Fan-made mod turns ‘Half-Life 2’ into a fully playable VR game

“Half-Life 2: VR Mod” is free to download as long as you own the original.

Valve / Source VR Mod Team

If Half-Life: Alyx left you with an itch to revisit its seminal 2004 predecessor, now you can do so in virtual reality. On Friday, a group of fans known as the Source VR Mod Team released Half-Life 2: VR Mod. As long as you own the original, you can download and play the mod free through Steam.

While it’s currently in public beta, the mod allows you to play through Half-Life 2’s single-player story from start to finish. The Source VR Mod Team integrated a handful of features found in Half-Life: Alyx to modernize the experience and make it playable in VR. For instance, you switch between weapons using the same selection grid found in Valve’s 2020 game.

Other VR-minded tweaks include the addition of optional laser sights, over-the-shoulder ammo storage, manual reloading and two-handed weapon handling. There’s even support for room-scale movement. The Source VR Mod Team says the project isn’t finished, but that hasn’t stopped people from enjoying the experience, with the mod currently holding an Overwhelmingly Positive rating on 732 reviews.

Like Black Mesa before it, Half-Life 2: VR Mod has been a long time coming. As Eurogamer notes, the project was first announced in 2017 and went through development hell before remerging in 2021. The fact you can play it today is thanks to a recent influx of new team members who "revitalized" development.