How to Lower your Weapon in Halo: Reach
Have you been making montages or machinima and are too lazy to figure out how to lower your weapon to bring your films and videos to the next level? Well, look no further, as we have the button combos listed below that will get your Spartan to break from that ever-ready stance and lighten up just a little. Let me warn you right now that this will only work in system link and on local network settings, not on Xbox LIVE (believe me, I’ve tried!). Bungie gave us the best of both worlds in this edition of Halo: Reach, an easy way to create custom machinima film and video while protecting the quality of online gaming from serious gun hacks (a la Halo 2).
First, from the main menu in Reach, be sure to change your network to local settings by hitting from the main menu and selecting either "my xbox 360 console" or "system link games", then head into your game of choice to test out your newly acquired non-aggressive negotiation skills.
To lower your weapon, hold the button combo listed next to your Button Layout for about two seconds. And yes, before you even ask, even shoulder mounted weapons like the Spartan Laser can be lowered. As you can imagine, the button combination that you need to hold will change according to your specific gaming Button Layout. If you’ve gone all Alzheimer’s on us and forgotten which Layout you’re playing with, just go to the start menu for a friendly reminder. Hit the start button and scroll down to "controller" where you will see what you've chosen under "button layout".
To raise your weapon back up, simply perform any aggressive action such as tossing a grenade, throwing a melee, as well as pulling the trigger to your gun. Now melees are rather odd since in the first person perspective it looks like you simply raise your gun up but from a third person perspective your Spartan will go through the melee animation. You will lunge at any hostile targets when you press the melee button with your gun down when in range of your opponent.
To save you some time on trial and error, Smore ninja did a great job of testing nearly every imaginable scenario while taking note of just how the lowered weapon looked in third-person view. After running around, jumping off cliffs, taking fall damage, getting in and out of vehicles, using armor abilities, and more, you can find his pro tips below to help get you up to speed.
Hello RUL! Zolner gave me the heads up on how to actually lower your weapon just the other day, so I tried it out. I couldn't help but wonder “What would happen if I did this? How would it look like?” Sometime later I finished writing about some of my findings, such as how your lowered weapon looks while using armor abilities, entering and exiting vehicles, and a handful of other details. The topics are broken down by paragraph: armor abilities, vehicles, etc. For the sake of clarity, when I say “gun up” this is the default ready-to-shoot stance that your Spartan normally sports, and when I say “gun down” this is referencing the more relaxed state that you all wanted to read up about in the first place. I hope you find this useful and enjoy all that Reach has to offer.
Armor abilities are somewhat odd since most of them will go through their regular animation and from a third person perspective you look like you raise your gun, but this seems to be due solely to the nature of the animations, as your Spartan will lower their weapon right away after you regain control of them. It is noted that evade makes this raised gun appearance look more natural then the use of something like the drop shield. With both, the drop shield and armor lock, your Spartan will holster their weapon on their back if it is large and on the side if it is small. Use of the Jetpack is particularly strange since your weapon looks like it is raised when you are jet-packing and I can’t even effectively explain at what point in time you actually lower your weapon again. That being said, I can confidently confirm that when the jet thrusters go back into the jetpack on your Spartan’s back, they should also lower the weapon.
Vehicles are easy to describe when interacting with them with your weapon down because every single one of them follows these rules: If you enter a vehicle with your gun down and then exit said vehicle, your gun will still be down; Should you press any buttons that would have you raise your gun on foot while you are inside a vehicle, when you exit the vehicle your gun will be up. This makes piloting the Falcon rather tricky. As you well know, in order the gain altitude the pilot must press the button that is mapped to throw a grenade when not in the driver’s seat. I would have to admit that the transition animations while entering or exiting a vehicle are really smooth. There are no sudden gun up moments that look out of place, even if you were riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle (which has your gun up by base mechanics). Again, as long as you have done nothing during the ride that would have made your Spartan raise their gun on foot, you will exit the vehicle with your gun down.
Elites for the most part act the same way as Spartans except for one fundamental difference. When Spartans do a regular jump, there is a noticeable difference between their gun up and gun down stance and when they reach the ground there is a gap in the animation where they would suddenly have their gun appear in the upright position. Elites, on the other hand, have only a slight difference between their gun down and gun up stance, making any hiccups in their jumping animation less noticeable. This is the only major difference between how gun up/down works between Elites and Spartans that I noticed.
To wrap things up, I thought that I would list four of the animation anomalies that I noticed that didn’t fit into any of the above categories. The first thing that I’d like to note is that when your Spartan suffers from fall damage they will temporarily raise their weapon. Zolner and I agree that this action looks rather natural since your Spartan is attempting to regain their balance upon landing. Something else that I noticed that can come in handy at times is when you enter orb mode with your gun down, you will exit orb mode with your gun up. Crouching seems to have its own set of rules when you have your gun down. When crouched, you will always have your gun lowered, but if your lower body moves at all then your Spartan will raise their weapon. This includes both walking and to a certain extent rotation. The last thing that I’d like to mention is that if you reloaded your weapon while your gun is down, (remember: the reload button is one that is used to lower your gun, so this could be tricky) your Spartan will go through the regular reload animation but smoothly their weapon back to gun down position.
I hope you guys have fun with this info and make some great machinima for all of us to see. Cheers!