Half-Life 2 VR is coming, here’s how you can get it

Half-Life 2 is still a hallmark in gaming and VR fans will be able to experience the classic from an entirely new perspective.

A new page advertising an official VR mod for Half-Life 2 has gone live on the Steam store. The product advertises the complete Half-Life 2 experience translated to virtual reality, including vehicles and the gravity gun. However, this new feature is not being made by Valve. Here’s more info on the exciting VR release and why Valve chose not to produce it in-house.

With this mod, players will be able to go through the entire campaign of Half-Life 2 in VR as Gordon Freeman. Melee weapons like the crowbar are easy to translate to VR, but the iconic physics systems of the game may be more difficult. The mod is currently set for a September 16 release date, though players will need to own the normal version of Half-Life 2 in order to play it in VR.

Assuming it runs on SteamVR, any headset capable of connecting to Steam will be able to run it. That includes Valve’s own Vive and Index as well as rival companies’ hardware.

The mod is being developed and published by the Source VR Mod Team. Despite its official-sounding name, the team is actually a collective of Valve fans working to transfer classic titles to virtual reality. The Steam page did not mention if they plan to tackle any of Half-Life 2’s DLCs or spinoffs. If the base game is a success, it’s easy to imagine other installments getting similar treatment.

How to download the new Half-Life 2 VR mod

Once the Half-Life 2 VR mod launches on September 16, gamers will be able to download the Half-Life 2 VR mod directly from the Steam store.

Unlike most mods, which are distributed through third-party websites and clients, Valve is giving the VR version of its beloved classic its own Steam page. As for distribution, players will be able to download it the same as any other workshop content. The store page also indicates that it could work as a separate download. Either way, it’s best to have Half-Life 2 and SteamVR already installed when September 16 rolls around.

Half-Life 2 VR isn’t Valve’s first official mod

It may seem strange that Valve is outsourcing an official version of Half-Life 2 in VR, but it’s actually par for the course with the developer.

Project Mesa is a massive remake of the original Half-Life with updated graphics and massive gameplay changes. Some downloadable content for the Portal series was also made by the community. There’s also the poorly received standalone game Hunt Down The Freeman, but the system has clearly gotten better in recent years.

As an extension of this philosophy, Valve also outsources its cosmetic creations to game communities. Both Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Dota 2 have workshops where players vote on skins made by fans that can eventually be added to the game. A VR mod for one of its most iconic titles is a stretch, but with Valve approving it, this will likely be a high-quality release.