Halo 5: Guardians AR and Pistol Starts vs BR Starts

The Halo Community has been in a bit of a debate lately on what the ideal starting weapon really is for Halo 5.

The Halo Community has been in a bit of a debate lately on what the ideal starting weapon really is for Halo 5.

The competitive Halo community has always debated in every game what the best starting weapon(s) should be for that specific game. This is because every Halo game comes with a massive tune in many of the weapons and additional unique weapons added to the game’s arsenal. This causes players to conflict with each other on what weapon they feel is better for competitive play.

When players debate on which weapon is better, they typically judge the weapons accuracy, recoil, reload time and damage. Players want a weapon that is both rewarding to use and fair for the opponent. Now that we are entering Halo 5, there has been a large controversy over what the best starting weapon(s) in competitive play. A split has formed between players who support AR and Pistol starts and BR starts.

AR and Pistol

In Halo: CE, the competitive scene did not have many effective weapons to chose from. There was no BR and many of the weapons were either very weak, very overpowered, or extremely boring to use. This left the community with only two weapons that both took skill and were very rewarding to use: the AR and Pistol.

Although I preferred the Pistol for its accuracy and three-shot kill, both proved to be very exciting to for viewers the watch and players to use. The Pistol was an extremely dominate weapon that would melt people in mid and long range but required both good pacing and accuracy due to its single shot burst. The AR was a dominate close range weapon that had a great firing rate but was only good in close range and you would most likely die if you were to use it mid and long range. It is also the only double starting weapons to ever be used in competitive Halo.

The BR

The BR has been around in the Halo scene for ages, being used as the starting weapon for competitive play in every Halo except for Halo: CE and Halo: Reach. The BR is a great weapon in close, mid and long range due to its triple burst shot that gives it a bit of a spread every time you shoot. The BR has received several tune-ups over its years.

When it first came out in Halo 2, it was a ridiculously powerful weapon that could kill someone in under 3 seconds. This, however, was not because of the BR itself but because of glitches players found within the game. The infamous Double Shot was a glitch that only the veteran Halo 2 players would use to kill an opponent. It was a very complicated button combination that gave the player the opportunity to shoot the BR twice with every trigger pull. This meant that the BR will give a 6 round burst rather than the original 3 shot burst which would mean you could kill an opponent in just two shots rather than the usual 4.

This glitch required a lot of practice and did not always work, so it was a bit of a gamble to use. But if you were to pull one off it was the most rewarding experience you will ever have on that game. This created a massive skill gap within the competitive Halo 2 scene and eventually created the legacy the BR has today. Unfortunately in Halo 3, Bungie decided to make sure the glitch was not possible, therefore ending the Double Shot, but the BR continued to be the player’s choice for a starting weapon.

My Opinion

From the time I have spent on the Halo 5 beta, I have noticed that the maps feel a lot different from any other Halo I have played. They’re larger and more diverse, giving the player several options when moving from one side of the map to the other. Because of this change, I feel having the ability to shoot from long range is very important off spawn. There will be several scenarios when your team will be held in a spawn trap, but your opponents will be pretty far away, so being equipped with a short range weapon will make it very difficult to push out of the spawn trap.

The Ideal Starting Weapon

Personally I believe the ideal starting weapon should be either a BR start or a Pistol start. When I watched the Halo 5 Invitational two weeks ago, I noticed that the players typically stuck with the pistol more than any other weapon. This is because the pistol alone is great to use both in long distance and close range. The BR is also great to use in the same scenarios as well, but I think the pistol’s single shot firing rate will add a bit more of a skill gap to the game, since pacing your shots will be much more important on the Pistol than the BR which has a bit of a spread when you shoot.

Either way I think both of these weapons would work in Halo 5 but I do not like the idea of having an AR and Pistol start. In my opinion, I feel the addition of the AR with the pistol will not only be kind of useless, but it will also take up your secondary weapon space, which will cause the player to press the Y button before picking up a new weapon. That not only takes more time to do, but is just an annoying process that players should not have deal with.

What would your ideal starting weapon for competitive play be in Halo 5? Let me know in the comments section below.

About the author


I am an eSports writer with over five years of experience. I also have over a decade of experience in Halo. Although most of my knowledge is in Halo, I always try to expand my line of work and cover all areas in eSports.