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Combine Elite

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Combine Elite
General information

Combine Overwatch


Transhuman elite soldier

Individual information




Game information



Ted Backman[2]

Voiced by

Kelly Bailey[3]

The Combine Elite is a specialized and highest ranking class of the Combine Overwatch.[4] Sporting distinctive white protective armor and helmet with a single red ocular sensor, Elites are the deadliest amongst the humanoid forces of the Combine and act in groups of their own kind or lead squads of Combine Soldiers in combat.[4]


Combine Elite with the Gravity Gun.

Combine Elites are equipped with improved body armor, made apparent by the larger neck guard and the increased protection it offers. Their helmets are also drastically different from those of regular soldiers, which possibly improve senses, as indicated by the two miniature domes located where the ears of the soldier would be. Given its helmet, the Elite may only have one eye left, making it an artificial cyclops, and it may also have no ears at all. All of this seems to imply that the Elite has suffered massive anatomical alterations, although the extent of these changes is unknown, as an unmasked Elite is never seen in-game.

Elites are tougher, achieve better accuracy with their weapons, and inflict more overall damage than regular soldiers do. They typically carry Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifles, and are able to use the weapon's secondary fire Energy Ball. They use this advantage without hesitation and with deadly accuracy.

Elites typically fight in squads of their own kind, but will occasionally operate with regular Combine Soldiers or, in rare cases, Hunters. They are generally reserved for more critical combat missions, where their deadly skills and efficiency are required. They also serve as Wallace Breen's personal guards in the Citadel. One of them takes the Gravity Gun from Gordon when the latter arrives at Breen's office in the Citadel.

Like many of the forces of the Overwatch, elites are given a unit name and accompanying number from one to nine. These designation names are leader, flash, ranger, hunter, blade, scar, hammer, sweeper, swift, fist, sword, savage, tracker, slash, razor, stab, spear, striker, and dagger.[5]

Elites are first seen in the ninth chapter of Half-Life 2 at Nova Prospekt on a security monitor. They are encountered for the first time in person in the following chapter, Entanglement, assaulting the teleport chamber only seconds before Gordon and Alyx teleport out.

Related Achievements[edit]

Any Half-Life 2 game
Hlx kill elitesoldier withhisenergyball.png Think Fast! (10G)
Kill an Elite Soldier with his own Energy Ball.

Behind the scenes[edit]

The broken camo Combine Elite model as found in the leak, with Sniper Rifle.
Demonstration of the early Elite camouflage abilities in the WC map pack test map camoroom, showing the camouflage mixing both textures at their junction.
  • The Combine Elite has had several predecessors during the development of Half-Life 2, such as the Combine Synth Elite Soldier and the Combine Super Soldier, both early elite Combine units dropped in favor to a more humanoid model.[2] It also inherited its helmet from the Combine Assassin.[2] When viewing the Combine Elite model in the Source SDK model viewer, its preview image is that of the model of the Combine Super Soldier. The Combine Elite model and its related files are also named combine_super_soldier.
  • Another early variant of the Elite, found as Combine_Elite.mdl in the Half-Life 2 leak, was originally to use a special camouflage suit and yellow lenses that would allow it to blend in with its surroundings by the use of procedural textures consisting in taking a sample of the textures behind and putting them onto the camouflage pattern. Viewing the model in the Model Viewer will show the model with a mottled camouflage texture. Upon viewing the model in-game however, it will blend with the environment, though the NPC still remains visible as its weapon, belt, mask and boots don't blend.[6]
  • As seen in the leak's source code, it was to be used as the NPC npc_combineelite, with a health of 100 instead of the 70 of the final NPC, and with a behavior identical to that of the standard Combine Soldier.[6]
  • By default, the model appears with the early Sniper Rifle; this may be related to an early specific relation with the Combine Sniper hinted at in Raising the Bar. In-game, it is also able to use the shotgun, the MP5K and the OICW.[6]
  • By the time Half-Life 2 was leaked in 2003, it was no longer used, only being featured as leftover files, with an obsolete, broken model with its camouflage feature no longer working.[6] It has since been fixed by various members of the leak community when the fully functional model was released as part of the 2016-2017 leak.
  • In-game, it uses the same sentences as that of the Combine Soldier. At that time of Half-Life 2’s development, sentences of the Half-Life HECU Marines were used as placeholders.[6]
  • In the WC map pack, it appears in the 2001 maps camoroom (a simple test map with a set of different wall textures, carrying a shotgun), camocity (a set of streets also including a Manhack and the Brickbat, not carrying any weapon), camostreet (a war-torn set of streets, carrying an MP5Ks), or vert_04_001 (a set of Skyscraper stories).[6][7]
  • While it uses a different model, the Combine Elite uses the same NPC entity as the Combine Soldier, npc_combine_s, much like the Shotgun Soldier or Nova Prospekt Prison Guard. The console code to spawn it (in this example with its Pulse Rifle) is ent_create npc_combine_s model models/combine_super_soldier.mdl additionalequipment weapon_ar2.
  • The insignia featured on the Elite's left arm, chest (in a grey variant, with a campaign ribbon under it) and neck guard (inside it) is the only Combine imagery that indicates hostility or threat, displaying a cracked human skull within a straightened up standard Combine "claw" symbol, as well as a "C17", probably different for each Combine-controlled city. While the original symbol does not portray the Combine as horrific, the Elite symbol is a deliberate attempt to show the Elites as brutal and deadly. It was possibly influenced by the Totenkopf symbol used most prominently by the Schutzstaffel (or SS), an organization in Nazi Germany which served as both political police and a military formation.
  • This insignia is also featured on the Shotgun Soldier's left arm, suggesting that it may be a branch of the Combine Elite or a deadlier unit overall.


  • On the Hard difficulty, Combine Elites can withstand a direct hit from a Submachine Gun grenade.
  • At the end of the Half-Life 2 chapter "Follow Freeman!", an ordinary Combine Elite equipped with a Submachine Gun can be seen. It is a developer's oversight since the soldier will occasionally attempt to use the Pulse Rifle's secondary attack.
  • Like Stalkers and other soldiers, Combine Elites appear to be resistant or immune to radiation, as they are seemingly unaffected even when entering the room containing the extremely radioactive Citadel Core.
  • Unlike other soldiers, the Combine Elites' armor and boots are not dirtied up and flecked with mud in Episode Two. This is actually a mistake as the Combine Elite does have a unique dirtier texture sheet for Episode Two, yet it goes unused due to the file being named incorrectly.




List of appearances[edit]

Main games[edit]



Combine Elite
Combine OverWiki has more images related to Combine Elite.
  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Half-Life 2 Prima Guide
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
  3. Marc Laidlaw on the voices performed by Kelly Bailey (June 4, 2022)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Half-Life 2 Prima Guide, page 30
  5. Half-Life 2 game files, "V_MYNAMES" in sentences.txt
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 6.6 6.7 Half-Life 2 leak
  7. WC map pack
  8. Twitter favicon.png Tweet: "Found! Original Half-life 2 Combine you can tell from the 31337 on hit shoulder. Which, in my defense, was HILARIOUS back in 2001." @dhabiheng (Dhabih Eng) on Twitter (November 1, 2022)