The USP Match, also known as the 9mm Pistol, is an automatic handgun and the first firearm Gordon Freeman acquires in Half-Life 2. The USP Match appears to be the Combine's standard sidearm, and is often carried by Civil Protection officers.
The USP Match is a reliable and accurate weapon and has a large magazine. One of the weapon's most prominent features is its large muzzle compensator that reduces muzzle climb.
Gordon first acquires the USP Match at the start of the Half-Life 2 chapter Route Kanal, after defeating the Metrocops beating a Citizen in a maintenance tunnel near the City 17 Trainstation. However, it is possible to obtain the gun earlier than this near the end of the chapter A Red Letter Day by stacking up crates and killing the Metrocop on top of the trains. In Episode One, it is found in the City 17 Underground. In Episode Two, it is found early on while trekking through the Victory Mine.
- The USP Match is not particularly effective against multiple targets, and better when facing off against one or two targets at a time. When engaged in a firefight using the USP Match, aiming at the target's head is advised. Aiming for the body is not very effective, especially not if the target is wearing body armor, as it can take up to seven shots at medium range to score a kill. On the other hand, it normally takes only two or three headshots to kill. In addition, it normally only takes two or three shots to set explosive barrels on fire; three or more shots will normally detonate them instantly.
- The USP Match's recoil makes it difficult to quickly fire the gun while retaining any accuracy past short range. Instead, one shot should be fired at a time to hit enemies at medium to long range.
- The USP Match is significantly more accurate than the MP7 and does a little more damage, making it convenient as a backup weapon if the other weapons are running low on ammo.
- Ammunition is plentiful in the early chapters while battling Metrocops in the Canals, but it becomes slightly harder to come by in later chapters, especially in Episode Two, where it is usually only found in some supply crates and abandoned outposts.
- Any human-sized Combine units can be killed with a single headshot while the player is undetected. However, the chance this will happen in the game is unlikely, as the Combine are aware of the player's position most of the time. There are several factors which can affect the ability to detect the player's position. This includes the line of sight, sprinting, distance from the enemy, enemy alert or not, HEV sounds (zoom, use, sprint start, etc) and others. However, sneaking has proved to be quite a challenge, as the Combine can see anything within a 180 degree view (in the direction where they're facing). Also, the distance for a headshot to occur is 5m, which is also a problem, as the game rarely provides chances for this. On the other hand, a headshot is not achieved from a distance while undetected. Instead, it does double the damage a headshot does (which is 3x the base damage). In this case, the pistol base damage is 8, therefore a headshot (no-stealth) would be 24. If the player does this from a distance (while undetected), it would do 48 damage. The same principle applies to other weapons as well.
- Although the USP Match lacks considerable stopping power, it has a high rate of fire (as fast as the trigger can be pulled) and a sizable 18-round magazine. It is a useful all-rounder and is particularly effective against weak or slow enemies, such as Metrocops, Headcrabs, Barnacles, Zombies and Scanners.
- USP Match is also a good alternative against enemy that lack ranged attacks, like Manhacks; this will also save ammunition for heavier weapons.
- The USP Match is one of only two ranged weapons that can be used underwater, the other being the crossbow.
Behind the scenes
- The Combine Assassin was to use dual USP Matches, as they were to be the successors of the Black Ops and the Glock 17, respectively.
- When the USP Match is fired by the player, no spent cartridge casings are ejected, while it does when fired by an NPC.
- The maximum ammo-magazine ratio for the USP Match is uneven, as 150÷18 is 8.3333 repeating (8 with a remainder of 6). The nearest even multiples are 144 (18x8) and 162 (18x9). However, this is the only firearm to have this.
- Before the May 26, 2010 update applied to Half-Life 2 and Episode One, players could hold down the secondary and primary fire to "charge" their next shot (it would fire several shots at once at the same angle, essentially creating one extremely powerful shot), however, this used a lot of rounds very quickly.
- The ammo box model for the USP indicates that the ammunition used in Half Life 2 was manufactured at the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant in 1993.
- The USP Match was discontinued in 1999.
- The pistol is obviously heavily, if not entirely taken from the real life USP Match, a pistol manufactured by Heckler and Koch, a German firearm manufacturing company.
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List of appearances
- Half-Life 2 (First appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Deathmatch (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Lost Coast (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Episode One
- Source Particle Benchmark (Game files only) (Non-canonical appearance)
- Half-Life 2: Episode Two