Half-Life 2

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Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 cover
Valve Corporation
Release dates
Windows November 16, 2004
OS X May 26, 2010
Linux May 9, 2013
Half-Life 1998
Half-Life: Opposing Force 1999
Half-Life: Blue Shift 2001
Half-Life: Source 2004
Half-Life 2 2004
Half-Life 2: Deathmatch 2004
Half-Life 2: Lost Coast 2005
Half-Life Deathmatch: Source 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode One 2006
Half-Life 2: Episode Two 2007
Half-Life: Decay (unofficial mod) 2008
Black Mesa TBA

Key points

Installing the Update mod is recommended to fix numerous bugs introduced by the 2009 Orange Box update.
Runs on low-end hardware.[1]
Numerous mods are available for the game, including new levels and completely new game modes.

General information

GitHub Issue Tracker for Linux bugs in Half-Life 2 and other Source-based games
Unofficial Half-Life Wiki
Steam Community Discussions
Steam Users' Forums


Source DRM Notes Keys OS
Green Man Gaming
Soundtrack is available for free here.
All versions require Steam.

Essential improvements[edit]

Skip intro videos[edit]

Skip intros
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Use -novid

Enabling the console[edit]

A list of console commands can be found here.
Command line
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Use -console then in the console write bind F2 "toggleconsole"
You can replace F2 with any key you have.
Options menu
  1. Go to Options, select the Keyboard tab and click on Advanced.
  2. Check Enable the developer console and open the console by using ~.


An extra list of mods can be found here.
To view the most-rated mods, click here.

Half-Life 2: Update[edit]

An unofficial update that fixes bugs, improves the lighting, draw distance and adds new effects among others.

Half-Life 2: Survivor[edit]

An unofficial port of the Japanese arcade version.
This mod does not require Steam in order to run, but it requires you to use old files from Source SDK Base 2006. Click at the link above for more info.

Game data[edit]

Configuration file(s) location[edit]

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>/hl2/cfg/

Save game data location[edit]

System Location
Steam <path-to-game>/hl2/save/

Save game cloud syncing[edit]

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud

Video settings[edit]

In-game general video settings.
In-game general video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
In-game advanced video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution
4K Ultra HD
Interface scales poorly.
Field of view (FOV)
Between 75° and 90° horizontal.[2]
Borderless fullscreen windowed
See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF)
Anti-aliasing (AA)
Vertical sync (Vsync)
60 FPS
120+ FPS
No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[3] Can be changed further by changing "fps_max" in the developer console.

Borderless fullscreen windowed[edit]

  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Use -window -noborder


For the Oculus Rift, set vr_force_windowed 1 in the developer console.

Input settings[edit]

In-game key map settings.
In-game key map settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.
In-game mouse/gamepad settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Mouse acceleration
Mouse sensitivity
Mouse input in menus
Mouse Y-axis inversion
Controller support
Use the console command exec 360controller to automatically setup Xbox controller support (if not already configured at startup).
Full controller support
Controller remapping
Controller sensitivity
Controller Y-axis inversion
Additional information
Button prompts
Controller hotplugging
Haptic feedback

Audio settings[edit]

In-game audio settings.
In-game audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls
Game volume and music slider.
Surround sound
4.0, 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound.
Closed captions
Mute on focus lost
Under a check box in the Audio menu.


Language UI Audio CC Notes
Simplified Chinese
Traditional Chinese


Multiplayer types

Type Native Players Notes
LAN play
Online play
10 Use Synergy.

Connection types

VR support[edit]

3D modes Native GG3D Notes
Native 3D
Nvidia 3D Vision
TriDef 3D
Devices Native Notes
3RD Space Gaming Vest
Novint Falcon
Oculus Rift
Available under Video Settings. See the Oculus Rift forums for further instructions.
Razer Hydra

Issues fixed[edit]


TweakGuides has created a comprehensive guide for fixing issues in this game which can be found here.

Purple and black textures[edit]

See missing textures.

No lighting after Black Mesa East[edit]

Activate the High Dynamic Range in the Advanced Video Options

Stuck in Black Mesa East[edit]

Walk into the elevator, Quick Save F6, then Quick Load F9.

Not enough space on disk (retail)[edit]

Copy the files
  • Copy all the files from the disc to a new folder, then run setup.exe

Available memory less than 128 MB[edit]

Setting the compatibility mode
  1. See compatibility mode.
  2. Navigate to <path-to-game> and find hl2.exe
  3. Set the executable to run under the Windows XP (Service Pack 3) compatibility mode.

Half-Life 2 stuck on DirectX v8.0[edit]

Command line parameter
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Use -dxlevel 95, start the game and configure the desired video settings.
  3. Remove the command line before starting the game again.


Not removing the command line will cause the game to set the options to their default values.

Other information[edit]


Technical specs Supported Notes
Direct3D 6, 7, 8, 8.1, 9
OpenGL 2.1 OS X and Linux only.
Shader Model support 2, 3
64-bit executable
OS X and Linux only.[citation needed]


Middleware Notes
Physics Havok Heavily modified variant.
Audio Miles Sound System
Cutscenes Bink Video

Launch options[edit]

A list of command lines can be found here and here.
  1. See Command line arguments.
  2. Enter your commands.

System requirements[edit]

Minimum Recommended
Operating system (OS) XP, Vista, 7
Processor (CPU) 1.7 GHz
System memory (RAM) 512 MB 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4.6 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA GeForce FX 5700
ATi Radeon 9500
128 MB of VRAM
NVIDIA GeForce 6800
ATi Radeon X800
Operating system (OS) 10.5.8, 10.6.3
Processor (CPU) 1.7 GHz
System memory (RAM) 1 GB
Hard disk drive (HDD) 4.6 GB
Video card (GPU) NVIDIA GeForce 8
ATI X1600
Intel HD 3000


  1. Tested by Nicereddy.
  2. Field of View - Valve Developer Community
  3. New 120Hz Games Report