Thursday, 28 Sep 2023

Half-Life: Alyx Update Improves Support for Left-handed Players

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The latest Half-Life: Alyx patch, Update 1.2, brings a handful of adjustments and fixes, as well as improved support for left-handed players.

When you start a new game in Half-Life: Alyx, the game asks you to select your ‘Weapon Hand’ which becomes the hand to which weapons are attached. At launch, the implementation of the ‘Weapon Hand’ selection meant that if you picked the right hand then you’d wield your weapon with that hand and your movement controls would be on the left hand (as expected), but if you picked the left hand, the weapon would go in your left hand and the movement controls would go on your right hand.

This is odd compared to how most modern VR games handle locomotion, which is to always put the movement controls on the left hand and the rotation controls in the right hand, regardless of which hand the player wants to hold their gun with.

Valve apparently got the message that tying the movement and rotation controls together with weapon-handedness made things feel off for left-handed players, and the latest version of Half-Life: Alyx, Update 1.2, now makes these options independent from one another.

The update also added an option to display subtitles only on the spectator view, which will be helpful for streamers and local spectators who can’t hear the sound in the headset. Additionally, Valve changed the Height Adjust accessibility options to be clearer and improved the default Height Adjust button binding for some controllers.

The update also brought performance and UI adjustments, and a handful of crash fixes. See the Update 1.2 patch notes for full details.

With this update Valve also published a Half-Life: Alyx Performance Tips page to help players tune their computers and the game for the smoothest performance; it’s worth going over if you’ve been having performance issues with the game .

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