Weapon Sandbox #3: Tier 1 SMG’s

When I think about Halo 2 or Halo 3 ODST, a weapon that comes to mind is the SMG. The chief dual wielding SMG’s on the cover of Halo 2 is iconic, however the M7S SMG is arguable more unique with it’s suppressor. The silencer will keep players off of the radar while firing, allowing them to stealthily engage targets. I’m opting not to give the SMG the 2x zoom optic because I want it’s identity to be a short ranged weapon in comparison to the AR.


  • Optimal TTK: +1.05s (12 shield, 4 crit)
  • Suboptimal TTK: +1.45s (12 shield, 10 body)
  • Fire Mode: Automatic (~900 RPM)
  • Ammo: Kinetic (Ballistic), 48 Rounds
  • Range: Short, S-Link (Bloom, & Recoil)
  • Notes: Silencer keeps players off the radar while firing.

The classic unsuppressed M7 SMG with an extended 60 round magazine.

Hard to believe the Plasma Rifle, which was featured from the very beginning in Halo CE was not good enough for 343 to be in Halo Infinite. The Brute Plasma Rifle in particular would have fit the theme of the Banished so well and that is the version of the Plasma Rifle I think should be in Halo Infinite. For clarity, it will just be named the Plasma Rifle (the Brutes are on top now not the Elites).

The Plasma Rifle is already unique as a Tier 1 SMG with a fast TTK but fast heat build up. Using “Superheated Plasma”, I think it would be interesting to give the Plasma Rifle DoT as well. This would be balanced in a way that gives the M7S SMG an edge in TTK theoretically, but with DoT the Plasma Rifle can kill just as fast becoming a fire and forget type weapon once a target is ignited.


  • Optimal TTK: +1.10s (7 shield, 3 crit)
  • Suboptimal TTK: +1.45s (7 shield, 6 body)
  • SK Combo TTK: +1.05s
  • Fire Mode: Automatic (~540 RPM)
  • Ammo: Plasma (Red), 16 Bolts
  • Range: Short (Projectile Lag), S-Link
  • Notes: Superheated plasma deals DoT with a chance to ignite a target after 10 consecutive shots.

The classic Plasma Rifle which fires blue plasma with a slower heat build and RPM.

What are your thoughts on the above two weapons?

Note: Information in the ANALYSIS sections are pulled from various sources, it may or may not be correct… it is just there to provide additional information for how balancing could look.


I’m kinda with you, but in both of these cases, the original should be the variant and vice-versa. M7S is a variant of the M7, and the Brute Plasma Rifle is a variant of the plasma rifle.

I considered if for the SMG, but ultimately I decided the silenced version would be more unique for the sandbox. I think either way it’s fine though.

Disagree on the Brute Plasma Rifle, at this point the Banished are the main force in the game so it would make more sense for this to be the main featured Plasma Rifle. Additionally, I feel this leaves a spot for the Plasma Repeater as a Tier 1 AR, the Elite Plasma Rifle is too similar.

A comparison between the BPR and the Plasma Repeater could be interesting since both guns change RPM the longer you fire. One gets faster but overheats sooner, while the other slows down to prevent overheats.

I agree that the Brutes are the main force in the Banished, but the Elites among them would like still use the blue Plasma Rifle. At least from a PvE perspective, neither gun would really be seen as special. Idk, it just feels weird having a variant that essentially is weaker (from a firepower perspective).


Have you seen this vid by Wernissage? He has a redesign that replaces the bottom barrel with a bayonet. This reminds me a lot of H5s Scales of Soirapt that let the player 1-hit melee with the plasma rifle. Obviously that would be too powerful in standard PvP, but that ability combos well with a shield breaker like the BPR.

I like the idea of having the SMG variant emulating the Halo: CE Assault Rifle. And I’m still down with having the SMG be the only dual-wieldable weapon in the game.

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I agree on this, I think the Elite’s should use the blue plasma rifle in campaign. Maybe there is a way to tweak the blue plasma rifle so it is better than the brute one in its own way as well. Perhaps the Blue Plasma Rifle would have increased range and damage (with slower RPM)? The Elite Plasma Rifle has been underwhelming since Halo CE anyways, perhaps it’s time for a comeback. Not all variants are necessarily upgrades either, for example the Stalker Rifle variant is arguably worse.

I originally planned to include dual wielding in these threads, however I changed my mind (for now). I’d like to first figure out the foundation for all of these weapons to be usable on their own. The logic being, the main criticism of Dual Wielding is that all dual wieldable weapons were useless on their own. Doing it this way forces me to think about the weapons on their own first.

That said, I think Dual Wielding makes these weapons WAY more interesting and adds more depth to gameplay.

I understand that the banished are the main force in the game, but the “brute plasma rifle” is inherently a variant to the original plasma rifle. It would make sense to have the original in the game, since there are also plenty of elites etc. to be using them.

I see your point, but it would be super weird to me to see these weapons in game with the base/original weapon being listed as a “variant”

This is only because way back in Halo 2 the Brute Plasma Rifle was the “variant”. Times have changed, it’s all about perspective. The Brute Plasma Rifle should be more common among the Banished, thus the “Elite Plasma Rifle” would now be considered the variant.

Essentially the magazine size (overheat threshold) is larger which is a plus, but that’s not really interesting enough to be variant IMO. It’s fine from a lore perspective though.

Yeah, the Ravager variant is borderline unusable lol

Fair enough on the dual-wielding.

Where the hell are you getting your shot count and TTKs from to cook up with these stats?

A 1.1s TTK Plasma Rifle is too powerful, especially for a weapon designed to be used by enemies. That level of TTK is H2 Elite on Legendary amounts of damage.

Can you think for a second about damage types and what should strip shields vs health damage vs what shouldn’t? You’re theorycrafting like Halo is a generic shooter and that’s the entire bloody reason why Infinite is poorly balanced.

Infinite literally feels like crap to play because all its weapons are balanced and designed with TTK in mind, hence you have Pulse and PP feeling like utter dirt since they no longer fulfil their own niche.

Jesus christ.

These SMG’s (which kill faster than the Assault Rifle’s but have decreased range) are balanced to kill 0.15s - 0.2s faster than the Default MA40 AR.

They kill slower than the Sentinel Beam (0.85s optimal, 1.10s suboptimal) and the Needler (1.10s with homing, no critical damage required).

And ya know, from the OP:
Note: Information in the ANALYSIS sections are pulled from various sources, it may or may not be correct… it is just there to provide additional information for how balancing could look.

These TTK’s are designed to be balanced within Halo Infinites existing sandbox, and it goes without saying that TTK’s are theoretical. This assumes you use the weapon perfectly, when obviously the SMG will have significant spread and recoil while the Plasma Rifle will have projectile lag.

FYI, the SMG in Halo 5 killed in 1.2s (19 shots) - 1.3s (20 shots), avg = 1.25s. The proposed here is 1.05s (16 shots) - 1.45s (22 shots), avg = 1.25s. I debated 1.15s (17 shots) - 1.55s (23 shots), avg = 1.35s… but that seemed too similar to the AR. Impossible to know without seeing it in action but give or take 1 shot isn’t something to get worked up over.

The Brute Plasma Rifle in Halo 5 killed in 1.38s (12 shots). The proposed here is 1.10s (10 shots) - 1.45s (13 shots), avg = 1.30s. I also debated lowering the TTK of the suboptimal to 1.55s (14 shots), which would bring the avg TTK to 1.35s. This could be done with the DoT effect, which could fully incinerate a target with 12 consecutive shots, 1.35s.

Regardless, your rant over a 1 shot difference is an overreaction. Next time, I’d appreciate some actual feedback such as how you see these weapons working. Instead of ripping apart my TTK and shot counts why not offer up your own?

I’m also thinking that perhaps the Brute Plasma Rifle could have restricted range. The plasma is less stable, it overheats quickly and burns up in the air faster. I’d really like the animation of this to show it is superheated plasma, instead of standard plasma bolts, have it fire bolts with trails of incindiery evidence in the air. The bolts could completely burn up after a certain distance rendering the Brute Plasma Rifle innefective over mid range.

This allows the Elite Plasma Rifle to have the advantage of overheat threshold and range. Basically the Elite Plasma Rifle would play like and Assault Rifle type of weapon (suiting the Elite’s style of finesse combat) while the Brute Plasma Rifle would play like an SMG type (suiting the Brute’s style of aggression). One isn’t really “better” than the other, they would just be different.

If you still want to discuss Dual Wielding I would encourage it, I was just explaining my reasoning for leaving it out of the OP not rejecting the idea at all by the way.

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I like this. The main thing would just be communicating to the player that both guns are equals. They probably shouldn’t be showing up in the loot caves and whatnot. Might even be able to have to show up on the same map, like how the BR and Commando appear on the Recharge.

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