Half-Life 2

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Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 - cover.jpg
Release dates
November 16, 2004
May 26, 2010
May 9, 2013
Half-Life 2 at Steam Charts
Half-Life 2 at SteamDB
 Half-Life 2 at Wikipedia
Half-Life 1998
Half-Life: Opposing Force 1999
Half-Life: Blue Shift 2001
Half-Life: Decay (unofficial port/mod) 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
Black Mesa (unofficial mod) 2012

Key points

Information Using launch options you can skip intro videos or enable borderless fullscreen windowed.
Advantage Numerous mods are available for the game, including new levels and completely new game modes.
Advantage Runs well on low-end hardware.[1]
Advantage A number of menu options including an FOV slider, Vsync, and key remapping.
Advantage No frame rate or refresh rate cap.

General information

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


[edit] Availability

Source(s) Store unlock Notes
Retail Steamicon.png
Steam Steamicon.png
Information All versions require Steam.

[edit] Versions

[edit] Half-Life 2: Survivor

A heavily modified version of Half-Life 2 released on June 28, 2006 for Japanese arcades. It is focused purely on combat with extra content added in to appeal to Japanese gamers. Some content previously cut from Half-Life 2 is reimplemented.

An unofficial PC port can be found on the Facepunch forums.

[edit] Essential improvements

[edit] Skip intro videos

Fix -novidLink

  1. Find Half-Life 2 in your Steam Library.
  2. Right-click the game name.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Select Set Launch Options....
  5. Input -novid.
  6. Press OK.
  7. Launch the game.

[edit] Mods

Information For popular mods see ModDB's "Half-Life 2 Mods" section.

[edit] Installing Source mods

Fix Installing from DesuraLink

  1. Install the Desura client for Windows/Mac/Linux here.
  2. Mods installed from Desura and ModDB go through this client. See individual mods for their specific instructions.
  3. Once the modification is installed, restart Steam.
  4. The modification should now show up in your Steam library.
Information If a mod doesn't work you, you may need to install the Source SDK from Steam.

[edit] Black Mesa

Information See the Black Mesa page for instructions on installation.

[edit] The Stanley Parable

Information The original Stanley Parable mod is available on ModDB. It requires the Source SDK on Windows and Half-Life 2 on Mac. It can be downloaded using the Desura client. May require restarting for it to show up in your Steam library.
Information The full Steam release can be found at The Stanley Parable.

[edit] Dear Esther (Mod)

Information This is the original Source engine mod, Dear Esther. For the full release see our Dear Esther page.
Information The original Dear Esther mod is available on Desura but is only usable on Windows. The full version is playable natively on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

[edit] No More Room in Hell

Information No longer requires Half-Life 2. Available as a stand-alone for free on Steam, see No More Room in Hell for more information.

[edit] The Hidden

Information See the The Hidden for instructions on installing.

[edit] Game data

[edit] Save game data location

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

[edit] Configuration file(s) location

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

[edit] Save game cloud syncing

System Native Notes
Steam Cloud Native
GameSave Manager Native

[edit] Video settings

Video settings.
Graphics option Option WSGF Notes
Widescreen resolution Native WSGF WS Gold.png
Multi-monitor Native WSGF MM Silver.png
Ultra-widescreen Native WSGF UW Gold.png
Field of view (FOV) Native Slider limited to 75 to 90 FOV. See Field of view (FOV).
Windowed Native
Borderless fullscreen windowed Hackable See Borderless fullscreen windowed.
Anisotropic filtering (AF) Native
Anti-aliasing (AA) Native
Vertical sync (Vsync) Native
Oculus Rift Native Available under Video Settings. See Oculus Rift for more information.
High frame rate Native No frame rate or refresh rate cap.[2]

[edit] Field of view (FOV)

[edit] Borderless fullscreen windowed

Fix -window -noborderLink

  1. Find Half-Life 2 in your Steam Library
  2. Right-click the game name
  3. Select Properties
  4. Select Set Launch Options...
  5. Input -window -noborder
  6. Press OK
  7. Launch the game

[edit] Oculus Rift

Information By default VR mode will run full screen, to switch back to a borderless windowed set the vr_force_windowed convar.
Information For further help getting the Oculus Rift working in Half-Life 2, see this thread on the Oculus Rift forums.

[edit] Input settings

Input settings.
Keyboard and mouse Native Notes
Remapping Native
Mouse acceleration Native
Mouse input in menus Native
Mouse Y-axis inversion Native
Controller support Native
Full controller support Impossible
Controller remapping Unknown
Controller Y-axis inversion Native

[edit] Audio settings

Audio settings.
Audio options Native Notes
Separate volume controls Native Over-all game volume and separate music slider.
Surround sound Native 7.1, 5.1 surround sound, 4 speaker surround.
Subtitles Native
Closed captions Native
Mute on focus lost Native "Silence the audio while the game window is in the background" check box.


Language UI Audio CC Notes
English Native Native Native
Simplified Chinese Native Native Unknown
Traditional Chinese Native Native Unknown
Danish Native Unknown Unknown
Dutch Native Unknown Unknown
Finnish Native Unknown Unknown
French Native Native Unknown
German Native Native Unknown
Italian Native Native Unknown
Japanese Native Unknown Unknown
Korean Native Native Unknown
Norwegian Native Unknown Unknown
Polish Native Unknown Unknown
Portuguese Native Unknown Unknown
Russian Native Native Unknown
Spanish Native Native Unknown
Swedish Native Unknown Unknown
Thai Native Native Unknown

[edit] Issues fixed

[edit] Purple and black broken textures

Information A generic fix for this issue can be found on our Source engine page.

[edit] No lighting after Black Mesa East

Fix Activate High Dynamic Range in the Advanced Video OptionsLink

[edit] Stuck in Black Mesa East

Fix Quick save and reload the saveLink

  1. Walk into the elevator
  2. Press F6 to quick-save
  3. Press F9 to reload this quick save
Information Try this a few times if it doesn't work the first time

[edit] Windows

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

[edit] Not enough space on disk (retail)

Fix Copy filesLink

  1. Copy all the files from the disc to a temporary folder
  2. Run setup.exe from the new, temporary folder

[edit] "Available memory less than 128 MB" Error

Fix Run in compatibility modeLink

  1. Navigate to your Game data location and find hl2.exe
  2. Right-click on it
  3. Press Properties
  4. Go to the compatibility tab
  5. Check 'run this program in compatibility mode for Windows XP (Service Pack 3)'

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

Fix Force With -dxlevel 95Link

  1. On Steam right click on Half-Life 2 and click Properties
  2. Under the properties menu click on Set launch option... and add this command line -dxlevel 95
  3. Start the game and reconfigure all your video settings because the command line resets everything back to default
  4. Once the game has been configured to your liking close Half-Life 2 and head back to Set launch option... and remove the command line -dxlevel 95 to prevent the game from resetting its video settings.

[edit] Other information

[edit] Console commands

Information Games running on the Source engine can utilize Source Engine Console Commands for various tasks.

Fix Enabling the console in Source gamesLink

  1. Launch the game
  2. From the main menu select Options
  3. Select the Keyboard tab
  4. Click the Advanced button
  5. Check the box next to Enable developer console (~)
  6. Click Apply


Information Press the tilde (~) key to open the console.
Information Some commands may first require you enabling sv_cheats. You can do so with sv_cheats 1.
Information Many servers will not allow you to play with cheats enabled, or will disable them upon entering the server.
Disadvantage Users without a US keyboard may experience some problems.
Information You can also have the console open by default on launch by following this guide:

Fix -consoleLink

  1. Find the game in your Steam Library
  2. Right-click the game name
  3. Select Properties
  4. Select Set Launch Options...
  5. Input -console
  6. Press OK
  7. Launch the game

[edit] Launch options

Information View this Steam Support Article regarding launch options as well as the relevant Valve Developer wiki page for further information and a list of useful Source engine launch options.

Fix Enabling a launch parameterLink

  1. Find the game in your Steam Library
  2. Right-click the game name
  3. Select Properties
  4. Select Set Launch Options...
  5. Input your selected launch options and separate each command with a space
  6. Press OK
  7. Launch the game

[edit] System requirements

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. New 120Hz Games Report

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