Half-Life: Alyx is VR Exclusive, But You Don't Need Valve's Headset to Play It

Half-Life: Alyx is VR Exclusive, But You Don't Need Valve's Headset to Play It

Valve's return to Half-Life won't be Index exclusive.

When Valve announced that it'd be returning to the Half-Life series with a new virtual reality-only installment earlier this week, the first question on every VR aficionado's was "do I need Valve's official headset to play?" The short answer is "no"—Half-Life: Alyx will be playable on multiple headsets and, perhaps more importantly, with various virtual reality playstyles when it releases next year.

On Valve's official website for Half-Life: Alyx, the company lists the compatible headsets:

  • Valve Index
  • HTC Vive
  • Windows Mixed Reality
  • Oculus Rift
  • Oculus Quest via Oculus Link

Support for playing PC VR games like Half-Life: Alyx on the Oculus Quest was just added to the otherwise-standalone headset a few days ago.

Valve also specifies that Half-Life: Alyx will support roomscale, sitting, or standing VR, multiple options for player movement, and will not require finger tracking controllers.

For folks who have invested in Index hardware (a full kit costs $999.00 USD), there will be special perks. For one, anyone who purchases the Index headset or even just the Index's finger-tracking controllers ($279.00, compatible with Vive headsets) will receive Half-Life: Alyx for free. Anyone who buys Index hardware by the year's end will also get some in-game gun skins and special Half-Life: Alyx content for SteamVR and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.

Valve is targeting a March 2020 release for Half-Life: Alyx. It's the first Half-Life installment since 2007's Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and the first to feature Alyx Vance as its protagonist in place of series mainstay Gordon Freeman. Check out more on Half-Life: Alyx's setting and gameplay details here.

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Mathew Olson


Mathew Olson is a writer formerly of Digg, where he blogged and reported about all things under the umbrella of internet culture (including games, of course). He lives in New York, grew up under rain clouds and the influence of numerous games studios in the Pacific Northwest, and will talk your ear off about Half-Life mods, Talking Heads or Twin Peaks if you let him.

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