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"When in doubt, flee."

-Unggoy Philosophy

The Unggoy (Latin, Monachus Frigus,meaning "cold monk") are a species of squat bipedal arthropods that were part of the Covenant Empire. They are the lowest ranking species in the hierachy, are frequently mistreated by almost every other higher ranking race (Sangheili, Jiralhanae, Kig-Yar). The Unggoy are primarily used as labourers or, in combat situations, cannon fodder. They are one of the later races to be introduced into the Covenant, and were either the second or third Covenant species to be encountered by humans. They are referred to as "Grunts" by Humans, mainly because of their cowardice in battle and how little of a threat they pose, only posing a larger threat in numbers. They are mostly lead by a Sangheili or Jiralhanae, and will easily rout when their leader is killed.


(Monachus frigus)



Average Height:

152 cm (5.0 ft) (approx. average)


118 Kilograms (260 pounds) (approx. average)

Skin Color:

Mottled Gray/Brown


Short, stocky, round head, exoskeleton with wrinkly skin, high-pitched voice, stubby limbs


Unggoy Combat Harness, Methane Tank


The Covenant Empire, Covenant Separatists, Covenant Loyalists, Covenant Remnants, Covenant Heretics, Unified Unggoy Republic, United Galactic Alliance

Notable Individuals:

Dadab, Yayap, Flipyap, Yapflip, Cowardly Grunt, Final Grunt, Playing Grunt, Thirsty Grunt

Other nomenclature:

Grunt, Chimp, Crab, Monkey, Gas- sucker, Crybaby

History[edit | edit source]

The Ark and Reseeding[edit | edit source]

Prior to the activation of the Halo Array, the Unggoy had managed to achieve Tier 6 society on their homeworld, Balaho. However, the planet and the Unggoy civilization was devastated by the collapse of its biosphere due to massive global overindustrialization.

The Unggoy were one of the many species indexed by the Librarian for preservation on Installation 00 from the firing of the Halo Array. They were subsequently returned to their homeworld Balaho; where they began rebuilding their culture.

The Unggoy were mainly pacifists, and so war was so uncommon that many Unggoy didn't understand the concept. Their was no known Unggoy military except for a medium-sized security force and small fleet, which was water based. The Unggoy had a tendency to flee anyone who wished them dead and leaving it up to the "police" to deal with his/her assailant.

Induction into the Covenant[edit | edit source]

Grunts were the sixth client race to be integrated into the Covenant, not including the San'Shyuum and Sangheili, about 411 years before the end of the Human-Covenant War, roughly coming to their indoctrination in 2142 on the military calender. By the time of their discovery by the Covenant, the Unggoy homeworld was still recovering from its ecological collapse over a hundred millenia earlier, and the Unggoy civilization hat yet to return to its former state.

Unggoy being reseeded by the Forerunners onto Balaho

While they are essentially a slave race, the Unggoy have managed to largely retain their cultural identities, and have rebelled in the past several times. Being the lowest-ranked species of the Covenant, they are bitter rivals with the Kig-Yar, who are also low-ranked. The higher-ranking races of the Covenant have often ignored this rivalry. The breaking point came when a junior staffer in the Ministry of Concert discovered evidence of the Kig-Yar planning to poison recreational narcotics the Unggoy enjoyed, which would have left them sterile, but the High Council refused to investigate the matter. The rising tensions with the Kig-Yar and the general disinterest from the other Covenant races led to the Unggoy Rebellion in 2462. While the rebellion was ultimately put down thanks to an Arbiter and the near-glassing of Balaho, the Unggoy proved that they were not the cowards they had been long deemed, and could indeed be vicious fighters when provoked. After the uprising's conclusion, as was their tradition, the Sangheili forgave the surviving Unggoy and allowed them to enter the Covenant military as armed infantry units, rather than the unarmed cannon fodder as which they had previously served.

Despite the low place they have on the Covenant hierarchy, the true irony is that the Unggoy's entry into the Covenant has ensured their species' survival. Membership in the Covenant granted the Unggoy freedom from risk of extinction during Balaho's two winters, as they now have access to sufficient supplies of food. Infant morality has decreased to below fifty percent, and geronticide is no longer a necessity for survival. The average life expectantcy for non-combatant Unggoy has doubled. Their incorporation into the Covenant likely also alleviated the threat of the Blue Death , which Unggoy typically fear.

The Great Schism[edit | edit source]

The Unggoy obey other Covenant races out of fear more than religious faith. They have next to no political power in the Covenant; the highest political rank available to an Unggoy is Deacon. Within the Unggoy community there is a strong resentment of other species, especially the Kig-Yar. The low rank of the Unggoy, as well as the aforementioned war, also led to a lack of political loyalty during the Great Schism, as the Unggoy did not ally with a particular side, and stayed with whoever commanded them, most likely out of subservient fear to their current masters. However, many of those serving under Jiralhanae still held support for the Sangheili and revered the Arbiter, pointing out to their comrades that they once served under him.

Dark Era[edit | edit source]

The Unggoy returned to Balaho after the Great Schism, but many that had once been part of the Covenant Loyalists joined the Covenant Remnants and were deemed traitors by the Unggoy. Eventually the Unggoy began a order of self discipline, and eventually formed a formidable military and even achieved Tier 2 status by themselves. This startled the Sangheili, who had seen the once cowardly race, turned into a race of formidable and deadly warriors. The Unggoy took numbers and size into context, and used it as a advantage. Pacifism was no longer a dominating ideal with the Unggoy, and it is later discovered that the Unggoy were inspired by the Sangheili . They then announced the official creation of the Unified Unggoy Republic .

The Unggoy first tested their newfound military might by warding off a planetary invasion by the Covenant Remnants who had hoped to acquire Balaho as a strategic area to prepare for an invasion of Sangheilos. Completely unaware, the Covenant Remnants invasion force was decimated by the Unggoy and later, the Second Apocalyptic War broke out. The Unggoy were then invited to join the United Galactic Alliance , which they happily joined, gaining a minor military-based role and a large political role and a Unggoy by the name of Tiplip is a Councilor and representitive for his species on the UGA Senate.

Description[edit | edit source]

Unggoy are typically poor warriors in terms of skill, poor shots when not focused, physically weak, and are generally on the whole, quite tactically inept. When witnessing their commanders eliminated during a battle, they often go into a panic and scatter in random directions. However, what Unggoy may lack in individual skill, they make up for with sheer numbers, high tenacity, also if they are focused, can be quite accurate with their weapons not to mention they breed at a remarkable rate. The Covenant used the high-breeding rate of the Unggoy to their advantage in the Human-Covenant War, where squads of Unggoy very frequently overpowered UNSC personnel through force of numbers. The conflict on Harvest, and thus the Human-Covenant War, was in part started by an Unggoy named Yull tearing apart Private Osmo. Special Operations Grunts, which are known to wear black colored armor, are far more tenacious than the lower tiered ones, and have even been known to carry fuel rod guns and plasma launchers which makes them extremely dangerous foes. Even with weapons with high splash-damage, it is still extremely common for them to miss.

Unggoy are the only Covenant species to breathe methane rather than oxygen. Their combat armor/harness has an integrated methane re-breather system, as Unggoy are unable to survive for long periods of time without methane due to asphyxiation much like humans without oxygen. In games however, if the player manages to melee their methane tank off, they will not die. It is possible in Halo: Reach to shoot the vents on either side of the tank, resulting in the tank popping off and the Unggoy flying off.

Psychology and Behaviour[edit | edit source]

While not overly intelligent or creative on the battlefield, Unggoy are one of the most gregarious and sociable of the Covenant races and possess a very strong pack mentality, often associating with each other in groups. Although they are quite capable of handling weaponry and operating vehicles and machinery such as Ghosts and Shades, Unggoy are generally rather simple-minded. There are exceptions to this rule, however: The Unggoy

Unggoy Heavy about to fire his fuel rod gun

Deacon Dadab, for example, was noted as being quite intelligent for an Unggoy, as demonstrated by his ability to learn and communicate in Huragok sign language.

The Unggoy seem to like ass a whole lot. An inherent psychological advantage possessed by the Unggoy are their unburdened neural pathways, which allow the Unggoy to absorb knowledge more freely compared to the other Covenant species. As such, they are often tasked with monitoring space for traces of human communication. In addition, many Unggoy have developed a clear understanding of two or even three human languages. This advantage serves as a river of confidence in times of great stress for them.

Unggoy generally follow a few short, simple guidelines given to them by the Sangheili; namely "When in doubt, shoot." or "Stay out of the way, live another day." Despite being held in low stature in the Covenant, many Unggoy appear to be strong followers of their religion. Their Deacons will often hold sermons onboard ships to boost the morale and teach the Unggoy onboard about the Covenant. For instance, a Deacon named Dadab gave sermons and taught the Unggoy on board a Jiralhanae cruiser about the Covenant and its religions. The Jiralhanae allowed Dadab these teachings because they believed that it would help the Unggoy become more competent and helpful.

They often gamble with each other and often play games; one in particular, hunting rock, involves two Unggoy competing to kill the most scrub grubs.

Anatomy and Physiology[edit | edit source]

Unggoy share a number of features with different animal species on Earth. Like primates, they walk both bipedally and with the aid of their over sized forearms albeit in a manner similiar to a chimpanzee. However, their bodies are armored with a hard exoskeleton as with crabs and insects. Their mouths have a set of small, pointed

the luminous blue blood of a Unggoy

teeth, much like reptiles. However, the UNSC has classified them taxonomically as being most similar to Earth arthropods. Unggoy are on average about three to four feet tall and are relatively weak

The face of a Unggoy

compared to other Covenant species. Although they can easily walk upright on two legs, they may often use their arms to move in a quadrupedal fashion. While carrying armaments, they are forced to walk upright so that they may support their weapons with their hands, but while trying to flee, or while patrolling without a weapon drawn, they use their over sized arms as forelegs to add speed or stability to their gait. Their eyesight and hearing is average, and seem to have a very well developed sense of smell, sometimes sniffing the air to detect traces of foes or hidden enemies. This is facilitated through the olfactory membranes installed in their masks.

Unggoy also have thick, bio-luminescent, light-blue blood, possibly a result of methane-based proteins in the blood to facilitate methane-based respiration. Like Earth's Horseshoe Crabs, it is possible that their blood is blue due to high copper content.

Unggoy have over-sized forearms, while their upper arms and thighs are seemingly small. This has allowed them to be quite excellent climbers, as discovered in Halo: Contact Harvest. Spiny protrusions on their elbows help them scale rocky surfaces and may also be used to add force to their melee attacks. They also have an amazingly fast finger reflex speed, as they can fire a plasma pistol of the same rate a Sangheili can with a plasma rifle.

The Unggoy have flat, three-toed feet, with another toe on the back of their feet. While they are small, stocky, and

The breathing apparatus of a Unggoy

lacking in agility, they are quite sturdy; most may be weak, as they seem to be unable to carry a weapon heavier than a plasma pistol, although certain Unggoy of higher ranks appear to be surprisingly strong, able to carry an undeployed plasma cannon or fire a fuel rod gun with one hand without toppling from the recoil. However, physical strength may not actually go along with rank; the types of weapons available to them may be a part of a "trust" issue with the other Covenant. As rank-and-file Unggoy are clumsy and tactically inept, more powerful weapons are likely only issued to those who are more disciplined and experienced.

Although they require an atmosphere to breathe, Unggoy are capable of surviving in the vacuum of space without sealed, full-body gear. Unggoy carapaces apparently can withstand the chilling cold and airless environment of EVA conditions, but they must employ sealed face masks in order to breathe, as well as presumably to protect their facial tissues.

Reproduction[edit | edit source]

Unggoy breed prodigiously, with large egg clutches and short childhood periods. They can have up too hubihfkjgigkjgjkbjkbiukjvuigThis combined with the large number of young per clutch and rapid sensory-motor integration development was one of the primary reasons why the Covenant cleverly used the breeding habits of the Unggoy to their advantage in battle, deploying the Unggoy as cannon fodder (this would be play a key-role in their war against humanity). Overpopulation is a serious problem and in non-war times, strict laws are placed on Unggoy breeding.

Unggoy do value their ties to their offspring, but are usually separated from their families at an early age by the requirements of military service to the Covenant. They resent this greatly, but because of their low social status in the Covenant, they are unable to muster any response.

Culture[edit | edit source]

The Unggoy's culture has been largely erased by their incorporation into the Covenant. They have been granted very few civil rights in comparison to other members of the Covenant and on a good day they are treated like second-class citizens. Despite the advances in civil rights granted after the Grunt Rebellion, including the right to carry weapons and hold places among infantry units, their representation on the High Council is mostly powerless. The negative aspects of their existence are offset by the irony of their continued survival due to the acceptance of the Covenant. The entire species in no longer at risk of being eradicated by two consecutive horrible winter seasons, as they had on their homeworld of Balaho, a swampy planet with a methane atmosphere. Infant mortality is now below 50 percent. Average life expectancy has more than doubled (not including combat personnel). Geronticide is no longer a necessity for the survival of the tribe. Producing enough food to last through the winter season and burning plague victims no longer rank as the top two priorities on their daily chores.

Naming[edit | edit source]

Unggoy often have names which reflect a language of very simple phonics. Common names, such as Yayap and Dadab, begins with a reduplicated consonant and consist of two syllables. Other names consist of a single syllable with clusters of consonants, such as "Flim". Some exceptions have occurred of which a name has more consonants than is usual while following the first method of naming, as in Kwassass. Often, their names are palindromes, such as Zawaz.

Unggoy names encountered so far consist of these phonemes:

  • The vowels short A and short I.
  • The consonants D, F, K, L, M, S, W, P, Y and Z.

Unggoy do not have family names, possibly because the Sangheili did not allow it. Instead, they identify themselves by famous ancestors, their homeworld, and where on that planet they lived.

Homeworld[edit | edit source]

The Unggoy homeworld of Balaho is a temperate, swampy planet with a methane atmosphere and naturally occurring pillars of fire. The cold season of their planet makes them highly covet any source of warmth and light they can find, mainly due to the "Blue Death". The planet is still in process of recovery from a global ecological collapse before the activation of the Halo Array due to overindustrialization caused by the Unggoy at the time.

An Unggoy, as depicted in the Bestiarum

Since their natural environment has a methane atmosphere, they would need to carry methane tanks and breathing apparatus with them whenever they travel

A Grunt's face-up-close

into areas without high levels of methane in the air. Since all the other races of the Covenant and their human enemies, breathe oxygen, the Unggoy find themselves wearing breathing masks more often than not. They have been revealed to be inhabiting large environment domes that have airlocks and methane filters for them to breathe, while not in armor or restocking their methane reserves at battlefield methane tanks. They seem to have high-pitched and squeaky voices, possibly due to the different resonating properties of methane gas. The high-pitched voices are commonly regarded as humorous by most other races, since they tend to sound like frightened children trying to sound intimidating.

Rank Structure[edit | edit source]

Unggoy Minor

Unggoy Minor[edit | edit source]

The Covenant Equivalent of a UNSC Private or Private First Class. They wear orange colored armor and often the least dangerous, most cowardly, and inaccurate marksmen of the Covenant. When their commanding officer is killed, they routinely break formation and flee; however, they will regroup and start firing at their target again. As is fitting of Jiralhanae behavior, Unggoy under the command of the Jiralhanae are genuinely more aggressive. In the new Unggoy order, Unggoy Minors now have the fighting skill of a Sangheili minor, and rarely flee. They also use a "fight to the death" style, which the Sangheili admire.

Unggoy Major[edit | edit source]

Similiar to a UNSC Lance Corporal, they are more experienced than Unggoy

Unggoy Major

Minors and wear crimson/red armor. They command several Unggoy Minors and are slightly more skilled in combat and courageous, though this difference is not always substantial. In Halo CE, two sniper rifle shots in the chest is required to kill one on Legendary (they have roughly the same health as the player in the game). In the new Unggoy order, Minors look up to Majors because of their tactical skill. Majors are military professionals on the field and although they can not match the Sangheili, Majors can lead Minors to victory on many occassions.

Unggoy Heavy[edit | edit source]

Unggoy Heavy

Being similar to the rank of UNSC Corporal, these specialized Unggoy wear green colored armor and are often deployed for defensive actions. Their primary purposes are to give heavy support for their group, and are commonly seen wielding fuel rod guns. They can be seen wielding spikers in The Ark, and plasma rifles on swordbase in Halo: Reach. In the new Unggoy order, Heavies are something to be feared by armored vehicles. They wield very heavy ordinance meant to take down not only aircraft, but heavily armoured ground vehicles such as tanks and armoured transports.

Special Operations Unggoy[edit | edit source]

Special Operations Unggoy

These Unggoy are experienced and specially-chosen, usually commanded by the special operations Sangheili, and are given distinctive jet-black armor. They are part of the Covenant Special Operations division of the Covenant Special Warfare Group. Just like the special operations Sangheili, they are able to use Active camouflage. They are extremely skilled in warfare compared to their lower-ranked counterparts, and won't panic too often in combat situations, if they do at all. They usually can be seen wielding needlers and sometimes fuel rod guns, and throw plasma grenades with great accuracy. Many of them chose to side with Thel 'Vadam and the other Covenant separatists during the Covenant civil war. However, there were some who didn't side with separatists, wearing white armor similar to the Unggoy Ultra. Some loyalist Unggoy were seen during the Battle of Installation 00. In the new Unggoy order, SpecOps Unggoy are some of the

Unggoy Ultra

most skilled special forces units in the Republic. They can carry out infiltration missions that the Sangheili and even humans find impossible, making them invaluable allies.

Unggoy Ultra[edit | edit source]

These Unggoy serve as field officers to their comrades, and wear distinctive white-lilac or silver armor (reminiscent of the Sangheili Ultras). While they appear to have some authority over lesser-ranked Unggoy, they have no control whatsoever over the other Covenant races (except for Kig-yar). They

Unggoy Storm

are stronger opponents than their subordinates, and are more accurate with firearms, throw plasma grenades more often, and wear heavier armor. In the new Unggoy order, they serve as Captains for large "regiment" sized groups of Unggoy troops.

Unggoy Centurion[edit | edit source]

One of two ranks introduced into the new Unggoy Armed Forces. Centurions are given command of "Division" sized groups and are some the deadliest Unggoy troops in existence. Their skill matches Sangheili Zealots just slightly less skilled. They wear gold and black armor and usually wield a fuel rod gun, needler, plasma grenade, plasma launcher or Storm Rifle. On rare occassions, they use needle rifles.

Unggoy Superior[edit | edit source]

The last of the Unggoy new set of ranks, Superiors or "Supreme Commanders" or literally self-explanatory. They act as Generals for the Army, and split into three seperate ranks:

Generals:[edit | edit source]

Generals are the supreme commanders of the Army. Only one is appointed at a time, and they only enter battle when the need arises. When they do enter battles, they fight with the skill of Sangheili Field Marshalls.

Ship Masters:[edit | edit source]

Shipmasters are the captains of Unggoy vessels in the newly formed Unggoy Navy. They are still getting used to the idea of commanding warships, but are becoming better and better thanks to the Sangheili. Soon, they'll be tactical genius'.

Fleet Commanders:[edit | edit source]

Fleet Commanders are the supreme commanders of Flotillas, Battlegroups and even Fleets of warships, being able to command up to 192 vessels from his/her flagship. Like Shipmasters, they are still learning the art of space warfare from the Sangheili.

Unggoy Storm[edit | edit source]

A rank of grunts to appear in Halo 4, little is known other then the name, which was first seen on a leaked image of the back of a Halo 4 action figure package. They are thought to be a "Covenant Remnants" exclusive rank for the Unggoy, and not an official rank in the Unggoy Republic.

Other Ranks[edit | edit source]

Deacon[edit | edit source]

The only position open to the Grunts in the Ministry of Tranquility. This rank doesn't often involve combat or hard manual labor, though they have been known to carry around plasma pistols and needlers, the former possibly meaning it is the lowest position on the Covenant hierarchy. But as seen in Halo: Contact Harvest, the Deacon ordered around other Unggoy whenever it came to matter of religion. In Halo Wars, Deacons are available as the final upgrade for an Unggoy. They further bolster and strengthen the abilities of the Unggoy squads. Interestingly, they wear elongated helmets reminiscent of their Sangheili counterparts.

Merchants[edit | edit source]

Though it is never formally named as a rank and only mentioned once, it was revealed in Contact Harvest, that merchants are Unggoy well-respected in the Hierarchy. When Truth was sworn into office a Drone queen, Kig-yar ship masters, and Unggoy Merchants were said to be there. It was also said that their combat harnesses were adorned with large jewels.

Suicide Unggoy[edit | edit source]

The Covenant assign select fanatical Unggoy squads to use suicide attacks as their primary offensive tactic against the enemy.[17][18] The suicide Grunts appear as a separate rank in Halo Wars. They serve as the Arbiter's unique units, coming in squads of four. They resemble standard Grunts except for a large, transparent, cylinder-shaped methane tank replacing the standard, triangular tank. These Grunts seem to be one of the lowest ranks, considering the fact that they wield plasma pistols and commit suicide kamikaze-style. Their Y-ability consists of lighting their methane tanks and charging the enemy in a similar fashion to some Grunt Minors. Once the Grunts come in contact with the chosen enemy, they violently explode.

Heretic Unggoy[edit | edit source]

These Grunts have different methane tubes than their non-Heretic counterparts. They use two rounded tubes, instead of the triangular shape. Another feature of the Heretic Grunt armor is a small mouth-breather that exposes a Grunt's teeth. Unlike the armor of the Heretic Elites, there is only one uniform color for a Grunt's armor, which is a shining, golden-brown. Because of this, there is no hierarchy or ranking system, and Heretic Grunts are inferior only to Heretic Elites. Heretic Grunts are also superior to their Covenant counterparts by their equipment and usage thereof. They almost always use needlers, or occasionally fuel rod guns, but never the plasma pistols that are often wielded by their counterparts. They set up turrets like the Heavy Unggoy. They are better treated than their Covenant counterparts, and are not used as cannon fodder. It's also worth noting that Heretic Grunts are much harder to kill than normal Unggoy. Typical Unggoy can be killed with 2 or 3 shots on normal via Carbine, but Heretic Grunts can absorb up to five shots before dying.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Overall, the Unggoy in gameplay are very weak in combat; often fleeing when their leader is killed. However, in large numbers, they can be more of a threat, especially on higher difficulties. If their leader is killed, Unggoy may sometimes activate two plasma grenades and rush the player in an attempt to suicide-bomb them.

In Halo Wars, The Unggoy serves as the main infantry unit, serving as the Covenant equivalent of a UNSC Marine Squad. They start with a pistol and three in each squad, but they can be upgraded to wield needlers.

A melee attack can kill a Grunt instantly, so when you face no more than 5 of them, don't waste your ammo and just melee them. For large groups use the Gravity Hammer, unless the catch skull is active, meaning you have to stay outside their range, as even in close-range the Grunts will not hesitate to spam-grenades at the enemy.

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • In Tagalog, Unggoy means "monkey."
  • In real life, "Grunt" is a military term for infantrymen or fresh recruits.
  • Unggoy enjoy trading human communication files, such as soap operas and comedies, through the black market.
  • The Unggoy were ranked #5 in Game Informer's "Top 10 Most Pathetic Enemies" list.
  • In Halo Reach, Unggoy voices are changed. Instead of their original high-pitched and squeaky voices, they sound more deep and mechanical, possibly because of their breathing apparatus. However, they are still voiced by Joseph Staten.
  • In Halo Reach, if an Unggoy's methane tank is shot or meleed it might fall off, causing the gas to launch said Unggoy into the air and eventually explode. Some players consider this a great hazard, especially on higher difficulties.
  • In Halo 3, it is possible to shoot off the methane tank on the back of an Unggoy with an precision weapon.
  • It is said Grunts cannot survive with methane tanks. But in gameplay, they remain alive even without the tanks.
  • In the Halo Reach: Signature Series Guide, the average height of a Grunt is 5'2". 5+2=7.
  • In Halo CEA, all Grunts were supposed to have the Unggoy Ultra helmet for the remastered version, but was for some reason disabled.
  • In Halo 4 they will have completely overhauled appearence making them more reptilian then in the previous games.
  • In Halo 4, the Unggoy now breathe methane through a tube that leads into their left nostril, in stead of a breathing mask.
  • According to Waypoint, the Unggoy in Halo 4 may be genetically mutated or be a sub-species of Unggoy, like how Skirmishers are a sub-species of Kig-Yar.

Other[edit | edit source]

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