Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

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Flood Swarms are one of two types of flying Flood forms. They usually travel in groups, and attack with barbed projectiles. They are relatively weak, but can easily dispatch most infantry.


Of Flood Swarms[]

Individual Flood Swarms have low health and do less damage than other Flood forms. They counter this by flying in groups of 15 to 25 members. When in a group, the Flood Swarms keep moving. This reduces damage to the individual forms, as one is more likely to spread damage over multiple Swarms. Another advantage of them being in a flock is that their normally slow fire becomes more quick fire; Flood forms that are ready to fire move to the front of the group, fire, and then head to the rear.

They appear to not fly very accurately unless they have a specific point where they are supposed to go. They then pursue that target until the target or itself dies or the target significantly outpaces the Swarm. These parasites are very effective against small groups of light vehicles or infantry.

When a group of Swarms first encounters an enemy, these monsters will almost always immediately begin shooting at the target regardless of range, dealing a large amount of damage in a short time. After the initial barrage, they will fire in a volley pattern, a few Swarms going to the front, firing, and then returning to the rear. Any enemy will be under considerable fire.

Against Flood Swarms[]

Individual Flood Swarms are rather simple to kill, any one group will quickly kill it. In groups, however, Flood Swarms are much more dangerous.

To avoid getting killed:

  • Do NOT send single units out to scout terrain. A group of Flood Swarms can and will simply kill the unit.
  • If an infantry unit is caught under fire, find them cover. Otherwise, they're dead.
  • Speed is better than raw firepower, a Warthog, constantly moving, will do better than a stationary Scorpion.
  • That being said, do NOT rely on speed alone to save your unit, the first barrage can kill a Warthog near-instantly.
  • While the Wolverine is good against most air units, a single Wolverine is ineffective against a group of Swarms, they are too fast, too maneuverable, and have such high numbers that in between missile barrages, they will kill it. However, a group of fully-upgraded (Volley and Dual Launchers ) Wolverines can kill many swarms without taking serious damage, mostly on Easy and Normal difficulties. The Wolverine's Volley ability also very effective against most of the Flood buildings, if used in group.
  • Always watch your scouting unit, steer it away from groups of Flood Swarms at the edge of its line of sight.
  • NEVER assume you will win. Any unit can be killed by a group of Swarms, especially without support.

To kill Flood Swarms:

  • Use these units: Marines/ODSTs, Warthogs, Hornets, and Vultures. Any mixture will do.
  • Attack en masse. That is, attack with a large group of units. The Swarms will have trouble targeting units to kill, either focusing on a few units and ignoring the rest or spreading out their fire so all the units live longer.
  • Attack from more than one side. The Swarms will focus on one group and not the other, letting themselves be damaged.
  • Lure them back to a base protected by Medium or Large Base Turrets. The Turret's heavy machine guns rip apart the Swarms.
  • The Cryo Bomb leader power is extremely effective against Flood Swarms—once frozen, they will instantly fall out of the sky and die.


Flood Swarms appear on many levels in Halo Wars. They can also be found on the multiplayer map Release, as part of the third and fourth waves of Flood released from the containment facility and on the multiplayer map Crevice with them spawning at night. They also appear on Barrens. All of these maps are Flood-related.


  • The Flood Swarm appears to be the only flood form to use eyes rather than the traditional flood sensory antenna.
  • The developer's description of these creatures as "infected buzzards crossed with evil bats"[1] identifies the origin for these Flood forms; they are in fact native organisms that have been infected by the Flood and integrated into the Parasitic collective. This is a theme and motif that dominates the Flood presence in the game, which can also be seen in the stationary Flood forms in the game, and two other mobile forms, specifically the Thrasher Form and the Flood Bomber Form.
  • Flood Swarms and the Flood Bomber Form are two of the only in-game Flood forms that have the capability of flight.
  • Flood Swarms are the only units that when the cursor is placed above them, the screen won't follow them.
  • It is possible that in the level Cortana in Halo 3 that there are swarm forms, however the only evidence of this is that there are similar screeching sounds in High Charity and Halo Wars.


  1. Gamepro February 2009