A brand new AAA Half-Life game. Who'd have thought it? Many a year has passed since Half-Life 2 arrived along with a little bit of software called Steam. As is standard with change, everyone hated Steam until they didn't, and it's now the de facto PC gaming platform. But while Steam flourished, Half-Life withered. Not anymore. Half-Life: Alyx is a VR exclusive coming to Steam in March 2020. 12 years is a long time in gaming tech though, so you'll need quite a rig if you hope to run it.
Half-Life: Alyx Minimum System Requirements
- OS: Windows 10 64-bit
- CPU: Intel Core i5-7500 4-Core 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 6-Core 3.2 GHz
- RAM: 12 GB System Memory
- GPU RAM: 6 GB Video Memory
- GPU: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or Radeon RX 580 8GB
- HDD: TBA
- DX: DirectX 11
- VR: SteamVR Headset
First off, the bad news. At an absolute minimum, you're going to need a mid-range gaming rig from the last three years or so. Valve suggests you'll need at least a 6GB video card, which rules out the 4GB variant of the Radeon RX 580. As such, you'll need either a GeForce GTX 1060 6GB or a Radeon RX 580 8GB.
The graphics card will need to be paired with a quad-core CPU, either Intel's mid-tier Core i5-7500 or, over on the red team, a hexa-core Ryzen 5 1600 processor.
Awkwardly, 12GB RAM is also suggested as the minimum. We know plenty of folks still have 8GB so this could be an issue, although games using in excess of 8GB are rapidly becoming the norm.
Aside from all of the core components necessary to run Half-Life: Alyx, the main barrier to entry is a virtual reality headset. Half-Life: Alyx requires a VR headset and motion controllers. There is no way around this and there are no plans for a 'flat' version whatsoever.
The good news is that we've come quite a long way since the advent of VR and there are a lot of choices in terms of which VR headsets you can use with HL: Alyx. Valve's Half-Life Alyx is compatible with all SteamVR headsets. This means just about every Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Valve Index headset. It is also compatible with Windows Mixed Reality headsets. Right now, these WMR headsets are your cheapest way in. There's currently a Samsung Odyssey+ HMD on sale with included touch controllers for $229. That's a whole lot cheaper than the $999 asking price for the Valve Index.
As ever, remember you can always check out how well your PC can run the Half-Life Alyx System Requirements here, where you can check benchmarks and performance from other users. Compare your graphics card to the Half-Life Alyx GPU benchmark chart and we also have an Half-Life Alyx Frames Per Second system performance chart for you to check.