In case you didn't know, "Halo: Reach" launches tonight, and if you're one of the many people that will call in sick tomorrow, you're probably wondering how best to take advantage of your sick day and unlock as much as possible in a short amount of time. For that reason, thought I'd put together five quick tips for earning plenty of credits, thereby unlocking new armor pieces and other doodads.
1) PLAY ONLINE
You don't need to be playing with other people, but just make sure you're hooked up to Xbox Live whenever you're playing "Reach." The reason for this? Challenges. Challenges are mini-objectives like "Kill 100 grunts with headshots" or "Stick 5 plasma grenades on enemy Elites." Completing these will earn you credit boosts, but based on my initial testing, you can't complete challenges when you're offline. Also, there's a maximum number of credits you can bring from your offline profile when you switch it over to an online profile, so you may end up losing a chunk of your work if you're not on Xbox Live from the get-go.
2) PLAY THE CAMPAIGN (On Heroic or Legendary, if possible)
Every mode in "Halo: Reach" earns you credits, and that includes the campaign. If you leave campaign scoring off (the default), you'll get no indication that you're earning money, but you definitely are. Every kill, every medal, every mission completed factors in to how much cash you earn, and higher difficulties like Heroic or Legendary will boost that even further. I played through most of the campaign on Legendary with a buddy and by the time the credits rolled I had ranked up five or six times, and was half-way to Warrant Officer.
Launch week also has a Challenge: "Complete 9 missions on Heroic." This is something most people should be able to manage, especially if you're playing in co-op. The credit bonus is a cool 5,000.
Don't think you need to keep getting crushed in online multiplayer to earn credits. The campaign is one of the best money-makers there is.
3) PLAY ROCKETFIGHT
Now that Firefight supports matchmaking, Bungie has included a variety of different modes to pick from. Rocketfight is one of those matchmaking modes, and it equips all players with unlimited rockets. The match only lasts 12 minutes, but in that time you're sure to get tons of multi-kills as you send Grunts flying into the stratosphere. And because there's no penalty for death, you're guaranteed to make it to the end, raking in a solid number of credits.
4) DON'T QUIT
There are many reasons you shouldn't quit out of multiplayer games early. For one thing, if you keep doing it, you'll eventually be placed on probation, and the next time you quit out early you'll be blocked from Matchmaking for 15 minutes.
An even better reason not to quit is the Match Finished bonus, which is oftentimes the largest credit boost you'll get from an online multiplayer battle. Quitting early forfeits that cash, leaving you with nada. You'll also miss out in the slot machine bonus, which randomly awards a bunch of credits at the end of the match. This bonus starts at 10 credits, but I've seen it go as high as 1,000. Patience is a virtue.
5) MIND YOUR COMMENDATIONS
Commendations are different from Challenges in that they don't change every day or week. Instead, Commendations keep track of your lifetime stats and offer you rewards for hitting certain milestones. Getting 10 assassinations in matchmaking, for example, will net you a cool credit bonus and the Real Admiral (Iron) badge. The next level requires 25 assassinations, but offers up an even bigger bonus.
Keeping track of your commendations (viewable in the pause menu or on Bungie.net) allows you to see when you're able to get to the next level and adjust your play-style appropriately. But because there are dozens of commendations, you'll probably find yourself unlocking them without even expecting it.