Half-Life: Alyx has only been out for a week now, but many who have finished the game are already itching for more. While we don’t expect to see any major post-release changes to the game from Valve itself, the company has committed to releasing tools so that the community can tweak the game with mods for Half-Life: Alyx. Though the modding tools aren’t available yet, here’s list of Alyx mods that we’d love to see.

Valve hasn’t made clear when they intend to release Half-Life: Alyx mod tools just yet, but considering the popularity of the game we expect to see a lot of action when it does.

From my own take on the game, and some suggestions from Twitter, below I’ve listed a handful of mods I’d love to see for Half-Life: Alyx. I’m splitting things up into ‘Practical’ and ‘Less Practical’ sections based on how complex they’d likely be to build.

Practical Mods for Half-Life Alyx

Detached Weapons and Holsters

This was one of the things that struck me right away in Half-Life: Alyx; instead of acting like independent objects, weapons are stuck to your selected ‘Weapon Hand’. And rather than grabbing your weapons from a holster and returning them when done, you use a menu to equip and unequip your weapons into your hand. I find this approach wholly unimmersive compared to being able to grab my weapons with whichever hand I see fit, or even set them down.

Though I’m quite certain Valve did this to avoid the clunk that can come from an iffy holster system, and to prevent users from dropping their weapons, we’ve seen several games that manage to do holsters and detached weapon interactions well. Stormland (2019) showed several smart solutions to these issues (like floating weapons in front of the player for a few seconds if they drop them) which modders could use as a basis for a holster mod in Half-Life: Alyx.

Foot Tracking

This one might seem silly but it could be a major immersion booster. I’m not the only one who became so immersed in Alyx that at one point I tried to kick something with my foot, only to remember that the game doesn’t know where my feet are!

Some games already support the use of Vive Trackers for tracking more parts of the player’s body, and a mod for Half-Life: Alyx which would allow for foot tracking would be quite compelling even if it meant I could kick objects in the world for added embodiment. Bonus if I can Spartan-kick a Combine soldier out a window.

Iconic Half-Life Weapons

The Half-Life series is home to as many iconic weapons as it is enemies to shoot them with. Unfortunately Half-Life: Alyx’s weapon roster left much to be desired both in terms of number and diversity of weapons.

A mod to bring some of Half-Life’s iconic weapons—like the crossbow, revolver, RPG, and pulse rifle secondary fire—to Half-Life: Alyx would spice up the combat for your next playthrough. It would also be nice to wield the heavy weapons used by the large Combine soldiers (which normally disappear when they die).

And of course there’s the Gravity Gun itself, a weapon/tool which was foundational to Half-Life 2. It would be especially fun to be able to use the gravity gun in Half-Life: Alyx because in VR you’d get to wield it much more directly than its original incarnation which relied on keyboard and mouse.

Gravity Glove Overdrive

Speaking of the Gravity Gun, one of the most thrilling moments of Half-Life 2 was when the Gravity Gun becomes extra powerful at the end of the game. While Valve may have avoided doing the same for Alyx to avoid turning the mechanic into a trope, I have to say that I would love a powered-up version of the Gravity Gloves which could be used to pull and (and maybe even crush) Combine soldiers and other enemies. It would be especially fun to be able to pick up the game’s larger physical items and use them as devastating projectiles.

In-game DSLR for Screenshots

Half-Life: Alyx is one of the most detailed VR games ever made; with all the time Valve spent making the game look so good, it would be awesome to have an in-game DSLR camera that the player could use to take screenshots like a real photographer with zoom, focus, aperture, and exposure settings.

As suggested by Andreas “Boll” Aronsson, this would pair nicely with a ‘stop time’ mode which would freeze everything else in the game so that the player could scout the perfect angle for their shot.

Gameplay Adjustments

Some extra gameplay options in Half-Life: Alyx would let players could tweak things to taste. Here’s a handful of suggestions from other players:

SEE ALSO
'Half-Life: Alyx' Now Among Steam's 10 Best Rated Games Ever, Surpassing All Other 'Half-Life' Titles

Less Practical Mods for Half-Life: Alyx

Melee

You might be wondering why I put melee in the ‘less practical’ section… after all plenty of VR games use melee. Indeed, though in order to get melee to work how most VR players would hope, I think it would take quite a bit of modding work. That’s mostly because enemy AI in the game isn’t really designed to handle physics-based melee, which means a modder attempting to add satisfying melee to the game would need to do a bunch of work to figure out how the physics system would interact with the animation and damage systems in the game to create convincing collisions and

I expect we’ll see some coarse melee mods early on that just do some damage and trigger a generic bullet-hit animation in enemies, but that likely won’t have the visceral feel of melee in VR games like Blade & Sorcery and Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners. But hey, if someone can give us that precious crowbar, I’m all for it.

Co-op

This is, unfortunately, perhaps the least practical mod in this list, despite being one of the most requested and most obviously desirable. Yes, it would be awesome to have co-op in Half-Life: Alyx, but unfortunately adding such a feature is much more complex than most people realize.

Decisions made during a game’s development (especially the way in which the physics, AI, and resource management systems work) have major implications for how easy or hard it would be to add co-op to the game. Since Half-Life: Alyx was conceived as a single player game, Valve wouldn’t have architected any of its systems to be easily synchronized between players over the internet.

It likely isn’t impossible to bring co-op to Half-Life: Alyx (after all, there’s been a co-op mod for Half-Life 2 for a long time), but it would take substantial work to create such a mod that offers a good experience for both players.

Half-Life and Half-Life 2 Remade for VR

It’s actually already possible to play the original Half-Life games in VR, but such mods are of course missing lots of VR-specific interactions that would be expected from a native VR game. Rebuilding any of the Half-Life games to really work well in VR would take nearly as much time as rebuilding Alyx to work well in non-VR.

In fact, there’s been a long-running community project called HLVR which has shown some very impressive work on that front over the years but hasn’t reached a full release of the mod for the latest headsets.


What mods would you like to see for Half-Life: Alyx?

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  • AlexLogin0ff

    Considering that Half-Life: Alyx has excellent graphics and mechanics, I would like to see everything that I like in such VR games. Co-op, more enemies, more ammunition, sprinting, melee, iconic Half-Life weapons, detached weapons and holsters, a kind of exciting action! It would be cool to do multiplayer levels, where the goal is to capture objects among all the inhabitants of Half-Life

  • Rumbleball

    Detached Weapons and Holsters
    The problems are inside out tracking headsets and I’m sure that is why they choose the current implementation. Holsters and rear attachment is a paint in the ass with Quest and probably Oculus Rift S. Though they have that ammunition backpack… Did not try it on my quest yet, but I gues it will not work properly

    • Canible

      i play onward on my quest and never have issues with the tracking through virtual desktop or link. I can reliably use the tablet behind my back. Same with Blade and Sorcery.

    • asdf

      why do you want detachable weapons? i just dont get it? so what you can drop them or so then you can complain you cant duel wield??

      • It adds so much immersion. To be able to reach for your gun on your holster, or your shotgun/smg on your back, or to be able to put your weapon away quickly when focusing on looting. The system used right now feels weird and you lose a bit of immersion every time you hold a thumbpad to switch between weapons. I have accidentaly chosen the wrong weapon/tool too many times.

        Still love the game of course.

    • benz145

      Stormland used holsters extensively and I didn’t have trouble with them on Rift S.

  • kuhpunkt

    Wouldn’t a holster require a body model?

    • Adrian Meredith

      it doesn’t in arizona sunshine

      • brandon9271

        Robo Recall has holsters too, right?

  • Adrian Meredith

    I like the leg suggestion, this is the first game where i really felt like i needed it (because it is so much more immersive). For example I trapped a headcrab in a chair and i needed to reload, what i wanted to do is put my foot on the chair to hold it down while i reloaded and shot it. It was still a really cool moment though.

    • MatBrady

      God, that’s awesome.

      And what a perfect argument for foot trackers, haha!

    • sfmike

      I so agree as I was trying to kick drawers closed and a headcrab. I was THERE!

    • david vincent

      Plus kicking your walls is less painfull than punching them ;-)

  • Ad

    Pistol whipping, adding an arena mode, footsteps slowing down when you slow down, enemy AI buffs and tactics, going down ladders and turning off the auto climb, vaulting down, more puzzles or making bigger versions of the puzzles, and so on. But I’m most excited for new levels, ported levels, and any added interactions. But yeah being able to drop guns would be great. Just have them return to holster.

  • Guy Dviri

    you probably have it all in HL3 next year.

  • The game does need melee weapons. Also classic deathmatch would be nice.

  • So if players enable the v-console, it’s actually already possible to enable infinite ammo (even infinite ammo with no clips so reloading isn’t required) or you can just use commands to set your ammo counts to insanely high numbers so you’ll never run out during a campaign. I also heard that there’s an ability to use launch options to increase Alyx’s walking speed but I haven’t gotten it to work yet.

    • Immersive Computing

      Launch options:

      +hlvr_continuous_normal_speed 150, +hlvr_continuous_combat_speed 150

  • guest

    I need more HL in VR.

  • kontis

    What Valve promised:

    A set of Source 2 tools for building new levels will be available for the game, enabling any player to build and contribute new environments for the community to enjoy. Hammer, Valve’s level authoring tool, has been updated with all of the game’s virtual reality gameplay tools and components.

    Not a word about full SDK modding.

  • Eliott

    The Non VR mod will be the most important for 99% of HL fans, though there are a little fewer of those with this latest forced adoption from Valve.

    • brandon9271

      Nobody is forced to do anything

    • sfmike

      No, I don’t want Valve to sell out VR as we need a bigger player base to survive.

      • Eliott

        From my POV, they sold out HL to VR. I’m fine with them making VR generally, like The Lab, but taking an established series and excluding the vast majority of it’s fans is just garbage.
        I get that VR fans love it though. It just locks out a lot of people who have waited for over ten years.

        • CardioPlay

          Non VR is a HUGE step backwards! I get the nostalgia associated with extending the HL2 experience. But wanting that in place of this VR progression of the series is like missing your kite while riding a rocket.

          • Eliott

            It’s not nostalgia, no one wants a HL2 repeat. But to many, VR is paying more to enjoy less, it’s like 3D TVs. New, more expensive, and degrades the experience. VR is just a far more expensive kite vs the existing Rocket (imo). I realize you and many others see the opposite, but it’s a HL game abandoning most of the HL fans, which is the only issue for me.

          • david vincent

            “But to many (…)”
            Well, “many” are dumb…

          • NooYawker

            Any time someone refers to 3D tv it shows how little they understand the VR scene.

          • Eliott

            It’s a good comparison, why doesn’t it work for you?

          • asd

            omg youre so fucking stupid if youre relating vr to 3d tvs….. jesus christ. you must have never played vr

          • benz145

            […] it’s like 3D TVs. New, more expensive, and degrades the experience

            Honestly this makes you sound a lot like someone who has never tried a modern PC VR headset. If you haven’t yet, but find the opportunity to, give it a try—it might change your perspective.

          • How exactly does it degrade the experience? If anything it upgrades the experience, the extra immersion is huge.

          • aasdfa

            wrong vr is a huge step forward, youre just an idiot

        • kontis

          People said the same exact BS when Valve announced high hardware requirements for HL2. Most peopole didn’t have PC that could handle the game and were furious thath Valve excluded “almost everyone” from playing the game.

          History repeats itself. BTW, Steam initially was hated even more than Epic Games Store. Of course, most people don’t remember, or wasn’t even alive haha.

          • david vincent

            Oh yeah, Steam was hated… Partly because it sucked hard. A lot of Steam/HL fans forget how infamously terrible the Half Life 2 launch was.
            Finaly wasn’t Oculus Home the only platform of the kind to work well from the start ? (but with very few features, granted)

          • NooYawker

            I remember the anger when people went to the store to buy a game and it requires you to install steam. It kissed people off to no end. It was more of a DRM type app back then.

          • Eliott

            I don’t remember any complaint on hl2 hardware req, steam’s hated debut I do. But It didn’t exclude anyone as steam’s free software, ran on just about any machine. Unlike new specialized hardware. Steam definitely improved, idk how VR can get around it’s high cost for a subsect of PC games.
            Not a fan of epic either (understatement) haha, but it is free and accessible.
            As for history repeating itself you can point to any hardware failures and say the same thing.

          • Did you not read the comments above? “Unlike new specialized hardware”. You literally had to go out and purchase an expensive new piece of hardware to be able to run Half Life 2 at an acceptable frame rate. How is that not excluding anyone? Most people couldn’t run the game on their existing systems.

        • asdfa

          aww poor baby cant play his game cause hes stuck on old tech boohooo. were not going tow ait around forever for slow adopters. grow some balls and embrace new tech.

          • Eliott

            Grow a pair by following a fad?

          • asdf

            if you think vr is a fad then youre just trolling. so go choke on your moms dick for all we care

          • aT4Ds1cK

            Fad? I’ll tell you my experience. I dropped $1000 on an index kit not ever having tried any sort of VR at all. Not even something like the google cardboard where you put your phone in. I would have, but I have a note 10+ and couldn’t find anything that fit my phone. I’ve been wanting to try VR for about 2 years but never pulled the trigger. But after seeing the trailer for HL:A I decided that now was the time. I received my index about a week before the release of HL:A and was not disappointed at all. Since then I’ve let everyone that I could try it and they can’t stop talking about it after. My only experience is with the Valve index and I’ve only had it a little over 3 weeks. If you get the opportunity you should.try it.

    • aT4Ds1cK

      HL:A isn’t that necessary for fans as far as the story goes, except for the ending. So if HL fans miss this game but played HL3 or episode 3 for instance. A little cutscene of the ending of Alyx is all that is needed. I personally think creating a non vr version of Alyx is such a waste of effort. New content (VR or otherwise) is much more welcome in my opinion. This game was meant to be played in VR and non-vr version is only wanted by fans that haven’t had the chance to play it and I think it will be disappointing and I without a doubt feel all those who have experienced the game in VR would agree 100%. Modders should create new content.

  • impurekind

    Some good ideas in among those.

  • Zachary Scott Dickerson

    It’s hilarious that the full native Half-Life VR came out before the HL2 VR project I read about years ago.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      what are you talking about? as the article mentions there still isn’t a full native HL VR..

      • Scott Arthur

        Via Sidequest the original Half-Life (plus the texture pack) can be installed and played in its entirety natively on the Quest. He may be referring to that.

    • HL2 VR exists lmao

  • MatBrady

    A portal gun.

    Come oooooon! You know you want to.

    Also… I haven’t played HL:A yet, and trying to avoid spoilers until I can, but from this article am I to assume that at no point during the game do you get a frikkin’ crowbar??

    • Nick Kiewik

      You know there is already “Portal Stories” in VR. It’s a free addition if you own Portal 2 in steam. It’s really a great VR portal experience, with portal gun and all.

  • mfx

    I don’t find the limited weapon type a negative point, that make users appreciate them way more than if there were a shit load of them.

    • benz145

      I don’t think a tight set is necessarily a problem, but in that case I would have wanted them to be more unique.

  • Liam Mulligan

    Bring on a Halflife Alyx sandbox!

  • CardioPlay

    Foot tracking for sure! I tried to kick head crabs many times while in the heat of it all. (AKA freaking out) Now that’s presence!

  • Good ol’ JS

    I would settle for having a body. I can play this game and it’s fun but it’s less fun if I don’t truly understand where my character is in space.

  • david vincent

    HLVR in early DK1-DK2 times have almost all of that… plus huge maps and vehicules… that’s why it was a better experience than HLA IMO, even with the ghetto body-tracking..

  • david vincent

    Not a mod but an option I want : if only we could disabe in-game music… it just breaks immersion for me

  • Yeshaya

    I hate to be that guy commenting before reading the article, but is this spoiler-free? Not quite finished with the game yet. Thanks!

    • NooYawker

      That’s a reasonable question, and yes it’s spoiler free.

    • benz145

      We do talk about some of the guns and mechanics you won’t see in the game, but nothing about story.

  • Sven Viking

    “(after all, there’s been a co-op mod for Half-Life 2 for a long time)”

    There’s been a co-op mode for Half-Life 1 for a long time, too.

  • aT4Ds1cK

    1. Half life: Alyx deathmatch. Even if it was 1 v 1 or 2 v 2. it would be awesome.
    2. Anything combat related. Like superhot vr where i can just let loose and shoot stuff
    3. Also foot tracking would be awesome. I agree, so many instance where I wish I could kick something.
    4. I can understand why melee combat wasn’t implemented in the game. But if done properly it would be awesome.
    5. At the very least any sort of new content that includes gameplay, even at a price would be welcome.

  • Robin

    Looking for a mod with the gameplay adjustments. I mean multiplayer would be great but right now if I could just play through the campaign again with a few more enemies and unlimited ammo I think that would be fun.

  • MatBrady

    Now that I’ve played HL:A I’d like a Mod where you get to see all the scenes that fade to black, for example:
    (SPOILER WARNING)
    Very early in the game you are taken by the Combine for questioning, and shoved in a van. A grenade is thrown through the windscreen. It blows up, and the screen fades to black on detonation, but only fades back up again once the van is on its side. I’d love to see the van tip over with me in it and all the things flying around. Yes, I know it would be vomit-inducing, but that’s what I’d like. I have great VR legs, so I wanna see all the bits that are cut because they’re unsafe.

    There’s plenty of other examples, but this one is a classic.

    I’d like a mod where we see all the edited bits.

  • Peter S. Hollander

    Regarding the Gravity Glove upgrade, check out my Glorious Gloves mod on the workshop! It gives users the powers of the Gravity Gun in the palms of your hands, physics damage and all :)