Everything you need to know about Halo's Banished faction

Atriox (Image credit: 343 Industries)

As confirmed by Halo Infinite's official gameplay reveal, the Banished faction will be in Halo Infinite. This news has excited many Halo fans, but many others are confused since they don't know who the Banished are. If that's you, don't worry — we're here to help. Here's everything you need to know about the Banished faction.

Origins and background


Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

The Banished was formed during the Human-Covenant War in 2548, four years before the events that took place in the first three Halo games. Atriox, a skilled leader of a clan of Brutes within the Covenant, grew tired of watching his brothers die to the humans as the Covenant's Elites sent them on countless suicide missions. Over time, a deep hatred of the Covenant began to form within Atriox, and when the Covenant tried to execute him for his heretical behavior, he overpowered and killed his executioner. This inspired other Brutes in his clan to rise up with him, and together they broke off from the Covenant and, led by Atriox, formed the Banished.

Early years and expansion

Rise of Atriox #4

Source: Aleksi Briclot/343 Industries (Image credit: Source: Aleksi Briclot/343 Industries)

For the first few years of their existence, the Banished chose to lie low and siphon resources from the Covenant Empire by launching hit-and-run attacks. Due to the war with humanity, the Covenant could not afford to focus on eradicating the Banished, which left them exposed to these types of guerilla-warfare tactics. Over time, Atriox gained weapons, vehicles, ships, and troops by taking advantage of the Covenant's blind spots. Once the Covenant fractured due to the Great Schism in 2552, Atriox and the Banished were able to grow even larger in size and power.

As the Banished's sphere of influence expanded, many of Atriox's Brute chieftains were sent throughout the galaxy to spread the word about the Banished. This resulted in many Brutes, Elites, Grunts, and possibly even some humans joining the ranks of the Banished, as galactic criminals and veterans of the Human-Covenant War alike searched for a new calling.

Conflict on the Ark

Halo Wars 2

Source: 343 Industries (Image credit: Source: 343 Industries)

In 2559, Atriox and the Banished encountered the UNSC Spirit of Fire at the Ark, which was previously the site of the end of the Human-Covenant War in 2552. The Banished sought to control the Ark and to scavenge the wreckage from the battles that took place on it years prior, while the crew of the Spirit of Fire aimed to stop them. When the two forces clashed, heavy losses began to mount on both sides. As the battle raged on, a new Halo ring that was meant to replace Installation 04, destroyed by the Master Chief in 2552, rose from the Ark's foundries. Both the Banished and the UNSC moved to capture the ring; ultimately, the Banished lost the battle and were unable to stop the humans before they disarmed the ring's firing mechanism and sent it into space with a distress signal that would alert the rest of the UNSC.

Following this, both the Banished and the remaining UNSC forces continued to fight for control of the Ark, though the outcome of this conflict is not yet known. An encounter with the Flood that was contained within the Ark left the Banished vulnerable for a time, but they were able to recover and continue their efforts against the UNSC.

Bonus: Weapons, armor, and more

The Banished primarily utilize weapons, armor, vehicles, and ships stolen from the Covenant Empire's arsenal. In most cases, this equipment is repainted with a gray-and-red color scheme, and armor and vehicles in particular also receive heavy modifications that add extra armor plates and spikes. These additions illustrate the roots that the Banished have with the Brutes, even though numerous other species are represented in the faction's ranks.

In addition to the Covenant vehicles the Banished use, they have also developed and manufactured three unique ones of their own. The first is the Reaver, which is a two-legged walker that can fire anti-air rockets at enemy aircraft. Secondly, there's the Marauder, which is a medium tank that's outfitted with a heavy plasma turret and missile launchers. Lastly, the Banished make use of an artillery aircraft called the Blisterback. It can land on the ground and launch volleys of explosives at enemies from afar, or it can hover in the air and bombard foes with a heavy plasma cannon.

Your thoughts

What do you think about the Banished? Do you think they're cooler than the Covenant or the Flood? Are you excited about seeing them in Halo Infinite? Let me know.

If you're interested in checking out the fiction that details the events mentioned in this article, you'll want to pick up Halo Wars 2 as well as the Rise of Atriox comic anthology. The former is available on Xbox One and Windows 10 for $40, while the latter is available for $20.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.