Which is better to speedrun with: Old Engine or Source Unpack? How do I install either?

I’m confused as to which engine/unpack is better. Can someone give me a quick run down and maybe a pros and cons of each unpack?

Also, can someone give me some help with installing them? When I install them, they seem to just be the regular game. I can’t airstraife, ABH, or anything. They don’t seem to have all the fancy addons as well, like the timer and such.

First let’s talk about “Old Engine”

  • Old Engine refers to builds of the Source Engine before the Orange Box release, so for example Source Engine branches such as Source Engine 2004, 2006, etc… Old Engine has a lot more glitches than the version most people run today and is almost completely different.

  • New Engine refers to builds of the Source Engine after the Orange Box release, so for example Source Engine 2007, 2009, etc… New Engine is the version of the Source Engine most people run. It includes ABH and other neat tricks you might’ve seen from Half-Life 2 runs over the years.

Now let’s talk about “Source Unpack”

  • Source Unpack is a package that contains a New Engine version of Half-Life 2 that most people have been running over the years. This is a clean version that was officially released by Valve without any modifications.

  • Ghosting mod is a mod for Half-Life 2 that is geared more towards speedrunning. This is the thing most who run HL2 uses. It includes features like recording ghosts, a timer (although outlawed) and a speedometer.

If whenever you come across a Half-Life 2 run with a timer, just note that that timer is most likely LiveSplit, the timing program for most speedruns. When you run Half-Life 2 it is a requirement that show LiveSplit in the recording; most people do it using their recording software.

Now that we have clarified with terminology, I believe you are wondering should you run New Engine or Old Engine. New Engine is very easy to get into nowadays, the movement is fast and forgiving and the tricks are, also. Most of the skips in Old Engine involved very complicated Save Warps and Triggerdelays which are very hard for a beginner to get into.

So in short, you should run New Engine.

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Thank you! So would you mind linking the install for the “New” engine?

There are 2 options: Ghosting mod and Source Unpack

Ghosting mod’s install instructions are in the hyperlink. With Source Unpack just extract the files anywhere and run it.
Note that you need to have Half-Life 2 on Steam for any of these to work.

If you have any more questions go to our Discord.

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the link for the ghosting mod is dead.

Weird, here’s another one

So I should go with the old engine? The new one seems to have a mider prop flying and doesn’t have npc teleportation.

Propflying and NPC Teleport doesn’t make up a large amount of the run, unlike movement, which New Engine is easier and more fun to learn and do.

That would explain why I got nowhere in my first attempt lol.
Would you mind linking a speedrunning guide for the new engine? I guess I’m super used to the old one.

Sorry for the late reply, unfortunately there aren’t any fully up-to-date guide but here are some good sources:

You should join our Discord if you want help, as all of these won’t be entirely enough.