Right now you can play Half-Life in VR for free on the Oculus Quest.

Valve’s debut game, Half-Life, was released in 1998. Now, 22 years later, the company is getting geared up for the release of their new VR exclusive, Half-Life: Alyx.  As the release date draws nearer, Valve is building the hype by letting players replay the classic Half-Life games for free.

On January 21st Steam announced that the previous games in the Half-Life series are free-to-play until the release of Alyx in March

If you take advantage of this offer you’ll also be able to play the classic Half-Life in VR on your Oculus Quest by using the Lambda1VR app available in SideQuest.

Installing Half-Life on the Quest

This guide will assume you are familiar with or have used SideQuest  before. If you haven’t, well then I’ve written a guide about that too: Oculus Quest: Enabling Developer Mode and using SideQuest. You’re also going to need a USB C cable to copy files from PC to Quest. 

First, go ahead and get a copy of the original Half-Life from the Steam store. (Free for a limited time.) Install the game on your PC from Steam—you’ll need to copy some files from the PC to the Quest in a moment.

Connect your Quest to your PC with a USB cable. Open SideQuest and Install Lambda1VR on the Oculus Quest.

Keep that cable connected and SideQuest open for a moment, you need to open an Explorer window and browse to the root folder of your Oculus Quest. This PC\Quest\Internal shared storage

Make a new folder named xash

Create a folder called xash in Quest\Internal Storage

Copy the valve folder from the Half-Life directory. (The default directory location is: C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life) Paste it into the xash folder you just made on the Quest. This can take quite a while to copy so be patient.

copy the valve folder into the xash folder

Once the copy is complete, you can restart the Quest (hold the power button for a few seconds and choose restart from the menu), then launch Lambda1VR from the Unknown sources library tab, and enjoy Half-Life in VR.

 

Make it Look Better

The default models for scientist and guard NPC’s are a little, um, cheesy looking. Fortunately valve also installs HD assets that you can use in a handy valve_hd folder.

You should copy the Barney and Scientist models from C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Half-Life\valve_hd\models to the models folder on your Quest: This PC\Quest\Internal shared storage\xash\valve\models

Also, you might want to check out this HD texture pack on reddit. It really makes the walls and environment much better and has some improved sounds.

Finally, edit the commandline.txt folder that is in the xash folder. (If you haven’t launched  Lambda1VR yet this file won’t be there.) 

If you try to just open the file and edit it directly on the Quest’s internal storage, it wont work. You’ll need to copy the file to your PC to edit it, just copy it to your desktop or documents folder.

If you choose to skip the HD texture pack just make it so the content says: 

xash3d -log --supersampling 1.25 --msaa 2 --cpu 4 --gpu 4

if you choose to install the HD texture pack then make it say:  

xash3d -log --supersampling 1.25 --msaa 2 --cpu 4 --gpu 4 -dev 3 -game hl_gold_hd

then save the file and copy it back to the xash folder on the Quest. If prompted, make sure to overwrite the original file by clicking Copy & Replace

To make sure the HD files are used, when you launch Lambda1 on your headset, open the Video options: Configuration>Video>Video Options and check that the box for Allow Materials  is filled. 

Have Fun!

 

 

Release notes

After Beat Games was acquired by Facebook’s Oculus Studios , Beat Saber puts out a game changing update with version 1.6.0.

Oculus Rift and Quest players can now spin around a full 360 degrees, and saber blocks coming from all directions. 

Beat Saber 1.6.0 Release Notes

Beat Saber, Version 1.6.0
Green Day Music Pack is here! It features six of the band’s most iconic hits & new singles.

This update also comes with:
– Brand new 360 and 90 Degree Levels.
– Adaptive SFX volume.
– Automatic player height detection.
– UI improvements.
– Graphics improvements.
– Various tweaks and fixes.

Continue reading “Beat Saber Update Adds 360 Degree Play and New Songs”

Facebook acquired Beat Games

On Tuesday November 26th, Facebook announced that they have purchased Beat Games—the indie game company behind VR mega-hit Beat Saber—for an undisclosed sum. Beat Games will become a part of Oculus Studios, but still work on development independently from their location in Prague. 

Today we’re announcing that Beat Games is joining us in our quest to bring VR to more people around the world. They will join Oculus Studios as an independently operated studio in Prague, continuing to create new ways for people to experience music and VR gaming. Most importantly, what the community has come to love about Beat Saber will remain intact. Beat Games will continue to ship content and updates for Beat Saber across all currently supported platforms, now with even more support from Facebook.

Oculus Blog

Continue reading “What does Facebook acquisition of Beat Games mean for Beat Saber?”

Oculus Link

Oculus Link is Available in Beta

Oculus Link allows you to use the Oculus Quest—an otherwise wireless, stand-alone headset—to play Oculus Rift PC games via tethering using a USB cable. 

This allows you to expand your library and play many high quality PC VR games from the Oculus Store, and even Steam, on the mobile headset whiled plugged into your computer—great news if you want to play some massive games like Fallout 4 VR, Skyrim VR, and No Man’s Land. Two recent AAA game titles that Oculus is happy to announce working with Link are Asgard’s Wrath and Stormland. 

Basically, your PC streams to the headset using H.264 video compression, VR compositor functions are split between the headset and the computer to reduce latency, and bingo-bango you are playing PC VR on the mobile VR headset.

Continue reading “Oculus Link is Awesome, Available in Beta, but Currently Not For Everybody”

No man’s sky Beginning to beyond

A rocky release

I remember when I first heard about the game No Man’s Sky. In the summer of 2014 I was reading news of an indie gaming company called Hello Games creating a space exploration game with an endless universe that was full of procedurally-generated star systems, planets, and moons—each with unique life and materials to harvest. You’d be able to explore indefinitely, and even if you visited a planet per second, it would take multiple lifetimes to see everything. It promised to be the biggest sandbox game ever.

Continue reading “No Man’s Sky, VR, and Beyond”

At the GDC on March 18th, Oculus shared details and gave hands on experiences with the new Oculus Rift S. Oculus teamed up with Lenovo to create the hardware that brings this updated headset to the consumer market. Here’s what’s new…

Tech Specs:

  • Single-panel fast-switching LCD with Higher Resolution: 2560×1440 (1280 x 1440 per eye)
  • Lower refresh rate down to 80hz from previous headset’s 90hz.
  • 5 camera inside-out tracking and Passthrough+
  • Single-cable setup connects to a PC via DisplayPort and USB 3.0
  • Halo style head-strap with built in headphones and 3.5mm jack
  • Updated touch controllers: identical to Oculus Quest
  • Priced at $399
  • No official release date yet

Continue reading “Oculus Rift S Unveiled”