Now that we have gone over the Half-Life Alyx VR Hardware, we can talk about the software and tweaks. Half-Life Alyx is a VR only game and that can make it challenging if you are interested in streaming the game or spectating. Alyx has a customisable spectator mode, specifically designed so that you can control how the game translates VR visuals to a flat, 2D screen. In this Half-Life Alyx PC Optimization guide, we are going to go over how you can make streaming and spectating better.
Half-Life Alyx PC Optimization
The following is what you need to know about optimizing Half-Life Alyx for streaming and spectating on PC:
Spectator Mode Eye Settings
The first thing that you need to set is the perspective of the spectator. You can choose between left eye and right eye. Valve recommends the eye you are going to use to aim down. If you close your left eye when aiming then choose right or the other way around.
Spectator Mode Smooth Settings
In the same menu, you can choose to turn smoothing on or off. This smooths out the jitters. You can pick low, medium or high. This only applies to the spectator view. The effect applies in real-time and the hit to performance is minimal. If you have a decent VR headset and a beefy PC then you can leave it at high otherwise you might want to turn down the setting for a better experience.
Spectator Mode HUD Settings
The HUS is something that might not make a lot of sense if you are spectating the game. This option allows you to turn off certain HUD elements for the spectator. The HUD shows health, ammo resin count and items you are carrying by default. You can choose to turn the HUD off for the spectator or toggle the size from small, medium and large.
Half-Life Alyx also has much deeper customisation through the advanced menu. These options can be found in the game’s dev console. You can bring this up by using the tilde (~) key. Before you can do this you will need to enable access to the console by adding “-console -vconsole” to the game’s launch properties on Steam.
Now that you have done that, you can access the following settings and tweak them:
Full In-Camera Smoothing
This is a more aggressive form of smoothing which is designed for a cinematic look. This not only applies to the spectator but to the player as well. So it can be seen as a downside. To enable the feature bring up the console (~) and type these commands:
- vr_camera_decay_roll_halflife 0.5.
- vr_camera_decay_yaw_pitch_halflife 0.09.
The number represents seconds so you can adjust the values if you want. The higher this goes the more it will tune out small rotations, adding more lag. You can disable both of these by typing “vr_camera_decay_roll_halflife 0”, and “vr_camera_decay_yaw_pitch_halflife 0”.
Advanced Spectator Mode HUD Settings
This allows you to tweak the spectator HUD further. You can bring up the console and type “hlvr_spectator_hud_size 100” to change the size of the spectator HUD. You can choose between 50 and 150. Setting the value to 0 will remove the HUD. This is only visible to spectators and will not affect the player.
That is all for our Half-Life Alyx PC Optimization guide. If you are interested in learning more then you can check out our VR hardware guide for the game.