Can you play Half-Life: Alyx without VR?

The burning question.

Half-Life: Alyx is the latest entry in the Half-Life series, and has been made by Valve as a VR experience. You might be wondering if it is possible to play Half-Life: Alyx without VR, and unfortunately, we have some bad news for you.

Half-Life: Alyx cannot be played without a VR headset, and it does not come with an option to experience the game in any other way. It is a VR experience, through and through.

It is also incredibly unlikely that a version of the game would ever be released for a non-VR setup. While playing through the game for our review, it became incredibly obvious that Alyx had been built purely with VR in mind, to provide the best experience possible to players. 

This means there are certain systems and mechanics in place that would not translate very well to a non-VR experience.

The simple fact is that there is almost certainly a mod on the horizon that will allow you to do it, it just won’t be anything official from Valve, and might be an odd experience in some parts of the game.

If you are planning to buy a headset to play the game, and start your gaming adventures in VR, then there are several headsets available that will support the game.

Related: Best VR headsets to experience Half-Life: Alyx

  • The Valve Index
  • HTC Vive Pro
  • HTC Cosmos Elite
  • HTC Cosmos
  • Oculus Quest (with USB-C cable)
  • Oculus Rift
  • Windows Mixed Reality

Any of those headsets should give you a great experience, as long as you meet the games minimum requirements, which are listed below:

  • OS: Windows 10
  • Processor: Core i5-7500 / Ryzen 5 1600
  • Memory: 12 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GTX 1060 / RX 580 – 6GB VRAM

So, while you can’t play Alyx on a non-VR setup, it is a good time to jump into VR if you have been on the fence.