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Half-Life 2 Console Commands: Tweaking Your Game for Cheats, Fun or Performance

by: Simon Hill ; edited by: Michael Hartman ; updated: 4/17/2012 • Leave a comment

There are hundreds of console commands you can activate in Half-Life 2 which will allow you to cheat, mess with game parameters and potentially even improve the performance of your game. Here's a basic guide to using them.

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    HL2 Console Commands

    Console commands are primarily for developers and they allow changes to the game on the fly for testing purposes. In addition to tweaking various game parameters they also allow you to get feedback on the game performance - and they allow you to enable various cheats.

    While many console commands will only be of interest to developers and modders who are testing their work, there are a few that gamers will enjoy using and that’s what we’ll focus on here.

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    Enabling the Developer Console

    To begin using the console you will need to enable it. This can be done via the options menu in advanced options by checking the box next to “enable the developer console".

    Once this has been checked load up the game and you can bring up the console at any time, either in the menu screen or in game, by pressing the ~ (tilde) key on your keyboard.

    The majority of console commands are set to 0 by default which means that they won’t be working, in order to turn them on you need to set them to 1.

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    Activating Cheats via Console Commands

    When the console pops up type in “sv_cheats 1" without the punctuation marks and you will activate cheats. There are a variety of things you may want to try out both for the single player and multiplayer games, however cheats will only work on a multiplayer server when the server admin allows them.

    Here is a brief rundown of some of the best cheats.

    Type “impulse 101" to equip yourself with all weapons.

    Type “buddha" to prevent your health ever reaching zero.

    Type “impulse 82" to spawn a jeep.

    Type “noclip" to turn off collision, watch out though this will allow you to zoom outside of the map.

    Type “item_healthkit" to get a large health pack.

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    Server Admin Fun

    There are also a number of handy commands for server admins running multiplayer servers. Typing “changelevel" followed by the name of the level you want will switch the action to the new level. Typing “sv_gravity" followed by a number will tweak the gravity in the game and “sv_bounce" followed by a number will change the way physics objects react to the world.

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    Checking Game Performance

    Console commands can also provide you with a wealth of information about how the game is running on your machine. For example if you were to type “cl_showfps 1" you would be able to see a counter which displays your frame rate. Run around and you’ll see that as more is displayed on screen the lower the number goes. This is a handy tool for developers to identify problem areas in their maps.

    If you are interested in using console commands to improve the running of the game on your machine then you should check out this handy guide to setting up your own config file.

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    Other Console Commands

    You can also mess around with your in game view with the command “fov" followed by a number, the default is 90. This sets your field of vision and will create some strange effects if you alter it.

    There are literally hundreds of console commands you can use and developers Valve have their own wiki which gives you the Complete List of Console Commands.