Part 1: Tempest Perimeter
Throughout this mission, you will often need to adapt the loadout of a DMR and needle rifle. This is due to the fact that there is not enough DMR ammo to use your DMR to kill all enemies. However, if you use the needle rifle for killing Elites, Grunts, and Skirmishers while saving the DMR for only killing Jackals and far away targets, you will have enough ammo. There are a few key things to remember when using the needle rifle. First of all, it does not inflict enough damage to cause Jackals to drop their shields and requires two shots to remove a Grunt ultras helmet. Second, if you fire three needles into an unshielded target, it will create a supercombine explosion, killing that target. This way, you can kill Jackals with three hand shots and Grunt ultras with three body shots (instead of three headshots). Third, needle rifles are not as accurate as DMRs and only have a 2x zoom, so should not be used for killing far away targets.
You start this mission with a 45 ammo DMR, a 15 ammo grenade launcher, and sprint. You and Kat have just jumped out of a damaged warthog and need to push up the hill ahead of you. This is a relatively difficult fight because you have very little cover and there are two fuel rod shade turrets at the top of the hill.
Almost immediately, two banshees destroy the crashed warthog, making the carcass too small to use as cover. Immediately move behind any of the rocks and trees to your right to take cover from the enemy fire. Higher up the hill, there are two fuel rod shade turrets, four Grunts, five Jackals, and an Elite ultra with a concussion rifle. From your cover, begin DMR sniping the Grunts and Jackals, but pay close attention to the fuel rod shade turrets. The rocks you are using as cover will block most fuel rods that the shade fires at you, yet some may be able to hit you, so watch them at all times to stay safe.
After you kill the majority of the lighter infantry, push farther up the hill while staying on the right side of the road. Continue to use rocks and trees as cover from the shade turrets and Elite ultra. Kill any more Grunts and Jackals you find and swap your grenade launcher for the first plasma pistol you see. Overcharge this plasma pistol from cover, then use it to remove the Elite’s shields and kill it with a DMR headshot. As you move up the hill, you will come close enough to the shade turrets to kill the Grunts inside. Do this as soon as possible because it will allow you to move much more freely and safely. If you are having trouble shooting the Grunts in the shade turrets, you can also stun the turrets with your plasma pistols, forcing the Grunts exit. After killing any remaining enemies, a pelican will deploy a rocket hog near your position.
I do not suggest using this rocket hog to fight because the covenant will easily kill you and you will have no control of where the UNSC AI shoots. However, due to an error in Kat’s AI, she is unable to find her way to the next section and will stand at the drop zone of the pelican for the entire mission if you do not help her. To guide her, enter the rocket hog and drive next to her. She will then enter the passenger seat. This will allow you to transport Kat to the next section, where she then will be able to move on her own.
Drive down the path and you will come to a broken ramp. At the bottom of this ramp, you will see a large dip in the ground. Here, park the rocket hog and slowly move up the incline of the dip. Be careful, because at the top of this hill you will be attacked by three Skirmishers, usually all with needle rifles. Slowly creep up the incline with your DMR ready so that you can kill the Skirmishers as soon as you see them. After killing them with DMR headshots, notice the position of their needle rifles because you will need these later.
Follow the dirt path to the right until you come to a round rock on a steep incline. You will use this rock as cover. Ahead of you, there are many enemies in different areas, and they should be taken out in a certain order. On the ledge with the AA gun, there are seven normal Grunts, two Grunt ultras, three Jackals, and an Elite general with a concussion rifle. Below this ledge, there is an Elite driven ghost, an Elite driven revenant, three Grunt majors, and a Grunt ultra. These Grunts will join the other infantry around the AA gun soon after seeing you. Next to a sniper tower behind the AA gun, there are two Grunts and two Jackals. However, these will only attack you if you get close.
With your DMR, focus on picking off as many of the infantry as possible from your cover. It is most important to kill the Jackals first because they will create the most difficulty in the future. Once you run out of DMR ammo, swap your empty DMR for the needle rifles of the Skirmisher majors you killed before. While the revenant will stay far away from your position, the ghost will come and attack you around this time. When the ghost begins to approach your cover, start charging your plasma pistol while staying in cover. Once it comes within plasma pistol range, step out of your cover and immediately stun it our plasma pistol, then sprint up and jack it. Be sure to then kill the Elite driver either by ramming him or shooting him with the ghost’s plasma turrets.
Return to your cover and park your ghost next to it. Be prepared for a second ghost to come in from the canyon pass behind you soon after you kill this first ghost. Once again, stay in cover until the ghost gets close, then stun and jack it. The revenant, on the other hand, should be avoided and not jacked. Now that you have cleared out the larger threats on the lower level, it is time to attack the AA battery. In one of the jacked ghosts, drive all the way around the higher ledge, boosting past the both revenant and sniper tower. Park the ghost by the last rock where the lower ledge reaches the higher ledge. Use this rock as cover and pick off all of the Grunts with your needle rifle. To kill any remaining Jackals, shoot them in the head when they are moving or facing away from you. If they get close, remove their shields with an overcharged plasma shot. Once you kill all of the lighter infantry, it is relatively easy to kill the Elite general with an overcharged plasma pistol and needle rifle headshot from the cover of the rock.
Now you can blow up the anti-aircraft battery, allowing the UNSC frigate to enter orbit. Inside of the structure, you will find an energy shield protecting the inner core. Melee the shield twice, throw a sticky grenade at the core, and then sprint out of the AA battery before it blows up.
Behind the AA gun is a downed falcon with an assault rifle, a health kit, a 30 ammo DMR, and a frag grenade. Restock your health if necessary and swap your plasma pistol for the DMR. Even though the revenant and the sniper tower infantry remain, it is not required that you engage them. If you do decide to eliminate them as well, kill the Grunts with your needle rifle and Jackals with your DMR from on top of the ledge. To jack the revenant, temporarily swap your needle rifle for a plasma pistol. Stun the revenant, but keep in mind that it can still shoot when stunned with EMP. Run behind the revenant so that it cannot shoot you, then enter the passenger’s seat. From here, melee the Elite until he dies. Then swap your plasma pistol for your needle rifle, renter your ghost, and drive back to the area that you came from. Drive through the opening in the canyon wall where the other ghost came from before.
You will enter a large open area in which a phantom deployed a wraith and three Skirmisher majors with needle rifles. Park your ghost next to the large rock in the middle of the area. Using this as cover, remove the gunner from the wraith with your needle rifle. Once the wraith comes close to you, run out of your cover and plant a grenade. Keep in mind that because the wraith is not stunned, it may shoot you when you run at it. Kill the Skirmishers with needle rifle headshots and restock your needle rifle ammo from their guns. Near the covenant antenna, you will find a health kit, an empty ghost, and a covenant crate with plasma pistols. Restock on health if necessary. Get back in your ghost and travel across the bridge the pelican placed for you.
Continue down the path with your ghost. After jumping over a cliff, you will land in front of two Skirmisher majors with plasma pistols and a Skirmisher commando with a needle rifle. Because Skirmishers are so agile, ramming them is very hard. Instead, exit your ghost behind one of the rocks, kill them with needle rifle headshots, then grab the commandos needle rifle ammo. Renter your ghost and continue down the path. Ahead, you will find a health kit and a truck, but stay in your ghost because it is easier to maneuver and boosts. Continuing down the path, you will come to a mining facility, concluding this rally point.
Part 2: Hand over Fist
Your next objective is to secure a mining facility up ahead. This mining facility is on the other side of a canyon, and there is a bridge at the end of the road crossing over to it. On your side of the bridge, there is a 45 ammo DMR, an assault rifle, a frag grenade, two health kits, and four marines. On the other side of the bridge, there is a shade turret, four Grunts, and three Jackals. Drive your ghost towards the bridge but get out at the small hill with a red bush on top. From the bottom of the hill, your body is completely covered to the enemies on the bridge, providing you with great cover. Kill as many infantry as possible with your needle rifle, but use the DMR to kill the Grunt in the shade turret and the Jackals. To do this, run up the hill and fire upon the enemies until you see them returning fire. Then return behind the hill for safety.
After killing all of the enemies, restock on health and DMR ammo at your side of the bridge. Cross the bridge and turn left into the facility, where you will arrive at a set of stairs. At the top of these stairs, there are two health kits, a plasma grenade, a hologram, and two plasma rifle crates. As you turn the corner, be prepared with your needle rifle to kill two Skirmisher majors with needle rifles. Kill them with headshots and restock on their ammo. Continue up to the next flight of stairs, and the will see a large water tower which the platform bends around. When you come to this tower, switch to your DMR, because on the other side of the tower, there is a Grunt heavy and four Jackals. Kill the Jackals with hand shots and headshots from your DMR, exercising patience and accuracy to conserve ammo.
Up the next flight of stairs, you will find three Grunt majors and one Grunt ultra. Kill them all with your needle rifle. You will find a needle rifle crate and an armor lock ability to your right. Swap your needle rifle for one of the Grunt’s plasma pistols because you will be fighting Elites up ahead.
As you climb the last flight of stairs, you will reach the roof level. Be careful, because there are two Jackals and two Elite majors around the corner. One of these Elite majors is operating a plasma turret. Using the corner as cover, kill the Jackals and first Elite major with your DMR and plasma pistol. To kill the Elite with the plasma turret, sprint around the corner to the covered area on the left where you will be protected by a large column. From here, shoot the gas tank to the right of the Elite with a few plasma pistol rounds until it catches fire. This will cause it to detonate a few seconds later, destroying the plasma turret. This will allow you to easily kill the Elite with an overcharged plasma pistol and DMR headshot. Now you can return to the area you came from, trade your plasma pistol for your needle rifle, and restock its ammo from the covenant crate.
Retrace your steps forward and turn left at the destroyed plasma turret. You will see an assault rifle crate, a frag grenade, and a health kit in front of you, so restock on health if necessary. Ahead of you, there is another platform on which there are four Grunt spec ops, two Jackals, an Elite major, and an Elite Zealot with a concussion rifle. First, kill the Jackals with your DMR from the platform that you are on. It is important that you move quickly or else the Zealot will escape, so do not kill the Grunt spec ops yet. Jump down to ground level and start climbing the stairs up to the enemy platform. As you approach the stairs, the Grunt spec ops will begin descending towards you. Swap to your needle rifle and kill them quickly with headshots. After killing all four Grunt spec ops, trade your needle rifle for one of their plasma pistol and begin charging it as you climb the last flight of stairs. After charging for a few seconds, climb the last few steps, stun the Zealot, and kill him with a headshot. Do the same for the Elite major.
Move back down the stairs and swap your plasma pistol for a needle rifle. If necessary, restock health in the small room that contains a health kit, sprint, a frag grenade, and an assault rifle crate. Once you are ready to continue, walk to the edge of the large hole in the roof, where you will see three Grunt spec ops below you. Kill them all with needle rifle headshots, before jumping through the hole. On the level below, there are three more Grunt majors, so kill them all with your needle rifle once you jump through the hole. Through the next door, you will find two health kits, a plasma launcher, a plasma pistol and needler crate, and a plasma grenade. I would suggest keeping your current loadout of a DMR and needle rifle, though do restock on health if necessary. As soon as you walk out the final door, you will see two Grunt heavies attempting to escape in ghosts. Be ready to kill them quickly with your needle rifle before they can enter these ghosts. If you successfully kill them both, you will now have the option of entering three ghosts and a revenant. Although the revenant has higher firepower and more damage resistance, I would suggest taking one of the ghosts due to their mobility, speed, and superior boost.
A little ways down the dirt road, you will find three Grunts and an Elite major. Get out of the ghost and kill the Grunts with your needle rifle, then renter the ghost and either ram the Elite or kill it with the ghost’s plasma turrets. The dirt path will eventually lead to a broken down bridge. You will have to drive off the end, but the drop is small enough that it will not hurt you if you are in the ghost. In addition, on a section of the bridge still standing, there is a destroyed warthog, a DMR, and a data pad. However, it is very difficult to get to this section, and you should have plenty of DMR ammo at this point, so do not worry about trying to get to this bridge section.
Your current objective is to destroy another AA battery, located on a raised area ahead of you. Like before, the best strategy is to clear out the enemies on the lower level first. After jumping down the broken ledge, you will see a rock wall between you and the AA gun. Turn right and hug the rock wall after you exit your ghost while swapping to your DMR. Stay against the rock wall and slowly circle around it, constantly watching the area ahead of you. Around the wall, there are two normal Grunts, a Grunt ultra, five Jackals, and a wraith. Use the curvature of the wall as cover and begin picking off the infantry with your DMR. You will need to use your DMR instead of your needle rifle because these enemies are very far away. Once you kill all of the infantry, pick off the Grunt heavy operating the wraith’s plasma turret and sprint behind the large boulders in front of you for cover. Swap your needle rifle for one of the Grunts or Jackals plasma pistols. Overcharge a plasma pistol shot, move from behind cover, and run towards the wraith in a zigzag pattern so it cannot hit you. Once you achieve a plasma pistol lock-on, stun the wraith and jump on top of it. However, instead of planting a grenade in the wraith, enter the plasma turret. This will prompt the Elite major operating the wraith to exit it. Once he exits the wraith, exit the turret and kill him with an overcharged plasma pistol and DMR headshot. Leave this wraith here for now, but you will need it later.
Move up to the rock with the two covenant crates next to it. Here, you will find a drop shield, two needle rifles, and a plasma launcher. If you are hurt, swap your sprint for the drop shield. Place a drop shield to heal, and then swap back for sprint. The rock on this hill provides good cover for clearing out the next area. Ahead of you, there are two Grunts, four Jackals, three Skirmishers, an Elite major, and a wraith. Pick off as many of the light infantry as possible using DMR. If you run out of DMR ammo, swap it for a needle rifle from the crate next to you. While snipping, constantly watch the wraith. At this time, Kat usually draws most of its fire, but it will sometimes shoot at you. If you see a plasma ball heading your way, run to the left and use the curvature of the wall as cover. Once you kill all of the light infantry and the wraith gunner, sprint up to the double rocks ahead and use them as cover. Kill either the wraith or the Elite first, whichever is closer. Plant a grenade in this wraith; do not try to jack it.
Now, the only enemies that remain are inside of the AA gun, consisting of four buggers and two Hunters. Instead of killing this AA gun by overloading the core, return to your wraith and destroy the AA gun with two to three plasma balls. Destroying the AA guns will trigger two aircraft to land. Next to you, a Pelican will drop eight marines, six with assault rifles, one with a DMR, and one with a grenade launcher. Against the far wall near the edge of the cliff, a phantom will drop four Grunts. In addition, the two Hunters will now come down from the AA gun to join the fight. Stay in your wraith and bombard the Hunters with plasma balls. Although it will require many shots to kill the Hunters, you can shoot them from far away so are completely safe from their fuel rods. Even if they do hit you, the wraith’s thick armor will absorb the majority of the blow. After killing the Hunters, help the marines finish off the Grunts. The buggers are currently sleeping in the AA gun, so I do not suggest waking them.
After you clear out the Hunters and Grunts, Jorge will land with a grenade turret falcon. Enter either of the side mounted grenade turrets to finish this rally point. Kat will stay behind with the marines.
Part 3: the Spire
This falcon will take you and Jorge to the covenant spire. Unlike standard falcons, this falcon has rapid-fire grenade turrets on either side, one of which you are operating. These grenades detonate on contact and inflict much damage so are useful for killing both groups of infantry and vehicles. As the pilot flies you to the spire, you can clear out covenant forces along the way. Most of the enemies do not pose any threat to your falcon, and the only enemies that damage you are the shade turrets, so they must be killed first. However, I suggest killing as many enemies as possible to increase your score and “help the war effort” so to speak.
The pilot then tries to fly you past the spire’s shields, but he did not know that they produce an EMP force, causing aircraft to stall. This causes you to crash inside of the shield barrier of the spire, killing the pilot and the marine onboard. However, due to armor lock, you and Jorge survive with only minor damage. The crash causes you to lose your guns, so you instead have to pick up guns from the crash site, shown in the cut scene. You therefore start with a 29 ammo DMR and a 568 ammo assault rifle regardless of you previous loadout.
Next to the falcon there are two jetpacks, two health kits, and a frag grenade. Use one of these health kits to repair the damage you took form the fall. In the area ahead of you, there are nine Grunts, three Jackals, three Skirmisher minors with needle rifles, and two Skirmisher commandos with focus rifles. Begin by using either the downed falcon or the rocks to your left as cover and pick off as many Skirmishers as possible. They pose the largest threats because they have the most accurate guns. Next, attempt to pick off as many the Grunts and Jackals from this position. You are unlike to see them all because some of them will be concealed by the many rocks in ahead of you.
Once you cannot see any more enemies, move up to the tall, spike-shaped rock forward and to the right of the falcon. Using this as cover, kill any more enemies remaining on the dirt road ahead of you and then move up this dirt road. Swap your assault rifle for the first plasma pistol you come to. As you continue up this road, it will turn to the left. Be careful here, because once you step past the last rocks on the left, you will be in sight of an Elite major operating a plasma turret farther down the road. Carefully move around the rocks next to the copper water heaters to avoid the plasma turret fire. Once you get to the last rocks between you and the Elite, you will have a clear shot at a plasma battery next to the Elite. Shoot the battery multiple times with your DMR, causing it to explode and destroy the turret. Now, you can safely kill the Elite with the normal strategy. When you come to the dead Elite, watch your back because there could be enemies that you did not kill before lurking in the rocks behind you.
After you are sure that there are no enemies waiting to ambush you from behind, move forward towards the spire. The road will come to a T crossing, with covenant objects in the middle of the road. Here you will find a focus rifle, a needle rifle crate, and a jetpack. Swap your DMR for a needle rifle and your sprint for a jetpack. Also, make sure that you have a nearly fresh plasma pistol, so swap for one from an enemy that you killed before if necessary.
If you stay in this area, a banshee will soon come to you. Jacking this banshee will both provide you with easy transportation to the top of the spire and an achievement. Once the banshee starts flying towards you, begin charging you plasma pistol and jetpack towards it. Stun the banshee once you achieve a lock-on and are sure that the banshee will crash on the road on which you are jet packing over. Immediately begin recharging your plasma pistol as you jetpack to the crash site and stun it again once the EMP wears off so that it cannot escape. Once you reach the banshee, walk to the back and press x to jack it, kicking out the Elite pilot.
Fly the banshee to the top of the spire and land on the plasma platform. Inside of the top room of the spire, there are three Grunt ultras, two Grunt heavies with fuel rods, and an Elite ultra with an energy sword. Use one of the doorways into upper room of the spire as cover to kill the Grunts. Step into the doorway to take a few shots at the Grunts and then step outside again when your shields become low or the Grunt heavy fires a fuel rod at you. At first, the Elite ultra will be operating the spire controls, but a few second after he sees you, he will draw his energy sword and attack. As soon as you see him leave the controls, step outside and charge your plasma pistol. Watch your motion tracker so you are ready for him when he walks within your line of fire. When you remove its shields, the Elite will momentarily stop moving, providing you time to kill it with a needle rifle headshot. If you miss, jetpack onto the higher level of the spire and it will be unable to attack you. From this higher elevation, you can easily finish off the Elite ultra. Then continue to eliminate the remaining Grunts defending the controls.
Once all of the enemies are dead, you can disable the shields generated by the spire at the main controls by pressing x. This will both allow Carter to pick you and Jorge up in a falcon, and will allow the UNSC frigate Grafton to destroy the Spire. However, after destroying the Spire, a covenant cruiser destroys Grafton, concluding the mission Tip of the Spear.