The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

Which is better, Portal Gun, or Gravity Gun?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/23/2014 Category: Games
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 686 times Debate No: 62179
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




I know that the Portal Gun is the best of those two guns because it can do what the gravity gun can do and much more. for example, the point of the gravity gun is to be able to use virtually anything as a bullet. well, if you consider acceleration, then the portal gun can do just that with anything. As an added bonus, the portal gun lets you travel from one place to another in the blink of an eye. As you see in the ending of portal 2, you can even go to the moon! This is why I know that the portal gun is the best.


Thanks to Smart_Aleck for the fun choice of topic. I've been meaning to have a gaming debate at some point, and I figure this is a great point to do so.

Now, Pro hasn't placed any clarification in R1, so the topic following on the resolution directly, which means it will be my burden in this debate to support the Gravity Gun from Half Life 2 over the Portal Gun from games Portal and Portal 2. These are all fantastic games, so needless to say, both guns are amazing and I would be happy to have either one. Both guns defy basic laws of physics, and both have an extensive history of interesting usage.

But, as the tagline from the Highlander says: there can be only one!

There are a lot of possible bases on which we can determine which science fiction projectile weapon is "best," but since "best" is a subjective term, I will try to evaluate it objectively using a few criteria: capabilities, restrictions, and versatility.

1) Capabilities

So let's start off simple: what can each weapon do? Pro is correct that the Portal Gun is capable of providing effective transport from one object between two locations. I'll get into the restrictions on that momentarily, but this is its most fundamental aspect, and its only aspect. Utilizing it to increase one's acceleration is simply employing physics using the altered interaction between two previously separate spaces. Again, more on the limitations of that particular aspect shortly, but this is not fundamentally an ability of the Portal Gun.

Now, what can the Gravity Gun do? There's a reason it's called the "Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator"[1], as this gun has the ability to lower the gravitational force on a given object to zero, allowing one to pick up a variety of heavy and large objects with ease. It also has the capacity to completely halt the momentum of an object launched at the wielder. It has the capacity to simply engage and disengage that field, allowing someone to pick up a given object and drop it, but it can also emit a pulse or small discharge which puts momentum into the object, throwing it a large distance. As such, it bears a number of capacities, whereas the Portal Gun is limited to a single function.

2) Restrictions

This might be the largest problem with the Portal Gun " it requires 2 flat, unobstructed surfaces of sufficient size to fully accommodate the full-sized portal. These sites, thus, have to be manmade (unless they're composed of moon rock, which isn't commonly available and may cause some respiratory disorders[2]) The wielder must have line of sight to two these surfaces. Now, Pro might suggest that a portal can be placed on any surface and kept there indefinitely, but this also dramatically restricts its capacities, as now it would solely be capable of placing one portal and one side would have to remain constant.

Another major restriction of the Portal Gun is the absence of the Long Fall Boot, a particularly important object for utilizing that acceleration Pro mentions.[3] The reason our protagonist Chell can take such huge falls and rocket across all manner of surfaces without injury is due to this curious device, which somehow manages to stabilize her whole body and prevent any and all injuries that result solely from movement. So the ability to travel using the Portal Gun does exist, to be sure, but it presents a number of physical risks that promise to bring as many injuries as they do benefits, as mastering those dramatic changes to transportation will take quite a while.

Now, one might note that the Gravity Gun is itself limited " it can only pick up objects of a certain size and weight, and is limited to inorganic objects. Au contraire! As Pro has not specified that I am restricted to the Gravity Gun in its initial capacities, I can easily point to what happened in Half Life 2 when it was exposed to the Citadel Confiscation Field. This altered the weapon, turning it into the beloved Dark Energy Field Manipulator.[4] What changed? Well, this supercharged it, altering its usual orange light to a blue one, and releasing small bolts of energy. Beyond aesthetics, it can manipulate much larger and heavier objects, even managing to pull large video displays off the walls. It can pick up living matter, vaporizing the weapons of soldiers while turning them into dead rag dolls, or even use its pulse to simply blast them away. It could probably pick up all manner of military vehicles, making it capable of being one of the most dangerous weapons available. Thus, the Gravity Gun comes with comparatively few restrictions, making it far more effective than the Portal Gun.


Let's think about what the Portal Gun can do. Pro is right that it can move an object between two locations and increase its acceleration, but this requires a careful usage that prevents that objects' breaking and ensures that it doesn't harm anyone else in the process. It is limited by what can fit through the portal, and therefore cannot accommodate objects of a size larger than the portal itself. Pro is similarly right that you can use it to go to the moon, but if you'll note from that ending, that also brings the vacuum of space to Earth, which can cause a few problems of its own.[5 (careful, spoilers!]] So pretty much, all the Portal Gun allows is for its wielder to create uncontrolled, dangerous situations in order to reduce the space one has to transport an object over. Beneficial as that is, it's not something to marvel over.

What can a Gravity Gun do? It allows for the easy transport of a wide variety of objects, simplifying any number of jobs involving manual labor. The simplicity of its usage ensures that it will produce far fewer problems, and the fact that it doesn't require external devices makes it even better. Yes, one can turn practically any object into a deadly projectile, as Pro said. It can do so much more directly and with much less chance of failure/accidental injury. One important thing to remember is its ability to halt the momentum of most objects, and as such prevent any number of grievous injuries and even death. A speeding car could be halted without the jarring stop that produces so many injuries. A falling piece of lumber would be a simple task to stop. Obstructions in the road would be mere annoyances. This would even allow one to pick up very hot, cold, sharp, and electrically charged items safely without requiring direct interaction, preventing all manner of possible wounds. I've already detailed how effectively it can be used as a weapon beyond just the basic projectile function, so its offensive capabilities are nearly as good as its defensive, something that the Portal Gun most certainly lacks.

I'll leave it here and give my opponent the opportunity to compare the two weapons more thoroughly as well.

Debate Round No. 1


hello, and thanks for accepting this debate, I can see that it will be interesting.
I read the comments and whiteflame is right, this is my first real debate.

Now, I am sorry and deeply regret that I didn't supply a definition of best. I meant most practical to use in everyday life.

and I noticed that you pointed out the upgrade to the gravity gun, which allowed it to pick up virtually anything(that isn't on a planetary scale I presume) while I see how this makes the gravity gun so much better, I also noticed that that is a ADDITION to the gravity gun. much like the boots for portal. A note on the portal guns space travel abilities, it will work if you were in a closed area, also, if you were to enter space then fire back at the moon, you would minimize the damage caused by that travel. plus, it is much less costly then building a space ship, and buying gas, hiring astronauts, and finally, praying it actually works. and, while I also admit that the gravity gun allows a vast variety of transport, so can the portal gun. consider all the times you've had to move those darn cubes from one place to another, and those are about half your size, which means you can fit objects of standard size while making life easier. The portal gun, as Con stated, does lack defense, but, I doubt that it would be able to catch a fast enough small projectile with accuracy. And, the portal gun is great for dodging objects, like the rockets fired at you in the first portal. one portal under you, another across the room, and your done!


I didn't say this the first round, but I would sincerely like to welcome you to DDO. I'm probably not what you were hoping for coming into your first debate, but this is a great website with a lot of opportunities for debating interesting topics like this.

I'll get into some rebuttal this round.

"Now, I am sorry and deeply regret that I didn't supply a definition of best. I meant most practical to use in everyday life."

In that case, all your points about helping astronauts reach the moon are kind of moot, since trips to the moon aren't a part of everyday life. I'd say your definition is more leaning towards practicability in general " how does it benefit both yourself and society at large to have access to this weapon? I don't think we can assume that multiples of each weapon will be available, so we're going based off of one person owning and utilizing this weapon themselves. You seem to want to provide that weapon for usage by a broader audience, so I guess we'll be talking about usage by a broad array of possible users.

Lacking an applicable definition to his own contentions, I think voters should prefer mine, as it is the fairest and most broadly reasonable definition.

"and I noticed that you pointed out the upgrade to the gravity gun, which allowed it to pick up virtually anything(that isn't on a planetary scale I presume) while I see how this makes the gravity gun so much better, I also noticed that that is a ADDITION to the gravity gun. much like the boots for portal."

The Long Fall Boot is not an upgrade to the Portal Gun. It never attaches to the weapon " it is a separate item altogether. If we're talking about allowing separate items, I could detail a slew of other weapons from the Half Life universe that should also be included.

An upgrade is different as it applies directly to the weapon. I'd say that the Dark Energy Field Manipulator is simply another version of the Gravity Gun, as there are alternate versions of the Portal Gun. It would be unreasonable for me to only allow you to have access to the Portal Gun that can only create a single portal, thereby rendering it virtually useless. The added portal is an upgrade, as is the change to the Gravity Gun.

"A note on the portal guns space travel abilities, it will work if you were in a closed area, also, if you were to enter space then fire back at the moon, you would minimize the damage caused by that travel."

Two problems. First, a closed area doesn't change the force involved in the vacuum of space, it just alters what area that vacuum has an effect on. You still have to fight back against it, and it can still drag you into the vacuum of space. Second, if an astronaut did that, they would strand themselves on the moon. Remember, there's only one Portal Gun here, so there's no one on Earth that could fire another portal at the moon for them to return through. As a result, firing two portals at the moon strands them there. That's a whole lot worse than having transportation back, and from that distance, it would be impossible to land a portal on the Earth.

"plus, it is much less costly then building a space ship, and buying gas, hiring astronauts,"

There's a reason they do that " you need to actually transport things to the moon. A space ship has a lot of space in it to bring various instruments and do the tests that make space travel beneficial. Lacking that equipment (which would be hard to transport through a small portal that has constant vacuum pouring through it), taking a trip to the moon is meaningless. There's no benefit.

"while I also admit that the gravity gun allows a vast variety of transport, so can the portal gun."

Not nearly as easily. As I pointed out, you'd need to be very careful with the physics of moving objects, since you could easily break them or harm yourself and others in the process. Transport is much simpler and more straightforward with the Gravity Gun.

"The portal gun, as Con stated, does lack defense, but, I doubt that it would be able to catch a fast enough small projectile with accuracy."

Yes, that is a limitation of the Gravity Gun, though I pointed out that it can catch a number of larger projectiles, including stopping oncoming vehicles. This limitation reduces its benefit, but the Portal Gun lacks any defensive benefit beyond moving you out of the way, something that requires preparation and care.

"And, the portal gun is great for dodging objects, like the rockets fired at you in the first portal."

Again, dodging requires preparation. You need a portal opened elsewhere, at a safe range, and one opened near you. You have to make sure that when you pass through the portal, you're not putting yourself at risk of falling. You also need a solid, flat, unobstructed surface at least as large as the portal itself to do so. How does a Gravity Gun handle a missile? By grabbing it, and throwing it back. Simple, straightforward, effective.

I won't add anything to my argument this round. Suffice it to say that Pro should spend the last round addressing the majority of my argument, which goes dropped this round. I showed that the Gravity Gun is highly versatile, less restricted and more broadly capable than the Portal Gun, and I've showcased a number of deficiencies in the Portal Gun that Pro has yet to cover. I hope he'll take some of the prodigious character limit he's included in this debate to do so.
Debate Round No. 2


Thanks again for taking up this debate.

now, I have done some research and noticed that "[the portal gun] also has a zero-point energy field manipulator, similar to the Gravity Gun but far weaker" this means that it can do exactly what the gravity gun can do, more or less, but at a closer distance. So, that means that the portal gun can do almost all the things that the gravity gun can do, just on a smaller scale. also, I sort of figured out a way to bypass the Long Jump Boots. While researching, I came across tactics for the portal gun, and I realized, what if you do a backwards infinite loop? Then you would slow down and be just fine, which takes out some of the most grievous problems. Also, back to the space travel, wouldn't you be able to just bring a piece of whatever you want to research back to earth for further study? that would speed up the process greatly. And, you could build some sort of room on the moon and let oxygen flow in. then you would have a permanent research lab.

I am sorry that I am not much of a worthy opponent, and I know you will win, but thank you for this debate one more time, this has been excellent practice for me.



First off, I'd just like to say that I appreciate all of the efforts Pro put into this debate. However this debate ends up, I think you are a worthy debater, and I certainly hope you'll continue to showcase your talent in further debates.

Now, that being said, you should be careful about presenting new arguments in the final round, as that's usually frowned upon in the debating world. I will request that any judge currently reading this debate accept all of my opponent's arguments as they stand, however, as I believe them to have valid reasoning and it's worth acknowledging them to further this debate.

Pro starts out by noting that the Portal Gun carries some of the basic-level capabilities of the Gravity Gun, hence we don't see Chell's hands holding the various cubes she picks up. He's quite right. However, reading a little further showcases some severe limitations:

"It can pick up objects, but only those directly in front of it. If the space between the object and the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (ASHPD) is interrupted by a solid object, there is a chance that the object will be dropped, which can sometimes occur when traveling through portals at high velocity and the object accidentally hits the edge of the portal or another object in the surrounding area. It also cannot punt them as the Gravity Gun can, so the only way to throw the object is to physically swing the ASHPD itself, which can at best send the object a few meters away. It cannot catch Aperture Science High Energy Pellets, the equivalent of Combine Energy Balls, due to the weaker manipulator."

In other words, almost all of the benefits I mentioned are practically absent. Those objects are substantially limited in size, they can be very easily dropped (a problem that can cause all manner of injuries), it lacks the capacity to throw objects and to pick up all manner of energy, and it has a much, much shorter range, effectively making it much less beneficial in its usage as a defense and as a mechanism to avoid picking up dangerous objects, requiring close contact. Worse yet, there's no evidence that it can stop high velocity objects such as missiles, unlike the Gravity Gun. It still completely lacks all of the offensive capacities of the Dark Energy Field Manipulator as well. So all that this position provides Pro is mitigate the more marginal benefits of the Gravity Gun.

Pro discusses this idea of a backwards infinite loop, but he doesn't explain it very well. It doesn't seem like going through a loop, where one is constantly falling at a rate that increases until it reaches terminal velocity, is going to help, even if it is backward. But even assuming it does, Pro is assuming that someone would both know and be able to easily execute such a trick. It doesn't sound straightforward, and there are likely grievous consequences to failure, since a miss could lead to a high acceleration injury.

With regards to space travel, I think Pro is reaching a little here. Yes, it is possible that someone could carry some research materials with them, but without the capacity to carry large amounts, it cannot replace space shuttle and the materials it can transport. Simply accelerating the process of arrival on the moon makes a big difference, but only if that is accompanied by the ability to bring all the necessary objects with you. As for the idea of having some room on the moon, that would require a very large number of trips to bring in building materials, an insane number of oxygen tanks, and methods to deal with all manner of dangers present on the moon, which are all too common.[1] As I mentioned previously, the dust alone presents some major concerns. If we could have built such a building and kept it up cheaply and easily, it would have been done already.

Rather than rehash the arguments I've made in the previous two rounds, I will just say that my points mostly remain strong after these rounds. I've shown that the Gravity Gun is the more preferable weapon to own for a wider variety of reasons, and while any of us would be happy to own either of these two weapons, if it came down to a choice between the two, we should always prefer this nifty little weapon.

Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Thanks for voting, Blade!
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
Yeah, probably not, but I got carried away. I actually wanted to prove it to myself as well.
Posted by 9spaceking 2 years ago
I don't think you needed that much, Whiteflame. From the looks of this guy's profiles, this is a noob.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had good conduct throughout the debate. S&G - Con. Pro had numerous errors in regards to proper capitalization and grammar usage. I'd recommend you (pro) steer clear of starting sentences with "and", and always be sure to capitalize properly at every beginning of a sentence. Also, take note of the overall spacing of whiteflames paragraphs, try to form your own future arguments in the same fashion so that they can be clearly distinguished by the audience and judges. Break it down to a paragraph per argument instead of a block of text. A block of text isn't as easy to read, it strains the eyes. Arguments - Con. Pro failed to provide rebuttals to each argument raised by Con. In debates, it's vital to always respond to every argument. Notice how Con extended the ones you didn't respond to. Sources - Con. While both utilized sources, Con's were more numerous which gave more weight to his individual arguments. Sources are very important as additional evidence.