Halo Reach armor abilities guide - new to PC or revisiting the Master Chief Collection? Here's how to survive

Halo Reach armor abilities guide
(Image credit: Microsoft/343 Industries)

Halo: Reach armor abilities are a way of changing your loadout which, if you're new to the PC release might be news to you. Obviously Master Chief Collection people and owners of the original game will have an advantage if you can't tell your evade from your armor lock. Each of these perks adds quite a bit more bang to your run-of-the-mill Halo multiplayer match and there are some advanced strategies regarding each armor ability that might not seem immediately obvious. So read up on this Halo: Reach armor abilities breakdown and see if it helps your battle back to 2010. 

Armor Lock

halo reach armor lock

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Armor Lock ability is a nifty thing. When activated, your Spartan or Elite slams their fist into the ground, takes on a white-bluish glow and becomes completely invulnerable. Tank fire, rockets, speeding vehicles, SARS, bee stings, paper cuts – none of this stuff can harm you while you’re armor locked. Plus, once you deactivate the ability, you’ll give off a small EMP shockwave that damages nearby enemies and shuts down vehicles. The downside is that you’re rooted in place the entire time Armor Lock is active.

Complete invulnerability at the expense of movement is a usefull trick but there's a few nuanced things that aren't immediately obvious. If you get stuck by a grenade for example, triggering Armor Lock means anything clinging to your armor will be flung off. It's also a good technique to mess with the slower, more damaging plasma sword dash attack most people use in one on one. 

Halo reach vehicle armor lock

(Image credit: Bungie)

It's also incredibly effective against vehicles - activate your armor the instant before you get splattered, so the driver has no time veer out of the way, and depending on how fast the vehicle was going, it could flip over or outright explode. Either way, you’re going to look badass. 

Jet pack

halo reach jet pack

(Image credit: Bungie)

Halo: Reach proves that jet packs just make everything better. The Jet Pack armor ability enables Spartans and Elites to fly through the air with the greatest of ease. The advantages are obvious: escape incoming fire, getting better (higher) firing position and travelling faster to confuse the opposition by being somewhere sooner than they expect. It's also a great way to get a good view of the battlefield to feed back to your team. Just be careful while in the air - if you stay still for too long you're a sitting duck for snipes and needlers. 

The Drop Shield

halo reach drop shield

(Image credit: Bungie)

The Drop Shield is a deployable energy dome that blocks all enemy projectiles. Think of the Bubble Shield from Halo 3 only you can utilize it repeatedly as long as you…well, you know…don’t die. In addition, the dome will regenerate wounded players back to full health while they take cover.

Active Camo

Active Camo has received quite a few changes. As an armor ability, Active Camo not only turns you invisible, but also acts as a radar jammer. While cloaked, enemy motion trackers (yours included) will show nothing but a bunch of dummy blips moving about, which means the other team KNOWS you’re skulking about somewhere. Sound will also become muted, which makes it more difficult to hear grenades, gunfire, etc.

The Active Camo armor ability works much more effectively (as do all the armor abilities) when used in tandem with your team. You don’t need to be in the midst of the group; simply follow them. Once your allies engage the opposing team, move out of sight and cloak. The radar jammer will confuse the enemy team and help out your allies. Quick movement brings more of your character model into view, so move slowly when you don’t want to be seen. Take your pick of any enemy targets while your team provides the distraction.

The Active Camo is an excellent supplement for sniping. After all, it’s somewhat difficult to scan for snipers when they’re invisible. Grab the sniper rifle, pick out your favorite roost and then cloak. This removes the need to hide your head, as the only time you’ll be visible is when you take the shot. Make sure to close up shop and move every few kills so that the enemy doesn’t get wise to what you’re doing.


halo reach hologram

(Image credit: Bungie)

A well used hologram is a useful Armor Ability in halo Reach. Creating a decoy is more than just a distraction as it can draw fire - either from you when you're exposed or to cover you as you make a break for it. It can also use up ammo and, if you're lucky, force a reload you can take advantage off. Same goes for a abilities and even if the oppositions gets to recharge at least you know what you're up agains. don't rely on them too much though as once you know the signs it's easy to spot a fake. 


halo reach sprint

(Image credit: Bungie)

Given the tactical value of just about everything other Halo Reach Armor ability sprint is a tricky choice to recommend. You'll be able to move slightly faster. For short amounts of time. And... that's about it.  Oh, and you'll make a panting noise the  whole time you're using it, removing any chance of keeping a low proifile.


halo reach armor evade

(Image credit: Bungie)

In the hands of an expert the armor ability to evade is a literal game changer. Not only will you be able to literally dodge bullets and grenades but this will break any lock ons or target tracking that might otherwise spell doom. Obviously you'll have to rely on your weapons alone to seal the deal but when mastered this an incredibly effective ability weird. 

Jordan Baughman is a freelance journalist who has written for the likes of GamesRadar and Gamer magazine. With a passion for video games and esports, Baughman has been covering the industry for years now, and even hopped the fence to work as a public relations coordinator for clients that include EA, Capcom, Namco, and more.