The roster of alien bad guys featured in the Halo universe ranges from ancient murder robots to evil meat mushrooms, but the original cavalcade of interstellar enemies-of-humankind is the Covenant. And though we might think them beaten and conquered, we still don't know exactly what Halo Infinite has in store for us, so it might be a good idea to review the specifics. Essentially, as a league of fanatical alien zealots, the Covenant is composed of several different alien races united under a pseudo-religious doctrine that seeks to bring about the end of all sentient life in the universe, albeit unwittingly.
Each of these alien species is fascinatingly unique (and sometimes horrible) in their own way, and extremely varied in their degrees of usefulness to the Covenant's agenda. If you've ever wondered which ones are the toughest and what makes them tick, then you're in the right place. Keep scrolling to join Game Rant as we check out each of the Covenant's client species and rank them "Warthog fodder" to "we're gonna need a bigger tank."
8 Grunts (Unggoy)
The diminutive Unggoy is the very first Covenant race that most Halo players ever encountered. They're short, angry, and kind of hilarious, but they're a lot less than intimidating for an armored Spartan super soldier with a bad case of the Mondays.
On the average, small groups of Unggoy are practically ignorable, being poorly disciplined, clumsy, and seemingly combat-inept. But underestimation is their hidden strength. In numbers and under the leadership of the militaristic Elites they can be made tactically effective, and they're capable of operating heavy weaponry such as the Fuel Rod Cannon.
7 Drones (Yanme'e)
Drones are essentially just winged insects, which might at first seem to put them on the lowest rung of the totem pole. But their flight capabilities and tendency to be deployed in massive swarms definitely evens up the odds when comparing them to other Covenant species, though only by the thinnest margin possible.
Their combat mobility can make it difficult for a conventional marksman to land a shot, and their overwhelming numbers combined with their hive-mind mentality will result in withering fusillades of molten plasma when on the attack and left unchecked.
6 Jackals (Kig-Yar)
As anyone that's attempted a Legendary run through Halo 2 is well aware, Jackals are the worst, and not just due to their deadly and unerring accuracy with the ludicrously overpowered Covenant beam rifle. These lanky, ugly little creatures are spiteful and permanently itching for new ways to express it, preferably with an uncannily well-placed shot to a human skull. Or any skull, really. Unsurprisingly, they don't tend to get along well with other species.
When they're not stealthily sniping holes through anything they can lay their uncomfortably bulged eyes on, they're equipped with bulletproof defensive shields for maximum frustration. Thankfully, they're not at all durable, and will crumple under a stiff breeze.
5 Engineers (Huragok)
The Huragoks' merit as a "species" can be contested, as they're more Forerunner fabrications than they are organic lifeforms. But they definitely do look the part, and despite their complete lack of direct combat capabilities, their usefulness to the Covenant borderlines on indispensable.
The Huragok are technological virtuosos. They can interface with any computer system, whether based on human, Covenant, or Forerunner technology, and are innately able to repair any mechanical structure, vehicle, or implement that they come into contact with, hence their designation as "Engineers," and explaining their role in the Covenant war machine. They might not be "powerful" in the conventional sense, but their capabilities are extraordinary enough to warrant their placement.
4 Hunters (Mgalekgolo)
Hunters are among the strongest and most interesting creatures with the Covenant's roster. Rather than a singular, comprehensive entity, each Hunter is actually made up of dozens of individual 'Lekgolo,' small, serpentine creatures that bond together to form a hive functioning as one. Slap some armor plating on the thing and attach what is essentially a souped-up Fuel Rod cannon to it, and whoever it comes across is going to have a real bad day.
Then, of course, you have to consider the fact that these hulking behemoths prefer to work in pairs. They're tough and they pack enough firepower to make a Spartan sweat in his presumably air-conditioned armor. However, they all possess one crucial weakness that definitely drags them down in the rankings. There are myriad gaps in their armor that expose their incredibly vulnerable innards, so vulnerable in fact that a single, well-placed shot is capable of putting them down for good.
3 Brutes (Jiralhanae)
The Brutes are every bit deserving of their name, because if they are to be described as anything, it's brutal. Visually resembling a half-way point between a canine and an ape, their imposing physicality is every bit as intimidating as the barbaric weaponry they employ. Speaking of which, they like to lug around big, bladed grenade launchers, and those nasty Gravity Hammers that everyone seems to be so crazy about.
But even without their signature weapons, the Brutes are more than capable of tearing apart just about anything with their bare hands. However, their willingness to do so is a big problem for them. Brutes have a bad temper, and when cornered, will forgo any tactical sense, throwing down their arms and simply charging in to melee combat. This primal flaw is easily exploited, and prevents these otherwise deadly combatants from taking the top spot.
2 Elites (Sangheili)
The Sangeili are, or were, depending on where you're at in the timeline, the backbone of the Covenant's military forces, and for more than a few good reasons. These honor-bound warriors wield Covenant technology with deadly proficiency, entering battle equipped with a vast array of tactically selected weaponry and energy shields that are more or less equivalent to those employed by Spartan MJOLNIR armor.
Where the Brutes rely on... well, brute strength, the Elites temper their might with tactical cunning and battlefield ingenuity, making them the more deadly adversary when placed on even footing with their rivals. They vary in rank and prowess, but the truly 'elite' among the Elites are extraordinarily lethal, and best fought with caution as well as brawn.
1 Prophets (San'Shyuum)
The Prophets aren't physically imposing in the least. They're visibly frail, if not outright decrepit, but their might isn't at all physical. After all, they're essentially the ruling caste of the Covenant, and managing to keep their motley assortment of various warriors in line should speak volumes on what a woeful mistake underestimating them would be.
Even 343 Guilty Spark regards them as masterful manipulators, which is precisely their core strength. They possess the innate gift of being able to get the other, more martially capable races to do their fighting for them, which essentially means their strength is the sum of the entire Covenant's. That said, they aren't without recourse in combat, generally commanding the finest and deadliest technologies within the Covenant's arsenal.