Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

“A holy Flare to light the Journey!”
— Anonymous Unggoy

The Type-1 Antipersonnel grenade,[3] more commonly known as the Plasma grenade, also known as the Sticky grenade in multiplayer terminology, is a Covenant anti-personnel weapon that explodes a short time after coming to rest.

Design Details[]

The Type-1 Antipersonnel grenade is a dangerous hand thrown weapon utilized by Covenant forces, typically used by Unggoy, Sangheili, and Jiralhanae soldiers. The Type-1 Plasma grenade is a spherical explosive composed of an unknown material and contains a small plasma generator[2] and other sophisticated internal mechanisms. The grenade itself, in terms of design and operation, is straight forward; the activation "switch" is located on the orange colored area of the grenade. Above the activation pad is a Forerunner glyph; these glyphs featured on plasma grenades are known to change with each new model and are believed to be based upon the time of manufacturing and Covenant religious rituals. Using technology that is barely understood, even by the Covenant, the Type-1 Plasma grenade is employed as both a thrown anti-infantry and anti-vehicle weapon.

When primed, the Type-1 Plasma grenade starts venting its coolant[2] ensuring that the grenade does not stick to the individual who primed it. When thrown, the gaseous plasma begins to ionize to a degree such that if it comes into contact with a vehicle or individual, the plasma will start to burn into the surface and adhere to it, the venting coolant will cause the small plasma generator inside to destabilize and will in turn cause the grenade to detonate.[2] The grenade contains some type of sophisticated internal mechanism that allows it to distinguish between targets and the local environment; it will stick to a soldier or vehicle, but not to a tree or wall. Also, the grenade will not differentiate between friend or foe, or between targets that are alive or dead. Once something has been stuck with a plasma grenade, there is essentially no way to remove it. Only devices like an advanced electromagnetic shield can temporarily disable the internal adhesion mechanism, although this technology is sparse and only issued to special forces of both the UNSC and Covenant.

After adhering to a target, or otherwise coming to rest, a three-second fuse is engaged.[4] Detonation is first visible as a flash of white-blue light and the detonation zone is instantly subjected to the extreme temperatures of superheated plasma. Anything caught within ground zero, be it flesh, metal, or otherwise, is instantly vaporized. As there is no electromagnetic field to contain the plasma, it begins to deionize and cool very quickly. Thermal expansion causes the heat of the explosion to fan outward and upward, subjecting an area of up to forty feet away to intense temperatures until the resulting flames cool and are extinguished. After the initial explosion, the area of the detonation becomes ionized with negatively and positively charged particles which will cause striking electrical filaments to be visible for a short period of time.

The sheer destructive power the plasma grenade deals to any living creature within its vicinity is extreme; when a plasma grenade detonates on or near a target, it is subjected to extreme temperatures, killing anything within a 13 feet radius instantly;[5] damage to the body is extreme, as the heat flash vaporizes the bodies internal fluids and burns flesh and bone to an unrecognizable charred state. The concussion wave released by the grenade will also cause additional damage to anything within the kill radius. Any living being outside of the kill zone may sustain heat damage as well, as non-heat resistant clothing or flammable material may be ignited by the heat released from a detonating plasma grenade. The concussive force released by the grenade can also harm or disorient anything just outside the kill radius and can also be affected by the flames released from the grenade - a person can also receive injuries from objects being ejected out of the kill zone at high speeds as a result of a plasma grenade detonating.


The ability of the Plasma grenade to stick to its target is extremely useful when encountering moving targets that could easily evade other explosive devices. This adhesive property allows the Plasma grenade to function as both an anti-infantry and anti-vehicle weapon, where a stuck grenade can take down light vehicles and cause moderate damage to heavier ones. The explosive damage the Plasma grenade releases is also effective at destroying objects not sensitive to the heat released by one, and can also serve as an effective support weapon as well. Plasma grenades are also effective at disrupting electronics and shielding when they detonate.[6] The plasma grenade is known to be used by the lesser races of the Covenant as an effective suicidal weapon, a tactic most commonly used by mortally wounded or psychologically unstable Unggoy who will attach primed grenades to their bodies before hurling themselves at their enemies. Against UNSC forces the Plasma grenade is an effective psychological weapon due to the various consequences the grenade brings to anyone in its path. Its destructive properties can also leave terrible psychological effects on a person who has witnessed one detonate on a fellow soldier and seeing the destructive damage it has done.[7]


The Plasma grenade has a three-second fuse that the Human equivalent lacks. Therefore, if the Plasma grenade does not stick to the target, the target will then have ample time to evade the explosion. Sticking a Plasma grenade to enemy infantry can be a gamble. As the target stuck with the grenade will have three seconds to chase down the opposite opponent and kill them as well.


The Plasma grenade first appears in Halo: Combat Evolved and is the Covenant equivalent of the Fragmentation grenade. The grenade's appearance is a light blue colored sphere with a Forerunner glyph in the center. The grenade is very powerful with the ability to stick to both vehicles and infantry and is usable in both Campaign and Multiplayer.

Halo: CE to Halo 2[]

  • The color of the grenade itself changed from a light blue to a dark blue.
  • The explosive effects of the grenade are more detailed.
  • The explosion sound effect for the grenade is different and now has more of a subtle hint of a natural explosion.
  • The Forerunner glyph on the grenade is different.
  • The explosion is less damaging.
  • The grenade's fuse timer has been reduced

Halo 2 to Halo 3 and Halo 3: ODST[]

  • The color of the gas and explosion are now dark blue and the grenade's explosive effect is much brighter and more detailed.
  • The model for the plasma grenade is now much more detailed and the Forerunner glyph is different.
  • The grenade now emits a high pitched noise when sticking and preparing to detonate.
  • Will sometimes stick to a wall.
  • Fuse timer has reduced to about one second, although the frag grenade still detonates faster.

Halo 3 to Halo: Reach[]

  • The Mongoose can deflect them at high speeds. This can easily be demonstrated on The Pillar of Autumn.
  • When stuck, the player's character will often groan or shout in dismay and fear.
  • The Plasma grenade, like most Covenant weapons in Halo: Reach, now has a scale pattern on it.

Halo: Reach to Halo 4[]

  • The blast radius is now smaller, making it harder to get a kill when the grenade doesn't stick an enemy.



  • Whenever a Zealot wielding an Energy Sword approaches, he will pause, scream and shake around before he attacks. That's the best time to stick him with a plasma grenade.
  • Right after you Melee a target (preferably a Sangheili or a Jiralhanae), immediately stick him, then back up. The target will try to melee you as well, and while being distracted by the melee, you should be at safe distance when the grenade explodes.
  • When you throw two or more plasma grenades into one tight-knit area, the first grenade's explosion can cause the other grenade to launch in any direction then detonate. Use this skilfully to take down an enemy's shield or score a lucky kill.
  • Sangheili will dive away from grenades, even when on bridges or high ledges. Unggoy will seek the comfort of their companions when a plasma grenade is stuck to them. This is effective at maximizing casualties against the Unggoy's commander.
  • Where as the frag grenade will explode roughly one second after coming to rest, the plasma grenade takes about three seconds. The grenade's bounce is considerably less than the frag grenade's, as well. Keep this in mind when timing your throws so your target can't rush past the grenade.
  • Some high ranking Covenant commanders cannot be stuck, such as Jiralhanae Chieftains, as their armor cannot be stuck by Plasma and Spike grenades. However, their weapon can still be stuck, which usually results in an immediate kill. Once their helmet is knocked off, you can stick a plasma grenade to the exposed area of the Jiralhanae.
  • Like all grenades, it can be cooked by a weapon. This can be an effective trap if you are able to successfully bait your enemy.
  • If you stick a Sangheili or a Jiralhanae they will either charge you in an attempt to take you out, or take cover to protect their allies. Sometimes, if a Sangheili is stuck on the chest in Halo: CEA, he may flail his arms in an attempt to take off the grenade then begin to run away and scream.
  • Keep in mind that enemies will only throw grenades directly in front of them, and will not pivot or strafe when in the act of throwing. Because of this, it is easy at close range to simply sidestep an enemy attempting to stick you, as they cannot react until completing the throw. This gives you plenty of time to stick them yourself, or shoot them.
  • Some enemies, such as Unggoy will drop a grenade they are about to throw if made to flinch. Due to Unggoy standard operating procedure of fighting in groups, this increases the possibility of the grenade killing the thrower, if not his comrades.
  • A well placed Plasma grenade can easily severely damage or completely destroy a Jiralhanae Chopper (Lob the grenade in between the space in the front wheels).
  • An easily employed tactic involves sticking an enemy at close range and quickly activating Armor Lock. The enemy will usually run towards you, but will do it in vain as the Armor Lock will shield you from the explosion.


  • The Plasma grenade is one of the most helpful grenades in the game. It is advised to not waste it on a weak or unimportant target. It is recommended to use it against vehicles, as its blast can flip a Mongoose.
  • Be very careful when you stick a charging Warthog, as if the grenade hits the glass, it will bounce off and go to waste.
  • In Halo 3, the Plasma grenade can be slammed away by the effects of a Gravity Hammer, but the force of the hammer may cause grenades to detonate immediately. This makes this tactic risky.
  • Players have been known to somehow "remove the sticky" and throw it back, but on closer inspection you will notice that it only works if you stick your hand, then throw a grenade or a piece of Equipment.
  • In some cases a player can throw a Plasma grenade onto a Power Drain and let it roll inside a Bubble Shield. The Plasma grenade will pass inside the shield and detonate killing anyone unaware of what has happened.
  • In a Forge game, after getting stuck as a Sangheili/Spartan, turning into monitor mode will cause the grenade to not detonate. But if you turn back into Sangheili/Spartan, the grenade will explode and can serve as an effective suicide bomb.
  • If you see a team of two near each other, throwing a Plasma grenade on one Spartan-II/Spartan-III can wipe out the other man, since the Plasma grenade has a wide blast radius.
  • If a player's weapon is stuck with a Plasma grenade, it is possible to pick up another weapon, thereby dropping the "stuck" weapon, and live. The Plasma grenade will stay on the dropped weapon and still explode, though not be considered a stick. Switching for your secondary weapon won't help, since you still carry the "stuck" weapon.
  • In Halo: Reach, when a person is stuck with a plasma grenade, but immediately Armor Locks, the grenade will "Vanish" and no explosion will occur. This was intended in Armor Lock's design, and is also true for Needler rounds.
  • Occasionally, you are able to stick Plasma grenades to player using Armor Lock; assuming they do not end Armor Lock before it explodes, they will be fine.
  • It is possible to "reflect" a plasma grenade using Armor Lock. In some cases, if a player is stuck then activates Armor Lock, the grenade will be "bounced" off of the player relative to where they were stuck (so if they were stuck on their back, it would fly backwards).
  • A way to get around Armor Lock with a plasma grenade is to trick a Locked-up player into triggering the Lock, then timing a grenade throw at their feet (try not to stick the player). Then, when their Armor Lock gives out, they will explode. If they deactivate Armor Lock prematurely you can kill them while they attempt to escape the blast radius.
  • In Halo 4, since it is possible to spawn with Plasma grenades, many players spam them. Use Plasma grenades either when your opponent tries to hit you or when you are about to die, for maximum aim.


  • It is difficult, but possible, to stick another grenade while it is in the air, effectively stopping and detonating both.
  • If you stick a player with a Plasma grenade with an overshield and kill them, you will not receive a stick medal. However, using a Spike grenade will do so.
  • In the Halo 2 video "Another Day at the Beach," Walpole is stuck with a Plasma grenade on his ODST helmet, but saves himself by throwing the helmet away.
  • It is possible to create a makeshift grenade launcher in Halo: CE using two Plasma grenades. To do this, you throw a Plasma grenade at the ground a safe distance away from you. When it hits the ground, wait a few seconds and then throw the other Plasma grenade in front of it. If timed right, the blast from the first grenade will launch the other grenade across the map.
  • By making an enemy Unggoy stagger or shift while throwing a Plasma grenade (i.e. injuring it slightly), it is possible to cause them to stick their comrades. This is not a recommended tactic, but is entertaining to see.
  • Although they do not stick to regular surfaces, Plasma grenades will appear to sink into the ground after bouncing off of a surface
  • In Halo: Reach, it is possible to kill an unshielded enemy player with very low health with a direct impact from the Plasma grenade before it detonates. The stuck player will respond and have a different death animation depending on where the player was stuck, such as falling back and choking if stuck on the face. This is also true for Frag grenades.
  • The yellow/green marking on the front of the grenade is similar to the Mark of Shame.
  • In Halo 3, it is possible to throw back the grenade that the player has got "stuck" from.
  • It is occasionally possible for loose plasma grenades on the ground to detonate each other in massive numbers called "fire crackering." Although a loose plasma grenade detonation is a hazard in any game mode where they appear, the fire cracker effect is most common on the firefight mode "Gruntpocalypse" where most Unggoy will drop one or two plasma grenades on death. In this way a fire cracker event can cover large areas in a kill zone and can consume over 30 grenades. The "Catch" skull can also lead to plasma grenades building up in Campaign, as it increases the drop rate of plasma grenades (indirectly) and increases the chance that enemies will throw grenades (sparking the event).
  • It is possible that the Plasma grenade welds itself to the surface it is thrown against, due to the extreme heat of the plasma.
  • If looked at closely, one can see that the ignition button emits a pulsing light.




  1. Halo: The Essential Visual Guide, page 141
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Halo Waypoint - Plasma Grenade
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Halo Encyclopedia: Chapter 11, page 332
  4. Halo: Combat Evolved Game Manual, page 21
  5. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx: Chapter 39, page 359
  6. Halo: First Strike: Chapter 7, page 69
  7. Halo: The Flood: Chapter 2, page 67

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