Provides: Increased starting ammo for starting weapons and ordnance drops.
The Ammo Support Upgrade provides more ammo for your starting weaponry and any ordnance drops you collect. Ammo is typically doubled, though some weapons like Plasma Pistols and Sticky Detonators only receive 50% more ammo or less. Either way, for those who survive long enough to burn through a standard DMR loadout, this is the upgrade for you.
Pairs Well With: Grenadier, Requisition
Provides: Quicker reloading speeds and weapon swapping.
When you’re talking about the benefits of a bonus in Halo in terms of frames you know you’ve gone down a dark rabbit hole, but Dexterity provides just that. Weapon swaps with Dexterity enabled are only a few frames quicker than usual. Clearly 343 saw that aspect of Halo’s combat hard to mess with too much. On the bright side, Dexterity does offer reload times that are twice as fast, making the weapon swapping a bit of a moot point.
Pairs Well With: Shielding, Firepower
Provides: 50% Increase to motion sensor range.
With this Support Upgrade enabled you get a huge boost to the coverage area of your motion sensor. The benefits are clear, the only question is your own personal playstyle. Are you glancing down at your sensor regularly or are you more of a “shoot ‘em as I see ‘em” player? If you take advantage of the motion sensor often and you know what to look out for as far as enemies above or below, cloaked, crouched, and more, this is a very worthwhile upgrade.
Pairs Well With: Mobility
Provides: The ability to see the motion sensor even when looking through your scope.
There’s a reason that one of the most common forms of assassinations in Halo come when you’re camped somewhere sniping downrange. The telltale red dot of a close range enemy isn’t something you can see through a sniper scope. Luckily, Awareness takes care of this handicap, making it a great upgrade for players who spend a lot of time scoped in with DMRs, Battle Rifles, Carbines, and the like.
Pairs Well With: A precision weapon and any Tactical Package
Provides: Altered grenade performance, increased blast radius and decreased grenade damage received.
If you find Halo 4’s grenades lacking, you may want to give the Explosives Support Upgrade a shot. While there is a small damage penalty, the increase in radius should make the explosives perform a bit closer to their god-like Halo Reach counterparts. Don’t get me wrong, Halo 4’s grenades are weaker any way you shake them (a big reason why most people just go for Plasma sticks these days) so it’s really a minor modification. Still, pair this with one of the Tactical Packages that give you more grenades and it will offer an advantage.
Pairs Well With: Grenadier, Resupply
Provides: A decreased score threshold for Ordnance Drops.
This Support Upgrade is very good, but very circumstantial. It only benefits you if you’re playing in modes with Ordnance Drops, but if you are it will make it easier to get them. It’s worth creating a special loadout just for modes that have Ordnance and making this you upgrade of choice. What’s better than a constant supply of Needlers? Pair it with the Requisition Package for the ultimate in Ordnance benefits.
Pairs Well With: Requisition
Please note that the following five Support Upgrades are unlocked through the Specializations unlocked at SR-50. You’ll have to do some serious leveling up before you gain access to them!
Provides: Steadier aiming while being struck by incoming fire.
There’s nothing more annoying than losing a shot-for-shot DMR battle because your opponent keeps knocking your aim away from their head. Stability helps prevent this, allowing you to maintain those headshots even if you’re taking damage. Get into enough battles with precision weapons and you’ll see what an advantage this provides. This Support Upgrade is unlocked by completing the Rogue Specialization.
Pairs Well With: Precision weaponry and Any Tactical Package
Provides: Quieter footsteps, quicker assassinations, and blocks Promethean Vision.
There has been much criticism brought against Promethean Vision and its ability to kill the element of surprise in Halo 4. To the haters I say quit your whining and unlock the Stealth Support Upgrade available after completing the Wetwork Specialization. Not only is it the perfect counter to your Promethean Vision woes but you’ll be quieter to those with a sixth sense (or surround sound) and perform quicker assassinations!
Pairs Well With: Mobility
Provides: Increased movement speed with detached turrets and less overheating.
Unlocked by completing the Pathfinder Specialization, Gunner lets you move substantially quicker with detached turrets and fire 50% longer with any turret. If you’re always on turrets, whether on a Warthog, Scorpion, Mantis, or mounted and detached, you’ll see a nice benefit. My only question is what the UNSC changed between Halo 3 and 4 to make all their turrets start overheating. Maybe it’s all that artificial sunlight on Requiem!
Pairs Well With: Shielding
Provides – A nav point to the enemy who last killed you that lasts for a few seconds.
Unlocked by completing the Stalker Specialization, Nemesis is probably something you needed at SR1, not SR50 or more. Still, if you’re constantly dying to one annoying opponent, Nemesis allows you to track them down and get the drop on them. The indicator is only shown for a few seconds after you respawn, but that’s a lot more info than a clever opponent would normally give away after killing you.
Pairs Well With: Mobility, Resupply
Provides: The time and place of ordnance deployments prior to the drops actually occurring.
Also known as the thieving jerk upgrade, this one is unlocked by completing the Engineer Specialization. If you’re a beast of a player in general and can snipe or grenade enemies away from their precious power weapons, this is a great mod to take into battle. Stripping the other team of the clear advantages offered by ordnance drops can easily swing a match in your favor. After all, they’re doing all the work and you’re reaping the rewards.
Pairs Well With: Mobility
Joe Donato is currently binging on Silent Hill games between rounds of Halo 4. Follow him @JoeDonuts on Twitter.
While the perks you choose in Call of Duty can completely change your playstyle, Halo 4's similar Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades won't get you nearly as much mileage. Consider them small bonuses to beef up one or two aspects of your Halo strengths or weaknesses. Ultimately, the devil is in the details, though, and if you really want to eke out every bit of efficiency out of your Spartan this breakdown of each upgrade should do the trick.
Please note: Within each Support Upgrade I recommend a pairing with a particular Tactical Package. Let us know what pairings you use in the comments section!
Provides: Faster armor shield regeneration.
When I say that the upgrades are minor, the Shielding package is a good example of what I mean. You may be thinking, "Hey, with this I'll be back in the fight much quicker!" What you really get, though, is the same amount of time before the shields even start recharging. The difference is that when your shield does actually begin to recharge, it will fill up quite a bit quicker. This package is recommended for the player who picks and chooses their battles, and isn't afraid to retreat and retaliate on their own terms.
Provides: The ability to carry two primary weapons.
Firepower is a pretty self-explanatory package. When selected, it replaces your loadout entry for your sidearm with a second menu for choosing a second primary weapon. Go into battle with a DMR and Battle Rifle for endless precision combat, or mix and match a precision weapon with a close range, rapid fire weapon like the Assault Rifle, Repeater, or Suppressor.
Provides: Unlimited sprint.
If you’re sick of your Spartan gassing out on their cross-map journeys then this is the package for you. It eliminates the need to recover your sprinting ability and allows for more reliable rush tactics and escape opportunities. It’s the most straightforward ability and the benefits are clear, making it a popular choice among many players.
Provides: One extra grenade than the default value every time you spawn.
I’ve seen people do some evil things with Plasma grenades in Halo 4, and even though the grenades are weaker overall, there’s still no safety from a steady stream of grenade spam. This package allows for even more grenade tossing fun with one extra grenade of whatever type you’ve selected in your loadout.
Provides: The ability to retrieve grenades from dead bodies.
In previous Halo games, players could simply scoop up any grenades off of their dead teammates and opponents with little issue. Halo 4 puts a limit on that, only allowing players who enable this package to scoop up grenades. Running over a dead body will give you one of each type of grenade that player was carrying. If they have two plasma grenades, you’ll get one plasma grenade. If they have one frag and one plasma, you get one of each as well. Great for players who throw lots of grenades and get lots of close range kills.
Provides: Armor Abilities recharge twice as fast.
I’m a big fan of the Auto Sentry, so when I have an opportunity to get it out more often, I take it. AA Efficiency is one of the better packages because it provides a buff to Armor Abilities you may be using quite often. The bottom line here is that if your choice of AA helps you win, then you’ll want this ability to buff it up.
Please note that the following three Tactical Packages are unlocked through the Specializations unlocked at SR-50. You’ll have to do some serious leveling up before you gain access to them!
Provides: Approximately 20% bonus XP per match.
Once you’ve completed the Pioneer Specialization you gain access to this new Tactical Package which allows you to grab the other Specializations more quickly. Offering up about 20% additional experience, this is a good way to level up but it also costs you a Tactical Package slot. The cost vs. benefit may be too much depending on what kind of player you are.
Provides: The ability to “re-roll” ordnance drops and get new choices.
Once you’ve completed the Tracker Specialization you’ll gain the Requisition Tactical Package. This ability is great if you’re often unsatisfied with ordnance drops. A good drop can turn the tide of battle, but a bad drop selection can be a big bummer. This allows you to run the slot machine a second time and hopefully get an option that’s more deadly. It’s great for players that actually kill enough to get ordnance often.
Provides: Decreases the time it takes for Vehicles to “heal” as well as recover from EMP.
Wheelman is a Tactical Package gained by completing the Operator Specialization. It provides similar protection for vehicles as the Shielding does for Spartans. Basically, it doesn’t provide any actual protection, it simply decreases the recovery time for damage and EMP. The benefits are pretty minor, but those who spend all their time behind the wheel may find the benefits.
Continue to Page 2 for a full breakdown of the Support Upgrades and the best pairings of Tactical Packages and Support Upgrades!