Players control their movement using two joysticks (one for each hand) and floor pedals. Three gameplay modes are available: Story, which approximates the events of the original game; Mission, which forces networked players to work cooperatively toward a goal; and Battle, which parallels the deathmatch content of the original game. Up to eight players—either local players or individuals in other networked arcades—can participate in the Battle and Mission modes.
In Story mode, players advance through partial combat scenes from the original game, following neon-lit guiding arrows. Each chapter has several levels with goals such as “Kill Combines” or “Find your way to the goal”. When goals are completed, the player is taken to the next level. When players finish all the levels of the chapter, the game ends. Progress can be saved on a removable card to allow the player to choose a new chapter at the next visit. Aside from the G-Man introductory cut-scene, Half-Life 2: Survivor does not incorporate any of Half-Life 2’s story elements, levels, or physics-based puzzles.
In Mission mode, there are three objective maps with three difficulties: normal, hard, and super hard. Map goals include “Collect gems”, “Destroy Zombie spawning points”, and “Escape”. A Battle mode is also available in the game. It is essentially four-on-four team match. Players can choose between two different factions: the Combine and the Human Resistance. Both factions have four classes of troops: Ranger, Soldier, Sniper, and Engineer.