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Half-Life 2's weapons are, while not as varied as the original game's, fairly diverse. Every weapon has advantages and drawbacks, and knowing which weapon to use in which situation is very important; doing so will make the game that much easier. For most weapons, ammo shouldn't be too much of a concern, as you'll find numerous ammunition drops and crates throughout the game. If you do run out of ammo (which happens very rarely), you can always resort to the Crowbar or Gravity Gun.




* Range: Melee

  • Max damage: 10 per whack (headcrabs die in 1 hits regardless of type)
  • Alternate fire: None
  • Magazine: N/A
  • Reserve capacity: N/A
  • Best used against: Obstacles, headcrabs (all types), zombies, manhacks

The crowbar is the first "weapon" you find. It comes in quite handy for smashing obstacles, breaking glass, opening crates, or killing headcrabs and normal zombies. It's not very useful for anything else, though. Other than that, you'll only want to use the Crowbar when you're really pressed for ammo, such as in the level 'Ravenholm' (which is extremely rare because ammo is in abundance for most of the game). It is only suggested that you use it for smaller, annoying enemies like headcrabs (all types are killed in 1 hit) and manhacks (kills in 1 hit on easy, 2 on normal and 3 on hard).

Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (Gravity Gun)[edit]

  • Range: Close to medium
  • Max damage: Zero-Instant kill/Instant kill
  • Alternate fire: Tractor beam
  • Magazine: N/A
  • Reserve capacity: N/A
  • Best used against: Obstacles, headcrabs (all types), zombies, Combine soldiers, manhacks, ant lions

While technically not a weapon, the Gravity Gun allows you to pick stuff up and blast it away at high speed. This is useful for all kinds of things, ranging from physics puzzles to actual combat. Primary fire projects a powerful beam of energy (often called a 'punt') at objects that knocks them away (this also works on headcrabs, ant lions, manhacks, and scanners). Alternate fire uses a tractor beam that grasps objects (provided they are light enough), allowing them to be thrown with greater accuracy using primary fire, or dropped into place by pressing alternate fire again (this also works on manhacks and pulse rifle alt-fire shots). Objects too distant to be picked up outright can sometimes be pulled towards the user with secondary fire. Towards the end of the game, the Gravity Gun will be "supercharged" so that it is more powerful and can pick up organic materials - the Gravity Gun can just about pick up anything that's not nailed down at that point. You can distinguish this Gravity Gun by the blue hue it gives off instead of the normal orange one. When choosing Gravity gun ammo, take a few things into consideration. those things are Mass, size, how much it blocks your view, how well it flies, and special abilities such as blades or explosions. Bladed items usually kill in one shot, and saw blades fly fast and accurately. in the event that you get the big, helicopter-like blade, it is useful, but not as good at a range. good against large groups though. Cinder blocks are common in urban areas, and they fly well, don't obstruct your view much, and almost always kill instantly. Oil drums (not the exploding kind) appear almost everywhere and have a lot of mass, although they obstruct your view more than some items. Exploding items are useful, but remember that if it gets shot, it will blow up in your face. Doors with windows, if positioned well when picked up, can act as shields without completely obstructing your view, as can radiators.

Pheropod (Bugbait)[edit]

  • Range: Medium
  • Max damage: None
  • Alternate fire Call
  • Magazine: N/A
  • Reserve capacity: Unlimited
  • Best used against: Combine soldiers

Like the Gravity Gun, the Bugbait isn't really a weapon at all. However, Gordon uses it for a much better cause: to summon Antlions. That's right, The Pheropod is actually used to summon Antlions to attack any enemy in the vicinity of the Bugbait's range; in other words, whereever you throw the Bugbait, they'll go there and attack anything in sight. You'll have an infinite supply of Bugbait (and of course, an infinite supply of Antlions). Think of the them as shields and defenders for you, as you'll need them throughout the entire Nova Prospekt chapter. Alternate fire allows you to call them to you to defend yourself and regroup. During most of the game where you can use this item, you won't have any more than four Antlions at one time; however, once in Nova Prospekt, expect the number to go way up.


HK USP Match (9mm Pistol)[edit]

9mm Pistol
  • Range: Medium
  • Max damage: 15 per round
  • Alternate fire: None
  • Magazine: 18 rounds
  • Reserve capacity: 150 rounds
  • Best used against: Metro Police, headcrabs (Any kind), Zombies, Zombine, Antlion Workers.
  • Not Recommended: Combine Elite, Poison Zombies, Antlion Guard.

The first firearm available in the game, the 9mm Pistol is a semi-automatic and relatively accurate weapon. It's swift (but not very high) damage output makes it a useful weapon in close encounters with melee enemies where accuracy is unnecessary, but is less effective at longer ranges. It is very useful up to around Nova Prospekt, where there are too many enemies to focus on a single enemy with this low damage weapon, unless there are explosive barrels or a turret to shoot at from longer range.

.357 Magnum[edit]

.357 Magnum
  • Range: Medium to long
  • Max damage: 40 for a body shot, 80 for a headshot.
  • Alternate fire: None
  • Cylinder: 6 rounds
  • Reserve capacity: 12 rounds
  • Best used against: Combine Elite, Leapers, Poison Zombies, Zombine, Antlion Hunters.
  • Not Recommended: Headcrabs (Any kind), Zombies, Barnacles, Combine Soldiers, Antlion Workers.

A very powerful weapon, this handgun fires the most powerful conventional round in the game. A single bodyshot can instant kill weaker enemies like Zombies. Unfortunately, ammunition is scarce, firing rate is slow and reloading is even slower. Still, this is accurate and deadly, and headshots can kill almost anything, even stronger enemies like Poison Zombies and Zombine. If you encounter an Antlion Guard, the .357 Magnum can take it down relatively easy, if you have the ammo to spare. For long range, you can use the HEV Suit's Camera function as a scope to make aiming easier.

Anti-personnel weapons[edit]

MP7(Submachine Gun/SMG)[edit]

Submachine Gun
  • Range: Close to medium
  • Max damage: 4 per round, 13 per second
  • Alternate fire: Grenade launcher
  • Alternate fire damage: 40 per direct hit with grenade
  • Magazine: 45 rounds
  • Reserve capacity: 225 rounds and 3 grenades
  • Best used against: Metrocops, Combine soldiers, Antlions

A rapid-fire assault weapon for which ammunition is common. It's not at all accurate, and it is even less powerful than the pistol, but it spits rounds out so fast that you'll wonder where that 45-round magazine went. In addition, this gun has a grenade launcher - capable of clearing groups of soldiers in an instant. Because of all these attributes, the Submachine Gun remains a useful gun throughout the entire game. During the Highway 17 chapter, your buggy has a chest of infinite SMG ammunition on the back, so this weapon will be of great use to you.

Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle (AR2)[edit]

Pulse Rifle
  • Range: Medium to long
  • Max damage: 8 per round
  • Alternate fire: Combine Ball
  • Alternate fire damage: Instant death (vaporization)
  • Magazine: 30 rounds
  • Reserve capacity: 60 rounds and 3 orbs
  • Best used against: Combine soldiers, Combine elite, Antlions

An assault rifle that is mostly used by Combine units, the Pulse Rifle handles much better than its other counterpart, the SMG. It's moderately powerful and can be used effectively against any Combine Soldier or Elite, as it fires fairly quickly. The alternate fire is powerful but very hard to control, as the orb will rapidly bounce around the room and will explode on contact with any organism, including you. In Half-Life 2: Episode Two, the Pulse Rifle's charged orb is the only weapon capable of killing a Hunter in one shot. it reloads in an instant due to the quick reload system built into the gun, but you can only have 2 spare magazines. Later in the game, Combine carrying these are pretty common, but don't waste your ammo.


  • Range: Close to medium
  • Max damage: 48 per shell (8 damage per pellet)
  • Alternate fire: Double-barrel blast
  • Alternate fire damage: 84-100 per shell (12 damage per pellet)
  • Magazine: 6 shells
  • Reserve capacity: 30 shells
  • Best used against: Zombies (all types), Combine soldiers, Combine elite, Antlions

A pump-action shotgun. It looks powerful, sounds powerful and, most importantly, is powerful. This gun is poorer than the pistol at long range, about as good as the SMG at medium range, and incredibly effective at close range. Aim for the head at close range, and for centre mass at medium range; don't even bother using it at long range. Notably, this gun reloads shell by shell. 6 shells can be loaded into the shotgun at once. Primary fire launches one shell, and alternate launches two. The Shotgun is very useful for taking care of Leapers and Combine quickly.


  • Range: Very Long
  • Max damage: 100 per rebar
  • Alternate fire: Scope
  • Alternate fire damage: N/A
  • Stock: 1 rebar
  • Reserve capacity: 10 rebars
  • Best used against: Combine soldiers, Combine elite

The crossbow is HL2's equivalent of a sniper rifle. It's silent, it has a scope, and it's capable of eliminating almost anything in one shot. Despite its power, this "gun" does have a few drawbacks. First of all, the projectile moves at a slow speed, and drops a bit in flight, so it is hard to hit moving targets. Unless you have great aim, don't even try shooting one. Next, it can only load 1 bolt at a time, so it takes some time to reload after every shot. Lastly, ammo is very scarce. Despite being this game's "sniper rifle", the crossbow is actually very effective at close range.

One other, very interesting fact is that if the player aims at the ground at a direct angle towards the enemy, the bolt will bounce right off the surface killing the enemy with great accuracy; this weapon is also known to pin enemies to nearby walls.

Explosive weapons[edit]

Fragmentation Grenade[edit]

Frag Grenade
  • Range: Medium to long
  • Max damage: 125 per grenade
  • Alternate fire: Drop
  • Alternate fire damage: 125
  • Magazine: N/A
  • Reserve capacity: 5 grenades
  • Best used against: Combine soldiers, Combine elite, stationary turrets

You'll find these explosive grenades fairly early in the game. They're excellent against stationary turrets you'll encounter in later levels, and they're great for taking out large groups of enemies, as well as snuffing them out. You can throw them at fairly long distances, but that distance is rather limited by Gordon's throwing strength. Alternate fire varies depending on your stance. If you are standing up, you will drop a grenade, causing it to land very nearby- usually at your feet. If you are crouching, however, it will roll a grenade instead, which is handy for destroying concealed floor turrets. Remember to stay as far away from grenades as possible, because you can get caught in the blast as well.

If you are good with your gravity gun, you can drop a grenade, then pick it up with your gravity gun and blast it at your enemy. this increases the range of the grenade, and also allows it to become virtualy undodgeable, because it explodes in the air immediately instead of on the ground after a few seconds. however, if you're not careful, you can easily suicide this way, so make sure you know how long grenades timers are so you don't get an explosion in your face.

Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher (RPG)[edit]

Rocket Launcher
  • Range: Long to Very Long
  • Max damage: 200 per rocket
  • Alternate fire: Laser track
  • Alternate fire damage: N/A
  • Container: N/A
  • Reserve capacity: 3 rockets
  • Best used against: Gunships, striders

The Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher, or RPG for short, is the most powerful weapon in the game. Therefore, it should only be used against the toughest enemies like Gunships and Striders. When using the RPG, first fire the projectile; then guide the rocket by keeping the laser dot (the crosshair) where you want it to go. The rockets will automatically follow the targeting laser, making it even more effective against flying targets.