|Manufactured:||2010 (Introduced in Halo Reach)|
|Range:||Medium to Long|
|Type:||Crystalline Explosive Projectiles|
The Type-31 Rifle, also known as the Needle Rifle, is a Covenant infantry weapon. It is known to be used by Sangheili, Jiralhanae, and Kig-Yar, including Skirmishers.
Aeon Windspear used the Needle Rifle due to the great range and effects that it would conduct against his opponents, while conducting Matchmaking games or Operations in Halo Reach Servers during the Moderation War, he was mostly known to be well spirited with the Needle Rifle as if it was his own personal weapon in Halo Reach.
The Type-31 Rifle fires unconventional, long and sharp projectiles similar to those of the Needler. The projectiles detonate several seconds after impacting on soft tissue. Like the Needler, if enough needles are fired into a target, a supercombine explosion occurs.
Although most players use it as a semi-automatic weapon for long range, the Needle Rifle is a fully automatic, medium-to-long range, headshot-capable rifle. Unlike the Needler, however, the needles do not "home in", or track on the enemy. They fire in a straight line at high velocities, similar to the M392 Designated Marksman Rifle. Rounds travel much faster than that of the Needler, leaving the Needle Rifle's only destructive similarity to the Needler being the individual/collected needle explosion. The Needle Rifle also seems similar in appearance and functionality to the Covenant Carbine, and also bears a barrel similar to that of the Beam Rifle. The Needle Rifle will take out a Spartan's shield in Multiplayer with 6 rounds, 2 more than the 4 rounds required by the DMR. Three needles in an unshielded target will cause a 'needle supercombine,' similar to the Needler, killing the victim. Thus, in most SWAT game types, this weapon is not present due to the fact that it can kill an enemy quickly without the requirement of a headshot.
The reload process for the Needle Rifle is very similar to that of the Covenant Carbine. The scope for the weapon acts as a hatch, which flips open to expose a small canister that ejects upon opening, and a new canister is inserted by the user. The only difference between the reloads for the Carbine and the Needle Rifle is that the canister for the Carbine is not covered by any sort of hatch, which in the case of the Needle Rifle is its scope. This reload process implements another difference from the Needler, which actually summons new needles from the inside of the weapon through the operation of what is suspected to be an internal mechanism.
Compared to its counterpart, the M392 Designated Marksman Rifle, the Needle Rifle trades in damage per projectile and projectile flight time for a faster firing rate, lower recoil/reticle bloom, more accuracy, and larger magazine size, and also has the ability to kill an unshielded enemy with three needles, which will detonate no matter where they hit. The Needle Rifle still retains the ability to kill an unshielded enemy with a headshot.