How to start running with Half Life


Hi there,
I’m totally new to Half Life speedrunning and I want to learn how to run it.
What I learned from the SourceRuns wiki is that the best version for speedrunning Half Life is the New Gauge Half Life Client. Is this correct or are there any other version that are easier or better for speedrunning Half Life?
The next problem for me is the bunnyhopping, I have no idea how to actually do that. I read about having to strafe and looking in the same direction with your mouse, but no matter how hard I try can’t seem to build up more speed than 340 units. And yes I know that I have to release the forward button.

So are there any usefull videos how to do it properly or can you explain it to me how you have to do it so you can actually build up speed? I would really appreciate it.


Use the New Gauge Client for sure. If you are just using an unmodded version you could be hitting the speed cap. Or if you are not using a decent script, your jumping may not be precise enough (NGHL will fix both these issues)

As for tutorials, there are hundreds on YouTube. I looked a few, and I think this one might be the most useful because he shows the keypresses on the screen:

If you upload a video or demo of you I might be able to take a look at it.

Otherwise, just practice practice practice!



NGHL is hands down the best version/build of the game to use when it comes to speedrunning in general, however you might choose to use other versions for different reasons, sometimes certain goals require the use of WON or Steam versions.

I’d also recommend downloading Bunnymod Pro if you’re looking to speedrun HL1 or jump maps, it’ll help you improve your skill a lot quicker due to the various different features and indicators available, for example there’s a timer to practice damage boosting with hand grenades.

That tutorial that OMalley linked seems pretty good. You should head here for more information on getting started, there’s also tutorials on movement including bunnyhop for GoldSRC (as opposed to Source, which is what that tutorial is done in). I actually thought about creating some short video tutorials for each different trick in Half-Life/GoldSRC as I’ve noticed that there seems to be a rise in popularity for GoldSRC running as of late, but there doesn’t seem to be much in the way of visual demonstrations outside of the CS KZ/jumping community. It’s still something that I’m considering doing, but I also have to consider that I have a lot of other projects going on at the moment.

If you’re using a bhop script but you’re not using NGHL, you should check to see what your fps_max value is in console, since this can affect the consistency. Fortunately NGHL comes with a decent bunnyhop script and it’s configured to run in 250fps by default, so there isn’t usually a problem.

Thanks to consistent scripts, nowadays bhop isn’t too hard to learn. I remember back in the day when my friend had just learned about ‘this new bunny jump trick thing’ and the best script available was one that spammed 2 jumps instead of 1, we’d spend hours trying to exceed 500+ units in crossfire thinking we’d got the hang of it, I wish I could of seen how I would of reacted to HL21 back then, lol.


Ok I’m slowly getting better and faster. But I really am having trouble with making tight circles or running in an figure 8, any help?
Gonna try to do the agtricks map ;D


Define ‘tight circles’.

The figure of 8 is a basic example of how you can bhop smoothly, but it’s not a necessary motion. As long as your strafes are in sync with the direction of your mouse and you’re not moving your mouse in one direction too fast, you should be fine.

Like OMalley said, upload a video/demo and we can tell you what you need to improve on.


Ok I would like to upload a demo but somehow HLAE won’t work with NGHL. It says “I have no idea what game you are launching, sorry”. How can I get HLAE to work with NGHL?


You don’t, you convert NGHL demos to Steam HL demos using the HLAE converter. Or if you don’t own/can’t buy HL for some reason, there’s always MovieNations’ HLAE, it doesn’t have the latest features but it will work.

Also you don’t really need to record your demos to show us, just upload the .dem file and you’re set.

Oh and something else… to practice your strafing (which you have to), go to a multiplayer map like gasworks, and set sv_gravity to 0, jump and start strafing, and practice a lot, it’ll really help you 'cause most of it comes from muscle memory.

Also, I recommend you this map:


Or just use playdemo, it’s better in 90% of cases and doesn’t require a conversion.