Posted by: Ben | December 26, 2008

Needler

For Halo veterans the Needler should present a familiar prospect, as Halo 3 sees the Covenant weapon in its third incarnation. This time around Bungie have restored the weapon to the original single wield format used on Halo: CE, as opposed to the double wieldable form found on the sophomore release.

Needler

Needler

Type: Covenant
Rate of Fire: Automatic
Clip Size: 19
Maximum Ammunition: 76
Range: Mid Range
Found On: Boundless, Epitaph, Epilogue, Guardian, High Ground, Last Resort, Narrows, The Pit, Snowbound.

General

The Needler is somewhat of an enigma in the Halo arsenal, with no comparable Spartan alternative or discernable similarities to any other weaponry in the series. It functions by firing a even stream of over-sized, luminous pink needles (hence the name) at enemies, which attach themselves like leeches to opponents and explode concurrently after a short delay.

Tactics

The Needler excels in an extremely limited range of circumstances. Unlike the conventional distinction between the long, medium and short ranges of combat, a more apt method of contrast for the Needler is between open and close-quarters battles. As the Needler requires you to unleash close to a full clip of ammunition per kill it is of the utmost importance your opponent has minimal room to manoeuvre or evade your fire. So naturally the Needler is in its element on the more claustrophobic maps such as Guardian, The Pit and Narrows but is significantly less useful on the more expansive maps like Last Resort and Snowbound/Boundless. As if that wasn’t restricting enough, the Needler is never to be used in a two on one scenario (in which you are the one), its usage should be exclusive to one on one action. Don’t become completely disheartened though because in the correct circumstances the Needler can be one of the most lethal weapons on the entire game, it’s all about knowing when and where to use it.

Unlike most Covenant weapons the Needler is not particularly adept at draining enemy shields, nor is it an optimal finishing weapon. Instead a Needler kill invariably involves emptying a single clip of fire into the enemy. It is not recommended you attempt to use the Needler in conjunction with grenades, a Battle Rifle or any other secondary method of attack. Additionally, as a consequence of the delay between the impact and explosion of the Needler bullets you are more susceptible than ever to the infuriating ‘death grenade’ of your enemy, as he/she will more than likely realise they are dead half a second or more before they are. This gives them plenty of chance to bombard you with every Frag Grenade, Plasma Grenade, Power Drain or any other tricks they have up their Mark VI sleeve, before they hit the deck. Finally, the Needler has a lengthy reload time so if you haven’t taken down your enemy in one clip you would be best advised to change your weapon.

If Facing…

Battle Rifle: As a general code of conduct, the Battle Rifle is the ideal weapon to take down a Needler (Rockets notwithstanding). A good player will weave in and out of your fire and promptly take you down with some precise headshots. However, in close quarters situations, especially when you have the first shot you may find yourself emerging victorious. At any distance other than mid range, look for cover or swap weapons as swiftly as you can.

Assault Rifle: The Needler is arguably the most efficient way to kill a player wielding an Assault Rifle. Nine times out of ten a player using an Assault Rifle will attempt to charge you and go for the melee finish. In this situation back off and maintain fire. As he/she will be desperate to land that melee on you its a good bet they’ll charge straight for you, leaving them easy prey.

Sniper Rifle: At long distance always look for cover as this is not a battle you can win. However at short distances, where your enemy is looking for the no scope, the Needler can be lethal against Sniper Rifles, providing they miss.

Vehicles: Don’t like the Covenant tag fool you. Unlike the Plasma Pistol, the Needler is useless against Vehicles of all shapes execept the Mongoose.

Best maps to use on

At the start on The Pit the Needler is good protection for the Rocket Launcher as it’s a very narrow corridor making dodging the Needler near imposible.

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