Official Oculus Rift support for Half-Life 2 slips quietly onto Steam in beta


Internal experiments at Oculus taught us to want it; proof-of-concept videos in Garry’s Mod and six rounds on Badwater brought it within reach. Now it’s here. In the early hours of this morning, Oculus and Valve shipped a beta version of Half-Life 2 that incorporates Rift VR support.

A finished version will be delivered to everyone with a copy of the game on Steam in a few weeks’ time, but you can already start messing about with it if you’ve one of Oculus’ headcrab devices to hand.

To access the beta, you’ll need to open the properties for HL2 in Steam, set your command line to “-vr”, and opt-in to the SteamPipe beta.

“This port is a bit more raw than TF2 was when it shipped, so we would appreciate hearing about any bugs you find,” said Valve lead Rift programmer Joe Ludwig. “Just like in TF2 this mode is experimental, so we really want to hear what you think.”

A couple of known issues persist – a dim, mostly-illegible HUD and a zoom UI that shows up in the centre of the screen rather than the edges – and I’m sure a few more will emerge over the coming days. But if you’re wanting to wander the streets of Ravenholm in stereoscopic 3D, you can do so today.

What part of Valve’s masterpiece have you most frequently dreamt of navigating in VR? Those headlong beach buggy sequences? The vertiginous jump puzzles across shards of broken bridge?

Thanks, Polygon.