How to play Half Life in VR on 1.3

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A lot of people have been wanting to play Half Life and other old Steam VR games on the consumer version of the Rift but have been unable to do so because Valve dropped the support for it. Many people still think that it is impossible to play these games on the CV1 even after the release of the LibOVRWrapper because they think games that run only in extended mode will never work. But there is a way to get these extended mode games to run on 1.3.

1. Download and install LibOVRWrapper 1.2
2. Download and install the newest beta version of Steam VR
3. Download and install the Steam version of Virtual Desktop
4. Download and install the newest beta version of the old Valve VR game you want to play
5. Right click the game on the Steam desktop client and select properties
6. Deactivate the Game Theater option, close the window
7. Start the game on the desktop
8. Enable VR support in the Video Settings, set the game to 1080p, set the game to windowed mode
9. Restart the game and enable VR on the main menu
10. Alt tab into Steam and open Virtual Desktop
11. Set the SBS option “To Headset + Distortion”
12. Alt tab back to the Steam VR game
13. Enjoy your old Steam VR game on CV1

(This tutorial has been written using Half Life source as an example, it should work on all old games like HL2, HL2 ep1, HL2 ep2, Portal 1 VR beta and TF2. I have not yet tested this on all of them)

If you experience some stuttering in game that is because this can only run on the refresh rate of your monitor. If you want to fix this you can just overclock your monitor, there are a lot of tutorials out there on how to do this. But keep in mind that the resolution at which you overclock it has to be the same aspect ratio as 1920×1080.

If you are interested in VR check out our tutorials on How to launch external applications from within Oculus Home and How to stop Oculus Home from auto starting & stop Rift/Camera from running hot

    • Mr Valle

      I tried this but game keeps crashing when i click on virtual reality in HL2 main menu

    • FlersNackenspeckrolle

      sex

    • Trevor Donoghue

      tried this many times without success , like others i just get a black window.

      • Marulu

        I have never been able to reproduce that black screen and I have no idea what is causing it so I can´t fix it. But this should be an issue of the actual Source engine VR implementation.

        Did you make sure to set your windows resolution to 1080p and are you running the Half Life beta version?

    • Logic First

      I got this working. I can’t believe you filthy casuals can’t figure this out. LOL jk jk jk.

      ok here’s how i did it. before you start set your monitor to 1920×1080. If you have 2 monitors, disable your extended monitor.

      1. Download and install LibOVRWrapper 1.2

      2. Download and install the newest beta version of Steam VR

      3. Download and install HL2

      5. Right click the game on the Steam desktop client and select properties

      6. Deactivate the Game Theater option, close the window

      7. Start the game on the desktop

      8. Enable VR support in the Video Settings, set the game to 1080p, set the game to windowed mode. Exit the game. Also set the launch options to -refresh 90 -freq 90 -w 1920 -h 1080

      9. Launch Steam VR, then launch the game from the desktop

      10. Prepare to vomit from all the judder.

      I was hoping the refresh 90 freq 90 would help, it doesn’t.

    • Mr Valle

      Tried Logic First trick but on step 9 when i launch VR and then HL2 from desktop half Life crashes as soon as the main menu loads up.

    • Fanatoli Guyoff

      I just sold my rift and got a vive. resell on teh rift is still high so its not too bad of a trade up.

    • Toastytwo

      Hi there ;)
      Any progress on your VR-Mods? I remember hearing something’s in the work for HL and even Alien Isolation….?
      An update would be awesome!

      Greetz, TT

      • Marulu

        I currently am working on a free open source tool kit that will allow other hackers to port flat monitor games to VR with without source code access. By using this kit you can turn any game into a native like, not sickness inducing VR experiencing.

        The release schedule on this is the following:

        1. VR Mod for game that uses 100% of the tool box in the worst possible circumstances. (Or in other words a game that does not fit VR at all, to show that anything can be turned into a fantastic VR experience.)

        2. VR Mod for game using less then 50% of the tool box. (This is using a game well suited for VR to show how quick converting can be.)

        3. VR Mod using 5% of the tool box. (TF2, HLS, HL2…)

        4. Actual release of the source code of the tool box. (To do this I have to clean my code and make it more understandable/universally applicable.)

        The development of this is rather time consuming. I can say that the mods for 1. and 2. are games that the VR community has been wanting for a long time.

        As I said in the original statement about Alien, I will only work on Alien if someone finds a way to launch it with a CV1 being connect to the newest runtime.

        All of this is Oculus only and will not work with the Vive, not even using Revive. (Because of the exotic way this porting method works.)

        • Toastytwo

          Wow, sounds like you’re real onto something great! I’m eager to try it out ;)
          Have you ever thought of putting out a sample and start a kickstarter campaign to get some manpower behind your project and eventually make some money?
          Or team up with the guys behind vireio…?

          If you prefer to continue open source:
          No one expects it to be 100% perfect for the first release!

          If I can do anything to help don’t hesitate to pm me on reddit (ToastyV2)

          • Marulu

            I don´t see the need for creating a Kickstarter. This project literally only involves writing code and does not require us to purchase hardware or software licenses so money is not needed.

            Vireio is a one size fits all approach to altering games. This project is about giving other people the tools to create mods that will only work with the one game they set out to make it for. To use these tools you have to be able to code while vireo is more like plug and play. The goal of this and vireio are completely different.

            We don´t want to make money using this project. We will make it fully open source after releasing the examples. We are only creating this to make it easier for the community to mod VR support into old games. We are not aiming for perfection but we have a desired level of quality we want to meet.