The long-awaited VR mod for Half-Life 2 (2004) is available for free in beta starting today, bringing to the iconic Valve title a near-native level of VR immersion we’ve been waiting for.

In case you didn’t catch our recent VR Modding Monthly article, here’s the lowdown: development on a VR mod for HL2 began nearly 10 years ago, although due to work/life/everything the lead developer had to sideline work on the mod after moving to Rockstar Games.

Last year though, modder Cabalistic joined Wormslayer and the rest of the Source VR team to finally bring Half-Life 2 in its entirety to VR. Today, it launches on Steam in early access for free. Granted, you’ll need a copy of the game to play, but you can get that in various bundles at a very reasonable price.

Here’s a full list of features coming at launch, taken from the mod’s Steam page:

  • Full room-scale VR with tracked motion controls. Physically walk around, pick up objects and climb ladders the way that only Virtual Reality allows
  • Intuitive and realistic weapon interactions, with quick and easy weapon switching via a radial menu, ammo storage over your shoulder, functional iron-sights, two-handed weapons, and manual reloading
  • Control options including; full left-handed support, a laser sight, and arcade style “quick reload”
  • Comfort features like motion vignette and 3rd person vehicle camera. (Note: there is currently no teleport movement option)
  • Playable on any VR headset which is supported by SteamVR
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The team also has a roadmap so players can keep tabs on new features and bug fixes too. Here’s a taste of what the team has in store:

While we certainly cannot “remaster” HL2 to look like a game developed in 2022, we are working on overhauling assets and textures by a combination of AI upscaling and manual touches to give them that extra bit of detail and sharpness under the VR headset that is missing from the original. All updates are intended to stay faithful to the original. Additionally, all maps in the game will get a facelift and are being improved with updated lighting, more details and bug fixes in addition to VR-centric adjustments like smooth stairs.

We’ll be following along when the mod drops later today. At the time of this writing there’s only three hours left until we can jump in, which just won’t come fast enough. Again, you can download the mod for free on Steam here.

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  • 3872Orcs

    Fanrastic! Probably gonna check it out today just to have a look around, and then go for a full play trough later when most of the polish is done.

    I’m very curious about this! Hopefully it plays smoother than the horribly janky garry’s mod version of HL2VR.

    • NL_VR

      oh yeah it plays much smoother.
      Weapon handling is more VR :)

    • Gonzax

      I had my fun in HL with Garry’s mod but this is much better, almost like a native VR game.

  • Shuozhe Nan

    Did the project start on Oculus dk1 or was there any other Headset a decade ago?

    • edzieba

      DK1, shortly after Valve announced they would not continue working on Source’s VR implementation.

  • Ender772

    steam page says release today but it did not

    • Torsten Balle Koefoed

      You need to look a bit deeper: “This game plans to unlock in approximately 1 hour”

      Seems to be at 18:00 CEST.

  • Tommy

    The right man in the wrong place can make all the difference in the world.

  • ViRGiN

    PCVR hitting the new ultra lows. Getting excited about a game that had VR support almost 10 years ago OFFICIALLY, and even added 6DOF tracking, only for valve company to remove every snippet of VR code throughout the years and having no interest into reworking it for their most classic game to date.

    It’s an 18 year old game. Yes sure I believe it’s going to be better than entire PCVR library, but it doesn’t change the fact ti’s an 18 year old game, being modded for several last years because valve DOES NOT care about PCVR. Unlimited power of PC hardware is used to drive literally mobile games primarirly. And HL2 was playable in 60 fps on Android phones back in 2012…

    • Shrek realista

      Cry more bro, PC gamers have more options to play than any console or mobile shit player will ever have.

      Soon I’ll be playing every Sony exclusive on my PC and by now I already can play Switch exclusives.

      • ViRGiN

        cope harder bruh.
        pc gamers have so many options that nobody plays anything pcvr. sheeple.

        • LMAO

          Yeah, keep crying.

        • Shrek realista

          Cope about what, virgin?

          • ViRGiN

            you have nice copium deficiency

        • Gonzax

          Cry me a river

          • ViRGiN

            eat a gabe

        • sebrk

          Ah yes the man…err boy… who’s interests in life revolves around bashing PCVR yet fanatically interested in the same and thus needs to spend his time pointing it out to absolutely nobody. It’s funny how some think that their opinion on the internet is important to everyone else. If you are just annoyed by this clown it’s possible to filter/block.

          • ViRGiN

            If you are just annoyed by opinions that triggers you, it’s possible to filter/block.

          • sebrk

            I find you funny yet sad. My tip was more geared towards others. I bet you experienced that in real life too. God bless.

      • Tommy

        Lol, talking crap about HL2 on PCVR when RE4 (17 years old) is the best game on Quest…

        • ApocalypseShadow

          Not just that, they are also waiting on GTA SA that’s an 18 year old game.

          It’s like we’re supposed to be upset or against mods. When mods are so cool on PC.

        • Ookami

          Yeah, I remember him commenting how RE4 VR was going to “shatter” PCVR and “bring PCVR players to their knees, crying” or something like that. What a goof.

        • PsYcHo

          BAHAHA retard is taking Ls here too lmfao.

    • Brian Elliott Tate

      He’s being downvoted because he’s a regular troll in these VR forums and says whatever he can to make PCVR seem dead for some reason. Half-Life 2 is still one of the best games period ever made, so it doesn’t really matter how old it is or whether it’s VR or not, there’s a reason a lot of people love it.

      Also, the version he’s talking about from 10 years ago was Valve just adding in 6DOF look for the DK2. This mod reworks a lot of things to make it a fantastic full and rich VR experience with full motion controls, manual reloading, physical climbing, motion comfort, etc.

      • ViRGiN

        lol as it should have. back then when they released it, there was no real 6dof controls. it was 100% accurate for it’s time.

        you are hard trying to convince pcvr is not dead, but for years you have failed. half life 2 vr mod has the highest player count since alyx release among any pcvr games, minus Zenith which shrunk to 2% shortly after launch while thriving on quest.

        • Pablo C

          You´ll certainly have a hard time convicing someone that cars are dead, while he is driving a car. It´s like, by this media, trying to convince that Internet is dead. Use your brain man.

          • ViRGiN

            Why are you desperate to act like i am here to CONVINCE? i am simply commenting under the articles. you may agree or disagree. sounds like some of you guys are actually DEAD WORRIED that my comments will sway away customers from PCVR.

            enjoy your walk in city17. i’ve been there way too many times. including in vr 10 years ago.

            YOUR NEXT STOP – TEAM FOTRESS2 VR in couple of years when modders do it, cause, you know, valve actively removed all and every line of code even half-related to VR. until then, no PCVR game will be even 10% popular as pavlov, but when TF2 drops, yeah, it will outbeat whole 2 years worth of releases for pcvr.

          • ZeePee

            Lol mate, you can scream pc VR is dead all you want – the rest of us are actually playing PCVR.

            You are confused with the difference between slow growth, and “dead”.

            “dead” means pretty much final. No life at all.

            You’re lying to yourself and to everyone here if you think PCVR is “dead”.

            It’s very much alive, and it’s growing, albeit it slowly.

            PCVR is about to take another significant leap forward into the next generation, so your words are mor meaningless today than they ever have been.

    • Alexisms

      Your standard “People are enjoying something. Due to a deficiency in my own personality I must try to destroy that” shtick

      • ViRGiN

        making observations is destroying “that”, okay.
        now get the fuck out back to VRLFG and look at the numbers for this MOD and compare it to ALL vr games released in the past half a year lol.

        • Alexisms

          if you can’t or don’t understand what I mean maybe ask friends or family why people see your responses as lets say troublesome. Whatever is going on in your life, this isn’t the way to make yourself feel better, it’s just avoiding the problem.

          • ViRGiN

            look in the mirror dude. you’re whining about me making an observation cause it got you triggered. if you enjoy half life 2 vr mod 10 years after officially valve supported one, be my guest.

  • XRC

    Awesomeness

  • Bertie

    The mod is absolutely amazing. More fun than Alyx. It’s pretty crazy how smoothly HL2’s design just works in VR, and all the mod’s mechanics are rock solid.

    • ViRGiN

      Always has been. Alyx is an overhyped crap game making next to no use of VR.

      • Alexisms

        Your usual ray of sunshine response. :-)

        • ViRGiN

          your usual ‘i got triggered cause someone shit on my favorite game/store/headset’

    • david vincent

      No doubt HL² is a better & bigger game than HL:A !

  • Love it!

  • I’m 15 minutes in and really digging it! When you are looking at objects farther away it looks great. Animations are super smooth. Audio is perfect. Need to add collision to objects, especially doors and ladders. At least you can climb ladders but it doesn’t feel like your hands doing the climbing without collision. I forgot how creepy and confrontational it is. Drones are always eyeballing you and taking your pic. CPs will beat you with their shock sticks if you look at them the wrong way. With nothing new on the horizon until PSVR2, this may be your best bet for a VR long player.

    • Tommy

      There are a ton of PCVR mods on the horizon right now. Everything from Stray, Saints Row 1&3, and tons of other UE4 games :)

  • eadVrim

    Currently I’m playing Resident Evil 2 with a VR mod and it is awsome.
    Half Life 2 VR is the next on the list.
    HL2 is my first ever VR game and was compatible on Oculus DK1 in 2014.

    • Mucker2002

      Oh, do want a medal?

      • eadVrim

        Of course, For 10 years of VR, what about you?

      • Black Sabbath’s Ozzy Osbourne

        Punk

    • david vincent

      HLVR with Razor Hydra and ghetto body tracking was so ahead of its time.

  • Mucker2002

    I hate it that they release these games so only VR players can play them, Half Life Alyx and now this. Half Life started before VR, so why can’t we play this in flat screen the way it’s meant to be played?

    • Peter

      ???

    • 3872Orcs

      You’re kidding right? Hard to know sometimes lol

    • Tommy

      Lol. I’m not sure if you’re being facetious either

    • Gonzax

      I hope you’re kidding or something….

    • NL_VR

      Well just play half life 2

  • david vincent

    Time to try one of those AI upscaled textures packs for HL²

    • Tommy

      There’s a great one on github from Ashok0 and it was just updated. It’s called Ashok0/HL2VREssentials

      • david vincent

        Thanks, nice modpack.

        • PsYcHo

          recommend project regeneration textures,and also all Alyx models on game banana work perfectly.(btw lighting overhaul coming very soon as an update)

  • ZeePee

    I played the very crude version this on my DK1 with the razer hydra and some from of positional tracking. Back in 2013.

    I remember saying that it felt like it was 10 years ahead of its time. Future tech.

    Turns out that I was somwhat correct, considering this took 10 years to release! Can’t wait to play this upgraded version now with current VR hardware.

    • ViRGiN

      Be on the lookout for the next only great thing for PCVR – Team Fortress 2. Just like HL2, it was officially supported in VR, and then bad guy valve took out every line of code regarding it. Give it a few years, and everyone will be amazed again while ignoring everything PCVR native.

      • Pablo C

        PCVR people is not that in to the multiplayer stuff. We appreciate it, but we appreciate loneliness as well.

  • Gonzax

    Absolutely wonderful mod. One of the greatest games ever now even better.

  • poltevo

    This is exactly why I’m a PC gamer. Mods have always been important to PC gaming, but VR Mods like this and new tools like RTX remix are showing us glimpses of a really bright future. There is also a Unreal engine VR injector which is getting people hyped as it could mean a ton of games could get basic VR support.