You Can Use Physical Objects Like Shields
Every physical object in Half-Life: Alyx that can be picked up is a shield between you and potential doom. Whether you’re fighting off a swarm of headcrabs or evading gunfire, putting something like a trashcan or even an office chair between yourself and your opponent can mean the difference between life or death.
A Grub Is Placed Next to (Almost) Every Medical Station
If you find an empty medical station, don’t worry! There’s almost always a grub nearby, except for one of the very last health stations you find around the end of the game before the final series of showdowns leading to the finale, spoiler alert. Simply go poking through nearby drawers and you’ll find a new grub in no time. Also, don’t use up a wrist slot to carry a grub with you! You’ll never find one far away from the next medical station.
You Can Teleport, Even With Continuous Movement Toggled
No matter which movement option you select in the Options menu, you can still teleport around Half-Life: Alyx whenever you like. The best movement scheme to quickly change movement styles between ‘smooth movement’ and teleportation is with either the ‘Continuous’, or ‘Continuous Hand’ movement options.
If You Can Physically Pick It Up, You Can Take It With You
If you don’t have any room in your wrist pouches for a syringe or a grenade, or if you want to move an oil canister with you to the next section of a level, don’t fear. If you can hold it in a free hand, you can take it with you to the next area or place it strategically for the next battle. You can even physically carry items with you through loading screens.
This principle is also used in solving certain puzzles found throughout Half-Life: Alyx, where physical objects like wheels act as key items to get through the next door.
You can also apply this principle to boxes and crates. If you can put something inside of a box, you can use the box to carry it around as you would with real items in a real box in the real world. This is great for storing tons of grenades or syringes and bringing them with you through a level.
Ammo And Resin Are Hidden Everywhere
Half-Life: Alyx is cleverly dotted with tons of hidden nooks and crannies. There’s even a reason to kill most enemies you find, as many of them will drop valuable ammo and resin pickups. If you think you’ve seen everything in a level, check again, and make sure to look at the same area from multiple angles. You never know where useful items could be hiding.
There Are a Boatload of Options to Customize
If you haven’t swung by the Options menu, make sure to do that! You can change everything from what type of movement you prefer, to whether or not barnacles physically lift you up when you’re caught in their tendrils, to what type of spectator camera you’d like to show off your sweet VR moves with. There are also a ton of accessibility options, including a one-handed mode.
Don’t Fire That Last Round!
As long as one bullet is chambered in your gun, you can simply throw a new clip into it and keep firing without needing to pull the slide again. This is true of each gun in the game, and it’s a super convenient little trick that makes playing Half-Life: Alyx a total treat.
The Shotgun Can Hold Up to Seven Shells
It isn’t super clear at first, but you can load up to seven shells into the shotgun at once. Between battles, you should make sure that your shotgun is fully loaded, then unleash it once you find yourself stuck in a tight corner.
Headwear Mitigates Barnacle Damage
You can grab helmets and masks and throw them onto your head and face, creating a barrier of protection between you and a barnacle’s tendrils. If you’re wearing a helmet, the barnacle will scoop that up instead of your head. Likewise, the same will happen if you’re wearing a face mask or a respirator. Putting on both makes you twice as protected from accidentally walking into a barnacle’s reach.