Half-Life Alyx was released for PC virtual reality on Steam back in 2020. Since then, it is still regarded as the pinnacle of VR gaming. Winning many gaming awards and even after all these years, I’d personally be hard-pressed to recommend a better VR title. You can read our extensive Half-Life Alex Review.
Being one of the greatest must-have VR titles on the market and also being a part of Steam has led to a massive growing supportive community. Valve being the genius game developers that they are, also released open-source development tools to the public allowing anyone with the time and the talent to produce mods for their beloved title. Here we’re going to cover the newest multiplayer mod that has just been released but also gives you a rundown of the best mods currently available for Half-Life Alyx. Let’s get into it!
How to Install Mods for Half-Life Alyx
First things first, we need to figure out how to install mods. For the most part, it has been made incredibly easy. Occasionally you’ll come across a complicated mod that needs additional files added to folders but for the most part, mods are as easy to access as clicking a few buttons. Firstly, go to Steam and visit the Half-Life Alyx Workshop. The link to which can be found once you navigate to Steam or click here.
From here, you can browse through over a thousand mods. I would suggest you to streamline your search by clicking either ‘Most Popular’ or ‘Top Rated All Time’. When you click the mod or created the map you like, all you need to do next is click the ‘subscribe’ button. Everything is free, and by clicking subscribe you are showing your support for the modders. Once clicked, the next time you load up Half- Life Alyx, your mod will be there in the menus: simple and great to experiment with.
So with all that new knowledge, here is a list of mods that I would recommend checking out first!
Kiwi’s Co-op Mode for Half-Life Alyx Version 2
Let’s start with the latest multiplayer mod. Built by the amazing talent KiwiFruit, the mod released on steam on the 2nd of Feb and has received a stream of updates to improve performance in a very short space of time. The mod allows up to 16 players to play together through the full single-player campaign. The mod syncs up each player’s head and hand movements and positions and allows for you and your buddies to play through the game together. Interacting with in-game environments with NPCs, objects, and physics all syncing to allow for a truly cooperative experience. You can also create your own customizable character, so you and your buddies can tell each other apart. Sadly, Deathmatch or PvP haven’t been implemented yet but they are planned for the future, which is really exciting. We’ve had previous attempts at multiplayer but none as good as this. Built from the ground up, and left open-ended so others can adapt and adopt their own mods shows just how creative and supportive the gaming community can be.
Gunman Contracts Chapter 2: Art of War
Have you ever wanted to be John Wick? Of course, the answer is yes! This created map is absolutely amazing! Passing through an art gallery with updated sounds, weapons, environments, and NPCs feel like you’re truly playing an entirely new game. The controls are tight and the difficulty although adjustable provides a healthy challenge. You will feel like a total badass as you pick off the oncoming guards with precise handgun shots. Covering your blind spots and checking all corners are key to survival here. Although nerve-wracking to play sometimes, it is always a great thrill ride. Ripe for multiple goes as you learn off guard’s positions and create that perfect gunplay playthrough fit for John Wick’s admiration. Not to be missed. Oh, and if you are done with chapter 2, make sure you go back and check out the equally impressive chapter one. You won’t be disappointed!
Goldeneye Alyx 007 Facility
This is the second part of a trilogy. Based on the rather ancient but rather amazing Goldeneye 64, this is the second level in the game known as the facility. Each part of the trilogy is amazing but this one just happens to be my favorite level from the N64 classic. Anyone who has played the original will find it instantly recognizable, and it will create strong feelings of nostalgia right from the start. It’s amazing to see Valve’s own assets used to recreate the level and the attention to detail is truly astounding. Occasionally glitchy especially if you die but always enjoyable, so it can be forgiven. If you’ve ever played Goldeneye on the N64 then this one is simply a no-brainer. Even if you haven’t played the original, I would still encourage you to check this one out. If you like it, then try all three levels. Just search for the modding group ‘Eagle One Development Team’ to find all their work.
A very serious entry here. This feels like a world extension of the base game. The map has won awards in competitions which shows the high standard on offer here. It comes with a story attached and it really sets the mood that the stakes are high. The level layout is very creative and the difficulty is a bit of a challenge although that just makes it all the more satisfying when you complete it. There are a few open area parts to the map which really drained my PC and the frame rate took a serious hit but nothing game-breaking. My PC isn’t the best so perhaps it was just my experience. Enjoyable map but tough.
This one is such a welcome mod. Portal and Portal 2 were wonderful masterpieces and we’ve been starved of such puzzling quality ever since. Here we are brought right back into aperture labs to become part of their experiments. The locations are instantly recognizable and the puzzles on offer are very challenging indeed. Every time you solve a puzzle and progress though it’s even more satisfying than before and you’ll feel very clever indeed. The levels are painfully short though and once completed you’ll feel like this has the potential to be expanded out into a proper full title. It’s good enough to pay for. Bring back Glad0s and an infinite amount of levels please! Portal feels right at home in VR.
Loosely based on Hotline Miami, this one is a challenge for only the most hardcore of gamers. Bar has a few lighting shades and musical changes though, it doesn’t really link very well into Hotline Miami. You’d be forgiven for not relating the two games together on your playthrough. That said, it’s still a really fantastic challenging map to play through. You also have the option to equip different masks that offer different power-ups and abilities, which allows for multiple playthroughs. I personally love this mod but it is very difficult and needs lots of trial and error to learn off the NPCs patterns and placement. The masks too as previously mentioned add some depth and replayability making this a fun yet difficult experience for those willing to take on the challenge. Turn the volume up to eleven and run the gauntlet!
Return to Rapture
This might be one of the greatest mods ever made. Not just for Half-Life Alyx or for VR but for gaming period! The love and attention to detail that has gone into creating this mod is absolutely staggering. This really feels like a VR remake of the early levels of Bioshock. From the opening plane crash scene to the audio logs and right down to the vending machines an amazing amount of work has gone into recreating rapture for the VR world. Everything is built from the ground up with new assets, objects, level design, music, and sound effects all helping to bring a truly awe-inspiring vision of Rapture to the forefront. Installing this mod is like playing a brand new game, and it’s well worth sinking some of your time into. We have been starved for a new Bioshock game for many years now and it’s incredible that we have an unofficial VR successor here that is free to play. Now ‘would you kindly’ go install it, please!
That is just a taster of the many mods I recommend and that’s plenty to get you started. The Steam website is easy to navigate and searching through the Half-Life Alyx Workshop is actually a lot of fun. The community support is brilliant and you’ll find lots of comments and reviews on each mod so you can have a good idea in advance if you’ll enjoy it. As I mentioned, most are very easy to install and everything is free so why not play around and have some fun. At the very least, you’re adding value and extending the life of the already amazing Half-Life Alyx.
Check out our in-depth review of Half-Life:Alyx HERE