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Shadow's are used to transfer troops and ghosts, very similar to the Human Elephant vehicle.
The Shadow is a bulky, heavy armored vehicle and as such is able to take an immense amount of punishment before succumbing to damage. The Shadow may exhibit multiple internal explosions that rock its entire chassis or lift it from the floor by quite a distance whilst under intense fire. However, it will continue moving in spite of this.As a consequence it is advisable to focus all attentions on the driver of the Shadow, after all an Elite can only take so much punishment. Often the gunner must be dealt with first but due to the exposed nature of its position this will pose little problem (the Shadow's gunner will fire at a slow rate, though if you hop in the gunner seat, the rate of fire is increased dramatically if you continue to fire over a period of time). The turret has the capable and comparable power of a Phantom's guns, but can shoot faster and at a greater rate and distance.Once incapacitated the Shadow will drop it's load on the ground. Like all Covenant vehicles the Shadow, once taken down, will experience a secondary detonation. This is by far the largest of all such critical damage reactions of any Covenant vehicle, resulting in an immense explosion that has the ability to catapult the vehicle into the air, sometimes even culminating in a roll-over.
Unlike almost all other land-based vehicles in Halo 2 the Shadow is not a pilot-able (execpt the turret) vehicle for the player. This makes it only good as a placed turret, albeit a very powerful one. The Shadow is exclusive to the level Outskirts where Master Chief must destroy a convoy of them.The Shadows in Halo 2 are always seen transporting Ghosts, never infantry, but the seat bearing Shadows can be unlocked via a modded Xbox. It was discovered to be a drivable vehicle in the Halo 3 beta code, although Shadows are never seen in the Halo 3.