Half Life Alyx - 8KX

I’m an old school gamer who loved Half Life and was completely blown away by it. Half Life 2 came out and it was phenomenal. The physics, action, story, everything was incredible. I enjoyed the episodes as well. When Alyx was announced as a VR game, I was absolutely ecstatic. When it came out I started playing on my 5K+, expecting the 8KX to come out shortly after the launch (it had been delayed as everyone knows since January). I played through to what I assume is about half way thru the game. At that point I decided to go no further and wait for the 8KX to enjoy every bit of the game in glorious 4K resolution. So I patiently and painfully waited to play Half Life Alyx for days. Then weeks. Then months. Finally in September, I received my 8KX. I could have jumped back into the game but at this point the 3000 series cards were about to be released and I had planned to upgrade this year. I decided that since I’d already waited since March to play Alyx, it didn’t matter much to wait another couple weeks. I recently got my 3090 and got everything set up. I started the game from the very beginning, but this time using my old Subpac with a new APT-X receiver and a USB transmitter I got from amazon.

HOLY $H1TB4LL$ :open_mouth::open_mouth::open_mouth::open_mouth: It is AMAZING. Just amazing. I’m playing it at 1.5 in PiTool, and the level of detail is just incredible. I’ve been absolutely blown away. Since I’ve owned VR (Kickstarter Oculus, Vive, 5K+) I’ve enjoyed many VR experiences, but never quite experienced something so immersive as Half Life Alyx with the 8KX. My girlfriend said it just means that everything has been worth it (pc upgrades, 8KX, 3090,etc). I agreed. The Subpac is adding a fantastic enhancement to the game, as you feel the shots, hits, music, and explosions. If you own one, definitely try it out.

Playing this game on an 8KX feels like something you shouldn’t have at home. It’s that good. Thank you Pimax for (finally) delivering an awesome bit of hardware to the market.

Now if they can just send those DMAS kits…


Yeah half life alyx looks incredible on the 8KX. Which 3090 did you get? Also I wonder how Subpac compares to the bhaptic suit.


I waited for the 8KX too… :rofl:

Didn’t even install it… :grin:

Was prepared to wait for a 3090 too but with the shortage of cards decided to jump in…

Even with PiTool HMD Quality at 1.0 (SteamVR SS @ 100%) it looks amazing, but seeing You’re playing at 1.5 In seriously considering to wait a bit longer… :grin:

BTW - Not using the SMAS audio either but a Woojer Edge Strap and a pair of headphones (currently Koss KPH30i).

EDIT: BTW, be sure to apply @NextGenVR’s fix to remove the need for PP for better performance:
How to get Rid of Rendering Issues in Half Life Alyx WITHOUT Parallel Projection!


incredible , same as me!!! yesterday I received my 8KX and next week will arrive my 3090 and i will start to play HLAlyx after 15 years…


I luckily managed to get a Founders Edition 3090. I’m running Alyx with PP off and using a modified version of your code: -console -vconsole +sc_no_cull 1 +vr_multiview_instancing 0 +volume_fog_enable_stereo 0 +vr_fidelity_level_auto 0 +vr_fidelity_level 3 From what I read, the extra lines disable the built in Dynamic Resolution. All I know is the game looks absolutely stunning. I sincerely appreciate all your work figuring out how to disable PP in the game.

As far as the Subpac, I rarely used it for VR as the Bluetooth it comes with has a significant delay. You can connect it via a wire to the headset, but it had a tendency to get tangled and bound and wasn’t the most ideal setup.

I’ve done a lot of reading on the bHaptics vest the past year and it’s supposed to work quite well with the games it’s programmed to work with. Things such as dropping equipment down your back and feeling it fall into the bag as it rolls down your back, etc. So the bHaptics suit does do some pretty cool stuff, but I read from numerous people the haptics are much weaker compared to the Subpac. Plus the bHaptics is currently limited to a rather small library of compatible games (but it’s growing).

Anyways, recently I came across a guy talking about APT-X Bluetooth and how it’s low latency for gaming, so I decided to find a small low profile transmitter and receiver I could attach to the Subpac. Once I set it up it worked extremely well. Playing Alyx I immediately felt the recoil from firing the guns, explosions, getting shot, feeling creatures hit me, my heartbeat when I’m hurt, and the music. It definitely intensified the experience and amazingly there wasn’t any latency in the response. I really didn’t expect the APT-X Bluetooth to work as well as it does.

Parts I ordered if anyone has one and wants to duplicate it:
Creative BT-W3
TROND Bluetooth 5.0 APTX Transmitter/Receiver
Short 3.5mm Adapter

I felt it turned out perfect. It’s super light so it didn’t add any weight to the Subpac box, nor does it get in the way. I adhered it to the box with some 3M double sided tape. I just turn it on and it’s good to go. I’ve only tested it out with a few games, but it also works great with Beat Saber and Pistol Whip.


There’s one BIG problem I’ve found with Alyx. Part way through Chapter 5, I returned to find that it has corrupted my saves. So far I can’t find any older ones that work either.

Attempting to load any of them causes a soft lock and I have to force quit the game from SteamVR. There were no issues on last play before I quit. Googling it shows some problems back in May but no recent reports.

Disappointing. I guess I’ll have to use the console to start again from the same level.

That sucks you lost your progress. On the brighter side, the game is fantastic and playing it over is well worth it. Or just reload the level via console command like you said.


Yes indeed, it is very impressive.

While these days I prefer open world stuff that you can sink a few hours into over time and make your own choices, no doubt this is one of the best linear VR games to date, and very much in keeping with the previous Half Life games. A worthy VR successor :+1:


Yes, we desperately need that modern AAA open world VR title. My fingers and toes are crossed that Projekt Red decides to release a VR patch for Cyberpunk 2077. Or that someone eventually mods the game to allow it.


Yeah absolutely :+1:

I’m really impressed with NMS after a couple of months, the sheer amount of exploration / crafting / base building gameplay is very impressive, especially with the crazy number of updates and from such a small team. VR implementation is great. But the game is demanding on performance.

ED is not doing it for me any more, it’s too empty. Skyrim is pretty done for me too, you can mod it to look nicer but the gameplay is old.

Hell, I started messing about with Unity to see how to make an open world environment. Ultimately to add some co-op multiplayer, dynamic / random objectives, and VR support. Will be a loooong while before I have an alpha though hehe


I’m on my second playthrough, this time wireless with virtual desktop on the Q2. There are still some moments in this title that just floor me. Overall, I think it’s the best game ever made. There are so many amazing games out each year, but when i went from alyx to some of the best 2020 flat games, they just felt like toys. Honestly owning a Pimax was all worth it just to experience the ending in glorious resolution and FOV.


Oh I completely agree. Alyx has been an amazing experience in gaming. I think back over the many years of my gaming and a few things stick out to me that I’ll never forget. Seeing Super Mario Brothers for the first time on the NES, watching 3D demos on my Amiga 500, playing games on my NeoGeo in the early 90s, playing Dactyl Nightmare VR in the arcade, and one of my all time favorites, playing Steel Battalion on my Xbox. Playing Half Life Alyx in VR with the Subpac though is right up there for me. I’ll never forget the experience.


Very interesting. I have that trond dongle and used to use it for headphones. How much did the vest set you back? Would love to get one.

I bought the Subpac M2 at the beginning of 2016, I’m pretty sure I paid ~$350 for it.

The new one is modular (for seat and backpack) and now includes the faster bluetooth.

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Might try and pick up a second hand version of the original.

I have the Subpac M2 and the bHaptics vest and so far I used the bHaptics with Half Life Alyx. Nice solution for a wireless SubPac with low latency. I might try this. Thanks for sharing. :slightly_smiling_face: Do you need to mirror the audio? The bHaptics vest has pretty strong tacticle effects with configureable strength. On high levels the bHaptics vest produces lots of unwanted noise. I wear noise canceling headphones with my 5k XR when using it. For music the Subpac M2 is the better solution.

Yes, I mirror the audio to the Creative BT-W3 USB transmitter (it shows up as a sound device in SteamVR/Windows). It’s definitely worth checking out and works extremely well with games.

Also the Creative transmitter includes a USB-C adapter for normal USB ports if you don’t have one.


Anyone play it in an 8K+. Is it worth the price (missed the cut-off sale price because I did not know about Pimax)or should I wait for it to come on sale? owner of the Rift S but do not like where it is going. Love VOF in the 8K+

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Totally worth it. I played it on my 5K+ for a few hours and it was still stunning.


It’s worth more than the asking price. Once you complete the original storyline there are already many 3rd-party maps available from the in-game menu to continue the party. By far this is the highest quality vr title to date.