Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

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For other rocket launchers, see rocket launcher.

“Rifle's a security blanket as much as it is a weapon. Knowing you can pull the trigger and it'll make a loud noise is comforting. But if you want results? You use a rocket launcher.”
— Lt. Jim Nicolai[3]

The M41 Surface-to-Surface Rocket Medium Anti-Vehicle/Assault Weapon[4] formally known as the Medium Anti-Vehicle / Assault Weapon, Bore 102mm, M41 Surface-to-Surface Rocket Launcher, and commonly known as the Rocket Launcher or the SPNKr Rocket Launcher, is a heavy ordnance weapon of the UNSC arsenal.[5]

Design Details[]

ReachSchematic - Rocket

A blueprint of the M41 in Halo: Reach.

The M41 SSR fires 102mm HEAT shaped charge rockets. The launcher sports a 2x scope and can fire rockets over long distances with devastating accuracy, although its altitude decreases over longer distances.

When reloaded, the barrels are removed and two preloaded barrels are then inserted back into the unit. With this mechanism, a Marine can greatly reduce the weight he has to carry without throwing the weapon away like some contemporary disposable rocket launchers.


The rocket launcher spreads a huge amount of damage over a large area. It is capable of taking out entire groups of infantry at any range and can kill both the passengers and crew of nearly any vehicle like the M808B Main Battle Tank but not the Type-26 Assault Gun Carriage, which can sustain two to three hits from the weapon. Its ability to fire two shots in rapid succession is also a major advantage. In Halo: Reach, locking on can be used to make it more effective.


Several things counterbalance the M41's sheer power. The M41 SSR, though powerful, is implemented in-game as an anti-vehicle weapon, not designed for engaging infantry. Thus, its reload time is quite slow, as it takes about three to five seconds for the M41 to be fully reloaded. The rockets leave a trail of smoke in their wake, giving away the operator's position and necessitating a fire-and-displace strategy of engagement.

Ammunition is often limited or unavailable, and the operator can carry only six extra rockets at once, for a total of 8 rounds. The speed of the rocket itself is slow. A skilled operator can be effective against a moving target at medium to long range. The biggest disadvantage to the operator is the blast radius of a rocket; if fired too close, the splash damage can severely injure or kill its operator if fired carelessly into surrounding terrain or at a close enemy.

An explosion near a rocket in flight will cause it to deflect. Deflected rockets tumble end over end, and will explode if they strike an object. The rocket will detonate after a long distance, whether it has hit another object, or not. Also, an operator firing a rocket at another player using Armor Lock or a Hard Light Shield will cause the rocket to deflect, sometimes exploding near the operator, which will usually cause the death of the operator.


The M41 SSR is essentially a Halo universe copy of the SPNKR-X17/18 SSM Launcher (Lazyboy) from Bungie's Marathon trilogy. The word "SPNKR" is an abbreviation of the word Spanker and serves as an inside joke for both fans and Bungie staff of the older series.

M41 Tracker[]

In Halo Infinite, a unique yellow-painted variant called the Tracker can be unlocked by assassinating the HVT, Zeretus. The Tracker utilizes a similar lock-on mechanism to that of the Hydra, and as such it fires homing missiles which curve in order to hit chosen targets.

The Tracker has the unique distinction of being the only UNSC Weapon Variant to be acquired from killing an HVT. All other assassinations reward white-painted Banished Weapon Variants, and all other UNSC Weapon Variants are rewarded for accumulating Valor.


Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2[]

  • Different firing sound effect.
  • Faster reload.
  • Faster melee.
  • Locks on to vehicles and turrets.
  • Ammunition indicated in scope when zoomed in.
  • HUD ammo indicator illustration changed.
  • Less firepower and splash damage.
  • Slightly different reload sound effect

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3[]

  • The M41 HEAT rocket travels faster.
  • The tubing has a metallic silver color rather than a synthetic black.
  • It does not have the homing feature featured in the Halo 2's rocket launcher, thus making it more similar to Halo: Combat Evolved's Rocket Launcher.
  • It has a different firing sound effect.
  • The weapon reloads more quickly.
  • Melee attacks can be executed more quickly.
  • Ammunition is indicated in the sight when zoomed in.
  • The HUD ammo indicator has a different appearance.

Changes from Halo 3 to Halo: Reach[]

  • The grips of the weapon are enclosed into a thumbhole design.
  • It can now lock on to enemy aircraft, but not other types of vehicles.
  • More powerful firing and rocket detonation sounds.
  • Rockets travel slightly faster.
  • Splash damage is increased.
  • Does much less damage to Scorpions and Wraiths, taking about 4 shots to destroy them.
  • Rockets are now affected by gravity, similar to the Fuel Rod Cannon.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[]

  • Faster traveling speed.
  • Smaller reticle and area of damage.
  • When locked on to an enemy aircraft the reticle changes from red to yellow which indicates that the target is fully locked on.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 5: Guardians[]

  • Increased rate of fire.



  • In the level Assault on the Control Room, it is best to refrain from using the rocket launcher unless going up against light and heavy armor like the Ghost and the Wraith.
  • In Halo 2, during the level Outskirts, the large outpost at the last section of the beach contains lots of rocket ammo. These can be handy when trying to kill enemies in vehicles or giving to a marine.
  • The Flood sometimes use rocket launchers on the levels The Library and Two Betrayals. It is best to engage them at long ranges as their accuracy with rocket launchers at close range is good. Be wary around choke points and narrow hallways. One always seems to be stationed at areas such as these.
  • It is best to save the Rocket Launcher for the final encounter on The Storm, as two shots will destroy the Anti-Aircraft Battery and finish the mission quickly. Combined with the sniper rifle found near the end (soon after witnessing a Longsword crash in the distance), one can easily end the level without engaging the large group of Covenant on the hill. Using the scope on the sniper rifle, one can zoom in on the AA gun's power core, line up a shot, then, with proper timing, simply fire two rockets and destroy the gun, ending the level quickly and with little effort.
  • Saving several rockets for the final encounter on The Ark can save the player a lengthy encounter with a Jiralhanae Chieftain at the end; this is even more useful when engaging them on higher difficulties. These can be found by the downed Pelican just after the first Hunter encounter, and two ammo cases near the crashed Longsword.
  • When you find the Rocket Launchers on The Pillar of Autumn, it is best to save the ammo until you reach the point where you must fight your way through the Ship Breaking Yards. The area is crawling with Kig-Yar, Skirmishers, and Sangheili of ranks ranging from Minor all the way to a Fuel Rod-toting General and his Ranger entourage, minus the Spec Ops.


  • When attacking a Banshee or Ghost with the rocket launcher, wait until the vehicle approaches. Get a slight lead on it before pulling the trigger. You don't need that much of a lead: about the size of the targeting reticle will suffice, depending on how far away the target is.
  • The rockets take a while to reload, make sure you find a safe place before filling the launcher. If you are compromised, pull out your secondary weapon to fend off any opponents.
  • Be careful using the rocket launcher against infantry wielding a Gravity Hammer as the hammer can deflect the incoming rocket.
  • Rockets are more for counter vehicle purposes, but are still quite valuable for their instant kill against infantry in a large splash damage radius.
  • Often during the start of the match there is often a rush for rockets. Try to stay back and cover your teammates by picking off single enemies and grenadine groups, making the rockets ripe for claiming by one of your team.
  • In a game of Rockets, players often jump while firing. Timing to fire where the player lands is critical. If done right you can send many to their inevitable deaths.
  • When engaging infantry, try firing at a nearby object, wall, or floor and let the splash damage kill your opponent. You should also jump to minimize damage to yourself.


  • In Halo 3, it is possible to shoot down the rockets fired from this weapon with a Battle Rifle, or a Covenant Carbine, as well as a Sniper Rifle, or a Particle Beam Rifle. The SMG, however, will not work. There is a slight delay between when the shot hits the rocket and when the rocket explodes however, which should be taken into consideration.
  • The M41's rockets can be deflected by a Gravity Hammer if timed precisely.
  • On the last level of Halo 3: ODST, Coastal Highway, there are four Rocket Launchers with 1000 rockets each for use in Vidmaster Challenge: Deja Vu. These only appear on Legendary when the Iron Skull is activated. If any player boards a Warthog, these Rocket Launchers will not spawn.
  • A game disc holder modeled after the M41 SSR's ammunition case was sold by EB Games and GameStop to coincide with the release of Halo 3.[citation needed]
  • In Halo: Reach, the rocket launcher can lock on to aircraft but not ground vehicles. The lock-on time is about twice as long as it was in Halo 2, but the process now starts automatically once the launcher is aimed at an enemy vehicle.
  • In Halo: Reach, there is a glitch with the Rocket Launcher. When a Spartan picks up Evade and the Launcher, it will not disappear from screen while evading, but will still "pop up" (looks like the player switched to his/her secondary and back, when the player's done evading.) This glitch does not affect Sangheili, however.[verification needed]
  • In Halo: Reach, although the Rocket Launcher can only lock on to aircraft for the player, it appears NPCs can lock on to both enemy vehicles and infantry when the player gives it to them. This can be used greatly to the player's advantage.
  • In Halo: Reach, when the player locks onto an aircraft and shoots at it, the rocket seems to travel in a spiral path, similar to the missiles fired by the Missile Pod in Halo 3.
  • If fired at a Falcon while locked on it is possible to fire through the troop bay. If this happens the rocket will shoot skyward and come back down to track its target again.
    • This can lead to the rocket missing an evading falcon and hitting the ground, and possibly the player that fired the rocket.
  • A player with a Rocket Launcher on a Mongoose can make a deadly combination.
  • Spartans hold the weapons with two hands, but Sangheili only hold it with one hand.
  • The M41 has a "test" button that, when pressed, spins the barrels around. This animation only happens when the player is idle.
  • In the novel Halo: The Flood, Mgalekgolo can actually deflect (that is, redirect) rockets with their shields. This is highly improbable, as the rocket explodes the moment it comes in contact with anything, unless it is hit at its side. John-117 performed a similar feat with the help of Cortana during a test on Reach.
  • In Halo 2, if a player drives a vehicle to the top of the hill in a given map, and another player stands a certain distance away, locks on, drags the aiming reticle away to a certain point, and releases, the rocket will actually fly around the vehicle in a perfect circle until something gets in the way or the hill player moves. Furthermore, if the player in the vehicle gets out, the rocket will stop homing on to the vehicle and fly off at a random circular trajectory. This is also seen in Halo 3 with the missile pod.
  • While your shields are upgraded to Overshield status, aim at the ground, jump, and fire a rocket at your jumps peak to be given a moderate jump boost. This is because the explosive shock wave of the rocket launcher causes you to fly a little, but is also only possible because during the short time (around 2.5 seconds) that your overshields charge, you are temporarily invincible.
  • The Rocket Launcher in Halo 2 prevents weapons from being carried over in two-part levels.
  • The Halo PC manual falsely states that the M41, which it misnames as the "M19 SSM Rocket Launcher," has 8x magnification even though in-game only 2x is available.
  • Even if you hit an enemy in the head with the rocket, you won't get a headshot medal. This is likely because the actual rocket does no damage, only the explosion.
  • In all the games, setting ammunition mode to 'Bottomless Clip' increases the rate of fire greatly.
  • In Halo: Reach, the M41 Rocket Launcher has a sticker on the right side with a diagram of how to hold the weapon. The words "Hold Like This" can be seen below the diagram.
  • The Rocket Launcher makes a brief cameo appearence in the 2018 film Ready Player One. During the final battle scene, Parzival can be seen using the Rocket Launcher. In the same scene, Artemis and Parzival use other weapons, including the Locust Sawed Off Shotgun and Torque Bow from the Gears Of War series.


REQ Cards



H5 SPNKR Animations



Related Pages[]