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The Shock Roach is a living weapon featured in Half-Life: Opposing Force. It is used primarily by Race X Shock Troopers, but it can also be picked up and used by humans.


The Shock Roach has all the characteristics of a large insect, with six legs and a tri-segmented body. Unlike the Hive Hand, the bio-weapon employed by Alien Grunts, the Shock Roach can move, react and attack of its own accord, as it is a living creature. It seems to form a symbiosis with its user, such as assuming the role of a primary weapon for the Shock Troopers. It cannot survive for long on its own, and upon its user's death, it will attempt to form a new bond with viable nearby targets. This symbiotic tactic is confirmed when looking closely at a Shock Roach's underside - Six strong pincers, much like the legs of Earth insects, can attach tightly to any creature's forearm, never releasing until said creature is dead. It will violently attack most non-Race X entities who cannot or already have one attached. Its use as a weapon stems from its ability to generate large amounts of electricity, which it can release in short bursts from two spikes which appear from its tubular appendage in first-person.

In Opposing Force, the Shock Roach (as a weapon) can first be found in the chapter Crush Depth where a Shock Trooper spawns. Killing it will cause the Shock Roach to drop. Adrian Shephard can then let himself be attacked to obtain the weapon.


  • The Shock Roach automatically regenerates ammo, making it very useful in situations where ammo for other weapons is thin. It is at its best picking off weaker opponents such as Pit Drones from a distance.
    • However, ammunition only regenerates if player has it equipped.
  • Shock Troopers seem to have a natural resistance to Shock Roaches so try to use other weapons against them.
  • Hitting water bodies with this weapon while the player's standing in them will result in massive self-damage. It is inadvisable against underwater threats as a result since the effect doesn't apply to NPCs.
  • The Shock Roach is extremely advantageous in combat thanks to it's infinite ammo, but suffers greatly from it's small capacity which leads to a lack of DPS, and the gradual, slow regeneration. While it is perfect at picking off smaller enemies, larger enemies like some Voltigores or a massive horde of Pit Drones may overwhelm it. If you attempt to use it against a strong enemy, try hiding once for a while and allow it to recover.
  • The player can shoot the Shock Roach, then once all the shot plasma is gone, the player can make a save or quick save while holding the weapon to load the save to instantly reload the Shock Roach to 10 plasma. The player must be careful of such a tactic since if the player quickly shoots the Shock Roach and its plasma is still in the air, then the player makes a save, the save will instantly crash the game once loaded. The game also crashes when the game in single player mode changes to another level then back with a player shot plasma being in the air.


  • The name is an obvious parody of "Cockroach", a pest-like insect that is very contagious and survives in dirty environments, and "Shock", based on it's electrical attacks.
  • Although the Shock Roach attaches to its user's arm, they are still able to use their other weapons.
    • The same goes for the Hivehand and Barnacle Grapple.
  • Shock Roaches do not seem to attach to humans other than Shephard.
  • A Shock Roach that has been separated from its host will be attacked by Pit Drones, despite both being Race X. This is likely a programming bug.
  • If the Shock Roach has depleted some of its energy, it will make a sound while it is recharging. If the player presses the secondary attack key, an idle animation will play, much like the Gluon Gun.
  • If the shock roach is fired at a Xen trampoline/Spore Fruit, the bolt will fly up on a slight diagonal.
  • As with the rest of Race X & most of the new content introduced in Opposing Force, they have not appeared beyond this game.
  • If the player quickly shoots the Shock Roach and its plasma is still in the air, then the player makes a save, the save will instantly crash the game once loaded.


List of appearances[]

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