Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

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Armor Permutations is a feature in Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians that enable players to customize their multiplayer character's armor appearances to their liking. In Halo 3, this feature allows the players to change the helmet, shoulder, and chest pieces worn by their multiplayer character. In Halo 3: ODST, players can choose between the preset armor of their squad members of the team, and can toggle whether or not their character wears an ODST helmet, though this will not affect health nor will it increase the effectiveness of enemy head shots. In Halo: Reach, players can purchase different armor from The Armory, which also includes wrist armor, knee guards, utilities, visor colors, shoulder armor and armor effects. Players who purchase Helmets in Halo: Reach are also given the option of adding accessories or attachments to their helmets for cosmetic appearance. Players also have the option of choosing between being a Spartan or Sangheili in Halo 2 and Halo 3, and can set a preference for either in Halo: Reach.

Halo 3 Permutations[]

SPARTAN Armor Permutations[]

There is a wide variety of SPARTAN armor permutations in Halo 3. There are eleven helmets, eight shoulder pieces, and eight chest pieces, for a total of 5,632 different SPARTAN-II armor permutation possibilities: one helmet, two shoulder pieces, and one chest piece per permutation, not including the Recon Armor chest piece. It should be noted the Rogue, Mark V, and ODST armor have only helmet pieces, and Security Armor has both helmet and shoulder pieces but no chest permutation. Customized armor permutations is not allowed in Campaign.

Elite Armor Permutations[]

There is a variety of Elite armor permutations with five helmets, five shoulder pieces, and five chest pieces for a total of 625 different Elite armor permutations with one helmet, two shoulder pieces, and one chest piece per permutation.

Unlocking Permutations[]

Spartan Armor Permutations
Chest Shoulders (Left & Right) Helmet
Mark VI (Starter) (Starter) (Starter)
CQB (Starter) (Starter) (Starter)
EVA Beat "Tsavo Highway" (Normal) Beat "The Ark" (Normal) Campaign Complete: Normal
EOD Beat "Tsavo Highway" (Legendary) Beat "The Ark" (Legendary) Campaign Complete: Legendary
Hayabusa Collect 5 skulls Collect 9 skulls Collect all 13 skulls

Earn 49 Achievements and 1000 Gamerscore (Must have both 49 Achievements and 1000 Gamerscore for armor to fully take effect)

Bungie Bungie employees only N/A N/A
Security N/A Get 750 Gamerscore Get 1000 Gamerscore
Recon Complete all the Vidmaster Challenges of Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. (Starter, as of 3/29/12) Complete all the Vidmaster Challenges of Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. (Starter, as of 3/29/12) Complete all the Vidmaster Challenges of Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST. (Starter, as of 3/29/12)
Scout Get the Achievement Too Close to the Sun Get the Achievement Mongoose Mowdown Get the Achievement Used Car Salesman
ODST N/A N/A Become a Spartan Graduate
Mark V N/A N/A Become a UNSC Spartan
Rogue N/A N/A Become a Spartan Officer
Elite Armor Permutations
Combat (Starter) (Starter) (Starter)
Assault (Starter) (Starter) (Starter)
Flight Beat "Tsavo Highway" (Heroic) Beat "The Ark" (Heroic) Campaign Complete: Heroic
Ascetic Get the Achievement Up Close and Personal Get the Achievement Overkill Get the Achievement Steppin' Razor
Commando Get the Achievement Triple Kill Halo 3 Auto-Updates/Steppin' Razor[1]

Get the Achievement Overkill

ODST Permutations[]


Choosing not to wear a helmet will not affect gameplay.

Halo 3: ODST features armor customization, though it is not as complex as Halo 3's. One can play as each member of the squad having their own unique aesthetic armor. Players can choose primary and secondary armor colors, but the armor's main color remains the same (dark gray). Players can also choose whether to wear a helmet or not; unless they are playing as the Rookie, who cannot remove his helmet, or Sergeant Johnson, who cannot put one on. Choosing not to wear a helmet does not affect gameplay. Without a helmet, the player still has the same health and stamina, and they can still use VISR mode.


Halo: Reach Permutations[]

Main article: The Armory (Halo: Reach)

Halo 4 Permutations[]

Main article: Halo 4 Armor Permutations

Halo 5: Guardians Permutations[]

Main article: Requisition system


  • There was originally going to be an Arbiter Armor Permutation in Halo 3, but it was taken out before the game's release. Bungie, however, did not explain why. Many fans expected it to be released as DLC, but this never happened.[citation needed]
  • In Halo 3, the neck of an Elite (regardless what Armor Permutation used) is completely immune to any form of damage except for a shot from a charged Plasma Pistol. In addition, the projectile will simply pass through the neck, as though the neck wasn't there, without a blood spatter. This is because both Elites and Spartans have different models but the same hit boxes.
  • Each Elite also has a modified neck, either sleek black or a different model such as scale-like plating at the back of the neck.
  • The armor in Halo 3 was originally planned to be more detailed, with dents, bullet holes and other details in the armor, but this detail was never implemented.
  • For Halo: Reach, Seven pieces of exclusive Spartan armor are available on Halo Waypoint by earning achievements from Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo: Reach itself. An eighth one was a pre-order bonus from Gamestop and EB Games (Australia).
  • In the October 15 Bungie Weekly Update, Bungie confirmed that once the Halo: Reach community completed 117 Million Daily & Weekly challenges, there would be more armor pieces to unlock in the armory and the Lt. Colonel rank cap would be lifted.
  • In Halo: Reach, any shoulder pads equipped on Spartan players are not visible in first person view. The base shoulder pads are seen instead of what is equipped and the FJ/PARA pauldron can be seen on the right arm if the player has a chest piece that comes with a prosthetic arm. This can be more easily seen if you go into theater mode and pause during a first-person melee animation that shows where the pauldron would be on the spartan (Such as a lunge with the Energy Sword). The reason for this could be to prevent player's vision from being restricted due to over-sized shoulder pads.
  • The description of the black visor in Halo: Reach states "You can have it in any color you want... as long as it's black." This is a reference to a quote supposedly made by Henry Ford, speaking about the Ford Model T in 1909.
  • The description of the silver visor in Halo: Reach states "Jumping feet first into hell isn't your job; making sure it's crowded when you get there is." This is an obvious reference to Orbital Drop Shock Troopers. Though the blue visor looks more like the visor ODST's sport.
  • The description of the HP/PARAFOIL [R] in Halo: Reach states "Make sure to remember on your next jump that it's FEET first into hell." This is yet another obvious reference to Orbital Drop Shock Troopers.
  • In Halo: Reach, as of 11/10/2010, players require 9,979,450 cR to gain 100% armory completion, with all armor pieces, firefight voices, visor colors and armor effects. This means that players will be unable to obtain 100% armory completion until 60% into the rank of Eclipse, or higher in the event of yet more armor being released.
  • It was seen in a Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack photo that one player was wearing a new helmet. The armor was not included in the map pack, nor did it ship in the original game. The Spartan toy is a possible reference to this.
  • In the same photo, the player with the unknown helmet is also wearing a likewise unknown new chest piece.
  • Bungie has released an application for iPod, iPhone and IPad so players who download the app could get Eternal armor effect and two nameplates. The two nameplates are All-stars and Bungie. As of 3/29/12, the Eternal armor effect and the nameplates are no longer available, unless it's already acquired and cannot be changed as the nameplates are not on Halo Waypoint. 
  • The Unknown Helmet in the Halo: Reach Defiant Map Pack Trailer appears to be similar to the EOD module. It also shares similarities to the CNM-1 attachment for the HAZOP helmet. It was not available for player use.
  • If you look at your armory completion before buying a single armor piece in Halo: Reach, you will have seven percent armory completion, another seven reference.
  • 343 Industries gave away Recon to all players in Halo 3 although an internet connection is required to gain the armor. The Recon armor parts are known to re-lock and unlock due to network errors. [citation needed]
  • Armor Permutation in Halo 3 and Halo 4 within Halo: The Master Chief Collection have been limited to only the set of the same MJOLNIR armor.





  1. Bungie.net: "The longstanding “Elite Commando Shoulders aren’t unlocking with the achievement” bug is being resolved in the auto update. The shoulders weren’t unlocking when the Steppin’ Razor achievement was acquired. In the post-auto update era, the Commando Shoulders will be unlocked for everyone regardless of the status of the corresponding achievement."

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