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  • Writer's pictureAnthony M

Play Half-Life Alyx anywhere you like with a Steam Deck! New Update Out!

Updated: May 4, 2023

By: Anthony Marrelli (Spider-Man - GB_2 Development Group)

Updated: Sunday April 9th, 2023

Play Half-Life Alyx NoVR from Start to Finish on Your Steam Deck Today!

Our Biggest Update Yet!

This is our biggest update yet and we have no plans on slowing down! With thousands playing Half-Life Alyx NoVR we are happy to announce our largest update yet! As the titles state the entire game can now be played from start to finish, with the Gravity Gloves fully implemented along with combine fabricators providing weapon upgrades. Also since we are now updating the final parts of the game there may be spoilers! We will do our best to not spoil anything while ensuring we communicate these late game areas have been updated along with their gameplay mechanics.

The Half-Life Alyx NoVR mod aims to allow anyone to play this amazing game however they like. This is no substitute for the amazing experience this game provides in VR on a headset like Valve’s Index. However, for those with health concerns, motion sickness and other limitations from experiencing it in VR this is a great alternative! It is also a great way to replay the game anyway you like! With its extremely easy install (no drivers!) it makes Half-Life Alyx more accessible than ever.

The changes are far and wide so here is a list of everything in this latest update #6:

Change Log

  • updated gravity gloves - use on objects with E

  • gloves can now grab any object from a distance including ammo and other pick ups

  • gravity gloves sound effect added

  • late game glove power added

  • wooden planks can now be broken off doorways and doors with E

  • the entire game is now playable from start to finish (no cheats or noclip needed for anything - bugs may still be present but a save reload will fix that - please post issues on out GitHub Issues board, some of these bugs are carried over from the original HLA release and can only be fixed by Valve)

  • movement speed has been adjusted so you move a bit slower when walking with proper footstep sounds

  • all cranks, doors, cabinets etc all now open by pressing E once or twice for some

  • subway doors open more naturally now

  • 33/42 steam achievements currently work (see section in the article on achievements for more details)

  • combine fabricators are now functional

  • various weapon upgrades can be selected for all 3 weapons (3 each)

  • resin counter added to HUD

  • stability fixes

  • additional support for other mods (see section in the article for more details)

  • and more!

Frequently Asked Questions Read Me!!!

We have created a Google Doc that we will be regularly updating that contains everything you need to install the mod, known issues, bugs, workarounds, how to post issues and more. Please see the link below!

Please check it regularly as we update it with new issues, bugs and more. Please read it fully before using the mod!

Steam Achievements

Currently you can earn 33/42 achievements for Half-Life Alyx on Steam using the NoVR mod. The other 9 achievements cannot be earned at this time due to the workarounds being different for the gravity gloves, weapons, upgrades and more so they currently do not trigger the achievements. We are working to get these earnable in the future. These are the 9 achievements that currently cannot be earned:

  • Dead Giveaway - Loot a corpse

  • Up in Arms - Install your first pistol upgrade

  • Freshly Squeezed - Test your grip on a headcrab heart

  • Zombie with a Shotgun - Collect the shotgun

  • Deadliest Catch - Use the gravity gloves to intercept an incoming enemy grenade in mid-flight

  • Combine Harvester - Use the gravity gloves to loot an item off a living Combine soldier

  • Safe Trip - Use the multitool to hack a tripmine

  • Hold Your Liquor - Catch a bottle falling out of a cupboard before it breaks and alerts Jeff

  • Gnome Vault of My Own - Bring a garden gnome with you to the Vault

Development Roadmap

There is still work to be done on the mod to fully label it as a 1.00 release, here is the current list of additions coming to Half-Life Alyx NoVR throughout 2023:

  • Combine Fabricators

    • Updates to the screen/menu on the fabricators to make your selections

    • Animations for

  • Animations

    • Animations and viewport models for Alyx’s hands interacting with weapons, fabricators, using the gravity gloves and more

    • These will take some time and will likely be the final part of the project to be added

  • Weapon Upgrades

    • Further balancing and changes to the 3 upgrades per weapon

  • Half-Life Alyx HUD

    • Working on adding the HLA HUD to the mod

    • Currently using the Half-Life 2 HUD

  • Steam Achievements

    • Working on having the final 9 achievements be earned while playing the mod

  • Updated Environment Interaction

    • Better interaction with more complicated items

    • Cupboard doors

    • Fridge doors

    • Car trunks

    • More

  • In Game Menu

    • Have the in game menu usable again in some form

  • Bug fixes and more

    • Various bug fixes and more!

Other Mod Support

As noted in our previous article, our team is working hard on creating NoVR scripts for the most popular Half-Life Alyx mods out there by fellow developers like us! This update includes scripts for the following mods, meaning you can download them from the Steam Workshop and play them without VR on a Steam Deck today!

Supported Mod List With Scripts Included In Update #6

  • Levitation (Campaign Mod, 7 Maps + Intro) - fine level of support, plays just like the main campaign

  • Extra-Ordinary Value (Campaign Mod, 4 Maps) - fine level of support, plays just like the main campaign

  • Belomorskaya Station (1 Map) - fine level of support, a bit harder than VR - you can't hold the flare and gun at the same time

  • Overcharge (1 Map) - acceptable level of support

GB_2 Development Team Credits

Team and Projects Led by GB_2 -

Development Support by Esdras Tarsis -

Steam Deck Version & ModDB Management by Spider-Man -

Discord Server Management by ITz TarekInnit -

Scripts for Others Mods Created by Hypercycle -

Animation and Development Support by Jake

Art and Banners by 50percentJoe

Fan Art by HLA-NoVR Discord Server Member BlooDood

Screenshots and Video from the Final Areas of Half-Life Alyx NoVR

Thank you again to all of our fans!


The Half-Life Alyx NoVR mod aims to allow anyone to play this amazing game however they like. This is no substitute for the amazing experience this game provides in VR on a headset like Valve’s Index. However, for those with health concerns, motion sickness and other limitations from experiencing it in VR this is a great alternative! It is also a great way to replay the game anyway you like! With its extremely easy install (no drivers!) it makes Half-Life Alyx more accessible than ever.

In-Game Screenshots of Half-Life Alyx NoVR Running on Steam Deck

Currently the mod allows you to complete the game up to the first parts of Chapter 7, with 11 chapters total the mod is nearing a playable state from start to finish. Let's go through just how easy and flexible this NoVR mod for Half-Life Alyx is!

Steam Deck Installation and Performance Overview

To showcase how easy to use and flexible this mod is, we thought showcasing the mod running on a Steam Deck would really drive that home!

Video guide:

Now first off you will need a copy of the game purchased through Steam. Then download the mod here:

Simply copy the “game” folder from the mod to the folder you have Half-Life Alyx installed through Steam. Then simply add these launch options under properties to the game before launching it with the mod:

-novr -vsync

Then start the game!

Extremely easy and simple. If you want to add access to the console and setup the game to the native resolution of the Steam Deck add these launch options as well:

-console -vconsole -w 1280 -h 800

With this, the game is now ready to be launched! But…we have also created a custom controller layout for Half-Life Alyx NoVR for the Steam Deck! So go to controller options for the game and you should find it in the Community Layouts. Here are all the details to find it along with the link to the controller layout.

Steam Deck Controller Layout for Half-Life Alyx NoVR

This layout can be customized however you like and is a great template to start the game with and work from there. As for performance with the Steam Deck, the game is running at 800p60fps at Ultra Fidelity (all in game graphics settings maxed), with roughly 2.5-3ish hours of battery life when playing Half-Life Alyx NoVR. Source 2 is running very well on Steam Deck and bodes well for Counter-Strike 2! You can play it in handheld mode or connected to your 4K TV or a monitor and playable with a keyboard and mouse. Of course a high end gaming PC will run it easily, just check the minimum and recommended specs for the game on Steam! Those specs are a bit higher than what you will actually need since the game is not running in stereoscopic 3D, and therefore much less demanding.

Current Progress and Future Updates

Currently the game can be completed to the start of Chapter 7 without having to use noclip. If you choose to continue there is quick access to noclip with one button to continue on. With 11 total chapters the game is currently 60% playable with NoVR with future chapters being completed week to week. The goal is to ensure you can finish the game and get to the ending first. Then fine tuning the gameplay entirely. So far many adjustments have been made to make all features playable.

Currently, these mechanics are unavailable and will be added in the future:

  • Combine Fabricators (for weapon upgrades)

  • Secondary weapon fire

  • Gravity Gloves - Experimental Git Branch Only

  • HLA HUD (currently uses the HL2 HUD)

  • Some achievements won’t activate that require the Gravity Gloves and achievements in and past Chapter 7 haven’t been tested yet

Known Issues

The mod is currently in Early Access with not all chapters fully complete at this time. Here are a few issues that are known and the development team is working on:

  • Alyx can sometimes get stuck on the environment, jump and crouch jump to try and get unstuck and use the noclip button if that doesn't work. This can sometimes happen with doors as well.

  • The mod can be used to play Half-Life Alyx mods however your ability to play them may be limited due to not being able to interact with certain items in these maps. Many of the wave-based and arena based

  • There is no way to use the in game menu to adjust settings while playing, you will have to use M on the virtual keyboard to bring you back to the Main Menu to adjust settings before going back into the game.

  • There can be crashes upon level load and loading after death, please restart the game and reload your save.

  • The Gravity Gloves in the separate branch on Git works only for prop objects at this time, not for usable items (resin, health syringes etc). Currently in this form they are great for grabbing items easily to distract barnacles and headcrabs. Along with grabbing explosive canisters easily to throw them for a group kill.

  • Covering your mouth in Chapter 7 "Jeff" works fine when holding "H" however when using this on some other maps it will work but three hands will cover her mouth instead, this is a visual bug only as the mechanic still works even when displaying this way.

Incoming Updates!

We have some major updates already coming in that will be available on the Git in the next few days:

  • Gravity Gloves - The Git branch named "Gravity Gloves" has this gameplay mechanic available and currently works with prop objects only.

  • Covering Your Mouth - Hold "H" to cover your breath to not make sound in Chapter 7 "Jeff"

  • Chapter 7 Update - This chapter will soon be completable from beginning to end

  • Chapter 8 Update - This chapter will soon be completable from beginning to end

  • Chapter 9 Update - This chapter will soon be completable from beginning to end

Please check the Git page regularly as that is where daily work is posted for anyone to check out! ModDB file updates will happen in larger updates like this one.

The Gravity Gloves in Action!

Holding Your Breath Has Been Added

Gameplay Showcase on PC and Steam Deck

Here are a few videos on YouTube that showcase the latest update running on a high-end PC and another video with some off-screen gameplay footage of the game running on a Steam Deck.

We hope you enjoy this amazingly flexible way to play Half-Life Alyx! Follow us for further gameplay updates!

Engage with the Developers and Community!

Please come join the developers and community to help provide feedback and troubleshoot bugs and more. Check out the Git where the mod is regularly updated with experimental branches, join the Discord server, check out the YouTube channel and more! See you there!

Check out the public Git for regular updates and test branches:

The YouTube Channel has tons of Gameplay Videos to check out:

Follow the project on Twitter:

Join the Discord to chat with other players, provide feedback and get troubleshooting:

Purchase Half-Life Alyx on Steam today!

All screenshots in the article were taken on Steam Deck! Here are some more to enjoy!

updated April 9, 2023


Links in this article may link to a partner site we are affiliated with, if a purchase is made through one of our links we may get a small commission, we do not get any commission from the Steam Store, we also utilize some AI tools such as Grammarly and Chat-GPT to aid article creation however all source content is our own.

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