How to grind the Keep Killer (and Caesar Dressing) challenge without having to sacrifice your soul to Satan.
Please note that this guide was written with Season 7 “Elite” in mind. Your mileage may vary.
So, you’re trying to grind for some challenges to get the latest Cool Shiny Thing that can only be obtained via Season Challenges. And out of them, Keep Killer’s looking pretty intimidating; how the hell are you supposed to kill 500 high-ranked Elites in campaign in an efficient manner? And what even counts as a “High-Ranking” Elite anyway?
Well, for starters, a “high-ranking” Elite is pretty much any Elite that isn’t a minor – at least for Reach. Majors, Ultras, Zealots, Generals – they’re all fair game. I’m not too sure about Spec Ops or Rangers though. I don’t know if the same applies for Elites of similar ranks in Halo 1, 2, or 4, as I have not tested this yet.
But wait; before you go load up Lone Wolf and start killing Elites with Thunderstorm on, let me fill you in on a method that’ll be much easier and quicker to do, albeit a wee bit complicated.
Also, I want to clarify that this guide will also cover the Caesar Dressing challenge (assassinate 343 enemies), since you can do both that and Keep Killer using this guide.
STEP ONE: The Mission
First and foremost, I’m going to clarify that you will need Halo: Reach in order to do this method at all.
So, first. Let’s set up the mission.
Load up the mission “Nightfall” in Halo: Reach, and start at Rallypoint Alpha (the beginning of the mission). Next, ensure that your difficulty is set to Normal, and that you have the Thunderstorm skull on; the minimum required difficulty for the Keep Killer challenge is Normal, and Thunderstorm will ensure that the first Elite you’ll run into will be an Ultra, thus qualifying it for said challenge.
If you want to also do the Caesar Dressing challenge as well, change the difficulty to Heroic.
STEP TWO: The Checkpoint
Once you’ve started the mission, make your way up the path that leads to the top of the ridge.
Small note; I don’t know if this actually affects anything, but DO NOT SPRINT. It may or may not mess with how the checkpoint saves, which is vital for this step.
So, anyways. Here, we’re going to use a method known as “Checkpoint Delaying”; basically we’re going to force the game to load an upcoming checkpoint a little later than it’s supposed to, which isn’t technically necessary but I recommend doing it anyway because it saves a small amount of time.
At the top of the path, right where it leads out to the top of the ridge where our target is, figure out where the checkpoint saves. I used a visual reference to help me with this (a thistle plant), which I’ve made a diagram for here.
Now, once you’ve figured out where the checkpoint is, restart the mission and make your way back up to that spot. This is the critical part – right before you “hit” the checkpoint, you need to jump and/or melee at the same time while moving past the checkpoint. If you do it correctly, the checkpoint won’t trigger.
HOWEVER, DO NOT WALK ALL THE WAY UP TO THE ELITE!!! You want to stop somewhere halfway between the spot where the checkpoint was supposed to save, and the Elite on the cliff. If you manage to do this correctly, the checkpoint will trigger and save where you’re standing, shown in this diagram here.
Chances are you likely won’t get this on the first try; if that happens, just restart the mission and try again. And no, you can’t get the checkpoint to save directly behind the Elite. Trust me, I’ve tried.
STEP THREE: The Spine-Cracking
So, now we’ve manipulated the checkpoint to save at a specific spot. But you might be wondering, why do we need to do this?
Well, first off, you technically don’t. But as I’ve stated before, I recommend doing this anyway because it saves you a small amount of time. Because this is the part where it’s going to become really, really tedious.
Basically; what you do is sprint up to the Elite, punch him in the back, reload the checkpoint (preferably as fast as you can), and repeat about 500 times. And that’s pretty much it.
I want to point out a few things for this step as well;
- Optimally, you DON’T want to go for an assassination animation; you want to go for the beatdown instead, which technically still counts as an assassination (which is handy for the Caesar Dressing challenge). This is solely because the beatdown is faster than having to sit through the animation of a “proper” assassination.
- The checkpoint-delay is recommended because it reduces the distance you have to run from the checkpoint to the unsuspecting Elite. For me, the process of killing the Elite took around 1 second, and another second (or half of a second) to load the menu and reload the checkpoint.
- You actually don’t need to wait for the Elite to ragdoll before reloading the checkpoint. You can pretty much reload as soon as your in the middle of a melee animation; if you do it correctly, you should see the Elite’s shields flare in the next frame that plays right before it loads the checkpoint (after clicking “yes).
- You’re probably going to want to listen to music, a podcast, watch a video, whatever while doing this.
And that’s pretty much it! Repeat this method of snapping the poor Elite’s spine like he’s Batman and you’re Bane ad infinium until you complete the challenge(s). I’m not sure of how long this method takes overall since I didn’t keep track, but I’m going to make a guesstimate of somewhere around 20 minutes total.
Thank you for reading this guide, and be sure to like + favorite it, and recommend it to anybody else who might need this info!
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