• Cizlin

Equipment and Grenades - Technical Preview September/October 2021

Updated: Feb 9

Although weapons might seem like they're the focus in Halo combat, knowing how to integrate and use equipment and grenades to accentuate one's gunplay is critical to success. The September/October 2021 Tech Preview for Halo Infinite featured largely the same content as the July Tech Preview, but there were a few new additions to the player's arsenal, as well as plenty of small balancing changes to the existing entries.


This article discusses the functionality of each grenade and equipment item, touching on every use case I found during my time in the Tech Preview. I have also recorded and uploaded some clips, embedded below, showcasing these animations and use cases. For convenience, the following linked sections are included in this article.

Grenades

There were four Grenade types available in the Tech Preview, listed here in alphabetical order:


In multiplayer, players could only hold two different types of grenades and only two of each type they currently had equipped. For example, a player might have two M9 Frag Grenades and two Spike Grenades in their inventory, but they could not pick up any more M9 Frag Grenades or Spike Grenades. If they happened across a Plasma Grenade, they could swap out their currently equipped grenade type for the Plasma Grenade and collect up to two of them. All grenade types spawn in pairs.


In the Tech Preview, players spawned with two M9 Frag Grenades and could only obtain the other grenade types by finding them on the map.


Each grenade type behaves differently, and there are numerous benefits to using each type. All grenades do a small amount of damage to objects they collide with, although the impact damage done is extremely minimal.



Dynamo Grenade

The Dynamo Grenade is the first new grenade type added in Halo Infinite. This Jiralhanae-made grenade bounces repeatedly off surfaces and enemies when thrown, causing damage over time with a series of quick shock pulses. A set amount of time after it is thrown, the grenade self-destructs, which does little to no damage to nearby targets.


A Spartan can stand within a Dynamo Grenade's area of effect for the entire lifespan of the grenade without dying, but they will lose their shields. If there are nearby gameplay or sandbox items, the Dynamo Grenade can chain its damage between them and enemy targets, which may combine with its primary damage pulses to kill a Spartan.


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt for the Dynamo Grenade. The prompt reads, "Pick up Dynamo Grenade", with the symbol for Shock damage preceding the name of the item. The color of the damage type is used for the item's name, a new addition in the most recent Tech Preview. Dynamo Grenades deal Shock damage, which allows the damage from the grenade to chain between sandbox items and EMP vehicles with multiple sustained damage "ticks."


This video shows the behavior of the Dynamo Grenade when thrown at enemies, walls, the floor, and vehicles. The grenade bounces off all surfaces and begins dealing damage almost immediately. Damage ticks occur several times a second until the grenade expires. When damaging sandbox items and enemy players, Shock damage chains between them, dealing damage to all destructible entities. If multiple ticks of Shock damage strike a vehicle, it will become EMPed, restricting its movement and primary firing mechanism until a few seconds after the last tick of Shock damage.


M9 Frag Grenade

The M9 Frag Grenade has been in every FPS Halo game since Halo: CE. The M9 Frag Grenade bounces off surfaces and enemies when thrown. It will not detonate until a short time after it bounces off the ground.


A detonation under the feet is not enough to kill a fully-shielded Spartan, but it can break their shields and set them up for a quick headshot to finish them.


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt for the M9 Frag Grenade. The prompt reads, "Pick up M9 Frag Grenade", with the symbol for Kinetic damage preceding the name of the item. Thus, Frag Grenades deal Kinetic damage, which is most effective against unshielded foes.


This video shows the behavior of the M9 Frag Grenade when thrown at enemies, walls, and the floor. The grenade bounces off all surfaces but is only primed after colliding with the floor. Detonation occurs shortly after priming. The grenade will not detonate prior to priming, no matter how long or far it has been traveling.


Plasma Grenade

Like the M9 Frag Grenade, the Plasma Grenade has been in every FPS Halo game since Halo: CE. The Plasma Grenade bounces slightly off walls, the ground, and other general environment features. However, it sticks on impact with friendlies, enemies, and vehicles. The Plasma Grenade will not detonate until a short time after it either comes to rest on a surface or sticks to a target.


If a Spartan is stuck with a Plasma Grenade, only a full Overshield might be able to save them. The detonation can also kill any enemy Spartan standing very close to the grenade in one hit. However, the overall blast radius is smaller than that of the M9 Frag Grenade, and it cannot bounce around corners.


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt for the Plasma Grenade. The prompt reads, "Pick up Plasma Grenade", with the symbol for Plasma damage preceding the name of the item. Unsurprisingly, Plasma Grenades deal Plasma damage, which is particularly good at breaking energy shields.


This video shows the how the Plasma Grenade behaves after being thrown at walls, floors, and enemy players. Note that it also sticks to vehicles, whether occupied or not.



Spike Grenade

The Spike Grenade is a returning grenade, but, in terms of the FPS titles, it was only seen in Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. The Spike Grenade sticks on impact with anything: environment, friendly, enemy, or vehicle. The Spike Grenade operates on a set timer from when it is first thrown. As such, if it is thrown a long distance, it may simply detonate in midair.


If a Spartan is stuck with a Spike Grenade, only a full Overshield might be able to save them, as with a Plasma Grenade. Furthermore, sticking an enemy with a Spike Grenade does significantly more impact damage than hitting them with an M9 Frag grenade or sticking them with a Plasma Grenade.


Unlike the other two grenade types, upon detonation, Spike Grenades unleash a flurry of spikes with high velocity and random trajectories. Furthermore, the spikes can ricochet off surfaces several times before embedding themselves. This makes the Spike Grenade extremely lethal in small rooms and hallways. It is entirely possible to throw a Spike Grenade in a hallway and kill multiple Spartans within if the spikes ricochet in the right ways. However, due to the random trajectories, Spike Grenades are not as effective in open environments, as the spikes have fewer opportunities to bounce toward an enemy player.


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt for the Spike Grenade. The prompt reads, "Pick up Plasma Grenade", with the symbol for Kinetic damage preceding the name of the item. As with the M9 Frag Grenade, Spike Grenades deal Kinetic damage, which is strong against unshielded foes.


This video shows the how the Spike Grenade behaves after being thrown at walls, floors, and enemy players, as well as how it detonates a set amount of time after throwing, regardless of whether it impacts something. Note that it also sticks to vehicles, whether occupied or not.



Equipment

There were six Equipment types available in the Tech Preview, listed here in alphabetical order:

In multiplayer, players could only hold one type of equipment at a time, although some equipment items could stack multiple copies up to an equipment-specific maximum. To pick up equipment of another type, players could swap out their currently-held equipment item for the new item. Using a piece of equipment also started a short cooldown to prevent the player from immediately using another copy of the same equipment. For example, if a player threw down a Drop Wall, they would need to wait a few seconds before they could throw down another Drop Wall.


In the Tech Preview, players did not spawn with any equipment. All equipment items had to be found on the map before they could be used.



Active Camo

With the exception of Halo 3: ODST, Active Camo has been in every FPS Halo game since Halo: CE, but in greatly varying ways. In Halo Infinite, Active Camo functions as a mix between the Halo 3 Campaign version and the Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer version. Unlike in previous multiplayer installments, Active Camo can be acquired and carried around until the player chooses to use it. While they are carrying the Active Camo, a blue trail of light will follow them around, alerting other players that they possess this equipment item. If the player is killed, the Active Camo will drop and be available for anyone to take.


When the player decides to use it, a relatively lengthy animation will play before the Active Camo applies to the player and they become mostly invisible. Dying while the animation is playing will drop the item for other players to use. As in Halo 5: Guardians, moving at walking speed does not reduce the effectiveness of the Active Camo, although it does not last nearly as long as it did in that title. However, walking at normal speed will reveal the player on the motion tracker for others to see, so be wary. The Active Camo is extremely effective against Bots, as they will completely ignore cloaked players unless they are touching them.


The following two values indicate how many copies of the equipment item spawn together and how many total copies can be held at once, respectively.


Spawn count: 1

Max inventory count: 1


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt and symbol for the Active Camo. Unsurprisingly, the prompt reads, "Pick up Active Camo".


This video shows the animation for activating the Active Camo, as well as the resulting first-person effects on the weapon and the outer edges of the screen. It also shows how Bots do not detect players using Active Camo.



Drop Wall

The Drop Wall is a new equipment item introduced for the first time in Halo Infinite. When thrown, the equipment takes a short amount of time to fully deploy. Once deployed, the Drop Wall forms a one-way 3x5-grid shield that blocks damage (i.e. weapon fire, grenades, and melee attacks) from the front, but allows damage to pass through the rear. Individual panels can be destroyed from the front with a small amount of targeted damage, thereby allowing damage to pass in both directions through that panel. Alternatively, shooting the generator in the bottom middle of the shield will instantly destroy it.


The following values indicate how many copies of the equipment item spawn together in Arena and BTB and how many total copies can be held at once, respectively.


Arena spawn count: 2

BTB spawn count: 3

Max inventory count: 3


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt and symbol for the Drop Wall. Unsurprisingly, the prompt reads, "Pick up Drop Wall".


This video shows the animation for activating the Drop Wall and the behavior described above (damage allowed through back, blocked in front until panel is destroyed, shooting generator instantly destroys entire shield.) It also demonstrates that Shock damage can chain off the Drop Wall without destroying it.



Grappleshot

The Grappleshot is another new equipment item introduced for the first time in Halo Infinite, and one that has been marketed quite heavily. When the Grappleshot is equipped, players can target weapons, grenades, equipment, the environment, and even other players, provided they are within range. Activating the Grappleshot fires a grappling hook that latches onto the target and pulls it to the player if it is a weapon, grenade, or equipment item. If instead the target is the environment, a vehicle, or another player (friendly or enemy), the player will be pulled toward their target.


In the case of using the Grappleshot on an enemy player, a small amount of damage will be dealt upon hooking the player. If the link is not broken by the Grappleshot user before reaching the enemy player, the user will automatically melee the grappled enemy with no input needed from the user.


If, instead, a player Grappleshots to a vehicle, they will either automatically enter the seat closest to them or automatically hijack the vehicle if an enemy is in the closest seat.


Players will know when they can use the Grappleshot by paying attention to the center of their reticle. If a small yellow dot is visible, the Grappleshot will latch onto whatever is being targeted.


Needless to say, the Grappleshot has a ton of depth and can be used to perform mind-blowing plays with enough practice. It combos really well with most other items in the sandbox and opens up new movement paths on maps where it spawns. It was a highly desirable equipment pickup for good reason.


The following values indicate how many copies of the equipment item spawn together in Arena and BTB and how many total copies can be held at once, respectively.


Arena spawn count: 3

BTB spawn count: 5

Max inventory count: 5


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt and symbol for the Grappleshot. Unsurprisingly, the prompt reads, "Pick up Grappleshot".


This video shows all the different behaviors of the Grappleshot, whether it be pulling something to the player or pulling the player to something. It's worth noting that, although it was not shown in the video, even the Flag can be grabbed with the Grappleshot if it has been moved away from its spawn.



Overshield

Much like the Active Camo, the Overshield has appeared in every FPS Halo game since Halo: CE, with the exception of Halo 3: ODST. The Halo Infinite iteration is most similar to the Halo 5: Guardians version, except that it can be collected and carried in the player's inventory until they decide to use it. While the player is carrying the Overshield, a yellow light trail will follow them around to notify other players that they have it. If a player carrying the Overshield is killed, other players can pick it up, just like with any other equipment item.


Activating the Overshield plays a relatively lengthy animation before instantly applying the full Overshield to the player. Dying while the animation is playing will drop the item for other players to use. The Overshield instantly recharges the player's shields and temporarily adds additional non-rechargeable shielding when finished activating. As time passes or the player takes damage, the additional shielding will decrease until it completely dissipates. The Overshield does not protect against Back Smacks, which will still one-hit the player.


The following values indicate how many copies of the equipment item spawn together and how many total copies can be held at once, respectively.


Spawn count: 1

Max inventory count: 1


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt and symbol for the Overshield. As with the other equipment items, the prompt reads, "Pick up Overshield".


This video shows the animation for activating the Overshield, as well as the increased shields in the shield bar (indicated by a yellow bar) and the first-person effects around the edges of the screen. It also demonstrates how the Overshield instantly recharges the player's shields.



Repulsor

The Repulsor was featured for the first time in the September/October Tech Preview. It is a completely new item for Halo Infinite. When activated, the Repulsor forcefully pushes back any non-hitscan projectiles, vehicles, or enemies in front of the player for an instant. This can deflect incoming explosives or knockback enemies and vehicles to great effect.


Alternatively, if the player looks toward the ground when activating the Repulsor, it will launch them vertically. Jumping as you Repulse the ground will result in a very high jump, which can be used to quickly leap to the top floor of a map or to get the jump on an unsuspecting enemy.


The following values indicate how many copies of the equipment item spawn together in Arena and BTB and how many total copies can be held at once, respectively.


Arena spawn count: 3

BTB spawn count: 5

Max inventory count: 5


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt and symbol for the Repulsor. The prompt reads, "Pick up Repulsor".


This video shows the Repulsor used to deflect an incoming grenade, launch an enemy into a wall, and propel the player upward. Note that the deflection also significantly affects vehicles.



Threat Sensor

The Threat Sensor, like the Grappleshot and Drop Wall, is a completely new item for Halo Infinite. The Threat Sensor is fired as a projectile upon activation. The projectile drops vertically the longer it's in the air before it impacts with the environment, a player, or a vehicle.


Once the projectile impacts something, it sticks to it and does a small amount of damage to whatever it hits. Then, the projectile begins pulsing periodically, revealing the locations and names of enemies within its radius through walls. Additionally, whenever the Threat Sensor projectile detects an enemy, the enemy's location will be marked on the motion sensor, no matter where the player is located in relation to the Threat Sensor.


The Threat Sensor can be attached to friendlies, enemies, and vehicles, and it lasts either for three pulses or until the object it is attached to is destroyed or killed or. Alternatively, enemy players can destroy the Threat Sensor projectile by damaging it directly.


The following values indicate how many copies of the equipment item spawn together in Arena and BTB and how many total copies can be held at once, respectively.


Arena spawn count: 2

BTB spawn count: 4

Max inventory count: 4


This screenshot shows the pick-up prompt and symbol for the Threat Sensor. This prompt reads, "Pick up Threat Sensor".


This video shows the animation for firing the Threat Sensor and its behavior upon impacting teammates, enemies, and the environment. The spherical pulse that emanates from the projectile detects enemies and highlights them for a short time after detection.


Summary

We got one more equipment item and one more grenade in this Tech Preview, but most of the items were slightly adjusted in one way or another. Here's a summary of the details and behaviors of each item.

  • Four grenades were featured in the Tech Preview: M9 Frag Grenade, Plasma Grenade, Spike Grenade, and the new Dynamo Grenade.

  • The M9 Frag Grenade deals Kinetic damage and bounces off everything.

  • It primes after bouncing off the ground, detonating shortly afterward.

  • It cannot kill a Spartan in one hit, but it can break shields.

  • The Plasma Grenade deals Plasma damage and sticks to friendlies, enemies, and vehicles.

  • It primes after sticking to a target or coming to rest on a surface, detonating shortly afterward.

  • It can kill a Spartan if it sticks to them or is very close to them.

  • The Spike Grenade deals Kinetic damage and sticks to everything.

  • It primes as soon as it is thrown, detonating after a moderate time.

  • It can kill a Spartan if it sticks to them or if it is thrown in an enclosed area with them due to the ricocheting spikes it launches in random directions.

  • The Dynamo Grenade deals Shock damage and bounces significantly off everything.

  • The Dynamo Grenade pulses several times a second for a few seconds, dealing a small amount of Shock damage in a circle around it with each pulse.

  • The Dynamo Grenade cannot kill a Spartan with direct damage, but if enough Shock damage chains from gameplay objects or other Spartans to them, they may be killed indirectly.

  • All grenades do impact damage, with Spike Grenades doing more impact damage than the other grenade types.

  • Players spawn with 2 M9 Frag Grenades.

  • Players can hold up to two grenade types and can hold up to two grenades of each of those types for a total of four grenades.

  • Grenades spawn two at a time in multiplayer.

  • Six equipment items were featured in the Tech Preview: Active Camo, Drop Wall, Grappleshot, Overshield, Repulsor (new for this Tech Preview), and Threat Sensor.

  • The Active Camo cloaks the player for several seconds after a relatively lengthy animation.

  • It spawns 1 at a time, and only 1 charge can be held in the inventory.

  • The Drop Wall spawns a 3x5-grid shield that allows weapon fire and grenades to pass through the back while blocking weapon fire, grenades, and melees from the front.

  • Individual panels can be destroyed with a small amount of concentrated fire from the front, allowing damage to pass through that panel in both directions.

  • Shooting the generator in the bottom middle instantly destroys the Drop Wall.

  • It spawns 2 at a time in Arena (3 in BTB), and up to 3 charges can be held in the inventory.

  • The Grappleshot can be used to pull targeted Weapons, Grenades, or Equipment within range to the user, either adding the item to the player's inventory if possible or swapping the incoming item for the currently equipped item in the same slot.

  • It can also be used to pull the user toward a spot on the environment or toward an enemy player, automatically meleeing them at the end.

  • When targeting a vehicle, the Grappleshot pulls the player toward the vehicle and then automatically puts them in the nearest seat. If that seat is occupied by an opponent, they player will automatically enter the Hijack animation.

  • It spawns 3 at a time in Arena (5 in BTB), and up to 5 charges can be held in the inventory.

  • The Overshield, after a relatively lengthy initial animation, instantly recharges the player's shield and adds an additional layer of shields that lasts for several seconds or until the player takes enough damage for the shield to be destroyed.

  • It spawns 1 at a time, and only 1 charge can be held in the inventory.

  • The Repulsor deflects incoming projectiles and nearby enemies and vehicles in front of the user for an instant.

  • When used to knock back projectiles, ownership of those projectiles is transferred to the Repulsor user, allowing them to harm any opponents in their new path.

  • When used to knock back players or vehicles, a small amount of damage is done whenever they strike a wall after being Repulsed, no matter how close or far the wall is.

  • The Repulsor can also be used to launch the user by looking down and Repulsing the ground.

  • It spawns 3 at a time in Arena (5 in BTB), and up to 5 charges can be held in the inventory.

  • The Threat Sensor is a fired projectile that sticks to whatever it impacts.

  • The Threat Sensor projectile experiences vertical drop over longer distances.

  • Once the Threat Sensor sticks to its target (friendly, enemy, vehicle, or environment), it will remain attached and periodically pulse in a sphere around the device until the target is destroyed, the Threat Sensor is damaged enough to be destroyed, or the Threat Sensor expires on its own after three pulses.

  • Any enemies within the pulse's radius will be marked through walls and on the motion tracker.

  • It spawns 2 at a time in Arena (4 in BTB), and 4 charges can be held in the inventory.

  • All equipment items experience a cooldown immediately after using the item to prevent the player from immediately using another charge of the item.

  • Players do not spawn with any equipment and must find it on the map to use it.

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