Halo: Reach just launched and we’re already obsessed with leveling up and scoring credits. Thanks to daily and weekly challenges, various multi-tiered commendations, constantly evolving user-made content, dozens of ranks and a store to spend the credits you earn from doing virtually anything in-game, Halo: Reach is far-and-away Bungie’s most complete (and addicting) addition to the Halo series. We’ve decided to put together a handy guide for leveling up your unique super soldier quickly. Keep the following tips in mind to get more credits (cR) and raise your rank faster.
Hint 1: Check Out the Daily, Weekly Challenges
Think of the daily and weekly challenges as free cR. Most of them are simple (ex. kill a set amount of enemies in the campaign with automatic weapons) and can be accomplished from normal play in relatively short periods of time. You can find them under “Challenges” (shocker!) in the pause menu. Completing them might not seem to award that much cR (one day’s combined daily challenges totaled 3,800 cR while another was 2,100 cR), but multiply that by seven, add in the 1,500 from the weekly challenge, and you’re looking at a nice consistent chunk of change. The coveted Master Chief voice will be yours in no time.
Hint 2: Upgrade Your Commendations
Commendations are hidden under “Service Record” after selecting “Player” in the pause menu. Campaign, matchmaking and Firefight each have their own unique commendations, each containing five different levels. Break into the bronze rank and you get 600 cR; silver rank gets you double that, and so on. Upgrading a commendation is as simple as reading the description and then performing that action. Just know that you must play the appropriate game mode to level up a commendation; killing grunts in Firefight won’t add to your campaign tally, and vice versa.
Many commendations will take a while to complete (the “Pinpoint” commendation in the campaign for example requires 4,000 head shot kills to go gold), and some are downright frustrating (finishing levels on Heroic or Legendary difficulty without dying). But all yield cR. Your best bet is to aim at whatever commendations are within reach based on your natural play style, and avoid spending too much time chasing nearly-impossible goals, when you could be racking up easy cR elsewhere.
Hint 3: Tag Along
Whether you’re new to the game or a seasoned vet, sticking with teammates is a solid strategy, but it’s also a great way to earn cR. In Halo: Reach, you get bonuses for assisting on a kill (some challenges are based on assists, too) and for avenging a teammate’s death. Besides, you’re more likely to get kills in the first place when your buddy has already done some of the work. If you can join up with some friends and communicate, even better.
Hint 4: SWAT or Not
SWAT is a decent choice for a quick cR fix due to the focused nature of the game type, so vote for it when possible. It’s essentially Slayer (or Team Slayer), but everyone loads out with a DMR, a magnum, their chosen armor ability, and no shields. Kills are quick (one head shot is all it takes), which means you don’t have to worry about playing the entire length of a match. And if you’re a dead-eye, so much the better; you’ll rack up a string of kills with ease and end the match that much faster. Just remember: the faster you shoot the DMR, the less accurate it is. If you miss that first head shot, don’t fire again right away. Wait that extra second for the reticle to shrink to its default size before engaging your opponent again. It’s easy to forget that in the heat of battle, but it could save your life and end the other guy’s.
Hint 5: Show Off in the Campaign
You’re a Spartan; play like one. Small amounts of cR are awarded during missions for kills, and those handfuls add up. Increase the amount gained through stylish play and toppling tougher enemies. For example, destroying an enemy and the vehicle they’re riding in yields more cR than just killing the enemy. Turn on Score Mode (even if you’re playing alone) to get a feel for the timing required for double kills and other medals. And if you’re playing with other people, don’t always feel like you need to kill everything that moves. That’s just a sure-fire way of dying a lot and pissing off your teammates. Assists count towards a Support Role commendation, so let your partner finish off that Elite whose shield you destroyed.
Hint 6: Get Some Multi-Kills in Multi-Team
Multi-team is lesser known (and played), but it’s great for earning cR. Pitting six teams of two against each other in slayer and random objective-based matches, this game type is noteworthy because you aren’t sharing your kills with three – or, in the case of Big Team Battle, seven – other players. It’s just you, a single partner, and 10 moving targets. Thanks to the frantic pace (five other teams will be jumping around shooting each other), it’s easy to steal kills. That’s playing smart, though the other teams will have another word for it they’ll be sure to share in the post-game carnage report. Multi-team matches tend to end quickly, too, meaning you’ll have more chances at the “lottery” credits earned at the end of every game.
Hint 7: ONI Sword Base Trick
Youtube.com user AlwaysImBored explains a neat little trick involving the target locator in mission three. By using it on enemies instead of the two Wraiths, you can rack up insane multi-kills. The only downfall is that eventually the cR amount drops dramatically, which means you can’t abuse it indefinitely. On the plus side, this is also an easy way to level up the “Splash Damage” and “Cannon Fodder” commendations.
Hint 8: Fight the Gruntpocalypse
“Gruntpocalypse” is a rendition of Firefight that pits you against an army of grunts. Killing grunts is great fun (especially with the Grunt birthday party skull activated), and as this video illustrates, an easy (and quick) way to earn cR. Depending on your skill and speed, it will take around eight minutes to earn roughly 2,000 cR. And, again, you’ll randomly pick up bonuses here due to upgrading commendations tied into the Firefight mode. It’s good for everybody – except those poor grunt bastards.
For more Halo: Reach hints and tips, check out our guide to the best walkthroughs and guides from around the web.