Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha


Know Your Enemy
— Official tagline

Halo Wars 2 is a real-time strategy game that was released on February 21, 2017 for Xbox One and Windows 10.[1]


The campaign consists of twelve missions spread across three acts. The player controls UNSC units from the Spirit of Fire to combat new foes.

Image Mission Description
HW2 Artwork TheSignal The Signal Spartan Jerome and Red Team investigate the source of a UNSC emergency signal.
HW2 Artwork ANewEnemy A New Enemy Captain Cutter prepares to take the fight to the Banished by attacking Atriox's field commander, Decimus.
HW2 Artwork Ascension Ascension Spartan Jerome and his forces fight through Banished fortifications on the way to the Cartographer.
HW2 Artwork OneThreeZero One Three Zero Fighting behind enemy lines, Spartan Alice must rescue UNSC prisoners to open up a second front in the war against the Banished.
HW2 Artwork TheCartographer The Cartographer Professor Anders and Jerome arrive at the Cartographer to discover the secret of Atriox's command over the Ark.
HW2 Artwork LightsOut Lights Out Jerome must destroy The Banished's portal network controls and cripple Atriox's transport capabilities across the Ark.
HW2 Artwork FromTheDeep From the Deep Alice must defend against the Banished as they assault her rag-tag band of survivors.
HW2 Artwork HoldTheLine Hold the Line In part one of Isabel's plan, the UNSC must defend a Forerunner cannon as it immobilizes the Banished's carrier and breaks through its shields.
HW2 Artwork UnderTheDark Under the Dark In part two of Isabel's plan, Jerome and Isabel infiltrate a Banished compound and prepare to enter the belly of the beast.
HW2 Artwork TheFoundry The Foundry Alice and Douglas lead an assault to cut off the wave of Banished boarding the Halo.
HW2 Artwork TheHalo The Halo A reunited Red Team must push back the Banished invasion of the Halo so Anders can reach the Control Room.
HW2 Artwork LastStand Last Stand Cutter and his crew must fend off the Banished in a final defense of Anders as she prepares the Halo for its voyage.
Gatecrashers Major Vaughan leads his Boomerang Company ODST's to a Banished operation site.
Not On My Watch Major Vaughan and his ODST team battle to stop the Banished from launching a Forerunner Ship.


The year is 2559, 28 years after UNSC Spirit of Fire left the destruction of Shield 0459.

Spirit of Fire, thought to have been lost with all hands and having drifted for almost 30 years, arrives at the Ark, a massive Forerunner installation capable of building Halo rings. Serina, the ship's AI, having long since begun developing rampancy due to a long service life, awakens the crew from cryosleep after leaving a final message for the Spirit of Fire's captain, James Cutter, stating it was an honor to serve with him, before destroying herself as per protocol. Cutter briefly mourns her, along with Professor Ellen Anders.

Cutter, unaware of the nature of the Ark or the current situation, sends Spartan Red Team, comprised of Jerome-092, Alice-130, and Douglas-042, down to the surface to investigate a UNSC signal coming from the surface. When the Spartans arrive, they find a UNSC research base that bears signs of having been attacked. They find the resident Logistics AI, Isabel, who attempts to warn them away, but an immensely powerful Jiralhanae ambushes the Spartans, easily overpowering them and badly wounding Douglas. Taking Isabel with them, the Spartans retreat to their Warthog to see that the area is overrun by a horde of Covenant who seem to have appeared out of thin air, and Jerome calls down Archer missile strikes to cover their retreat. Isabel, Jerome, and Douglas are extracted to the Spirit of Fire, with Alice being left behind.

Back on the Spirit of Fire, Cutter is debriefed by Isabel: the Human-Covenant War is over. However, the portal to the Ark inexplicably shut down, and a far greater threat appeared: the Banished, a huge horde of ex-Covenant warriors and pirates who killed all of Isabel's friends. Lead by the cunning Brute warlord Atriox, who had attacked the Spartans, this ever-growing horde had raided across Covenant space for years, and all attempts by the Covenant to put the Banished down failed. Isabel urges the Spirit of Fire to run, seeing no chance that a single, aged ship with half a crew could win against an opponent that even the Covenant could not stop at the height of their power. Cutter, however, realizes that Spirit of Fire is all that stands between Atriox and humanity, and inspires Isabel and his crew to stand and fight one more time.

The UNSC start by deciding to surgically weaken Atriox's command structure by taking out his subordinate leaders. Their first target was Decimus, a high-ranking Brute officer who is salvaging resources from the installation. Before he could be brought down, Decimus coldly orders Glassing Beam strikes down upon his own forces and retreats. Investigating the wreckage, Isabel discovers the Cartographer, a map of key systems and weapons upon the Ark. UNSC forces accompany Anders to secure a Forerunner elevator and ascend to the Cartographer.

Meanwhile, Alice contacts the Spirit of Fire. Having rescued a large number of UNSC POWs, she has been raiding Banished forces, making them fight on two fronts. Alice and her survivors are eventually extracted. Ander's forces reach the Cartographer’s map room, being delayed by the Ark's guard dogs: hordes of autonomous drones called Sentinels which have been woken up because of the Banished mining operations. There, Anders discovers that Atriox has hijacked the Ark’s portal network, allowing him to transport troops across the whole structure. While trying to shut down the portal network, Decimus arrives, and this time he is killed, and the network is shut down, dealing two heavy blows to Atriox's efforts.

Above the Ark, the Spirit of Fire is engaged by the Banished's CAS-class Assault Carrier, the Enduring Conviction. The Spirit of Fire begins to flounder, not having the firepower to take down a carrier. Professor Anders came up with a plan on how to escape back to UNSC-controlled space. Spirit of Fire had sacrificed its Slipspace drive back on Shield World 0459 and the Ark's portal to Earth was down, but there was another way: the Ark has produced another Halo ring and is holding it on standby, and if they launch it they can piggyback its Slipspace capability. The enemy flagship being the biggest obstacle, Isabel and Jerome are deployed to use a Forerunner particle cannon to immobilize the carrier and disable its shields so that the Spartan and AI could infiltrate it. While Jerome distracts the Banished troops guarding the ship, Isabel hacks into the ship and uses its Glassing Beam on full power on the Ark's surface, provoking an immense swarm of Sentinels to retaliate, shattering the huge capital ship in two.

Anders launches the Ring, and both UNSC and the Banished struggle to control the Ringworld's surface. Red Team's forces hold off Banished reinforcements from reaching the Ring and then join the fight. Anders, having disabled Halo's weapons systems and set a UNSC beacon, uses the Ring's gravity systems to eject the last of the Banished troops into space. However, before the Spirit of Fire can follow, the Halo, with Anders on it, enters Slipspace, with Anders promising Cutter that she will bring the UNSC as soon as possible. Back on the Ark, Atriox, infuriated by the repeated losses to the UNSC, prepares his horde for another attack.

Shortly after, Anders finds that the Halo has exited Slipspace too early. As she steps out into the open, a Guardian, a huge Forerunner construct, looms just overhead.

Major Characters[]


The Banished[]

Minor Characters[]


  • Allieri (Voice only)
  • Brewer (Mentioned only)
  • John-117 (Mentioned only)
  • Nathaniel Palmer (Logs only)
  • Serina (Voice only)
  • Subject D (Logs only)
  • Subject S (Logs only)

The Banished[]

  • Orda Val 'Saham (Logs only)
  • Balkarus (Logs only)
  • Teranus (Logs only)


  • Unidentified Forerunner monitor (Logs only)










  • Jackrabbit: A lightweight, fast-moving scout vehicle that can detect cloaked units.
  • Warthog: The core ground unit available to the UNSC for scout and assault.
  • HRUNTING/YGGDRASIL Mark IX Armor Defense System: A slow-moving, ground unit exclusive to Sergeant Johnson
  • Cyclops: A fast-moving, anti-building unit.
  • Wolverine: An anti-air ground unit.
  • Kodiak: A heavy, eight-wheeled artillery vehicle with a giant cannon that is very strong aganst infantry.
  • Scorpion: The core tank available to the UNSC.
  • Colossus: Slow mech suit armed with a rail cannon that can take out infantry and ground vehicles.
  • Hornet: The core air unit available to the UNSC.
  • Nightingale: A non-combative support utility helicopter that can heal and repair friendly units.
  • Vulture: A heavily-armed gunship.
  • Condor Gunship: The UNSC's super unit.


  • UNSC Base: Basic military structure of the UNSC.
    • Firebase: 3 buildpads
    • Combat Station: 5 buildpads, 4 turret slots
    • Command Center: 7 buildpads, 4 turret slots
    • Headquarters: 7 buildpads, 4 turret slots
  • Garage: Trains vehicle units.
  • Airpad: Trains aerial units.
  • Barracks: Trains infantry.
  • Supply Pad: Produces resources.
    • Can be upgraded into a Heavy Supply Pad which produces resources twice as fast.
  • Generator: Produces power.
    • Can be upgraded into an Advanced Generator which produces power twice as fast.
  • Armory: Provides high-tech upgrades for the UNSC.

The Banished[]


  • Grunt Squad: Cannon fodder of the Banished military.
  • Elite Ranger: Anti-infantry cloaked units of the Banished military.
  • Hunters: Anti-vehicle units of the Banished military.
  • Jump Pack Brutes: Anti-building infantry units of the Banished military.
  • Suicide Grunts: A group of fanatically loyal Grunts with specialized methane tanks.
  • Warlord: The hero unit of the Banished military.


  • Blisterback: A dual-mode air/ground vehicle that acts as heavy artillery when deployed.
  • Chopper: A frontline rapid attack vehicle in the Banished military.
  • Banshee: The core aircraft in the Banished military.
  • Wraith: The core tank in the Banished military.
  • Locust: An anti-building unit in the Banished military.
  • Marauder: A frontline tank in the Banished military with shots that slow players.
  • Reaver: An anti-air walker used by the Banished military.
  • Shroud: A non-combative support air unit.
  • Engineer: A non-combative support air unit.
  • Scarab: The Banished's super unit.


  • Banished Base: Basic military structure of the Banished military.
    • Outpost: 3 buildpads
    • Stronghold: 5 buildpads, 4 turret slots
    • Citadel: 7 buildpads, 4 turret slots
    • Fortress: 7 buildpads, 4 turret slots
  • Foundry: Trains vehicle units.
  • Apex: Trains aerial units.
  • Raid Camp: Trains infantry.
  • Harvester: Produces resources.
    • Can be upgraded into a Augmented Harvester which produces resources twice as fast.
  • Power extractor: Produces power.
    • Can be upgraded into an Augmented Power Extractor which produces power twice as fast.
  • War Council: Provides high-tech upgrades for the Banished military.


This section requires expansion.



Image Map Type
HW2 Artwork Ashes Ashes
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3
HW2 Artwork Badlands Badlands
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
HW2 Artwork Bedrock Bedrock
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3
HW2 Artwork Frontier Frontier
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3
HW2 Artwork Highway Highway
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3
HW2 Artwork Rift Rift
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3
HW2 Artwork Sentry Sentry
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
HW2 Artwork Vault Vault
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3


Image Map Type
HW2 Artwork TheProvingGrounds The Proving Grounds
  • 1v1
  • 2v2
  • 3v3


Like its predecessor, Halo Wars 2 includes a Skirmish Mode. The player can battle AI opponents across 8 multiplayer maps in 1v1, 2v2, or 3v3 matches. Skirmish has three game modes: Deathmatch, Domination, and Strongholds.

  • Deathmatch: Destroy all enemy bases to win.
  • Domination: Capture and hold Control Towers to score points. Reach the maximum score first to win.
  • Strongholds: Build and hold the most Strongholds at the end of the match to win. All players have unlimited resources.


Development of Halo Wars 2 was outsourced to Creative Assembly, the same studio behind the popular strategy game series Total War.[9] Once again, Blur created the pre-rendered cinematics for the game.[15]

Ultimate Edition[]

Hw2 ultimate edition coverart

The Ultimate Edition of Halo Wars 2 was released on February 21, 2017, on the same date the standard edition, at a retail price of $79.99. It features a slightly different cover art with a part of the background covered in red. The Ultimate Edition consists of the base game along with the season pass, which includes 7 extra leaders and 2 campaign missions, and Halo Wars: Definitive Edition.


Gamescom 2015 Teaser Trailer[]

Main article: Halo Wars 2 Announce Teaser

In the teaser trailer, a wounded Douglas-042 is being dragged by another member of Red Team, away from some form of enemy, most likely the Brute Chieftain seen later. Jerome-092 radios in, "Command, this is Red Team. Something hit us, Douglas is down. Immediate evac requested!" As he is dragged along, Douglas draws his M6C magnum, takes a moment to aim, then fires. The screen cuts to Red Team, sweeping an area with their flashlights. They encounter a large, hostile Jiralhanae, who picks a SPARTAN (probably Douglas) up by his throat, and throws him. It then returns to the wounded Douglas, firing another shot off into the darkness. This time, it cuts to Red Team being attacked from several angles by what can only be assumed to be Jiralhanae. Finally, after one more gunshot, several shots of Red Team attempting to retaliate (to no avail) are shown. After this, the camera cuts to Douglas who attempts to fire a fourth shot, but a "click" signifies his magazine is empty. Having no way to defend himself, he lets his right arm slip to the floor and his grip on the magnum loosens. Next, camera showcases the aforementioned Brute Chieftain properly, as he activates his energy mace, Chainbreaker, and growls, "Yes, run... Little demons." After cutting to black, the logos of 343 Industries, Creative Assembly and finally Halo Wars 2 flash onto the screen in quick succession. To close the trailer, there is a short shot of the Chieftain turning away from the camera, and ordering his cohorts to "Hunt them down."

Official E3 Trailer[]

Main article: Halo Wars 2 Official E3 Trailer
This section requires expansion.

E3 Multiplayer Beta Trailer[]

Main article: Halo Wars 2 E3 Multiplayer Beta Trailer
This section requires expansion.

SDCC 2016 Story Vidoc[]

Main article: Halo Wars 2 Story Vidoc
This section requires expansion.

Multiplayer Vidoc[]

Main article: Halo Wars 2 Multiplayer Vidoc
This section requires expansion.

Blitz Beta Trailer[]

Main article: Halo Wars 2 Blitz Beta Trailer
This section requires expansion.



Concept Art[]


Announcement Trailer

Official E3 2016 Trailer

Beta Images[]

Promotional Images[]