Assists have always been the notorious Consolation Prize of the Halo franchise; they don’t actually affect your final kill-score, and “But I got a lot of Assists” always sounds like apologizing for a bad K/D. You don’t need combat to evolve to know that when it comes to a gunfight, there’s not much difference between finishing second and finishing last.

Nevertheless, the fine folks at Bungie sympathize with the players who haven’t honed their skills at stealing kills, and now the Reach version of Ranked matches awards Arena players who help out their teams with support fire, while Commendations offer major bonus cRedits for Assists. More to the point here, however, is the fact that Daily Challenges often reward you for the setup work that you do, even if someone else scores the take-down.

The problem becomes that while most Assists represent accidental consequences of unfinished kills, collecting them intentionally can be tricky, and even downright frustrating. It’s essentially requiring you to orchestrate an accident, and to do it over and over again numerous times in one day, sometimes even in the same match. Here, then, is your in-depth guide to both the yin and the yang of the Assist.

  • Be aware that Assists now require you to shave off at least 40% of an opponent’s total Shields and Health; that means a single melee against an uninjured opponent will qualify, but the calculation becomes complicated against an enemy who’s already been tagged a few times, since you won’t know how much Shield he’s still carrying and how much damage you’re actually doing. If he’s got just a fingernail of Shield left, the new Reach melee system only cancels the remainder, leaving his Health untouched — so your awesome Sprinting Elbow of Doom might not do hardly any damage at all.
  • The Sniper Rifle. For Assists? Yep!

  • Likewise, cutting loose with an automatic weapon becomes even more unreliable, since you generally won’t know his initial Shield status, how much your of your AR spamming hits the mark, or whether you’ve inflicted 40% before leaving him to another player. The kill also needs to come within 5 seconds of your final damage to him or the Assist won’t count — and, in any event, his Shields will already start to recharge by then.
  • The new 40% system additionally means that one traditional method of Assists — joyriding the Warthog while a gunner brings the heat — no longer earns the medal. You’ll take home some Wheelman awards, but it won’t help with the Challenges here.
  • Because of all that, here’s some in-depth advice on how to rack up Assists under the new Reach system:
    1. Rumble Pit remains your top option: an entire roster of targets, and who’ll also be shooting at everyone else too. Look for a map that’s small, but open — some of the Forge World maps, for example, with Asylum a strong contender — since they concentrate enemies into hot zones rather than scattered skirmishes. The long, multiple lines of sight also mean that almost anyone anywhere can scope into the fun.
    2. Use Sprint as your Armor Ability, to get you into the action, and lead with your melee, to take down the Shields of an opponent who (hopefully) hasn’t been clipped too much already. You will, in fact, probably receive a melee in return — but, rather than a counterstrike, look instead for a third player nearby; you’ll often find one closing in, intent on poaching a kill from your combat. Target him with your second melee, expect to get killed by your first opponent, and then wait for an Assist medal from one of them to flash in your flying camera as they tussle over your corpse.
    3. You might be tempted to pitch a grenade on your way into a fight, but don’t: only a near-direct hit will strip off more than 40% of his Shields, so even if you follow up with a melee, you’ll simply erase what’s left — meaning that you’ve just wasted a grenade.
    4. Instead, save your nades for when you’re caught unawares, and a likely candidate for the casualties list: rather than firing back, lay your grenades into his charging path and let him notch the kill against you that he’d probably get anyway; but, if you’re lucky, two good grenades could easily crash his Shields, while your dust-up attracts a third player, angling to steal a kill. You’ll score an Assist from the grave, and your noble death will not have been in vain.

      Plasma Pistol FTW!

    5. The Plasma Pistol can be an Assist’s best friend, but be careful not to rely on it too much: its overcharge takes a few moments to power up, and during that time you can’t use an Armor Ability, throw grenades or otherwise defend yourself. Use it only when you’ve got some good cover; when a fight breaks out nearby, charge it up and make your move, unleashing its Shield-disabling blast into the crowd. Slip back into safety as your Assist medal registers.
    6. The Sniper Rifle, somewhat counter-intuitively, also becomes a key weapon for notching Assists here. Rather than scoping for headshots — always a high-risk maneuver in Rumble Pit — an easy no-scope body shot will flash an enemy’s shields, giving an early Christmas present to another player nearby, who’ll unknowingly gift you an Assist in return.
    7. It should go without saying, of course, to avoid instant-kill weapons like the Hammer or Rockets. While you may get (un)lucky and simply piss on an opponent’s Shields with splash damage, your death will give him a power weapon, making it that much more difficult for another player to hand you an Assist.
    8. Also avoid playlists that showcase big battlefields, even if they’ve got vehicles on them, since they won’t do you any good: The larger maps are too spread out, and the players spread too thin, to reliably score an Assist, since you’ll always need a third player nearby to finish the kill.
    9. Team Slayer may help you along, especially if you’re decent at team-shooting, since all other things being equal you’ll split the Assists among you; but also remember that, unlike Rumble Pit, it’s a playlist where K/D really does directly factor into the win/loss, so unless you’re able to coordinate your efforts with your allies (say, by plasma-bursting an enemy’s Shields while a teammate takes aim for the headshot), Assist-hunting puts you at unnecessary risk of costing your team the victory.
  1. ODST Alpha says:

    The best playlist I’ve been seeing near double-digit assists in is [b]Multi Team[/b]. Think of it like this.

    Spartan A (That’s you!) is working on his assists. Your wingman, Spartan B, isn’t. He’s a greedy little man and he wants kills. So you compromise!

    Stick together, B having a DMR or a Needle Rifle, preferably. A goes in to Melee the enemy. A backs up to let B take the headshot.

    Bam. Everyone wins. (Except Mr. Enemy, cause he dead.)

  2. timeomatics says:

    Multi Team has been my machine for churning out assists as well. Reason being, it’s like Rumble Pit on Crack!
    However, having a Wingman is KEY in Multi Team Games. I’ve rocked some double digit games with my friends PURELY based on this strategy. Often times when pulled off correctly, it also pays off in wins.

  3. V Translanka says:

    Arena Doubles is another good idea. Since it’s 2-on-2 you have a lot less to contend with, a ton less to compete with and the maps are almost always tight. Just stick with your partner, play smart and Assists (and/or Double Kills) should naturally occur.

  4. MRDNRA says:

    I personally seem to get a fair number of assists in invasion, although it does vary from game to game. Just the other day I got a small handful of assists just by using AR as Spartans when defending the first objective on Boneyard, ending the game with 15 kills, 7 assists and 8 deaths!


    I got 14 assists in one game on multi team. Definitely the best.

  6. KillaMox says:

    I definitely recommend multi-team

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