The Type-33 Guided Munitions Launcher, more commonly known as the Needler, is a Covenant anti-infantry weapon. It is used by Elites, Grunts, Skirmishers, and Jackals.

Lore Background

The Needler is one of few Covenant armaments that is not reverse-engineered from Forerunner technologies. It is also one of the few weapons in the Covenant arsenal that uses ammunition rather than a battery. The weapon uses a chunk of hyper-reactive explosive crystals called Subanese crystals or more commonly known as Blamite. These crystals are mined on Suban, one of the twin moons of Sanghelios. Its highly volatile nature means that when the Blamite embeds itself in an object, it explodes spontaneously. When several Blamites are embedded, their explosion fuse into a supercombine explosion. The crystals fired from a Needler also tracks its target, how it is able to do this is unknown.

Gameplay Info


  • The Needler starts with a rather slow fire rate, but very quickly builds up speed, allowing the user to fire a barrage of needles in a moment's notice.
  • The Needler's needles can track enemies outside of it's prescribed range.
  • The needles protruding from the top of the Needler give it an extremely powerful melee attack.
  • When 7 of the Needler's needles become embedded into a target, a supercombine explosion will occur that proves fatal to all types of infantry, including Hunters.


  • The Needles fired by the Needler cannot penetrate heavy armour or plasma barriers, and will bounce harmlessly off vehicles, Hunter armour and Jackal shields.
  • The slow travel speed of the Needler's needles means that they cannot effectively track targets if they move behind cover.
  • Individually, needles fired by the Needler deal low damage.
  • The needles only deal damage upon detonation after embedding themselves in the target.

Developer Information

For the Needler, like the Plasma Rifle, we felt it was important to not deeply modify it as any change to its speed or damage could distort every encounter in the game that previously existed.

Despite the argument that the Needler is useless in Halo: Combat Evolved (which is untrue for the Campaign), it was given some extra incentives for the player to use it. The most important one was increasing its effectiveness when used against Brutes, so that the Shredder wouldn't be the only Covenant weapon that was effective against enemy health as plasma is against energy shields. In addition, as with other melee weapons that are heavy and/or have blades or spikes incorporated into the design, the Needler's melee attack can do twice the damage compared to other weapons, making it more useful in close range combat.


  • The SPV3 Needler uses a unique reload animation, in which a top compartment is opened, a large chunk of crystalline material is inserted into the weapon, which is then forced through the top of the weapon into sharp needles as the user closes the compartment. The Shredder has a similar animation, although the shredder's compartment appears to be mechanically operated, unlike the Needler, which requires that the user manually close it. This is strange, given the Shredder is supposed to be an outdated Needler, yet it is slightly more advanced in operation.


vde Covenant infantry weapons in SPV3
Plasma Pistol (Brute variantVoid's Tear)Plasma Rifle (Brute variant • Modified Plasma Rifle)PiercerSpikerNeedlerShredderBrute ShotParticle Carbine (Unstable Round Carbine)Focus RifleHunter Cannon (BeamFuel RodShade)Energy SwordJackal ShieldPlasma GrenadeGravity GrenadeCluster GrenadeNeedle Grenade
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