Poll Question 172 – How do you select your weapon?

16th May 2010

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

I have to admit I am pretty lazy when it comes to weapon selection.

Generally use what I have in my hand unless it’s against Worker antlions, then I try and use the shotgun, just for the splatter effect.

I know that I should be better at managing my weapon usage but my screwed up keybindings (screwed up in that I don’t manage those properly either!) make it hard for me to select weapons quickly. I just have the up scroll set to next weapon (down is set to screenshot), so I normally have to scroll through them all to get the previous one. Yes, I know that’s stupid but that’s me. Talking of weapon selection, I’ll be posting an interesting fact about reloading later today as a separate post – stay tuned.

I’ve talked about mods stats before and my playing stats but wouldn’t it be cool to have each weapon have a score that is used to determine a finishing score for each mod we play. Obviously, the crowbar would be the highest score and each weapon would get lower scores until you get to the rocket launcher. You final score is determined by what weapon you used and your accuracy. Could add a whole new replayabilty to amps and mods.

I do wonder how well other player manage their arsenal and how often they switch weapons during a mod.

Unlike most of the other poll questions, you can make two choices in this one.

The Poll


  1. Gradius

    A mix of power, then enemy type, then handling.
    Shotgun and AR2 are my favourites however I will use the magnum and crossbow if the situation is right.

  2. SPY

    i have answered Based on my favorite weapon order.
    my favorite one is the MSG1, (small machine gun). I like it hard, (as some of you will maybe know), and most of the times it’s way to easy to use the AR2 or shotgun. and beside that, I like the sound of the mSG1, and the way it spreads its bullits. for large distances I intent to use the pistol. simply because the MSG1 has no real effect on distances, and again, the A2 is way to easy for me. I need to feel that fight for my life, lol.

    (good poll Phillip!!)

  3. Nihillo

    Based on the environment.

    If I’m indoors I will use the Shotgun (for obvious reasons) or SMG (fast rate of fire, large clip, quick reload time), if I’m outdoors, the AR2 (accurate and pretty good damage) the Magnum (VERY accurate, pretty good damage) or the Pistol (which is an underrated weapon).

    Generally I follow this rule of thumb: if I can see the sky, then I will use my outdoor weapons, if not, the I’ll go with the indoor stuff.

    I use the Crowbar to fight Headcrab-related enemies and also as my “panic weapon” (as in, if I’m jumped by an enemy and I don’t have the appropriate weapon in hand, I’ll switch to the Crowbar and start swinging), the RPG against Synths and the Crossbow for sniping and sneak-kills (quite rare).

  4. Ammo and enemy.

    One of the things I noticed while playing Half-Life 2 for the first time is that I was incredibly stingy with ammo. Of course, I’m stingy with everything in life. But I got annoyed because I stockpiled all the “valuable” ammo; that is, smg grenades, energy orbs, crossbow bolts, and magnum rounds (and also rpg missiles). I almost always used the automatic weapons and never used the pistol.

    Now, I just try to use up all my ammo when possible. Since I know the series off the back of my hand, I know what’s coming up, there are no surprises; so I know when I can use an enemy to use up ammo on, or whether I’ll be forced to use a specific weapon.
    I also use the pistol a lot more. It’s a severely underrated weapon, especially in the later stages of each game in which it tends to be supplanted by the Ar2 or shotgun. However, it’s got decent damage, pretty good accuracy, and best of all, an abundance of ammunition.

    1. Grey Acumen

      “pretty good” accuracy? Dude, it’s more accurate than the crossbow is. (even though the crossbow has built in zoom, the pistol doesn’t have the drop over distance that the crossbow has) The only weapon that matches the pistol’s accuracy is the .357. (maybe the RPG if you guide it carefully using the laser)

  5. Grey Acumen

    You need to add an option phillip: “Based on Range”

    I generally base mine on range and ammo available with a few cases where I use the most effective weapon available. Each of these rules assume all weapons are available, and I haven’t run out of ammo on any of them.


    1) Pistol is used for anything that is far enough away that it can barely shoot back at me. .357 and Crossbow are for anything in a similar range, but in which there is a limited time to kill the enemy before they find cover. (the pistol is

    2) Far mid range is the Pulse rifle, near mid range is the SMG.

    3) Close quarters are for shotgun.


    1) RPG and SMG Grenade is for Antlion, Striders, Helicopters, Gunships, and Dropships (4 explosions will blow up the tank that a dropship is carrying)

    2) Grenades are to be used on Poison Zombies and Turrets, and only to be used on other enemies if there is a cluster of 3 or more enemies that are certain to not have a chance to avoid the blast.

    3) Gravity Gun is ALWAYS to be used on hunters whenever possible. Hunters can be taken out in as little as 5 seconds if you have a decent sized object to shoot at them and do so rapidly enough.


    1) Anytime an infinite weapons cache is available, that weapon is used as often as possible for as long as that weapon cache can be returned to.

    2) Whatever ammunition is being dropped by enemies is the ammo of choice. This ensures that whatever ammo you waste on an enemy is immediately replenished by what they drop.

    3) Regular Zombies and any headcrab is a job for the crowbar, unless there’s absolutely no time to switch to it or enough room to dodge the attacks of the zombies. (this does NOT include Fast Zombies)

    4) Barnacles should simply be avoided whenever possible, but switch to the crowbar if you stand a high chance of actually walking into their tongue and they are not too high up. If they are extremely high up and not above a pool of water, then shoot with pistol or attempt to feed them an explosive barrel.

    5) If there are decent objects to toss around with the gravity gun (barrels, radiators, small filing cabinets, saw blades) then these are carried for as long as feasible to act both as cover and unlimited ammo.

    6) If a reasonably powerful weapon has full ammo and more ammo for that weapon is found. That ammo is picked up and carried to a point that it can be returned to after using that weapon some more.

    That’s actually a lot more rules than I realized. They kind of snuck up on me.

    1. wow, very detailed. You know, this might even help starter level designers design a bit easier and place their ammo at more fitting places and times…

  6. i tend to go for a combo of ammo/enemy. by that I mean if my enemy is using a certain weapon. then I euip that weapon. so I have plenty of ammo for it collected from the enemy weapon drops.

    in terms of HL. I tend to use crowbar for regular zombies. automatic rifles for faster zombies. pistol for headcrabs, barnicles. shotgun for antlions. I tend to match the combine forces with the weapon they use against me.

  7. In first play, other than dropped Combine ordinance, you cannot know what ammunition is available until you are in or after the firefight. On second and subsequent plays, this is much easier.

    Favourite weapons order for me. I never scroll through the weapons – just select the hot key.
    Favourite weapon depends on the situation though.
    Unless there is a surfeit of ammo” about:
    Crowbar for Headcrabs, Zombies and Metro Cops.

    Close quarter Combat: GGun, SMG, Shotgungun. Shotgun being my favourite.

    Middle distance: Elite Pulse Rifle, Grenades (if in range).

    More than middle distance: Pistol, 6 gun. Elite Pulse Rifle.

    Long distance: Pistol, Crossbow, 6 gun (but I like to keep the ammo if I can).

    Speciality weapons:
    The Antlion sqeegee thing-a-ma-bob: At all times when available! Saves loads of ammo’. Send them in while I hide in a corner, that’s the way to do it.

    RPG: Against the bosses and mini-bosses. But if you are at or near an ammo box, great to take out Zombies and Combine. Oooh look, a low flying Elite – lovely.

    1. Kyouryuu

      Hear hear!

  8. korge

    Whenever I play games, I always use the weapon with the most ammo available. Im extremely conservative.

  9. I find it hard to give the perfect vote.

    I’d say I choose my weapon depending on the location I am in, as a good level says enough about the environment, that I can choose the most fitting.

    Small corridors are for the shotgun. Bigger areas are for the AR2. When I’m not sure or there are many enemies coming towards me and I can see them, I choose the SMG, to always have the possibility of using my SNG grenade.
    Then theres the pistol. As its is very accurate for a pistol I use it for lonely melee enemies or for metrocops that are farther away. The magnum is good for long passages, that still however only provide enough space for a single enemy coming towards me.
    The crossbow is obvious and usually I keep my RPG ammo for the big stuff. Grenades I keep for situations where I can foresee enemies coming, but want to clear the room first or for turrets. A good example where I always use the grenade is the junkyard in ep2 with the autocannon.
    On top of all that is the gravity gun. It usually doesnt matter how far an enemy is away, unless its really far away. My aim is acceptable and as long as I see sawblades around I ALWAYS switch to gravity gun. The crowbar I use for one-hit (mostly) kills and pathclearing. By that I mean headcrabs, manhacks, ammo crates and pathblocking wood.

    So, it’s rather mixed. There are exceptions though. Zombies. Since they are shotgun bait and can’t really do anything from a difference I just run up to them and kabang them. So, when entering a presumably zombie infested area I pull the shotgun.

    Generally I switch weapons very frequently though, as according to my description the level wouldn’t be varied enough πŸ˜€

    Insight Jike.

    1. Oh, and I also take care of ammo a bit, but usually I don’t run out of it, as I don’t rage-shoot and usually the level designer hid the appropriate ammo nearby.

  10. Re2deemer

    A mixture of the…
    range of enemy – affects wheter I’ll take a long range weapon or not.
    type of enemy – bigger baddies mean bigger guns. Headcrabs typically get the shotgun or crowbar as they both kill the buggers well
    the amount of health I have – When I have less health, I’m less prone to screwing around and trying to kill an antlion guard with a crowbar
    the amount of ammo I have/expect to be getting – Sometimes I have an abundance of shotgun ammo and can’t be arsed to break that crate. The answer is blasting the crate

  11. Zekiran

    Combo of Enemy and Ammo. I will generally prefer the shotgun over almost any other gun, and the Combine weapon over the machine gun.

    For anything close up, if I have the Magnum that is the clear choice.

    It really does depend on whether I am just fiddling around or playing serious though. Some plays I’ll use the pistol a lot, and others pick and choose. But mostly Shotty and Crossbow for range, Crowbar for headcrabs.

    We need a flamethrower.


    Pulse riffle Rocks, its AMMO is heavy and its useful againts overwatch combine and regular combine soilders

    SMG its a basic weapon perfect, spetially on closer combats against CMB

    SHOTGUN, is perfect againnst combine distracted ones, and some zombies,like poison zombies and zombines.

    CROWSBOW, its perfecr as a long distance weapon, and most of all ambush weapon

    GRAVITY GUN: perfect to save ammo when you know it’s better to save it for harder parts.

    CROWBAR, perfect to save ammo and spill lots of blood, better againts dumb zombies and also usefull againts fast zombies, also sweet and bloddy against civil protection traitor units.

    PD, I just love new weapons in the mods, I would like that EP 3 present some other new one

  13. Herr_Alien

    Based on the enemy (speed, health, damage it can inflict).

    Other criteria that come in place are:
    – distance to target: long range => scoped weapons. short range => shotguns, rocket launchers, flame throwers. medium range => automatic weapons
    – type of environment: open space => explosives, since I can avoid taking splash damage. building interiors => shotguns

    I tend to think my battles through.

    One major exception to this set of rules are twitch shooters. They tend to be more of the “Based on my favourite weapon”; in case of UT for example, the Flak Cannon and the Rocket Launcher.

  14. Berrie

    It mostly comes down to the enemy and range. Though the effectiveness of the weapon itself factors in as well. Making sure I have ammo enough is less of a problem in Half-Life.

    That said when possible zombies well get boomsticked, irregardless of range (which I will close myself) and ammo.

  15. Rikersbeard

    My weapons in mods and games are usually those, which I am given or find along the way. Selection is often driven by the amount of ammo that is to be acquired from crates and dead combine/ bad fellows, as this seems to suggest the most appropriate choice,
    As a favourite I like the small machine gun. It has good range and the option of a grenade or two if things become a bit tense. And this SMG usually seems to have a lot of ammo available in game and with the buggy, infinite!
    Close work requires the trusty shotgun and crowbar combo. The former tends to remove those nasty bugs quickly and messily whereas the latter delivers a good thumping to zombies, using the thump, thump quickstep manoeuvre, and the odd combine or two!
    I dislike the AR2. I find it boring in look and sound, but I use it for the nastier combines and the odd hunter, usually just before it kills me!
    The crossbow is great for those far off enemies but I would prefer a good sniper rifle. And mines, both trip and remote would add a good game play element.
    I like the idea for scoring the crowbar the highest………

  16. MNM

    Shotgun, no matter what πŸ˜›

  17. Pyro

    Um, Phillip? ALL weapons make antlion workers explode.

    1. True, but the shotgun seems perfectly suited to that explosion.

  18. Pyro

    Um, Phillip? ALL weapons make Antlion workers explode.

    I prefer to use whatever is best for the scenario, based on range and stopping power. I also put an emphasis on ammo; if a weapon has less than a full clip left in reserve, I usually swap.

  19. Anon_221689

    i use any weapon

  20. They need to add a sniper rifle…ANY sniper rifle at least..lol HEY the combine has them so should we!!

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