One of the things that people are familiar with when it comes to the Halo universe is that we are talking about different super soldiers who are equipped with advanced suits of armor and are supposed to be frontline specialists for the UNSC. These super soldiers are called Spartans, and there are different generations of Spartan soldiers. There are four generations of Spartan soldiers, and each of these generations is unique. So, which Spartan super soldier generation is the strongest?
The very first Spartan soldiers were the ones who volunteered for the Orion project, which was initiated during the end of the 25th century. This program was initiated as a precursor to other programs in the future because, for all intents and purposes, it was used to test the different enhancements that could possibly produce genetically and physically superior super soldiers for the UNSC.
Basically speaking, the goal of Orion was to produce soldiers that they could place into the Mjolnir powered assault armor, which required the wearer to be physically capable enough to handle the strain of wearing this piece of technology. As such, the super soldiers that were part of Orion needed to be physically augmented.
The problem was that the augmentations failed due to various different factors. On top of that, those who took part in the Orion project experiments were volunteers who were already adults. There were also plenty of different volunteers who ended up dying during the course of the experiments, and that was what led to Orion getting scrapped.
The Orion super soldiers (later called Spartan-I’s) that were able to survive the process eventually became augmented humans that were stronger than regular humans. However, not all of the augmentations were entirely successful, and that meant that the volunteers who may have survived weren’t always regarded as military personnel fit for active duty.
As such, while Spartan-I’s may have ended up becoming stronger than most other regular soldiers, the augmentations that were introduced to them weren’t exactly effective. That means that they aren’t exactly the best out of the bunch, and this is why the Orion super soldiers are probably the worst out of all of the different Spartan generations.
Even though the Orion project was largely a failure, it was eventually revived thanks to the efforts of Dr. Catherine Halsey, who headed the project that soon became the Spartan Program. While Orion did indeed fail, the failures of that project allowed Halsey to improve the augmentation in her Spartan Program to produce the second generation of Spartan super soldiers known as the Spartan-IIs.
The Spartan Program involved selecting children that had genetic traits that were superior compared to the other kids of their age group. These are the children that are more likely to grow up to become stronger, bigger, faster, and smarter than other children. As such, they were kidnapped at the age of six and were replaced with clones that would eventually die out.
After kidnapping these children, Halsey and the people behind the Spartan Program would subject them to various mechanical, biological, and physical augmentations that will allow them to eventually become stronger, bigger, faster, and smarter than regular humans. Their bones are also augmented so that they would become more durable.
The purpose of the augmentation and enhancements introduced to these children is to prepare them for the Mjolnir powered assault armor, which requires the wearer to be superior to regular humans due to the physical demands and the strain that wearing the armor can cause. As such, the Spartan-IIs were the first to meld advanced exoskeleton technology with the soldier’s superior physical characteristics.
Those who were part of the Spartan-II Program ended up becoming far stronger than any other super soldier in the Halo universe. They are also considered naturally superior to other people in terms of their genetics and biology because they were selectively chosen to take part in the program. This is why, even if they weren’t physically augmented, the Spartan-II’s are still stronger, bigger, faster, and smarter than the average human.
On top of the fact that the Spartan-II’s are the ones who were subjected to the greatest number of experimentations and augmentations, they are also the ones who were trained to become soldiers since their childhood years. At the tender age of six, Spartan-II’s are already trained in the art of warfare, and that means that they are basically raised to become killing machines on the frontlines for the UNSC.
It is the very nature of how the Spartan-II’s were produced that makes them superior to all other super soldiers in the Halo universe on an individual level. Nevertheless, the moral problems associated with the program and the many failures that it saw paved the way for the Spartan III program.
The Spartan-III Program was the successor of Spartan-II, and it was meant to be the next generation program of super soldiers for the UNSC. Its goal was to produce more super soldiers that were meant to be expendable and more affordable compared to the Spartan-II’s.
Spartan-III super soldiers were usually colony children between the ages of six to 11 and were orphaned due to the effects of the different wars that the UNSC were engaged in. As such, these are vengeful orphans that willfully subjected themselves to the program so that they could fight for the UNSC and take revenge on the alien races that ruined their lives.
However, the Spartan-III soldiers are selected from a wider pool of children and are subjected to more efficient training and augmentations compared to the ones who were involved in the Spartan-II project. This means that the UNSC would be able to have more super soldiers on the frontlines.
The Spartan-III’s were subjected to augmentations less severe compared to the experimentations done to the Spartan-II’s because the goal was to produce super soldiers at a cheaper and faster rate. However, the Spartan-III’s are still faster, stronger, and smarter than humans. Still, their physical capabilities fall short when compared to what the Spartan-II soldiers can do.
But while Spartan-III soldiers are objectively weaker compared to their Spartan-II counterparts, they are better trained in the art of military tactics and collaboration because there are more Spartan-III soldiers around. As such, they are great at using military tactics to their advantage and at coming up with different collaborative measures with their teammates to become successful on the battlefield. They may not be as strong as their Spartan-II counterparts, but they are better in a team setup.
Moreover, the sheer fact that there are more Spartan-III’s means that they can overwhelm enemy soldiers using their numbers. As such, quantity and efficiency are some of the major strengths that the Spartan-III’s have.
The Spartan-IV Program is the real successor to the original Orion project because this program involves augmenting adult humans who are already proven soldiers on the battlefield. This is why most of the Spartan-IV super soldiers were ODSTs (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) that were regular humans but are proven soldiers on the battlefield, despite not being as strong as their Spartan counterparts.
Essentially, the Spartan-IV Program is entirely voluntary because the UNSC no longer had to kidnap children or convince them to avenge their families by signing up for the program. As such, the volunteers are already proven members of the UNSC military and are strong and experienced enough to survive the process.
Spartan-IV’s still have to undergo augmentation, but the augmentations aren’t as severe as the ones that their Spartan-III and Spartan-II counterparts underwent. But the fact that the Spartan-IVs are proven soldiers that have shown their value to the UNSC makes them not as expendable as the Spartan-III’s.
But the problem with the Spartan-IV Program is that it still isn’t perfect. That’s because those who undergo this procedure were not selected based on their genetic capabilities but were volunteers. As such, there are still failures in the Spartan-IV program because some of the volunteers just didn’t meet the genetic requirements.
Spartan-IVs are objectively weaker compared to the Spartan-II’s and the Spartan-III’s when you factor in the fact that they weren’t subjected to the same augmentations. However, despite lacking in augmentation, they more than make up for their weaknesses with their experience.
The Spartan-IV super soldiers are made up of the best of the different branches under the UNSC military, and that means that you are talking about the best personnel that the military could produce. They underwent the same strict training as any other soldier and have proven themselves to be great combatants on the field during the war against the Covenant.
As such, Spartan-IV soldiers are strong enough to take on Spartan-IIs and Spartan-IIIs based on their military experience alone. This is why Jameson Locke’s Fireteam Osiris, a squad made up of Spartan-IV soldiers, was the one that was sent after Master Chief’s Blue Team during the events of Halo 5: Guardians. While Locke’s men may be objectively not as strong as the individual members of Blue Team, they have the advantage in terms of experience and teamwork.
Which Spartan Super Soldier Generation Is The Strongest?
As you can see, each Spartan Super Soldier generation has its own strengths and advantages over each other. Objectively, we can say that the Orion soldiers are the weakest because that program was a failure.
However, when we are talking about the other three generations, it becomes difficult to decide which is stronger. Objectively, the Spartan-IIs are supposed to be stronger because they are genetically superior, have undergone superior training since the age of six, and were subjected to more experiments and augmentations.
Still, despite that, the Spartan-IIIs and Spartan-IVs have their advantages over the Spartan-IIs. This is why we cannot really say that the Spartan-II soldiers are downright the strongest generations of Spartans in every facet. Nevertheless, from an objective standpoint, the Spartan-II super soldiers are superior.