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Halo Alpha

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The alert carry, sometimes referred to as "standing down" or "gun down," is a feature that allows a player character to lower their in-game weapon, and is often used in machinima. It was introduced in Halo: Combat Evolved and has appeared in all following Halo games.

Halo: Combat Evolved[]

The alert carry can be performed in Halo: Combat Evolved by simply looking down (or up, although arm is often in the way of the players face from a third person perspective.). Although the player is looking at the ground (or in the air), others will see them as looking forward. Generally, using an M6D Pistol or a Plasma Pistol resulted in a nicer effect; using a Needler or an Assault Rifle tended to bend the left arm inwards.

Halo 2[]

In Halo 2, alert carry was assigned a dedicated button: down on the D-Pad.

The alert carry is shown by looking down at the player's legs, they will not be as bent as normal. Other players will see it as your weapon being lowered. Shooting, pulling the grenade trigger, meleeing, dying, or pressing down on the D-Pad again will end the effect [Notes 1] The trick can also be performed by holding "L" (Left Trigger). When using the left trigger to perform this trick, the player is able to melee, reload and fire his/her weapon. The melee and reload animation however, when performed using "L," the actions seem to deform the player's torso posture (hands, arms, and weapon often go through the body). Player's arms seem to be double-jointed at some moments during the animations.

In Halo 2, not all weapons can be put into ready position, such as dual-wieldable weapons, the rocket launcher, fuel rod cannon and the Energy Sword. The trick seems to work on two-handed rifle type weapons, as when the Brute Shot is lowered, but on closer inspection, the player's arm is bent slightly and the Brute Shot itself is slightly tilted.

In the Windows Vista version of Halo 2, the effect can be achieved in campaign through use of the Blind Skull, or in multiplayer only in Oddball games. Make a gametype in which the starting weapon is a plasma pistol, with no secondary weapon. Go close to the Oddball, overcharge the plasma pistol, then without releasing the trigger, pick up the skull. Then, let go of the skull while walking backwards.

Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST[]

Note: This does not work on Xbox Live due to the possibility of exploits, according to Bungie.[citation needed]

In Halo 3, the feature is activated with a button combination. The player can cease fire by pressing and holding the following in any order (different according to button layout):

    1. Switch Grenade (Default LB)
    2. Reload/Action (Default RB)
    3. Jump (Default A Button)
    4. Left Thumbstick (Crouch)
    5. D-pad "down"

After holding the combination together for three seconds, a player will find that their weapon has disappeared off of their screen; the weapon is lowered and visible to other players. Some weapons, however, are barely or not at all affected by this trick; such weapons include the Energy Sword, Brute Shot, Sentinel Beam, Plasma Cannon, Machine Gun Turret, and Flamethrower. The trick looks odd when performed with the Rocket launcher, Fuel Rod Gun, Spartan Laser, and dual-wielded weapons.

The animation of the Rocket Launcher, Fuel Rod Gun, and the Spartan Laser will look similar to that of the assault rifle in Halo: Combat Evolved (unless the player uses a Sangheili model, then there's no change). If a player is dual-wielding, looking around will desynchronize their hands.

Shooting, throwing grenades, meleeing, going into Edit Mode on Forge, dying or re-entering the button combination will end the effect.

Machinima directors, along with players and fans, launched the Lower the Guns Campaign in order to have Bungie enable this feature on Xbox Live.

Halo: Reach[]

The alert carry option returned in Halo: Reach and was first seen being used in the Red vs Blue Halo: Reach PSA Deja View. The player can alert carry by pressing and holding the following in any order (different according to button layout):

  1. Reload/Action (Default X Button)
  2. Switch grenade (Default B Button)
  3. Right Thumbstick (Zoom)
  4. D-pad "down"

After holding the combination together for four seconds, a player will find that their weapon has disappeared off of their screen; the weapon is lowered and visible to other players. Like Halo 3, players are unable to perform it on Xbox LIVE.[1]

Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary[]

Alert Carry can be performed the same way that it is performed in Halo: Combat Evolved by looking down in Co-op Mode. Again, using an M6D Pistol or a Plasma Pistol results in a nicer effect. However, the possibilities for machinimas become limited as John is the only character.

Halo 4[]

The button combination below needs to be held for at least 3 seconds.

  1. Reload/Action (Default X Button)
  2. Crouch (Default B Button)
  3. Jump (Default A Button)
  4. D-pad "down"

The weapon is lowered and visible to other players. You cannot lower your weapon in an Xbox LIVE game and your connection type must be set to either System-Link or Offline to perform the alert carry.

When moving, the weapon is raised back up to its regular state (while the Alert Carry is activated), and when the character stops moving, the weapon is lowered again. This should be good news for machinima makers. However, when turning right or left, the gun is raised and when the player stops turning, the gun is lowered making it very annoying when trying to make a scene where the characters are in conversation.

Halo 2: Anniversary[]

In Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer, a player can alert carry by pressing and holding the following in any order (different according to button layout):

  1. Reload/Action (Default RB)
  2. Jump (Default A Button)
  3. Right Thumbstick (Zoom)
  4. D-pad down

After holding the combination together for four seconds, the weapon will disappear off of the player's screen, but the weapon is lowered and visible to other players. All weapons can be put into alert carry.

Halo 5: Guardians Multiplayer Beta[]

Alert carry was only visible to player who activated it. The button combination to accomplish alert carry was the same as in Halo 4:

  1. Reload/Action (Default X Button)
  2. Jump (Default A Button)
  3. Crouch (Default B Button)
  4. D-pad "down"

This would cause players to jump into the air and initiate the ground pound hover. If all buttons were held simultaneously for three seconds, the player would drop back to the ground and their weapon would vanish. In third-person the player still appeared to be holding the weapon normally.

Halo 5: Forge[]

In Halo 5: Forge, alert carry can only be triggered if the gamemode the player is playing has the Machinima Controls setting activated. This time, there is only one key needed:

  1. L

After holding the L key for 3-4 seconds, the player's weapon is lowered. All weapons can be put in alert carry, and is seen by other players.


  • Rooster Teeth popularized use of the alert carry in machinima with their webseries Red vs Blue.
  • A tip for machinima makers - in order to create the impression that a character has no weapon and is walking normally, use the alert carry on an empty sword. The hilt will go relatively unnoticed and the other hand will be empty.
  • In Halo 3, by executing this trick in Forge while Edit Mode, you can create a permanent, lasting effect. This way, the effect will last until you die. Also, if you man a turret or enter a vehicle and then get out, your weapon will appear, but it will be misplaced (this effect is most notable with the Brute Shot).
  • Executing this trick in conjunction with an Energy Sword and it will disappear. See Silhouette Sword.
  • In Halo 3 local Split-Screen, this trick may be a possible method to combat screenwatching due to not being able to see what weapon you have equipped. It is, however, inefficient, as firing one shot will cause the weapon to snap back up.
  • During an alert carry, when a player enters a vehicle and exits, the player will see in his HUD that the weapon is frozen at the highest point of being drawn and the player does not appear to breathe as during holding a weapon off of cease fire. However, it will disappear if the player swaps or switches weapons, fires his weapon, or throws a grenade.
  • In Halo: Reach, using an Armor Ability while Alert Carrying will not affect the Alert Carry.
  • In Halo: Reach, Alert Carrying any Turret weapon while as a Sangheili results in a somewhat humorous "Hold" posture- It will appear as though your left arm is merged with your chestpiece.
  • In Halo: Reach, if the player Alert Carries and enters a vehicle's passenger seat, it will look like he is holding the weapon normally. However, when exiting the vehicle, the player will still be Alert-Carrying. This may be because there is no animation for the player to Alert Carry when in a vehicle.
  • If you do Alert Carrying while holding an Energy Sword in Halo: Reach, it will vanish like any weapon, but static and electricity will still emit from where the Energy Sword originally was. In third-person, it is still fully visible.
  • In Halo 3 there is a glitch with the shotgun. Empty the gun's current load, then load a shell and perform the combination while reloading, the result will be your shotgun sticking up in the air. This looks quite humorous, especially when you walk up to a character it looks as if the barrel is aimed at the person's head. Sadly to others it will look as if the shotgun was in the normal alert carry stance. It does not work on other weapons and is unknown if it works in Reach.
  • In Halo 4, Alert Carry cannot be triggered with the Recon control settings.
  • There is a glitch in Halo 4 where if one toggles Alert Carry and switches to a Forerunner weapon, it will show the orange glow in the area of where the weapon is originally shown to glow.
  • In Halo 4, there's a glitch which allows you to lower your weapon on Xbox Live. It can only be done in forge, and it involves spawning a base turret, activating it to halfway, then going into and out of edit mode. If done right, you should see the loading icon still on your screen and your weapon will be lowered to other players. There are a few difficulties:
    • If the player moves the weapon will appear to be lifted (ready to fire).
    • The player cannot fire their weapon, toss grenades, or melee, but they can switch/swap weapons.
  • Halo 5: Forge marks the first time a Halo game on PC has officially had alert carry included as a feature since Halo PC.



  1. When in a vehicle or on a turret, pulling the left or right trigger will result in the weapon being raised again when exiting a vehicle or stepping off a turret, pressing the melee button will have the same effect).