Halo Timeline – Everything in Chronological Order

Halo Volgorde

The chronological order of Halo isn’t easy. The Halo Universe includes not only 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 explain the order of Halo’s books, comics and films & series, with the games as the central thread. This is our Halo Timeline.

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.

The Halo Timeline can be divided into the following eras:

This entry was updated in April 2020.

Era of the Forerunners

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)

  • Book: Halo: Cryptum
  • Book: Halo: Primordium
  • Book: Halo: Silentium

Also in this era

  • Comic: Halo 3: Cradle of Life

Founding of the Covenant

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 (First half)
  • Movie: Halo Legends: The Duel

War with Insurrectionists/First Contact Covenant

Halo Harvest

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
  • Movie: Halo Legends: Homecoming
  • Comic: Halo Wars: Genesis
  • Game Halo Wars
  • Movie: Halo Legends: Prototype
  • Book: Halo: The Cole Protocol
  • Movie: Halo: Midnight in the Heart of Midlothian
  • Comic: Halo: Blood Line
  • Movie: Halo: Headhunters
  • Movie: Halo Legends: The Babysitter
  • Comic: Halo: Helljumper
  • Book: Halo: Battle Born
  • Book: Halo: Battle Born – Meridian Divide
  • 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

Master Chief’s Origin Story

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

The Original Halo Trilogy

Halo Trilogie Volgorde

Both Halo Reach and Halo: The Fall of Reach seamlessly connect to the very first game. Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 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
    • Game: Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary
  • Game Halo: Fireteam Raven
  • Comic: Halo Graphic Novel
  • Book: Halo: First Strike
  • Game: Halo 2
    • Game: Halo 2: Anniversary
  • Movie: Halo: The Mona Lisa
  • Game Halo 3: ODST
  • Book: Halo: Broken Circle (Second half)
  • Book: Halo: Ghosts of Onyx
  • Comic: Halo: Uprising
  • Movie: Halo 3: Starry Night
  • Movie: Halo 3: Landfall
  • Game Halo 3
  • Movie: Halo CE Anniversary: Living Monument
  • Movie: Halo 3: Believe

Reclaimer Saga

Halo Timeline 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
  • Book: Halo: The Thursday War
  • Book: Halo: Mortal Dictata

Also in this era:

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

Infinite

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.

  • Movie: Halo: The Television Series
  • Game Halo: Infinite

Collections of Stories

Halo Verhalenbundels

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
    • Book: Halo: Evolutions I
    • Book: Halo: Evolutions II
  • Book: Halo: Fractures
  • Comic: Halo: Tales from Slipspace

Non-canon

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