Halo Timeline – Everything in Chronological Order

The chronological order of Halo isn’t easy. The Halo Universe includes not just games, but also dozens of books, comics and movies that compliment the story. With so many different media and intersecting story arcs, it’s hard for newcomers to determine where to start. That’s why we created the Halo Timeline. The Timeline explains the order of Halo’s books, comics and films & series, with the games as the central thread. The games are published in this order:

  1. Halo: Combat Evolved (2001)

    This game takes place during the Original Halo Trilogy
    Available now for Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

  2. Halo 2 (2004)

    This game takes place during the Original Halo Trilogy
    Available now for Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

  3. Halo 3 (2007)

    This game takes place during the Original Halo Trilogy.
    Available now for Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

  4. Halo Wars (2009)

    This game takes place during the First Contact with the Covenant.

  5. Halo 3: ODST (2009)

    This game takes place during the Original Halo Trilogy.
    Available now for Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

  6. Halo Reach (2009)

    This game takes place during the First Contact with the Covenant.
    Available now for Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

  7. Halo 4 (2012)

    This game takes place during the Reclaimer Saga.
    Available now for Xbox One as part of Halo: The Master Chief Collection.

  8. Halo 5: Guardians (2015)

    This game takes place during the Reclaimer Saga.
    Available now for Xbox One.

  9. Halo Wars 2 (2017)

    This game takes place during the Reclaimer Saga.
    Available now for Xbox One.

  10. Halo Infinite (2020)

    Halo Infinite ushers in a new era.
    Available for pre-order.

This entry was updated in December 2020.

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Now we place the games in the complete Halo Timeline, along with all the books, comics, movies and series. We’ve arranged all media in the Halo universe in chronological order as far as possible . However, due to flashbacks, time jumps or stories that take place over a longer period of time, that’s not always feasible. In that case we use an order that is as logical as possible.

Hyped for Halo Infinite? Be sure to check out our special: Who are The Banished in Halo Infinite?

Timelines at Beyond Video Gaming are divided in different eras. Eras with a ‘main game’ are bold so you can easily pick them out. Click or tap on a title to see all the media within the era.

Halo Forerunner Era

The Halo universe goes back to a hundred thousand years ago, when the Forerunners ruled the universe and mankind was still a rather primitive race. The Forerunners have always had a central role in the games. In fact, they are the creators of the titular Halos. Yet there is no game that takes place in the time when this civilization reached its peak.

If you want to delve deeper into this period, you’ve come to the right place with the Halo books from The Forerunner Saga, a trilogy by Greg Bear, which describes the rise and inevitable downfall of this civilization and teaches us a lot about The Librarian, The Didact, The Flood and the ring worlds.

The Forerunner Saga (Chronological order)

Also in this era

  • Comic: Halo 3: Cradle of Life

Halo Founding of the Covenant

The Covenant is the central enemy in Halo. It’s a diverse collection of different alien races that have united. The political relations within this fragile alliance have received attention since Halo 2, but the games don’t really describe how the Covenant came about. A number of other media pay more attention to this.

  • Book: Halo: Broken Circle (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo Legends: The Duel


Halo First Contact

In the 26th century the United Nations Space Command (UNSC) is engaged in a difficult war with the Insurrectionists, when suddenly a much bigger threat occurs: the Covenant. The games Halo Wars and Halo: Reach take place in this era, although even in those games the war has been going on for a number of years. There is hardly any attention for Insurrectionists, and also the origins of the Spartans, including Master Chief, are barely touched. Other media, such as the Halo book Contact Harvest, amply fill this gap.

In Chronological Order:

  • Book: Halo: Contact Harvest (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo Legends: Homecoming
  • Comic: Halo Wars: Genesis
  • Game Halo Wars
  • Movie: Halo Legends: Prototype
  • Book: Halo: The Cole Protocol (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo: Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian
  • Comic: Halo: Blood Line (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo: Headhunters
  • Movie: Halo Legends: The Babysitter
  • Comic: Halo: Helljumper (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Battle Born (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Battle Born – Meridian Divide (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo Reach: Birth of a Spartan
  • Movie: Halo Reach: Deliver Hope
  • Movie: Halo Reach: New Life
  • Movie: Halo Reach: Spaceport
  • Movie: Halo Reach: Patrol
  • Movie: Halo Reach: Day Before
  • Game Halo Reach

Halo Master Chief Origin

The story of Master Chief’s origins takes place almost in parallel within this time span. Originally trained to fight the Insurrectionists, he and the other Spartans were soon deployed against the Covenant. His story of origin begins and ends with the novel Halo: The Fall of Reach, which for convenience we consider as the first book in his origin story. The other stories are actually in between. The story of The Fall of Reach was later adapted into a comic and animated film.

Master Chief’s saga in Chronological Order:

  • Book: Halo: The Fall of Reach (Buy now)
    • Movie: Halo: The Fall of Reach (Buy now)
    • Comic: Halo: Fall of Reach – Bootcamp (Buy now)
    • Comic: Halo: Fall of Reach – Covenant (Buy now)
    • Comic: Halo: Fall of Reach – Invasion (Buy now)
  • Comic: Halo: Collateral Damage – A Master Chief Story (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Silent Storm – A Master Chief Story (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn (Flashback part)
  • Book: Halo: Oblivion – A Master Chief Story (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo Legends: The Package


Halo Trilogy

Both Halo Reach and Halo: The Fall of Reach seamlessly connect to the very first game. Halo: Combat EvolvedHalo 2 and Halo 3 tell how the war between humanity and the Covenant is escalating as Master Chief and Cortana discover the first Halo ring world. Pretty little takes place between the games, as they follow each other in quick succession. The novel Halo: First Strike and comic Halo: Uprising follow Master Chief between the games though. The important novel Halo: Ghosts of Onyx also takes place at this time, although it has no direct connection with the games.

In Chronological Order:

  • Game Halo: Combat Evolved
    • Book: Halo: The Flood (Buy now)
    • Game: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Game Halo: Fireteam Raven
  • Comic: Halo Graphic Novel (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: First Strike (Buy now)
  • Game: Halo 2
    • Game: Halo 2: Anniversary
  • Movie: Halo: The Mona Lisa
  • Game Halo 3: ODST
  • Book: Halo: Broken Circle (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Ghosts of Onyx (Buy now)
  • Comic: Halo: Uprising (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo 3: Starry Night
  • Movie: Halo 3: Landfall
  • Game Halo 3
  • Movie: Halo CE Anniversary: Living Monument
  • Movie: Halo 3: Believe


Halo Reclaimer Saga

Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians throw the player in the middle of a universe full of new conflicts and characters. The Kilo-Five trilogy mainly describes how the tensions between the various factions have risen again between Halo 3 and Halo 4. Subsequently, almost all characters from Halo 4 and Halo 5: Guardians have gotten their own book, comic or movie. For example, the movie Halo: Nightfall introduces Jameson Locke, comic Halo: Initiation does that with Spartan Palmer and the books: Halo: New Blood and Halo: Last Light tell more about Buck and Blue Team respectively. Some media have even been given a sequel (i.e. Halo: Bad Blood as a sequel to New Blood, and Retribution as a semi sequel to Last Light), making it difficult to discern the individual storylines. In chronological order, as far as possible:

Kilo-Five Trilogy (Chronological Order):

  • Book: Halo: Glasslands (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: The Thursday War (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Mortal Dictata (Buy now)

Also in this era:

  • Comic: Halo: Initiation (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Last Light (Buy now)
  • Comic: Halo: Lone Wolf (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Retribution (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Shadow of Intent (Buy now)
  • Game Halo: Spartan Assault
  • Movie: Halo Legends: Origins
  • Book: Halo: New Blood (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Hunters in the Dark (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo: Nightfall
  • Book: Halo: Smoke and Shadow (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Renegades (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
  • Movie: Halo 4: The Commisioning
  • Movie: Halo 4: Scanned
  • Game Halo 4
  • Game Halo: Spartan Strike
  • Book: Halo: Saint’s Testimony (Buy now)
  • Game Halo: Infinity (Spartan Ops)
  • Comic: Halo: Escalation (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo: The Return
  • Book: Halo: Point of Light (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Envoy (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Legacy of Onyx (Buy now)
  • Game Halo 5: Guardians (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Bad Blood (Buy now)
  • Game Halo Wars 2 (Buy now)
    • Comic: Halo: Rise of Atriox (Takes place in different eras, but serves as a prequel to Halo Wars 2) (Buy now)

Halo Infinite

With Halo: Infinite 343 Industries starts a new chapter. 343 Industries describes Halo: Infinite as a spiritual reboot. Thanks to a leap in time and by putting Master Chief back in full focus, Halo: Infinite should become an excellent starting point for newcomers, while all previous media still play a role. It is expected that Halo: The Television Series will hook up with Halo: Infinite.

  • Book: Halo: Shadows of Reach – A Master Chief Story (Buy now)
  • Movie: Halo: The Television Series
  • Game Halo: Infinite (Pre-order now)

Halo Timeline

There are also a number of collections of short stories set in the Halo Universe. These stories take place in a wide variety of eras and these collections cannot be categorized like the other media. Therefore below an overview of these collections of short stories in order of publication. Some stories from these collections have also been published separately and thus already mentioned in the Halo Timeline.

In order of issue:

  • Book: Halo: Evolutions – Essential Tales of the Halo Universe (Buy now)
  • Book: Halo: Fractures (Buy now)
  • Comic: Halo: Tales from Slipspace (Buy now)


And finally, we have a single medium that is not a canon. Nevertheless, for the sake of completeness we would like to mention these media in the Halo Timeline.

  • Movie: Halo Legends: Odd One Out


Lars Cornelis

Lars has been a game journalist since 2005. He loves a virtual adventures and appreciates a good story, whether told through environmental storytelling or deep lore. He has a large collection of books and comics based on his favorite games, like Halo, Assassin's Creed and Metal Gear Solid.

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