Archive for April 16, 2011

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.



Screenshot Of The Day today courtesy of TheAcaciaStra1n, whose action portrait just blew us away. (lulz…see what we did there?) Thanks, Acacia! Everyone, click to enlarge!

Meanwhile, if you haven’t done it already, yo: 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 plain Forge art or random pix from the Internet; it should be a screenshot of YOU!



TYPES: Completion, Kills, Killstyle, Special Weapon
SETTINGS: Any Game Mode, Campaign, Firefight, Multiplayer
TOTAL TIME: 60-90 minutes


Any Game Mode


Type: Kills
Setting: Any Game Mode
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 5 minutes (Concurrent with other Daily Challenges)
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 1000

Kill 100 enemies in any game mode in Reach.

You’ll score most of these automatically as part of completing your other Daily Challenges today. For leftovers, just head into ONI Sword Base or an anti-Grunt Custom Firefight game (see links at top of the page for both).



Single Match


Type: Killstyle
Setting: Multiplayer
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10-15 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 1200

Perform 3 Assassinations in a Multiplayer Matchmaking game.

Probably the most fun you’ll have snaring a Challenge all day.

  • Halo’s latest tragic combination of professional sports and K/D farming, Action Sack’s Hockey, offers probably the easiest Assassination opportunities, since you’re moving at Barry Allen superspeed and your victims have no concealment or cover. The main drawbacks: it’s not always easy to vote your way onto the Hockey Rink; and, when you’re done assassinating, you’ll still be playing Hockey.
  • Instead, we prefer Rumble Pit on smaller, tighter maps: Wherever you can sneak up on someone, catch them by surprise as they come ’round a corner or make a straight Sprint toward their unsuspecting spines will offer all sorts of banzai backstab openings.
  • Although you can Sprint for a cheetah-like takedown, you can stalk just as easily with Active Camo if you don’t mind alerting your prey to nearby danger, since Camo-crouched near a doorway or corner for a lightning strike will make the Discovery Channel highlight reel as well.
  • Though it often goes hand-in-glove with Rumble Pit recommendations, avoid Multi-Team for this one: There’s just too much damn gunfire everywhere, and you could easily find yourself Yoinked — or worse, Showstopped — as the Assassination animation plays.
  • Finally, an excellent point from reader MAL, who in real life makes his living as a professional assassin:

    Choosing a ‘Pro’ game in Matchmaking Rumble Pit, like Crazy King Pro or Slayer Pro, makes this extremely simple. The lack of radar will make it easy to sneak up on opponents and get multiple assassinations.

Thanks, MAL!



Special Weapon


Type: Kills / Special Weapon
Setting: Firefight
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 10 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 1000

Kill 50 enemies in Firefight Matchmaking with the pistol.

A Challenge tailor-made for Gruntpocalypse: Fire up Score Attack on Corvette, select Drop Shield as your Armor Ability, then slide past the ammo crate to stock up on rounds. Head up a side platform, switch to your Magnum and let the target practice begin. You’ll pocket this Challenge just after the start of the third Wave.

As always, go for headshots and multikills, since the Firefight medals earn you additional cR.



Zero Deaths

Skulls On

Type: Completion
Setting: Campaign
Difficulty: Medium
Time: 30-60 minutes
Value: ★★★★
Reward: 5000

Complete Winter Contingency on Legendary without dying, with Mythic, Thunderstorm, Tilt and Tough Luck on.

Tip Of The Day

Though this level remains more welcoming to solo excursions — as the campaign’s first mission, it’s by design the easiest — it’s still better to tackle it in co-op, since the Skulls (see below) make it challenging enough already; you don’t get any gold stars for making life more difficult.

OK, then, four Skulls on. Let’s take a look:

Mythic doubles enemy health. Thunderstorm upgrades their rank — which, ha ha, combines anti-awesomely with Mythic. Tough Luck helps enemies evade damage, while Tilt modifies the damage tables, generally in Covenant favor against Spartan weapons. So, basically, just about everything to make the Covies as invulnerable as possible without involving the planet Krypton.

On the other hand, Winter Contingency, while not only being easier than most missions, offers wide-open geography that helps your front-line fighters skirt past most encounters, while giving weaker players the opportunity to *ahem* “guard the rear flank” and Checkpoint forward once the danger has passed. So, while it’s true that the game scales up the difficulty for more players in co-op mode, you’ll want the extra guns at your side; otherwise, it’ll could be a very long day of level Reloads.

ONE IMPORTANT NOTE: If you don’t make it through the level alive, you can’t just hit Restart; you’ll need to Save-And-Quit, then reopen the level. Otherwise, it’ll still read your progress as Challenge Failed.

OK then. We don’t have room here for a detailed walkthrough, so instead keep in mind some of our standard strategies, repeated below, that help on Legendary difficulty no matter which mission:


  1. On Legendary, Reach becomes an almost entirely different game; rather than the run-and-gun, blaze-of-glory style you enjoyed on Normal, Legendary relies much more on strategy than sheer skill. Your kung fu may be strong, but you won’t be able to ninja your way out of a Legendary plasma shitstorm.
  2. Since the Challenge requires zero deaths, you’ll also need to play even more defensively — stealthy when possible, and get-the-fuck-out when necessary. If you think you’ve just done something that would make an awesome kick-ass clip for your File Share, you’re probably not doing this right.
  3. In almost every situation, look to bypass encounters entirely. You’re not working toward a Campaign score, so no need to take out every enemy — or, actually, any enemy — if you can skip them. (After all, Reach will still get glassed anyway, yeah?)
  4. To do this, keep an eye out for perimeter runs along the outskirts of hot zones — not only will natural cover help you slip past Covies more easily, but they’ll be shooting only from one or two directions; get caught in a crossfire on Legendary and you might as well go grab a sandwich while your game Restarts.
  5. When you can’t bypass enemies, keep a distance/headshot weapon handy for taking them out at range. Use the level’s geography to find positions that offer clean lines of sight for precision kills before the enemy AI even figures out where you are.
  6. Effectively skipping one encounter can even bypass the encounter that comes after it, since enemy and vehicle drops often coincide with combat progress; you might find a subsequent battleground entirely empty, since the Covies will have only begun their landing sequence while you’re already getting the hell out of Dodge.
  7. If it looks like the designers want you to engage a major battle from an obvious point of attack, DON’T. The obvious attack points are for Normal difficulty. You’ll want another way in, or around, taking out an objective from afar or skipping a firefight entirely.

Whew! Quite a lot to keep in mind. Just work closely with your teammates and you’ll do fine. Good luck!





Type: Scoring
Setting: Campaign
Difficulty: Easy
Time: 20 to 30 minutes
Value: ★★★★★
Reward: 7777

Earn a score of 80,000 in any mission in the Reach Campaign.

Yikes, 80,000 points….seems like a lot!

Guess what? Where we’re going, it won’t make a difference.

Tip Of The Week

Fire up New Alexandria, which starts you in a Falcon and pits you against enemy vehicles, worth far more points than ordinary Covies. Then switch on five Skulls: Tough Luck, Catch, Famine, Thunderstorm and Tilt. None of these affect aerial combat, but still register as major point multipliers. And don’t worry about the ground combat, either: We’re not getting out of the chopper.

Play on whatever difficulty you find comfortable, though harder ratings will attract enemy aircraft more rapidly; Heroic is likely a good balance between enemy numbers and how tough they fight, though go ahead and load up Legendary if you’re a solid pilot who’s good on the stick.

Ignore Phantoms and concentrate fire on the Banshees; though the transport ships score massive points, they don’t represent an aerial threat, they’re heavily armored, and the Banshees will quickly swarm you to protect their troops. Just pick off the Banshee flights as they approach — you’ll hit 80K in short order.

A few pointers:

  1. Look out for rooftop Shades as they fire into the sky; if one catches you by surprise, you won’t have much chance to defend or evade.
  2. Keep an eye on your Falcon as well; you can land and call in a fresh one at any time, so no point storming into a dogfight with your chopper already trailing fire.
  3. If the Banshees seem to have better things to do, simply coast toward your current Objective and cut loose on rooftop enemies — you’ll score some points, and enemy aircraft will take notice quickly enough.