplay role

Faction:

Human (UNSC)

Weapon tier:

Power weapon

Weapon type:

Precision weapon

Effective range:

Long to medium

Counterparts:

Covenant:

Forerunner:

Weapon stats

Damage type:

Kinetic

Firing mode:

Semi-automatic

Damage:

High

Rate of fire:

Low

Accuracy:

Very high

Projectile speed:

Very high, near instantaneous

Magazine size:

4 bullets

Variants and attachments

Halo 5 REQ variants:

 

The Sniper Rifle, sometimes shortened to just Sniper or Snipes, is a human precision power weapon featured in all major Halo games, starting with Halo: Combat Evolved. It is a long-range weapon which typically has two levels of scope, and is best used to pick off enemies at a great distance. The Sniper deals a large amount of damage per shot, but has a slow rate of fire and usually only carries four shots per magazine.

Universe and lore

Main article: Sniper rifle (fiction)

Most of the sniper rifles seen in the Halo games belong to the SRS99 family, a series of rifles produced by Misriah Armory for the United Nations Space Command armed forces. The original SRS99 AM rifle entered service in 2460 with the UNSC Army, and the SRS99 series was eventually adopted by all remaining branches in 2521, thanks to its impressive modularity and continuing support on behalf of Misriah.[1] Having gone through at least three further revisions since its initial adoption, the series remains in service as of 2558, with the Series-5 model being in mass production at that time.[2]

Another prominent sniper rifle is the M99 Stanchion, a now-defunct weapon that has been out of production since 2521.[3] The Stanchion bears more resemblance to a coilgun or railgun than a traditional chemical propellant-based firearm, using electromagnetism to launch its projectiles.[4] It was used by the crew of the UNSC Spirit of Fire during the Second Ark Conflict, along with another sniper rifle known as the signature-suppressed anti-materiel rifle.[5][6] Additionally, an Insurrectionist group active on Harvest and Arcadia was known to equip its soldiers with an as-of-yet unidentified sniper rifle.[7]

The following is a list of all sniper rifles in Halo lore that have appeared in the games:

Overview

The Sniper Rifle is a powerful precision weapon, featured in every notable Halo game since the series' inception in Halo: Combat Evolved. Typically dark grey or black in color, the weapon features one of the longest barrels of any weapon, as well as a large boxy scope and a prominent stock, making it very easy to identify. It is capable of killing enemy players in as little as one or two shots depending upon accuracy, and deals a large amount of damage. To compensate for this, it has a slow rate of fire compared to most weapons, usually only carries four shots per magazine, and is very rare.

Unlock and acquisition requirements

In the majority of Halo games, the Sniper Rifle does not need to be unlocked, and is simply acquired by finding it on the map, or, in the case of some game modes or campaign missions, spawning with it. However, there are three notable exceptions:

Halo 5: Guardians

In Halo 5: Guardians' campaign and Arena multiplayer modes, the Sniper Rifle can be found on the level or map as usual, and does not need to be unlocked.[8][9]

However, in Warzone, the weapon can only be acquired via the REQ system. To unlock the Sniper Rifle, the player must acquire a Sniper Rifle certification, an Uncommon REQ card that can be found randomly in all types of REQ packs. Upon receiving the certification, the player will also be given a number of Sniper Rifle REQ cards, and will begin to randomly receive more when opening future packs. Each of these cards can be redeemed in a Warzone match to spawn a Sniper Rifle, at the cost of 6 energy. Doing so will consume the card. Alternatively, the cards can be sold for REQ Points 75 each.[10][11]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Uncommon
Energy cost 6 energy
Sale price REQ Points 75

Halo: Spartan Assault

In Halo: Spartan Assault, the Sniper Rifle can only be acquired via the loadout screen. It does not need to be unlocked, but costs CR 50 or XP 1,000 to equip. Once equipped, you will spawn with the Sniper Rifle at the start of the level and every time you die, so long as you do not quit back to the menu. It is single use - that is, it will not carry over to the next level, nor will it be available next time you play the level on which you purchased it.[12]

Cost: CR 50 / XP 1,000

Halo: Spartan Strike

Halo: Spartan Strike is similar to Spartan Assault; the Sniper Rifle is unlocked by default, but costs XP 500 to equip for a single play session. The Sniper Rifle will not carry over to subsequent missions, and you will no longer spawn with it on that mission after quitting to the menu or beating the level.[13]

Cost: XP 500

However in Spartan Strike, the Sniper Rifle also spawns in the campaign itself, exclusively on the final mission: E-6: Hold the Line. In total, four Sniper Rifles spawn on this mission, along with four Spartan Lasers and four Rocket Launchers, the two other previously loadout-exclusive weapons.[14]

Variants

There are three variants of the Sniper Rifle, all of which are REQ variants from Halo 5: Guardians.

End of the Line

End of the Line in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: End of the Line
"All good things must come to and end. Improved Sniper Rifle with reduced recoil, but emphasis on faster rate-of-fire has slightly reduced damage."
— REQ description[15]

End of the Line is a Rare REQ variant of the Sniper Rifle, featured in Halo 5: Guardians. It boasts a faster rate of fire and significantly reduced recoil, but deals slightly less damage per shot - though it is still capable of killing an enemy player in two body shots or one headshot. Should the player have an End of the Line REQ card, the weapon can be acquired in Warzone via the REQ system for a cost of 6 energy, or alternatively the card can be sold for REQ Points 100.[15]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Rare
Energy cost 6 energy
Sale price REQ Points 100

Arrow of Time

Arrow of Time in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: Arrow of Time
"There's no going back. Advanced Sniper Rifle with extended magazine and heavy-duty cyberlink that prevents descope. Unfortunately, the weapon does have extra recoil to compensate for."
— REQ description[16]

Arrow of Time is an Ultra-Rare REQ variant of the Sniper Rifle in Halo 5: Guardians. It features a larger magazine than the standard Sniper, with 6 shots instead of 4, and the player will not be descoped when shot whilst zoomed in with the weapon. However, it also has increased recoil compared to the normal Sniper Rifle. Its REQ card costs 7 energy to use in-game, or can be sold for REQ Points 150.[16]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Ultra-Rare
Energy cost 7 energy
Sale price REQ Points 150

Nornfang

Nornfang in Halo 5: Guardians.
Main article: Nornfang
"A master-crafter instrument of death and destruction. Mythic Sniper Rifle firing high explosive armor piercing (APHE) rounds that increases overall damage. In addition, Linda's modifications ensure the Motion Tracker is visible even when using Zoom."
— REQ description[17]

Nornfang is a Mythic, Legendary REQ variant of the Sniper Rifle in Halo 5: Guardians, and is the personal sniper rifle of the SPARTAN-II Linda-058. The weapon fires rounds that explode on impact, dealing damage to any nearby enemies, and instantly killing them if hit directly. Additionally, when scoped in, the motion sensor will not be hidden while using Nornfang. To balance this out, the player gains the Damage Boost visual effect when they equip the weapon, making them very easy to spot. Nornfang can be requisitioned in Warzone for 7 energy, provided the player has a spare Nornfang REQ card, or alternatively the card can be sold for REQ Points 200.[17]

Nornfang also appears in Halo 5: Guardians' campaign. It can be found abandoned in the troop bay of the ONI Acrisius on the level Unconfirmed, and on the Blue Team missions in co-op, the player playing as Linda-058 will spawn with the weapon at the start of the level (but not upon respawning). However, in campaign, the weapon is significantly less powerful, retaining none of its bonus abilities from the multiplayer.[8]


REQ information
Category Power weapon
Rarity Legendary, Mythic
Energy cost 7 energy
Sale price REQ Points 200

Counterparts

The most prominent counterpart to the Sniper Rifle is the Covenant's Beam Rifle, a long-range weapon with two levels of zoom, which is similar in operation to the Sniper Rifle. The Beam Rifle was first introduced in Halo 2, but has reappeared in several games since. It fires a beam of light with a practically instant travel time, which behaves similarly to a Sniper Rifle bullet; a hit to the body will remove an opponent's shields, whereas a headshot will instantly kill them. Unlike the Sniper, however, the Beam Rifle uses a battery system for its ammo, typically with ten shots in total, and the weapon cannot be reloaded. In most games, the weapon will overheat after two or three shots in rapid succession.

Another Covenant counterpart to the Sniper Rifle is the Focus Rifle, first introduced in Halo: Reach. Unlike the Sniper Rifle and Beam Rifle, the Focus Rifle fires a continuous beam not unlike that of the Sentinel Beam, which deals heavy damage to enemy units, but will overheat if fired continuously for too long. However, the Focus Rifle takes longer to kill enemies than the Sniper Rifle does, and the brightly colored beam will expose the location of the player. Like the Beam Rifle, the Focus Rifle uses a battery ammo system, and cannot be reloaded. It also has two zoom levels, similar to the Sniper and Beam Rifle.

The Forerunner counterpart to the Sniper Rifle is known as the Binary Rifle. This rifle operates using a similar ammunition system as the Sniper Rifle, albeit with two shots per magazine rather than four. It features two levels of zoom, just as the Sniper does, however with one major difference: whilst zoomed, a distinct red targeting laser will shine out from the barrel - even before the weapon is fired - which will alert enemies to the fact they're being targeted, and will also highlight the user's location. The projectile fired by the Binary Rifle varies by game. In Halo 4, it fires a bolt of light that travels instantaneously and will always immediately kill an enemy player regardless of where it hits them. In Halo 5: Guardians, it fires a continuous beam for a brief period of time, which deals very heavy damage and can easily kill an enemy player if held on them for long enough - though the strong recoil can make this difficult.

Gameplay

Gameplay info here

First-person shooters

Main article: First-person shooter

FPS info here


CE H2 H3 ODST Reach H4 H2A H5G

MP
Weapon type Power Power Power Power Power Power Power Power
Damage type Kinetic Kinetic Kinetic Kinetic Kinetic Kinetic Kinetic Kinetic
Firing mode Semi-auto Semi-auto Semi-auto Semi-auto Semi-auto Semi-auto Semi-auto Semi-auto
Precision weapon
Zoom levels 2x, 10x 5x, 10x 5x, 10x 5x, 10x 5x, 10x ?, ? 5x, 10x 4x, 9x
Shots per trigger pull 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Magazine/clip size 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
Reserve ammo (reserve mags) 24 (6) 20 (5) 20 (5) 20 (5) 20 (5) 24 (6) 16 (4) 16 (4)
Headshots to kill 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1
Shots to kill 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 2
Headshots to break shields 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1
Shots to break shields 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 1
Red reticle range (Hip fire) 0m 0m 15.94m 15.94m 22.89m 38.5m 0m 38.0m
Red reticle range (Zoom level 1) 106.6m - 63.21m 63.21m 91.45m 152.7m 122.0m 152.4m
Red reticle range (Zoom level 2) 426.6m - 141.87m 141.87m 228.51m 343.1m 274.4m 342.9m

Twin-stick shooters

Main article: Twin-stick shooter

Twin-stick info here (Spartan Assault, Spartan Strike, etc)


Spartan Assault Spartan Strike
Weapon type Power Power
Damage type Kinetic Kinetic
Firing mode Semi-auto Semi-auto
Precision weapon
Shots per trigger pull 1 1
Magazine/clip size
Reserve ammo (reserve mags) - -

Real-time strategy games

Main article: Real-time strategy

Wars info here

Evolution

Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo PC

  • Maximum telescopic zoom reduced from 10× to 8×.

Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2

  • Minor cosmetic changes and shorter overall length.
  • Decreased the maximum reserve ammunition capacity down from 28 to 24.
  • Medium telescopic zoom increased from 2× to 5×.
  • Night vision function has been removed.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3 and ODST

  • Overall higher damage and slower fire rate.
  • New muzzle brake with front iron sight.
  • Handguard, body, and stock has been altered.
  • The scope now shows real-time with an LCD screen and infrared vision.
  • It now has a trigger guard.
  • The Sniper Rifle now has a new flat matte black color finish to it.
  • Recoil now affects accuracy.

Changes from Halo 3 and ODST to Halo: Reach

  • Increased damage against vehicles, destroying them with four to six rounds.
  • Has a thumbhole stock rather than a pistol grip.
  • Updated colors.
  • Scope is smaller.
  • Can neutralize a Scorpion tank in two shots, one to destroy the canopy, and a headshot to kill the now-exposed driver.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4

  • Spare ammunition reduced from 20 rounds to 16 (without ammo).
  • Reticle bloom reduced marginally.
  • Reloads slightly slower.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 5: Guardians

  • Zoom reduced to 4× and 9×.
  • While scoped in, the weapon's scope will glimmer bright white, giving away the user's position.
  • Noticeably higher bullet magnetism, increasing ease of use.
  • Anti-vehicle properties reduced.

Skins

Main article: Skins (Halo: The Master Chief Collection)

Halo: Combat Evolved for Halo: The Master Chief Collection features weapon skins for all its weapons, including the Sniper Rifle. These were added into the game with an update on July 14, 2020, alongside the beginning of Season 2: Spark and the launch of Halo 3 for PC.[18]

Image Name Description Unlock requirements
Default Default skin N/A
HCE SniperRifle Golden Skin.png Golden Bling on the ring. Season 2 Challenge: Zero Five Eight
Defeat 150 opponents with the Sniper Rifle in any game mode.
HCE SniperRifle Woodland Skin.png Woodland Camping is a legitimate strategy. Purchase for Season point 1 at Season 2, Tier 52
HCE SniperRifle Desert Skin.png Desert Looks very stylish with a poncho. Purchase for Season point 1 at Season 2, Tier 10
HCE SniperRifle GreatJourney Skin.png Great Journey Don't worry... I know what the aliens like. Purchase for Season point 1 at Season 2, Tier 42
HCE SniperRifle Avalanche Skin.png Avalanche Like Sidewinder, but with more polygons. Purchase for Season point 1 at Season 2, Tier 80

Medals

The following medals are exclusive to the Sniper Rifle and its alien counterparts. The Sniper Rifle does also inherit some other precision weapon and power weapon medals such as Headcase and Power Player, but these are not listed here.

Icon Name Games Unlock requirements
H5G Medal Sniper Kill.png Sniper Kill
  • Halo 2
  • Halo 3
  • Halo: Reach
  • Halo 4
  • Halo 5: Guardians

Halo 2:

  • Kill an enemy with a Sniper Rifle or Beam Rifle.

Halo 3, Halo: Reach:

  • Kill an enemy with a Sniper Rifle (or Beam Rifle) headshot.

Halo 4:

  • Kill an enemy with a Sniper Rifle.

Halo 5: Guardians:

  • Kill an enemy with a Sniper Rifle, but not by a headshot.
H5G Medal SniperHeadshot.png Sniper Headshot Halo 5: Guardians Kill an enemy with a Sniper Rifle headshot.
HR Medal Sniper Spree!.png Sniper Spree
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo: Reach

Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST:

  • Kill 5 enemies consecutively with the Sniper or Beam Rifle, without dying.

Halo: Reach:

  • Kill 5 enemies with the Sniper Rifle without dying.
HR Medal Sharpshooter!.png Sharpshooter
  • Halo 3
  • Halo 3: ODST
  • Halo: Reach

Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST:

  • Kill 10 enemies consecutively with the Sniper or Beam Rifle, without dying.

Halo: Reach:

  • Kill 10 enemies with the Sniper Rifle without dying.
HR Medal Be the Bullet!.png Be the Bullet Halo: Reach Kill 15 enemies with the Sniper Rifle without dying.
Halo5snapshot.png Snapshot
  • Halo 4
  • Halo 5: Guardians
Kill an enemy with the Sniper Rifle, Binary Rifle or Beam Rifle while not zoomed in. This is commonly known as no-scoping.
H5G Medal AirborneSnapshot.png Airborne Snapshot Halo 5: Guardians While airborne, kill an enemy with the Sniper Rifle, Binary Rifle or Beam Rifle while not zoomed in.
H5G Medal HatTrick.png Hat Trick Halo 5: Guardians Kill three enemies with Sniper Rifle or Beam Rifle headshots in a row.
H5G Medal Snipeltaneous.png Snipeltaneous Halo 5: Guardians Kill two or more enemies with a single Sniper Rifle shot.
H5G Medal Snipunch.png Snipunch Halo 5: Guardians Shoot an enemy with the Sniper Rifle, then finish them off with a melee.
H5G Medal BuckleUp.png Buckle Up Halo 5: Guardians Kill the driver of an enemy vehicle while it is moving, using the Sniper Rifle.

Achievements

The following achievements involve the use of the Sniper Rifle:

Name Game Description Gamerscore Image
Sniper Kill Halo 2 for Windows Vista Kill an opponent with the sniper rifle or the beam rifle. 10 gamerscore H2V Achievement Sniper Kill.png
Headshot Honcho Halo 3 Killed 10 enemies with headshots in a ranked free for all playlist or in campaign.[Note 1] 5 gamerscore H3 Achievement Headshot Honcho.png
Close Quarters Combat Complete the level "Truth and Reconciliation" with at least four rounds left in your Sniper Rifle. 25 gamerscore (CEA)
10 gamerscore (MCC)
HR Achievement Close Quarters Combat.png

HTMCC Achievement Close Quarters Combat Steam.jpg
HTMCC HCE Achievement CloseQuartersCombat.jpg

Production notes

"Robert McLees is definitely the go-to guy for the gun stuff. I wanted to come up with an animation for the sniper scope, an 'idle cycle'. If you activate the scope, and then sit too long without doing anything, the animation would kick in periodically, just to keep things interesting... Simple, right...? He replied, 'No way. If you adjust your scope in the field, you're dead. Snipers don't do that.' That's how detailed his weapon designs are -- not just guns, but how they work, and how a sniper would fire them. Amazing."
— Animator William O'Brien, regarding the Robert McLees and his weapon designs for Halo 2.[19]

The earlier games' depictions of the Sniper Rifle, notably those from Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST, bear significant resemblance to and were likely inspired by the real-world Denel NTW-20, an anti-material rifle developed in the 1990s by Denel Mechem.

Robert McLees was known within Bungie for being the expert to consult when doing work related to the games' weapons during Halo 2's development. At one point, animator William O'Brien sought to create an idle animation for the Sniper Rifle, in which the player character would adjust the scope if the player zooms in and then remains idle for a while. McLees shot down this idea, stating that in reality, no sniper would ever adjust their scope on the field.[19]

Trivia

  • In the original Xbox 360 version of Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary the Sniper Rifle's reticle is far larger than it is in the original Halo: Combat Evolved on Xbox and PC. In the Halo: The Master Chief Collection version of Halo: CEA, the reticle returns to its original size.
  • In the Halo: Reach Multiplayer Beta, the scope shows the identity of the weapon's user as "ID-NOBLE6", regardless of who wields it. This is not present in the final build.

Gallery

Main article: Sniper Rifle image gallery

Concept art

Renders

HUD icons

Screenshots

List of appearances

Notes

  1. ^ Although not mentioned in the official description, the Headshot Honcho achievement can only be acquired using the Sniper Rifle or Beam Rifle.

Sources

  1. ^ Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 179: Sniper Rifle
  2. ^ Halo 4: The Essential Visual Guide, page 66: Sniper Rifle
  3. ^ Halo Graphic Novel, page 122
  4. ^ Halo Waypoint - Universe, Railgun
  5. ^ Halo Waypoint - Canon Fodder, The Art of War(s)
  6. ^ Halo Wars 2, campaign
  7. ^ Halo Wars, multiplayer
  8. ^ a b Halo 5: Guardians, campaign
  9. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, multiplayer
  10. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, requisition system
  11. ^ Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Sniper Rifle
  12. ^ Halo: Spartan Assault, loadout screen
  13. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, loadout screen
  14. ^ Halo: Spartan Strike, campaign level E-6: Hold the Line
  15. ^ a b Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: End of the Line
  16. ^ a b Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Arrow of Time
  17. ^ a b Halo 5: Guardians, REQ card: Nornfang
  18. ^ Halo Waypoint - News, Halo 3 Now Available for PC
  19. ^ a b The Art of Halo: Creating a Virtual World, page 100