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Antlion Soldier

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Although this article is based on official information, the actual name of this subject was created for the wiki.

Antlion standard skin 1.jpg
Antlion Soldier
General information



Insect soldier caste

Personal information


  • Claw gouge (5)[1]
  • Dive bomb (5)[1]
Game information



Dhabih Eng[2]

" I know I'm not in heaven."
Alyx Vance[src]

The Antlion Soldier, usually simply called the Antlion, is the most common Antlion subspecies found on Earth. It is also the first Antlion caste to be encountered by Gordon Freeman during his trip along the Coast, and by Alyx Vance on her journey through the Central Zoo five years earlier.


The Antlion Soldier is an arthropod around three to five feet in height and six feet from head to tail. Antlions' legs are arranged oddly, with their back legs set at their front, and vice versa. Their hard shells are mostly green with stripes of tan, yellow, purple, and red. They have no visible eyes and have three mandibles arranged in a triangular formation on their face. Hidden beneath the Antlions' shells are wings that allow them to fly several feet in the air, making a loud buzzing noise as they do so. They are also quite powerful burrowers, able to tunnel through solid rock and even concrete.

In Half-Life: Alyx, Antlion Soldiers underwent a major change in appearance. They are now larger and move at a slower pace, with a brownish carapace and protruding hair on their legs and the rims of their shells. Their shells are now resistant to bullets, but their abdomen and two most prominent legs remain vulnerable, glowing a bright orange color to signify this. They are unable to fly across long distances as they do in previous games, but they can back-flip away from opponents or pounce across short distances.

Antlion Soldiers are charged with gathering food for their nests, using their keen sense of touch to track their prey. Once they pinpoint a potential meal, they swarm the target relentlessly, biting and headbutting their prey until death, after which they return to their nests with their kill to feed their hungry brood.

Behavior and skills[edit]

Antlions about to be killed by Hoppers.

Antlions are vicious pack predators. Their favored method of accosting prey is to bury themselves in soft sand, sense for vibrations around them, then emerge and ambush the intruder. They usually form swarms so large that even a well-armed opponent will be quickly overwhelmed. Although they are blind they are extremely sensitive to vibration, which allows them to follow their enemies wherever they go once detected. This sensitivity can be turned against them; Thumpers, machines that pound the ground rhythmically, overload their senses causing them discomfort and preventing them from advancing on prey near them.

Antlions attack with their sharp claws and teeth. Those fleeing on foot or seeking higher ground will find no sanctuary from them; they will fly at opponents above or a distance away from them. They will fearlessly attack and pursue their target regardless of hazards they are faced with, and will continue charging even as fellow Antlions die in front of them. This includes charging into moving vehicles and into the water, despite the fact they cannot swim. Antlions are both fiercely territorial and invasive. They will sweep into neighboring territory if it is not properly protected.


An Antlion Pheropod as seen in Half-Life 2.

Common Antlions seem to defer overall leadership to Antlion Guards, who direct them through the use of pheromones. Harvesting Pheropods (through an unhygienic extraction method practiced by Vortigaunts) from the body of an Antlion Guard will allow a user to control the common Antlions. Users can command Antlions to follow by squeezing the pod. The user can also make Antlions move to a certain spot by throwing one of the pods to that spot. These pods do not work on Antlion Guardians.

Antlions make excellent shock troops. Once a pod is thrown, they will charge at an incredible speed and take out whoever is in the immediate vicinity of where the pod landed. The Antlions can kill Combine Soldiers in one hit, and seem to be able to take more damage than those not directed through the use of a pheromone pod. Any fallen Soldier is quickly replaced by a healthy and ready-to-battle Antlion.

Cleanup Solution[edit]

It is known that the Combine harvests Antlion Soldiers for a substance called "Cleanup Solution" or "Xen Cleaner", which is an orange foam used by Hazmat Workers to seal off Xen infestation in the Quarantine Zone. Cleanup Solution is stored in transparent tanks and is applied through a hose. These tanks emit a beeping noise at differing paces to indicate temperature. Whether this substance is found on all Antlion species or is exclusive to the ones in Alyx remains unclear.



Antlions are always encountered in numbers of three or more. Often once one has been killed, another will emerge from sand or a burrow. It is advised to keep distance from these creatures, as their melee attacks are quite powerful, and will cause the player to flinch, making their weapon aim awry.

Antlions are commonly encountered along with Zombies, and, if left alone, will fight each other.

Antlions can be knocked over with the Gravity Gun, temporarily immobilizing them, and exposing their more vulnerable undersides. The player can take advantage of this by switching to a secondary weapon, most preferably the shotgun, to finish them off. It is possible to kill an Antlion by punting them repeatedly with the Gravity Gun, though it takes many hits and is not a practical form of attack. Antlions will drown if lured into water by the player.

If the player has Pheropods, and the way is blocked by Sentry Guns or Combine Soldiers, Antlions can be used as a distraction. They also make very good area testers. Pheropods can be thrown ahead if an area seems to be dangerous. Since Antlions run straight through laser tripmines, they can help clear the explosives.

Antlion burrows can be blocked by large objects such as cars.

In Half-Life: Alyx combat with Antlions has drastically changed. They now have a bulletproof carapace, making them more formidable foes, but they also come with apparent weak spots. The player must shoot off two of their four legs--usually the larger hind legs--to cripple them and force them to use their wings, exposing their vulnerable abdomens. They are typically encountered in large numbers, and on higher difficulties, their legs are more resilient to gunfire.

They can actively take paths that surround an opponent, and their combat arenas often feature a cover that can easily obscure their bodies. At close range, they will attack by piercing an enemy with their sharp claws, which can kill NPCs like Combine Grunts in a single blow.

Related Achievements[edit]

Half-Life 2
Hl2 beat donttouchsand.png Keep Off the Sand! (20G)
Cross the Antlion beach in the chapter Sandtraps without touching the sand.
Hl2 kill enemies withantlions.png Bug Hunt (10G)
Use the Antlions to kill 50 enemies.
Half-Life 2: Episode One
Car Crusher.jpg Car Crusher (5G)
Use the cars to squash 15 Antlions in Episode One.
Half-Life 2: Episode Two
Ep2 beat antlioninvasion.png Into the Breach (5G)
Help Griggs and Sheckley hold off the Antlion invasion inside the mine shaft.

Behind the scenes[edit]

  • The name "Antlion Soldier" is not given in any official source; it was merely chosen on the wiki to easily differentiate the common Antlion from the others, based on the similarities with the names given to the different real-world ant classes and their related purposes.
  • The original Antlion skin was orange and had butterfly-like spots on its wings.
  • As suggested in press releases, stepping on Grubs in Episode Two was to make the Antlions spawn. Valve removed the feature believing it would make the game too hard and that the Antlion Grub's health nugget mechanic would be rarely beneficial.


Half-Life 2[edit]



Half-Life: Alyx[edit]

List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]



Antlion Soldier
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