With the game just two weeks away, we continue to see questions crop up about which VR headsets are supported by Half-Life: Alyx. So here’s the complete list of VR headsets compatible with the game, and we’ll also explain what you need to play Half-Life: Alyx on Oculus Quest, minimum PC specifications for the game, and more.
VR Headsets Compatible with Half-Life: Alyx
Although Valve has its own headset on the market, the good news is that Half-Life: Alyx is compatible with nearly every headset that supports SteamVR, which includes the majority of tethered headsets. Here’s the complete breakdown of all VR headsets which can play Half-Life: Alyx.
- Vive (original)
- Vive Pro
- Vive Pro Eye
- Vive Cosmos Play
- Vive Cosmos
- Vive Cosmos Elite
- Vive Cosmos XR
- Vive Focus Plus (requires Viveport Streaming and VR Ready PC)
- Oculus Rift (original AKA CV1)
- Oculus Rift S
- Oculus Quest (requires Oculus Link compatible cable tethered to VR Ready PC)
- Valve Index
Windows Mixed Reality
- Acer WMR headset (AH101)
- Acer OJO 500
- Asus WMR headset (HC102)
- Dell Visor (VRP100)
- HP WMR headset (VR1000)
- HP Reverb
- HP Reverb Pro Edition
- Lenovo Explorer (G0A20001WW)
- Samsung Odyssey
- Samsung Odyssey+
- Pimax 5K
- Pimax 5K Plus
- Pimax 5K Super
- Pimax 5K XR
- Pimax Vision 8K Plus
- Pimax Vision 8K X
- Pimax Artisan
No matter which of these headsets you’re using to play the game, Half-Life: Alyx must be bought, installed, and played through Steam.
Headsets Not Compatible with Half-Life: Alyx
Half-Life: Alyx is launching on PC only, which means headsets that don’t work with PC won’t be able to play the game. Here’s a list of major headsets which aren’t compatible with the game.
- Oculus Go
- Gear VR (all versions)
- Rift DK1
- Rift DK2
- Vive Focus (original)
Google / Daydream
- Daydream View (all versions)
- Lenovo Mirage Solo
- Google Cardboard (all versions)
- PlayStation VR
What You Need to Play Half-Life: Alyx With Oculus Quest
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:
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
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.
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?
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?
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!