Brute Shot -> PPL - The Plasma Projectile Launcher is a smaller cousin of the vehicle-mounted weapon on Telos tanks. It’s more commonly known amongst UNSC Marines as the “Laser Grenade Launcher” because fires explosive projectiles at bullet speed and leaves what appears to be a laser trail (it’s actually an explosive smoke trail, but so constant due to the projectile speed). The explosion is enough to knock down Marines (not ODSTs or SPARTANs) at ten metres, incapacitate and possibly deafen at five, and kill at three. The weapon holds four rounds per magazine, but the weapon can overheat if it launches two grenades before being allowed to cool off.
Used by: Major Brutes (or higher), Spec Ops Grunts, Heavy Grunts
Beam Rifle/Laser Rifle -> Type 53 Special Applications System - The 53SAS, more commonly referred to as the “Beam Laser”, combines the firing power of the Laser Rifle with the precision of the Beam Rifle, making it one hell of a sniper rifle. With four self-charging plasma cores, the Beam Laser promises a steady recharge rate for prolonged, active use, and its precision makes Jackal snipers (and the occasional brute sniper) a serious threat.
Used by: Spec Ops Brutes, Jackals
Energy Sword -> “Reaper” Plasma Scythe - The Energy Sword saw a general lack of use by Covenant forces during HALO 3, with Sangheili no longer a part of the main ground operations. The new Reaper model replaces the Sangheili “precise kill” weapon with the more violent and brutal style of the Jiralhanae. The Plasma Scythe cuts through matter much quicker and at a far greater range than the Energy Sword. It’s extended reach and bulkier build makes for awkward untrained handling, so much that even SPARTANs have largely been unable to use the things. Brutes and Elites remain the only possible wielders, at large, and even then, Sangheili prefer their swords. With the updates in plasma weapons, the Covenant have been able to enable slow regeneration (about 2 energy per 3 seconds) for the weapon.
Used by: Spec Ops Brutes, Brute Chieftains
Fuel Rod Gun -> Plasma Condenser - Misconceptions the UNSC field troops have about the Plasma Launcher lead them to believe that the Covenant are creating plasma at the weapon’s targeted location. In fact, it’s condensing the air around the target with use of plasma. The molecules of air are crushed, leading to spectacularly gorey deaths akin to implosion. Because the cooldown on the weapon allows for around two shots every minute, you can expect the chieftains using the weapons to have added spikes à la the Plasma Ripper for entertainment while the weapon is cooling off.
Used by: Brute Chieftains, Heavy Grunts
Gravity Hammer -> Propulsion Hammer - The Brute Chieftains lusted for a more powerful model of their weapon of choice - the Gravity Hammer. Thus, Covenant Engineers set to work crafting the Propulsion Hammer - a larger version of the Gravity Hammer that pulls enemies to the wielded, allowing for brutally efficient methods to deal with bunkered-down troops. The weakness in the ability to pull enemies away is that it uses up two strikes’ worth of energy, not counting the energy one would use to actually strike and kill the enemy. The gravitational lashes are now almost twice as large as they were in previous models. Lastly, the Propulsion Hammer, as with the Reaper Scythe, slowly regenerates energy when not in use.
Used by: Brute Chieftains
Plasma Grenade - The new iteration of the Plasma Grenades has seen a more popular inclusion in Covenant ground forces. For once, the Jiralhanae’s version of an existing weapon system is more lightweight than before, giving even the frail Yanme’e Drones the ability to hurl them into the fray from above. The blast radius has remained much the same as past versions.
Used by: All Covenant classes
Spike Grenade -> Slicer Grenade - The Slicer shows more contempt for any living creature than any past brute invention with its ridiculously-lethal design. It explodes on contact after being armed, but its wrath doesn’t end there; rather than covering the area in superheated spikes like its predecessor, it covers the area in superheated spikes that also spray a smaller radius with their own superheated fragments. This results in the utter shredding of the insides of stuck targets, as well as anyone in the immediate vicinity. There’s little explosive residue or damage, though, making the Slicer primarily an anti-personnel weapon.
Used by: Brutes
Ghost -> Skimmer - The Skimmer is a fast-response attack vehicle and scout, much like the Ghost. The Skimmer, however, has a sealed cockpit, and for a good reason - the Skimmer also has the unique ability amongst vehicles of both races to make short slipspace jumps for around five seconds. Pilots can use this ability to avoid obstacles, sidestep enemy forces, and even evade locked-on rockets. Because slipspace travel can irradiate organic exposure, the cockpit must be sealed to activate the slipspace function. Add that to the fast-attack cannons and the elongated boost time and you have one of the most efficient ground vehicles in on the fields.
Chopper -> Carnivore - The Carnivore, piloted exclusively by brutes, sets out to become what the Chopper thought it was - a vicious, vehicular deathtrap. Between the copious amounts of flesh-dissolving spikes and the powerful anti-armour (and anti-personnel) cannons that fire their projectiles twice as fast as the Chopper did, the Carnivore is a prime example of brute ingenuity. It’s a wonder the vehicle maintained its small boost time.