Modders have found an interesting way to make Half-Life: Alyx multiplayer, kind of.
Half-Life: Alyx is a VR experience from Valve that is originally intended for the single-player experience. However, modders have worked out a way to allow another player to join a game (via, PCGamesN (opens in new tab)). It's a bit of a complicated process filled with technical VR terminology, but the mod website (opens in new tab) explains that it essentially tracks player position and rotation and pops them into the host game as a player.
If you're thinking this is going to allow two players to run around prodding things in VR, it doesn't seem to work that way. As shown in the video below from Twitter user KubeRuns (opens in new tab), while each player can play Half-Life: Alyx as it was intended on their own machine, the player joining them appears as a City Scanner. This is because the mod only shares the player position and rotation as KubeRuns explains (opens in new tab), which results in each player existing within the same VR space playing their own game, but without the interaction.
✨ Introducing alyx-multiplayer ✨This open-source mod introduces multiplayer for Half-Life: Alyx running on Windows.Official site w/ install instructions: https://t.co/HVyKtqv8DP pic.twitter.com/j4RsRdFCHjJune 2, 2021
If the group of modders was to make it so that players could see one another's hands or interact together, it's explained that it would require them to "reverse-engineer [the players'] memory addresses" which is apparently a massive undertaking. The installation process seems lengthy, but it does seem like a fun little way to enjoy the game together.
While Half-Life: Alyx is a VR title, modders have created a mod to remove the need for VR. That's not the only mod that's been created for the game, as one modder has been recreating BioShock’s Rapture to offer fans a unique campaign, and there's also a mod that allows for players to walk through the famous P.T. hallway. If you fancy something a bit more retro, there's also a recreation of the GoldenEye 007 levels available as a mod for the game.
Half-Life: Alyx was so popular that it saw Valve run out of Index VR headsets before the game's launch. Additionally, while Half-Life 3 is still a lost dream Valve confirmed that Alyx is not the end of the series.
Planning to jump back into Half-Life: Alyx? Here are 6 tips for surviving City 17.