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Half-Life 2: Deathmatch

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The subject matter of this article does not take place in the "real" Half-Life and Portal universe and is considered non-canon.

Steam portrait hl2dm.jpg
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch

Valve Corporation

Release date(s)

November 30, 2004


First-person shooter




Windows, macOS, Linux



System req

1.2 GHz Processor, 256MB RAM, DirectX 7 level graphics card, Windows 2000/XP and Internet Connection (broadband or better recommended).


Keyboard and mouse





Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, usually abbreviated as HL2DM, is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Valve Corporation. Released on Steam on November 30, 2004,[1] it uses many of the assets from Half-Life 2, and the same Source engine. It features unique levels, optimized for multiplayer arena play, and two new weapons. The game is the successor to the popular multiplayer component of the original Half-Life, but is offered as a separate product from Half-Life 2. Deathmatch, like Half-Life multiplayer, does not develop any part of the plot or story of the Half-Life series.


Menu background.


The Deathmatch (commonly abbreviated as DM) mode, includes more of the features seen in other games that can be played in deathmatch mode. Of these features, the most notable are: instant respawn, weapons have a specific spawn point, quick traveling and special abilities (sprint, flashlight, etc).

The point of the deathmatch is simple: the player must kill other players to score points, and if the player accidentally kills himself, they would lose points. If a player is killed, they will respawn with 100 health points and the default spawn weapons, but will lose all the weapons and ammunition they had before being killed.

Team deathmatch[edit]

In the Team deathmatch (commonly abbreviated as TDM) mode, players are organized in two teams, Rebels (Red) and Combine (Blue), both of them with different characters that appear exactly as they do in Half-Life 2. In the gaming aspect, TDM has almost the same rules like in deathmatch mode, except for:

  • Instead of only one player winning the round, the team with the higher score wins.
  • Depending of the friendly fire being enabled or not, a player will lose one score point for every teammate killed.
  • If the player selected a Rebel model for his character, and they are taken to the Combine team, they will get a random model from the list of Combine models. Nevertheless, if the player dislikes that character, they are able to choose another one from the list.
  • If the teams are unbalanced, the team with fewer players will not get players from the other team. Instead, they will get new players connected to the server.


The Half-Life 2: Deathmatch weapons are shared with Half-Life 2 with several differences (in use but not appearance) with the exception of the S.L.A.M, exclusive to the game, and the Stunstick, originally only used by Civil Protection.

Picture HUD icon Kill icon Ammo pickup icon Name Body damage Head damage Chamber/Carried Alternative fire Given when spawned
Crowbar world model ep2.jpg Crowbar hud icon.svg Crowbar pickup.svg N/A Crowbar 25 25 N/A None Default weapon for rebels.

Gordon Freeman's signature weapon in the Half-Life series, the crowbar is the default melee weapon for the rebels. It inflicts less damage than the Stunstick, but has a faster rate of attack.

Stun Baton.jpg Stunstick hud icon.svg Stun pickup.svg N/A Stunstick 40 40 N/A None Default weapon for Combine soldiers.

The default melee weapon for the Combine team. It has a slower rate of attack than the crowbar, but inflicts more damage.

Gravity Gun.jpg Grav gun hud icon.svg Grav gun pickup.svg
Object throw dead.svg
Thrown object
N/A Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator Depends on the thrown object Same as body N/A Grab object Yes.
Used for picking up and throwing objects. Players can kill opponents by throwing file cabinets, toilets, and other physics objects that are strewn about the level. These objects, in addition to grenades, can also be caught and thrown back at an opponent.
USP Match.jpg Usp match hud icon.svg Usp pickup.svg Usp ammo pickup.svg 9mm Pistol 8 24 18/150 None Yes, comes with full ammo (18/150 rounds).
A quick firing pistol with medium accuracy. It is used mostly as a backup weapon because of its low damage, often to finish off weakened opponents.
Magnum HL2.jpg 357 hud icon.svg Magnum pickup.svg Magnum ammo pickup.svg .357 Magnum 75 225 6/12 None No, but players spawn with 6 rounds for this weapon.
A revolver. It can only carry 18 rounds in total, and has a slow firing rate, but every bullet counts as a kill if they are used properly.
SMG HL2.jpg SMG hud icon.svg SMG pickup.svg
SMG grenade dead.svg
SMG ammo pickup.svg
SMG ammo grenade pickup.svg
Submachine Gun 5 15 45/225 Explosive grenade
(Max 3)
Yes, comes with a spare magazine (45/45).
A commonly used default weapon due to its high rate of fire and ease of use. Secondary fire lobs explosive grenades that fly in an arc and detonate on impact.
OSIPR.jpg Osipr hud icon.svg Osipr pickup.svg
Osipr ball dead.svg
Osipr ammo pickup.svg
Osipr ball pickup.svg
Overwatch Standard Issue Pulse Rifle 11 33 30/60 Plasma Orb
(Max 3)
One of the most used weapons, it has two shooting modes: first, an automatic mode which pulse rounds with a great rate of fire, and the secondary mode, which fires an Energy Ball that vaporises anyone it touches, along with the weapon the victim was carrying.
SPAS-12 HL2.jpg Spas-12 hud icon.svg Shotgun pickup.svg Shotgun ammo pickup.svg Shotgun 9 per pellet 27 per pellet 6/30
Double barrel No, but players spawn with 6 rounds for this weapon.
Almost useless at long range, but powerful at short-medium range. Fires 7 pellets with a single shot, and 12 pellets with a double shot.
Crossbow HL2.jpg Crossbow hud icon.svg Crossbow pickup.svg Crossbow ammo pickup.svg Crossbow 100 100 1/10 Zoom No.
The crossbow is very useful from long, medium or even short ranges if the enemy is not moving, but becomes somewhat hard to aim if the enemy is sprinting or moving in a zig-zag pattern.
Picture HUD icon Kill icon Ammo pickup icon Name Maximum damage Damage held in Gravity Gun Max. ammo Radius Given when spawned
MK3A2 Grenade.jpg MK3A2 hud icon.svg Mk3a2 grenade dead.svg Mk3a2 grenade pickup.svg Fragmentation Grenade 250 225 5 256 Yes, 2 grenades.
These will explode several seconds after being thrown or dropped. Their effectiveness can be greatly increased by using them with the Gravity Gun: a player can drop a grenade, pick it up with the Gravity Gun, and time their shot so that the grenade will explode right next to an opponent.
RPG HL2.jpg Rpg hud icon.svg Rpg pickup.svg Rpg rocket pickup.svg Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher 250 N/A 3 384 No.
Probably the best weapon for long and medium range killing, not only because of its power, also thanks to its laser guided rocket that allows hitting the target with a high level of precision.
Slam w.jpg Slam hud icon.svg Slam pickup.svg N/A S.L.A.M 300 200 5 192 No.
The S.L.A.M has two methods of use: the first one is as a satchel charge, the second one is using it as a trip mine. Both have the same explosion damage and radius, making this weapon a very useful tactic for protecting a specific point.


Half-Life 2: Deathmatch features 8 maps, several of which are based on existing Half-Life 2 maps with several differences, others being exclusive to the game.

Picture Name Comments
Dm lockdown.jpg Lockdown Based on the Nova Prospekt map d2_prison_03, where the Antlion Guard attack occurs in the showers and bathrooms.
Dm overwatch.jpg Overwatch Based on the City 17 map d3_c17_09, where Barney Calhoun is cornered by Combine Snipers during the city's uprising. Doesn't include the basement.
Dm steamlab.jpg Steam Lab Original map, with inspiration from Kleiner's Lab and Black Mesa East. Includes a teleport.
Dm underpass.jpg Underpass Original map, set in City 17, and strongly Combine-oriented.
Dm resistance.jpg Resistance Original map, with inspirations from Ravenholm (outside) and Nova Prospekt (inside). Set inside a large brick building.
Dm powerhouse.jpg Powerhouse Original map, set in a powerhouse.
Dm runoff.jpg Run Off Based on the Canals map d1_canals_07 (the APC garage) and d1_canals_08, with dried canals.
Halls3 blueinside.jpg Halls3 Original map, added during the game's transition to the SteamPipe distribution system. Set in a series of buildings on the outskirts of City 17.


Upon the release and subsequent critical reception of Half-Life 2, reviewers expressed disappointment with the game's lack of multiplayer.[2] Two weeks after the initial release of Half-Life 2, Valve revealed and released Half-Life 2: Deathmatch on Steam, simultaneously with the Source SDK as a means of promoting game modifications built upon the platform.[1] Post-release, the game was supported with new maps from Valve as well as updates to the game and its engine.

On May 30, 2007, Valve made an announcement that the game, along with Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, would be made available as a free promotional deal for all ATI graphics card users.[3] The offer initially included the Source SDK, allowing players free access to mods, but this unintentional feature was later removed.[4] Valve also announced another free promotional offer on January 10, 2008, which allows Nvidia graphics card users to download and play Half-Life 2: Deathmatch along with Portal: First Slice, Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, and Peggle Extreme.[5] Because of the large market share between ATI and Nvidia, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch was free for almost all graphics card users. The bonus has since been disabled.

Valve's The Orange Box does not include Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, however, the game was upgraded to use the Orange Box version of the Source engine in September 2010. In the same month, Deathmatch was released via Steam for macOS.[6] A Linux version came more than two years later, in March 2013.[7]


Half Life 2: Deathmatch received highly positive reviews with IGN giving it 9.7/10[8] and GameSpot giving it 9.2/10.[9] The latter lauded the game for the Source engine's "impressive use of physics" and the available selection of maps.[9] IGN paid similar compliments to the title, also speaking highly of the "fast play style that [Half-Life 2: Deathmatch] produces."[8] Multiple reviews stated that the game suffered from large amount of lag upon release, but GameSpy noted that this was remedied soon after as more servers came online.[10]



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