Half-Life: Alyx Spectator Mode Guide -- What Is It and How To Use it

Want to show off the latest entry of Half-Life to your friends? This Half-Life: Alyx Spectator Mode guide will help you show your gameplay to your audience.

March 23, 2020

In just a few more hours, a new Half-Life game will launch for VR. Even if we are quarantined, your loved ones or roommates may be interested in watching you play the latest Valve title. This Half-Life: Alyx Spectator Mode guide will aid you in giving your audience the best viewing experience.

What is the Half-Life: Alyx Spectator Mode?

To put it simply, the Half-Life: Alyx Spectator Mode allows the player to enable a HUD specially crafted for people watching gameplay. Displayed on a secondary monitor, it shows the player’s health, ammo, resin count, and the items they are carrying. This allows the viewer to see some basic information about the player more easily, as some of this information may not be very apparent to spectators. This can be set to small, medium, large, or be turned off entirely.


There is a “Fine Tune Spectator HUD Size” option that allows the player to adjust the size in the developer console. The player can open the console by pressing the tilde key and typing “hlvr_spectator_hud_size 100” which sets it to medium size. Changing the 100 to any number between 50 and 150 will allow the player to really customize the size of the HUD to their liking.

There is also a “Spectator Camera Smoothing” option that will smooth out movement seen on screen. This does only affect the spectator view, so the player won’t see these effects through the headset. This option allows for off, low, medium, or high settings.

The player can also activate “Full In-Camera Smoothing,” however, it will lag the headset’s camera movement. As such, this may cause motion sickness and should be used sparingly. The benefit of using this mode is it much more cinematic, making it a better viewing option for the player’s audience.

Similar to fine-tuning the HUD size, the player has to open the developer console by pressing the tilde key. Once the console is open, type “vr_camera_decay_roll_halflife 0.5,” then “vr_camera_decay_yaw_pitch_halflife 0.09.” If you are wondering what this looks like in action, the gameplay videos Valve has released uses this setting. When you want to disable the setting, type in the same prompts with the value 0 at the end.

Since there are technically two display outputs with VR, the player can also choose which eye is displayed. The recommended setting is to choose the eye that the player aims down.

How to use Spectator Mode

For the basic Half-Life: Alyx Spectator Mode options, all you need to do is go its settings and choose the spectator option. From there, choose Spectator HUD, Spectator Camera Smoothing, and Spectator Eye settings will be adjustable. Using the advanced options are detailed above. You can find a bit more details from the Steam support page.

Half-Life: Alyx is available today for any PC-compatible VR headset.

Michael Ruiz

Michael Ruiz is a Senior Staff Writer at DualShockers. He likes video games. He likes wrestling. He likes beer. He likes music.

Read more of Michael's articles

Got a tip?

Let us know