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The Hivehand, also called the Hornet Gun, is an organic weapon featured in Half-Life. It is used by Alien Grunts and Gordon Freeman.


The Hivehand can be obtained after the Tripmine-filled room in the chapter Surface Tension, and another can be found in the supply depot on Level A of the Lambda Complex, just before the main portal if the first one was missed.

The Hivehand's primary fire launches homing hornets which chases targets in their general direction at a moderate rate, ricocheting on obstacles while not harming them. Secondary fire can unload the entire weapon at once but the hornets will not chase their targets and can damage breakable objects.


  • The Hivehand is a weak weapon due to its low damage and capacity, as most other weapons can deliver much more DPS. However, its primary fire gives it a gargantuan advantage since they can easily hunt down and exhaust non-regenerative foes, whereas other weapons might run out of ammo easily. Secondary fire is more useful for burst damage and for attacking static objects that primary fire has no effect on. In general, since it has an infinite reserve, it can be used to preserve ammo for other weapons provided if the player can sustain attritional engagement, be it against the agile and airborne Alien Controller, a Sentry Gun or a hostile player in Deathmatch PVP scenarios.
    • In the Half-Life remake Black Mesa, it is not advisable to use primary attack against Barnacles since they will just eat the hornets, rendering them useless.
    • The Hivehand will harm the Nihilanth, but it is difficult to use a primary weapon against him, as most of the time, the hornets pass right through him instead. It also cannot kill the Nihilanth. It is, however, exceptional at destroying the green teleportation orbs fired by the Nihilanth.

Behind the scenes[]

  • The Alien Grunt was originally to use a weapon dubbed "Black Hole Gun" and other weapons such as the "Alien Organic Chainsaw" and the "Spore Missile Launcher". All were cut from final release.
  • The Hivehand was originally dubbed the "Alien Organic Assault Rifle" and greatly differed from the design of its retail version. The Hivehand's final design came from another cut weapon dubbed the "Alien Organic Chainsaw".
  • The Hivehand originally had no model and was rather "built-in" in the Alien Grunt's right hand,[3] although it was probably temporary.
  • After Valve Software stopped using orange and red particles for hornets, the hornets emitted blue tracers instead of red. The orange tracers stayed the same. As said in code comments, Ted Backman also suggested dark pink color.
  • When used by the Alien Grunt, the homing attack will have a higher rate of fire.




List of appearances[]