From Halopedia, the Halo wiki
There are four standard VIP modes: VIP, One Sided VIP, Escort, and Influential VIP.
All of these modes are just variations of the same set of options. So, for customization purposes, it does not matter which you select to use as a base.
In standard VIP each team is assigned a VIP and players score points by killing the opposing team's VIP.
Rocket Race is a variation of Escort that has 2 man teams, invincibility and rockets with infinite ammo. The objective is to get your VIP to specific territories that look like the hills in King of the Hill. This is done by getting on a M274 Mongoose (the VIP cannot drive), with both of your players trying to knock other teams off course with your rockets, while trying to reach the territory first. The only way to kill anyone in this playlist is by a beat-down, though doing so will not benefit the killer except for the fact that the victim has to respawn.
One Sided VIP
In this game mode, only one team has a VIP. Teams take turns on offense and defense.
This game mode is similar to One Sided VIP in that only one team has a VIP. However, in Escort there is an added objective: the VIP can score points by arriving at checkpoints. A common strategy is to use vehicles to drive the VIP to the destination. Take note that the vehicle use settings for VIP's are set to passenger seat only, forcing the VIP's team to drive. This was made famous by Rocket Race, where there are four teams of two and the VIP must ride shotgun to get to the objective to score.
The key aspect of this mode is that special traits can be assigned to players who are in a specified proximity to their VIP (e.g. extra shields). The default setting is that both teams have such a VIP, though this can be changed.
- If you play One Sided VIP or Escort or otherwise have the Single VIP option set to 'Enabled', then there will only be one Elephant on Sandtrap (the one labeled "Behemoth" on the side closest to the downed D96-TCE Albatross). This is useful information for Forgers, as if you build on "Leviathan" and Single VIP is enabled, everything you place there will instead start the actual level at the top center area of the map a good tactic for anyone who is stuck being the VIP.
- The VIP gametype has a downloadable variant known as RACETRACKS which is used with popular racing maps.
- This is the only gametype that does not reappear in Halo Reach. This is because many people used VIP as a method to create races in Halo 3. This was then removed and replaced with the Race gametype in Halo: Reach so players are able to create races easily. However, modders have found VIP gametypes in the game's code which can be played normally, though some options cannot be changed in the settings.