The latest Half-Life: Alyx patch, Update 1.2, brings a handful of adjustments and fixes, as well as improved support for left-handed players.

When you start a new game in Half-Life: Alyx, the game asks you to select your ‘Weapon Hand’ which becomes the hand to which weapons are attached. At launch, the implementation of the ‘Weapon Hand’ selection meant that if you picked the right hand then you’d wield your weapon with that hand and your movement controls would be on the left hand (as expected), but if you picked the left hand, the weapon would go in your left hand and the movement controls would go on your right hand.

This is odd compared to how most modern VR games handle locomotion, which is to always put the movement controls on the left hand and the rotation controls in the right hand, regardless of which hand the player wants to hold their gun with.

Valve apparently got the message that tying the movement and rotation controls together with weapon-handedness made things feel off for left-handed players, and the latest version of Half-Life: Alyx, Update 1.2, now makes these options independent from one another.

The update also added an option to display subtitles only on the spectator view, which will be helpful for streamers and local spectators who can’t hear the sound in the headset. Additionally, Valve changed the Height Adjust accessibility options to be clearer and improved the default Height Adjust button binding for some controllers.

9 'Half-Life: Alyx' Mods We'd Love to See

The update also brought performance and UI adjustments, and a handful of crash fixes. See the Update 1.2 patch notes for full details.

With this update Valve also published a Half-Life: Alyx Performance Tips page to help players tune their computers and the game for the smoothest performance; it’s worth going over if you’ve been having performance issues with the game .

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • It is still a little wonky, you have to select your weapon hand as “left” and then go into your controller bindings for SteamVR (for alyx) and select a different binding that makes it all work. It does work, but it’s a little weird to have to use two different menus to fix it. XD

  • impurekind

    Good stuff.

    Now they just need to fix this rather large issue (as I see it) with the gun alignment on Rift + Touch:

    If nothing else/better, simply having the option to be able to adjust the weapon angle in the settings would be beyond appreciated.

  • Rupert Jung

    If they just could implement shift turning like in Asgard’s Wrath (like Snap-Turning but with a shift motion instead of an instant turn)…

  • Sjunin
    • david vincent

      My game also runs like crap since 1.2
      And it’s a pain in the ass to roll-back, so I had to find a torrent…

  • Trenix

    You’re a week late with the update. Aside from that, while the game is great. I don’t know about everyone else, but the game struggles mid-end game in performance. I’ll try toning down the FPS to see if this resolves, but it’s frustrating at the moment. At one part, I kept crashing constantly and couldn’t progress. It seemed to fix after I dusted my computer, but usually when a computer overheats, it simply shuts down, rather than turning off the software. I’m also not sure if this recently update or Nvidia update had something to do with it. Performance is still bad and I’ve tried their tips.

  • mirak

    “The update also added an option to display subtitles only on the spectator view, which will be helpful for streamers and local spectators who can’t hear the sound in the headset.”

    It has always been possible to duplicate the audio and have it on the headset and on the monitor for spectators.

    • benz145

      True, but the user may not want to do this so that they don’t hear delayed/mis-directional sound outside of their headset.