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For other uses, see Scanner (disambiguation).
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The Shield Scanner, also known as Scanner Type II or the Minesweeper ,[2] is the Synth counterpart of the mechanical City Scanner which appears in Half-Life 2 and Episode One.


Shield scanner closed

Closed Shield Scanner.

The Shield Scanner is commonly used by Combine forces to drop Hopper Mines in combat areas and is equipped with a large pincer arm which is kept concealed behind an armored plate. These mines are typically dropped in areas in which the Combine forces aim to limit the enemy's movement, such as streets and alleys, though occasionally the Scanner will attempt to drop the mine on top of the player.

When not handling mines, Shield Scanners are used for scouting and reconnaissance purposes. They also sometimes accompany Striders and act as spotters for it, searching buildings to report the positions of targets that may be hiding inside which the Strider would otherwise be unable to see. Like the City Scanner, the Shield Scanner can take pictures of targets, but with a longer lasting flash. Like the City Scanner, Shield Scanners are powered by a single Combine battery, which can occasionally be salvaged from a destroyed unit and reused for a HEV Suit. However it does not mirror the City Scanner tactic consisting in attempting to crash into its attacker when critically damaged.

Behind the scenes

  • Before getting its mechanical version as the City Scanner, any Scanner was to be Synth. Ted Backman and Dhabih Eng, the designers who worked on the Scanners concepts, ended up with a Synth version and a mechanical one, respectively.
  • One of these early Synth Scanners was named "Recon Synth".[1] Another early Synth Scanner was named "Wasteland Scanner".[1][3]
  • The Scanner design was initially modeled after the shape and movement of a piranha.[1]
  • Originally, the Shield Scanner was to be protected by an energy shield[3] and be equipped with an undetermined weapon.[4] The energy shield model, "Scanner_Shield.mdl", can be found in the playable Half-Life 2 Beta files, but can only be viewed in wireframe mode, as its texture does not show (it can however be found in the Shield Scanner texture folder). It appears as some sort of bell jar, surrounding the Synth. This shield may explain the origin of the scanner's name. This is also confirmed in the Source SDK files.


  • A view of the Shield Scanner in the SDK model viewer reveals animation sequences that show it slashing and attacking targets with its claw. This is never seen in-game.
  • The Orange Box Prima Guide states the Shield Scanner is equipped with a quick-firing machine gun. This is either a mistake by the author or a reference to a cut feature.[5]




List of appearances


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Half-Life 2: Raising the Bar
  2. Half-Life 2 Prima Guide
  3. 3.0 3.1 Playable Half-Life 2 Beta files
  4. Half-Life 2 Beta source code
  5. The Orange Box Prima Guide

See also

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