Check in here for strategies on completing the Daily and Weekly Challenges in Halo: Reach. If it’s your first time, click through the About HRD link above; and add comments below if you’ve got a good idea of your own for tackling the Challenges today.


Here aboard the Pillar Of Awesome, we love Christmas week. Everybody gets drunk and takes off their armor during the office party, and we set the turrets on autofire — so if you’re flying a non-UNSC vehicle, landing on rooftops and attempting to sneak into fireplaces, you better watch out. Fact is, ONI doesn’t like that you keep everyone under surveillance all year while you make some kind of secret list; and don’t even get me started on that Nazi mutant reindeer Rudolph.

So, to make amends for what happened last year — and how were the autoturrets supposed to know the flying sled was a friendly, yeah? — we thought HRD would mark the birth of everybody’s buddy JC with a weeklong Screenshot series promoting one of his top Commendations: Brotherhood.

Send in your Group Screenshots this week featuring not just YOU, but your ALLIES as well, and we’ll run them all week, culminating in all of them running together on the Big Day. (It doesn’t matter if you’ve already had one on the Front Page; this is open to everyone.) ID’s for the other players in the pic would be great, but not necessary. And no, you don’t have to get drunk and take off your armor beforehand (though we’d like to see you try). Happy Holidays!

–Ender Xer0


Brotherhood Screenshot Of The Day this morning courtesy of x Hells Harp x (at right), along with her friends V Translanka (left) and Bleedingod, in a custom map virtually built for ass-whuppin’ screenshots. Thanks, Harp! Everyone, click to enlarge — it’s worth it!

Send your screenshots to, or just make a file recommendation to us on XBox (Gamertag: Ender Xer0, with a zero), and we’ll take care of the rest. Remember: we’re not looking for Forge art or pix from the Internet; it should be a screenshot of YOU!


  • TYPES: Completion, Kills, Killstyle
  • SETTINGS: Any Game Mode, Campaign, Firefight, Multiplayer
  • TOTAL TIME: 100-140 minutes
  • OVERALL VALUE: ★★★★☆
  • TOTAL CREDITS: 10000

Wow, a pretty decent cRedit total there. Happy Holidays to you too, Bungie!


Any Game Mode


Type: Kills
Setting: Any Game Mode
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 5 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 2500

Kill 250 enemies in any game mode in Reach.

Not much to say here: You’ll automatically rack these up at least four times over as part of the other Daily Challenges today, so you’ll pocket this one without even noticing.



Skull On

Type: Completion
Setting: Campaign
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10-15 minutes
Value: ★★★★☆
Reward: 2750

Complete a Campaign mission on Heroic with Famine, Tough Luck, and Thunderstorm on.

Wait, what? Didn’t we just do this two days ago? Get it together, Bungie — unless you want people to start doing Daily Challenges like Complete A Campaign Mission In Call Of Duty.

OK, end of rant. Three Skulls On this time, so lets take a look. Thunderstorm upgrades all enemies to the next rank. Famine cuts weapon-pickup ammo in half. And Tough Luck lets enemies dodge grenades and vehicles like Yoda on crack. Guess what? Where we’re going, they’re not gonna make much of a difference.

Decide ahead of time if you intend to do this solo or co-op. If flying solo, our standard recommendation: the Midnight Run on Nightfall, which has become so common for Challenge completions that it’s now taken up residence as a permanent page on the site. Just click on the link along the top for a complete, ah, rundown. (Get it? OK, nevermind.)

On co-op, meanwhile, the Challenge becomes even easier, since the New Alexandria level features long stretches of aerial combat unaffected by the Skull upgrades. When you do need to take an Objective on foot (three total), leave a teammate behind with the Falcons. Most of the time you’ll simply be able to Sprint past enemies to reach the Objective switches; but in any event the real hardcore combat only occurs once you’ve hit the switch and reinforcements storm your location.

Hey, look at that! If you get killed, you’ll simply respawn back up with the teammate who’s making sure no one steals the Falcon’s hubcaps. Hop back in the choppers, job done.




Type: Kills
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Grind
Time: 80-90 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 3500

Kill 1000 enemies on Courtyard in Firefight Matchmaking.

Easily your most time-consuming Challenge of the day, but one for which there are rewards way beyond the initial 3,500 cRedits. (Which itself is pretty decent, yeah?)

Your best bet here: Score Attack’s Gruntpocalypse. About 120 of the little tykes will waddle toward your DMR Doom each game — though you’ll probably score slightly less, since they have the inconvenient habit of blowing up themselves, or each other, or both. That means it’ll take nine full games (about an hour and a half) to finally notch 1K; and that’s a helluvalotta confetti.

So, why not a standard Firefight? Well, above all else, Score Attack lets you control your map: No getting stuck in a 20-30 minute Three-Round game you didn’t want simply because Courtyard didn’t surface in the voting options.

You’ll also enjoy 24 targets per Wave, far more on average than traditional Firefights; and though Grunts populate the basement of the scoring scale, remember that you’re aiming for kills, not Firefight points, so you want corpses you can stack like screaming teens at a Justin Bieber concert. And, even better, since you’re solo, nobody’s around to score kills from out under you.

Sounds good, right? But wait, there’s more. Nine Score Attack matches means 45 Waves, which translates into nearly half of your Weekly Challenge. Since you probably notched at least 10 Waves as part of the Daily Challenges yesterday, you’ll already be past the midpoint of the Weekly, and it’s only the second day.

Firefights generally dominate the Thursday Challenges as well, so there’s a good chance you’ll wrap the Weekly even before you roast chestnuts and wonder what the hell kind of fat guy just landed on your roof. How’s that for a Christmas present, eh?



First Strike


Type: Kill / Killstyle
Setting: Multiplayer
Difficulty: Grind
Time: 5-30 minutes
Value: ★★★☆
Reward: 1250

Earn a First Strike in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

Tip Of The Day

First Strikes are tricksy little medals: Every match has at least one, but most have only one, meaning as many as 16 players could be competing for it. And, once it’s captured, you’ll often need to play through an entire game, then trudge through Matchmaking again before a new one becomes available.

So, a few strategies to speed things along:

  • Stick with Objective playlists, since — unlike the more popular Slayer — each new Round offers another First Strike medal, meaning that several go up for grabs every game. Not every Objective game offers Rounds — King of the Hill and Oddball, for example — though these improve your chances for a First Strike on their own (see below).
  • Though it’s a bit of a cross between Slayer and Objective, Living Dead represents your top option: Each game features several Rounds, the matches keep themselves short and the kills come quick and clean. In fact, the only real drawback is that you’ll be playing Living Dead.
  • Vote for smaller maps that allow you to reach enemies quickly, and especially those like Countdown and Zealot with starting Spawns that (though otherwise retarded) open with a direct line of sight on the other team. Asylum offers nearly the same benefit, since you can maneuver down your center ramp in a matter of moments for a clear shot at the other team’s base.
  • In a Slayer or non-Round Objective game, you can still skitch the odds in your favor. Every map features all sorts of cool power weapons, and enemies Sprint toward them like a Halo fan on Flaming Helmet Day. Do the same… except pull up short, then spam the weapon with grenades as your opponent arrives; finish him off with your primary, and you’ll score both a First Strike and power weapon at the same time.
  • Likewise, for Objectives such as Oddball, Invasion or King Of The Hill, you know at the start precisely where your enemies will go: take up position with an easy, clean shot on the target, and wait for enemies to arrive; you’ll be firing on them in no time.



Type: Completion
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 180-200 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 4000

Complete 100 Waves in Firefight Matchmaking.

Remember that nightmare grind from early October, when you had to complete 50 Firefight Rounds in a single week? It had been the most tedious Weekly Challenge until last week’s 200 Multikill task. So now Bungie wants 100 instead of 50? Yikes!

Well, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide says on its cover: Don’t Panic. These are merely Waves, and there’s five of ’em in every Round. So, play Gruntpocalypse in Score Attack and you’ll collect five; finish a standard Firefight and you’ll net 16. (Yes, you notch one for the Bonus Round; no, you don’t need to survive.)

That works out to only six full Firefight games, plus part of a seventh to clean up the remainder — or, put another way, just ONE Firefight game per day this week. Jiminy Christmas, that’s EASY.

You can even tear through the entire Challenge today — though since you’re certain to face other Firefight Challenges during the week, it’s probably not the best use of your time; might as well wait each day to see what comes up, and let this one come along for the ride. For example, you’ll pocket at least 45 Waves as part of today’s Fortified Court Challenge, so you’ll already be way, way ahead of the game.

  1. dukemeiser says:

    For Fortified Court, I like to go with Sniper Attack. If it offers you Mythic Attack, go with Gruntpocalypse. I think Snipers are the best. I choose Drop Shield as my loadout, and the first thing I do is cross the bridge and go right to the dead end walkway. This is the perfect place to wait and camp. The railing provides cover, and the enemies literally walk single file toward you. I’ve gotten several Overkills with 1 sniper bullet. The unlimited ammo and the drop shield will protect you, restore your health and allow you to stay in one spot.

    It’s incredibly easy to get through the entire Firefight without dying. With the exception of the Brute Captains and Hunters, everything can be killed with one body shot. The only thing that might give you trouble is the Skirmishers. They can jump and be in front of you in no time. I usually switch to my pistol if they overwhelm me.

    With the Sprees and Multikills you’ll rack up huge Commendations too.

    • dukemeiser says:

      Make sure you shoot the Phantom turrets in the last round (they count as kills) for a total of about 115 kills.

      The last wave will consist of Elite Rangers, 2 Hunters and some Grunts. When you see the Hunters, start shooting. It will take 6 indirect shots to kill them (less if you can get underneath their armor).

      • Will Lee Wonka says:

        Is that right? A score attack (sniper, etc) has only about 115 kills, including the phantom turrets?

        Gruntpoc serves up 120 per game (if the bastards don’t kill themselves).

        I never played gruntpoc on courtyard, but I tried the dead end walkway as Duke suggested and found my new hiding spot ;-).

        Although I still prefer gruntpoc on Corvette as I can finish up a few mintues quicker since it’s a smaller map with clearer lines of sight and it doesn’t take them as long to come to papa.

        But after 9 gruntpoc games last night, I feel like I sat at the buffet too long and might vomit if I see another methane tank.

  2. V Translanka says:

    I think wherever Bungie put camping stools are obvious camping spots…

    Man, I have no idea what to put on that left shoulder (I’m thinking of just getting the other Security or something)…so much looks ridiculous mirrored by that boomerang. Also, I always pick Jet Pack when I first come into a new map so I’m sporting a usually rare backpack in that pic…

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