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Fuel Rod Gun: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010
(Redirected to Type-33 Light Anti-Armor Weapon article)

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Looking for the closely related Covenant vehicle weapon, Fuel Rod Cannon or for the Assault Cannon used by Hunters?
Fuel Rod Gun
Production information

Type-33 Light Anti-Armor Weapon



Technical specifications


  • Length (o/a): 130.2 centimetres (51.3 in)
  • Length (barrel): 73.66 centimetres (29.00 in)
  • Weight (empty): 20.8 kilograms (46 lb)
  • Weight (loaded): 23.3 kilograms (51 lb)
Damage Per Hit

Very High

Magazine Size
  • Halo: Combat Evolved: Single Battery
  • Halo 2 & Halo 3: 5 round "magazine"
Maximum Ammunition
  • Halo: Combat Evolved: 100 battery units (28 bolts)
  • Halo 2 & Halo 3: 30 Fuel Rods (6 clips)
Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

38mm explosive ballistic projectiles

Rate of Fire

Average (2 rounds per second)

Muzzle Velocity

72 metres per second (160 mph)





  • 165 metres (540 ft)


"Those things are scary as hell. Ya hear that weird “whump” sound and even if ya see it comin' you're transfixed—these big green blobs flying at you throwin’ off sparks!"
—Anonymous Serviceman

The Type-33 Light Anti-Armor Weapon, more commonly known as the Fuel Rod Gun, is a Covenant shoulder-mounted mortar weapon.


Design Details

A Halo 2 era Fuel Rod Gun.

The Fuel Rod Gun is a man-portable version of the Covenant Fuel Rod Cannon that is mounted on their vehicles - it is a support weapon that is commonly employed in both anti-personnel and anti-vehicle roles. It appears to be recoil-operated - and fires 3.8cm explosive ballistic incendiary gel projectiles, that travel to the target in a parabolic arc. This weapon has changed very little since it was first encountered by human forces in 2531.

The design of the Fuel Rod Gun is very unique, more akin to a large ornament then a deadly weapon; the barrel of the weapon is long and black covered by thick gold plates that make up the body of the weapon; the ammunition is loaded on the top aft section of the Fuel Rod Gun, and can hold 5 ballistic projectiles, which seem to be held together by straps, before needing to be reloaded. Because of the weapon’s visibility it is just as effective as a psychological weapon, it is often the case that soldiers will ignore closer, more obvious targets in order to eliminate a Type-33 and its operator.

The Fuel Rod Gun is unique in the way it operates, its ammunition is placed one on top of the other to form a "magazine" and then is loaded into the weapon; it is unknown what exactly holds the rods together. When the large "trigger" is pulled the weapon ejects the projectile at high speeds. It may be assumed that the instant the projectile leaves the barrel of the weapon, the large flash associated with firing the Fuel Rod Gun, destroys the caps that are on each end of the fuel rod projectile. The rods are equipped with an activation delay that protects the wielder from explosions caused by carelessly firing fuel rods into nearby objects, however a Fuel Rod will detonate if they are fired into enemies at point-blank range. The Fuel Rod Gun is used by most Covenant infantry, Grunts are usually seen carrying Fuel Rod Guns the most, but higher ranking Elites and Brutes are seen wielding them. The Fuel Rod Gun is extremely powerful, and as such the Covenant went to great lengths to ensure it does not fall into enemy hands - the Fuel Rod Gun was equipped with a failsafe that activates under certain conditions, either by the user dropping the weapon without first engaging a safety, or if the weapon runs out of ammunition and is not reloaded after a certain amount of time.[1] In 2552 the failsafe was removed preventing the weapon from being destroyed in any scenario. [2]



The Covenant Fuel Rod Gun fires an unknown type of incendiary gel. Next to nothing is known about this type of ammunition except that when it strikes a target it does so with devastating results. When the Fuel Rod impacts an area, or target, it is instantly subjected to temperatures as hot as standard plasma weapons. The Fuel Rod Gun, Like the Assault Cannon shoots the same type of incendiary gel. Unlike the Assault Cannon it shoots canisters of the gel approximately 3.8cm long instead of shooting globs or concentrating its energy into a beam.


The Fuel Rod Gun is an extremely devastating weapon in the hands of a skilled infantry unit. The destructive power of the Fuel Rod Gun is so effective that Human forces focus all of their attention on infantry wielding the Fuel Rod Gun. For good tactical reasons, one strike from a Fuel Rod will instantly kill any light, or non armored flesh based target and blow them into charred bits of flesh and bone. Infantry outside of the initial blast zone, will be affected by the concussive force of the impact which is strong enough to send them flying. Against light armored vehicles the Fuel Rod Gun is extremely effective, instantly reducing the vehicle into large chunks of molten steel.The gun also takes less time to reload than the Rocket launcher and has a larger magazine. In the context of the Halo games, the Fuel Rods' strength and lethality, are compensated for both the sake of ESRB rating, and gameplay.


Rods from the Fuel Rod Gun have a smaller explosive radius than the Human's Rocket Launcher. In addition, the Fuel Rods will arc once in flight and lose their accuracy over long distances. The large size of the weapon obscures the wielder's peripheral vision, and its heavy weight reduces the speed of weaker infantry holding it. The bright color of the weapon makes the wielder easy to spot, even when the weapon is backpacked; The green flash that occurs when the weapon is fired, can also give away the users position. The Fuel Rod Guns before 2552 are equipped with a failsafe feature; and if the user is careless, can unknowingly activate the fail-safe and kill themselves. The Fuel Rods are also extremely slow in flight (in Halo 3:ODST, the Fuel Rods can take up to 5-6 seconds to travel 100 m). Because of this, Fuel Rods are particularly weak against most Reconnaissance vehicles and fast aircraft (Ghosts, Warthogs, Banshees, Brute Choppers, Mongooses, etc.). This is because the intended target will easily dodge the Fuel Rod. It also lacks the lock-on and destructive capabilities of the Halo 2 Rocket Launcher or Halo 3 Missile Pod. Also, in Halo 3, the Fuel Rods usually bounce off the ground, missing their intended targets, unless it is a direct hit or you are directly facing the surface, such as walls and even the Scarab's exterior, although very rarely would it ricochet off of vehicles, and obviously, infantry.


Main article: Assault Cannon

Hunters also brandish a variant of the Fuel Rod Gun. The Assault Cannon, operates differently then the standard fuel rod weapon. The Assault Cannons main difference that it is a select fire mode weapon - capable of firing either fuel rod mortars, or using the rod to generate a superheated beam. The Assault Cannon is integrated into the Hunters armor and cannot be removed; as such it is unusable in any of the Halo games.


The player is unable to pick up the Fuel Rod Gun in the Xbox version of Halo: Combat Evolved. The PC and Mac version of Halo: CE allow you to use the Fuel Rod Gun in Multiplayer. In Halo PC it is a battery operated weapon, and can fire a total of 28 rounds, 5 rounds each before overheating, from its 100 battery unit charge. The Fuel Rod Gun's metal plating is purple with a gray barrel.

Changes from Halo: Combat Evolved to Halo 2

  • The Fuel Rod Gun has been redesigned and now has a gold coloring to it instead of a purple coloring.
  • The Fuel Rod Gun now fires 5 Fuel Rods from a magazine, rather than a battery.
  • It no longer arcs as much requiring less aim predicting.
  • The sound effects have been updated - sounding less like a powerful cannon, and more like light silent mortar weapon.
  • The player is now able to wield the Fuel Rod Gun in Campaign, however it is not available in Multiplayer.

Changes from Halo 2 to Halo 3

  • The textures of the Fuel Rod Gun have been updated, while keeping the Halo 2 design.
  • The blasts have been weakened to 65% of their previous strength, to compensate for the cannon's large number of rounds per clip.
  • The color of the shots have changed to darker green.
  • Projectiles are affected by gravity at a much higher degree.
  • Projectiles now need time to ignite after being fired from the cannon. Failure to give the rounds proper distance will result in a ricochet if a non-enemy surface is struck at an angle.
  • The sound effects have once again been updated to give the Fuel Rod Gun a heavier sound.


The Fuel Rod Gun is best used against armor at medium range and against enemy positions and gun emplacements at long range.


  • The Fuel Rod Gun in Halo 2 generally is rarely seen, so you will not be able to use it often, except on the Arbiter level where a lot of Heretic Grunts use it against you when you are flying in a banshee.
  • In Halo 3, the Fuel Rod Gun appears far more frequently. The best thing to do with it is to give it to a Marine, who then rides in the passenger seat of your vehicle. It is very useful against enemy heavy armor and gun emplacements, but it is not effective against light armor and infantry.


  • In Halo PC, the Fuel Rod Gun is best used as a mortar to bombard the enemy base. It has an advantage of being able to hit enemies that are in cover and over hills, a feature otherwise only possible through the use of grenades. If the wielder uses it against vehicles, correct lead is essential. In Halo 2, the Fuel Rod Gun does not appear in multiplayer, nor does in Halo 3 - however, it can be added through Forge.
  • Being an effective suppression weapon, one tactic in multiplayer Capture the Flag is to bombard the enemy base from afar with a Fuel Rod Gun. Furthermore, the gunner can fire from a position obscured from enemy view, owing to the indirect-fire properties of the Fuel Rod Gun. Since the view of the targeted area is mutually obscured from the gunner's position (due to having to compensate for the arc and having to aim high), such is unlikely to kill a player, but it is intended to at least deal cover fire for an assault on the flag, and most likely to inflict damage on the flag carrier. If multiple players carrying fuel rod guns bombarding a base with the aforementioned technique, it is quite devastating. Note that the Fuel Rod Gun's splash damage is similar to the ones of a Rocket Launcher. If fired at very close range, the projectile will most likely to harm the player slightly.

UNSC Remarks

  • “Those things are scary as hell. Ya hear that weird “whump” sound and even if ya see it comin' you're transfixed—these big green blobs flying at you throwin’ off sparks!”
  • “It’s so weird. I don’t know who first called it a Fuel Rod Gun, but it’s kinda funny. I suppose the projectile is reminiscent of how you might expect to see a nuclear fuel rod depicted in a gee eh cartoon—all glowing green and throwing off sparks.”
  • “They’re pretty tricky to handle—first off you gotta get over the fact that there is this glowing, green explosive whatever right next to your head; and it’s not like you can requisition any more ammo for the damn thing—but you can lay down a whole lotta hurt in a very short amount of time I’ll tell you that.”
  • “The Type-33s have more in common with the ballistic weapon on the Banshee than it does with the weapon that the Hunters carry around—well, not carry around, but you know what I mean.”
  • “I catch a glimpse of green out of the corner of my eye and then there’s this huge “whoomf” and the ‘Hog goes end over end burning with Gaz still at the wheel. I was riding shotty with the em forty-one so I just unlatched and pushed off when we started going up into the air and there went the ‘Hog and Gaz and all our gear cart-wheeling into the ravine.”
  • “No sooner had I put the Grunt down than Fisk has got a hold of that bad boy and dumps the whole clip into the column—stickies and everything just cooking off—secondaries like mad! Fisk was a crazy bastard he was—wish he was still with us.”


  • The Fuel Rod Gun's design in Halo 2 is very similar to the ones shown in Pre Xbox Halo.
  • The Fuel Rod Gun is the only weapon in the trilogy which has a separate animation and timer when throwing a grenade; there is approximately a 0.5 second longer delay before you throw the grenade.
  • When you give a Fuel Rod Gun to a Marine, their animation is the same as if they were holding a Rocket Launcher. If you look closely, their left hand is at an angle, just like holding a Rocket Launcher.
  • In Halo 2, Grunts react very erratically upon receiving Fuel Rod Guns. When they perform their animation, one arm extends through the weapon.
  • In Halo PC Multiplayer, the weapon's barrel will retract into the weapon when fired. Whether this is the firing mechanism or a recoil compensator is unknown, but the weapon has very little recoil on the hands of the Spartan, supporting the latter.
  • There is a discrepancy about how much the weapon actually weighs. In Halo: First Strike, Corporal Locklear had difficulty lifting the gun when he attempted to shoulder it. However, Grunts seem to have no problem hefting the gun around in Halo: Combat Evolved, so whether the situation is between the gun's weight or a comparison of Grunts' and Marines' strengths is unknown. It is strongly believed however, that Grunts are in fact stronger than their size lets on. Also, the model of the Fuel Rod Gun used in Halo: CE and First Strike might have been heavier than the most recent variants, or Locklear never expected the thing to be so heavy.
  • In Halo: Combat Evolved, the Fuel Rod Gun in the game code is referred as the Plasma Cannon.
  • The Fuel Rod Gun was originally meant to be a Grenade Launcher. But it was changed to a Covenant rocket launcher. It can viewed on this video.
  • The Arbiter has the most fuel rod guns in it of any Halo game. There are dozens of grunts wielding it in the Banshee portion of the level.
  • The Halo 3 mission, The Covenant, has by far the most Fuel Rod Guns in Halo 3. The War Chieftain wields a Fuel Rod Gun at the start; another War Chieftain at the third tower; a Brute Captain protecting the first Deployable Lookout Tower; another protecting the next one; another protecting the third one; another protecting the final one; two War Chieftains on each Scarab; and finally, two to six fuel-rod grunts(depending on difficulty) in the citadel.



  1. Halo: First Strike, Chapter 20, Page 187
  2. Type-33 LAAW Article

This article uses material from the "Type-33 Light Anti-Armor Weapon" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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