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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.

First found during Crush Depth - After walking through a door with steam vents on the top, Pit Drones and the second shock trooper in the entire game spawns. Kill them and run to the Shock Roach, then crouch down and grab it.


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. The Shock Roach seems to form a symbiosis with its user; 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 anyone who has already adopted a Shock Roach (or cannot). 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.

The Shock Roach is the primary weapon of Shock Troopers in Opposing Force; once Adrian Shephard has killed the first one he encounters, he too can pick up and use the weapon. Shock Roaches are similar to the Hive Hand in that they essentially have an infinite amount of "ammo"; they regenerate their electric charge after they have been fired and has a max ammo capacity of 10 shots.

Shock Roaches presumably originate from the same provenance as Shock Troopers and the rest of their mysterious kind. Whether they have been evolved to suit their application as weapons or naturally manifest as they do is not known. However, they do not appear beyond their role as weapons for the Shock Troopers. As with the rest of Race X, they have not appeared beyond Opposing Force.


  • 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, this only happens when the player has it equipped.
  • Shock Troopers seem to have a natural resistance to Shock Roaches so try to use other weapons against them.
  • Once a player has a Shock Roach any other Shock Roach they come across will attack them.
  • Firing the Shock Roach underwater results in instant death by electrocution and resultant gibbing. This is resonable since it is an electrical weapon and therefore when it shoots lightning, the water will conduct the energy and zap the player.
  • 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, allowing the weapon to recover.


  • 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 Hivehand and Barnacle Grapple.
  • Shock Roaches do not seem to attach to HECU soldiers 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.
  • Unlike the Hivehand, shock roach ammunition cannot regenerate if the player is holding other weapons. 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.


List of appearances

External links

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