"A noble and ancient weapon, wielded by the strongest of Sangheili, requires great skill and bravery to use, and inspires fear in those who face its elegant plasma blade."
The Type-1 Energy Weapon/Sword, commonly known as the Energy Sword, is a close quarters weapon of the Twilight Covenant exclusively used by the Sangheili.
The Type-1 Energy Weapon/Sword consists of a curved hilt, which houses an energy storage and generation device, as well as the blade projector; that forms a blade of superheated plasma, stabilized by two small magnetic field generators built into the handle of the weapon — this forms and contains the oval shaped, ionized blades for which the weapon is recognized. The weapon is powered by a small battery that supplies power to the plasma generation device and magnetic field generators which generate and contain the plasma needed to form the blade. The battery's energy is reduced for each successful strike. Each strike from the sword will drain the battery by 10% of its maximum energy output. Once the battery power is fully depleted, the sword will deactivate unless recharged.
The Type-1 Energy Weapon contains a failsafe mechanism that can permanently disable the weapon if the Sangheili wielding it drops it. When dropped, the failsafe engages by deactivating the magnetic field before dispersing the plasma. The plasma then consumes the handle and thus destroys the weapon. The failsafe is included to prevent enemy infantry from acquiring the weapon and using it, and is yet another insight to Sangheili tactics.
The energy sword is the signature weapon of the Sangheili, and has been their weapon of nobility since its creation during one of their Ages of Discovery. Viewed as a holy weapon the Sangheili pride themselves on their skills with this weapon and believe that it is better for a Sangheili to fall on his sword as an act to redeem his honor or to die by it. The Sangheili are also very strict on who can be trained in the art of swordsmanship - only aristocrats are permitted to wield energy swords and sword wielders are no longer eligible for marriage, although it is not known how strictly this was enforced if at all. Fal 'Chavamee was a skilled swordsman and instructor, despite being married. Breeding with any female they choose is permitted, married or otherwise, to ensure successful transmission of "swordsman" genes. In service to the Covenant, Sangheili of a high or important rank are permitted to wield this weapon - lower ranks are not permitted to wield the sword because of its high status. In the Covenant, Sangheili Zealots, special operations units, and stealth troops, as well as Sangheili Honor Guardsman, are permitted to use energy swords.
Variations of the traditional Energy Sword exist within the Twilight Covenant, bearing different looks and stats. The Red-Plasma Energy Sword used by the Twilight Covenant's Vanguard, for instance, has twice the battery life of the standard Energy Sword and it utilizes an inovative recharge system, causing it to regain energy over time.
The Type-1 Energy Weapon is an extremely powerful and effective melee weapon in close quarters combat. A single strike can penetrate through the energy shield systems and into the armor and flesh of a SPARTAN or a Sangheili. This is thanks in part to the design of the weapon which utilizes ionized gas rather than traditional shaped, solid matter - because the Type-1 Energy Weapon lacks any solid material in which to hold, or impale anything, the sword does not cut or carve in the traditional sense, but rather boils anything it comes into contact with, this allows the weapon to pass though any type of material including the toughest metal with ease.
Injuries to living creatures by the Type-1 Energy Weapon can range from bad to gruesome. Stabs wounds by the Type-1 Energy Weapon are, in most cases, fatal — as the blade passes through the body, the innards of the body are burned and cauterized by the extreme temperatures produced by the blades. Body fluids in the area of the stab wound are flash vaporized upon contact — organs within the area of the stab wounds can suffer life threatening damage dependent upon the type of organ struck, effects of fluids trapped in organs or arteries in addition to the expansion of heat would cause ruptures or small explosions causing additional damage to the victim. Survival is minimal at best and in the case of non-vital organs being stabbed with the energy sword, proper medical treatment must be applied as soon as possible to ensure long term survival. Because of the swords sheer destructive power, dismemberment is another common form of fatality to victims, ranging from decapitation to bodies being sliced in half. Loss of limbs is a common injury, while not fatal, will permanently disable a victim.
The sheer destructive power of the sword makes it a weapon to be feared on any battlefield and it is known for its physiological affects on human soldiers.
The Type-1 Energy Weapon's main disadvantage is that it is purely a close-quarters weapon, any weapon outside of the effective range puts the wielder at risk. It is for this reason the Sangheili approach sword combat on the battlefield in two different ways, by funneling the enemy into close-quarters to allow them to strike, or to apply a form of stealth using both technology and technique. Without these, the Sangheili is vulnerable to attack by different types of weapons both Human and Covenant. Infantry with over-shielding are also more resistant when facing this weapon as it can take two strikes before the shield system fails.
The Type-1 Energy Weapon is also vulnerable to other magnetic fields, as they can block, disrupt, or possibly even alter the functionality of the sword. Two energy swords clashing together create a small disruption of energy as a result of the same type of magnetic fields clashing together, this clash has a slight area of effect damage that can affect the combatants.
Like most other Covenant weapons, the Type-1 Energy Weapon is battery powered, requiring the user to either recharge the weapon or discard it when the power is depleted. Although the handle can be used as a club, the Energy Sword's combat effectiveness at that point is minimal. The strength and lethality of the sword in the games are compensated for the sake of gameplay.
There are two ways a player in Halo 2, Halo 3 and Halo: Reach can attack, the first is to lunge with the energy sword. With this, the player lunges forward at the other player. However, this only works when the aiming reticule is lit red, indicating that the opposing player is within range. The second attack is the simple melee, this performs a quick underhanded or overhanded swipe.
- In Halo 2 the sword is extremely valuable against Elites in campaign. When facing sword-wielding Elites a sound tactic is to jump and lunge attack them. This will kill them quickly and save your shields or your life on higher difficulties.
- In both Halo 2 and Halo 3, the Energy Sword is one of the best anti-Flood weapons, as it will destroy Flood Combat and Pure Forms in one strike (although if an Combat Form|infected Elite still has its shield, it may take two swipes, depending on the difficulty setting).
- When fighting against the Flood, an attack with the Energy Sword will deplete the battery by a very small amount (about 3%) due to their soft tissue, making it useful for extended durations.
- The Energy Sword in Halo 2 and Halo 3 can be used to destroy the corpses of Flood Combat Forms so that they cannot be re-infected by Infection Forms. However, the cutting process does drain battery power. Although, any weapon's melee attack can be used to destroy combat form corpses if used enough times, even a depleted Energy Sword hilt.
- In Halo 3 the Energy Sword is very hard to come by in the campaign outside of Floodgate, Cortana, and Halo. The player can obtain an Energy Sword by betraying an Elite ally on The Covenant by sticking him with a grenade (if Mythic is turned on, the Elite can survive a Plasma Grenade and you can take his Energy Sword) or by draining Arbiter's shield during combat (this happens more frequently on higher difficulties). If you do, it is a very good weapon against Brutes, although the battery will deplete very quickly.
- In Halo: Reach the energy sword is a valuable weapon in campaign, ironically best used against it's former owners and friends. The sword is extremely useful on Long Night of Solace since it provides a quick kill against the various Elites station of the Ardent Prayer, Corvette, it's a one hit kill against all lower covenant species and is able to kill Minor Elites, Rangers and Spec-Ops Elites with one swipe and only takes Two swipes to kill Ultra Elites and all Zealot class Elites.
- The sword is easily one of the best close range weapons to use in Halo 2. The best tactic is to lay into an enemy player with your secondary weapon getting closer, then when within range perform a quick swipe with the sword for the finishing move. However since there is no way of telling which player has the sword, or no sound way to stop it, it has often been labeled as a cheap tactic.
- Using Active Camouflage with the sword in Halo 2 is not a wise thing to do as the sword in Halo 2 is still visible with it active. In Halo 3 however, using the sword with active camouflage is a sound tactic as it will now cover the sword when picked up.
- In Halo 3 the sword lunge is shorter, and the player cannot perform a quick strike. In addition, the sword's handle is now visible on the character's leg. In order for the sword to be most effective the player must lure a player into a trap where the sword will become effective; camping with the sword in a corner and waiting is the best way to use it to its fullest extent. As a special note, there is a range difference between the B button melee, and the right trigger lunge. The lunge has the maximum range, whilst the B button seems to only work at 1/2 to 3/4 the range. This is, most likely, for balancing, as the B button swings the sword at a much, much faster rate.
- If the enemy controls the sword room in the Halo 3 multiplayer map The Pit, stick to the outer wall. The range is just short of the wall and if you're lucky your opponent will lunge and miss, giving you the perfect opportunity to kill him or her.
- It is possible to dodge a lunge from the Energy Sword. To do this, one must move quickly to the right when facing the lunging opponent, towards the hand which does not hold the sword. Conversely, to prevent your target from dodging your lunge, simply jump; jumping reduces all chances of missing or being dodged by an opponent.
- In Halo 3, a new feature has been added so that players can parry their opponent's sword by meleeing or lunging at the same time. If you pull the right trigger right before the other person makes contact, a parrying electric clash is produced, but you do lose some or all of your shield. However, when you get down to no shields, a sword clash will not affect your health, though your screen will flash bright red. This is sometimes known as "Fencing", and can be a game, first to die loses, a useful tactic to use in sword-on-sword fight is, once you parry, melee with the sword. If you time it well enough the sword fight can last indefinitely.
- Jumping can make the Energy Sword much more fearsome, brutally effective and accurate. Jump and point your reticule down, waiting until it turns red to lunge at the opponent.
- In Halo 2 avoiding a sword lunge is extremely difficult, if timed correctly and with a bit of luck, side stepping in the direction of the enemy players free hand may save your life, however this is often difficult. In Halo 3 avoiding the sword lunge can be done by using either a Brute Shot or a Shotgun, there is still some difficulty in pulling it off, but the odds of killing an enemy player using the Sword is much greater than on Halo 2.
- An extremely useful tactic against another player wielding an Energy Sword is to, rather than hitting B twice for two quick melees, strike first with a melee, and then finish them on with the lunge. This tactic is much quicker with two melees, to compensate the blowback from the initial parry.
- In Halo: Reach, a player may block a sword lunge with any weapon they are carrying at the time, although they will lose drastic amounts of health. This is done by simply pressing default RB to melee the incoming attack and stop the attack with a well timed strike. Fast ambushes must be made to prevent enemy players from parrying your lunge.
- The Energy Sword is efficient when used in combination with the Sprint or Evade armor ability, and deadly with Active Camouflage.
- When playing as an Elite in Invasion matches, it is recommended that the player choose the Champion loadout with Active Camouflage, then pick up an Energy Sword from the ground.