A Complete List of Headsets Compatible with 'Half-Life: Alyx'


What You Need to Play Half-Life: Alyx With Oculus Quest

Image courtesy Oculus

Oculus Quest is a standalone headset out of the box which means it runs games directly on the headset itself. Luckily, the Oculus Link feature means you can turn Quest into a PC VR headset with the correct cable (and a VR Ready PC).

Unfortunately the cable included in the Oculus Quest box does not support Oculus Link because it is only USB 2.0. You’ll need a USB 3.0 cable of sufficient quality for Oculus Link. Most USB cables are a bit short to work with a VR headset, but they can be combined with an extender; we have had success with these options on Amazon:

You can also play Half-Life: Alyx wirelessly from a PC with third-party tools Virtual Desktop and ALVR, but this requires advanced setup.

Half-Life: Alyx Minimum Specifications

You’ll need to meet these specs to be able to play Half-Life: Alyx. If you exceed these requirements you’ll get a better experience with higher fidelity graphics.

  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Processor: Intel Core i5-7500 / AMD Ryzen 5 1600
  • RAM: 12GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GTX 1060 / AMD RX 580 (6GB of VRAM minimum)

Other Frequently Asked Questions About Half-Life: Alyx

Image courtesy Valve

Will Half-Life: Alyx Play Best on Valve Index?

Though Valve says that Half-Life: Alyx was built “hand-in-hand” with Index, the company has made clear that they also designed the game with all other major SteamVR compatible headsets in mind.

The greatest difference will likely come down to Index’s controllers, which offer high fidelity finger tracking, and while Valve says this can enhance immersion, the company said it didn’t design any major gameplay elements around finger tracking specifically.

Image courtesy Valve

The company has also designed the game to work both with controllers with thumbsticks and those with trackpads (like the Vive wand controllers).

Can I Mix and Match Controllers?

If you have a headset and controllers which use SteamVR Tracking base stations (Index, Vive, Vive Pro, Vive Cosmos Elite, and Pimax), it’s generally easy to mix and match those headsets and controllers.

Headsets relying on other tracking tech (like Rift CV1, Rift S, Quest, and Cosmos) cannot mix and match controllers with one exception: Rift S and Quest controllers are interchangeable between those two headsets only.

Does Half-Life: Alyx Support Gamepads or Keyboard and Mouse?

No, Half-Life: Alyx can only be played with VR controllers.

Does Half-Life: Alyx Support Non-VR / Monitors?

No, Half-Life: Alyx is a VR-only game. Valve says the game was designed specifically for VR and wouldn’t be the same game if designed for non-VR.

What Accessibility Options Are in Half-Life: Alyx?

Half-Life: Alyx is confirmed to include a ‘Single Controller Mode’, subtitles in 10 languages, light-sensitivity mode, seated mode, and some other accessibility options. More details here.

How Much Room Do I Need for Half-Life: Alyx / Can I Play Seated?

Image courtesy Valve

Valve advises that the game can be played with a room-scale space, a standing space, or even seated; for the latter two, you’ll need enough room around you to swing your arms around freely without bumping into anything. All major VR headsets incorporate a ‘guardian’ or ‘chaperone’ system which allows you to define a virtual boundary that shows you how much safe space you have.

What Locomotion Options Are Supported in Half-Life: Alyx?

Image courtesy Valve

Half-Life: Alyx supports three locomotion modes: Teleport, Shift, and Continuous.

  • Teleport (AKA blink) allows you to point where you want to go and instantly appear there.
  • Shift (AKA dash), is similar to teleport except instead of instantly appearing in the new location, you quickly dash rather than
  • Continuous (AKA free locomotion) lets you use the thumb stick or trackpad to move your character continuously in any direction, similar to a non-VR game.

Options also allow for head-relative or controller-relative movement and snap turning.

These options mean players can use the locomotion method that’s most comfortable for them.

Can I see My Arms in Half-Life: Alyx?

Valve has not confirmed any option to show your arms in Half-Life: Alyx. Many VR games avoid showing the player’s arms because it’s difficult to accurately estimate their position, and misrepresenting them could impact immersion. Valve says that it’s easy to notice the invisible arms when you’re watching the game on a screen, but few players mind once they’re actually in the game in the headset.

Got more questions? Let us know in the comments below!

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