Valve’s new Half-Life game, Half-Life: Alyx, is a first-person shooter set in the period before Half-Life 2. You control the character of Alyx Vance in the virtual reality world as she and her father fight an alien empire. The game is amazing, but In order to play it you need a VR headset. Valve’s own VR headset, , is an excellent way to play, but it’s expensive. The good news is that there are many other options for VR headsets that are compatible to play the game.
Half-Life: Alyx works with various Windows-based Steam VR-compatible headsets, and even with Facebook’s standalone . I’ve played the virtual reality video game on both the Index and Quest so far. Your VR gaming options for ways to play are wider than you may think.
Here are some options to consider to start playing this virtuoso VR game (and also remember, you need a gaming PC with certain specs, too).
The years-old Vive still works and is often on sale. It doesn’t have the best display resolution any more, but it’ll do. You can get this and add on Valve Index controllers separately if you want. The Valve Index and its new controllers are cross-compatible with Vive’s hardware, which also runs off SteamVR. If you want to upgrade to pieces of the Index later (I’d recommend the controllers, at least), you can.
The Vive comes in the original version and a higher-res Vive Pro model. Shop around and see what deals you can get. Read our HTC Vive review.
Microsoft’s line of third-party VR headsets are inexpensive and work with built-in headset tracking. Many of these Windows Mixed Reality headsets are affordable and work with Steam. The Odyssey, often on sale, has a high-quality display and build. It’s the best of the now nearly forgotten headsets that Dell, HP and Acer put out a few years ago. I haven’t tried it out yet with Half-Life: Alyx.
Oculus’ PC-connected VR headset doesn’t require external cameras, doing all motion tracking through the cameras on the headset. The Rift S is a great headset, and it’s SteamVR compatible. It’s also relatively affordable at $399. I’m not sure it’s the best Half-Life: Alyx option for your gameplay experience, but it should work. The Rift S is hard to find in stock lately too. Read more about the Oculus Rift S.
The Oculus Quest is a standalone VR headset. Technically, it could work with Half-Life: Alyx when using the right USB-C cable to connect to a PC. It wouldn’t be the best option for gameplay, but could be a fascinating choice for someone who already has a Quest.
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