Halo Alpha
Halo Alpha

This page is about the Banshee used throughout the Human-Covenant war. For other uses of the term "Banshee," see its disambiguation page

Banshees of legend warned of death, and today all UNSC veterans know the cry of this glittering alien terror.

The Type-26 Ground Support Aircraft, more commonly identified as the Banshee, is an atmospheric craft that is typically used for reconnaissance, ground support, and ground attack missions. The front of the craft is lightly armored and while not particularly vulnerable to small arms, can be brought down easily by concentrated fire from infantry.



Banshee blueprint.

In most designs, the cowling of the craft is purple in colour and acts as an outer shell. It is equipped with two wings which terminate in a propulsion jet and an anti-gravity pod, leaving behind a signature vaporous exhaust trail while flying. The craft is capable of achieving velocities over 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph)[7] and reaching an altitude of up to 300 meters.[8] The onboard propulsion system has the craft constantly in motion. In addition to its versatile design, the Banshee is capable of performing complex maneuvers, such as aileron rolls and flips.


The Banshee sports two weapon pods attached underneath the fuselage. One pod contains two Class-2 plasma cannons capable of firing in 100-250 kilowatts range, and the other contains Class-2 projectile launcher.[4][9]

  • T-26A: First Banshee type to be cataloged by ONI after the attack on Harvest.[2]
  • T-26B: A more advanced Banshee type that was languished in pre-Human-Covenant war times. Once older Banshee models had been used up in the war by 2550, this model entered widespread service. Jul 'Mdama had commissioned large amounts of these made in the Post-war Era.[2]
    • T-26BZ: An "ordained" Banshee deployed with Loka 'Bandolee's forces that were deployed with Sesa 'Refumee's.[2]
  • T-26C: The model that was part of Truth's fleet.[2]
  • Banished Variant: A model in service within The Banished faction in 2559.

Additionally, there are two vehicles given the colloquial name 'Banshee', but which are entirely distinct models.

  • T-27 XMF - A variant of the Banshee design modified for space combat.
  • T-54 GSA - A post-war replacement for original the Type-26 Banshee, which was in low stock by 2558. It sports several improvements over its predecessor.



Halo: Reach[]

Pulling the left trigger causes the Banshee to go into a momentary boost as indicated by the boost meter in the lower left hand corner of the screen. The weapon switch button switches between the plasma cannon and the fuel rod bombs. Pressing the Right Bumper while pushing forward on the left thumbstick causes the Banshee to do a short back flip while pressing back on the thumbstick causes it to do a long back flip. Pressing the Right Bumper and pushing left or right on the Right thumbstick will cause the Banshee to do an aileron roll in their respective directions.


  • The Banshee's twin rapid-fire plasma cannons are efficient at taking out individual infantry.
  • Boosting allows for quick entry and exit from combat situations or to catch up with a particular target.
  • Evasive abilities allow a pilot to outpace homing projectiles or opposing craft.
  • The Banshee is able to suppress enemy forces until backup arrives.
  • The Banshee's Fuel Rod shot can easily flip warthogs or mongooses and can do sufficient damage to enemy infantry placements.


  • The Banshee is lightly-armored and thus vulnerable to small arms fire.
  • The Banshee is also vulnerable to EMP devices, which can disable the craft.
  • The Rocket launcher can get a lock on the Banshee, and can easily home in on the craft and destroy it unless the pilot is aware and can evade.


  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Rocket Launcher is the only handheld weapon powerful enough to take down a Banshee with a single shot.
  • Disable an enemy Banshee using an EMP burst from a plasma pistol. Once disabled, the Banshee will be far easier to destroy.


  • To avoid being destroyed too quickly, engage the enemy in a hit-and-run style.
  • Splattering with a Banshee is very tempting, but you can easily be stuck with a grenade or skyjacked.
  • Before charging with a Banshee, ensure that your team is in control of the Spartan Laser if one spawns on the map.
  • If you boost into a wall while damaged, the Banshee will explode and eject you with downed shields. This is a useful escape if being skyjacked.
  • If you run into a tight corner and distract an enemy Banshee, the pilot may become overconfident and try to splatter you. Funnel it in to a tight area to trap it and possibly skyjack it.
  • Be wary of a destroyed Banshee's debris: they can crush and kill players.

Halo: Combat Evolved[]

  • In Blood Gulch, players should not plunge down to the enemy's base, because the wing can easily get caught to the quadrilateral objects that stick up from the base.
  • The pilot of the Banshee should "twirl" in the air to avoid shots from rocket launchers and scorpions.
  • Do not try and kill drivers in Scorpions; Scorpions can easily shoot down a Banshee.
  • Fire Fuel Rods at moving Warthogs or Ghosts to make them flip.

Halo 3[]

  • Shooting the legs of the pilot can kill him/her without damaging the craft, allowing a free Banshee.

Halo: Reach[]

  • In Halo: Reach, the aileron roll and back flips will recharge the boost meter, essentially allowing the player to infinitely boost the craft.
  • Although Banshees are a big threat to Falcons, the Falcon's turret is very effective against Banshees.


Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2[]

  • The Banshee can no longer fly backwards.
  • The Banshee no longer has a health bar on the HUD.
  • The Banshee's normal speed has been reduced, but it can boost.
  • The ability to hijack an occupied enemy Banshee has been added.
  • When damaged, the Banshee will lose parts and emit blue sparks.
  • The Banshee can move left and right without having to roll.
  • The Banshee can perform aerial acrobatics, such as aileron rolls and backflips.
  • A Banshee pilot will be injured when colliding with solid objects, such as walls, at high speed.
  • The plasma cannons fire alternately rather than simultaneously, are more accurate, and have less range.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3[]

  • The Fuel Rod Cannon is usable in multiplayer.
  • The Banshee cannot face any lower than 45 degrees.
  • The Banshee's wings cannot be fully shot off, because without the anti-grav pods, the Banshee has nothing to keep it in the air.
  • NPCs can now fire the Fuel Rod Gun.

Changes from Halo 3 to Halo 3: ODST[]

  • The Banshee can hover when not being moved.
  • The Banshee can face nearly completely downwards.
  • The Banshee can rotate 360 degrees in mid air.
  • The fuel rod projectile moves in a straight line instead of an arc.

Changes from Halo 3: ODST to Halo: Reach[]

  • After taking a set amount of damage, and having many critical parts damaged or destroyed, it will explode regardless of the occupant's health and shields.
  • The tricks are much faster and go farther. Tricks have also been moved from the Jump button to the Armor Ability button.
  • The Banshee has two separate reticles for the Fuel Rod Cannon and twin Plasma Cannons. The "Switch Weapon" button toggles which is armed.
  • The Fuel Rod Cannon can home in on other vehicles.
  • The Fuel Rod Cannon's projectile arcs again.
  • The Banshee can no longer hover in place.
  • The Banshee now has a closed canopy so the pilot's legs cannot be seen or shot.
  • A boost limit has been imposed.
  • The Banshee can fire its weapons while performing acrobatics.

Changes from Halo: Reach to Halo 4[]

  • The Banshee is much slower while doing tricks.
  • The Fuel Rod Cannon no longer tracks vehicles. 
  • If damaged heavily, it will emit a deep-pitched beeping sound.

Changes from Halo 4 to Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer[]

  • The Heretic Banshee is now available for multiplayer use.
  • Does not make its signature wailing sound when turning.
  • Loses its fuel rod cannon.

Halo Wars[]

The Banshee appears in most Halo Wars levels and can be used by players in Skirmish mode when choosing a Covenant Leader. They can be built inside the Summit at a price of 200 resources and have up to 3 available upgrades:

  • "Boost": the Banshee now has a speed boost ability that can be activated with 'Y'. Costs 200 resources and requires tech level 1.
  • "Repeating Cannon": Increases fire rate of cannons. Costs 400 resources and requires tech level 2.
  • "Sacrifice": when destroyed, the Banshee crashes against a ground target to inflict impact damage. Costs 700 resources and requires tech level 3.

Banshees are effective against ground troops and most vehicles. They are capable of hovering in the game, like that of the version in Halo 3: ODST. Banshees become the fastest unit in Halo Wars while they boost. A common strategy is to create an army of about 20 Banshees and swarm the opposing army, especially if their forces are mainly composed out of vehicles.

Banshees are extremely vulnerable to Wolverines and Vampires.


  • In Celtic mythology, a Banshee is a woman spirit who wails for the death of a particular person before they die. The Banshees have to steal souls from people to live. The high-pitched sound made by the Banshee in Halo is a reference to this.
  • A Heretic version of the Banshee appears in Halo 2, the notable difference being the absence of the purple protective cowling.
  • On page 129 of The Art of Halo, Banshees are shown firing Fuel Rods in the Halo 2 map Waterworks in the Halo 2 beta.
  • In the novel Halo: First Strike, a Banshee is capable of carrying John-117 and a second Spartan-II, Linda-058; this Banshee is stated to have "cockpit seats." In addition, Zuka 'Zamamee and Yayap rode in a Banshee together in Halo: The Flood. In all the games, a Banshee can only carry one person.
  • Banshees use anti-gravity pods on the ends of their wings to fly. However, in Halo 2, a Banshee can have both of these pods shot off and still fly normally.
  • When maneuvering, the Banshee's wings rotate in the wrong direction for the maneuver, in fact, their movement would result in the opposite of the intended maneuver, i.e. nose up = nose down.
  • In the first level of Halo 4, Dawn, Type-26 Banshees are seen in space. This is unusual, as the T26's cockpits are not vacuum-sealed. The pilots were likely wearing air-tight Combat Harnesses.




Related Pages[]