The MA5E Individual Combat Weapon System (MA5E ICWS), more commonly known as the MA5E Assault Rifle, is a standard United Nations Space Command firearm and is the successor of the MA5D Assault Rifle.

Overview & Background

The MA5E Assault Rifle is an automatic assault rifle designed for both mid-range and close-quarters combat. As the latest in the MA5 series of assault rifles, it shares many similarities with previous models, including shape, magazine size, and integrated ammo counter/compass display.

One of its major differences is its rate of fire. Unlike previous models, the MA5E has a ramp-up rate of fire starts off low when its trigger is initially pulled and quickly accelerates the longer the weapon is fired. This change, combined with the generous stopping power of its fired rounds, allows the MA5E to become an incredibly versatile weapon at most ranges. When fired in controlled bursts, the weapon can accurate, but loses that ability as the rate of fire increases.

Another addition to the MA5E is a foregrip-mounted camera that replaces the flashlight present on predecessor models. When activated, the ammo counter and compass on the weapon's display is replaced with a 2x magnified video feed, which is smart-linked to the user's HUD. This "scope" does not allow any sort of increase in accuracy, but rather just magnifies the the users vision.

MA5E/GL Assault Rifle

The MA5E/Grenade Launcher Individual Combat Weapon System (MA5E/GL ICWS), more commonly known as the MA5E Grenade Launcher Assault Rifle, is standard United Nations Space Command firearm and a variant of the MA5E Assault Rifle with an attached M45 Underslung Grenade Launcher.

The camera "scope" featured on the standard MA5E is replaced with a foregrip-mounted M45 Grenade Launcher attachment. These grenades are fired with a gradual arc, forcing the player to have to calculate for how quickly they will drop. These grenades are powerful enough to eliminate small groups of enemies or tougher, individual targets in a direct hit. However, the Grenade Launcher can only hold a maximum of six grenades at a time, and can only be replenished from relatively uncommon grenade boxes. Additionally, the need to reload after each shot means that the gun can not be fired again, until a new grenade has been loaded in. Like all explosive weapons in SPV3, the projectile does more damage upon direct impact than it would if the target only received splash damage. This makes it very strong when used at close range, if a direct hit is scored on an enemy such as an Elite or Brute.

Unlike its normal counterpart, the MA5E/GL does not feature reticule bloom, instead it features a high recoil after sustained fire.

Gameplay Information



  • The Assault Rifle has an accelerated rate of fire, where the fire-rate increases after held for a certain period of time.
  • The Assault Rifle's ammunition counter will change colour as the weapon is depleted, providing a more pronounced visual indicator when firing from the hip.
  • The Assault Rifle is very effective at short-mid ranges.
  • The Assault Rifle comes equipped with a 2x camera scope.


  • The grenades fired from the Grenade Launcher are extremely devastating to smaller infantry units, and are powerful enough to heavily damage/destroy light vehicles, such as Ghosts and Shade turrets upon direct impact.



  • The Assault Rifle is generally ineffective at longer ranges.
  • As the Assault Rifle's rate of fire increases, so does the weapon's bloom (spread).


  • The AR/GL does not have a 2x camera scope, as it has been replaced by the Grenade Launcher.
  • When the AR/GL is active, the Grenade Launcher will override the users ability to throw grenades, thus the player must switch from/discard the AR/GL in order to use them.
  • Grenades fired from the AR/GL have a rather slow travel time, which decreases their effectiveness against agile and/or distant enemies.
  • The AR/GL cannot obtain ammunition from standard Assault Rifles found in the environment; only ammunition packets are capable of replenishing an AR/GL's ammo pool.
  • Grenades can only be replenished from unique boxes, which are particularly rare.

Developer Information


  • The grenades fired by the MA5E/GL behave differently from modern 40mm grenades; Instead of having a safety system that doesn't arm the round to detonate until reaching a specific distance (To prevent friendly fire incidents), grenades fired by the MA5E/GL will detonate on impact no matter how close the round lands to the user. Additionally, these grenades will also automatically detonate after flying a long distance without hitting anything.
    • It is likely that the MA5E/GL uses MK285 grenades (or some similar future model); these grenades possess an electronic fuse that can be programmed to detonate on impact and to have the round self-destruct after a certain time limit.
  • Back in the original release of TSC: E, the MA5E/GL was described to utilize unique incendiary ammunition. Which is why even ammo for the primary fire mode couldn't be refilled in that version.
  • Back in the original release of TSC: E, both the MA5E/GL and BR54HB/GL allowed you to swap grenade types while using the weapon.
  • When reloading, it uses the Halo 3 reloading sound.
  • The Assault Rifle in Halo: Combat Evolved was known as the MA5B. Throughout the series, this evolved into the MA5C in Halo 3 and then the MA5D in Halo 4.


vde UNSC infantry weapons in SPV3
MA5E Assault Rifle (MA5E/GL/M45E/GL)M7 Submachine Gun (M7/S/Amped M7)M247 Machine GunM6G Pistol (M6C Socom)BR54HB Battle Rifle (BR54HB/GL • BR54HB/S)M393 Designated Marksman Rifle (Amped M393)SRS99C-S2 AM Sniper Rifle (SRS99C-S2 AM/S)M41 Rocket LauncherM310 Grenade LauncherM91 ShotgunM7057 FlamethrowerM9 Fragmentation Grenade
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