You can now play the entirety of Half-Life: Alyx without a VR headset thanks to this mod

Written by Stuart Thomas on Mon, Apr 13, 2020 2:00 PM
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Ever since Half-Life: Alyx was announced, many fans have been concerned over the exclusivity for Virtual Reality. And it’s still a hot topic with many fans and modders trying to tinker with the inner workings as much as possible in order to make the game run without a VR headset. With the rise of mods through unofficial patches and source kits, the debate over whether or not HL: Alyx should have been a VR-exclusive is all the more relevant. But nevertheless, someone has actually somehow managed to hack the game into a non-VR version…

Be warned though, it can be a bit nausea-inducing as the game is essentially mimicking a VR headset, so some controls and movements can be a bit wobbly, so to speak. If you can stomach it, and/or want to know how to implement the mod itself, then check out the video below:

It’s a bit janky, and clunky, and disorientating, but aside from those it’s a pretty nifty hack for getting the game to play without a headset. If you somehow have managed to not be spoiled by the ending, and really really want to play the game without a virtual reality headset, then you could probably make your way through the entire game and see what all the fuss is about.

What's interesting is that it looks like you can control each hand using the mouse, like a very janky version of Surgeon Simulator. But if you ask me, it’s probably better to just watch a video series online like Youtube or wait until there’s some sort of official patch/mod into the new Source engine.

What do you guys think? Will you be downloading the mod? Or will you wait for an official version of the game? And how long do you think that will take? Let us know your thoughts!

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03:53 Apr-14-2020

It definitely loses a lot without VR. You can't even pick up the markers to draw a dick like everyone seems to.

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22:59 Apr-13-2020

Without VR, this game ain't that good.

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17:31 Apr-13-2020

Stories like this hit that warm fuzzy place inside me for being a PC gamer

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17:24 Apr-13-2020

With gameplay and whole experience being designed for VR, it just feels off, or in other words clumsy. While I definitely praise modder who did it and he did fantastic job, adapting VR designed game to mouse and keyboard is by all means not easy and definitely is an achievement. But it will need quite a bit more work to make it smoother experience on m+k with VR elements.

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17:27 Apr-13-2020

However it is nice beginning and I do hope whoever did this keeps iterating on it, because I think it has more potential for better and smoother experience. And once again, just for my complains to not diminish work that went into, well done.

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16:23 Apr-13-2020

Looks very weird. Especially for the fact that the gameplay is like playing on windowed mode. And the hands are only moving like that.

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21:53 Apr-13-2020

That is due to how VR renders. There's a "sphere" onto which the rendered view is mapped onto. The viewport rendered is a bit larger than what you see through the headset. As you rotate your head - if the game framerate is lower than the refresh rate of the headset - the sphere with the mapped viewport compensates by rotating a bit to give perception of a smooth head tracking (hands would still feel laggy, as they are rendered inside the viewport and depend on the framerate!).
Basically what you saw is a low fps gameplay of a VR game.

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Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-6800K 6-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 8GB Edition 32GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Gigabyte D5 2GB 8GB
0% No [1 votes]
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2070 Gigabyte Windforce 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [4 votes]
Ryzen 7 5800H 8-Core 3.2GHz GeForce RTX 3060 Mobile 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Ryzen 9 3900X 12-Core 3.8GHz GeForce RTX 3070 EVGA FTW3 Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
80% Yes [5 votes]