The Unggoy, referred by humans as Grunts, are a squat bipedal species of the Covenant.

Overview and Background

Unggoy are typically poor warriors in terms of skill, poor shots when not focused, slow, but strong for their size, and are generally on the whole, quite tactically inept. When witnessing their commanders eliminated during a battle, they often go into a panic and scatter in random directions. However, what Unggoy may lack in individual skill, they make up for with sheer numbers, high tenacity, also if they are focused, can be quite accurate with their weapons not to mention they breed at a remarkable rate. The Covenant used the high-breeding rate of the Unggoy to their advantage in the Human-Covenant War, where squads of Unggoy very frequently overpowered UNSC personnel through force of numbers.

Unggoy are the only Covenant species to breathe Methane rather than Oxygen. Their combat armor/harness has an integrated methane re-breather system, as Unggoy are unable to survive for long periods of time without methane due to asphyxiation much like humans without oxygen. Therefore, if the player manages to melee their methane tank off, they will die after a short amount of time.

Rank Structure, Weaponry and Equipment




Grunt Ultra These Unggoy serve as field officers to their comrades, and wear distinctive white-lilac or silver armor (reminiscent of the Sangheili Ultras). While they appear to have some authority over lesser-ranked Unggoy, they have no control whatsoever over the other Covenant races (except for Kig-Yar). They are stronger opponents than their subordinates, and are more accurate with firearms, throw plasma grenades more often, and wear heavier armor. They are commonly seen with Piercers and Brute Plasma Rifles.
Grunt Spec Ops These Unggoy are experienced and specially-chosen, usually commanded by the special operations Sangheili, and are given distinctive jet-black armor. They are part of the Covenant Special Operations division of the Covenant Special Warfare Group.
Grunt Major Grunt Majors wear crimson/red colored armor. They command several Unggoy Minors and are slightly more skilled in combat and courageous, though this difference is not always substantial.
Grunt Minor Grunt Minors wear orange colored armor and are often the least dangerous, most cowardly, and inaccurate marksmen of all the Covenant. When their commanding officer is killed, they routinely break formation and flee; however, they will regroup and start firing at their target again.

Gameplay Information


Overall, the Grunts in gameplay are very weak in combat; often fleeing when their leader has been killed. However, in larger numbers, they can be more of a threat, especially in larger numbers.


Most weaponry is effective against them. They usually aren't much of a threat by themselves. They generally use Plasma pistols but higher ranks such as the Grunt Ultra will wield weapons like the Piercer and Brute Plasma Rifles. Grenades and other explosive weapons are great against large numbers of Grunts.

Developer Information



  • In Tagalog, Unggoy means "Monkey"
  • In real life, "Grunt" is a slang military term for infantrymen
  • The Unggoy were ranked #5 in Game Informer's "The Top 10 Most Pathetic Enemies" list
  • Unlike Halo CE, their face masks and methane tanks can be shot off


vde Covenant species in SPV3