How to Play Half Life: Alyx Without VR Headset
On March 23, 2020, the legendary Half Life line was replenished with a new series. This is not Half Life 3, which fans have been waiting for for over 13 years, but it is also a very interesting project. The main feature of the game, and at the same time a disadvantage, was the format. To play Half Life: Alyx, you’ll need to buy a Valve Index VR headset, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Quest, Windows Mixed Reality, or another VR device from the compatible list.
Considering that the cost of most of the named products for VR exceeds 50 thousand rubles, the question of how to play Half Life: Alyx without a VR helmet has become relevant. And the craftsmen quickly found a way to run the game on a regular monitor, with mouse and keyboard controls. Of course, it will not be possible to evaluate all the advantages of the project in this form, since some features will have to be sacrificed, but for a general acquaintance with the product, the option is suitable. Below is a step-by-step guide on how to play Half Life: Alyx without VR.
Step 1: installing the mod
To play Half Life: Alyx without VR, you first need to download the fakeVR mod files that return the console. You can download the archive at this link. Then it should be unpacked to any location and copied the extracted folders to the game folder, agreeing to a replacement.
For those who have Half Life: Alyx installed on Steam, it’s easy to open the directory with it. You need to right-click on the game in the list and click the “Properties” button.
Folder Search © VR Studio
In the pop-up window, select the “Local files” tab and run the “View local files” option there. In the game folder, you need to copy the mod files, agreeing to the replacement.
Copying the mod © VR Studio
Those who downloaded the toy purely for dating somewhere on torrents, without Steam, need to copy the files to the folder where the game is installed. You need to open the directory with the bin and hlvr folders in the same way in order to copy the same folders with the mod there, agreeing to a replacement.
Step 2: configuring the launch
To run Half Life: Alyx without VR in normal monitor mode, you need to configure its launch parameters. In Steam, you need to open the properties of the game by right-clicking and selecting the option “Set launch parameters” in the pop-up window (the “General” tab). In the field that appears, enter (without quotes) “-console -novr”.
Configuring Startup in Steam © VR Studio
To configure the launch of the game Half Life: Alix without VR, downloaded separately (without Steam), you need to right-click on its shortcut, open the properties, and in the “Object” field after the address of the launch file write (also without quotes) “-console -novr” …
Configuring launch without Steam © VR Studio
Step 3: gameplay and cheats
After installing the mod and setting the launch parameters, you can try playing Half Life: Alyx without VR, but you should immediately prepare for difficulties. Since the game is designed to be controlled with VR headset controllers, the keyboard mouse will not allow you to perform all actions. The game will start, but some manipulations are possible only by entering cheats in the console (open with the “E” or “~” button).
In the main menu, the selection of items is carried out using the “E” key. There you need to select the difficulty settings and other launch parameters, and then start the game. But you can’t leave one of the first rooms without cheats. Therefore, you should enter “sv_cheats_1” in the console to activate them and run the cheat “noclip 1” to pass through walls (disabled by changing 1 to 0 in the command, that is, “noclip 0”).
Some actions, such as taking the elevator, are not available even with walking through walls. To get around this annoying drawback, you should activate the heroine’s fake (not related to the controller) hands with the command “vr_enable_fake_vr_test_1”. They can be used to press buttons and perform other game actions in Half Life: Alyx that require a VR headset by default.
Heroine’s hands after entering the code © VR Studio
Another useful code for everyone is “impulse 101”, which activates the weapon. But also in the course of the gameplay, other cheats may be required, which seriously spoils the gameplay. Therefore, if possible, for a high-quality immersion, it is still advisable to purchase a VR headset like Samsung HMD Odyssey – Windows Mixed Reality Headset or Oculus Rift.
Only in a VR headset can you really immerse yourself in Half Life: Alyx and appreciate the game in its full-fledged, not stripped-down format. If finances do not allow, it is worth waiting, because Robin Walker (one of the developers) said that someday the project will be released in a regular PC format. Well, or simply modders will later bring the controls to mind, making it not inferior to the VR environment.