HALF LIFE - Multiplayer Guide (version 1.03)


Written by Tim Wuyts (February 11th-16th, 1999)         E-mail: tim.wuyts@planetinternet.be

The author is also the webmaster of The Cheat Empire: 

http://home.planetinternet.be/~twuyts

Where you can always find the latest cheats & walkthroughs for PC Games.
For the LATEST VERSION of this Guide, check his website!

(Copyright notice at the bottom)

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{TABLE OF CONTENTS}

* Introduction
* Additions
* Before You Start
* The Controls
* General Tactics
  - Maps
  - Camping
  - Dodging
  - Techniques
  - Retreating
  - Target
  - Medical/HEV Stations
* The Weapons
  - Crowbar
  - Glock gun 9mm
  - .375 Magnum
  - Shotgun
  - MP-5 Submachine Gun
  - Crossbow
  - Rocket Launcher (RPG)
  - Gauss Gun
  - Hive Hand
  - Gluon Gun
  - Grenades
  - Trip Mines
  - Snarks
  - Satchel Charges
* Specific Map Info
  - Frenzy
* Legal Notice
  - Terms of Use
  - Webmasters

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Introduction
============

Let me start out by telling you that I'm not a hot shot Half Life player.  There are millions of players who can beat me anytime.  But since Half Life is the first 3D shoot'em up which I really like (no, I don't like Quake) I started playing some deathmatches too.  I first started out as a real loser, I got pinned to the wall every single time.  After playing several deathmatches, I managed to take a step up from total loser to a 'medium' player.  This guide simply points out how I tried to improve myself, there are probably lots of other tactics but these are the ones I used. (Anyone who has additional tips can mail them to me any time!)

If you really want to become a Half Life deathmatch hot-shot, I can give but one advice:
practice.  The more you play, the better you get! (And I need a lot of extra practice ;)


Additions
=========

This is where I put the info which is related to new versions of the guide, but since this is 
version 1.0 ...

I prefer to be mailed if you have some additional hints & strategies, but if you want to make an
addition to this guide put your information here (in the same way mentioned below):

Version 1.01 (01/04/99) - Jack Spath     fire-tiger@iname.com     Extra weapons info
Version 1.02 (06/08/99) - Indigo         vymmout118@iol.cz        Extra weapons info
Version 1.03 (06/06/00) -                                         Updated Legal Information

This will allow me to contact the persons who made additions, so I can re-write the guide if 
I want to (giving credit to the original authors of course).


Before You Start
================
When you play an on-line game (not LAN) the lag might interfere with gameplay.  A latency of
200 and less usu works once you hit the 300 mark or higher half life becomes unplayable (at least
on my computer).  You know: you see another guy standing at the other side of the room and the
next frame you are lying on the ground and he's dancing on your head.  Remember that it's better
to drop a few graphic details (like the decals) to improve speed over the net than to have a lot
of lag (esp. if you want to win).

Are there ways to lower latency? Yes there are!  You can make specific files which make sure
you don't load decals and other stuff which lower latency!  I suggest you look on the internet
for additional info.  There are several files you can download like lowping.zip which are a lot
of help.


The Controls
============

First of all I would like to say that you'll have to learn to play the game combining the mouse
and keyboard controls.  Sometimes you see people playing the game on their keyboard only,
crunching their fingers in all kinds of impossible ways.  The combination of mouse and keyboard
is the best and most easy way to play.

Don't use the default controls of half life!  In single player you can do everything at a 
slow, relaxed pace.  In multiplayer, this will get you killed! eg. the 'R' button to reload 
is to far away from your other controls, by the time you have pressed the button, you'll be
perforated with bullets.  These are the controls I use:

Mouse --} to aim
  * Left mouse button: Fire 1
  * Right mouse button: Fire 2
  * Wheel: Scroll through weapons (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - If you don't have a wheel mouse)

Keyboard (AZERTY):
  * Z: Run forward (W for Qwerty)
  * D: Run backwards
  * Q: Strafe left (A for Qwerty)
  * D: Strafe right
  * C: Crawl
  * E: Use Item
  * SPACE: Jump
  * LEFT SHIFT: Reload

The other buttons don't really matter that much, unless you don't have a wheel mouse.  If
you don't have it, the buttons for the selection of your weapons are important too.
Assign quick keys to the weapons you use the most (and that doesn't always have to be the 
gluon gun).

Personally, I don't use the strafe button that much, but it sometimes comes in handy when 
you try to dodge the opponent.  However ... continually jumping and crawling tends to be more 
confusing to the other players than a simple strafe movement, so I prefer this tactic.  
(Although I must admit, that sometimes I simply forget to do it, result --} My head gets blown 
off).
The best thing you can do off course is to combine the 3 tactics: strafing, jumping and
crawling at the same time.  If you can pull this off and still aim you'll be one of the better
players around.

Like I already said, these are the controls I use while playing half life.  If you feel more
comfortable using other controls, use them instead of these.  This is just some advice for
the rookies out there, who haven't considered the use of alternatice keys.


General Tactics
===============

Actually, there is nothing like a 'general tactic' in a game like half life.  Your strategy 
(if you would have any) highly depends on the kind of map you are playing.  eg. it is not wise 
to be camping if you have a large, open map!

Maps
----
I urge you to explore the map before you go into battle (a tournament). If you don't you'll 
get fried.  Of course, you can't know all the maps, but most half life servers support a range 
of good to excellent maps which will return quite often.  Try to learn the positions which 
might give you an edge over your opponent.

This exploring can be done off-line if you want too but it might be more beneficial to start
playing right away and to experience what good positions are.  Some spots may seem excellent
when you are off-line, but it might turn out otherwisewhen you are on-line, because it's too
obvious or some other reason.  If your ass gets blown off several times, you'll know that it's
a poor spot (believe me)!

It's also important to know where the good guns are on the map.  You don't want to be running
around with your 9mm gun all the time, sooner or later you'll get fragged.  A good gun doesn't
necessarily mean the gluon gun.  This also depends on the map you're playing on.  Long range 
guns might be applied on large, open maps (like crossfire), while short range guns are 
better to use in small, fast paced maps.

If you don't know the map you're playing you should try to remember both of the things
mentioned above (positions, guns) as soon as possible.  Also try to get an advantage by
listening, if you hear someone reloading a gun, you know you should be careful.  Too many
people (including myself) tend to forget about this!  Players tend to be fixed on their screen,
not on the sounds that surrounds them.

Camping
-------
Camping, in general, isn't a good tactic.  You might snipe a few other players, but as soon as
they know where you are you're fried.  Even worse, they can see you, but you don't see them in
time.  Camping should only be done from dark (preferably higher) positions.  If it isn't dark,
don't start camping, you'll be spotted fairly easy and it only takes a good RPG rocketto take
you out.  Furthermore, camping should only be done if you have the right weapons.  If you don't
have a crossbow or the RPG rocket launcher, camping on a sniping position doesn't have any use!
If you are camping in a small bunker, make sure you have a powerfull short range gun (eg. shot
gun).  If you don't have the appropriate weapons get the hell out of there.  But even if you
have the right weapons and in a dark spot, camping is not advised ... you are a sitting duck.
Keep on moving, the more you move, the harder it is to hit you.

Dodging
-------
Dodging is another word for acting like a nut.  Which is good since you can't predict what a 
nut is going to do.  What does this actually mean when you are in a multi-player game:

Don't walk/run in straight lines, it's very easy to hit someone if he walks straight, even
snipers can take you out. If you walk, try walking from the left to the right and the other way
around.  This will make it more difficult for snipers to hit you.

When you are in a direct confrontation with someone try to move around.  It's harder for you to
aim too (but that just takes some practice) but the other player will be having difficulties 
hitting you too.  Like I said before you can strafe, but if you really want to be confusing try
jumping around in combination with some crawling.  The first time I saw someone do this, I 
thought he was crazy, but he fragged me before I could even hit him.  This also takes a bit of
practice, not so much for better aim, but rather to "not forget" to do all these crazy things.
I recently started applying this technique and it does work, I die less (which means that the
others don't have as many kills ;)) but I also tend to forget to jump around sometimes, which 
usually results into death.

Techniques
----------
This sounds fancier than it really is.  What do I mean by techniques?  You probably do know all
the basics of jumping and crawling.  But there are some additional moves that might prove to be
beneficial.

First of all, don't risk your life to get it ... only if it's up for grabs.  Once you have it
try the combination of crawling and jumping.  This will give you a huge boost in terms of speed
... excellent to cross wide, open spaces.

Secondly the famous 'Gauss jump'.  All you need is: a gauss gun and a place to land (but that
doesn't tend to be a problem).  All you have to do is charge the gauss gun, point it to the
ground and release the charge.  You'll be flying high into the air.  This is usefull if there
are maps with high elevations which you want to reach quickly but it can also be applied in 
emergencies (read: dead threatening situations).  Make sure you land on an elevated position,
since you'll lose hit points if you don't.  You can also do this using the rocket launcher, but
this is not advised since it does involve a "health risk" ;).

This takes me to the concept of 'falling'.  In most MP games realistic damage is turned off,
resulting in a loss of 10 HP when you fall.  If this is the case, fall ahead I would say.
10 HP is nothing, especially if you have to go a long way down in open positions (I'm not
talking about tunnels or anything).  You shouldn't worry about the 10 HP because it can cost you
a lot more if you climb down.

Retreating
----------
I can be pretty short on this one.  If you do have to retreat, always try to walk backwards.  Ok,
there is a chance that you run into a trip mine, but it's pretty low.  Why do you have to run 
backwards?  Simple, to beat the hell out of the person you are running away from.  If you just 
run away, you will be shot in the back.  However if you run backwards there still might be 
chance that you send the guy to fraggy heaven before he whacks you.

Target
------
I mean 2 things by this:

First of all you have to target someone to kill!  This doesn't mean shooting some rounds in the
air, nope you need to aim.  Aim is an important aspect of the game and it isn't easy!  If you
can't aim, you can't kill ... if you can't kill, well ... you get the idea.  Once you can aim 
properly, you can beat anyone.  If you have the chance to hit the competitor in the head,
do so ... he'll get more damage.

Secondly, if you target someone, keep a 'lock' on him.  Don't start shooting multiple targets,
try to concentrate on 1 target, finish him off and then proceed to the next.  If you take on
too many targets at once, the impact will be limited.  Ok, you'll wound the guy, but he can 
heal himself or even worse, it's easier for your competitors to take him out!  This is something
you don't want to do, always go for the kill!

Medical/HEV stations
--------------------
Whenever you are using one of these, make sure the area is clear of enemies.  Also when using it
try to face it in a way that you can see a large portion of the field.  Try to avoid turning
your back to the playing field.  But even if you use this technique, these reloading stations
are still dangerous spots.  Only use them if you really need them or when they are at a more
covered spot.


The Weapons
===========

Ok, now for the fun part: the machines of death, fragging devices, ... in short weapons.  Every
weapon has it's own advantages and disadvantages and it's crucial to know which they are.  A guy
with a crowbar can frag someone with a gluon gun if he plays it smart!  Once again, the weapon
you choose to use depends on the map you're playing!

Another thing to keep in mind is the reload time (and linked with that, the size of your ammo
clip).  A long reload time automatically results in death during a fight.  So preferably use a
gun with a large ammo clip (like the MP-5 machine gun) or with short reload times (like the 
gauss and gluon gun).  When you get a chance to reload, do so, don't hesitate, you might not get
a second chance.

I based this part on my own experiences with the weapons in combination with the weapons guide
asmaul@halflifehq.com wrote (he sure knows how to use satchels ;)).

Range: this is the range at which the weapon most efficient, not the range it can be used at!
Fire 1: what does the first fire option do
Fire 2: what does the second fire option do
Reload: the reload time

Crowbar
-------
Range: Short
Fire 1: Swing
Fire 2: /
Reload: /

Although some might find it useless because it's useless at long range, I do tend to use it from
time to time.  The reason is obvious: a good hit with this little thingy does do a lot of damage!
Some people even prefer it over the standard AP9mm gun!  So if you are in a cramped map or 
surrounded by competitors it's not such a bad choice to use the crowbar.  If you have to use the
crowbar (because you don't have any ammo), change your tactics too, since you're dealing with a
short range weapon.  Basically it comes down to this: if you see someone with a nice big gun in
his hand and you don't have any way to escape try running straight at him (esp. if he has a
rocket launcher).  If he has a normal gun, use the dodging techniques mentioned above to get
close to him.

Glock gun 9mm
-------------
Range: Medium
Fire 1: Controlled shot
Fire 2: Fast firing
Reload: Medium/Fast

This is your standard gun and as a standard gun it sucks!  Ok, you can take someone out but it
really lacks punch.  You only have one good reason to use it and that's when you don't have any
other alternatives (at the start of a game or when you run out of ammo for your other guns).  If
you do have to use it, use it wisely.  If you are in a stressfull situation it's best to use the
fire 2 option, resulting in a less accurate but faster rate of fire.  The fire 1 option should
be used when you try to take someone out from a longer distance or when you have to be precise.
The gun can be used as a sniping gun when you fire in this way but you have to be a good shot,
because you'll easily miss.  It has a reasonable ammo clip (17) with a fast reload time.

.375 Magnum
-----------
Range: Medium (1) / Long (2)
Fire 1: Normal shot
Fire 2: Sniper mode
Reload: Slow

What can I say about this gun ... if you have a good aim this is one of the guns you should use.
It has its drawbacks of course: slow reload time, small ammo clip and slow firing rate.  On the
other hand, it's very powerful: 2 good shots with this baby and the other player (without armor)
will be splattered against the wall.  The sniping mode is also pretty good, although there are 
better alternatives for this.  Because of it's drawbacks, it's not recommended that players with
not such a good aim use the gun.  The reason is obvious, if you miss too much, you're a goner
... if you have to reload, you're a goner.

Shotgun
-------
Range: Short
Fire 1: Single barrel
Fire 2: Double barrel
Reload: Slow

This gun does have it's advantages in maps with smaller rooms.  It does have enough impact to 
blow someone away, at close range, with it's double shot function.  This double shot does have
some drawbacks though: the firing rate is slower and your limited ammo will be wasted twice as
fast.  Also keep in mind that the shotgun is a "DO NOT USE" in open spaces!  Don't try it, you'll
loose.  Even a glock gun 9mm has more punch from long range.  Another drawback is the long reload
time (5 sec. for full reload).  You might get the impression that it's a bad gun, well ... it's
not.  It just has a limited use but if you use it in the right circumstances (=in small corridors
and rooms) you'll get a maximum return (=fragging your opponents).

MP-5 Submachine Gun
-------------------
Range: Medium
Fire 1: Rapid 9mm bullets
Fire 2: Fragmentation grenades
Reload: Fast

This should be everyones standard weapon in a MP game.  It has a lot of advantages, fast reload
time and a high firing rate.  In combination with the fragmentation grenades it's extremely
lethal.  You can drop a grenade and then finish the players off with a nice rain of bullets.
Doesn't it have any drawbacks?  Of course, you'll get whooped if someone starts using the
shotgun at a short range (even the high firing rate of the MP5 doesn't compensate).  Furthermore
it's also a gun not to use at long range the bullets disperse too much (try it out on a wall,
you'll see).  I also suggest not to use the grenades as a long range weapon, they are much too
valuable to be wasted like that.  It's better to use them at a shorter range, when you have a 
sure hit.  Also keep in mind that the grenades are never lethal when used on a player with full
health.

Crossbow
--------
Range: Medium (1) / Long (2)
Fire 1: Bolt with explosive tip
Fire 2: Sniper mode
Reload: Slow

This is THE sniper weapon to have.  It's first firing mode is practically never used, the reason
is simple: only direct hits really do some damage since the blast radius is small.  The reload
time of the crossbow also stresses out the fact that it is a sniper weapon, in other words it's
slow, too slow for intense fights.  I suggest you only use the crossbow in sniper mode; you can't
beat the feeling you get when you hear a "thump" and then you see a guy falling to the ground.
Yep, that's right, one hit is lethal in sniper mode.  When you are in sniper mode however, it's
easy for someone to sneak up from behind.  So watch your back!

Rocket Launcher (RPG)
---------------------
Range: Long
Fire 1: Launch rocket
Fire 2: Laser guidance on/off
Reload: Slow

This little baby does have an impact your opponents won't forget.  Do not target it directly at a
player though, try to let the rocket explode in front of his feet (or at a wall close to him),
the blast radius is big and damaging enough to frag him.  If you aim directly at the player a 
simple strafing movement is enough to completely miss the target.  Why is this so problematic?
The reload time of the rocket launcher is extremely slow.  When you are using the laser guidance
it's even worse.
This brings us to the use of the laser guidance.  It does have one obvious advantage: you can
redirect the path of the rocket.  It does also have some drawbacks: the reload time is even
slower when you use the laser guidance.  Furthermore, the red dot of the laser guidance might
give away your position and all the other players will run like hell when they see it!
Another drawback of the rocket launcher is the smoke trail the rockets leave behind; it points
directly to it's point of origin ... you.  So once you fire your rocket get the hell out of
there!
Oh yeah, one more thing: if a player charges you while holding a rocket launcher, try to switch
to another weapon.  Chances are that you'll trigger the rocket launcher from a short distance,
usually blowing yourself up too.

Gauss Gun
---------
Range: Medium
Fire 1: Single energy beam
Fire 2: Charged energy beam
Reload: Continuous

Probably not an all time favorite, since I don't see a lot of players using it.  Why?  I
sometimes wonder myself.  The gun has no reload time and it's pretty powerful.  It has some
drawbacks though: it's hard to aim this baby at long range, furthermore it eats ammo like candy
and last but not least, the charged energy beam has a huge kick back.  (this kick back is used
to do a gauss jump (see techniques)).  Another less pleasant feature is that you have to release
the charge in a reasonable time span, otherwise it will blow up in your face.  It can aslo shoot
through walls though, but I've never seen the benefit of this option.  You might as well be
shooting with a blind fold on your head.  Maybe, there's an expansion pack planned for half life
which includes IR goggles or something :-).
Am I saying not to use this gun? Nope, I tend to use it regularly when I get my hands on it ...
it's fast firing rate (without reload times) can easily compensate the drawbacks.

Hornet Gun
----------
Range: Medium / Long
Fire 1: Homing hornets
Fire 2: Non-homing hornets (more powerful/faster reload?)
Reload: Recharges automatically (moderate)

The biggest advantage of the hive hand is the homing feature of the hornets.  If you know 
someone is hiding behind a wall or in a room, just send in the hornets ... he'll come out sooner
or later.  The second fire mode is hardly ever used in a MP game, but it shouldn't be forgotten.
Alhtough the hornets loose their homing capabilities, it does more damage or reload faster (I 
think).  The hornet does have a lot of drawbacks too.  Don't use it in direct confrontations.
The hornets don't do a lot of damage and you'll surely loose if you do use it in this way.

Gluon Gun
---------
Range: Medium
Fire 1: Gluon beam
Fire 2: To activate press: primary fire & hold it then press secondary fire & release the primary
        This does no damage & takes no energy but nobody is so stupid to step there
Reload: Continuous

Who doesn't know this gun.  The most powerful gun around (except for the crossbow in sniper mode).
If you can get it, use it.  You can't do much if someone starts shooting with one of these at
you.  Even dodging is of little help.  There is one drawback (but it applies to the gauss gun
too, which is also an energy weapon), it consumes ammo.  So don't start showing off with your
gluon gun ... use it effeciently to get the most out of it!

Grenades
--------
Grenades are seldomly used in MP games.  The reason is obvious: it's hard to aim and if you do have a good aim, you always depend on the timing.  This makes the grenade one of the more
difficult weapons to use in MP.  The only time you should be considering the use of a grenade is to smoke out/fry a camper or to clear out a corner you are unsure of.

Trip Mines
----------
Trip mines can be quite usefull at some maps.  MP games are usually fast paced ... with lots of moving.  The player usually detonates a trip mine before he even noticed it was there, giving you some extra kills.  Don't spend a lot of time on the placement of the mines though.  Placing them with great care is one thing, but while you are placing it you are an open target waiting to be shot.  Try to learn how to make quick placements of the mines and place them at strategic points eg. in a tunnel, under water, ...  There's absolutely no use in placing it in a large
room.
You can also place trip mine at places where people respawn.  Although this is highly efficient, I wouldn't recommend doing it!  Why?  First of all, it takes the fun out of the game, kills like this aren't worth mentioning.  Secondly, you'll risk getting a bunch of angry players after you and frankly I don't blame them for doing so!

Snarks
------
These little critters can be a pain in the @ss.  Preferably drop them from an elevated position, so they can't come back and hunt you down.  They don't only kill other players for you, they also tend to add a little confusion.  Make use of this confusion to take your target out.
Snarks also work well in bunkers (when you are not in them).  eg. someone calls an air strike, but the door to the bunker is already too close for you to get in ... grab out those snarks and send them into the bunker.  This tactic usually results in a kill, since the other players can't run away.

Satchel Charges
---------------
Fire 1: Drop first satchel/detonate
Fire 2: Drop any next satchel

These also have a limited use in MP games.  Again the reason is obvious: you have to drop the satchel and wait for someone to walk into the proximity of it and then you can detonate it.
Basically this is camping ... you are waiting for someone to pass over the satchel.  The only way you can use the satchels is when you are retreating from the enemy.  If they follow you, just drop one of these (in combination with the retreating technique) and detonate if they walk over it!  This should kill the target.
It can also be used to scare some of the other players ... if they see a satchel charge they
just might turn back from where they came from, because someone might be around to blow it!


Specific Map Info
=================

This section wants to provide you with map-specific info.  This includes techniques you can and can't use on a specific map.  I also try to specify the location of some great guns.  What I am not going to tell is what kind of strategy I tend to use at a specific map.  If I would give that info away, I would get fragged more often since you would know my 'playing technique' for that specific map.

Frenzy
------
A small map, so generally I wouldn't suggest camping.  I also see lots of players camping on the spot where you can find the RPG Rocket Launcher, shooting from that floor to the bottom.  DON'T!
Just get the rocket launcher and get out of there!  People respawn at that spot and once you're aiming that RPG you won't notice anyone coming from behind.
One of the more popular spots on this map is the place where the MP-5 submachine gun is located.
(the one on the ground floor, not on the 1st floor at the T-intersection) That's because this map is excellent for using the MP-5 in combination with some fragmentation grenades.
Trip mines can also be used quite efficiently on this map.  You can find lots of them on the 1st level.


Legal notice
============

This document is  Copyright to Tim "PhoenixT" Wuyts. If you are unsure as to whether or not you may distribute this document, contact the author (tim.wuyts@pi.be).


Terms of Use
------------

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