In Halo Infinite, as in previous Halo games, you’re often carted from one key location to the next in a transport vehicle called a pelican. It’s a massive hovercraft, one you’re emphatically not supposed to pilot at any point in the campaign. Hey, doesn’t mean you can’t.
Yes, developer 343 Industries appears to have gone through the trouble to actually code the pelican as a drivable vehicle in Halo Infinite, which had its campaign launch on Xbox and PC last month. Though the pelican isn’t one of the 11 officially usable vehicles in the campaign, you can still get behind the wheel (or, uh, whatever sort of controlling gizmo is used for piloting aircraft). You just need to trick the game a bit, a method first spotted by the YouTuber NoWise10,
There are two ways to do so, both of which rely on catching the pelican when it’s dropping a vehicle off at one of Halo Infinite’s forward operating bases (FOBs). Every FOB has a spire. When the pelican flies in, use your grappleshot to slingshot yourself off the spire on top of the pelican. The timing is tricky. I tried close to two dozen times and only succeeded once—and I have no clue what set that attempt apart from the others. Must’ve been luck. Someone tell Cortana.
The easier method, as pointed out by the YouTuber Generalkidd, is to fast travel to FOB Hotel in the southern segment of the map. Head east, like, ten feet, and you’ll find a banshee. (It appears to always spawn in the same spot.) Take that and park it on or close to the FOB—somewhere you can access it quickly. Thanks for the mongoose, Pilot, but it’s your ride we’re after.
However you get on top of the pelican, quickly make your way to the cockpit, else the pelican will ascend to a height where the game automatically kills you. Though you won’t see the prompt for it, press the button you typically use to enter vehicles (“X” on controller) and you’ll hop in the pilot’s seat.
But wait! You won’t be able to pilot it just yet. Before the pelican flies up into the instant-kill zone, quit out of the game, then reload your save file. You should see something like…
From there, just flip the vehicle over and hop in. The pelican handles largely like the wasp—up with the right shoulder bumper, down with the left, while the left thumbstick controls directional movement, at least on the “legacy” button layout preset—except a bit clunkier. It’s also not centered in the middle of the screen, which you can fix by kicking up your field of view. (115º was the sweet spot for me.)
The pelican’s combat capabilities are laughable, at best. It has no weapons to speak of. At first, it almost seems impenetrable, given that your shields don’t drop when you get shot; it can even withstand shock weapons without temporarily stalling out, as every other vehicle would. But I found that, after about three minutes of sustained fire, the pelican explodes just as any other vehicle would—strong, but by no means invincible.
It’s also somewhat limited in where you can go. You can’t, for instance, take it across any of the chasms in Halo Infinite’s semi-open world; you’re confined to the island in which you boarded.
Still, commandeering the pelican is a common tactic for glitch-hunters and speedrunners, who use it to circumvent vast stretches of Infinite’s campaign. Earlier this year, one player used it to shave serious time off a melee-only run through Halo Infinite on the Legendary difficulty, the game’s highest difficulty tier. The pelican could also be a boon for those attempting “legendary all skulls on,” or LASO, runs—the highest difficulty setting, plus every skull (challenge-enhancing gameplay modifiers) activated.
It’s unclear if the pelican exploit is long for this world, or even if it’s an exploit in the first place. After all, Halo Infinite is intended to be a platform for next-gen Halo, with new multiplayer seasons and potential campaign expansions coming at a regular clip over the next decade. A semi-functional pelican could always be in Halo Infinite right now as a placeholder. Just spitballing, but maybe a future campaign expansion gives Chief control of a pelican? Or perhaps a future multiplayer season will allow players to commandeer the bird for vehicle drops in big team battle? Or, and I recognize the pipe dream, maybe firefight mode will return, with a new pelican-piloting mechanic? The possibilities, like the wild places Halo Infinite could go narratively, are endless.
When reached for comment about how it ended up in the game in the first place and if there are plans to change it, representatives for Microsoft, Halo Infinite’s publisher, did not immediately have anything to add.