Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is a team-based multiplayer action shooter based in the Half-Life 2 universe. The game has two modes with Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, where the goal is very simple - kill the enemy player or team and score points. 

However, not everything is that simple in this game. Things can get tricky, and I know you'll need all the help you can get. 


In this guide, I'll tell you everything there is to know about Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, how to play it well, and why it's one of the best FPS games today.

  • Setup Your Controls
  • Always Be Ready To Fight
  • Learn All The Weapons
  • Take Advantage Of Automatic Reload
  • Always Choose The Magnum
  • Learn The Art Of Ambush And Camping
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: Rock Paper Shotgun

Setup Your Controls

The very first thing that I want to do before playing Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is to secure the controls. I always set up my mouse configuration first to balance both movement and aiming. 

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: Golden Tot / YouTube

The keyboard setup is the next thing that I want to configure. When other players tell me that the default setting is good enough, however, I would recommend trying and experimenting on the setup of your controls. 


Don't be afraid to try new configurations, especially when it comes to your control setup. You can try and bind new keys for jumping or switching weapons depending on how you want it and how fast you can pull it off.

Configure The Video And Sound Settings

It comes as no surprise that having the best video resolution truly helps me when playing the game. I always tell other players to configure their video settings individually and to their comfort level to ensure that the game runs as smoothly as possible. 

For those who have a lower-end PC, using a lower resolution is highly recommended. The best possible way to optimize your experience in the game is to follow the recommendations coming from the game itself. 


I've noticed that following the recommendations - indicated by an asterisk - does allow the game to have a smoother experience.

Always Be Ready To Fight

Never play the game if you are not yet ready to fight. This is one of the many vital reminders that I always tell new players in the game. The game immediately puts you on the battlefield the moment you load on the map. 

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: Steam

Whenever I roam the map, I always expect a fight to break at any moment. This is the reason why I always have my weapons ready. 

Running around the map is quite tricky with your primary weapon, so I generally switch to my secondary, but I have my primary weapon readily available if a fight happens. 

Never forget to bring health packs and other items as well. Always be prepared, or else you get gunned down in a matter of seconds after revealing your position.

Use Explosives

High Explosive Grenades or HE Grenades are best used to start a fight. Grenades deal a good amount of damage which can tip the battle in my favor. 

I often use grenades whenever I see enemies clumped up in an area. Another trick with HE Grenades is by using it together with the gravity gun. Throw the grenade out but use the gravity gun to hold it in place. 

I then fire the gravity gun at the enemy, thereby tossing the grenade directly at them, causing the maximum amount of damage.

Learn All The Weapons

With so many weapons in Half-Life 2: Deathmatch, there are bound to be some that are much better at killing the enemy. I've gathered some of the best in the game, and I hope that you take the time to learn how to use them. 

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: Moby Games

The best of them all include Magnum, Crossbow, MP-7 Grenade, Shotgun, and Pulse Rifle. Avoid using the sub-machine gun at all costs. Certain weapons like the stun stick and gravity gun are very situational, but it still pays to learn how to use them. 

Many top-tier weapons have earned their spot in my rankings as they can quickly dispose of enemies with or without armor.

Practice Quick Weapon Switching

Apart from learning about the different weapons to use, I also need to emphasize the importance of quick weapon switching. There are certain times when you will need to switch from one weapon to another and deal continuous damage in fights. 

You won't be able to do this properly if you keep pressing different keys each time you want to switch to a new weapon. Practice quick weapon switching by configuring your mouse scroll to switch weapons. 

This allows you to shuffle through all of your weapons fast enough so you can keep up with your enemy.

Take Advantage Of Automatic Reload

The only downtime I get during fights is when I reload my weapon; however, I can minimize that downtime and continue dishing damage to the enemy with a trick that I learned a while ago called automatic reload. 

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: Natur Milch / YouTube

Automatic reloading can be done when my weapon runs out of ammo and starts reloading. All I do is switch to another weapon and use it while the other weapon is reloading in the background. 

After a while, I switch back to the previous weapon, which is now fully loaded with ammo. At this time, the secondary weapon is currently reloading in the back, so I always have a fully loaded weapon at any time in the game.

Go For The Offensive

One of the best ways to win more matches is to always go on the offensive. I never allow my enemies time and room to breathe. I do this by giving it all I got whenever I spot an enemy, and I do not stop until he is killed. 

Of course, I advise doing this with full health and armor on. It would be a very questionable decision if you go into battle and be as aggressive with only half of your health left. Use your health packs and heal back up before going on the offensive. 

I always control my destiny in the game, which is why I am relentless in battle. This allows me to win more games instead of playing passively.

Always Choose The Magnum

It has always been argued by many players, even the professional ones, about whether or not the Magnum is a better weapon of choice for sniping down enemies. 

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: sn0wsh00 / YouTube

Some players might tell you that you're better off using a real sniper rifle but based on my experience, the Magnum is still king at sniping enemies. 

The Magnum is a weapon that is hard to use and master; however, once you do, you're always going to be killing people left and right with this beast. 

Practice using the Magnum, and you'll be getting headshots perfectly. So the next time someone wants to argue about choosing other weapons in the game, remember that the Magnum is always the answer.

Use Crossbow For Close Range Battles

There is one weapon in the game that truly shines in close-quarter combat, and that's the crossbow. Some might say that its reload time between every shot makes the weapon not worth choosing; however, its raw power is its greatest advantage. 

The crossbow is one of the most underrated weapons in this game, and not many players want to use it. One hit can kill any enemy without armor on. 

Whenever I get into close-range battles, I always bust out the crossbow, and they are surprised at how effective it is at killing them.

Learn The Art Of Ambush And Camping

Many players often want to play the more aggressive route in the game. I believe that being aggressive is the superior strategy, but what happens if you meet someone who is even more aggressive than you are? 

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch – Find Out Why It’s One Of The Best FPS Games Today
Image Source: Game Banana

This is where the art of camping and ambush is key to defeating aggressive enemies. Find the perfect spot where most players often pass by and use it as your camping position. 

Please take note that whenever you kill another player, they will be able to see your position. I suggest switching to another position after killing the player to avoid getting ambushed by that same player who you just killed.

Move Like A Unit

Half-Life 2: Deathmatch is still a team-based game. I always move around together with my team but in different positions and spread out. This way, we won't be immediately killed if the enemy team decides to launch a grenade or RPG in our situation. 

Moving around as a unit guarantees our safety from the enemy team. We remain protected on all sides, thus allowing us to be more aggressive with our play. 

This might take a while to establish, but whenever you play with your friends, practice moving around as a unit instead of rushing out into the open all by yourself.


With such dynamic gameplay, Half-Life 2: Deathmatch has many intricate strategies that players can utilize in the game. This makes the game diverse and unique making it one of the best FPS games today. 

Make sure to follow the tips I've given above so you can play the game better.