From Perks to Powerups

While Armor Mods do, without a doubt, add serious issues to gameplay that have repulsed Halo fans far and wide, the concept of having a specific trait upgraded individually isn’t a completely broken concept. In fact, a more primitive form of “perks” has always existed…


Every Halo game (minus Reach) has always had powerups playing a large role in gameplay whether it’s placed on the map, or delivered via ordnance. Halo CE and Halo 2 gave us two powerups: Active Camouflage and the Overshield. Halo 3 and Halo: Reach gave us the Custom Powerup, which hugely benefited Custom Games. And Halo 4 gave us the Speed Boost and the Damage boost while removing Active Camouflage and the Custom Powerup.

However, Halo 4 also added something else. Halo 4 added Armor Mods.

As we all know, most Armor Mods upgrade specific traits of the player. Shielding and Recharge improve the player’s shield recharge wait and regeneration speed, and Dexterity lowers the time it takes to reload and switch weapons.

If we take the Armor Mods that upgrade specific traits, make them more intense, and turn them into powerups, and place them on the map… Everyone wins.

The final list of Armor Mods that will be turned/added into powerups is the following. The remaining armor mods will be removed from the game.

  • AA Efficiency > Added to the “Regeneration Boost” powerup
  • Shielding > Added to the “Regeneration Boost” powerup
  • Awareness > Added to the “Equipment Boost” powerup
  • Dexterity > Added to the “Speed Boost” powerup
  • Recharge > Added to the “Regeneration Boost” powerup
  • Sensor > Added to the “Equipment Boost” powerup
  • Stealth > Added to the “Active Camouflage” powerup
    Obviously, I did not include all of the Armor Mods in this list - not even all of the ones that enhance specific traits. This is because some of them enhance traits that a great deal of people would not like to see return.

Also, the list of all powerups includes:

  • Overshield - adds an extra layer of shields
  • Active Camouflage - Gives the player invisibility and silences their footsteps
  • Damage Boost - Doubles the player’s damage and increases lunge distance
  • Speed Boost - Increases the players speed and reload/swap time 200%
  • Regeneration Boost - Triples the speed in which objects regenerate
  • Equipment Boost - Upgrades all equipment to maximum output.
  • Custom Powerup - It was treason to have this excluded from Halo 4

And there you have it. From Perks, to Powerups.

Powerups, in my opinion, should only have one effect each. I think the speed boost in Halo 4 was already overpowered in that it did two things on pickup: increased movement speed and reload speed. If we start adding multiple effects to a single powerup, those in turn become much more powerful than say, overshield or active camo (Halo 3 and down version) which had a single effect each.

I like the idea of powerups, but the number of unique ones should remain fairly low (2-4), and a custom powerup can handle the rest of the possibilities that the armor mods would normally accomplish. I would personally just like to avoid an oversaturation of powerups.

Speed Boost is far from being overpowered, even with extra reload speed.
It might be overpowered if strafe acceleration wasn’t complete crap.

Regeneration Boost is essentially overshield, except it promotes using cover over tanking. So meh. Actually it’s not even that as your shield isn’t constantly regenerating. So vastly underpowered.

Equipment Boost seems rather useless, especially in competitive gametypes. Having a larger radar range doesn’t matter much if you can’t even make out just where those red dots even are.

I had suggested something similar to this as well but appeal seemed to be lukewarm at best.

People seem too hell bent on grabbing their pitchforks and torches and shouting “Burn the Perks!” to try and be reasonable into making them fit withing the gameplay.

Or just plain apathetic.

YES! I would rather prefer this than having the imbalanced MM in 4!
These ‘perks’ gave unfair advantages and detracted from ‘arena’ style gameplay. I’m glad to see that someone found a way to repurpose them !

Can’t we just remove perks altogether? You can try to make bad mechanics work, but in the end, they’re always going to be bad mechanics.