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Graphic grid featuring four different aliens from the Halo video games Graphic: James Bareham/Polygon | Source images: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

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Ranking the Covenant aliens from Halo by how much I want to smooch them

If I had to kiss them, which I don’t want to do, obviously

Ana Diaz (she/her) is a culture writer at Polygon, covering internet culture, fandom, and video games. Her work has previously appeared at NPR, Wired, and The Verge.

The Covenant lives in video game infamy as one of the most iconic groups of baddies ever. These creepy-crawly aliens with their futuristic armor and slimy skin look as scary as they do cool — making them a fitting group of enemies to take on Master Chief.

In the Halo series, the Covenant refers to an alliance of multiple alien species, all united under a belief that the aliens will one day be able to activate a super technology and ascend to join the gods. Although these aliens share a common goal, the organization seems to have some sort of unwritten requirement that none of them could be good-looking.

In the spirit of the Covenant itself — which is an extremely hierarchical organization — I decided to rank them. However, on this day, I won’t be ranking them by how strong or intelligent they are. No, this list will rank them based on how smoochable each of these alien species is.

Personally, I would not elect to kiss any of these aliens. However, if I were forced to kiss them, here’s my definitive ranked list, according to how willing I would be to kiss them.

1. Elites (Sangheili)

an elite render from Halo. it’s wearing blue armor and is holding an energy sword. Image: 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

Call me basic, but I can’t help but put Elites at the top of this list. The Elites are skilled combatants and technicians, and they’re a fairly common enemy throughout the Halo universe. The height of an Elite can be anywhere from 7-foot-4 to 8-foot-6, and they’re super strong. These aliens did what Master Chief could never do: Have a sex appeal. These bad boys tower over the already-tall super soldier. According to biological descriptions of them, Elites have a quadruple-hinged jaw with an upper jaw and four fingerlike mandibles — meaning these baddies are arguably engineered for kissing, making them deserving of this spot in the ranking.

2. Brutes (Jiralhanae)

a Brute, a giant beastlike alien from Halo. it has fur all over its body and has a muscular, built body. Image: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

I originally had Brutes lower down on the list because of their ornery nature. However, this article strives to be a work of objective journalism, and so, I must be honest about who appears to be most smoochable. By that measurement, I must say these Halo Chewbaccas deserve to be higher on the list than almost everyone else. Kissing this highly aggressive species of aliens would terrify me, but it would still be preferable to smooching anyone below. Let’s just pretend all the hair is an overgrown beard, OK?

3. Prophets (San’Shyuum)

a Prophet from Halo, an alien wearing extravagant garb — there’s a giant gold headpiece and wears robe — sits on a thronelike chair Image: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

Look, putting the Prophets this high is just me selling out. These aliens sit at the top of the Covenant hierarchy, and are arguably some of the ugliest creatures on this list. However, their relative position of power and intellect makes them an easier target of a kiss. At this point, I’m more in it for a ride in the hoverchair. I just think I could fix them, you know?

4. Grunts (Unggoy)

a little goblin of a alien. it has sharp yellow teeth, and wears some body armor along with a blaster on it’s left hand. it has long sharp nails as well. Image: 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

Some decisions are purely emotional. While they might be at the bottom of the Covenant ranks, the Grunts are at the top of my heart — which explains their position on this list. Wait, sorry, this is supposed to be objective. OK, all of that was just facts.

Sure, there is a lot going against them: They breathe methane and have vicious long nails. But they are arguably the nicest Covenant species. Gregarious and sociable, Grunts can often be found in groups, always willing to help out. There is no doubt that among the aliens on this list, I would be most likely to bring a Grunt to a social event, have a few drinks, and give ’em a nice big smooch.

5. Hunters (Lekgolo/Mgalekgolo)

a Hunter from Halo — you can see its wormlike veins under its metal armor Image: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

Hunters have a dirty little secret: They’re actually giant sentient piles of worms (or eels, to be precise). What look like rippling muscles under that armor are a colony of tiny eels that have gotten together to form one larger being. While that’s not exactly my cup of tea, a giant humanoid pile of worms could work for you, depending on what you’re into. Regardless of your or my own personal feelings, these creatures do not seem to have a true face, so they appear lower on the kissing list.

6. Jackals or Skirmishers (Kig-Yar)

a Jackal, a bipedal lizard alien from Halo, standing with a glowing blue shield Image: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

There are multiple subspecies of Jackals, but we’ll just assess this guy. This species has a “Saurian” classification, meaning they’re birdlike reptiles. I like lizards — they’re cool — although I personally would be wigged out by the eyes. I think the experience of kissing one might be enhanced by the feathery down on their backs. Overall, they seem a little gangly and toothy for my tastes, so I would avoid kissing one if possible.

7. Drones (Yanme’e)

a Drone, an insectlike alien from Halo, holding a glowing green weapon Image: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

This is a bug. This is a literal bug. I have no desire to kiss a Drone. I will, however, if I must, give one a lil’ kiss of encouragement right on the top of it, like I would a frog. Maybe I would take a photo — just to show, y’know, that I’m fun or something. However, there is little redeeming about these carnivorous insectoids.

8. Engineers (Huragok)

an Engineer, a blue and purple creature from Halo. it doesn’t really have a face but it has tentacles hanging down from it and a lumps all over it. it looks slimy. Image: Bungie, 343 Industries/Microsoft Studios

Well, you did it! You scrolled to the very bottom of this list. I don’t know what that says about you or me. However, let’s finish this up.

Last and least, we have the Engineers. The Engineers are somewhat of an anomaly on this list. They are a species of biochemical creatures that were created by the Forerunners (another alien race), and while I could go on about my precise reasoning behind this one, I don’t feel that I need to explain myself further. Just look at it.