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M68 Gauss Cannon: Misc



Up to date as of February 08, 2010

From Halopedia, the Halo Wiki

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M68 Gauss Cannon
Production information

UNSC or other Human supplier




Magnetic Accelerator Cannon

Technical specifications

~1.25m x ~0.30m x ~0.30m

Damage Per Hit

Very high or Lethal

Magazine Size

750 rounds[1] (unlimited in gameplay)

Maximum Ammunition


Fire Mode


Ammunition Type

25x130mm Shells



  • Close to the operation of a MAC cannon
Rate of Fire

1 round/sec






Current (2530s to 2550s)






The M68 Gauss Cannon is a weapon that fires hyper-velocity, high-density projectiles similar to those of a MAC gun, except on a much smaller scale. It can be mounted on a stationary stand, or on the rear of a vehicle.



This weapon uses an Asynchronous Linear-Induction Motor to produce a bipolar magnetic field capable of launching a 25mm x 130 projectile at hyper-sonic velocities[2][3]. The great velocity of the projectile is the key to the stopping power and performance of the Gauss cannon, giving it exceptional armor penetration. As such, it is a commonly used anti-vehicle weapon of the UNSC Marine Corps. However, the M68 can also be used to eliminate Covenant infantry units with reasonable effectiveness.

It is very powerful and very useful against vehicles. However, it is not as effective against infantry as the M41 LAAG. This is because there is little splash damage and it has a slower rate of fire, but a direct hit will kill most enemies in one shot, or two, if the target has an overshield. Due to its power and reasonable rate of fire it is a good weapon against Wraiths and many other vehicles. Its intended usage is similar to that of the 102mm SC-HE Rocket Turret.

Though thought to be similar to the 16 MJ LRG Rail Gun, the primary armament of the Cobra artillery vehicle seen in Halo Wars, the Gauss cannon actually functions on a completely different principle. A rail gun simply uses an electrical current to force a magnetic projectile along using the principle of same-pole repulsion; a more complex coilgun, or Gauss gun as it is known in Halo, uses multiple coils to accelerate the projectile through the weapon.



The M68 is an extremely accurate weapon, useful against most enemies. Devastating against light vehicles, it can take out a Ghost or a Banshee in one or two shots, and it's rather effective against Wraiths as well. Very deadly if used against infantry too, however users should aim at the most dangerous units like Elites, Brutes and Hunters in order to exploit the weapon's power at 100%.


The M68 has few disadvantages, mainly the weapon's slow fire rate. It is also quite difficult to use at long ranges, especially when shooting at moving targets.


  • The M68 is an excellent anti-vehicle weapon. It will get rid of enemy light armor rather quickly.
  • While not as effective against entire squads, it remains good against single infantry units.
  • Outstanding against Scarabs in Halo 3, since the Warthog on which the weapon is mounted is a smaller, faster target for it to hit.


In Halo 2, the M12G1 LAAV variant of the Warthog replaces the M12A1 LAAV version of the Warthog, which was featured in Halo PC. The M12A1 LAAV became problematic due to the prodigious reload time necessary for the launchers, and the slow speed of the rockets themselves, although it did not appear in the campaign. A stationary version of the M68 (one of which triggers the flashback level Kizingo Boulevard) appears in Halo 3: ODST.


  • While operating on a similar principle to the M99 SASR, the shells for the M68 appear to be designed to cause hypervelocity collisions, where the target and slug get almost entirely vaporized on impact. This is probably intended to reduce over-penetration.
  • During the Halo 2 demo trailer, the Gauss fired at a fairly rapid speed. Later, in an early beta multiplayer phase the M68 seemed to be slowed down and also seemed to have lost all its hype. It was later revamped with its original rate of fire during the game's final stages.
  • In Halo 3, the slug in mid-flight is blue with a blue tail, making it look like Covenant weapon's fire at first glance. This 'blue light' is most likely the slug heating the air around it to super heated levels due to friction with the atmosphere.
  • The Halo 3 version of the Gauss Cannon is a bit weaker and has a slower rate of fire. This came in to balance, since Halo 2 Gauss Cannon was allegedly too powerful in-game, though it is still devastating in combat.
  • Ferrex said in a thread, "While the Warthog Gauss rifle is modeled as a magnetic acceleration cannon, the sound and effects are actually those of a railgun, which operates on a different principle. However, the sound and effects were so cool that we couldn't not use them."



  1. Halo Encyclopedia, page 307
  2. Halo 2 Game Manual, Page 12
  3. The Art of Halo 3, Page 57

This article uses material from the "M68 Gauss Cannon" article on the Halo wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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