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Half-Life Fans Get Alyx Running On Steam Deck Without VR

Half-Life finally ended its 13-year dry period in 2020 with Alyx, but many were remis to be left out given that it required not only an expensive PC to play, but an expensive VR headset. If you’re one of the fans who have been waiting for a chance to try it out, now you can, as modders have got it working without VR, and it even runs on Steam Deck.

As reported by PCGamesN, it’s simply titled Half-Life Alyx NoVR, and it comes courtesy of @GB_2_. It’s currently in early access, so it’s not quite finished, but you can download and play up to Chapter 7 right now.

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“This is no substitute for the amazing experience this game provides in VR on a headset like Valve’s Index,” the mod page reads. “However, for those with health concerns, motion sickness and other limitations from experiencing it in VR this is a great alternative!”

Getting it to run is pretty easy, too. Obviously, you need a copy of Half-Life: Alyx, but once that’s downloaded, you simply drag the mod’s ‘game’ folder to the Alyx’s installation directory and replace its own ‘game’ folder. Then you go to Steam and add the launch options -novr and -vsync. Boot the game up and voila, you’ll be playing Alyx with a mouse and keyboard or on a Steam Deck, which the mod kept in mind during development.

“We have also created a custom controller layout for Half-Life Alyx NoVR for the Steam Deck!” the description continues. “So go to controller options for the game and you should find it in the Community Layouts.”

It plays a lot like Half-Life 2 and its episodes, with the same HUD and physics. You open doors and pick up objects with the use button and can then throw them with the attack button. Guns have also been reworked visually to work in first-person, though reload animations currently lack any hand models.

However, given that it’s in early access, there’s no secondary weapon fire, gravity gloves, or Combine Fabricators (for weapon upgrades), and some achievements won’t be unlockable because of this. Nonetheless, it finally offers a way to play Alyx without VR, so if you’ve been itching for a new Half-Life game in the past 15 years, now’s your chance.

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