Ever since 343 Industries took over the Halo franchise, a fan-loved feature playable Elites, has gone missing much to players dismay. We explain the appeal.

Few enemies in the video game world are held to as high esteem as the Sangheili (Elites) from the Halo franchise, and rightly so. The elites quickly became a fan favorite in Halo: Combat Evolved due not just to their unique and alien design, but for being a formidable foe for the Master Chief as well. That's why there is a call for Halo Infinite Elites to be playable.

Elites quickly rose to popularity within the gaming space becoming one of the most beloved enemy types in the first-person shooter genre, eventually even becoming playable in the widely popular multiplayer that launched with Halo 2. Halo 3 and Halo: Reach followed this tradition as well.

Thel 'Vadam, the Arbiter - Halo 2 Anniversary
Thel 'Vadam, the Arbiter - Halo 2 Anniversary

While the ability to play as an Elite was a sweet treat to many Halo fans, since 343 Industries has taken over there has been an unfortunate absence in the ability to play as our favorite split-jawed alien friends. Despite many fans desiring the choice, 343 Industries stated their reasoning for them not returning to Infinite.

"We're not currently planning on supporting Elites as a playable character in Infinite, and the reason is---you know---this is a Master Chief story and a Spartan story, especially in multiplayer, we want to make sure that we focus on how Spartans battle against each other, and that it feels fair, its competitive, its balanced..."

-- 343 Industries

What About the Issues That They Pose in Ranked Play?

There is one main criticism on playable Elites however that does pose a threat to their existence, and that is their weird hitbox in competitive, and with that, I propose one simple fix that would make having playable Elites less of a headache for the competitive player;

Keep competitive play to Spartans only. There were many hitbox issues in past Halo titles that made it hard for players to kill Elites, or too easy to do so in competitive modes due to how their head is hunched. The easiest solution to give players some player expression back is to keep them out of ranked play.

Why Would Players Want to Play As Halo Infinite Elites?

  • Customization

Having playable elites gives the player a variety of what they want to play as. Players may want to break up the monotony of everyone being a super-jacked soldier in 1-ton power armor and play as an alien instead. There is also a heaping load of lore to take inspiration from for Elite customizations.

  • Invasion

People who love Halo: Reach will be familiar with the fan-favorite game mode known as Invasion, where 12 players are pitted against each other in a 6v6 team deathmatch with one team playing as Spartans, and the other as Elites.

It was a truly unique game mode that Halo fans had a lot of fun in, and it would be nice to see a return of the mode in Halo Infinite, but that would only be possible with the return of playable Elites.

  • Story

Playable Elites didn't just make multiplayer more fun for many players, it also added a nice touch to the story of games. While controversial at the time, Halo 2 was the first game to introduce a playable Elite via the Arbiter, who because of this quickly became a fan favorite.

In Halo 3 the Arbiter had a prominent role in the story and was playable in the campaign as the 'player two' character for when you were playing coop. Having Elites be playable, at least in my opinion, allows for a more story-rich environment, and playable elites would be a nice feature if the Arbiter returns in Infinite.

Halo: Reach's Invasion Game Mode
Halo: Reach's Invasion Game Mode


While it is not a necessity to have playable Halo Infinite Elites in the game, it does pose benefits to player expression, possible game modes, and story ideas, and while it also can cause issues with ranked/competitive play, those are also issues that can be easily fixed with some adjustment, so please 343 Industries, give us our boys in the blue back.

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest Halo Infinite news and updates.

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