The Mangler is a weapon in Halo Infinite that many pro players would like to see nerfed, but does the general Halo community agree? We pitch in our views on this discussion.

The Halo community seems to be at odds with the Halo Pro scene regarding the Mangler, a weapon in Halo Infinite. Some pro players have asked for the weapon to be nerfed in Halo Infinite, which saw a large pushback from the community.

What Is the Mangler and why is it powerful?

The Mangler is a precision weapon in Halo Infinite commonly obtained via weapon racks. It's classed as a low tier weapon, meaning that it has a fast respawn rate. For a low tier weapon, the Mangler is actually extremely powerful.

The damage estimate for the Mangler is as follows:

  • 1 body shot = 50% of shields
  • 2 body shots = 100% of shields
  • 3 body shots = 100% of shields and 88% of health (approximate estimate for health damage)
  • 2 body shots & 1 headshot = 100% of shields and health
  • 4 body shots = 100% of shields and health

Another major factor to take into account is melee damage. In Halo, meleeing opponents is an essential part of winning close quarters fights. Halo Infinite is known for having quite a large lunge distance for melees, meaning they're more frequent than ever.

The one mechanic that sets the Mangler apart from other weapons is the fact that it's a bladed weapon. In Halo Infinite, weapons with blades on, such as the Mangler and Ravager, do increased melee damage. There are a couple of examples below to show this.

Combining the above, it's easy to see why the Mangler is causing such a debate. The combination of fast respawn rates, high damage and increased melee damage mean that it only takes one body shot and one melee to kill an enemy. If a player is within melee range and has a Mangler, it's near a guaranteed kill for them.

Pro Player Response to the Mangler

There have been various tweets from pro players and orgs alike to get the mangler removed or changed, due to how easy and quick it kills enemies. It currently only takes one shot and one melee to get a kill with the Mangler. You can read some of the tweets by pros and orgs below.

It should be noted that not all pros and orgs agree that the Mangler needs nerfing, and not all casual players agree that it's okay how it is. One such example is the below tweet by Vetoed.

General Community Response to the Halo Infinite Mangler

There has always been some level of divide between the opinions of pro players and the opinions of all other players. Casual players and pro players rarely see eye to eye on sandbox tuning and playlist management, but it seems the Mangler has caused more tension than usual.

Below are just some examples of what the Halo community in general had to say about the subject.

It's clear that the general player base don't want the Mangler to be nerfed or altered, and would instead just prefer the weapon to be taken out of competitive play if a change needs to be made. There have been similar calls made by the casual player base about changes to the Assault Rifle, but 343 Industries have yet to address these requests.

What should 343 Industries do about the Mangler?

Should the sandbox be changed and tuned based on what pro players are saying? In short, no, the sandbox shouldn't be changed based on the feedback from a very select portion of the Halo community.

Whilst Halo Infinite pro players can provide some valuable feedback to specific areas of the game, no singular area of the community should be able to dictate the direction of the game or sandbox. Tashi from 343 Industries has already addressed that they're talking about the Mangler feedback internally, which once again caused large backlash from the majority of the community.

It's clear that the Halo Infinite Mangler is causing some problems in competitive play and only in competitive play. Going forward, the easiest and best option for 343 Industries would be to simply remove the weapon from ranked playlists and HCS. This would mean the weapon is untouched by tuning, and would also solve the issue pro players are having, meaning everyone could be happy.

Another solution would be to either remove it from weapon racks, or change its respawn time into something less frequent. This would allow the weapon to remain in competitive play without the game becoming overrun with Mangler fights.

The Nerf Mangler toy that has been used to poke fun at the discussion on Twitter
The Nerf Mangler toy that has been used to poke fun at the discussion on Twitter

Is it better for a sandbox to be balanced?

This really is a difficult question to answer, as it depends on how people play the game. In competitive play, it's absolutely vital that a sandbox is fair and balanced, as it's the balance that allows skill to flourish.

In casual play (for example Oddball) and more relaxed game-modes though, sandbox balance really doesn't matter as much. People are encouraged to use all and any weaponry to get the advantage over their foes.

In the end, there is no definitive right or wrong. It shouldn't be one or the other, it should be both, depending on the playlist and player. At times it's better if a sandbox allows some weapons to shine more than others, and allows weapons to fill more individual niches.

Other times it's better if a sandbox allows all weapons to fight equally, but takes away from individuality and unique uses of a weapon, meaning only a handful of the weapons actually get used (usually called the meta).

For example a Halo speedrunner recently took on Legendary using only Energy Sword, Gravity Hammers and Fusion coils.

It should also be noted that there is more to sandbox balance than weapon tuning, and it's not always as black and white as the above suggests. This also isn't a Halo exclusive problem, and is constantly up for debate.

The fine line between a balanced and unbalanced sandbox is what Halo Infinite needs if it wants to succeed as both a casual game and competitive game. That's my personal view on it, and I'm sure many folks in the community would agree.