Finding it difficult to beat the combine or those pesky armored Headcrabs - here's our latest list of some of the most useful tips and tricks to get you off on the right foot before you start playing Half-Life Alyx and surviving City 17. Check out the latest tips, attack strategies, combat moves and tactical secrets to improve your gameplay.
Don't Forget To Save
Although Half Life Alyx has an auto-save feature, it's still a good idea to save your own progress, especially in those areas where your about to confront the Zombie Dog or a nest of Headcrabs.
Resin - find as much as you can
Probably one of the most important items in Half-Life: Alyx is resin. Resin is more abundant than you think, you just have to look, even areas that appear to be a dead-end you'll probably find a slice or two. Check on shelves, in cupboards, cabinets, behind boxes, under desks, pipes and even in sewer drains... yuck!
Not all doors open - find the doors with handles, usually red ones.
Ammo Is Crucial
Need more ammo? Just like resin, if you look there's plenty around on shelves, lying around on floors and on dead bodies - to mention a few. Other places to look - open any large yellow cooler boxes you come across, throw down to smash wooden boxes. Sometimes shooting Barnacles will also reward you with ammo or sometimes a grenade.
Reserve Your Ammo
Find alternative kill methods: Shoot at the dark orange gas canisters to take out multiple enemies. Gas canisters can also be picked up and thrown into the vicinity of the enemy, then shot at when the timing's right. Sometimes if there's a Barnacle nearby and an the enemy walks near it, the Barnacle will suck it up for lunch, saving you ammo. Also, use the standard grenades or Xen grenades where you can.
Be Tactical When Using Grenades
Carefully open doors, just ajar, take a peek. If there's a bunch of Headcrabs or Zombies in the room use the grenade to clear the path. It will save you a lot of ammo. Although you can only store two grenades in your wrist pockets, you can still carry one in each hand, giving you a total of four at you disposal!
Take Cover and Hide
Use the environment for cover. Hide behind objects and peek around corners before you go all guns blazing. When in deep trouble run to a safe distance and re-approach with caution, pecking out our enemies with head-shots.
Pistol Upgrades: Choosing The Right One
I wouldn't upgrade to the Reflex Sight straight away, although this will probably be the only upgrade you can afford at the time. The Reflex Sight doesn't give you much more of an advantage - the only benefit is that it highlights enemies in the dark and their weak spots, a nice touch, but not essential. You’re better off just aiming down the normal barrel sight and wait until you have enough resin for the Laser Sight or Bullet Reservoir. It's a tough decision - The Laser Sight is great for targeting the enemy and definitely assists in saving ammo, however, the Bullet Reservoir allows you to store more ammo, so less fumbling around when loading. The Bullet Reservoir should be your first choice, then the Reflex Sight followed by the Laser Sight. The Burst Fire is a nice to have later on and should be the last of your upgrades. If you are unsure what to upgrade first, check out our weapon upgrade user guide.
When you first upgrade the shotgun go for the Laser Sight. Later on when you have enough resin, upgrade to the Autoloader. Double shot is a nice to have, but remember you can fire off two shots quick enough anyway, so not that important. The Grenade Launcher should be your next upgrade, followed by the Double Shot, the last of the shotgun upgrades... although you're probably better off saving those 25 resin blocks for upgrading the SMG.
Upgrade to the Laser Sight first, then the Extended Mag. You would've already saved 30 resin blocks from not upgrading to the Reflex Sight and Burst Fire on the pistol and a further 25 from opting out of the Double Shot, shotgun upgrade, a saving of 55 resin blocks!
Barnacles: Alternative Ways to Kill
Barnacles are pretty stupid really, best of all they're greedy and will eat almost anything thrown at them. With that in mind - toss an active grenade into the vicinity of its tentacles or a gas cylinder. It will soon gulp it up and explode on doing so.
At some point you'll probably come across a yellow hard hat. Simply pick it up and place it on your head. These are great for protecting yourself against Barnacles. If you happen to get to close, the Barnacle will grab your hard-hat and not you. Try to carry one at all times, just in case!
Headcrabs - Shoot At The Mouth
The best method for killing all Headcrabs is to wait for the Headcrab to rise back on its hind legs, exposing its tender underside, namely its mouth. Then aim and shoot there for a quick kill. This tactic certainly needs to be applied when tackling the Armored Headcrab.
The quickest way to kill the Headcrab Zombie is to aim for the head, basically shooting at the Headcrab. Three headshots using the pistol, or a single blast from the shotgun is usually enough.
Toxic Headcrab Pit
In chapter 5: The Northern Star (where you find the SMG), you will come across what seems to be a dirty, broken-up basement infested with Toxic Headcrabs. Don't waste your ammo shooting these, they will just keep coming. Use the Xen grenade's nearby to clear the path enough to get into the room below - taking a spare Xen grenade with you. When you've acquired the SMG, throw the Xen out the window to clear your path, then run straight towards the elevator shaft, climbing the ladder to safety.
Lightning Dog Zombie
The best way to kill the Lightning Dog Zombie is by shooting the blue glowing areas within its body (corpse), which will eventually explode, forcing the Lightning Dog off its host. Then it’s just a case of popping it off - if you can locate it that is.
Bloaters: Keep Your Distance
The best way to kill Bloaters is from a distance. Any weapon will kill one. For a quick kill, toss in a Xen grenade, use a single shot from your shotgun or shoot at it several times with the pistol, however, Bloaters regenerate and will absorb your bullets, so make sure you keep firing until it explodes. For the more adventurous - if you're very careful and time it right, you can approach a Bloater and back away just before it reaches critical mass and it will explode on it's own.
Shoot Flammable Barrels
Just like the orange gas cylinders, you'll also come across large oil-type looking barrels. The barrels are easy to spot, they're white with a red bands. Wait until the Combine gets close to one and shoot the barrel, killing the enemy outright.
Combine Soldier: Aim For The Backpack
Some Combine Soldiers have backpacks that contain a flammable liquid. Yes, you got it! Shoot the backpack to quickly kill the enemy and others in the vicinity. It’s also a great way to split up soldiers if they are part of a squad.
There's more handy tips on killing the enemy here: Half-Life Alyx: Enemy Tips
The Ordinal Combine Soldiers can deploy Manhack's, you'll see a perfect example of how troublesome this can be near the end of the level 5 'The Northern Star', where you're constantly bombarded by these flying death-traps. Make sure you take out the soldier that's releasing the Manhack's before you do anything else.
Combine Machine Gunner:
Watch and listen. Wait until the gunner stops firing then peek around from cover and shoot for the head if you can. You may have to repeat the process several times, but it's the safest way to kill them. Patience is key here.
Although the Combine Heavy is a formidable enemy, armored to the hilt and brandishing a force-field, it does have a weakness... it’s slow and not very agile! Take advantage of this flaw and try to flank it. The Combine Heavy turns around very slowly, so as he turns, move quickly to a good position, taking aim and shooting at the exposed areas, especially the head. Another tactic is timing, shooting it just after its stopped firing. Grenade ready - if the Heavy drops its shields at any point, be quick and toss a grenade at it.
Antlion: Take out The Legs
The Antlion is pretty easy to kill. You simply shoot the orange parts on their body. Dismember it first by shooting its two front legs, this will limit their mobility, then finish it off with shots to their orange glowing abdomen. A word of caution though... if they're weak they sometimes tend to fly into the air, exploding, so anything nearby will take some collateral damage, so be warned.
Advice - Background Processes
If you experience issues with Half-Life: Alyx, try rebooting your PC and updating your graphic card drivers. Check and turn off any unnecessary background processes that could interfere with game performance, such as a DTP program.
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