How to Enable Half-Life 2 for Oculus Rift via SteamVR


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Half Life 2 was my favorite game back in 2004. I remember loving the game with its ground breaking graphics and game play. I also remember tweaking my ATI 9800 graphics drivers for hours to prevent it from crashing and/or stuttering. Ah yes, the good old days. Wait, we still do that with games today so some things never change.

If you'd like to relive your Half Life 2 days but in Virtual Reality. Then follow these directions. If you already have SteamVR installed, you can skip to section 2.

1. Install & Configure SteamVR

First, you need to install SteamVR and enable the Beta feature to enable VR games as follows (Detailed SteamVR Instructions with video)

  1. Ensure you're using the latest version of the Steam client (Go to Steam Menu > Check for Steam Client Updates)
  2. Opt into the Steam client beta:
    Steam menu > Settings > Account
    Beta participation click ‘CHANGE…’
    In the pop up window, select ‘Steam Beta Update,’ then click OK and restart Steam.
  3. Click Library > Tools
    Scroll to SteamVR, right-click and select ‘Properties’
    Click the ‘Betas’ tab. From the dropdown list, select ‘beta – SteamVR Beta Update.’ Click ‘Close’ at the bottom right of the window.
  4. Right-click on SteamVR again and select ‘Install Game’. Click ‘Next’ twice to install.
  5. Ensure your Oculus Rift DK2 is on and set to Extended Mode.
    In the Steam menu, select View > Virtual Reality Mode (BETA)
Now you have SteamVR up and running. Now you need to install and configure Half-Life 2 for VR as follows:

2. Install and configure Half-Life 2 for VR

  1. Install Half-Life 2
    Download Half-Life 2 from Steam if not already
  2. Click Library, right-click Half-Life 2 and select ‘Properties’
  3. Select the ‘BETAS’ tab. From the drop-down menu, select ‘beta – Beta updates’
  4. Click close. Half-Life 2 to now be updated
  5. Ensure your Oculus Rift is set to Extended Mode

  6. Launch Half-Life 2
  7. In the Half-Life 2 menu select ‘Options’, then the ‘Video’ tab. Change Virtual Reality Mode option to ‘Enabled’
  8. Exit Half-Life 2 and relaunch Half-Life 2
  9. On the Half-Life 2 menu, select ‘Activate Virtual Reality’
    Now the window should automatically display in your Oculus Rift
Cost: $9.99
Barf Factor: 6/10

Not really designed for VR. Some of the camera scenes may make you nauseous. This may be uncomfortable for new VR users.
Performance: 10/10
Test Machine Specifications
*10 is no barf, 0 instant barf