For eons, the Covenant has dominated the denizens and planets of the outer galaxy, either conscripting those that will join their faith or crushing those that would challenge their beliefs. With every conquest came improved technology and understanding, further strengthening the Covenant's indisputable grasp over power. A conglomerate of various species, each more exotic than the next, the Covenant has developed a unique class system in which various races are organized by their fighting abilities and mental capacities. This system of organization has allowed the Covenant to exist without the strife induced by civil war and internal dispute, giving its leadership time to coordinate the development of the regime without distraction. For it is this leadership, and the gods they worship, that has ultimately united these various species, despite their radical differences, towards a common goal: Conquest.
It is this thirst for expansion that has led the Covenant to Earth. Inspired by the zeal of their leadership and faithful to their gods, the Covenant see Humanity as the last remaining defiance to their beliefs. To the Covenant leadership, this pitiful race of bipeds are an insult to their faith simply in their existence and, by the will of the gods, deserve destruction without mercy. The command of the gods is never to be questioned, and as Covenant warships bombard on last remnants of Earth, it appears as though this task is nearly complete...
Often regarded as being the lower-class members of the Covenant, the species often referred to as "Grunts" has been reduced to basic cannon fodder. Small in stature and limited in terms of mobility, the Grunt is typically used to form the bulk of the Covenant forces. While a single Grunt may not look as impressive as other members of the Covenant, hoards of thousands provide the necessary firepower and protection ground forces need to successfully engage in and occupy enemy territory. Realizing the potential of a species capable of quickly reproducing, Covenant commanders have often used Grunts en masse to overwhelm enemies and force a surrender. Due to the expendable nature of Grunts, they are often found wearing light armor and a rebreather rather than the heavier, more advanced armor found on more valuable soldiers. The same philosophy applies to Grunt weaponry, which normally only consists of plasma grenades, plasma pistols, or needlers.
A relatively unknown insect-like species, referred to by Human marines as "Drones", have up until recently been absent from most major conflicts. Due to the vulnerability of Humans to aerial assault, Drones are used primarily as a tool of harassment and are particularly useful in urban conflicts.
However, armor and other protective elements are virtually non-existent on Drones to keep weight to a minimum. Instead, Drones are outfitted with a lightweight- and therefore vulnerable -plating that covers only their forearms, head, and feet. Wielding only a small plasma pistol, the Drone is considered equal if not inferior to even Grunts, placing it at the bottom of the Covenant hierarchy.
A private and secretive species, the Jackal has generally come to be known amongst members of the Covenant as trackers, or scouts. With an elevated sense of smell and accurate vision, Jackals are ideal for hunting down the enemy or quietly dispatching foes. Although close in size to the Grunt, fate has been kind to the Jackals in that they are much more adept at combat than their less-respected comrades. Easily recognizable by their bird-like features, Jackals are typically found fighting alongside one another on the Covenant front lines, providing a near-impenetrable shield of protection for those behind them. Biologically enhanced dexterity and coordination have permitted the Jackals to simultaneously wield both a weapon and a shield. The portable energy field, equipped with the same technology used throughout Covenant defenses, are designed to absorb the energy of incoming shots and regenerate if necessary. This shielding, combined with the adaptable properties of the plasma pistol, have allowed the Jackal to excel in combat.
On occasion, Jackals may be deployed as snipers - wielding the beam rifle. With the high-powered energy sniper rifle, the Jackals become extremely accurate, and should be watched out for during open combat.
As their name implies, Elites are known throughout the Covenant as the faction's ultimate warrior. Superior in terms of speed, agility, strength, intelligence, and stamina, the Elite is known to fearlessly lead the soldiers under him into battle. Standing at a towering height over the battlefield, the Elite is an impressive site of hulking muscle and fierce brutality. Arranged by class according to skills, Elite armor colors vary depending on their role of the individual within the Covenant forces. Excellent at using nearly any type of weaponry, from plasma rifles to energy swords, the Elite is also a more than capable warrior in hand-to-hand combat, often weakening an enemy with gunfire before delivering a final blow. Furthermore, they are widely known for their superb ability to command troops in battle, and as a result many soldiers within the Covenant ranks turn towards these Elites for inspiration and leadership in times of combat.
Not often utilized by the Covenant due to their unpredictable nature, Brutes are unmatched by other soldiers in terms of ferocity and strength. Ape-like in appearance, Brutes are most effective at tearing apart otherwise impenetrable enemy defenses and striking fear into the hearts of those that would stand in their way. Paying little heed to the damage they inflict on friendly soldiers, the Brute is known to charge into battle against impossible odds with no awareness of self-preservation or pain. When enraged, a Brute becomes unconcerned with everything except the thrill of battle and the blood of the enemy, and as a result the Covenant commanders have rarely made use of these warriors. The danger to friendly soldiers is simply becomes too great, and the chances of a frenzied Brute responding to the orders of a field commander are minimal. However, this sheer thirst for battle has not kept the Covenant from deploying these warriors in the past, and Earth will be no different...
Massive hulks of strength and power, Hunters have always been an essential member of any successful military taskforce. Lumbering towers of armor and firepower, the Hunter is a nearly invincible warrior capable of reigning devastating weaponry upon the enemy. Unfortunately, the Hunter is not as mobile as some of its soldier comrades, and as a result gaps in the armor have been removed so as to allow better flexibility of its joints. While this leaves areas of the body open to attack, a large reinforced shield compensates by allowing the Hunter to position its defenses in areas armor could not reach. It also provides protection for the large plasma cannon implanted within its arm, ensuring a continuous field of protection between firing shots. However, the weight of the Hunters armor and weaponry has severely affected its ability to rapidly move in the battlefield, and to compensate for its limited mobility in the field, the role of the Hunter has changed from a front-line trooper to that of a mobile siege cannon.
Within the Covenant, spirituality and faith is the driving force that has motivated and allowed the group to become the indisputable superpower it is today. Religion, however, requires an individual to spread these beliefs, and in no place is more trust placed than on the Prophet. Both mysterious and mystical in nature, the Prophets are of frail body and are unable to participate in battle as might be expected of a member of the Covenant. However, due to their ability to foresee events and aid in Covenant deployments, the Prophet has become one of the most respected icons within the Covenant regime despite their inability to fight. It is believed that they are responsible for the war now fought against the defiant Humans, and is expected by the leadership that they will once again lead the Covenant to victory...
EngineersNot seen in game
In a regime such as the Covenant, where battle and honor are rewarded above all else, the role of an Engineer is a tedious and unappreciated one. With limited combat capabilities, the role of an Engineer is a dishonorable one within the Covenant, although a very necessary one. Charged with repairing, maintaining, and constructing new materials for the Covenant armada, the Engineer is, despite its image amongst the warrior classes, the backbone of the Covenant itself. Without their unique ability to quickly repair machinery and superb assembly skills, the Covenant armada would never have grown to be the indisputable superpower it is today.