Weapon Sandbox #4: Tier 1 Sidearms (1/3)

Main Thread: https://forums.halowaypoint.com/t/an-expanded-and-reimagined-halo-infinite-weapon-sandbox/540009

Personally, I think DoT should be removed from shock weapons, shock weaponry has too much utility right now. I like the idea of shock weapons briefly stunning enemies to slow their movement, but I just think DoT can be reserved for other ammo types (superheated plasma or incendiary ammo for example). The Disruptor currently kills in ~1.35s (6 shots) if you don’t count the time it takes for the DoT effect, adding critical damage to the Disruptor would keep it’s lethality without the need for DoT.


  • Optimal TTK: +1.35s (5 shield, 1 crit)
  • Suboptimal TTK: +2.00s (5 shield, 4 body)
  • Fire Mode: Automatic (~270 RPM)
  • Ammo: Shock, 10 Cartridges
  • Range: Short - Mid, S-Link
  • Notes: 5 consecutive shots on a target will momentarily slow enemy movement and trigger a burst of chain damage. 10 consecutive shots to vehicles will temporarily EMP them.

Shoots twin cartridges essentially doubling RPM.

The Plasma Pistol lost its EMP functionality, but IMO it doesn’t need it. The Plasma Pistol’s function is to deplete enemy shields with a charged shot, paired with the Sidekick it has one of the fastest TTK’s in the game at ~0.35s. The only thing I would change about the current Plasma Pistol is giving the charged shot the ability to fully deplete the shields of an enemy with an overshield (giving it a niche use), and to bring back the splash damage.


  • Optimal TTK: +1.50s (6 shield, 3 crit)
  • Suboptimal TTK: +2.50s (6 shield, 9 body)
  • SK Combo TTK: +0.35s
  • Fire Mode: Semi-Auto (~360 RPM) / Charged Shot
  • Ammo: Plasma (Green), Overheats on a charged shot.
  • Range: Short - Mid, S-Link (Charged Homing)
  • Notes: Charged shot fires a homing projectile which completely depletes enemy shields with a direct hit and deals some splash damage.

A charged shot will momentarily slow enemy movement (just like the disruptor) and EMP vehicles, but the charge time is longer and drains the plasma battery faster.

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.

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Nah, DoT and shield stun should be it’s primary role and usage.

Infinite’s sandbox needs less lethality not more. This game has the most shallow Halo sandbox and your changes do not help.

It kinda does, especially with how weak overcharge tracking is and how worthless primary fire is.

That’s not good, the PP should be against shields period in all modes of fire.

Stealing from the needler I see, not very niche.

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The point was the Disruptor can be just as useful without DoT. If you want the entire sandbox to be nerfed that’s a different thread altogether.

No… tracking obviously shouldn’t be perfect. Paired with a Sidekick it has a TTK of ~0.35s. That’s literally power weapon territory in a Tier 1 weapon. The tracking is just fine, the PP is still great to use in Halo Infinite.

And if you would look at the proposed above, it is. Only 6 shots required to strip shields. The plasma pistol has always been a poor weapon historically except for the charged shot. Why? Because the grunts and jackals use it in campaign.

But to make the disruptor actually unique you should want the DoT to be a focus.

Never said that, but it’s incredibly weak considering strafe speed in Infinite.

TTK is irrelevant.

So we’ve reduced the PP from a great weapon filling a good role in multiple ways in CE, 3 and Reach to a charge weapon gimmick that’s occasionally good.

6 shots is not good, the sidekick almost beats that AND can headshot ontop.

Incorrect, primary fire was good in CE and Reach and primary fire was good against shields in CE-Reach.


The disruptor already deals chain damage and EMP’s vehicles. It is unique enough without DoT, which I think could be utilized by additional (fire based) weapons in the sandbox.

Agree to disagree, I have no issues with the Plasma Pistol. Strafing is too agressive IMO, maybe thats the problem.

No one has ever used the PP for it’s standard fire, it has always been about the charged shot.

The Sidekick is OP, yes.

Chain damage is a joke with how worthless it is on it’s own. Combine it with DoT and now it fulfills a good role in the sandbox.

Stolen mechanics isn’t good.

Both can have DoT but with different roles. Fire sticks to players and does high HP but low shield damage whereas shock tickles shields and does low/no damage to HP.

Yes people do in CE and Reach.

So we keep a bad mechanic and don’t improve it, good game design.

It’s not OP, everything else just sucks because Infinite is a lethality game and guns that don’t kill good got shafted.

First you said Halo Infinite is already too lethal. The sidekick has the fastest TTK of any Tier 1 weapon and it’s a default weapon yet now you’re saying its not OP. That’s a dilemma.

Yet it relies on bloom to achieve that fast TTK, thus removing skill from the equation.
TTK is irrelevant on it’s own
It’s not OP, it needs changes sure but it’s Infinite’s best weapon balance wise.

The Commando also has bloom + recoil. It needs to be picked up.

The Sidekick is a default weapon and its a 10mm pistol yet it deals more damage per shot than the Commando and it kills faster than the Commando. Where is the logic there?


TTK is irrelevant.
Consider how the Commando has extended range and a proper zoom.

The Commando is bad indeed and def needs changes.

This whole conversation on the Sidekick started with you saying it depletes shields in 6 shots so the Plasma Pistol is useless.

The point is the Sidekick shouldn’t deplete shields in 6 shots. Lore wise it shouldn’t have more firepower than the Commando, let alone the AR and BR.

Gameplay wise, its function is to be a fast swap secondary used for finsihing enemies (literally where it gets the name Sidekick). Yet it currently outperforms every Tier 1 weapon in the Sandbox and it’s a default weapon. That is OP.

I can’t go on and on like this, have a good weekend.

Because the PP’s primary is so weak.

It should, and nerfing the Sidekick wouldn’t fix the PP anyway.

And lore meaning nothing as usual, Spartans are allergic to water you know.

Nah, it’s called everything else is bad and nobody wants them because they don’t perform a role that is desirable in the required strength.

So the Shock weapons (to me) are the poster child of why this whole damage class system doesn’t quite work. Most of them do things that makes sense for electricity to do:

  • EMP (all)
  • Shield Drain (Disruptor Dynamos)
  • Arc Damage (all)
  • Stun (PvE Modes)

…however, I think making most of these weapons adhere to “the rules of shock” for lack of a better term, ends up creating some poorly balanced weapons. EMP is the greatest offender here. I personally believe the Plasma Pistol should keep the EMP simply because it has the best and most balanced method of EMPing vehicles. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that everyone is pretty annoyed bout the EMP sandbox in Infinite right now. So I’d just drop EMP from the shock guns and only reserve the ability for items that have a more balanced method of delivering an EMP.

The Disruptor in and of itself could use a redesign, it’s a new gun, so I don’t think it’s current functionality has to be the end-all-be-all of its evolution. Something more like a sentinel beam that shoots a solid stream of electricity would be better. Or even a shock pistol that can charge up and fire a slow moving ball of thunder. Or how about a variant that, when you land enough shots, instead of applying DoT, it shorts out your enemies armor and prevents them from using their equipment for the duration of the effect?

tl;dr: The shock damage type has more to do with poor weapon design than poor effects.

As for the Charged Plasma Pistol, If I were to make a variant, I’d probably replace the primary fire with the charge shot (letting you fire more often and rapidly). Or maybe allow for two charge shots to be fired before needing to overheat.

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Honestly, I think the Plasma Pistol was more effective at EMP’ing vehicles than the the Disruptor, just a single charged shot would do the trick. The Disruptor forces players to fire 10 consecutive shots on a vehicle (> 2 seconds) which arguably exposes the user to more risk. In this regard, I find the Disruptor to be well balanced with respect to EMP. The Plasma Pistol feels more intuitive as an EMP type weapon for sure, but I know from previous conversations we both want the Reach Grenade Launcher to return and it could fill that void of an intuitive EMP weapon.

The Shock Rifle is just too common, I don’t have an issue with it’s EMP but a Sniper with EMP should be a power weapon IMO.

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I’m pretty sure it’s been buffed to 7 shots to EMP, but I’ll have to check.

What I meant by the the Plasma Pistol being more balanced is in how it delivers it’s EMP and how drivers can react to it. The PP overcharge is very distinct, and has a recognizable sound. It’s slow moving so EMPing with it has a limited range, and pre-charging drains the battery. I actually find the Disruptor unbalanced (in terms of EMP) because it’s too ineffective. It’s doesn’t have that “in-a-pinch” functionality that the PP and GL have.

Personally, I think the Grenade launcher, Plasma Pistol and Shock Coil are the best suited weapons for EMPs in the franchise. I think that quick, all-or-nothing delivery method works best.

I’ve said before that I have a lot of beef with the shock-types and I think 343 is designing them in a fundamentally wrong way, but that would require my own post to properly articulate all of that info.

Agreed. I wish it was more focused on utility rather than damage, however.

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Gotcha, I see what you mean now by the idea for a charged shot by the Disruptor and I support it. It would make the EMP function much more intuitively.

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Like maybe replace the full-auto fire with a charge effect or something.

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That easy enough to do, the full auto is pointless anyways as the rate of fire is well below standard semi-auto so it really wouldn’t effect operation of the weapon at all.

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@Windjammer19 how would the charged shot of the Disruptor function against standard enemies (non-vehicles)?

I have two ideas, and keep in mind, both of these could also just be standalone weapons with the right dedication.

1. Thunderball (for lack of a better name)

Basically this fires a slow moving ball of lightning that moves in a straight line and has electric tendrils. The tendrils deal low, but constant damage to spartans and EMPs vehicles. The EMP remains as long as the ball is nearby, but dissipates very soon after the ball leaves. A direct hit on a vehicle is the equivalent of a railgun blast. A direct hit on a spartan is enough to drop shields, not sure if it should kill in on hit or not.

If this is too OP for a pistol (it probably is) then a shock-based heavy launcher might be more appropriate.

For reference, look up DOOM’s BFG or Titanfall 2’s Thunderbolt.

2. The Energy Siphon (for lack of better name)

The idea behind this one is to a beam style weapon like the Sentinel Beam or Focus Rifle. It would deal standard damage to spartans and low-ish damage to vehicles. It EMPs on contact, but the beam must maintain a constant flow or else the vehicle will be enabled again. So it prioritizes direct lines of sight and CQC.

If it were to be its own gun, just think of an electric Focus Rifle. I think that would be a much more balanced “EMP Sniper” than the Shock Rifle.

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