The Jiralhanae, referred by humans as Brutes, are a large, bipedal, ape-like client species of the Covenant.

Overview and Background

Brutes are a physically imposing species of simian origin, resembling a large gorilla with ursine, rhinoceros and alien features. They possess a thick skin covered with matted fur-like hair and a large, stocky appearance as a result of the increased gravity on their home planet compared to Earth. The colour of Brutes skin and hair is indicative of their age, where younger Brutes are notable for having a wider variety of skin and hair colours. Skin colours include various shades of tans, browns and reds, while hair typically comes in black, brown, dark red, and blonde. As they age, the skin becomes increasingly lighter and grayer, while the hair changes to a grayish-silver color; a sign of respect within Brute culture.

The Brutes are viewed with contempt by the Elites, and have been deliberately put at a tactical and social disadvantage within the Covenant military. However, this has been changing as the Prophets have commanded the Brutes be given as many opportunities in the military as other species. The Prophets have justified this as every member of the Covenant deserves the right to earn their right to partake in the Great Journey, but it is really a guise to embed the Brutes within Elite held ships, in the event one day control of the military needs to be siezed from the Elites.

The Elites do not welcome the brutes being forced upon their military operations, and thus so Brutes are always issued with inferior/outdated weaponry and are typically used as reserve troops or cannon fodder. They are rarely given modern weapons, and are often found using outdated plasma rifle and needler technology, as well as one of the species more traditional weapons from before they joined the Covenant, the Brute Shot. However, they can be found wielding particle carbines and focus rifles in some situations. They also have a fondness for human weaponry under certain circumstances, all will use the opportunity to do so.


Rank Structure, Weaponry and Equipment


Image Description
Chieftain Clad in golden Power Armour and adorning an elaborate spiked headdress, War Chieftains are oldest and most experienced of Brute combatants. Chieftains often chose to use the Hunter arm cannons.
Brute Commander Brute Commanders are decorated veterans that can be identified by their white Power Armour and their cyclops-like helmet with a bright red light emitting from the "eye."  Commander's power armour is similar to that of a Elite minor's shields, but recharges at twice the rate. However, once depleted it breaks off and the shield can not be recharged. They are most commonly seen armed with Brute Shots and Brute Piercers, but are also seen carrying Shredders, Brute Plasma Rifles and Focus Rifles.
Brute Leader Brute Leaders are experienced warriors that can be identified by their red armour and by their more resilient, horned helmets of the same colour. Leaders are typically directing lesser troops in combat and maintaining order within their assigned pack. They are commonly armed with Shredders, Brute Plasma Rifles and Brute Shots, but are sometimes seen equipped with Focus Rifles.
Brute Follower Followers are the lowest rank of Brute infantry, and can be identified by their blue armour pieces and their basic helmets of the same colour. Followers are normally encountered as part of a larger Brute pack alongside other Brutes, compensating their lack of tactical skill with strength in numbers. However, on occasion they can be found leading smaller groups of Covenant. Followers are mostly made up of younger Brutes, evident by their wider variety in skin and hair colours among troops. They are most commonly seen carrying Shredders and Brute Plasma Rifles, but will occasionally be seen armed with Particle Carbines. When leading groups Covenant, they will almost always be carying Brute Shots.

Gameplay Information


Despite the majority of Brutes lacking any sort of armour or shielding, it is more than made up for by their immense natural durability; they can absorb large amounts of both ballistic and plasma fire before perishing, and are capable of shrugging off some explosive weaponry. However, they are extremely vulnerable to weapons capable of performing headshots, and will be instantly killed like other enemies. Brutes are typically equipped with helmets that protect the wearer from headshots until it is destroyed, with the durability of each helmet determined by the Brute's rank.

Brute Commanders are unique in that they possess Brute Power Armour. This armour projects a personal energy shield around the Brute in a similar manner to that of an Elite, recharges twice as quickly as that of an Elite's. The shield transitions from purple to red as it takes damage, and once it collapsed the armour generating the shield will overload and destroy itself. While it still possesses the impressive physical resilience of other Brutes, a Commander stripped of its shields possesses zero protection to any part of its body. This includes the head, leaving an unshielded Commander especially vulnerable to a headshot.

Brute Chieftains are the toughest and most well protected ranked Brute. Their Power Armour projects an extremely durable energy shield which, once collapsed, does not destroy the armour underneath. This armour protects large sections of the Chieftain's body from ballistic/plasma fire and from being stuck by Plasma Grenades, on top of being virtually indestructible. The only armour piece that can be destroyed is the Chieftains headpiece, which can take the most punishment of any Brute-worn helmet.

Brutes are frequently encountered in groups called packs. Sometimes a single Brute can be found leading a squad of other Covenant species, that would be typically lead by an Elite. However this is atypical and most often Brutes are found in packs of 3, performing this role instead of an Elite. The largest packs will feature a multitude of brute ranks, all equipped with different weaponry. These packs can sometimes be found lead by Brute commanders, but have also been known to be lead by Chieftains in charge of troops in the general area.


A general strategy is to use a energy weapon to strip their helmets before headshotting them. A advanced strategy is to juggle multiple stunlocked brutes with a head-shot weapon. Brutes are also particularly vulnerable to the needler and shredder(which supercombines unsheilded targets)... TBC

Developer Information



  • Their voice lines are from Halo 2,3, and Reach. The lines from Halo 3 are reversed to make them sound more alien like.
  • The word "Jiralhanae" is a Korean word that roughly means "behaves like a stupid aggressive lunatic," which describes the Jiralhanae' aggressive personality.
  • The "-us" suffix on the end of Jiralhanae names is actually a Latin noun ending which designates something as masculine
  • Their body models are based on the Halo 2 model. However, their Armor designs, such as the Brute Major's helmet, Brute Commander, and Chieftan are based on Halo 3 models.


vde Covenant species in SPV3

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