Going from being a casual fan to a tournament competitor can be a very daunting endeavor, yet as our tournament attendance showed this season, that didn’t stop anyone from trying. Although competitive Halo 2 has been going on for over a year now, we are still seeing a lot of first-timers and new members to our community all the time. With that in mind, we have decided to create this guide to help the newcomers get acclimated to the MLG-brand of competitive Halo 2, and help make their transition into the tournament scene go as smoothly as possible. Obviously, MLG veterans will already know most of what is found in these guides. With the 2006 season right around the corner, these articles are expressly intended for those new to the community and looking to get their competitive careers started this year.

There is a lot of Halo 2 knowledge out there to be found. In fact, one could probably write an entire book just about the ins and outs of competitive play. What we have done here is compiled and summarized the most important things that newcomers need to know about how MLG-style Halo 2 works and is played. This multi-part guide will take you on a strategic tour of the weapons used in MLG gametypes, comprehensive combat tactics, teamwork and even how to prepare for and play at an actual MLG tournament. Understand that this guide covers only the aspects of Halo 2 that are pertinent to MLG gametypes and tournament play (for example, we will not be mentioning anything about vehicles, as they do not appear in any MLG gametypes), but nearly everything that one would need to get up-to-speed on the MLG Halo 2 scene can be found in the installments of this guide.

In Part I of this guide, we will be covering the weapons that are employed by MLG gametypes. While it is assumed that you know the basics of each weapon, there are still many nuances to each of them, and a big part of using the weapons effectively is taking advantage of their strengths while understanding their weaknesses. Naturally, future installments of this guide will delve into the more complicated aspects of combat, including advanced uses of these weapons. The next installment of the guide will cover combat tactics, so we will be saving some of the information about certain weapons until next time, as they pertain more to tactics than weapon basics. In the meantime, check out this weapon guide–the first step on your way to getting into the MLG tournament scene.

Battle Rifle

The weapon you spawn with, the battle rifle, is the mainstay of the MLG arsenal, and is the most versatile weapon in the game, able to kill effectively at close, mid and to a slightly lesser extent, long-range. The key to the BR is landing that all-important head shot, which will kill an opponent instantly once their shields are depleted. When you shoot perfectly, it only takes four trigger pulls to kill an enemy (the last pull must be a head shot), so this weapon can bring you down surprisingly quick. Head shotting with the BR is not especially difficult, because only one of the bullets from the three-round burst must hit the head in order to kill. However, it is extremely important, because it takes much longer to finish an opponent with body shots, and failing to hit the head will cause you to lose many battles in MLG games.

At extremely close range, people often find it difficult to land a head shot, because of how quickly opponents can move in and out of their field of vision, but a trick that many employ to combat this is to “sweep” their reticle from side to side over the area of the enemy’s head while they fire a burst from their BR. This will cause the three-round burst to spread horizontally across the sweeping area, increasing the likelihood that one of the bullets will connect with the head and land you a kill. This is not an advisable tactic at mid to long range, as the spread would be too big and likely miss altogether.

Due to a combination of Halo 2′s auto-aim/magnetism and the BR’s three-round bursts, it is not very hard to make contact with BR shots. However, this does not mean that there is no skill to using the weapon, and you will see clearly that an expert player will win a great percentage of their BR fights against an intermediate player, even though neither player is having trouble connecting with their shots. This is largely because a great deal of the advanced combat tactics (and even glitches) center around the BR, and the experts really know how to put them to great use. In fact, since the BR is easily the most commonly used weapon in MLG play, you will find that most players have a very, very accurate BR shot, and you cannot afford to miss hardly any of your shots if you intend to win a straight-up battle. It is very important for you to develop solid skills with the BR, as it is the meat-and-potatoes of MLG Halo 2 combat.

When you get into a one-on-one BR battle with someone, the main focus should be on finding a way to get a “shot ahead” of the opponent. As previously mentioned, since it’s easy to hit someone with the BR, you should assume that your enemy will normally only need the minimal amount of shots in order to kill you, so the way to win the fight is to find a way to make them miss a shot or two, allowing you to get ahead in the race to to get that shield off and nail a head shot.

After you read about Halo 2′s arsenal, be sure to drop Dolbex a line and tell him how much you like his action figures

There are generally two main methods of aiming with the BR. Some people like to aim exclusively for the head while they shoot, ensuring that they are already in position when the shields come off to finish the kill with a head shot. However, since the head is roughly half the width of the body, others prefer to shoot for the body until they visually see the shields come off, and then aim upward toward the head to finish the kill. This gives them a better chance of the bullets from their bursts all making contact with the enemy, because they will spread out a bit, especially over distance and while you’re moving your reticle. However, some people would rather not have to deal with adjusting their aim mid battle, as that extra split second could cost them or possibly throw them off. Plus, if some random outside damage comes into play (from a teammate or stray grenade), it becomes hard to tell just how much further you have to go before their shields are off, so it’s nice to already be aiming for the head. In the end, it comes down to what you’re most comfortable with, but you will find that more people aim constantly at the head than use the body/head method.

Be careful not to use the 2x scope too much at close or mid-range (mid-range is OK if nobody’s shooting at you), as it slows your ability to follow the enemy’s movement. On top of that, every time you are damaged you are knocked out of your scope, so if you are too reliant on it you will find it difficult to shoot well when under heavy fire. Learning how to aim effectively without the scope will help greatly in the long run, as you will not have to constantly struggle to re-enter your scope in a two-way battle.

Carbine

The Covenant’s answer to the BR, the Carbine serves the same general purpose, yet has a number of key differences. While each bullet is weaker than a BR burst, the Carbine’s rate of fire is much quicker and has the potential to kill someone faster than the BR. Ending in a head shot, it only takes seven rounds from the Carbine to land a kill, and with the rate of fire so high, this can happen very fast. So what’s the catch? Well, for one thing, the Carbine has extremely limited ammo and it can be used up rather quickly. With only 18 shots per clip (and two clips total per pickup), you will find yourself quickly looking for another weapon as the Carbine sits empty in your hands.

Additionally, the BR has the potential to produce more start-to-finish kills per clip than the Carbine. If you were to just line up dummy players and kill them exclusively using the Carbine (not missing any shots and ending in a head shot), you would be able to get two-and-a-half kills before you had to reload your weapon. However, if you were to do the same thing with the BR, you would be able to get three kills with just the one clip. While this doesn’t sound like much of a difference on paper, this little scenario leaves out one key factor: the BR is much easier to shoot in a real combat situation, making its realistic killing power per clip much higher.

A skillful and accurate player can do a lot of damage with the Carbine and its quick killing ability, but in order to take advantage of this, the player cannot miss many shots before it would have been faster to kill the opponent with the BR. This issue is compounded by the fact your aim has to be much more precise with the Carbine than the BR to avoid missing any shots. The key to this lies in the BR’s burst fire. Since each shot fires out three bullets, the amount of time that your target area is exposed to incoming fire is increased. For example, you may have shot your burst too far ahead of an opponent who is running across your field of vision, but even if the first bullet misses, they will likely step into at least one of the other two bullets and still take some damage. This is not the case with the Carbine, which has an all-or-nothing single shot. Therefore, you must be considerably more precise with the Carbine, making it a weapon that requires more skill and offers only a marginally better performance in return.

Overall, the Carbine is technically a better weapon than the BR in that it can kill you more quickly, but it’s not necessarily a better choice. In fact, it’s often not the way to go. The increased risk of using the Carbine against a BR user is often just too high. The player with the BR will not likely miss many shots (if any), whereas you are required to hit almost all your shots in order to take advantage of your weapon’s strengths. Many people find the risk vs. return factor of the Carbine to simply be too great when going up against BR opponents. The ammo issue is also a major hindrance, because there is often only one carbine pickup on a given map. In the 1v1 matches during the MLG Conference Championships, players faced-off on Warlock and started with a Carbine and no secondary weapon. While many of the pros were able to put the Carbine to great use, we saw that more often than not they would gravitate toward the nearest BR pickup and use that instead, favoring its longer-lasting clips and ease of shooting.

Energy Sword

The sword is an extremely powerful weapon that has the ability to turn the tides in almost any game due to its combination of speed, power and unlimited use. There is always only one sword per map, so obtaining and maintaining possession of the sword is often critical. The sword is a close-range weapon, useful from about 10 simulated feet away from the opposing player. Since it’s a melee weapon, the sword is absolutely useless from any distance longer than its lunging range, so you will want to keep it put away at all times when no enemies are near.

The act of killing someone with the sword is mind-numbingly simple; just press R to lunge when your reticle turns red to let you know that you’re within range for an almost-guaranteed kill, or just press R (or B if you don’t want to risk engaging a sword lunge, but it’s a slower attack than pressing R) repeatedly at very close range until they die. Simple, eh? The difficult part of using the sword often lies in judgment. There are many cases where you are at an awkward distance from your opponent, just outside of your lunging range. You must then decide whether to try and close the distance to go for a sword kill or to just have a distance battle with them (most likely with BRs).

Things to ask yourself when you have a power weapon:

- In what situations is this weapon best used?

- How can I put myself in those situations?

- How can I use this weapon to help my team with their current goal?

- How can I avoid situations that make this weapon useless?

- How can I ensure that my team keeps control of this weapon?

This dilemma trips up a lot of new players, because it’s so tempting to go for the sword lunge since it’s so powerful. Many players will get excited and pull the sword out immediately and start charging toward the enemy, swinging like mad and hoping to catch their reticle while it’s red. This will almost always prompt the enemy to back away while pumping round after round of their BR into the sword user while laying grenades at their feet — probably killing them. Because of this, it’s very important to have a solid feel for the exact range of the sword lunge. If you decide to close the distance and go for the sword kill, don’t pull it out until you know you are in range, and be sure to be firing your secondary weapon as you inch toward them. If they see you just charging forward with your BR without firing, they’ll know you’re about to pull a sword out and will likely back off.

Turning the sword over to the enemy team is often a big deal, so as with all power weapons, you need to be thinking not only of racking up kills, but also of preserving your team’s control of the weapon itself. If you find yourself battling at that awkward range and you don’t think you can pull off a sword kill or win the distance battle, your best bet is just to get the hell out of there. Abort the fight and scramble around a corner. If they’re dumb enough to follow you, you’ll be waiting there with your sword and win the battle after all. If they don’t pursue, then at least you avoided giving up a kill and turning the sword over to the other team, which can really bite you in the ass later.

Do not ever run around with your sword out. You will become an immediate target for mid-range shooters and will likely be ganged up on as you helplessly try to escape. The sword is best used as a surprise weapon, kept in your back pocket as a secondary. This way players will likely not know that you have it and won’t be afraid to engage in close range fights with you, at which point you can pull it out and use its ridiculously long lunging ability to make quick work of them. Any player that sees you have a sword before it’s too late to escape will keep their distance from you and pummel you with longer ranged weapons and grenades, so it is always best to keep it put away until you’ve lured them in close enough to use it.

There is no added delay in pulling the sword out and then lunging as opposed to already having it out. This is because as soon as you hit the Y button to switch to your sword, your reticle will become that of the sword even before you pull it out, enabling you to engage in a lunge before you’ve even gotten it all the way out. Likewise, you can put the sword away immediately after killing someone with a lunge (assuming that you weren’t going to use it again right away), both eliminating the recovery animations of the lunge and once again concealing that you have it from the other remaining players.

Shotgun

Often considered a power weapon without really performing like one, the shotgun’s wildly inconsistent performance lends it a reputation as an infuriating gamble. Obviously intended for extremely close-range use, the shotgun can mow a player down in a single shot–if you’re lucky, that is. While playing online, the connection differences between the host player and the other players makes a huge difference in the shotgun’s performance. The host can run around and use it as it was intended, while the other players find it to be almost completely ineffective in their hands (often shooting people point-blank and not even taking down their shields).

Thankfully, the shotgun is much more consistent on LAN (where the host’s advantage is minimized due to lightning fast data transfer between Xboxes), which is how all MLG tournaments are played. It’s hard to practice with the shotgun because most players won’t even bother to pick one up while playing on Xbox Live unless they are the host player, but don’t let that stop you from grabbing one on LAN and tearing things up. When used properly, the shotgun can be an extremely potent weapon that can completely destroy an opposing player, and can be a great counter-weapon to an Energy Sword user. When you turn a corner and encounter a sword user at close range, you will often be able to kill them with a single shotgun blast before their sword lunge takes effect.

To temper the shotgun’s still sometimes-inconsistent performance (that’s partly the intended nature of the weapon), always be sure to hit the melee button immediately after firing. This can be performed very quickly and serves as a great two-part combo attack to tack on extra damage if the shotgun blast didn’t kill them. This should be something that you do automatically and universally unless you know you are out of melee range, in which case you should probably put the shotgun away and use something else anyway.

Sniper Rifle / Beam Rifle

The sniper rifle is a favorite of many competitive players, as it is often seen as a weapon that requires a lot of skill to use well. It can kill with a single shot to the head from any distance (there is a range limitation, but you won’t encounter it on any MLG tournament maps) and impressive snipe kills are among the flashiest things that one can pull off in Halo 2. But aside from the “wow” factor of the sniper rifle, it is a very strategic weapon that is invaluable to the success of any team.

By far the most effective weapon for long range combat with its 5 and 10x zooming and extremely powerful bullets, the sniper is an irreplaceable part of your team’s arsenal. However, it does have its disadvantages, such as the fact that–like all scoped weapons in Halo 2–if you take fire while using the scope, you are knocked out of it, making it virtually impossible to hit a target at a distance. The sniper’s tiny reticle makes it necessary to use the scope in order to hit targets at mid-to-long range (you’ll get lucky sometimes, but let’s not kid ourselves here: you need the scope at that range). Therefore, a lot of the strategy behind using the sniper revolves around keeping your distance from enemies and finding ways to avoid taking fire.

The sniper will kill in just two shots even if you don’t land a head shot, and this power makes it a great weapon at any distance, although it does have some caveats at mid and close-range. At mid range, the sniper is as useful as ever with the 5x scope. In fact, you should strive to use the 5x scope almost exclusively when sniping, as the 10x scope is often too much zoom for all but the furthest shots, causing you to have to make drastic movements to adjust your reticle a short distance and making it harder to follow your target than needs be. The one difficulty in sniping a mid-range, though, is the fact that it’s much easier for your targets to lay significant fire on you in return. At long-range, they may be unloading clips on you to keep you out of your scope, but there is little real danger of you dying, as you can easily escape the fight and most of the BR shots are only partially connecting anyway. At mid-range, you could easily be laid out by a BR if you’re not careful, or fall victim to a well-placed grenade. With mid-range use, the element of surprise is much more important, because once they know where you’re shooting from, it will be easy for them to lay fire on you, keeping you constantly out of your scope and forcing you to either retreat or switch to your BR.

Then, of course, there’s the infamous close-range application of the sniper. While this is by no means regarded as a reliable method of combat, its extreme power, plentiful ammo and unlimited damage range do give it some use in close-range situations. Seriously, people love to put no-scope clips in their montages and run around with their sniper out all the time just to showboat, but make no mistake–for every sweet no-scope sniper kill there are five failures (at least). This is not something to strive for at an actual tournament, and it’s not the way to win MLG games with any sort of consistency. If you watch VoD, you will not see any pros running around trying to use it like a shotgun, and neither should you. No matter how steady your hand, there are just too many other more reliable (and often equally fast) ways to go about getting a close-range kill to make using the sniper worth your while and worth the risk.

There are, however, some realistic situations in which you will end up using a sniper at close range–typically to try to save your life when you’re in a tight spot. Probably the most common situation is when you are in your scope and concentrating on some target at a distance and then get blindsided by another attacker at close-range. If you didn’t see this person coming, you will almost definitely take a bunch of damage before you even have a chance to respond (or else you’ll get outright assassinated), so your chances of turning around and winning a BR fight are very poor. Depending on where you were located, you may be able to dart around a corner, cover your trail with grenades to keep them from following, and then let your shields regenerate. If that’s not an option, your best bet is sometimes to go for a no-scope snipe, because you only have to get lucky with that one shot to the head to completely win the fight out of nowhere. Actually, you could turn the fight around with something like a double-melee, a BXR, or a no-scope and then BR head shot, but we’ll cover those techniques in the next guide.

If you are waiting around a corner or if you are for some reason not taking fire, the 5x scope can be used even at very close range, but you have to understand that it becomes very difficult to adjust your aim quickly when your target takes up so much of your screen from the zoom. However, you can minimize how much aim adjustment you have to do by getting the reticle as close as possible to the target area and then zoom in for the fine-tuning. Close-range zooming obviously only really works when you have the jump on someone and you’re not being fired upon, but it is much more reliable than no-scoping. Even if you can’t seem to line up the head shot, the body is taking up most of your screen anyway, so two quick shots and they’re dead. At the very least you can get that first shot and then switch to your BR or toss a grenade.

In MLG settings, you will only find the Covenant beam rifle on Sanctuary Snipers. While it has the same damage, zoom options and range as the human sniper, there are some key differences between them. Each rifle has a different reticle and scope graphic, which will not make a difference for most people, but some will find it easier to aim with one than the other. This is purely a mental or psychological preference, as there is no actual difference in their functionality.

A bigger difference comes in the ammo for each gun. The human sniper rifle comes with 12 bullets per pickup, and can hold four shots per clip before you have to reload. The beam rifle, on the other hand, has a fuel cell that depletes through repeated use rather than ammo. One beam rifle pickup will give you 18 shots. While the beam rifle comes with much more ammo off the bat, it makes little difference in MLG games because human snipers are all over the map to be picked up in a sniper game (the only time the beam rifle is even available).

By far the most significant difference between them is their rate of fire. The human sniper can fire fairly quickly (slightly slower than the BR), but must be reloaded after four shots. But since the beam rifle essentially draws power from a battery rather than ammo, it can be shot continuously until it’s empty–provided that you shoot slowly enough. The main strategic aspect of the beam rifle is that it can shoot at any rate of fire you choose, but you run the risk of overheating it if you shoot it too fast, which causes a brutally long recovery animation (switch weapons to continue fighting while you’re waiting it out). How is this useful? Well, let’s say you’re looking for a target across the map, and you spot one, but all you can see is their leg. Since no head shot is available, it will take you two shots to kill the target, and with the beam rifle, you could shoot those two shots so fast that the enemy wouldn’t even have time to react and move out of the way before they died (this will overheat the rifle afterward, but you got the kill). The downside to this is that players will often get over-excited with it and overheat it on accident after only two shots in normal application. With the human sniper, you are guaranteed your four shots at a pretty good rate of fire with no fear of repercussion.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of preference, as neither is clearly or significantly better than the other. You will probably find certain situations where you wished you had one over the other, so all you can really do is try to pick the best one for the best times. When playing an all-snipers game setting, you should choose either the sniper or beam rifle, but do not drop your BR to have both of them. In a mid-range situation against an opponent toting a BR, you will have little chance of survival and no real way to fight back–not to mention your relatively poor chances of getting a no-scope at close-range.

Rocket Launcher

The rocket launcher is one of the most versatile and dangerous weapons in the game, and as such is found in very limited quantities. Picking up the rockets will grant you four shots, and when used effectively they can easily net you at least four kills. This weapon can be very dangerous at any range, but must be used with extreme caution. This is the only weapon in MLG play besides grenades that you can accidentally hurt or kill yourself with, so you must be very aware of what you’re doing with them, especially when using them in confined spaces or battling someone at close range.

The rockets are best suited for mid-range combat, where the opponent is not so far away that you really have to guess how far to lead them, but where they’re not so close that you risk blowing yourself up along with them. However, as previously mentioned, when in skilled hands the rockets can be used effectively at any range, making them very useful in general. When shooting rockets, you should never be aiming to actually hit your target’s body. The likelihood of you landing a body shot are very minimal, and besides, the splash damage from the rocket blast is very often enough to kill them. Therefore, the preferred strategy is to aim for the nearest surface to your target, which is almost always the floor (or sometimes a wall/ceiling).

When you are on relatively level ground with your opponent, it is almost always best to jump while you’re aiming and shoot the rocket at the height of your jump. This is because when you are in the air, you are looking down at the ground from a much easier vantage point, better enabling you to judge where their feet are and aim for the ground directly at them. In some cases jumping won’t be necessary, such as when you’re shooting at someone on the ground from an upper level of the map. Also, sometimes you won’t have time to jump first, such as when you are being lunged at with a sword. Like almost everything in Halo 2, you have to take it on a case-by-case basis, and let your experience accumulate until you learn what to do in each situation.

See? Even Master Chief gets frustrated with the shotgun sometimes.

The biggest threat to a player with a rocket launcher is when they are attacked unexpectedly at very close range. In this case, you are faced with very quick decision to make. You could turn and fire a rocket, risking killing both of you with the explosion, or you could put it away an try to win a fight through normal means when you are probably already damaged from the surprise. There’s no easy answer, because when someone attacks the rocket man at close range, they often try to get as close as possible to force the rocket man to kill himself if he fires. If you were truly surprised by the attack, you don’t have great odds of pulling out your BR and turning the tables on the fight, so often your best bet is to risk it and shoot (if there’s no escape, of course). To minimize your chances of dying if he’s extremely close to you, jump and try to shoot the rocket behind your charging opponent, putting his body between the rocket blast and you to so that he is closer to the explosion than you. If you do it right (and get a little bit lucky), he will have been close enough to die from the blast while you just took damage from it. The worst case scenario is that you die and he lives, because then he has your remaining rockets, so if you don’t think you can win the fight any other way, at least make sure he dies whether or not you go down too. If you die, be sure to alert your teammates as to where you dropped the rockets so they can try to retrieve them.

Getting and holding possession of the rockets is often key to a match. Because of this, you want to keep them out of the enemy’s hands at all costs. It is far better to waste an extra rocket or two in order to ensure your survival than to hand them over to the enemy team. Not only would handing it over give them your remaining ammo, but you are also giving them the power to decide when/if the next rocket launcher will spawn (more on that in the next guide).

Consider this situation: You are taking heavy damage from an enemy, but manage to jump into the air and fire a rocket at their feet. Your shot was just a little too far off, so he didn’t die. However, he is nearly dead, so it would seem silly to overkill him with another precious rocket, and you are tempted to pull out your BR for the finishing shot. This is typically not wise when you are already injured in a fight. Not only do you have to suffer a bit of a recovery time to put the rocket away and pull out the BR, but you also then have to be accurate enough in a clutch situation to pull off a head shot to guarantee the kill. During this time, the enemy could easily have thrown a grenade or made a well placed shot and killed you. Five seconds later, his shields are back as if nothing ever happened and he has your rockets. That didn’t turn out too well. The rockets’ rate of fire is surprisingly fast (even though there are only two shots per load), so in those situations you should always be willing to “waste” the extra rocket to ensure the kill rather than risk turning them over to the other team.

Plasma Pistol (and a note about dual-wielding)

Although it can shoot individual plasma pulses, the only legitimate use for this weapon is to charge it up and release a massive heat-seeking bolt of energy at your opponents. The automatic tracking on this charged shot is completely insane, and can sometimes even bend around a corner to a small degree to hit its target. All you have to do is make sure that the target is within a medium distance and that you release the charge when your reticle is on or near them. The bolt will pretty much do the rest and will completely remove any shield (even a full Overshield) instantly from an opponent, leaving them inches from death. Once the bolt has hit and the enemy’s shields are gone, you have several good options at your disposal. The most common next step is to pull out the BR or Carbine and finish the enemy off with a single shot to the head. This is known as “the combo,” or if you play a lot of XBL, “the noob combo.” Say what you will about it, but it’s a very powerful and effective method of fighting that can counterbalance just about every weapon but a long range rifler or sniper.

Since in Halo 2 your shields comprise the majority of your overall “health meter,” you are left extremely vulnerable once they are depleted by a charged plasma shot. Because of this, the weapon has other good applications besides the “combo.” At very close range, it can actually be used much like the shotgun. If you intend to use the plasma pistol, it is best to run around with the bolt already charged up since it takes a few seconds to prepare (unless you don’t see any immediate application for it, in which case you should put it away and use your BR anyway). When the bolt is already charged, if you find yourself within melee range of an enemy, release the bolt right in their face and follow it immediately with a melee for a quick and easy kill. If you hit an opponent with a charged shot and they turn a corner or hide behind some form of cover, keep in mind that any contact with a grenade will kill them at this point, so try to flush them out with grenades rather than charge toward them to get an angle on the finishing shot.

It’s worth noting that it is virtually useless to use a plasma pistol in combination with any weapon besides a BR or Carbine in MLG gametypes. This is because the weapon is only effective as a means to removing a shield so you can finish an opponent off quickly through your secondary weapon, grenades or melees. It’s neigh impossible to kill someone with this weapon alone, and if you’re toting a power weapon you don’t need a second weapon to remove shields for you; you need a utility weapon such as a BR.

Well, I suppose technically you could dual-wield it too, but you would be unwise to do so. The MLG community has been criticized in the past for its negativity toward dual-wielding, but there’s a simple explanation for it all (besides the fact that it is not a very good test of skill, and our company is designed around, well, testing skill): in MLG gametypes with MLG settings, dual-wielding is almost completely ineffective. This is because through a combination of BR shooting, grenades, advanced combat tactics and even game glitches, people running around with two moderately-effective-but-short-ranged weapons stand very little chance of accomplishing much. While I would highly discourage you from ever dual-wielding in MLG games, I would recommend that you pick up just about any weapon on the map that you come across as your second weapon if you do not already have one. Aside from the off-chance that it could save your life should you run out of BR ammo mid-fight, having a secondary weapon of some sort is necessary to accomplish a number of strategic weapon glitches that are used heavily in competitive play (which we will get to in a future installment). Since dual-wielding will not serve you very well in MLG, and since all of the dual-wieldable weapons besides the plasma pistol are for the most part ineffective on their own, they will not be covered in this guide.

Grenades and Melees

The use of grenades and melees in competitive Halo 2 are tied so closely with combat strategy that they will be covered in the next installment of this guide.

(Check back soon for the next installment of this guide, in which we will cover combat strategy for MLG-style Halo 2.)