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Out of all the enemies I have encountered in Halo 4, I'm finding knights the most difficult to handle. Playing the campaign on legendary makes the task of defeating knights even harder. When I encounter Knights I usually run out of ammo before I have killed all of them. So i'm assuming there must be a more efficient way of tackling knights?

What are the best tactics to use when confronted by multiple Knights?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

I've been playing Spartan Ops on Legendary recently, and I've found the Knights to be far more problematic than any other enemy. Even Fuel Rod Cannon-wielding Elites are no big deal by comparison.

Knight Prep

Ideally, you want to get a few things in order before you engage:

  • Weapons - I find that UNSC weaponry is less than effective against Knights. I will typically abandon an AR, especially, if I'm up against them. I will tend to try to get Covenant or Promethean weaponry if possible, although BRs and DMRs can make do in a pinch. Typically there are Promethean weapon racks near where you fight Knights, so be on the lookout. Sniper weapons are tough to use for me to use against Knights, since Knights tend to move fast and it's hard to keep an accurate shot lined up. This is a bit easier on Campaign than Spartan Ops - in Campaign their AI doesn't tend to jump around as much. Whatever your weapon of choice, make sure you've got a full magazine in both the weapons you're carrying.
  • Groups - Split groups of Knights up if you can. Trying to fight more than one is not at all worth the effort. Their AI is smart enough to retreat when they're injured, and when you try to give chase their buddies will take you out. Knights will sometimes teleport to close range to try and surprise you, and this can be a good tactic for splitting one off from the herd - stay at a distance, and harass them a bit, and when one teleports close to you, run away from the others. Try to continue drawing the "sucker" away from the pack.
  • Arena - Pick an area that's got fairly long lines of sight, since you have to keep the pressure on them, and they tend to teleport. Fighting in an area where they can teleport out of your line of sight for an extended period is going to make things take far too long, and you'll probably run out of ammo.

Knight Tiers

There are classes of Knights, although I don't know their names offhand. You can tell Knights apart by their "plumage" - the higher Knight tiers have more glowy orange crystal stuff jutting out of their shoulder areas.

The most dangerous by far are those who have an integrated binary rifle in their torso. Not only do they retain the close-combat damage of a Sword Elite, and a medium-range power weapon in their other hand, they've also got a long range sniper cannon. If you're solo'ing Legendary, these guys you cannot fight at a distance. If you see them charge their binary rifle, either run towards them so they stop using it and switch to some other gun, or dodge behind some cover. On Legendary, these guys hit with crazy accuracy, and it's usually a 1-hit kill. I tried jumping, juking, etc, and I would consistently die within 10 seconds of spawning if they fired this weapon.

Coming close second is the Incineration Cannon Knight. The Incineration Cannon is devastating in both short and medium range encounters, and on Legendary they have crazy aim. It does large amounts of splash damage, as well. There's no warning when they fire, so try to either rapid fire them with a sniper weapon, or close with a rocket launcher-type power weapon and off them quickly.

Against both of these top-tier Knights, use the most powerful weapon you have available. Don't be shy about obliterating them with a sniper rifle, binary rifle, incineration cannon, etc. These are the guys that will give you the most trouble in the least amount of time.

Knight Tactics

Note what weapons they've got and try to fight them at a distance where that weapon is at a disadvantage. For instance, many Knights have scattershot weapons, which makes them terrible at mid- and long- distance combat. Get a Carbine, BR, DMR, Light Rifle, etc for these guys.

If you can't consistently hit with your precision weapon (BR/DMR/Lightrifle/etc), plan to use both of your weapons before reloading - it's faster to switch to your off weapon than to reload your primary in most cases. Finding a good pair of weapons is therefore fairly critical. Especially on Legendary and against higher-tier Knights, plan to use your power weapon and then switch off to your precision mid-range weapon quickly, since it tends to take more than just one rocket/fuel rod/etc to down them.

The Knights have shields that you can take down, although they don't glow as brightly as the shields on Elites. Their shield is vulnerable to an overcharged plasma pistol shot (similar to Elites), so bear that in mind if you've got one.

Once the shields are down, it takes multiple shots to the head to bring a Knight down. They have "face armor" which you can sometimes see them drop. You have to pierce this first. If they retreat, their shields will recover, although if you've already blown off their "face armor" it will still be gone when you take their shields down on future encounters.

The other thing you can do is exploit their AI and the odd physics. For instance, when teleporting, typically a Knight is vulnerable. They can't move while rematerializing at their destination. This is a good time to lob a grenade, since you know they're going to be standing there for a second or so. Also, almost all of the enemies in the game have a slow, lazy jump animation that they can't break out of. If you get up on a little hill, they'll jump towards you, giving you sometimes 3-5 seconds worth of free shots.

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A lot of good points. For Legendary, I'd emphasize the use of shield dropping tactics like the Plasma Pistol, or the Promethean grenades. Rail gun + fast swap to BR/DMR/Light Rifle works well, when you have a rail gun. Also, for Spartan Ops, it really helps to have the "Dexterity" Support Package - for fast weapon swaps and reloads. – EBongo Dec 17 '12 at 21:35

The first step I take when facing Knights is to take out any Watchers that may be hovering around. They can deploy barriers to protect Knights when their shields go down, and can also resurrect dead knights.

I've tended to use the same tactics I've used against Elites to take down Knights. You have to be more careful than with elites because Knight melee is more formidable and many of them carry Scattershots. What's seemed to work pretty well for me is that: I'll pick one, and charge it while blasting off a full clip from and Assault Rifle or Suppressor. Generally the shields are down(or nearly down) by the time you get close, so I follow up with a melee hit or two. Alternatively, if I haven't landed enough shots to break their shields(or are too far away when the shield breaks), I swap to a Scattershot and give them one or two blasts. Then I retreat to recharge and reload. Accuracy and head shots are required. Missed shots can ruin the whole charge.

I've not had much luck using grenades against them. Mid range weapons like the DMR or Lightrifle haven't worked as well for me either. Once you land few hits, the Knights like to teleport. It gets too hard to track them and land any more shots before they reload. Occasionally they'll teleport right into your face and try to melee you. Sometimes this can work to your benefit by letting you melee back, but you have to be quick about it. If you're better at landing head shots with the mid range guns, this tactic may work better for you than me.

Heavy weapons work fine too if you can scrounge one. Though again, the Knight's teloporting can make it hard to land a second shot with a Beam or Binary Rifle while the knight's shields are down.

The thing that's worked best for me has been the Gravity Hammer, but, honestly, what doesn't that work well against?

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+1 on Keith's first point above. In my experience against Knights, the needler is second only to the Incineration Cannon for sure-thing kills. When I'm on a Spartan Ops episode where I know there will be lots of Knights (e.g. Switchback), I'm always on the lookout for needlers as my secondary weapon and I try to keep them at maximum capacity (you easily have enough to take out 3 Knights with a fully loaded needler). I also find that if I jetpack up a bit before pulling the trigger, the magnetic bullet effect is more consistent (though you don't want to go too high as you're basically a sitting duck if the needles don't track--especially if there are two or more Knights nearby since the buddy Knight will make you his damsel).

If the knight has been in one spot for a while, you might want to wait for him to teleport because he will tend to stay in that spot long enough for you to get him (whereas you'll waste your bullets if he teleports while you're trying to shoot him). And when he does teleport, watch your radar because they love to end up exactly behind you.

It's also good to team up on them. If one of you distracts the Knight, the other can often sneak up behind and assassinate him (and the only thing more satisfying than assassinating a knight is assassinating a watcher...did you know you could do that? Just jetpack straight at them and hold down the assassination don't have to be behind them).

To recap, a good battle plan is:

1) Take out all watchers first (in addition to resurrecting fallen knights, they also spawn those laser cannons and spawn-points for crawlers)

2) Use a needler!

3) Be on the lookout for the one with an Incineration Cannon and take him out, grab the cannon and you should be able to take out a minimum of 3 Knights--more if they're close together. And remember to stay back when using that gun because you will take yourself out with the rebounding blast.

4) Be on the lookout for a Knight that's distracted by your teammate, sneak up and assassinate him (like a boss).

Happy Knight pwning!

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Knights are a bullet sponge will teleport if their shields are low and they get the chance.

On Legendary I've found a couple of tactics that work:

  • Needler is surprisingly effective - if you use an entire clip that seems to do it when the needles explode.

  • The scatter-shot at close range does the trick on a single clip too. In fact I find this to be the most consistently successful, but only works when you're close enough for every pellet to hit.

  • If neither of those are available then pick a rapid fire weapon and leg at them while firing - keeping up the rate of fire stops them from teleporting.

  • At some point (usually when they first see you) they will open their carapace and release a watcher. During this they are vulnerable, but make sure that you immediately switch to kill the watcher or they'll be resurrected.

  • Run away. Lame, I know, but they have a low aggro range and rarely give chase. In areas where you have an objective (rather than kill everything to get the next door to open) you can just leg it round them.

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