Half Life Alyx Enemies Guide: Every Enemy You’ll Find

Half-Life Alyx is the franchise’s first entry into the Half-Life series. In honor of this feat, it is absolutely full of every enemy that has even slightly graced a player’s nightmares or frustrations. Unfortunately, dealing with so many enemies can be frustrating without a guide.

Worry not; I am personally well-versed in dealing with interdimensional zoology and authority figures from another planet. Of course, they would be well-versed in me, but none have lived to create a legend in my name! Besides, they are all worked up over some free man or… Something. They are even more worked up about the Vance family lately, too.

While they are distracted with them, let’s get you caught up on the creatures and soldiers you will struggle with on your journey across City 17.

Bottom Line Up Front

Half Life Alyx’s enemies are split up between two factions that both found their way to City 17 through the Black Mesa Incident.

The Black Mesa Incident is the In-Universe name for the events of Half Life 1 which put the franchise into motion. The Black Mesa Incident was when the experiment the scientists of Black Mesa, especially Gordon Freeman, ripped a hole into the fabric of reality. Leading to the following two groups of headaches.

In general, all of these enemies can be managed with just your pistol and a good idea of their weak points. A couple shotgun shells should be kept for any enemies on this list you deem a headache.


Interdimensional twice-lost aliens. en is both the name of the floating lands that had formed in between dimensions. It is not stated yet if these creatures are all from the same planet or not.

  Ch Strength Weakness
Barnacle 2 Numbers Explosive barrels and grenades.
Headcrab 2 Fast and nimble. Weak and pitiful.
Headcrab Zombies 2 Can tank an impressive amount of bullets. Psychological warfare.  Headshots and Explosives
Armored Headcrab 3 Bullet resistant skin, Stealthy Explosive belly button.




3 Immune to Headshots. Bullet Tank Explosives and Shotgun Shells
Poisonous Headcrab 3 Quick and Venomous, Stealthy Shotgun blasts
Lightning Dog 5 Electricity, Agility Multiple Shotgun Blasts




5 Electricity, Bullet Tank Shooting the glowing blue pustules. 
Antlion  8 Armored Wings, Powerful Mandibles Combustible Abdomen


Ant Lion

9 Electricity, Powerful Mandibles, Armored Wings Combustible Abdomen


The empire strikes back, only their uniform budget is on point. The Combine is a massive empire that is attempting, and nearly succeeding, in completely taking over Earth. The combine’s true species is unknown, and it is very likely they are made up of the many species that they have since conquered and assimilated.

  Ch Strength Weakness
Manhack 3 Airborn, Agile, Swarm Melee
Soldier 3 Grenades, Ranged Weapons Headshots, Valve
Heavy 4 Heavy Gear, Shotgun, Shield Headshots and Explosives
Ordinal 1 Heavy Gear, Manhack Deployment, Grenades Lowers guard when deploying manhacks.
Suppressor 6 Rapid Firerate, Heaviest Armor, High Ground Reloading


Xen is the name of an interdimensional plane, which is central to the Half-Life storyline. The inhabitants of Xen are wayward wanderers of their own planets and dimensions. Thanks to the Black Mesa Incident, these species have since invaded City 17 and will be a constant pain in your side.


Level Introduced Ch 2; The Quarantine Zone

Cavern of Horrors Half Life Alyx Enemies Guide
There goes the security deposit, the property value, and most likely the upstairs neighbors.

Barnacles are stationary but harmless. You can tell they are nearby the tongue that hangs from the ceiling. They will grab anything near their tendril tongue, including grenades that you threw while forgetting they were there. 

An upside to these annoying critters is they will ignite an explosive device by chomping down on it. So the best strategy is to throw the nearest conveniently placed explosive barrel or tank. They can often drop ammo or resin, so it is worth taking them out.


  • Tanky, take 4 or more bullets to kill.
  • Often appear in large numbers along a corridor. 


  • Helmets, they will become distracted with the helmet until it reaches their mouth.
  • Explosives. Propane canisters are especially useful in clearing out large rooms of Barnacles.


  • Barnacles are annoying but stationary. If you are worried about ammo supplies, throwing anything you can pick up onto their tongue will keep them from being able to grab you.
  • It is often good to dispatch them as they usually release their last meal of ammo or resin.
  • If there is a long corridor or the ceiling suddenly vanishes like a cliff, keep an eye out for tongue tendrils. 


Level Introduced Ch 2; The Quarantine Zone

Adorable Headcrab
Horrifying or not, I still am getting one as a plush.

You knew you would be seeing these guys. They are a series staple. They have a fondness for hugging faces, though. Fortunately, their only actual method of attack in this form is to rear back and jump for your face. 

This desire to latch to your face can be prevented with a respirator or a helmet. 

However, the best tactic is to move to the side just as the jump. So, when you see the headcrab rear back, the headcrab already has its lock on your current position. 


  • Tiny and fast. You never know where a headcrab might be. 
  • An open corpse is room for a headcrab to turn into a zombie. 


  • Tunnel Vision, once they rear back, they will leap in a line from that position.
  • Items in their way might trip them up.


  • Keep an ear open; they make tiny screechy noises. 
  • Keep obstacles between you and them.

Headcrab Zombie

Level Introduced Ch 2; The Quarantine Zone

Backward screech
Sir, please calm down. Shenanigans is a brand name, not a challenge.

Where there are headcrabs, there are usually headcrab zombies. 

They give a headcrab added armor in the form of the body beneath it. The headcrab will merely pop off and come for you if you only shoot them there. So instead, focus on the headcrab on its head.


  • More challenging than a headcrab.
  • Dangerous in numbers.
  • Scream backward.
  • If the headcrab isn’t killed with the zombie, it will detach from the corpse once killed and jump at the player.


  • Slow
  • Headshots kill the headcrab.


  • Killing the headcrab on its head will prevent surprises.
  • You will usually find a grenade hidden in areas just before large groups of headcrabs.

Armored Headcrab

Level Introduced Ch 3; Is or Will Be

Xen Zoology
I am starting a Xen zoo. I am sure nothing about this plan will go wrong.

These headcrabs have cunningly evolved a thick armor that makes them impervious to bullets when they are moving. Like the headcrab, they are tiny though less agile. As a result, they will take a moment longer to rear back. Thankfully, their stomachs lack the same armored carapace. Instead, there is a bright red spot in the center of their stomachs; shoot that to make them explode.


  • Thick, bullet-proof carapace. 
  • It is darker than a normal headcrab, which makes them easy to lose in the darkness.


  • The bright red spot on its belly. One-shot-kill. If you can hit it. It has to rear back to ready its jump; this will give you plenty of chances to blow the bugger up.


  • Keep your sights on the armored headcrab’s front but don’t shoot. They lift their front up to intimidate and ready a jump. If you keep aiming for their’ head,’ you will already be just millimeters from being on target.

Armored Headcrab Zombie

Level Introduced Ch 3: Is or Will Be

Armored ZomZom
I asked the landlord to deal with it. The landlord put up that sign.


  • Immune to headshots. 
  • Tanky like a headcrab zombie.


  • Usually slower than a headcrab zombie. 
  • Explosives and shotgun shells.


  • Shotguns and explosives are your best bet.
  • Once the zombie falls, find the armored headcrab and follow the advice listed there.

Poisonous Headcrab

Level Introduced Ch 3; Is or will Be

Clever girl
A truly toxic creature, it has decided to skip the middleman and has gone straight for my health bar.

Out of all the headcrabs, I hate these the most. They are quicker than the rest and carry a neurotoxin capable of blinding you while a large chunk of your health gets eaten away. Worse, they like to favor darker spots. Like the armored headcrabs, it makes them nearly impossible to detect, thanks to their darkened skin. 

The final reason I hate them? They remind me of spiders. The way they move, their skitter, and their venomous tendencies all smell like a spider.


  • Agile
  • Stealthy
  • Venomous
  • Capable of the longest leaps out of any headcrab.


  • Shotgun shells. They take a few bullets, but a shotgun shell to the squid-face never fails.


  • When in a dark space, especially one you have encountered headcrabs in, switch to the shotgun. There is almost certainly a toxic headcrab nearby. 
  • Don’t panic. Panicking will make even a shotgun miss.

Lightning Dog, Reviver

Level Introduced CH 5: The Northern Star

It doesn't even look like a dog. Its more a cat.
I don’t know what that tail does, but it makes me uncomfortable.

While officially called a reviver, Alyx and Russell agree it is more a lightning dog. These buggers are like headcrabs on steroids. Much like the headcrabs, they are capable of reviving the dead. But, unlike headcrabs, they are loaded with electricity. 

A lightning dog is a tank, taking approximately 5-7 point-blank shotgun shells to incapacitate them. When threatened, it will cloak itself in a fog of electricity and smoke before fleeing. They will then hunt for a body to possess. Still, they can be located via the electric bolts arcing along their path to nearby objects. 


  • Tank, takes 5-7 shotgun shells. Point blank.
  • Agile
  • Capable of electricity
  • Capable of raising the dead.


  • Multiple Shotgun Shells
  • While running, it will leave a discharge which will help you locate it.


  • Keep some shotgun shells handy for this chapter. The moment you have a bead on the lightning dog, start unloading on it. If it gets away, it will gain ‘armor’ in the form of a corpse it is possessing. You will need to kill the L.D. Zombie it’s maintaining before you can continue chipping at its own personal health pool.

Lightning Dog Zombie

Lightning Dog Zombie

Level Introduced Ch 5: The Northern Star

Like a headcrab zombie, only you get the honor of seeing their faces! 

The lightning dog hiding inside of these guys will throw balls of electricity at you from the safety of its corpse. Then, to make matters more complicated, the zombie likes to tank anything you throw at it. 

The best option is to focus on destroying the blue swelling pustules of electricity. Do so enough times, and the lightning dog will be forced to flee in search of another host. The lightning dog does not appear to take a lot of damage from this, so be sure to pepper it with your shotgun once it emerges.


  • The lightning dog inside will turn the game into a minor bullet hell. 
  • Tanks bullets unless you aim for its glowing blue weak points. 
  • Killing the zombie does not kill the lightning dog. 


  • The glowing blue pustules deal the most damage to the zombie when shot.


  • Focus entirely on the pustules that grow on the L.D. Zombie’s limbs. Use the pistol or the SMG when dealing with the zombie, and save your shotgun shells for the lightning dog that will emerge once it is dead.


Level Introduced Ch 8: Captivity

Honey, I don’t care if this is your family home. It ate the exterminator and called friends.

Many of the enemies I have mentioned are dangerous in groups, but antlions like to come in swarms. They also want to take to the air to fire goo at you.

While alone, they aren’t too dangerous; one Antlion means a hive is nearby. However, there is no avoiding them, so be prepared for an extended skirmish when these guys show up. 

Alien insectoids, the Antlions have a hardened carapace that makes them impervious to bullets unless adequately accounted for. Therefore, the primary way to kill them is to shoot their backside. This will become exposed when they take to the air or when their wings flutter for brief periods. 

An antlion’s legs can be shot out. One leg destroyed will make them move slower, using the remaining front leg to crawl their way in your direction. Shooting the second leg will force them into the sky, exposing their backside to kill them.


  • Bullet-Resistant Carapace. 
  • Powerful Mandibles. 
  • Fires goo when airborne.


  • Combustible Backside.
  • Weak at the knees.


  • When dealing with groups of antlions, take out those who have positioned themselves as the rangers. Their backsides will be exposed while flying. 
  • Antlions have weak legs. Shoot both to force them into the air, exposing their vulnerable backside.

Blue Antlion

Level Introduced Ch 9: Revelations

The Turbine Twins
One tells only lies. The other electrocutes you.

Blue antlions are the same as Antlions, just more electrified. The good they fire at you will be charged with lightning. They can be easily identified by their glowing blue legs and back. 

Blue antlions pack a powerful punch when it comes to the zap-goo, even in a one-on-one fight, so prioritize killing them whenever they appear on the playing field. They will favor ranged attacks, so they will try to keep their distance and then fly into the air to fire their goo at you. Shoot them in the butt when they take to the sky.


  • Fires electrified goo at you.
  • Powerful Mandibles.
  • Bullet-Proof Carapace.


  • Weak Knees
  • Combustible Backside.


  • Besides the electricity, Blue antlions function the came as antlions. They will always appear far away and prefer to act as rangers. 
  • As they will continuously jump into the air to fire electricity at you, wait for them to jump into the air and shoot their backside. 
  • If one refuses to jump in the air, shoot out their legs.


The Combine might look like humans, but they are actually an intergalactic empire that, like the races inhabiting Xen, invaded Earth during the Black Mesa incident. You can immediately tell they are around thanks to their tell-tale radio chatter and the click of the coms. 


Level Introduced Ch 3: Is or Will Be

Image from Fandom

Manhacks will be your first introduction to the Combine and one of their most annoying additions. Initially, they will appear from seemingly nowhere, heralded by a load of high-pitched buzzing noise and the sound of them bumble-beeing into anything between you and them.

They are drones with a chainsaw built into them, and they almost always come in a pack of two or more. They look small, but they can take two to three hits to take down. Throwing something at them will disorient them long enough to land a few more hits if you find them troublesome to shoot. 


  • Tiny
  • Air-bound and Agile


  • Melee
  • Thrown Objects
  • Walls


The manhacks should always be taken out first. They usually rush you and dance around the player to disorient them and chip them to delicious bite-sized bits. Pistol Whip them if they get too close to confuse them and unload a couple of bullets into their machinery. 

Combine Soldier

Level Introduced Ch 3: Is or Will Be

Look, if you didn’t want me to shoot it, you shouldn’t have made it tempting.

Your run-of-the-mill grunt and the Combine type you will see the most of. They usually appear in pairs or flanked by a group of the other Combine types. Like the Ordinator, they are equipped with grenades. However, they will use them sparingly to force you out of cover. 

Their main tactic is to find the closest piece of cover to the player and start firing. They are armed with pulse rifles and are capable of the least amount of damage compared to the rest of the Combine.

Variants of the Combine soldier have a gas valve on their back. Shooting this will make the soldier explode, taking out any enemies near them.


  • Numbers
  • Ranged Weaponry
  • Grenades


  • Gas Valves
  • Headshots
  • Grunt Behavior


Thanks to their low health and high chance for chipping your damage in numbers, these enemies should be your priority, second only to the manhacks. Pepper their heads with lead, or aim for the gas valve if equipped with one. 

A reflex scope will highlight not only their head but also the gas valve.

Combine Heavy/Charger

Level Introduced Ch 4: Superweapon

Pick up that corpse, citizen.
This is about that grunt I just blew up. Isn’t it?

A heavy is the beast of the Combine units. It is the most heavily armored of the bunch, though it doesn’t have as much health as a Combine Suppressor. They are armed with a heavy shotgun capable of severe damage and an energy shield they will liberally use to protect themselves from your barrage. They will not be able to return fire while they hide behind their guard, but they are capable of releasing a flash that will blind the player.


  • Heaviest armor, heaviest shotgun
  • Energy shield to hide from bullets.
  • Bullrushes an enemy on sight.


  • Headshots
  • Explosives


If you have a grenade, I would throw it now. This will not always kill them, and a few shots will still be necessary. Otherwise, aim for the head. When they hide behind their shield, don’t look directly at it and take out any additional enemies. However, be ready for him to drop his guard. 

Combine Ordinal

Level Introduced: Ch 1

Almost Human
Guilty Spark and the Combine. Buddy Cop Movie of the Century.

Ordinals are similar to a heavy, though they aren’t as quick to rush you. They have yellow marking their armor, and they deploy man hacks. They are heavily armored like the Heavy, though they favor a pulse rifle or an SMG.

These enemies can also deploy grenades, but shooting them while they are triggering it will force them to drop it, killing them and any around them.


  • Heavily Armored
  • Heavily Armed
  • Deploy Manhacks


  • Headshots
  • Manhack deployment requires a lowered guard.


Deal with and manhacks the Ordinal might have released before you encountered them. They lower their guard when they release these manhacks, so belt their helmet with bullets before they can ready their rifle again. 

Alternatively, shoot them while they throw a grenade.

Combine Suppressor/Minigunner

Level Introduced Ch 6: Arms Race

Combine Suppressor_Minigunner
Image from Fandom

The most health-heavy and DPS-frantic members of the Combine. The moment they see the player, they ready their minigun and lay into them until they think their target is mesh. 

Suppressors will always stand farthest from the rest of their team, focusing only on keeping a clear line of sight between you and them. However, if you hide well enough behind cover, they will stall their fire to see if you are still kicking.

Like any weapon, the minigun requires reloading. So even if a Combine suppressor is more than happy to be liberal with its bullets, they need to reload sometime. This leaves the perfect opening.


  • Rapid rate of fire. 
  • Highest armor out of the Combine.
  • Likes the high ground and cover.


  • Needs to Reload sometime.
  • Headshots and explosives.


Take out all the other enemies that are apt to try and flank you while you focus on the minigunner. Once the field is cleared is all but you and the suppressor; continue to hide behind cover until you hear the minigun stop. The enemy is now reloading or checking to see if you are dead. 

Pop-out and show a couple of bullets. Duck down one to two seconds after hearing the minigun’s mechanism startup. Repeat until the suppressor has fallen.


Question: What is the Best Gun to Use on Half-Life: Alyx’s Enemies?

Answer: The pistol is the best weapon for balanced reliability and a generous supply of ammunition. However, if any enemy gives you an issue, the shotgun will never fail you. Until you run out, of course.

Question: What Platform is Half-Life: Alyx Available for?

Answer: Half-Life Alyx was created by Valve. As such, it is currently exclusively available on Steam. VR games available on Steam can be played by any PCVR headset, such as the Valve Index, Oculus Rift, or HTC Vive. Additionally, Oculus Quest 2 Users can play these games through Oculus Link, Air Link, and alternatives such as Virtual Desktop.

Question: Is my Computer Powerful Enough to Run Half-Life Alyx?

Answer: Half-Life: Alyx is a powerful game. It will require a powerful computer. I am familiar with Nvidia graphics cards, so I will be using that as a guideline. 
For a graphics card, it is suggested you have a 1080 or higher for low fidelity performance. A 3060 or higher for more stable performance. 
A strong processor is capable of at least 3.5 GHz and either a direct connection to your computer or, for wireless play, a 5GHz dual-band router connected using CAT-6 ethernet cables or better.


Wait, hold on. Do you hear that? It sounds like they are putting the city on lockdown again. 

I have been avoiding those interdimensional scumbags for this long; we can’t be having them capture me now! Those are the recurring enemies you’ll be dealing with anyway. I have taught you everything you need to know! Feel free to use the..Oh. You decided to take the window. I suppose that works too. 

Please be careful out there. Keep your pistol and shotgun loaded at all times, and have a marvelous day. There are plenty of dangers out there looking to get in the way of that. Show them City 17 isn’t the dimension to trifle with!

Continue reading:

Half Life Alyx Requirements Guide

Half Life Alyx Game Overview

Half Life Alyx Weapon Upgrades Guide

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