August 14, 2012

Multiplayer Specializations!


IGN just released this article on Halo 4 specializations. Click here for full article and video

Specialization Overview

“When we launch Halo 4 in November, that’s just the beginning,” Ellis tells us. “Specializations are just another opportunity to make the play experience months and even years after release feel fresh.”

With that in mind, a few housekeeping notes: Specializations give you 10 extra levels’ worth of goodies to unlock, including nine levels cosmetic armor items. Those nine include armor sets, skins for those armor sets, a weapon skin, emblems, and a visor color. On the tenth level, you get your gameplay modifying perk – the ultimate prize you really care about that we’ll detail below.

Also, and this is an important part: two of the Specializations – Pioneer and Wetwork – will be available at launch. The rest will come online later…unless you purchase the Halo 4 Limited Edition, in which case you’ll have access to all 10 at launch.

Finally, to answer your question: Yes, your Specializations are usable in Spartan Ops mode.



Halo fans who wore the Hyabusa armor proudly in Halo 3 can now walk the walk in addition to talking the talk. As you may have heard in previous Halo 4 multiplayer footage, these Spartan IVs make some serious noise when they move. How could they not? They’re seven-foot-tall superhumans running around frantically while wearing one-ton metal armor. Enter the Wetwork armor mod, which boasts a couple of key stealth-related benefits.

“When someone’s using Promethean vision, they show up on screen as a big red figure,” says Ellis. “With this [mod], you still show up, but the only thing that shows up is your outline.

“And also when you sprint, it adds some sound dampening so you don’t make as much noise when you sprint.” Furthermore, the assassination animation will happen faster for you, leaving you vulnerable for a shorter duration of time. Though Ellis did also clarify an immediate question we had, saying, “You definitely still show up on radar, let me make that clear.” Wetworks is one of the two immediately accessible Specializations available to all players out of the box.



We can’t imagine anyone not starting out by spending a lot of time as a Pioneer, and not just because the other Specializations that everyone will have access to on November 6. Simply, the Pioneer’s Fast Track mod nets you experience points towards the next level at a higher rate, bringing you closer to your high-level goals.

And because we can already hear the gears turning in your head, Ellis and 343 have already planned for the potential exploits of this particular class. “You can change loadouts mid-match, but we put fail-safes in,” Ellis begins. “For Fast Track, you only get extra XP for the amount of time you were using it. You can’t just turn it on right at the end of a match and think you’re going to get extra XP for everything you did in a match.



In Halo 4 multiplayer, weapon drops won’t be predictable. Rather, they’ll appear dynamically both in location and in content. You might get lucky and get a rocket launcher, and you might be fortunate enough to have that SPNKr drop a mere feet from your location. In the event something good is falling from the sky, the Engineer’s Drop Recon armor mod provides an advantage. “A couple extra seconds before everyone else sees the [drop] coming down, the Engineer is gonna get a heads-up,” Ellis says. Secondarily, he adds, “Based on the distance to the weapon, you can get an arrow pointing you to where the nearest timed ordinance drop is coming in. It extends the range of those popping up on your HUD.”



Alternative to the same situation the aforementioned Engineer faces, of course, is this: What if you truck halfway across the map only to discover a lame Covenant plasma rifle? Bummer, right? Well, the Engineer has the ability to turn that frown upside-down with his Drop Recon armor mod.

“When you get an ordinance drop, you get a choice of some grenades, a weapon, and a power-up,” Ellis explains. “What this allows you to do is essentially re-roll. So if the three choices that you have don’t suit your play style, you get a chance to re-roll and get an all-new selection.”



“In past Halo games, when you’d be zoomed in and take a shot, you’d be taken out [of your zoom],” Ellis reminds us. “Now it’s not necessarily the case. As you’re taking shots [with the Stability mod], it allows you to keep your reticule more stable.” Yep, this one is almost straight out of Call of Duty, as it will also improve your from-the-hip firing accuracy. The Rogue Specialization is tailor-made for players who prefer to snipe their foes from afar. [Editor’s Note: If only Halo 4 had a Halo 1-style super-pistol to go with this mod, I’d be unstoppable. MUHAHAHA!!!]



Described by 343 Industries as “Spartan optimization for target shadowing missions which require tactical invisibility despite operating at an extremely close range to the target itself,” the Stalker packs the Nemesis armor mod, a passive skill that, according to Ellis, “Pops up on the HUD an icon of the last person that killed you.” This also applies to attacking enemies as well, making it useful for both retaliation and revenge. Teams that communicate well can make fantastic use of this perk.



This one is pretty self-explanatory. Pathfinders enjoy the Gunner mod, which reduces the cool-down on vehicle weapon overheating and allows you to move faster when carrying a detached emplacement. “If you like grabbing turrets,” suggests Ellis, “This will make you a little more powerful than you would be otherwise.” Ellis may or may not have had an ear-to-ear grin on his face when he said this.



This one’s for all the vehicle lovers out there. “In the past you’ve been able to use an EMP pulse to freeze a vehicle,” says Ellis, recalling far too many memories of having a Running Riot interrupted by a well-placed overcharged plasma pistol burst. “This [Wheelman armor mod] gives you a bit of a resistance against that. It won’t necessarily stop you in your tracks [anymore].”

But wait, there’s more: “This also allows you to recharge the health of a vehicle a little faster. It won’t be fast, but if you can get out of harm’s way, you’re going to recharge the vehicle’s health faster than you would otherwise.” And 343 is encouraging this in a key way: “You’re going to be rewarded a lot more for [driving well and getting assists] than you were before,” clarifies Ellis. “We’re going to encourage people to want to be the driver.”

Before you get the same idea I did, though, take note: multiple armor mods of the same type do not stack. So if you fill a Warthog full of Operators, you won’t create a magic, invincible ride. Sadly.

Discuss it in the forums

  • Sam

    This is what Armor Abilities should have been. These are not too overpowered, nor are they un-noticable. The perfect balanced perks that Halo 4 need. I see myself using the Engineer because I am a power weapon whore.
    Oh, and I change my mind about the armor. They look amazing, all of them.

  • halo4nation

    I don’t know about you guys, but I am loving this new armor.

    • spencer hodges

      i was fine with the armor shown at first but now its like: DAAAAAAYUUUUMMMM

    • Masterchief Antonio


    • Squatchmen

      I love it too!!!

    • Tbone

      Me 2

  • Like a boss

    I love halo and I love you Tim. 😉

  • benjo

    Man this is so cool. Love how deep players can go into their playstyle, and 343 seems to have balanced the different abilities extremely well! So looking forward to the story of Halo 4 and the multiplayer.

  • matt

    i cant wait to wear the operator armor, everytime i get in the worthog, im always in the driver seat…and i really like all the different kinds of armor, in reach it was style, now it can help you kill people faster or make you last longer.

    • Atlas

      Not quite. The ability is not linked to the armour. You can wear any armour and have any ability.

      • Squatchmen

        you mean “mod” just clarifying you, you dont mean ability

  • NoobsShallDie

    Oh my god. I kept thinking to myself, “What can they possibly do next?” and then they give us this. I am so damn excited right now. Not only do the specializations sound awesome, but the armor just looks so sleek and badass. Cannot wait for this game.

  • spencer hodges

    they all look sick

    • Squatchmen

      who in gods name disagreed with you

      • spencer hodges

        2 people.

  • Ivan

    I really dislike this armor, please don’t cuss me out for this but seriously i can’t even tell where the hell the visor is on most of this… they really, really went way to overboard with the detail on the helmet, which isn’t always good…

    • spencer hodges

      true, about the visor part and all but you gotta just wait, there is gonna be plenty more armor in the game, so im sure you’ll find one that you like.


        I have nothing to say about the helmets until I can get a closer look at them.

        • spencer hodges

          true true, but still my word there still stands

    • halo4nation

      Yea I only like a handful of the helmets, but the body armor looks really sleek to me.

      • TheWerbinator

        I could not agree more!

    • Shane

      These are meant to be really intricate because they are based off of forerunner design. 343i were going for a more forerunner related theme which they achieved greatly. They are different, but if you absorb the patterns and shapes then you really start to love them xD Plus the UNSC are growing technology wise, so they are getting sleeker and more precise with their tech. I think the armor fits extremely well in that aspect. They look different but they are very good looking. I don’t know about you guys but i’ve been playing halo since 2001 and i was starting to get pretty board of the same styled armor over and over again. So It’s refreshing for me to see a slight change that fits very well.

      • Ivan

        You may be right, but I don’t think any armor can ever top the mjolnir.. old is gold


    Wow. This changes so many things. Halo is more of a thinking game than just action. I REALLY love That!

  • blam

    well they dont have huge visors any more because in an interview with one of the people from 343i said that the visor is the most vulnerable spot. so why would they want huge visors any more

  • blam

    wait are u only able to wear the armor that goes with the specialization?


    What does it mean ” allows you to recharge the health of a vehicle.” Since when??? I don’t even understand that.

  • TheWerbinator

    In my own opinion, the defining characteristic of the MJOLNIR armor that makes it look relatively human, is the visor. As such, I think these new armor perms look awesome, but the helmets look too foreign; too alien. I enjoyed the Spartan look, like that of a Greek God, but now I am afraid they went way too out of their way to bring us something that is unnecessary, and that looks like ET.

    • Shane

      Read my reply to Ivan. These particular armors are based off of forerunner tech. They still have plenty of more military looking gear, but they added some new styles to fit the theme of the game more.

    • agdaer

      they never looked like greek gods

      • TheWerbinator

        Sorry, I forgot to specify. In Halo: The Fall of Reach, the book, a marine, some corporal dude, said that his first impression of Master Chief and his spartans was that they were massive, and had an aura like Greek Gods.

    • Phillip Micheal Hanna

      As i do agree with this, i believe they will bring back some Mjolnir for the sake of the the fans like yourself, they have always included them in the past so why stop now? i do like the new armours because with the storyline of the timeline it gives 343 alot of room to expand and grow Halo so it is not the same old thing over and over again.In the books that Frank 0’Connor stated would line up with Halo 4 and its timeline states that ONI and the UNSC have unlocked alot of Forerunner technology so therefore these new armours are going to be very alien.It makes sense,but like i said no worries im sure they will keep the MJOLNIR there is too much pressure on them not to.

  • Xerkxes

    huh, wow.
    me and my brother are reading this.
    He loves being a driver and likes the sound of the Operator, and I like Turret weapons and LOVE the sound of Pathfinder (on top of me liking the table-top game of the same name XD)
    me and my bro, what a team >:3

    I know people are ripping on the helmets, though I agree, I do find that these ones are better looking than the ones we’ve been seeing so far, and I like the rest of the armor a lot more than the past games.

  • Pingback: Halo 4 Specialization BreakdownsHalo 4 Nation | The Halo 4 News Site()

  • Mike

    I wish there was a Cortana mod that simply let you hear her be annoying and crack jokes in your head while playing, I’d definitely go with that one XD.

  • James

    So does this mean we have to wear the armor as a set to activate the mods? Cause that would take away us doing our custom looks.

  • Ninja is there

    they look so cool cant wait i like the pathfinder, pioneer and wetworks i like the pathfider cause i love turrets

  • Squatchmen

    OMFG Awesome armor!

    I think my first specialization is going to be the Pioneer and then possibly the Wetworks or Tracker afterwards

  • Wilky

    2 things I’m almost certain were left unsaid.

    1: Do Specialisations only appear in SPECIFIC playlists?

    2: Do you have to wear this armour in order to get the spec? I’d much rather show off armour I’ve paid for/earned than slap on a set I may not like just so I’m not outclassed over the duration of the game.

  • Squatchmen

    I don’t really know why, but when I read the title, I always think it’s said in the nerdiest way possible. maybe Tim’s a nerd and he passed this on when he was typing it psychologically….. never know

    And this post must have the most comments

  • Votarahk

    They kinda look like those old Lego Bionicles now :/

  • BEN

    They all look good except for pioneer and wet works.

    pioneer and wet work are just as bad as hazop and infiltrator.


  • chris

    i still think halo 3 have the best armor

  • Ares

    ok i like this and everything but there are NO close quarter specilization!

  • Justin

    The Stalker Armor looks like the default armor in Reach :)

About the Author

Hello everyone, my name is Tim and I love Halo. Enjoy.

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