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Invader is an open source modding toolkit for Halo 1, supporting multiple editions depending on the tool. It aims to replace tools of the HEK with an emphasis on tag data correctness and validation. Most of its tools are command-line operated like Tool, although invader-edit-qt is a GUI tag editor similar to Guerilla and Six Shooter is a GUI wrapper for some invader tools.

Familiarity with the command-line is a prerequisite for most of Invader's tools if you are not using Six Shooter.


Generates string_list and unicode_string_list tags from string source data.

See invader documentation for usage.


This tool extracts tags from maps. It supports Custom Edition, demo, retail, and also tags from Halo beta build 1749.


This tool compiles map cache files and is an alternative to compiling maps with tool. In addition to being less buggy than Tool, it offers clearer warning and error messages and is generally more strict about tag correctness. When compiling stock scenarios (any of the stock maps), it will automatically forge checksums, use the stock tag index, and apply certain tag patches to ensure maps can be used in multiplayer compatibly.

As an example, to compile Prisoner for custom edition:

invader-build -g custom "levels\test\prisoner\prisoner"

The tool has many options to customize; run with the -h flag to learn more. Note that the -c option creates an invader-compressed map that can only be run with Chimera at this time.

Hardcoded tag patches

Like Tool, invader-build applies some hard-coded tag patches. The patches vary by target engine and scenario, but are designed to help users avoid incorrect tag values due to the differences in extracted stock tags across game editions and map types.

Tag type Tag path Changes
weapon weapons\pistol\pistol For any SP scenario, min error to 0.2 degrees, error angle range 0.2 to 0.4 for first trigger
damage_effect weapons\pistol\bullet For any SP scenario, elite energy shield damage modifier to 0.8
weapon weapons\plasma rifle\plasma rifle For any SP scenario, error angle range 0.25 to 2.5 for first trigger
damage_effect vehicles\ghost\ghost bolt

For stock MP scenarios:

  • Stun: 0.0 if Custom Edition, else 1.0
  • Maximum stun: 0.0 if Custom Edition, else 1.0
  • Stun time: 0.0 if Custom Edition, else 0.15
damage_effect vehicles\banshee\banshee bolt As above.
weapon vehicles\rwarthog\rwarthog_gun

For stock MP scenarios:

  • Autoaim angle: 6.0° if Custom Edition, else 1.0°
  • Deviation angle: 12.0° if Custom Edition, else 1.0°

Invader will also silently modify the ting sound effect for multiplayer to have a gain of 1.0 if Custom Edition and 0.2 if not. This is so the sound is not too loud or too quiet when played on their respective versions.

Note that the changes done in common with Tool are reversed when extracting tags using invader-extract.