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.
- 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.