More Halo: The Master Chief Collection Guides:
- Data Pads Locations (Halo: Reach).
- A Monument to All Your Sins & Gods Must Be Strong Achievements.
- Forza in the Fall Achievement Guide (Reach Racer Easter Egg).
- Top 10 Hardest Reach Legendary Missions + Tips for Each.
- Club Errera Easter Egg Guide (New Alexandria Mission).
- Jorge Can't Have All the Big Guns Achievement Guide.
- How to Get Workers' Compensation Achievement.
- One Final Firefight Achievement Guide.
- Tips & Tricks (for Multiplayer).
A list of general tactics to use for the legendary difficulty, as well as level specific tips that will help minimize or skip the most difficult parts of the game.
Halo: Reach's legendary campaign is one of the more difficult campaigns in the Bungie era of Halo...if you play it the way it's intended. If you just want to grab the achievement and go, then look no further. This guide will be using a bunch of simple skips from LASO playthroughs and general advice for difficult sections to help you finish Halo: Reach on legendary by yourself and grab "A Monument to All Your Sins". Please note that this guide will contain spoilers and is assuming you're already familiar with the campaign. Also note that there is some minor randomization in some missions with BOB spawns, and it'll be up to you to handle him.
- On missions where you have Noble team allies, always let them push up in front of you and grab most of the attention. They can't die, so don't feel too bad.
- Abuse the noob combo. Always carry a Plasma Pistol unless I specify otherwise. There's no reason not to, and you'll just be making things harder for yourself by not doing it. And always carry a weapon capable of an instant headshot kill in your other slot. That means a DMR, Needle rifle, Magnum, or hell, a Sniper Rifle. Whenever you encounter an Elite, dip behind the nearest cover, charge your Plasma Pistol, pop out and shoot them, then quickly switch to your headshot weapon and tap them once on the head. If you don't use this combo, you'll be wasting ammo and time on Elites, both of which are valuable on legendary.
- Use headshot weapons for all the normal infantry. Tap grunts on the head once or twice and they die. Always aim for the exposed hand on the left of a Jackal shield, then tap them on the head while they're reeling. Optimally, this means that you'll be using 1-2 rounds on Grunts and 2 rounds on Jackals.
- Find a piece of cover and stay back. More times than not, there's no reason to push in. You can almost always take out most of the enemies from a safe distance with your precision weapons.
- Brutes are hilariously weak, and you should consider replacing the Plasma Pistol with the Needler and the DMR with the Needle Rifle on areas where they're the dominant enemy. That means all of Exodus, the hospital in New Alexandria, and the final wave defense segment in Pillar of Autumn. Since they're mostly unshielded, you can kill one with 6 Needler rounds or three body shots with the Needle Rifle. Note that the DMR tends to take 1-2 headshots to pop their helmet off, and 1 more headshot to kill. The Needle Rifle is just as efficient except you need to aim a whole lot less.
- Grab the drop shield when you can, and use sprint otherwise. Other than some very niche situations, there's very little reason to use the other abilties.
Mission 1: Winter Contingency
- After the initial fight with the Covenant and Noble Team crosses the bridge, you can completely skip the next firefight. Swing far right, kiss the cliff and follow it. Once you find the civilian transports, hop in them and drive away. If you want, you can wait for your NPC allies, but otherwise, don't stop driving until you find the troopers you're told to look for.
- As soon as you land in the relay, swing far left into the side corridor and then run to Kat's building as fast as possible. Then, just sit tight inside. There's almost no way the Covenant will reach you with Noble Team going bonkers just outside. Sit tight and wait for the segment to end.
- The initial segment after the cutscene is the hardest part in the level, as they've taken away your godly Plasma Pistol and stuck a Concussion Rifle Elite in your face. If you want to just be safe, slow, and steady, then hide and let Jorge slowly pick everyone off - he'll get it done eventually. If you want to actually play the game, find an opening between the volleys and pick off the Grunts and Jackals, then sprint out, grab a Plasma Pistol, and quickly end the Elite's life.
- The ending segment isn't too hard. Grenade the door that the Grunts will be pouring out of - reload checkpoint if you miss your window. Then do the standard noob combo for the remaining Elites for the win.
Mission 2: Oni Sword Base
- Sprint up the left ramp as soon as you have control to murder two jackals and grab their Plasma Pistol. The firefight shouldn't be too tough after that.
- Once you have the target locator and leave the base, you'll come across two Wraiths. Target one of them and let the artillery kill them, then kill the infantry and the gunner on the remaining Wraith. Your goal is to hijack it. You can use an overcharged Plasma Pistol shot to disable it if you want to be safer on your approach, but it isn't too necessary. Watch out for the ram it'll try to do when you're too close for its gun to hit you. Once you've started hijacking it, only punch until the cover over the driver comes off. Then, dismount from your hijack animation, jump on the Wraith, and melee the exposed driver to death. If you hijack meleed until the driver dies, then the Wraith will be a smoking wreck on the verge of blowing up when you take control of it.
- The Wraith should make the entire outdoors section easy. Once the game hands you a Gauss Hog after the second objective, use that instead. Kat is a great shot and you might as well savor its power.
- You'll encounter two hunters later on in the level. These are one of two Hunter encounters you'll have to fight in the entire game if you follow this guide. There are two ways to handle them. One is to take the Gauss Hog with you into the base by either driving at the barrier quickly, or nading it over. The Gauss Hog will be able to snipe the hunters from outside. You can also just grab the shotgun and utilize the traditional "bullfighter" method, where you bait their melee animations to shoot them in the back.
- After you reach Jorge and are told to go help Emile, you can skip basically the entire map. Run to the right up the stairs and kill any enemies inside. Then, as you're crossing over to the third floor, you'll notice a ledge on the outside of the entire floor. Instead of entering the room, hop onto that ledge and you can just run over to the ramp that goes to the fourth floor. Do this until you reach the top. You may take some random hits, but you shouldn't die.
- Your main worry at the top are the cloaked Elites. Don't worry about helping Emile until these two are dead.
Mission 3: Nightfall
This is the easiest mission of the bunch by far. Just run past everything. A direct route is hard to describe, so just watch and follow this video (all credit to RC master). The only tricky part is the forklift skip, and even then you're guaranteed to get it eventually. Practice on easy first if you're antsy.
Mission 4: Tip of the Spear
- The initial firefight can almost be completely avoided. Go left and hug the cliff and stay outside the railing. It should block most of the shots from the infantry. The only enemy you'll have to actively target is the fuel rod Shade - a couple of grenades from your launcher will do it. Then, run far enough to trigger the Pelican dropping in the rocket hog. If it's just hovering and trying to kill every enemy, run a little further to trigger it to settle down - just make sure not to drop down into the next area.
- Take the rocket hog and ditch Kat and the trooper it came with. Drop down into the next area and take care of the skirmishers - splatter them with the hog or get off and do it the old fashioned way. Then, position the rocket hog in a place where you can see the giant cannon in front without progressing too far. Get in the gunner's seat and shoot it from the outside until it blows up. The reason you ditched Kat and the trooper is so they won't hop in the driver's seat and screw everything up.
- Take a sharp right and drive until your see a Phantom. Wait a bit for a friendly Pelican to stop by and drop a bridge before you drive through this area and over it.
- Park the rocket hog outside the mining facility and pick off as many as you can with it. If Kat has caught up by now, don't worry - since you're not supposed to be driving at this point, her AI won't move the car.
- Skip the mining facility. Refer to this video.
- Grab a Revenant and use it to bombard the anti air cannon from a safe distance. Then use it to painstakingly clear out the remaining enemies. If you want to be more fun with it, hijack one of the Wraiths instead.
- On the Falcon ride, prioritize the turrets, then the concussion rifle Elites, then the turrets.
- Clear out the initial Grunts and Skirmishers from the initial Spire area. Grab a jetpack. There are a few ways to proceed after that. One is to overcharge plasma shot one of the Banshees out of the sky and take that up to the top. The other is to painstakingly clear out the fuel rods to open a clear path to the lifts inside. It's almost impossible to make it with them alive.
- Once at the top, stay outside so you have room to move. Pick off any Grunts who peek you, prioritizing the ones with fuel rods. When the sword Elite comes after you, noob combo him or hover safely over the edge with your jetpack and watch him kill himself trying to get to you.
Mission 5: A Long Night of Solace
- The initial beach section is easily handled by all of Noble Team tanking and the noob combo. Once you reach the facility, there will be two troopers with rocket launchers. Trade your pistol for one of theirs, then kill the other for ammo.
- In space, be sure to hug the backside of Anchor Nine. Enemies rarely fly there for whatever reason, so it's a relatively safe place to regenerate your shields. When the Phantom wave spawns, wait for them to come closer before picking them off with your missiles.
- For the next segment, boost straight towards the Covenant Corvette and take out its engines with your missiles before you're prompted to. Then, rush on over to your friendly ship and hide behind it. The safest place is under one of those weird wings - you can easily keep pace with it, and it keeps you covered from multiple angles. The enemy Covenant aren't too bright and may ram into the ship trying to kill you. Either way, your friendly ships will eventually take out all the enemies and you can proceed to the next part.
- The initial comms room may be one of the more difficult parts of the whole game. Six Elites, all armed with Plasma Repeaters. They'll be able to gun you down within a second. Don't drop in immediately and wait for two of them to hop up into your space. They can't attack while they're jumping, so quickly murder them before they land. A third Elite jumped up for me once, but don't count on it. Hop down and use that Launcher you grabbed to wipe them out, using your drop shield for brief cover if you need it.
- For the hangar area, uses the hallway you come in as cover. It shouldn't be too hard once you manage to pick off the Engineer.
- For the bridge area, stay in the doorway of where you entered intiially and pick off any Grunts and Jackals you see. If the concussion rifle is spraying you too hard, fall back and the door will close. Keep an eye on your motion tracker for the invisible Elites and just kill them with DMR shots - their shields are a lot weaker than other Elites, and Plasma Pistol shots won't track them.
- When you return to the hangar with Jorge, hop in the Pelican's turret and win.
Mission 6: Exodus
- This is a Brute only mission. Swap out your Plasma Pistol for a Needler for this level. Make sure not to overkill too hard with it - 6 shots will kill a Brute unless they armor lock.
- During the defense section at the elevator, hug the left side of the wall around the elevator. It gives you good enough cover. Prioritize the two Gravity Hammer Chieftains when they rush out (they don't have shields so needle them) and this part shouldn't be too difficult.
- There are no standout firefights until you reach the tower near the end of the level. Bait each Brute out of the tower with you - there is a crazy Brute Chieftain with a Fuel Rod Gun inside. Once you've wiped the Brutes out, grab your own Fuel Rod from one of the dead spec-ops Grunts outside. It'll be dicey, but if you manage to evade one of the Chieftain's salvoes, you'll win. Use the fuel rod to wipe out the two shade turrets outside, but be sure to hold on to at least one shot. Do not switch your fuel rod gun out.
- For the on rails falcon section, it's pretty easy up until a certain point where Banshees will start peppering you from behind. If you're not careful, they can easily kill you. They start shooting soon after you pass the skirmish at the long hallway, so point your gun back in preparation.
- Once you're on the ground, hop in a Warthog and hand one of the troopers your Fuel Rod Cannon. Make sure they go in the passenger's seat. This guy will be the MVP, because he'll have infinite Fuel Rod shots. Drive around and let him wipe out all the Wraiths and Ghosts around the map. Be sure to keep moving, though if he dies, you can easily hand the Fuel Rod to another trooper. You can use this guy to clear out most of the level, leaving only a couple of Brutes stuck indoors at the end for you to deal with. You can either kill them, or bait them out and slip by them to hit the button and end the level.
Mission 7: New Alexandria
- This mission has three jammers, in randomized order, with a randomized mission in between. The missions in between aren't too tough, it basically consists of "circle strafe and shoot anything that's shooting at you."
- For the Hospital jammer, have needle weapons for the first part, but once you kill the jammer, Elites will ambush you. Be sure to have a Plasma Pistol handy.
- For the Sinoviet Center jammer, just walk in, hit it, and sprint out. The drones won't have time to swarm and kill you.
- For the Club Errera jammer, I highly recommend activating the Club Errera rave Easter Egg, Siege of Madrigal version. This lets you skip the 4 Hunter fight, which you can imagine is a pain on Legendary. The reason you should do the Siege of Madirgal version is because the Grunts won't aggro onto you in that version, so you won't have to deal with all six of their fuel rods locking on to you as soon as you hit the jammer. You can do it by following this video.
Mission 8: The Package
- The opening part is the most annoying. Headshot the grunt in the ghost on the right, then quickly headshot the marksman on the floating platform, and the two shade turrets. Use the ghost you freed up on the right to clear the area out. It can be pretty iffy, so feel free to restart however many times you need to get it right.
- The Scorpion segment is pretty simple. You can use the Tip of the Spear strategy on the two cannons and just shoot them from outside. It won't get difficult until the area right outside Sword Base, where there are two fuel rod shades and two plasma shades. I don't have any recommendations other than "memorize where they are and kill them before they can kill you". Be sure to have a plasma pistol on hand before entering Sword Base - otherwise, the firefight you get into when you enter will be annoying to handle.
- When you reach the wave defense segment, Plasma Pistol a Banshee out of the sky ASAP. You can do it before the waves spawn, or during the first wave. It makes this mission a hell of a lot easier. The only real threats you have to deal with will be other Banshees, and the ghosts that the Phantoms drop in. Prioritize the Ghosts, and there will be nothing stopping you from dominating this segment with the Banshee. If you want, you can activate the turrets, but they aren't too useful outside of some distraction.
Mission 9: The Pillar of Autumn
- This is a complicated level and I'm going to be using videos a lot more, because some parts are just way too confusing to describe in writing. In the very beginning, wait for the Elite on the right side of the clearing to turn around, then hug the right wall and sprint ahead to the shack. Inside, grab the DMR and rocket, then hop on a mongoose and gun it.
- Wait a bit in the cave before the jump. If you gun it like mad, the Phantom outside will gun you down. You need to wait for it to pass.
- After the jump, use your DMR take out the two marksmen on the floating platform and the gunner on the Wraith all the way in the back. A random Wraith shot may take you out every once in a while, but don't stress about it too much. Once you've done that, hug the right wall and use the cover to get close and board the Wraith. You want to completely kill this one, so punch it until it's dead.
- Watch out for any Needle Rifles and grab them and their ammo. You'll want to keep a Needle Rifle in your inventory this entire mission.
- Once you reach the Boneyard, there's a route you can take to skip over every single enemy.
- There's a skip you can do to not fight three Repeater elites and two hunters.
- Once you reach the final area, be sure to activate the hidden DMR cache. It may have despawned and it's still possible to finish the level without it, but it's fantastic to have around.
- This is a Brute only wave defense. This is why you kept your Needle Ridle with you all this time. You can murder normal brutes with it. IF you activated the DMR cache, you can use a DMR to clear out the normal infantry to preserve ammo.
- Once the second wave of Brutes comes in, you'll need to drop the DMR for a Plasma Pistol. There will be three Brute Chieftains rushing you, all with shields. Be sure to pop their shields with an overcharge shot and do the standard three body needle shot. Same for the third and final wave
- The final room of the campaign is incredibly difficult, mostly due to the engineer floating around. With it around, you can't noob combo the Elites and they'll maul you to death instantly. There are a few LASO tricks you can utilize, but I stuck with simply finding openings to murder the engineer with a DMR before noob comboing the rest of the room. If you want to see the more reliable LASO strategies, you can either continue watching that Nak3d Eli video or just...google it.
- The final MAC gun segment is based on a timer. Get in it and hop out immediately. Go hide under the stairs right under it. There will be swarms of Phantoms coming and you likely can't wipe them out faster than they can shoot you dead. When you hear Keyes yelling "Fire, Lieutenant", then you'll want to hop out, get in the gun, and shoot it once at the ship to get your achievement. They won't have enough time to kill you (hopefully).