Poll Question 113 – Has a mod ever made you a better player

1st March 2009

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

I just added a mod called The Real 2 and the author claimed, via his website, that when you finished it you would be a better player. I don’t believe that, unless the mod is specifically designed to improve a player’s skill via specific practices.

The Poll


  1. Tyr

    I voted no, as the basic skills implemented in the mod were already learned in the original game on which the mod was based on. Unless the mod adds a new mechanic or feature, skills will not be expanded in my opinion.

    A mod specifically aimed to learning you to be a better fighter or tactical player, could exist but would not really appeal to me. Others might disagree with me on this, though.

    One could call it good practice, but no mods have made me a better player yet.

  2. If you vote yes, can you say which mod and how and why it made you a better player, thanks.

  3. I once tried MINERVA on hard. That made me rethink all my usual tactics, just to survive a few seconds. Seems that blindly running into combat doesn’t work, when you actually die from a few bullets.

  4. i would say that all mods made me a better player, simply because of the time I spent with the game (not only HL). But one particular mod??? No, not really!

  5. Gypsy Jim

    Playing the actual vanilla game doesn’t make me a better player, so what chance do mods have…? (Just ask anyone who’s crossed paths with me on DM….I stink!)

    It’s fun though…..


  6. I have to agree that playing mods has made me a better player.

    I am hard pressed to think up some specific examples though, it comes down to a practice makes perfect type of thing, with the mods throwing new situations at me and forcing me to play more tactically.

    If there was one mod to cite above all the others, I would go with Sortie and cite Minerva: Metastasis. The vertical level design made me think more and threw the most new situations at me.

    That and probably my favorite HL2 related moment was finding the way to set up the turrents in the last act, so that the turrets could take out all the zombies and never get knocked over, so that the infinite zombie spawn which had been causing me SO much trouble was suddenly rendered moot. That was a real moment of Triumph, and forced me to look at situations more tactically.

  7. Definitely Kreedz Climbing. My HL2 jumping skills are over the top right now. Thanks to kreedz climbing.

  8. Malkav

    Did anybody say counter strike?

  9. Smod tactical on the hardest difficulty – I am now untouchable in Source.. ^^

  10. In some subtle ways, yes.

    Nice banner for this poll, Phillip! 😉

  11. galocza

    although cs was indeed a mod so its logical to include I thought the poll was about hl-universe mods. if I was wrong: hitman and later stalker made me to aim for the head in cs, going for headshots in cs made me do the same in hl2 so I change my answer to YES 8).
    however… in stalker times im sure I already played cs:s and thats not a mod. so NO again 8).

  12. john

    One of the hardest was Coastline to Atmosphere, where you were trapped in the room and the head crabs kept coming. It made me conserve ammo, take deliberate shots and try for one shot one kill. I finished it via no cheats, but wow was it hard and a great mod. When playing online, you must advance your tactics or be meat. hehe.

  13. Yes, but it’s no specific mod; it more an incremental increase in skills as I play various mods and get better and better in the process.

    The variety of mods also helps; many mods exercise different skillsets (or rare ones) that aren’t really explored much in the actual game, which increases your overall knowledge as you get used to playing under different circumstances.

  14. Yes Sven Coop,CS Smod,Wanted,L4D mostly older mods made me ahell of a better player

  15. Anonymous

    Insurgency simply made me better at shooting people.

    I haven’t played but it looks like Kreedz Climbing could increase your exploiting skills? 😛

  16. It’s hard to say. Puzzle mods seemed to help me figure out other puzzles but combat, no. It’s never happened for me. TF2 and online multiplayer games of the sort are what I think really hone your skills.

  17. Most of what I’ve learned about FPS tactics came from playing tactical shooters like Operation Flashpoint, Red Orchestra and Rainbox Six. When you play a game in which a single shot from a guy hiding in a bush 300 meters away can be your end, you… learn things. Things that are hard to put into words. You learn how to move in such a way that you’re never far from cover to dive into if you’re fired upon. You learn to anticipate enemy movements and use the environment to maximum advantage.

    Of course not all of this is applicable in mainstream shooters which are easier and more fast paced, but being “hardened” by tactical shooters still somehow makes mainstream shooters seem easier.

  18. Editor321

    No mod really made me a better player since most engines play the same way with their modifications. The Real was definately NOT a mod that needed any skill whatsoever, but then again, you will hear about that on this week’s Podcast 17.

  19. Ade

    I remember one mod where I learned to climb a rope and swing on it, was like in a hazard course in the army or sumthin. But that’s learning a new skill. Apart from that, not really, you’re just improving little by little with each mod you play, no mod has ever made me a better player over the night.. As for CS, takes a lot of practice to master the art of crouching and jumping, hiding behind walls and snipering aka camping.. Just joking, I don’t do that and I’m mad as hell when others do that. What I meant to say was even with cs, where it’s all run and gun, takes practice to improve aiming, shooting, grenade throwing, helicopter flying, tank driving and stabbing skills 🙂 Oh, the stabbing.. good times, good times.

  20. I remember one mod where I learned to climb a rope and swing on it, was like in a hazard course in the army or sumthin.

    I suspect you’re thinking of the “Boot Camp” training course in Half-Life: Opposing Force, which was an official expansion pack, not a mod.

  21. The only thing that makes people better at anything is practice. The more you play the better you get. The better you get the more you’ve learned.

  22. Portal: Prelude did. I can play through most portal mods without any difficulties at all now.

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