You can play Half-Life: Alyx without a VR headset… sort of

27 March 2020 - 13:54 By Christine King

Twitch streamer TylerMcVicker recently discovered that you can play Half-Life: Alyx without using a VR headset by messing around with the game’s code. Well, for a relative value of “play”.

First, TylerMcVicker figured out how to move freely around the Half-Life: Alyx world using only a keyboard and mouse, but then used a “vr_enable_fake_vr_test” console command that brought up Alyx’s hands and a gun that could actually be fired.

And much excitement was had.

The command doesn’t let you do much of anything else, like interact with objects, but it does set a foundation for modders to wrangle a way to play Half-Life: Alyx without the need for an expensive VR headset, something fans have been hoping for since the VR exclusive was announced.

In case you were wondering, Valve isn’t particularly worried about modders finding a way to play a non-VR version of the game. Valve’s Robin Walker recently suggested, in an interview with VGC, that he’s actually looking forward to it.

…what I’m confident will happen is that when people get that butchered version, and they’ll have lost all the things that we’ll have got from moving to VR, they will then understand very clearly why we made that choice.

Oh, you thought they were being supportive? No.

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