Their AI uses Blitzkrieg-style tactics. They will advance rapidly to flank, throw grenades to flush the player out, ignore attacks and suppress, or charge ahead to force an enemy back. In squads, they coordinate their actions and take turns attacking an opponent.
npc_combine_s is one of the most common enemies in Half-Life 2, serving as the Combine's primary military force. As opposed to
npc_combine_s is a strong NPC that could utilize a wide variety of equipment, from Pulse-Rifles to frag grenades.
A variant of
npc_combine_s, the Combine Elite, has more health and can use the AR2's secondary firing ability. Another variant, the Nova Prospekt Soldier, is purely visual and has no additional effects.
In Episode One, Episode Two, and the Orange Box version of Half-Life 2, Combine soldiers with shotguns are automatically given a different skin. Regular soldiers become dark orange and the eyes of Nova Prospekt soldiers turn red. Elites are not affected.
They appear throughout Half-Life 2 as the Combine's transhuman soldiers, a step up from the unmodified Civil Protection. Nova Prospekt soldiers completely replace regular soldiers in the Nova Prospekt chapters and Elite soldiers appear sparingly, only being introduced at the end of Nova Prospekt and appearing either among regular soldiers or in squads of their own. In Episode Two, all soldiers have dirt on their uniforms, suggesting they've marched a long way from City 17.
Warning: If an elite with grenades is carrying a weapon other than the AR2, they will occasionally try to fire an energy ball at their enemy. The charging sound effect will play, but nothing will fire.
Dedicated Console Variables
|ConVar/Command||Parameters or default value||Descriptor||Effect|
|health amount||A regular/Nova Prospekt soldier's spawn health.|
|damage amount||A regular/Nova Prospekt soldier's melee damage.|
|arbitrary number||Makes Combine soldiers occasionally drop an |
Note:This also controls whether soldiers drop grenades and AR2 alt-fire ammo.
|health amount||A Combine Elite soldier's spawn health.|
|damage amount||A Combine Elite soldier's melee damage.|
|arbitrary number||While it would appear to be a version of |
- Sets the model of the NPC. Options are:
models/combine_soldier.mdl: Regular Soldier
models/combine_soldier_prisonguard.mdl: Nova Prospekt Soldier
models/combine_super_soldier.mdl: Elite Soldier
- Tip:This value can be overridden with any model path.
- Tactical Variant
- Options are:
- Normal Tactics
- Pressure the enemy (Keep advancing)
- Pressure until within 30ft, then normal
- Walk Easy
- When true, will use a variety of more casual walking animations instead of the standard walk. For use in crowds. Note:This animation only has a north component. For use under very special circumstances only.
- What weapon this Combine NPC should spawn with. Choices are:
- Number of Grenades
- How many grenades this NPC can throw (0-5 or infinite). NPCs do not normally pick up replacement grenades. Tip: You are not limited to the number of grenades listed, you can add in any number of grenades in the key field like 10 or 20.
- Waiting to Rappel?
- If yes, this NPC spawns suspended in air and awaits a
BeginRappelinput. It will then spawn a zipline and slide down. When it hits the ground, NPC will cut away the line and try to move forward a few feet to make room for the next NPC. The NPC will not attempt to clear its landing space if it cannot do so by taking a few steps forward.
- Values for
- Target Path Corner
- The path_corner that this NPC will move to after spawning.
- Squad Name
- NPCs that are in the same squad (i.e. have matching squad names) will share information about enemies, and will take turns attacking and covering each other.
- Hint Group
- Hint groups are used by NPCs to restrict their hint-node searching to a subset of the map's hint nodes. Only hint nodes with matching hint group names will be considered by this NPC.
- Hint Limit Nav
- Limits NPC to using specified hint group for navigation requests, but does not limit local navigation.
- Sleep State
- Holds the NPC in stasis until specified condition. See also 'Wake Radius' and 'Wake Squad'.
- 0: None
- 1: Waiting for threat
- 2: Waiting for PVS
- 3: Waiting for input, ignore PVS
- 4: Auto PVS
- 5: Auto PVS after PVS
- Wake Radius
- Auto-wake if player within this distance
- Wake Squad
- Wake all of the NPCs squadmates if the NPC is woken
- Enemy Filter
- Filter entity to test targets against
- Ignore unseen enemies
- Prefer visible enemies, regardless of distance or relationship priority
- Physics Impact Damage Scale
- Scales damage energy when this character is hit by a physics object. With a value of 0 the NPC will take no damage from physics.
- Disable shadows
- Prevent the entity from creating cheap render-to-texture shadows. Does not affect shadow mapping.
- Disable ShadowDepth
<boolean>(New with Portal 2)
- Used to disable rendering into shadow depth (for projected textures) for this entity.
- Projected Texture Cache
<choices>(New with Portal 2)
- Used to hint projected texture system whether it is sufficient to cache shadow volume of this entity or to force render it every frame instead.
- 0 : Default
- 1 : No cache - render every frame
- 2 : Cache it - render only once
- Render Mode (rendermode)
- Set a non-standard rendering mode on this entity.
- Render FX / Transparency (0 - 255) (renderamt)
- Transparency amount, requires a Render Mode other than Normal. 0 is invisible, 255 is fully visible.
- Render Color (R G B) (rendercolor)
- Color tint.
- Disable Receiving Shadows (disablereceiveshadows)
- Prevent the entity from receiving shadows on itself.
- Render FX (renderfx)
- Preset pattern of appearance effects.
- Pitch Yaw Roll (Y Z X)
- This entity's orientation in the world. Pitch is rotation around the Y axis, yaw is the rotation around the Z axis, roll is the rotation around the X axis.
- Entity Scripts
<scriptlist>(New with Left 4 Dead 2)
- Space delimited list of VScript files (without file extension) that are executed after all entities have spawned. The scripts are all executed in the same script scope, later ones overwriting any identical variables and functions.
- Script think function
<string>(New with Left 4 Dead 2)
- Name of a function in this entity's script which will be called automatically every 100 milliseconds (ten times a second) for the duration of the script. It can be used to create timers or to simulate autonomous behavior. The return value (if present) will set the time until the next call. Note:Try to avoid expensive operations in this function, as it may cause performance problems.
- 1: Wait Till Seen
- 2: Gag (No IDLE sounds until angry)
- 4: Fall to ground (unchecked means *teleport* to ground)
- 8: Drop Healthkit
- 16: Efficient - Don't acquire enemies or avoid obstacles
- 128: Wait For Script
- 256: Long Visibility/Shoot
- 512: Fade Corpse
- 1024: Think outside PVS
- 2048: Template NPC: This entity is a template for
npc_template_maker. It will not spawn automatically and cannot be used with
- 4096: Do Alternate collision for this NPC (player avoidance) Note:This flag is disabled in episodic for player companions because the
StartScriptinginput does this.
- 8192: Don't drop weapons
- 16384: Ignore player push (New with Half-Life 2: Episode One / Source 2006): Don't give way to player
- 65536 : Start LookOff
- 131072 : Don't drop grenades
- 262144 : Don't drop ar2 alt fire (elite only)
- See normally.
- Don't see for myself, use other squad member's eyes.
- Patrol whenever I'm idle or alert.
- Stop patrolling when I'm idle or alert.
- Throw a grenade at the specified target.
<targetname>(New with Alien Swarm)
- Bug: Not implemented - attempting to compile will result in an unresolved external error. Most likely something from Episode Three.
- Start rappelling now.
SetRelationship <string|targetname or classname> <string|disposition> <int|rank>
- Changes whether this NPC likes or dislikes certain others. Used like the ai_relationship entity, with this NPC as the subject.
- Values for
- Set the NPC's health.
AddHealth <int>(New with Half-Life 2: Episode Two / Source 2007)
RemoveHealth <int>(New with Half-Life 2: Episode Two / Source 2007)
- Add to or remove from the NPC's health.
- HACK: Sets this NPC's body group (from 0 - n).
- Scales the damage taken when this character is hit by a physics object. 0 means this feature is disabled for backwards compatibility.
- Burst into flames.
- Ignite for the given number of seconds.
- Ignite with the given number of hitbox fires.
- Ignite with the given hitbox fire scale.
- Smash into pieces. If this is not possible, disappear.
BecomeRagdoll(New with Half-Life 2: Episode Two / Source 2007)
- Remove itself and instantly become a ragdoll with zero force (just go limp). OnDeath, etc. Outputs will NOT be fired.
- Enter/exit scripting state, where NPCs ignore a variety of stimulus that would make them break out of their scripts. They ignore danger sounds, ignore +USE, don't idle speak or respond to other NPC's idle speech, and so on.
- Start an assault at the given rally point.
- Change the name of this NPC's squad. Leaving the parameter blank will remove the NPC from any existing squad.
- Wakes up the NPC if it is sleeping.
- Clears out the NPC's knowledge of a named entity.
- Gagged NPCs won't speak (or moan, caw, etc.) unless made to be a choreographed scene.
- Ignore danger sounds for the specified number of seconds.
HolsterWeapon(New with Half-Life 2: Episode One / Source 2006)
UnholsterWeapon(New with Half-Life 2: Episode One / Source 2006)
- Force the NPC to holster or unholster their weapon. Ignored if the NPC is scripting or if the NPC doesn't use weapons.
HolsterAndDestroyWeapon (New with Half-Life 2: Episode One / Source 2006)
HolsterWeapon, except the weapon is destroyed once it has been concealed.
ForceInteractionWithNPC <string> (New with Half-Life 2: Episode One / Source 2006)
- Force the NPC to use a dynamic interaction with another NPC. Syntax is
<targetname> <dynamic interaction>.
UpdateEnemyMemory (New with Half-Life 2: Episode One / Source 2006)
- Update (or create) this NPC's memory of of the given entity.
- Sets the entity's transparency to a number from 0 (invisible) to 255 (fully visible). Requires the entity to have its Render Mode (rendermode) set to a number other than
- Sets an RGB color for the entity.
- Removes this entity and any entities parented to it from the world.
- Functions the same as
Kill, although entities with a large number of children are killed marginally faster.
- Evaluates a keyvalue/output on this entity. It can be potentially very dangerous, use with care.
<output name> <targetname>:<inputname>:<parameter>:<delay>:<max times to fire, -1 means infinite>
- Fire the
OnUseroutputs; see User Inputs and Outputs.
- Same as a player invoking +use; may not do anything. Can also be invoked by creating an output that does not specify an input.
This input is not included in Valve's FGDs.
<script>(New with Left 4 Dead 2)
- Execute a VScript file from disk, without file extension. The script contents are merged with the script scope of the receiving entity.
<string>(New with Left 4 Dead 2)
- Execute a string of VScript source code in the scope of the entity receiving the input. String quotation may be needed when fired via console. Bug: In , the code is executed in the script scope of the entity that fires the output, not the one receiving the input.Warning: Never try to pass string parameters to a script function with this input. It will corrupt the VMF structure because of the nested quotation marks, which then must be removed manually with a text editor.
<string>(New with Left 4 Dead 2) !FGD
- Execute a VScript function in the scope of the receiving entity. Note:This input is missing from some games FGD files.
<origin>(New with Alien Swarm) !FGD
- Set this entity's origin in the map. Note:This input is missing from some games FGD files.
<angles>(New with Alien Swarm) !FGD
- Set this entity's angles in the map. Note:This input is missing from some games FGD files.
- Fires when done rappelling.
- Fired when this NPC takes damage (activator is the damage inflictor)
- Fired when this NPC is killed (activator is the killer)
- Fired when this NPC reaches half of its maximum health
- Fired when this NPC hears a sound (other than combat or the player)
- Fired when this NPC hears the player
- Fired when this NPC hears combat sounds
- Fired when this NPC establishes line of sight to its enemy
- Fired when this NPC loses line of sight to its enemy
- Fired when this NPC loses its enemy. Usually due to the enemy being killed/removed, or because this NPC has selected a newer, more dangerous enemy
- Fired when this NPC establishes line of sight to its enemy, and that enemy is a player
- Fired when this NPC loses line of sight to its enemy, and that enemy is a player
- Fired when this NPC loses its enemy, and that enemy was a player. Usually due to the enemy being killed/removed, or because this NPC has selected a newer, more dangerous enemy
- Fired when this NPC is hurt by a player (activator is the attacker or vehicle driver (if friendly fire))
- Fired when this NPC is hurt by a player OR by one of the player's squadmates (activator is the attacker or vehicle driver (if friendly fire))
- Fired when this NPC has refused to join the player's squad
- Fired when this NPC enters a sleep state
- Fired when this NPC comes out of a sleep state
- Fired when the NPC starts a forced interaction.
- Fired when the NPC aborts a forced interaction for some reason (target NPC died, couldn't be pathed to, etc)
- "NPCs in actbusies can no longer perform dynamic interactions." To do: What does this mean?
- These Outputs each fire in response to the firing of the like-numbered
FireUser4Input; see User Inputs and Outputs.
OnKilled(New with Left 4 Dead)
- This Output fires when the entity is killed and removed from the game.