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Elites: Misc


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Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Elite skill article)

From GuildWiki

An elite skill is a special type of skill that is generally more powerful than normal skills. Elite skills can be identified by a golden border surrounding their icon. Elite skills cannot be purchased from skill trainers like normal skills can. Instead, Elite Skills are "captured" from a paticular boss, via a Signet of Capture. Elite skills are not available at all until the Crystal Desert in Prophecies, Kaineng City in Factions, or Kourna in Nightfall. A character may only place one elite skill in his skill bar at a time; putting a second one will cause the first to be automatically removed.


Acquiring elite skills

Elite skills are more difficult to acquire than standard skills. One way of obtaining them in PvE is to do the following:

  • Purchase a Signet of Capture from a skill trainer.
  • Put the Signet of Capture on your Skill Bar.
  • Find and kill a boss who has a desired elite skill (see locations link below).
  • Use the Signet of Capture near the dead boss, causing a list of its skills to appear.
  • Select the elite skill from a list of the boss's skills and click capture.

When a character captures an elite skill, they gain 250 experience for each of their levels (e.g., 5000 XP at level 20) and the signet is permanently replaced by the captured skill. The character can have at most 3 signets of capture on his skill bar at one time.

You may only capture elite skills that belong to your primary and secondary professions. If you use Signet of Capture on a boss that doesn't share a profession with you, you will not be able to choose a skill to capture and the signet will remain on your bar.

Alternatively, you may also unlock elite skills for PvP only by spending 3,000 faction each at a Priest of Balthazar, for example in the Great Temple of Balthazar. You can then use an Elite Tome of a PvE character's profession to capture any elite skill of that profession you have unlocked for your account.

Also, you can purchase a PvP Unlock Pack through the Guild Wars In-Game Store.


  • When a character captures an elite skill while already having one or more on their skill bar, all elite skills will temporarily remain on the skill bar until that player leaves the explorable area.
  • When a character leaves an explorable area, only the right-most elite skill will be retained. The other slots containing elite skills will be emptied. This will happen even when travelling between explorable areas so be careful with your Signet of Capture if you already have an elite skill on your bar and plan to be out adventuring for a while.
  • Amassing a large number of elite skills is the objective of the Skill Hunter title.
  • A group of players out to capture skills together is called a capping group.

Counts of elite skills by campaign and profession

Warrior Ranger Monk Necromancer Mesmer Elementalist Ritualist Assassin Paragon Dervish Total
Core 5 5 5 5 5 5 0 0 0 0 30
Prophecies 11 10 10 10 9 10 0 0 0 0 60
Factions 10 10 10 10 10 10 15 15 0 0 90
Nightfall 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 15 15 110
Total 36 35 35 35 34 35 25 25 15 15 290

There are 3 elite skills in Eye of the North, but they are common skills and do not count for the Skill Hunter title track.

Lists of elite skills

Related skills

These skills operate on elite skills though not elite themselves:

Facts about Elite skillRDF feed

This article uses material from the "Elite skill" article on the Guild Wars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 08, 2010
(Redirected to Sangheili article)

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

(293 votes)

Sangheili (Macto cognatus)
Biological information


Physical description

7'4" (225.5cm) [1]


318 lbs. (144 kg)

Skin color

Gray, Black


Humanoid/Reptilian-like body structure with some mammalian features, dog-like teeth, purple blooded, quadruple hinged mandibles, binary vascular system. Possibly ungulates or crocodilians due to their splayed feet.

Military and Political information
Notable Individuals
Other Nomenclature
  • Elite
  • Split-Chin
  • Split Jaw
  • Squid-Head
"On the blood of our fathers... on the blood of our sons, we swore to uphold the Covenant!"
Rtas 'Vadum citing a small part of the Writ of Union

The Sangheili[2] (Latin Macto cognatus[3], meaning "I honor my father's blood") are a reptilian (or saurian) species of fierce, proud, strong, intelligent warriors and skilled combat tacticians. Sangheili are named after their home planet, Sanghelios. Known by most Humans as Elites[4], presumably due to their adeptness and their skills in combat, the Sangheili formed the military backbone of the Covenant for almost the entirety of its existence. They had a rivalry with the Brutes, which became hatred during the Great Schism and the conclusion of the Human-Covenant War.

Originally a founding member of the unified conglomerate of races known as the Covenant, they later led the Covenant breakaway faction known as the Covenant Separatists due to the fact that the Prophets ordered the genocide of their entire race. This was established after the assassination of the Prophet of Regret by the hands of the "Demon." It was the Sangheili who were ultimately held responsible for the Prophet of Regret's death, and were seen as "unfit" to continue to guard the Prophets. The Prophets sought to achieve this through the use of the other Covenant races, primarily the Brutes. The aftermath of the Great Schism formed the bedrock of the Covenant's ultimate collapse.



Ancient Sangheili on Sangheilios.
Thel 'Vadamee (the Arbiter) enters the Sanctum of the Hierarchs.

The Sangheili home world, better known as Sanghelios, had at one point been visited by or had been in contact with the Forerunners. They revered the objects these "Gods" had left, and considered tampering with them a heresy beyond any other. In 938 B.C.E. they encountered the Prophets, a race who also felt the Forerunners had found salvation, but had utilized Forerunner technology for their own needs. This sparked a war between the two factions on how to treat the relics. Even though the Elites had a large numerical advantage and much stronger ships and soldiers in general, they suffered extreme casualties from the Prophet's hit and run techniques that utilized their Dreadnought, a surviving Keyship, and by 876 B.C.E. even the most devout had to admit their survival depended on the reconstitution of their Forerunner technology. This, of course, led both sides to an agreement that ended with the decommissioning of the Forerunner Dreadnought and a shaky alliance that eventually expanded into the Covenant.

The Prophets helped assuage the Elites by telling them more of the Great Journey: That by seeking out the Holy Rings scattered throughout the galaxy and utilizing them, a Great Journey would begin. This Great Journey would transform believers into godlike beings, while providing salvation for their doomed existence of fighting with the Flood. The Elites then became the bodyguards of the Prophets, who would search the galaxy for the Halos.[5] The Writ of Union was drawn up in 852 B.C.E. in order to codify the Covenant. Its first canto clearly outlines the nature of the Covenant from the perspective of the Prophets.

Being one of the few races in the Covenant to achieve space-faring status without outside intervention, Sangheili interaction with the Prophets was initially strained due to war. However, the two sides later formed a prosperous relationship, eventually laying the foundation for the modern Covenant hegemony.

During their membership in the Covenant, Sangheili were simply put, technological and societal equals of the Prophets. However, for a significant period, they found themselves as the dominant military muscle for the entire Covenant structure - hardly surprising given the warlike feudal nature of their homeworld, Sanghelios. What was surprising was the cyclical stability this feudal society was able to offer. Technological and medical advancement prospered, and the intelligent, aggressive Sangheili were peerless until they encountered the Prophets. With exchange of goods and ideas, the Sangheili adapted to and eventually embraced the Covenant religion, grafting its tenets to their own belief system.

When the Prophets declared war on humanity, the Elites followed. After a period of time, however, even though the Prophet's insisted that the Humans were perversions that must be eliminated, many seasoned Sangheili veterans began to question the refusal of the Prophets to accept Humans into the Covenant. One Elite mentioned "even the smallest ones [humans] hurl themselves against our defenses with honor. If only the Unggoy were as committed." This shows that humans have earned grudging respect of the Elites. They claimed variously that Humans are "tenacious", that their technology is "limited, but...useful", that their battle techniques are "impressive", and that they are "excellent strategists".[6] They seem to believe that Humans, although weak, are honorable and brave. Certainly, most Elites believe that Humans should be admitted to the Covenant. Some even believe that the Humans are equal to them - a considerable step for an Elite, or any member of the Covenant to make. The Elites admired how willing and brave the Humans were when fighting to survive against outright extinction even those few soldiers who were willing to stay behind and cover their comrades from a Covenant attack they respected to a certain degree. It could be said that the only reason why the Elites insult Humans after admiration of them is so that their superiors do not accuse them of heresy. A few Elites even had some degree of disrespect for the Prophets before the Great Schism. They admire the Humans so much, that it could be said that they willingly but occasionally give them "Death by the Sword" or "A Clean Death" as a sign of great respect and honor.

During the events of Halo 2, the political shift caused by both the Prophet of Truth and the Chieftain of the Jiralhanae Tartarus, started a slippery slope that ended in the dissolution of the Covenant between the Sangheili and the Prophets. Originally, Brutes were viewed as savage and extremely goal-oriented, which the Elites viewed as a severe threat should the Brutes ever begin to desire political power. This fear became reality when the Honor Guards of the Prophets, originally an all-Elite class, was transformed into a duty of the Brutes. This was in part caused by the death of the Prophet of Regret, despite his protection from his Elite Honor Guards. Soon Brutes found themselves in new positions of power, such as Field Masters, Ship Masters, and veritable replacements for the Elites. At the same time, during the Battle of Installation 05, Arbiter Thel 'Vadam and Rtas 'Vadum discovered the truth of the Halo rings from the Monitor 343 Guilty Spark.

These events led the entire race of Elites to secede from the Covenant, forming the Covenant Separatists. They were aided by a few of the member-races within the Covenant, such as many Unggoy and most Mgalekgolo. The secession included a movement to destroy the treacherous Brutes and Prophets, and the destruction of the Flood at all costs, eventually resulting in the alliance with the Humans, persuaded by the Arbiter's counsel.

It is known that this civil war stretched from Earth all the way back to Sanghelios as the Sangheili attempted to wrest their share of the hegemony away from their new-found enemies. Jiralhanae stepped in to fill the military void in ever increasing numbers, sensing the vacuum and opportunity left by the departure of the Sangheili.

Finally, after the Battle of Earth, the Elites and Humans managed to stop and kill Truth, effectively ending the Covenant. However, the Elites and Humans were coerced to deal with the more massive threat; the Flood. Finally, the Arbiter and the Master Chief, after activating the newly constructed Installation 04 (II), effectively ended the Flood threat. On Earth, the Sangheili all agreed to return to their home planet, Sanghelios, to see if it is safe.


Sangheili are at least 8' 6" tall including helmet and armor, have two fingers and two thumbs on each hand which are much larger than human fingers and thumbs, at least double the size, which make the Elites look ungainly when wielding small human weapons such as the pistol. They look like lizards or Theropods, except for their jaws. When wearing armor, they take on a shark-like look because of the "fins" on the sides of their helmets. Their jaws are four separate mandibles, a more insect like trait, attached to their face. The Sangheili are attributed for strength and intelligence, and are praised for their bravery and respect. Sangheili warriors augment these natural abilities further through use of Personal Energy Shields integrated into their armor. Depending upon rank and mission objective, they are commonly seen in battle with Plasma Rifles, Carbines, Needlers and sometimes, if they are higher ranked, Energy swords. Sangheili employ coffin-like Orbital Insertion Pods as well as Phantom and Spirit Drop ships for military transit purposes and rapid-response operations. Historically, Sangheili have followed the Covenant mentality of maintaining hatred towards Humanity, believing them to be an affront to their religion and a challenge towards the Great Journey. However there are signs that this stance is being slowly abandoned as seen in the tentative alliance between the two enemies, forming the core allied faction at the end of Halo 2 and during Halo 3.

In Halo: Combat Evolved, upper ranks have a Forerunner symbol adorning their back. It is not known if the symbol varies from rank to rank. In Halo 3, Elites have Forerunner symbols on their arms and on the sides of their torso, even the Multi-player models.

Anatomy and Physiology

A Sangheili Minor warrior with a Covenant Carbine.

Elites are muscular and at least a foot taller than a Spartan II. Their jaws are quadruple-hinged, with an upper jaw and four mandible-like lips. With few exceptions, these mandibles are consistently shown with six teeth each. Many sources also depict an additional large fang on the tips of each mandible[7][8]. Anywhere from 8-10 broader teeth have been observed mounted on the central jaw structure. Although some Elites in Halo: Combat Evolved have fused jaws, this is either a glitch or a coded error.   In the Halo Legends short The Duel, the sangheili Han, Fal 'Chavamee, and Rol, keep their mandibles closed, using only the front two joints of their lower mandibles to speak, giving them a more humanoid appearance. while it may not actually be cannon to the Halo Franchise, it is possible that Elites don't usually use all four of their mandibles, except when breathing heavily; an example would be during combat situations, though this has yet to be confirmed. Elites smell with the use of two nostrils, each a little in front and below the eye socket. Given their predatory nature, an Elite's sense of smell is likely very developed. Their hands are tetradactyl, having four digits; two middle fingers, and two opposing thumbs on the outside for grasping. Their legs are digitigrade, with short upper and lower legs, and elongated tarsals, using the distal and intermediate phalanges to support their weight when walking. This arrangement possibly allows them to run very quickly and jump large distances, compared to ordinary humans and other Covenant races.[9] Their superior agility may also be attributed to their homeworld's higher gravity; the additional strength required to move normally in a high-gravity environment would likely cause them to be more powerful in lower gravity situations. They also appear to have a double set of pectoral muscles, which contribute to their incredible strength.

Elites have at least two hearts [10], which circulate indigo-colored blood; the coloration is most likely caused by bimetallic hemoglobin, possibly cobalt-iron, whereas humans possess monometallic iron-based hemoglobin. Though there are many theories on the subject, the chemical formula(e) of Sangheili hemoglobin is still unknown. It is assumed that they breathe oxygen, as they can breathe the same atmosphere as Humans, and their homeworld has a nitrogen-oxygen atmosphere, similar to Earth's.

Male Sangheili have grayish-brown skin, which in Halo 2 looks spotted or scaly, and the majority of Elites have either dark blue, black, or brown eyes, although there are a few exceptions. It has been theorized that the reason Elites seem to have dark blue eyes is because they wear eye coverings (which provide their in-game HUD). This hypothesis comes largely from the Arbiter's appearance - when standing before the High Council in his armor, his eyes were dark, but after his armor was removed, his eyes became a much lighter brown -- and is also supported by the fact that in Halo: Combat Evolved, an Elite's eye color is always the same color as their armor. Elites have laterally-positioned eyes with slit-shaped pupils, large irises, and horizontal eyelids, though these traits can only be seen in Halo 3 -- Elites in Halo 2 have all black eyes with no pupils, except the Arbiter, and in Halo: Combat Evolved they don't blink.

In the Halo Wars announcement trailer, the Elites are different on several points. They seem far more muscular, although this could be because they're wearing much thicker armor to withstand the cold weather. They also have claws, a previously unseen trait. These differences could be explained by the existence of several subspecies of Elites -- similar to how Humans have several ethnic races. They also have a more animalistic growl in Halo Wars, though they could simply be expanding on the sounds they make in Halo: Combat Evolved. The Elites shown in Halo Wars (and especially Halo Genesis) also seem to have a completely different mouth structure to those in the Halo Trilogy; upon close examination, the Arbiter has mouth similar that of a human, and his mandibles are protruding rather than being parallel to upper jaw. A better picture of this can be found in Halo Genesis.


A Covenant Sangheili Zealot from Halo 2 on Earth in the city of Old Mombasa.
"Although Elites are naturally very intelligent, their culture's long dependence on a military-industrial schema has led to an emphasis on might over science. In some regards, the advent of the Covenant made this position easier-allowing the Elites to concentrate even more singularly on military endeavors, while Prophets took care of science and technology."
343 Guilty Spark in the Bestiarum
Elites are extremely intelligent and always demonstrate this in combat. Elites are normally on the move when fighting, constantly running and ducking, strafing and dodging when firing at the enemy. When presented with an obstacle, such as a Warthog driving at them, they will leap out of the way, and if a vehicle stops, they will attempt to board it or disable it. They are also smart enough to utilize cover, ducking behind crates or other obstacles when their shields are drained until they recharge. It should be noted that not all Elites make use of cover, because of their superior strength; these are the Elites who hold the ranks of either Zealot or Councilor. Elites seem to employ complex strategy only if it either improves success in battle, or it allows them to inflict more casualties on their enemies. In ship-to-ship combat, despite having the advantage of long range weapons such as plasma torpedoes, Elite's prefer to maneuver in close in an attempt to board their opponents vessel. These Elites charge their enemies with reckless aggression, regardless of any damage they sustain; only very seldom do they admit temporary defeat. They are quite capable of luring their enemies into traps by falling back into cover; as the enemy approaches, the Elite will spring from its position and land a massive melee hit on the unsuspecting opponent, and is especially even more dangerous if the hiding Elite is carrying an energy sword due to the weapon's high melee power. Elites are excellent tacticians, renowned for their ferocity and decisive thinking. This is shown to be very true in space during ship-to-ship combat, even when being horribly out numbered; they can win the fight with only few losses. This shows them to have a greater degree of intelligence than Brutes. An example of this is the Battle above Installation 00, when Truth's fleet outnumbered the Elites 3 to 1, yet the Elites prevailed with at least the Assault Carrier Shadow of Intent surviving. R'tas Vadum comments on this by saying "Then it is an even fight."


Two Minors guard the Silent Cartographer's security control room on the level Silent Cartographer in Halo: Combat Evolved on Installation 04.

The Sangheili consider most other species to be inferior to them, both culturally and in fighting skill. Although Sangheili are naturally very intelligent, their culture's long dependence on a military-industrial scheme has led to an emphasis on might over science. In some regards, the advent of the Covenant made this position easier-allowing the Sangheili to concentrate even more mono-manically on military endeavors, while Prophets took care of science and technology. Despite this, their adeptness at using and creating technology is evident. It is probable that they designed the Covenant Cruiser themselves. They demonstrated their superiority at space combat in the battle with the Brutes over The Ark.

All warriors are skilled in hand-to-hand combat and are equal to a Spartan II in a powered exoskeleton. Promotion in the Covenant military is by merit; a Covenant soldier must succeed to advance among the ranks. Success is often measured in scalps. A Zealot, for example, has slaughtered thousands of individuals to reach that status.[11]

Raised from childhood to be warriors, other societal roles are treated as secondary endeavors or even hobbies. Even the most humble Sangheili citizen is skilled in most weapons and hand-to-hand combat. One interesting example of this martial focus is that only aristocrats are allowed to wield swords and that sword-wielders are then no longer eligible for marriage; however, they may breed with any female they choose, married or otherwise, to ensure successful transmission of "swordsman" genes.

In many ways the Elites are much like Humans. They communicate, are loyal to their superiors and comrades, become protective of their troops and become angry and vengeful if other Elites are killed. They fear very little, taking great pride in an ancient, honor-laden code. Even when mortally wounded, such as being stuck with a Plasma Grenade, they may roar with pain and fury, but they still charge towards the enemy in a doomed last minute attack. Sangheili honor also dictates that they always be the first ones into a battle, and to never allow themselves to be captured alive. The more honorable captured Sangheili typically commit suicide while in prison to retain some measure of honor; oftentimes when they are freed those who have not are executed anyway, as was the case with one of Thel Vadam's ancestors.

Respect and Honor

Elites display respect and admiration for honorable fighters, whether they are allies of the Elites or not. It is not unusual for the Elites to have such an admiration for their adversaries. Elites respect and revere veterans and often follow their lead. Their history is rife with victorious combatants welcoming the defeated enemies' remaining forces into their own arm, provided of course that they fought with honor. During the Grunt Rebellion, the most tenacious of the Grunts who survived the conflict were admitted for the first time into previously all Sangheili forces, much to the Prophet's discontent. [12]


Despite their martial nature, the Sangheili have reservations to the spilling of one's own blood. This is an extension of the belief that the blood of a warrior is his essence (honor); thus, to spill one's blood is to lose one's honor. As a result, doctors in Sangheili culture are seen by some as scum because they "make (their) living slicing and causing another Sangheili to bleed without honor." [13] This meant that the only 'honorable' way for an Elite to be injured or bled out is from combat with the enemy. This belief also makes visiting a doctor very shameful for some Sangheili.

It is a belief among the Sangheili that a weapon is only drawn if it is to be used, because a drawn weapon "demands blood" [14].


Sangheili government appears to be a feudal [15] meritocracy [16] and democratic in case of some elders different clans ruling different areas. The ruler, a kaidon, of these areas is elected by a group of council elders that reside in that area. If a council elder believes that his vote was "ill advised" or "had second thoughts", it was considered a tradition for council elders to initiate some form of attack such as assassins against the Kaidon in order "to test the true merit of a ruler's martial abilities" [17]. The belief was that "a Kaidon who could not defend himself was not a true leader." [18] Should the attack fail then the responsible elder was executed immediately, and his family killed. However punishment for this form of heresy was usually flexible. As such, if the elder did something honorable such as attack the Kaidon himself, or attempt to make a final stand against the Kaidon then he would probably have managed to save his family from certain death though they would still be banished.


Family history and lineage are greatly valued, with each family having their own unique "Battle Poem" detailing the deeds and actions of its members during war times. These "epics" may have influenced the recitation of war poetry among the Mgalekgolo, due to their deep respect for Sangheili. It is theorized that mostly Sangheili males are sent into service as warriors and soldiers, as few female Sangheili have been seen to have served in the military. Whether sexual dimorphism exists in Sangheili or if there is a significant difference in gender roles is not known. Halo 3 players can choose to have female Sangheili characters, though the models for the genders are exactly the same, the option only changing the voice used in sound effects. However, given that this is multiplayer mode it must be seen as non-canon.

The warriors form very close knitted relationships, referring to their comrades as "brothers" and remaining intensely loyal to them. This loyalty is shown in the custom of grieving after the death of a fallen comrade, a ritual which includes prayer for the dead warrior.


In some clans, Sangheili children are raised in "common rooms" to ensure that all start on an equal footing and progress in rank by merit of their abilities. Members of some Sangheili clans rarely know their true fathers, and are usually raised by a maternal uncle instead. This may be a method of preventing status from being inherited in order to force children to make their own way in the world so they actively work for and earn advancement. Though, as some children's fathers were Swordsmen who were granted the right to reproduce with any number of female Sangheili they desire, the use of a maternal uncle as a father-like figure may have also been to allow children to be raised equally. Sangheili believe that copulation without regard for the bloodline is uncultured. A popular pastime for Sangheili children is to hunt small rat-like creatures that also live on their home world.[19]


Elites have great value in their names, and are considered a privilege and an honor for only those proved worthy. The Elites generally consider Humans to be nameless (one notable exception being the Master Chief who they exclusively refer to as "The Demon"), and resent that the Humans have assigned the label "Elite" to them (although they have been given many other names far more derogatory, for instance: squid head, split lip, split face, etc.). The word "Elite" is often transposed as an English translation of their own name in-game footage and other media.

The surname of each individual comes from their lineage. Rtas' Vadum, for example, would be from the Vadum lineage. The lineage's own states on Sanghelios, and each Sangheili from that area adopts the name of the lineage.

Elite names are constructed from a series of parts, each of them with a specific or special meaning. The first name is a given name that is attained at birth, which persists until adulthood. As they come of age, they earned the right to carry a badge name. This name is made up of three parts: an adjectival descriptor, such as "fast" or "deadly," a crèche or family name, and the "-ee" suffix, an honorific indicating that the Elite is a military participant. Since the Great Schism all Elites in the rebellious faction have removed their name of the '-ee' suffix. Most Elites will have names with this kind of construction.[20] It appears that additional titles may be given to those of very high rank, such as Xytan 'Jar Wattinree. Since "Jar" is not a part of the standard Elite name, it may be assumed that it denotes Xytan's status as Imperial Admiral, although this has yet to be confirmed. There is no other reference, however, of other names with this sort of addition, other than the character in The Ghosts of Onyx, Voro 'Mantakree who was given the additional title Nar to denote his status as a Fleet Master.

There are a few exceptions of some Elites who haven't had the "-ee" suffix like Kusovai, Zhar and Veer. The explanation is that different suffixes are awarded for different skills and positions.[21]


Main article: Sanghelios

Sanghelios is the homeworld of the Sangheili species with a population of 8.135 billion. Sanghelios is the fourth planet in a Triple Star System of stars Urs, Fied, and Joori. The planet has two Moons called Qikost and Suban. Many Forerunner artifacts exist on the planet, which are (or at least were) the topic of worship, as well as the cause of historical wars between the Sangheili and the San 'Shyuum before the formation of the Covenant.[22] Sanghelios is divided into provinces, which in turn into states. Each state is owned by a lineage, and everyone born in that state adopts the lineage's name as a surname, whether they have the suffix 'ee' on the end or not. Each state is controlled by a Kaidon, and is advised by Elders.

Rank Structure

Elites are promoted based upon their skills, abilities, and the number of casualties they inflict upon their enemy. This is usually measured by scalps. A high-ranking elite (e.g. a Zealot) may have personally slaughtered thousands of enemies throughout his military career.

Rank Image Description
High Council
Councilor These Elites share power with the minor Prophets on the High Council. They are one of the highest ranks an Elite can achieve. They have extra strong Energy Shields, which make them difficult enemies to kill, but they are your ally for a short time in the level Great Journey.

Councilors wear a large headdress and brandish a single Plasma Rifle and Energy Sword. They were taken to Delta Halo, where most were murdered by the Brutes, though a few were saved by other Elites and two were saved by Thel 'Vadam during the beginning of the Covenant Civil War. Only one Councilor is known by name: Soha 'Rolamee.

High Commander
Imperial Admiral Revealed in Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, the Imperial Admiral's role is to command the whole fleet of the Covenant. Only one such Elite, Xytan 'Jar Wattinree, is known, and it is likely that there is only one at a time. He was seen with silver armor, with the Forerunner glyphs of sacred mystery.
Supreme Commander The Supreme Commander is the commander of a rather large or powerful fleet. In the Halo Graphic Novel, he is depicted as clad in bright violet armor, with a long cloak that wraps around his shoulders. This particular Supreme Commander, Thel 'Vadam, was a friend and superior to SpecOps Leader Rtas 'Vadumee and would later become the Arbiter of the Covenant. Thought to be a Zealot rank, due to Thel 'Vadam wearing Zealot armor at his trial in Halo 2.

- Fleet Master
- Ship Master
- Field Master
The Generals and Admirals of the Covenant military; Commanders of Battalions, Ships and Fleets. Field Masters lead armies; Ship Masters command ships; Fleet Masters command armadas. 'Zealot' seems to be a general term, applying to all gold-armored Elites. Zealots appear to have been physically augmented somehow, as they are able to survive a whole magazine from an M6C Magnum, or two Sniper Rifle head shots (however, a magazine of dual M6C Magnums will kill them).
Honor Guard
Honor Guard Ultra The Lights of Sangheilios are one of the most elite combat units of the Sangheili, named for the cluster of stars near the Sangheili home system. It is assumed that they have stronger armor and better Shielding than ordinary Honor Guards. They are seen clad in white armor with glowing Honor Guard plates, and wield Energy Staves. They are not to be confused with Honor Guard Councilors, which are the creations of a glitch.
Sangheili Honor Guardsman The Elite Honor Guards are the personal guard of the High Council, in particular the Prophet Hierarchs, later replaced by the Brutes. They wear ornate, ceremonial red and orange elaborately flanged armor which has a glow to it. Although they wield a large pike for ceremonial purposes, they generally utilize Energy Swords, Plasma Rifles, or Carbines in actual combat. It is believed, although not confirmed, that they are slightly below Zealots in the Covenant hierarchy.
Covenant Special Operations
Special Operations Commander of the Covenant The Special Operations Commander of the Covenant appears to be an even higher title than Field Master (perhaps around the same level as a Ship Master or Fleet Master), controlling all Spec Ops within the Covenant and taking missions personally from the Prophets. Also, in Halo 2 and Halo 3, the only Elite known to hold this rank is Rtas 'Vadum, who commands an Assault Carrier, a ship usually used by Prophets, showing his high rank.
Special Operations Elite Special Operations Elites are extremely skilled fighters, sent in by the Covenant to accomplish the most dangerous and difficult of missions. They have superior accuracy, fire in longer bursts and have slightly stronger shielding than regular Elites. Most notably, SpecOps Elites operate in squads, are extremely skilled and quite accurate grenade throwers. They are equipped with an Active Camouflage system, but rarely use it, except to get into position without being noticed. They can be seen leading Special Operation Grunts into battle, but only in Halo 2.
Stealth Elite The Stealth Elites are the Covenant's assassins and spies, and they use Active Camo technology as their main ability, as the Special Operations Elites do. In Halo: Combat Evolved, they do not have Energy Shields, but are nearly invisible to the naked eye. In Halo 2, they have Energy Shields, but are still not as strong as normal. The Stealth Elite is never seen to have runaway from a force (but not very many have been seen due to their highly trained abilities.) They're often used on ambushes, which, with the help of their active camouflage technology, allow them to take down many enemies, if they're unseen. They usually fight in pairs and wield two Plasma Rifles each and, sometimes on harder difficulties, Energy Swords. In Halo: Combat Evolved, they had a light blue color, lighter than minor Elite Armour. In Halo 2, it is a mixture of dark brown, tan and silver.
Elite Ranger Rangers are a voluntary group of Elites that work in the least forgiving environment of all: vacuum. Their helmets completely encase their heads, protecting them from the vacuum of space. They wear a variant of Elite armor optimized for zero-gravity, non-atmosphere combat, similar in appearance to Halo 3's Assault armor permutation. Their armor is cobalt in color, brighter than that of the Elite Minor. They can pose a substantial threat, due to their unique movement options. There are also variants that use their equipment to give them a tactical advantage planet side, flying above and shooting from the air, confusing and demoralizing the enemy, similar to a Drone, but with more power and fewer numbers.
Regular Infantry
Elite Ultra These are the Covenant's Colonels and Captains, just below the golden-armored Zealots in rank. Several white Elite corpses were seen in Halo: Combat Evolved, presumably killed in combat with the Flood, but they do not appear in battle until Halo 2. They command individual operations, unlike the Zealots who command fleets or armies. Although they do not possess the same level of natural resilience as the Zealots, they use Overshields in combat to continue fighting long after their enemies are forced to retreat. They are also known to always carry Energy Swords as backup weapons.
Elite Major This veteran Elite warrior is the physical equal of the UNSC's SPARTAN-II and the ranking equivalent of a UNSC Lieutenant. Overall they are more agile, more accurate and more aggressive than Minor Elites and seldom make tactical mistakes in combat. A single Major Elite can hold its own against an entire squad of UNSC Marines. In Halo 2, they can often be seen dual-wielding, piloting Covenant vehicles, or carrying heavy weapons. They are roughly equal in game play to the Master Chief, but with somewhat inferior aim. They can be seen leading Grunts and Minor Elites into battle. In Halo 3, they are shown to be leading a squad of Minor Elites. As in Halo 2, they are still the most powerful and accurate of the standard ranks.
Elite Minor The most common and least experienced Elite, Minor Elites are still skilled warriors superior to any Human soldier, but they are a little weaker than Major Domo Elites and SPARTAN-IIs. Minors, however, can be considered the equal of 2-3 Marines. They are the possible Covenant equivalent of a Sergeant. Their Energy Shields are not quite as powerful and they often make many tactical errors, such as standing in one place while firing or rushing forward into enemy fire. They also fire in shorter bursts and have somewhat less accuracy. Along with Major Domo Elites, they often lead squads of Grunts into battle.

Other Ranks


In times of an extraordinary crisis, the High Council bestows the rank of the Arbiter on a single Elite. The most notable Arbiters are the ones of the Grunt Rebellion, The Taming of the Hunters, Ripa 'Moramee, and most notable of all, Thel 'Vadam, the Arbiter who stopped the Covenant Heretics on the Gas Mine and then aiding the UNSC and Covenant Separatists in the Great Schism. The armor of the Arbiter is an ancient version of the current Elite armor which has active camouflage that only last for a variably short period of time.


Kaidons are leaders of particular States on Sanghelios, and the heads of their Lineages. They are advised by a council of Elders, and are selected by this council. They may also serve in the Covenant military, though Kaidon does not appear to be a military rank in itself.[23]

Oracle Master

Apparently advisers to the High Council and to the High Prophets, specializing in intelligence gathering and religious advise to high ranking Prophets and the Sangheilian Councilors. They seem to be few in number, as only one has ever been mentioned. Their name can be considered linked to the Monitor's of Installations, known to the Covenant as Oracles, perhaps metaphorically suggesting their level of intellect on par with that of an Oracle. Little beyond this limited information and speculation is known of the rank.


The aristocrats are important members of Sangheili society, allowed to wield Energy Swords. They are unable to marry, but allowed to mate with any female, married or unmarried, to "pass on the genes of sword fighting and the nobility." [24]

Light of Sanghelios

The Lights of Sanghelios, or Helios, for short,[25] wear silver armor and used Energy Staves as weapons. Their only known appearance to date was in Halo: Contact Harvest, where Truth specifically chose them to protect him during his tenure as Minister of Fortitude. It is unknown whether these represent all Honor Guards, or whether they are just one sub-group of a larger organization.


Ossoona is a special rank of Elites that are meant to be spies and are not suited for combat, instead meant for information gathering. It is a temporary rank only granted to those who have attained at least the rank of Major Domo. The reason being that a Minor's lack of experience could cause them to be very easily compromised (i.e. detected) or that they may outright abandon the mission in pursuit of personal glory. It is not given to Elites of higher rank because they are considered too valuable and would rather engage in combat. During the mission, the Ossoona's armor is equipped with Active Camouflage and recording equipment. One example of a Ossoona was an Elite named Isna 'Nosolee from the book Halo: The Flood. In Halo: CE, Ossoonas don’t have any shields. It is possible that the Elite seen in Another Day at the Beach is an Ossoona as he has an Energy Sword, and Active Camouflage.


The Ascetic Elites are a special group of Elites made to ensure stability and purity. The Ascetic armor has been made to inflict a psychological fear by the use of special elements in the armor, such as the two "tusks" protruding from the Helmet and bright, glowing orange eyes. They do not appear in the games apart from an armor permutation in Halo 3.


Commando is a rank of Elite that was first observed during the first Halo confrontation. It is a branch of the Special Warfare Group based upon pre-contact ground forces. Commando elites possess hardened communication gear and up-link capable equipment that an ordinary elite wouldn't have access to. Their armor is streamlined for better maneuverability in close encounters. The armor is lightweight and advanced internal equipment increase the overall effectiveness of an individual Elite making them more deadly. Armor colors are the midnight black.

Prison guards

Prison guards are only seen in Halo Wars: Genesis and appear to serve as the security in a Sangheili prison. One is seen to be knocked out easily by Ripa 'Moramee.

Special Operations Officer

Spec. Ops leaders of certain squads are the second highest Spec. Ops rank, and wear pitch black armor.

Weapons Master

Weapons Masters are Sangheili engineers who maintain and improve Equipment used by the Covenant.

Heretic Rank Structure

Sesa 'Refumee
Heretic Elite Major

Heretic Leader - Heretic Red/Thruster Pack: Sesa 'Refumee, the leader of the Heretics. The armor he wears is modified from standard combat harnesses, featuring body pieces with modified shapes and designs in shades of red, lack of helmet, and is upgraded with an Elite Ranger's thruster pack. This gave him a unique advantage in combat, but it was not enough for him to defeat the Arbiter, who slew him in the Battle of the Gas Mine. Prior to his death, he had come into contact with 343 Guilty Spark, who told him the true purpose of the Halo Rings. The Hierarchs sent the Arbiter to quell this heresy, and with Sesa 'Refumee's death, he did. 'Refumee is the only Heretic to dual-wield Plasma Rifles.

Heretic Elite Major - Heretic Gold: Work as commanders of the Heretic Grunts and Heretic Elite Minors. They wear gold-colored Heretic armor, and are equipped with Covenant Carbines and Sentinel Beams. A select few, closest to the Heretic Leader, wield Energy Swords. While not so skilled in the Energy Swords use as Elite Honor Guards, Councilors, Zealots or even Ultras, they are quite dangerous due to their crafty flanking maneuvering and teamwork with other Heretics.

Heretic Elite Minor - Heretic Brown: Group commanders of the Heretic Grunts. They wear brown Heretic armor, and wield Covenant Carbines, and occasionally, Sentinel Beams. They are excellent shots, far superior to normal Elite Minors. They are also skilled Banshee pilots, but fly in pairs, supplementing their effectiveness.

Sangheili Ranks
High Council Councilor
Temporary/Prominent OssoonaArbiter
Fleet Commander Fleet MasterSupreme CommanderImperial Admiral
Zealot Officers Field MasterShipmasterFleet MasterSupreme Commander
Special Operations Spec-OpsSpec-Ops OfficerSpec-Ops Commander of the Covenant
Honor Guard Sangheili Honor GuardsmanHonor Guard UltraLight of Sanghelios
Specialists StealthRangerAscetics
Regular AristocratMinorMajorUltra
Civilian KaidonOracle Master
Heretic Heretic Sangheili MinorHeretic Sangheili MajorHeretic Leader


Halopedia has a collection of quotes related to Sangheili on its quotes page.
  • The dialogue spoken by the Elites of Halo: Combat Evolved was made by reversing and slowing sound clips of Sergeant Johnson. "Wort! Wort! Wort!" is the reversed phrase, "Go! Go! Go!". With the IWHBYD Skull turned on in Halo 3, they will occasionally say their trademark, "Wort! Wort! Wort!"
  • Jason Jones at first wanted the Elites to have tails, but Shi Kai Wang talked him out of it by arguing that the Elites would look too animalistic, as opposed to being an intelligent race. An additional point was that when the Elites sit, the only place their tails could go was folded between their legs, creating a seriously awkward appearance.[26]
  • Sangheilian culture is comparable to that of the ancient Spartans of Humanity's past. Rank is achieved by success, and much of their lives revolve around war.
  • In the original concept for Halo 3, Elites were going to have the ability to dual wield Energy Swords. This feature was dropped from the final game.[verification needed]
  • The Elites' overall composition and anatomy is probably inspired by the Predator and Aliens movies. They share the Aliens' head profile and a similar hand structure as well as the Predator's mandible framework and warrior society.
  • In Halo: The Fall of Reach, an Elite is said to have green blood when it is clearly purple. [27]
  • They are, fittingly, the very first Covenant species the player encounters in the Halo games; when you make your way to the bridge of the Pillar of Autumn in Halo: Combat Evolved; the Trial of the Supreme Commander, in Halo 2; and in the opening cut scene of Halo 3. Both of the latter are filled by the Arbiter.
  • In the Halo 3: The Ultimate Guide magazine, the Elite Rangers were mistakenly called Jump Pack Jackals.
The difference in helmet details can clearly be seen between the two Minors and their commanding Zealot in this scene from Two Betrayals.
  • There has been a running inconsistency in the franchise regarding when humans first encountered the Elites. According to Halo: The Fall of Reach, Elites had not been deployed to combat against the UNSC prior to the Battle of Reach when John-117 encountered one above Reach. However, this has been abandoned in newer sources, most of which depict Elites being active in the field for most of the Human-Covenant War. Finally, the project page for Halo: Reach confirms that Elites have been observed in the field since the First Battle of Harvest in 2525.[28]
  • Shaking one's head in a snaking motion suggests that something "is okay." [29]
  • In Halo: Contact Harvest, the San 'Shyuum ordained the Sangheili to eradicate the Lekgolo race for "unauthorized contact" with Forerunner objects. At last, an Arbiter decided that they should "tame" the Lekgolo and forgive their sins.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Elites have two different types of helmet appearances. One is the classical shark-like helmet with the pointed cone at the peak of the helmet. The second is slightly different with a wide, crest-like curved upper piece on the helmet instead of the classical conical helmet.
  • Certain ranks of Elites, such as Ultra Elites, when wielding any weapon apart from an Energy Sword, will drop the weapon they are holding, let out a battle-cry and pull out their own Energy Sword and charge at the player if the player has lowered the Elite's shield.
  • In Halo 3: ODST, dead Sangheili bodies are seen laying on the ground. Some of these are red Elites in Assault armor and others are Elites in Combat armor without shoulder armor.

Voice Talents



  1. Halo Encyclopedia, pg. 124
  2. Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, page 189 - "Sangheili: the Elite name for their race".
  3. Bestiarum
  4. The Official Halo 2 Strategy Guide
  5. Halo 2 dialog - Prophet of Regret
  6. Conversations from the Universe
  7. Halo Wars: Genesis
  8. Halo Graphic Novel
  9. Halo: Contact Harvest Page 201
  10. Halo: Ghosts Of Onyx
  12. Contact Harvest
  13. Halo: The Cole Protocol
  14. Halo: The Cole Protocol, pg. 138
  15. Halo: The Cole Protocol Pg. 93
  16. Halo: The Cole Protocol, Pg. 89
  17. Halo: The Cole Protocol, Pg. 89
  18. Halo: The Cole Protocol
  19. Halo: The Flood, pg. 5
  20. Halo: Combat Evolved: Sybex Official Strategies & Secrets, page 48
  21. Halo Encyclopedia
  22. Bestiarum
  23. Halo: The Cole Protocol
  24. Bestiarum
  25. Halo: Contact Harvest
  26. The Art of Halo, page 23
  27. The Fall of Reach p. 327
  28. - Halo: Reach: Enemies - Elite
  29. Halo: The Cole Protocol, Pg. 145

Related Pages

This article uses material from the "Sangheili" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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