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Hunters are one of the tougher enemies in Half-Life 2: Episode Two, as they take a lot of damage before being killed and are very deadly. They can also destroy the Magnusson Devices on ep2_outland_12. This is the only instance where they need to be killed in a speedrun, since they can be avoided on all other occasions.
There are three ways of insta-killing hunters.
AR2 secondary fire
The AR2 secondary fire orb insta-kills hunters. Downside is that you will have to be pretty close to the hunter, as the orb moves slowly and the hunters are good at dodging. Orbs are also very rare.
On easy, the RPG kills hunters with one shot. This is one of the more reliable ways of killing hunters. Hunters require two rockets on hard.
Hit and run
Driving over hunters with the Jalopy insta-kills them, provided you are driving fast enough.
Certain weapons are more powerful against hunters than others.
Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator
Throwing logs at hunters from close range kills them with 2 hits.
On easy, hunters take about 3 bolts to be killed. The weapon reloads slowly and the bolts travel slowly, which doesn't make it the ideal gun against hunters.
4 shots should kill a hunter on easy. Using the .357 is likely the fastest non-instakill way.
AR2 Primary fire
Emptying a full clip into a hunter kills it on easy, provided all bullets hit.
A hunter needs 6 full pallets to be killed on easy. If you're further away, he'll take more because the spread causes some pallets to miss.
Since these don't instakill a hunter, it is recommended to fire one at them, then finishing them off with other weapons.
- It is not recommended to use the pistol or SMG against hunters, as these don't pack enough damage per second. The SMG can be used to finish off a hunter when it has been severely damaged. However, if the hunter is close enough, it is recommended to use the crowbar to finish them off.