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"We have confirmed reports of Manhacks! Repeat, they are filling the underground with Manhacks!"
Resistance member[src]

The Manhack, referred to as Viscerator by the Overwatch Voice and simply Hack by Citizens and Rebels, is a flying, gyroscopic device with three razor-sharp blades that constantly spin at extremely high speeds. They are able to cause mediocre damage to anything they collide with.


Manhacks Citadel

Manhacks in the Citadel.

Manhacks are small anti-personnel devices that use razor-sharp propeller blades for both propulsion and attack. Their spinning blades produce a high-pitched whirring sound, which is often an indicator of their proximity. Their blades are powerful enough to cut and break through wooden obstacles, but not through stronger materials such as metal or concrete. They are programmed with very little concept of self-preservation, careening off walls and through objects in their single-minded pursuit of their target.

The concept of the Manhack is an example of the inhumane methods that the Combine use to control the populace. While not designed to kill outright, the deep cuts, scars and marks that are left on the refugees are highly susceptible to infection due to the conditions in which they live.

Throughout the game, it can be seen that the Resistance members' and refugees' clothing and skin bear the marks and cuts of Manhack attacks.


Deployed by the Combine, Manhacks are used to scout areas too dangerous for City Scanners and to force enemies out of spaces they cannot easily or safely access. Manhacks rarely travel alone and are usually deployed in groups of four or more. Some Civil Protection officers and soldiers carry them on their person and can deploy them to clear out inaccessible areas. Some stations also exist at individual outposts such as the water gate in Water Hazard, connected to a computer and able to deploy multiple at one time. Their razor-sharp blades make them especially deadly in confined spaces such as alleyways, sewers, and small passages where they are most commonly encountered en-masse. When deployed alongside Civil Protection officers or Overwatch soldiers, their distinctive whirring sound, red glowing "eye", and swift encroaching speed make them an immediate focus of attention and draws fire away from Combine infantry, allowing the latter to approach or take their shots with minimized risk.


A single Manhack is a relatively weak yet opponent. A few shots from a pistol or SMG can kill one. However, they often bounce around after being hit which can make shooting one down not so straightforward unless using a weapon that can destroy them instantly in one shot, like the shotgun or magnum revolver. Alternatively, this can be used to keep the Manhack at a distance since they often bounce back in response to bullet impact. A Manhack can also be destroyed with the crowbar. A single hit will cause it to become disoriented, and lose interest in its target for a few moments as it re-stabilizes itself. During this the red light on the Manhack turns an orangish color and emits a high-pitched warning signal, possibly to alert nearby Combine or as a sign of the damage it has taken. Three hits from the crowbar will destroy a Manhack. However, using a crowbar means the player must get within range of the Manhack's blades. That, coupled with the agility of the Manhack can make this method difficult to do without trading damage.

When facing multiple Manhacks, using a weapon with a high rate of fire and high magazine like the SMG or Pulse Rifle can help to deal damage to multiple targets while keeping them at a distance by alternating between each Manhack (or even Civil Protection and Overwatch soldiers if they are present). It is advised to deal with Manhacks quickly since their presence can often distract the player from other threats. For this purpose, the Gravity Gun is highly if not the most effective weapon against them in combat. Manhacks can be pulled into the Gravity Gun's field after which they can be launched into walls or simply punted into one with the primary fire, which instantly destroys them. If it is held with the Gravity Gun, it can be used as a chainsaw-like weapon or a projectile against other enemies and is capable of killing Combine infantry like Civil Protection or Overwatch soldiers. Be warned that if the player launches a Manhack towards something that is not a hard surface like a wall, the Manhack will bounce back slightly and could cause minor damage to the player if he/she is close enough. Throwing a Manhack to a distance using the Gravity Gun without it making contact with an object will not inflict any damage and just disorient it. It will take a moment to re-stabilize its flight and fly back in the direction of the player.

Behind the scenes[]

  • In the early stages of Half-Life 2's development, Manhacks could be reprogrammed by the player to be used against Combine forces. A similar concept was used in Episode One, in which Alyx Vance would reprogram the Rollermines and use them against Combine forces.
  • Early texture files depict the Manhack as being orange, with grey flaps. Another one is very similar but bears more yellow. A third one shows it as being completely yellow.[1] Most Manhacks would also fly into object after lunging at the player.
  • Originally, there was to be a version that, when grabbed with the Gravity Gun, would beep for a few seconds and then detonate itself. However, this was replaced by the Hunter-Chopper's bombs.
  • During early tests for Half-Life: Alyx on using Alyx's Multi-Tool in a VR environment, there was a gameplay element where Alyx could hack Manhacks and throw them back at the enemy. This was ultimately cut from the final game.[2]
  • Friendly AI once didn't understand that the Manhack had been rendered temporarily harmless and would continue to shoot at it, but this has been fixed as of the 2010 update. However, this is not the case for Shield Scanners or City Scanners if they are caught with the Gravity Gun.

The Manhack Arcade[]

Main article: Manhack Arcade
Manhack arcade 2

Citizens playing in the Manhack Arcade.

The "Manhack Arcade" was planned, during development, as an entertainment center in City 17. At the Arcade, Citizens would play a video game that consisted of piloting a Manhack to chase down and kill fugitive Citizens, ignorant of the fact that the Manhacks in the games were real, and that people were actually dying. This implied that all Manhacks encountered in the game were controlled by Citizens who didn't know better.[3][4]

Related achievements[]

Half-Life 2[]

Hlx kill enemies withmanhack
Hack Attack! 5 Gscore
Kill five enemies with a Manhack.


  • When held by the Gravity Gun, hostile NPCs will focus on the Manhack even with the cheat "notarget" enabled, much like Hunters with Magnusson Devices.
  • When a human NPC goes too close to the Manhack or they are attacked, they may sometimes take a crouched or covered position; if this happens the NPCs are unable to fire their weapon and they may get killed.
  • The Manhack appears to be waterproof as seen in the chapter Route Kanal.
  • In Water Hazard the room with multiple Manhacks in it can be stopped from deploying them if the metro-cop inside is killed before releasing them. In this state, they will remain inactive unless they sustain any damage that doesn't immediately kill them or are physically disturbed by an object.




List of appearances[]


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