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A reticle is a shape superimposed on an image that is used for precise alignment of a device. Crosshairs are most commonly represented as intersecting lines in a "+" shape, though many variations exist, including dots, posts, circles, scales, or chevrons. The reticle is the primary means by which players (and Spartans and Marines) aim their weapons. It is located below the center of the screen and changes based on which weapon the person is wielding.
- Normally blue in color, the reticle will change to red if moved over an enemy or green if moved over an ally. Note that if the enemy is not in range for that particular weapon, the reticle will still remain as blue. This is often a good indicator of an enemy being out of range. Zooming in (if your weapon has a Telescopic Sight) may make the reticle red if moved over a before out of range enemy.
- If the weapon you are wielding is capable of a one-hit-kill Headshot, and the reticle is moved over the head of an enemy, a small dot will appear in the center of the reticule (with the exception of the beam rifle). This can be useful to aid aiming when delivering death.
- When Dual Wielding weapons, the reticles of each weapon you are wielding will be laid on top of one another. While you are Dual Wielding two of the same weapon, the reticle will be no different than if you were wielding one of that.
- In Halo 2, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4, the rocket launcher is a special case in terms of reticles; it will change when moved over an enemy aircraft, indicating the ability to "lock-on" to that vehicle. See the rocket launcher page for more information. A similar function is seen on the missile pod in Halo 3.
- While the reticle is primarily for determining if your shot is lined up, it can also be used to determine the spray of your weapon. Weapons such as the Sniper Rifle are very accurate and do not have a spray pattern or area of effect, so the reticle is very small. Automatic weapons that have a large area of spread, such as the Shotgun or the Warthog turret, have much larger reticles.
- If an enemy fully occupies your reticle, you can be sure that every shot will be a guaranteed hit, no matter how inaccurate the weapon is. This also applies in general; the optimum range for a weapon is when the torso or head of your opponent fully occupies your reticle.
- Remember that the reticles of different weapons are different for a reason. Weapons such as the Brute Shot are much easier to aim if you use the reticle to judge how much you must lead your target.
- The color of the reticle can also help you determine if the weapon is in range of auto-aim. If your reticle is not red, the 'magnetic targeting' will not work, making it harder to aim. Weapons like the Battle Rifle can achieve greater auto-aim range when scoped.
- Most weapons (such as the DMR) in Halo: Reach now have reticle bloom. This decreases the accuracy of the weapon the longer the trigger is held, but resets if the trigger is released, therefore it is more effective to pace shots rather than firing at its maximum rate of fire. This will allow following-up shots to be more accurate.