Hearing Firefight lines

Posted September 21st 2012


If you're interested in hearing the lines for a particular Firefight voice, this article should be a help. For various groups of lines, it suggests ways of setting up Firefight to try and hear them as easily and frequently as possible. I used such methods in exploring Cortana's lines, and decided to collect them into a standalone article as they can equally be used to explore any voice efficiently.

These are all single-player methods, and for the sake of reference I've named them (possibly I'll add more later if I develop any). In co-op there may be more convenient methods in some cases, but I don't cover that a present. Maybe later. Some methods are little more than common sense with a few trimmings, but some involve a bit more cunning, sometimes involving a careful balance of settings so things behave just right. The method advice is usually fairly specific, but feel free to use your own variations if you want to do things a bit differently.

If you're interested in recording lines, you might want to go to extra care to minimize any background noise to get the purest samples, and part of that would involve investigating the best maps and places to use. That's more specialized than what I'm trying to cover here, but my advice should still be useful (and see my note about exploiting Theater mode).


Before we get to the various line groups, here are a few general preliminary issues.

Map choice

With most groups any map would do for hearing the lines, but sometimes there's an advantage to using one map or another, for example because of the nature of the spawning area. I'd suggest using Beachhead as standard, but it's up to you.


The IWHBYD skull alters some of the relative frequencies with which the various lines can be heard, and for some lines you may need the skull to be able to hear them at all. Make sure it's on if you want the widest variety of memorable lines.

Getting rid of music, for greater clarity

The initial music stops when the second wave is triggered, and you may like to take the time to do that before you get down to business, so you can hear lines more clearly. Not that the music is loud, but you do notice a difference when it's gone. A concussion rifle with damage modifier 200% or more is one good way of clearing enemies fast, and it would help if you've boosted your player speed. Preferably have your motion tracker set to enhanced mode with boosted range, so you can more easily locate enemies when needed. In my Cortana work I routinely had an unlimited jet pack (and usually low player gravity) which made any clearing even easier - plus more fun!

Minimizing covie hassle

For some of the methods you'll want to minimize the amount of hassle you get from covies, so you can concentrate on whatever you're doing. In regard to settings, my core suggestion is to play on Easy and use deaf near-sighted grenadeless Grunts (hazards disabled) - which you'd do through a custom skull. Minimize their damage resistance too if you want. Having them deaf and near-sighted will help minimize their activity and make them easier to deal with when necessary. But often (depending on where you are), they can simply end up standing around a short distance away, oblivious of you, so you won't even need to bother killing them. For getting rid of any nuisances though, a suitable weapon with bottomless clip would obviously be good, with boosted damage modifier if you didn't make enemies weaker.

Safe or quiet spots

A further aspect of minimizing covie hassle is to be in a suitable place. You could try some isolated area on the edge of the map for example, and Beachhead is good for that. But also, some maps have high perching spots which can be safely landed on with a jet pack to be completely out of covie reach. There's a cluster of them on Beachhead, near the stationary shield which is off to the right as you exit from the default spawn point (or as you choose to respawn on grass, the final option). There are seven grass-topped patches sticking out on the cliff face between the shield and the building, and five can be perched on (though one requires you to be pretty near the edge). Go check them out with an unlimited jet pack and low player gravity!


In many of the methods I'll suggest that you make yourself invulnerable. This doesn't just ensure your safety, it also means your character won't be caused to utter any hurt lines ("Ahh!" etc.), which could interrupt the lines you're interested in hearing. Note that setting the enemy's damage modifier to 0% wouldn't give you quite so much protection as invulnerability. It doesn't even protect you fully from enemy fire, because if a covie dies before his shots reach you, those shots apparently lose their covie status and would be allowed to damage you - a flaw in the implementation.

A dedicated game variant

If you're going to be doing a fair bit of voice exploring, it's worth creating a dedicated game variant in which you've made various settings, so as to minimize the amount of changes needed when you want to use the various methods. I recommend the following. Make sure IWHBYD will be on. Set things for minimizing covie hassle, including having a bottomless clip and good weaponry. Have dropships disabled, unlimited waves, unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, invulnerability (there'll only be a few cases where you'd want to turn that off), maximum grenades, boosted player speed (e.g. 200%) and an unlimited jet pack. I favour using low player gravity too because it makes flying easier, but if you're not used to that, skip it. Set your sensor to enhanced mode with boosted range to aid target locating and to give you more warning of anything coming your way.

Exploiting Theater mode

For the more dedicated investigator, Theater mode can be a very useful tool. It's not only useful for replaying lines to review them, but also for clarifying lines which occur in noisy conditions, because you can make the playback give you sound clips one at a time, to hear a line in isolation. For example, after using a fuel rod blast to kill yourself for a death line, you can edge the film forwards to get first the explosion sound effect, then quite separately the death line.

Arming lines

Cortana occasionally says things when arming herself with a fuel rod gun, plasma launcher, rocket launcher or Spartan laser, and the line sets are different for each one. I don't know if that's the case for all characters, but here's how you can efficiently check out any arming lines for two weapons at once.

Rotation method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, and have a loadout with two of the weapons you want to check. Keep switching between them (don't bother trying to do it fast; that doesn't help) and you can expect around five lines per minute if they both have lines. If you don't want to be pestered by covies, just stay clear of them as best you can, perhaps going somewhere isolated.

I don't think there's there's any point switching back and forth fast, because the game's decision over when to give you another line for a given weapon seems to be time based, rather than being based on the number of times you've switched to the weapon since you last got a line for it.

If you only have one special weapon to hear lines for, don't expect more than two lines a minute as you keep swapping. With two you get a higher combined line rate because the game is (I think) keeping track of line delivery for each weapon type separately. That was the main point of the rotation method.

The rotation method can be extended to test four weapons together if you like. Kill yourself to drop your initial two weapons, and on respawning select a loadout giving you the other two. Keep switching among the four and you'll get higher combined line rate than with two, if they all have lines. However, picking up weapons repeatedly is more work and gets tiresome fast, and it might even make you a bit dizzy, so I'd actually recommend sticking to the simpler two-weapon version.

Damage lines

Lines for causing damage are not just used for damaging enemy troops but also manned enemy vehicles, including dropships (even though those seem to be indestructible). I found Cortana to be anomalously silent when using a Wraith's mortar though, and maybe it's the same for other voices.

Standard method: Have grenadeless Grunts, dropships disabled (to minimize wave delays), invulnerability, bottomless clip, and play on Easy. Just go around causing pain - no rush. Fire a shot, pause for a possible damage line, and so on. I wouldn't recommend using a headshot weapon for that as it's easy to accidentally get headshots. Instead I'd suggest a plasma pistol or needler. You can reduce noise levels by staying away from crowds.

If you want things to be especially quiet so you can hear the lines more clearly, here's another method. The basic idea is to get a situation where you can damage enemies easily from safety for a long time.

Quiet method: Make the first wave Grunts but the next wave Hunters, disable dropships (to minimize wave delays), and boost the enemy damage resistance to 2000%. Have invulnerability, bottomless clip, a DMR and plasma pistol, an unlimited jet pack and (if you want flying to be easier) low player gravity. Select Beachhead on Easy, and headshoot Grunts until the Hunters are triggered. In the preliminaries I mentioned a cluster of perching spots. Get Hunters drawn to that area, then perch. When they've settled down, pick a Hunter and fire plasma shots individually. You'll be able to hear any damage line very clearly, partly thanks to the dissipation of your weapon's retort by the time the shot hits, and partly because you ended the music. A needler can work nicely too, especially if you're low enough to get target lock. You could swap your DMR for one before heading for the perch.

I chose Hunters because they make large targets which won't move about much, and for line clarity it also helps that they don't make much reaction noise. You could try other covies if you like, or apply the general idea in other maps if you can find a suitably safe spot from which to fire. Incidentally, if the Hunters have normal vision they'll tend to crouch defensively, making a larger target than normal (not that it matters much), but on the minus side it takes them longer to settle down compared to being near-sighted. Hitting their shields is fine by the way; that does cause damage.

A few general notes on damage lines, while I'm here. (1) No distinction is made for the manner in which the damage is caused, and thus you can get some incongruous results with lines alluding to gunfire (e.g. "Target is taking rounds") when you actually used melee or a vehicle impact. (2) You can get a damage line or general kill line as a plasma grenade sticks, because that actually does a bit of damage. (3) With weaponry that does cumulative damage fast, such as a focus rifle or assault rifle, it sometimes seems like you're getting a damage line for a kill, but I assume you're actually getting it for damage incurred fractionally before the kill. A slight flaw in the programming I'd say; the reaction is coming too promptly. (4) You get damage lines even if covies have been made invulnerable. But you don't get them if you've given yourself damage modifier 0%.

Jackal lines

Cortana has a few special lines relating to Jackal damage, which can occur several seconds after damaging or killing one (which may or may not have triggered a damage or kill line). I don't know if all characters have such 'Jackal lines', but you can soon check your own. Here's a relatively sedate method I used with Cortana.

Standard method: Disable dropships (to minimize wave delays), have bottomless clip, a DMR, an unlimited jet pack and (if you want flying to be easier) low player gravity. Select Beachhead on Easy. In the preliminaries I mentioned a cluster of perching spots. Get Jackals drawn to that area, then perch. Bounce shots off shields and in due course you should get Jackal lines.

If you don't want to be so fussy, just go around shooting at Jackals while invulnerable and you'll probably get your first Jackal line pretty soon. Jackals can be shielded or unshielded.

General kill lines

Here I'm talking about the lines used for killing covies or destroying manned enemy vehicles, except for killing by headshot, for which there are separate lines.

Standard method: Have grenadeless Grunts made extra weak by reducing their damage resistance to 10%, so they'll always die from a single shot. Have dropships disabled (to minimize wave delays), invulnerability, bottomless clip, and play on Easy. Fire a shot, pause for a possible line, and so on. If you want to use a DMR or other headshot weapon, it's a good idea to make covies resistant to headshots so you won't accidentally headshoot them (unless you want to also hear headshot lines). You can reduce noise levels by staying away from crowds.

Outpost makes an especially good map for that method. You can just perch on the deck and pan around taking shots at the Grunts arrayed before you. You don't even need to move!

Note: I don't know if this is the case for all voices, but Cortana didn't give me any lines at all when dishing out hurt with a Wraith's mortar. Too engrossed in her work?

Headshot lines

Headshot lines apply to the DMR, magnum, needle rifle and sniper rifle. When you kill with a headshot and get a line, it's always a headshot line, never a general kill line.

Standard method: Have grenadeless Grunts, dropships disabled (to minimize wave delays), invulnerability, bottomless clip, your headshot weapon of choice (DMR recommended), and play on Easy. Performing headshots will be very easy. It can be easier still if you care to make the Grunts near-sighted and deaf, as they'll tend to stand around more; but that also means they might be slower to present themselves as targets.

Outpost is great for that; you can go up on the deck and just pan around performing easy headshots on the Grunts scattered around. I found Courtyard good too, for the compactness and simplicity.

Melee lines

These lines are options to the general kill lines, for use when killing an enemy with melee or using an energy sword, gravity hammer or golf club.

Easy victims method: Have grenadeless Grunts, dropships disabled (to minimize wave delays), invulnerability, and play on Easy. It'll be easy to run around hitting victims. Make the Grunts near-sighted and deaf if you want them to be more static, and boost your speed to make it easier. Preferably also set your sensor to enhanced mode with boosted range to aid target locating.

Assassination lines

If Cortana is anything to go by, assassination lines are typically two-part affairs involving various grunts of effort and sometimes verbal send-offs. Separately, you may also get a general kill line afterwards.

Easy victims method: Have deaf near-sighted grenadeless Grunts, dropships disabled (to minimize wave delays), invulnerability, boosted speed, and play on Easy. Preferably also set your sensor to enhanced mode with boosted range to aid target locating. On most maps you'll be able to go around assassinating groups of Grunts as they stand around looking the wrong way. Chasing down panicking Grunts from behind will be easy too.

Larger maps are probably best for that, so the groups are better separated and so there's less noise from shooting. With an unlimited jet pack and low gravity you can easily fly about and drop in on groups from above, if you like. Kinda fun.

Reload lines

I don't have anything terribly special to say for these lines, but here's the fairly obvious method.

Standard method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have your reloadable weapon of choice, and infinite ammo (not bottomless clip though). Fire, reload, and repeat, and you can expect maybe two lines a minute. If you don't want to be pestered by covies, just stay clear of them as best you can, perhaps going somewhere isolated.

Overheat lines

The weapon overheat lines apply to the focus rifle, plasma launcher, plasma pistol, plasma rifle, Spartan laser and spiker. You only get them occasionally and you mustn't have a bottomless clip, else overheating doesn't occur. If Cortana is typical, you don't get overheat lines on a machine gun turret or a Wraith's plasma cannon turret, despite those things overheating.

Rotation method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have two of the overheat weapons, and infinite ammo (not bottomless clip though). Overheat one, then swap and overheat the other, and so on. You can expect five or six lines a minute this way. If you don't want to be pestered by covies, just stay clear of them as best you can, perhaps going somewhere isolated.

If you only have one overheat weapon to hear lines for, don't expect more than a few lines a minute as you keep overheating. With two you get a higher combined line rate because the game is (I think) keeping track of line delivery for each weapon type separately. That was the main point of the rotation method.

The focus rifle and Spartan laser are the best to play with if you want to be killing covies from a safe distance as part of the play, but you can always just fire at nothing to get an overheat. If you do shoot at covies, an overheat line can immediately follow a kill line[**or damage line?].

Throw lines

Does your character say anything interesting when throwing high-explosive about the place? Time to find out!

8-throw method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, damage resistance 10%, maximum grenades, and a loadout with concussion rifle as primary and magnum as secondary (the magnum is just for dealing with any pests). Use a map in which you'll be able to throw a fair way when standing at the respawn point. Beachhead is fine. Each time you spawn you'll have eight grenades to throw, then you can kill yourself with a single close blast to repeat. You may like to vary your respawn points so it takes clutter longer to start causing framerate slowdown.

Another idea to repeatedly kill yourself to build up a lot of grenades, so you can then throw them without the repeated interruption of respawning. But you'll want to be able to kill yourself in a manner that doesn't set off any grenades. Here's how I worked it.

Collection method: Using Beachhead, set things up as above except with damage modifier 25% and no shields. At the respawn point, blast the ceiling above you to die. Keep doing this to build up a load of dropped grenades. Ceiling blasts won't be strong enough to set any off (or at least, not if you avoid hitting any protuberance). You'll drop four each time, though in due course the game may remove some. Kill yourself ten times or so and that'll give you plenty. When you've thrown them all, kill yourself to start over. You can also choose to respawn on the roof, where you'll conveniently be under another ceiling you can use (if you hit the high part).

Boarding lines

With Cortana there are identical driver's seat boarding lines for the Warthog, Mongoose, Ghost and Forklift, and there are also lines for the Warthog's passenger seat and turret. She has no boarding lines with the Wraith however. Assuming it's the same for other voices too (but you might want to check yours just in case), all you'd need to do is use the Warthog, for which I have an efficiency tip.

Rotation method: Set things to minimize covie hassle. In Beachhead, take the Warthog to an isolated spot where covies will have a bit of trek to come after you. Keep rotating around the hog, trying all three types of boarding, and you can expect maybe five or six lines a minute (as opposed to the one or two you might get if only using the same boarding type each time).

Some of the lines will probably just be exertion noises, which aren't so interesting of course.

Loss lines

By loss lines I mean lines for the loss of an ally. In single-player, which is all I'm covering here, you can get these on the Installation 04 map for the ODSTs, even if you're nowhere near the event. For ODSTs you need to have hazards enabled.

Hiding method: On the Installation 04 map, have skirmishers, dropships disabled, hazards enabled, and use Legendary. When you spawn, quickly move the hog so you can crouch down to be hidden by it in case any covies come your way, then wait for a possible loss line as your allies are quickly attacked. When you get a line (which usually happens quite fast) or give up, restart the mission to repeat.

An alternative to hiding behind the hog is to be invulnerable and stand ready with weaponry capable of quickly taking down anyone heading your way, or indeed to fly off with a jet pack to join your allies or go someplace else. But the drawback is, you may be busy shooting when a loss line comes. Also, hiding behind the hog works best for minimizing noise.

Stuck lines

These lines apply when a plasma grenade attaches to you, even if thrown by yourself. So let's go do something foolish in the name of science!

1-bounce method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, and 2x plasma grenades. When you spawn, tag yourself by bouncing a grenade off a wall or the ceiling. Respawn, repeat, and so on. If you ever miss an attempted tag, you can make another try if you care to get clear; or you could just let the bang kill you anyway.

Don't stand too close to the bounce surface or the tag line may not to have time to kick in after the throwing line. In Beachhead you can use the ceiling by throwing vertically from where you spawn then moving forward fractionally. That was the easiest and most efficient method for me.

With a little refinement you can do something similar but with less respawning, which leads to a higher rate of lines (about 12 per minute compared to 9) and certainly the clutter on the floor will be much slower to build up.

4-bounce method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, damage resistance 200%, 2x overshields, 4x plasma grenades, and a loadout with fuel rod gun as primary. When you spawn, tag yourself by bouncing a grenade off a wall or the ceiling, wait for the ringing in your ears to stop, and keep repeating. The fourth bang will kill you as long as you never paused long enough for shielding to recharge; and when you respawn you can start over. If you paused too long and find yourself still alive after using the final plasma, kill yourself with the fuel rod gun.

Implicitly your damage modifier should be the normal 100% there, otherwise it would obviously adjust the balance of things. The only negative aspect of the 4-bounce method is that unlike the 1-bounce method, you'll get a lot of ringing in the ears.

Note: Because a plasma causes damage as it sticks (which by the way, can amusingly cause a weak covie to die from the impact), you sometimes hear part of a damage line before the tag line kicks in.

Impact lines

When you suffer a heavy impact of some type, you can expect some reaction. In the case of Cortana, her lines include some which refer to landing (e.g. "Landing!", in protest) but which, surprisingly, seem to be used just as readily for impacts suffered in other ways, such as colliding with a dropship. So I have the impression that the game makes no distinction between impact types, in selecting lines.

In the following method you make your character suffer with some heavy landings, an activity which is pretty amusing with Cortana as she has such a great array of cries. I'm not sure anyone's going to be able to match her there.

High-jump method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have jump height 300%, damage resistance 1000% or more, normal shields, player gravity 200%, and normal player speed. Go to a level place where you can exploit your jump height to the max (Beachhead would do - just get outside), and jump on the spot. Each landing will be heavy, and you can repeat without needing to wait for shield recharging (damage will only be minor, thanks to your boosted resistance). You can hear 18 lines per minute this way. You could use normal gravity instead, but jumps will last slightly longer, reducing the line rate a little.

The reason I said normal player speed is that with high speed you become strangely more resistant to landings, so you'd need to fall from higher to get lines (e.g. after boosting yourself up further with a jet pack). Even a mere 120% speed throws things off, though actually 110% is ok.

You could do things with normal damage resistance, but a heavy landing will wipe your shield and you'd need to wait for some recharging before jumping again, which isn't so convenient (though it would obviously help to boost your recharging rate).

I also found a method which can give you the lines at even higher rate, by bumping your head.

Head bump method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have jump height 300%, damage resistance 1000% or more, normal shields, and normal player speed. Using Beachhead, stand at the default spawning point and jump. You bump your head, and will get a landing line for that unless a jump line has been initiated (which just happens occasionally). You can get around 28 lines per minute this way. Some low ceiling outside can be used if you prefer. Incidentally, player gravity isn't important here; anything will do.

Although the line rate is higher in that method, the lines won't be heard quite as clearly as before because you'll get the sound of feet landing too. There's also the issue of occasionally getting a jump line instead of an impact line, though if you're experienced you'll probably recognize it. Personally I prefer the high-jump method. It has more graceful dynamics and seems more comical; and if your character is sometime referring to landing, it suits the lines better of course.

Hurt lines

Based on my Cortana work, I think there are two groups of lines for taking damage, other than by heavy impact, and not including the slight damage incurred when a plasma grenade sticks. There's a group used if some shielding remains (which for Cortana comprised relatively light cries and intakes of breath), and a group for when any shielding has gone (which for Cortana comprised severe cries plus some spoken lines). I have various methods to suggest, but let's start with the simplest.

Blast method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have unlimited starting lives and minimum respawn time (in case of accidental deaths), bottomless clip, and a concussion rifle. Fire against a nearby surface to hurt yourself. It's easy to control, but try to be sufficiently distant from the blasts to avoid getting ringing in the ears.

A rather less noisy method uses a needler and a stationary shield, as follows.

Shield method: Set things to minimize covie hassle, have unlimited starting lives and minimum respawn time (in case of accidental deaths), bottomless clip, a needler, damage modifier 25%, and damage resistance 50%. Use a map with a stationary shield in a convenient place. Beachhead is ideal, and I suggest using the shield off to the right. Bounce needles off the shield to hurt yourself. You can bounce them off either side but standing behind the shield seems best to me. It can withstand plenty of needles because of your low damage modifier.

If you don't want to bother having to needle yourself, why not get a Grunt to do it for you? Here's a recipe.

Needler Grunt method: Set things for grenadeless Grunts who have damage modifier 50% but are otherwise normal. Have a concussion rifle, plus a DMR or other precision weapon, and preferably use a map which has a nice open area, free of obstructions. Beachhead is ideal. Using Easy, get into a situation where you're under attack from a single needler Grunt, preferably in an open area where he'll stay focused on you. It's easy to arrange because Grunts will home in on you and you can use your precision weapon to kill any you don't want. Let him needle you. You can hear plenty of lines before he gets through your shield, and then plenty while he works on your health. Any time you want to recharge, just dodge needles for a while. If you want to speed things along at any stage, use concussion rifle blasts.

The point of wanting the Grunt to stay focused on you is partly so that your shield and/or health won't have time to recharge. If you want to be damaged slower so you can listen longer without needing to do anything, reduce the damage modifier to 25%. And if that still isn't slow enough for you, increase your damage resistance. Basically you can control things how you like.

With all those methods, if you're only interested in hearing the more severe lines, be shieldless to save having to remove shielding in play. If you ever do want to remove it though, concussion rifle blasts are good for that.

Death lines

Here's some advice for hearing the more interesting death lines, which typically arise from covie assault. I'm not covering other types such as those for falling to your death. Those lines are likely to just be various cries, if Cortana is anything to go by.

Passive target method: Have unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, no grenades for anyone, damage resistance 10%, no shields, and damage modifier 300%. Use a loadout which has a DMR as primary. Get into a situation where you've got one or more covies at the respawning area, and let yourself be killed repeatedly. You can hear up to 15 lines per minute that way, especially if you raise covie abilities via difficulty level or various settings. Grunts on Heroic would do nicely for example. Use the DMR to kill off any enemies you don't want. In that way you can control the type of attack you'll be subjected to. It can be useful to minimize the number of attackers to reduce the amount of excess fire and thus hear death lines better.

To get more specific, try using eagle-eyed marksman Grunts with damage modifier 300%, on Normal or higher. Normal will give you a bit more time to kill enemies when you respawn, which can be useful when you decide you've got too many, but there won't be any Grunts with fuel rod guns. You can get excellent results with a single plasma pistol Grunt. A needler Grunt doesn't seem as good, because you tend to get lines for being injured which then get cut off by the death line, making things messier. A plasma pistol works faster, giving injury lines less time to kick in.

If you want to focus on the lines for severe death, which in the case of Cortana involve some really long screams, here's a separate method.

Severe suicide method: Have unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, damage modifier 300%, no grenades, and a loadout with fuel rod gun as primary. Any difficulty level can be used. Each time you respawn, blast the ground beneath you to die. You can hear a line every 4 seconds that way. You could reduce your damage resistance too and have no shields, but neither of those things are necessary with the boosted FRG.

In that method I didn't bother suggesting to arrange minimum covie hassle, because they tend not to even turn up for ages, if at all. Your brief spells of absence impede their usual homing. But if anyone does turn up, you've always got that handy FRG of course. Also you have the option of quickly selecting alternative spawn points, to stay clear.

Using a concussion rifle instead, you can get a different group of cries:

Mild suicide method: This is just the same as the severe suicide method except using a concussion rifle. Again, you can hear a line every 4 seconds.

As for death by headshot (Cortana seemed to have such lines), here's what I'd suggest.

Snipers method: Have unlimited starting lives, minimum respawn time, damage modifier 300%, shield recharging rate 0%, a jet pack, player gravity 75% for easy flying, player speed 150%, and a loadout with concussion rifle as primary. Have Jackal snipers, hazards off, and use Holdout on Heroic. Reduce the enemy count to just a handful of snipers with needle rifles. Each time you respawn, get somewhere fairly distant from the Jackals and they'll often headshoot you (they tend not to headshoot you when they're close). Rather than hovering, you might like to land somewhere so your jet pack won't be adding to the noise. Landing on the helipad works pretty well as the Jackals can still get a good view of you.

I tried using Normal so there wouldn't be any focus rifles, but I got the impression that the Jackals weren't as good at doing headshots, so I think Heroic is preferable.