Table of Contents


The standard Easy, Medium, and Hard options are available.
Players may want to keep in mind that the game will “feel” much more difficult than the base game, and adjust their desired difficulty accordingly.

Laser Pointer for weapons

A laser pointer can be enabled to make aiming weapons easier. Enabling this option does not affect any other gameplay.

Quick Reload

This option is available to simplify the reloading process. (See the Controls section for more detail on the default manual reloading procedure.)
When Quick Reload is enabled, a player can press the Eject Magazine button then drop their weapon hand to their waist, pointed down to the ground. After a moment, the weapon will automatically reload the relevant ammo. Any unspent ammo in the previous magazine will be automatically recovered.


The controls are fully customizable via SteamVR’s controller bindings. Below, we will explain the default bindings, but you can always make your own modifications to suit your needs, or use community bindings another user has created and shared.

Default Controls

Half-Life 2: VR Mod aims to support both right- and left-handed players. If you change the primary hand, all controls will be swapped accordingly.
For example, if you enable left-handed mode, then you will hold weapons in your left hand and move with the right stick. If you still want movement to be on the left stick, you will have to customize the SteamVR controller bindings (or use a community-made preset).

The guide below will assume that the right hand is the primary hand and the left hand the off hand.

Valve Index
Index controllers

Oculus Touch and Meta Quest
Touch controllers

HTC Vive
Vive wands

Windows MR
WMR controllers

Dominant Hand

Use this option to select your primary hand. By default, this is set to right hand.

Movement and movement direction

The left (off-hand) stick controls your movement through the world. Press the stick in to activate Sprint; Sprint will remain active until you return the stick to its neutral position.

You can freely move around in the real world. Your roomscale position will be reflected in the game.

There is currently no teleport movement option available, and due to the complexity of implementing it it’s unknown if it will come in a future update. (We would like to, if we can make it work well.) For now, you can active any of the several the Comfort options as needed.

You can artificially turn with the right (primary hand) stick. By default, snap turn is active with a 30° turn amount. You can change the turn amount using the “Snap turn degrees” setting in the Controls options.
Setting this to “0 (Smooth)” will enable continuous smooth turning.

Toggle crouch by moving the right stick down. You can also physically crouch in real life.

Jump by moving the right stick up. Jumping in real life is not recommended.

World interactions and Item pickup mode

You can grab items in each hand by pressing the Grip button (or squeezing the Index controllers). Release Grip to let go. Grabbable items will be highlighted in the world when you are close enough to pick them up.

By default, you need to pick up consumables like health or battery packs and weapons to consume them. If you prefer the automatic pickup from the flat game, you can change this in the Options menu.

The trigger on each controller is your “Use” key. Use it to interact with buttons, levers, NPCs, doors, and more. Your hand needs to be close to your interaction target.
The trigger on your primary hand can be used as the “Use” key only while your weapon is unequipped.


By default, “immersive” ladder climbing is active. Grab the ladder by squeezing your Grip button(s) to climb the ladder. You will need to unequip your weapon if you wish to climb with two hands. (But extremely stubborn users can find ways to climb with one.)

To dismount a ladder: When you are at the top, look towards where you want to dismount, then release the Grip button on the controller (or both controllers). Do not use the sticks or jump to dismount - simply let go!
Users may need to climb slightly higher than it initially appears; Gordon’s legs are not visible but he’ll still need to get them near or above the dismount point to stand on it. :-)

If you prefer stick-based ladder climbing (similar to the flat game), you can enable this in the Comfort options.
Dismounting in this mode can be done with the movement stick or jump action.


You can activate and deactivate your flashlight by pressing either controller’s Use button (trigger) near or in front of your head.
Users with inside-out tracking may have better luck activating this near the front of the head where the controller is more easily tracked.


HL2VR is designed to feel close to a native VR title, and weapon handling has been updated accordingly.

Weapon selection and firing

Press and hold the right stick (or right touchpad on Index controllers) to open the weapon selection menu. The available weapons are shown in a hexagonal grid. Move your right hand towards the icon of the weapon you want to equip, then let go of the right stick to close the menu.

The weapon selection menu is controlled by your hand’s position; it is not a pointer.
It may take some practice, but the menu is designed so that you can quickly switch to your desired weapons blind. We recommend allowing yourself some time to build the necessary muscle memory, and it will become second nature! :-)

Once equipped, aim the weapon with your primary hand. Pull the Trigger to fire the weapon. Some weapons have an alt-fire mode which is activated by pressing the primary hand B button.


HL2VR sports two options for reloading. The default is the “manual” reload, in which there are a few steps to reloading a weapon. We find this to be the most satisfying, but it can also be difficult for some users in stressful situations. For users that prefer a less complex approach, we’ve also included a simpler “quick” option.

“Manual” reload mode:

This option is enabled by default.

To reload, first press the primary hand A button to eject the magazine (if applicable).
When you eject the magazine, all ammo remaining in the mag is ejected with it. You can pick up (or catch) the mag using the Grip button and it will be instantly consumed and added back to your inventory. You can also leave them on the ground for a while before picking them up, if you’re… preoccupied elsewhere. Once ejected, a magazine can’t be held, only consumed.

To grab a fresh magazine from your inventory, press and hold your off-hand’s Grip button near your shoulder.

Bring the new magazine close to the weapon’s insert point, and the magazine will be loaded.
Each weapon’s insert point is unique. They are also subject to change during HL2VR’s beta period.

Some weapons, when emptied, will require additional action to chamber a round from the new magazine.
For example: the pistol’s slide must be Used (with the Trigger button) if the chamber is completely empty. Many of the other weapons are still in a Beta state. Additional actions, such as a charging handle for the SMG, will be implemented over time.

“Quick Reload” mode:

This option can be enabled in the Difficulty options menu.
In “quick” reload mode, press the right A button to eject the magazine (if applicable). When a magazine is ejected it is automatically emptied and remaining ammo is added back to your inventory. (The empty magazine will still drop to the ground.)

The weapon can then be reloaded by dropping it to your waist, aiming at the ground, and simply waiting a moment.

Melee attacks

To attack with the crowbar, you need to physically swing it to damage enemies or crates. Damage scales, to some extent, based on your swing’s distance and speed.

There is a minimum requirement on both the swing speed and distance to do damage. There is also a brief cooldown period between attacks. This means you should make your attacks meaningful. We do not encourage waggling. :-)

Swinging props or weapons other than the crowbar does not do any damage. (We would like to implement this, but it’s quite difficult.)

Two-handing weapons and recoil control

Almost all weapons can be held with both hands. When the weapon is equipped, move your off hand near the handle or grab point, and press and hold the Grip button to hold onto the weapon with your secondary hand.

Some weapons, like the SMG and Combine Pulse Rifle, will expect you to use two hands. Holding these in both hands reduces recoil significantly, and is the intended way to use the weapon. Other weapons, like the pistol, can be used with two hands but its handling isn’t affected much.

When using the shotgun, you will have to pump it after every shot. To do so, you need to grip it with both hands, pull in your secondary hand towards your primary hand, then move it back. If both parts of the pump aren’t complete, the weapon won’t fire.

To throw grenades or bugbait, press and hold the Trigger of your primary hand to arm the grenade. Make a physical throwing motion with your controller and let go of the trigger at the end to throw the grenade.

It can be challenging to accurately aim a grenade throw. Press and hold the alt-fire button to enable an alternative throw mode. You will be presented with a visual arc that you can use to aim your throw. Release the button to throw the grenade along the arc. (This can be particularly useful when trying to deal with enemies hiding in small spaces or in open windows.)


To enter a vehicle, press either hand’s Trigger (while not holding anything) near the vehicle.

You can accelerate and steer your vehicles with the left (off-hand) stick. Press the left stick in to activate the buggy’s boost.

Press the primary hand A button to activate the buggy’s handbrake.

Press the primary hand stick in to activate the airboat’s headlights.

If the vehicle is equipped with a weapon, use your primary hand to aim the weapon and press the trigger to fire it. If available, you can activate alt fire via the right B button.
Use the “Vehicle weapon aim” option to change this from main hand to head or off-hand tracking.

To exit the vehicle, press the off-hand controller A button.

Comfort options

We’ve incorporated a variety of comfort options to help more players experience HL2VR. More may be included in the future.

Movement vignette

A standard movement vignette is available.
While moving, the borders of your screen will be blackened, reducing your field of view and reducing the impact of the motion sickness.

Seated mode

This mode fixes Gordon’s in-game height to match the base game regardless of the player’s headset position.

To properly utilize this feature, enable it in the Options menu, then use the “recalibrate view” button on the pause menu.

Vehicle mode

By default, “fixed horizon” is enabled. This allows your view to move with the vehicle, but disables any view rolling. (This means you can be moved around, but you always remain upright.)

The “base game default” mode is available for roller coaster enthusiasts.

The “3rd person camera” changes the vehicle rides to a 3rd person camera perspective. In this mode, the camera follows the vehicle at a distance and is not directly subjected to the vehicle’s rapid movements and turns, which should reduce motion sickness dramatically. It does, however, make controlling the vehicles a little more awkward.

In the future, we may implement an additional mode where the vehicle rides are put on a virtual 2D screen in front of the user, so that everyone has a chance to get through the vehicle sections in the game. (This mode would of course be less immersive than the current ones, as it would remove any 3D effect from the experience.)

Vehicle entry/exit mode

By default, a short animation plays when entering and exiting a vehicle. This option replaces the animation with a short fade to black.

World scale

Players uncomfortable with the standard world scale can adjust it to be larger or smaller.


HL2VR’s overall performance relies heavily on your CPU’s single-thread performance. Users with older or low-end CPUs may have a harder than expected time running at their target resolution and framerate. Due to engine limitations, it cannot be optimized like modern games. (And, of course, higher framerate targets will have higher requirements.)

There are also a small handful of area in the game that still cause CPU bottlenecks, regardless of hardware. (Though the really problematic areas are few and far between, and typically quite short.)

CPU requirements

Users should aim to have at least a mid-range Intel 6th gen or Ryzen 2000 series CPU. At least mid-range Intel 8th gen or Ryzen 3000 are recommended, and mid-range Intel 10th gen or Ryzen 5000 are ideal. Generally speaking, low-end models in most CPU generations may still struggle due to lower clock speeds (particularly on older architectures).

Water reflections can be disabled in the options menu, but it has a fairly minimal performance impact. Users with old/slow CPUs will benefit more from disabling this option.

GPU requirements

On the GPU side, it is notably more demanding than the base HL2, but it is still a game from 2004. We have had very few complaints about GPU requirements. :-)

Users with GPU headroom to spare may consider cranking up their render resolution in SteamVR to produce a slightly crisper image.
MSAA is also available for anti-aliasing. This can be taxing on your GPU, especially when combined with supersampling, so set accordingly. 4x is a good compromise.

Users with at least GTX 1060 6GB, GTX 1660, or RX 580 performance on this “GPU hierarchy” list should have little trouble with performance at default resolution:,4388.html

Developer options

To enable the console, open the Options menu and select the console button in the bottom left corner.

To enable the developer menu, add ‘-vrdev’ to the launch options in Steam. This will enable a special developer panel in the options menu where you can jump to any map, give yourself any weapon, and a number of other options and cheats.

Note: Using ‘-console’ or ‘-dev’ will prevent the main menu from showing in the headset! You have to actually load into a level first before you will get anything to show in your HMD.