Half-Life: Alyx Can Be Played With One Hand For Accessibility

Half-Life: Alyx will have an option to play the entire game with just a single controller.

Valve’s Greg Coomer confirmed as much in a recent interview with Tested. He revealed that, although two-handed play was very important to Alyx, the studio was also working a one-handed mode for accessibility. An options menu seen in IGN’s gameplay from earlier this week (picked up by Valve News Network) confirms it’s made its way into the final game.

“You’re reminding me that we’re actually going through a process where we’re looking at making Half-Life: Alyx playable with a single controller, single-handed,” Coomer explained. “But we haven’t gotten all the way through that process yet, we’re trying to make sure that that’s possible just for accessibility reasons.”

From what we’ve seen of Alyx so far, many of the interactions can actually be carried out with just one hand; firing your pistol (we haven’t seen any dual-wielding yet), searching environments, interacting with interfaces and moving around all seem to need just a single controller. But there are some actions, like reloading, that rely on two hands.

Again, based on what we’ve seen, it might not require too many concessions to make Alyx playable from start to finish with just one hand, then. And, like Coomer says, that would be great for accessibility, something that VR games should be taking into account given that one of the most positive aspects of the tech is letting differently abled people do things they might not be able to in the real world.

Half-Life: Alyx is due for release on March 23 for PC VR headsets. We’ll have plenty more coverage of the game in the run up to launch. Excited to hear that Half-Life: Alyx can be played with one hand? Let us know in the comments below!

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