Half-Life: Alyx Crashes, Black Screen, Low FPS, Freezes, Controls Not Working, No Audio

After sixteen years of waiting, we finally get a new Half-Life game. While the game is for VR platform only, it has its fair share of errors and bugs. Players have reported errors such as Half-Life: Alyx crashes, black screen, low fps, and stutters, etc. If you’re one of the victims to these issues then this article is for you.

Half-Life: Alyx Crashes, Freezes, and Fixes

We will be listing down possible fixes and troubleshooting guides to some of the common errors in this game so players can experience the true beauty of it.

Half-Life: Alyx installation freezes
While this is the first step to any video game, players have reported installation hang issues in Half-Life: Alyx. This may be an issue with the disk space. Firstly check to see if you have enough disk space availability.

The game requires a total of 67.3GB of free space. While that is the exact number it is always better to have additional space as it is a general rule for installation of applications. Otherwise, the game installation will freeze and not proceed further due to a lack of space.

Another issue can be your antivirus program (mainly Windows Defender). Sometimes newer game files are not recognizable on your antivirus program. Due to this it detects them as a threat and removes them from your system which can result in installation hangs too. You can avoid this by turning off your antivirus software before starting with the installation process.

Game not starting error
This is quite a common error with most games. This can be the cause of improper installation. If any errors popped up during the installation then it is always recommended to cancel the installation and reinstall it.

If it still manages to install after showing error codes then delete or uninstall the game and perform a fresh install again. This again can also be due to the antivirus removing game files because of not being familiar with them. Disabling the antivirus may prove as a fix.

Another Half-Life: Alyx fix recommendation is to run the game as an administrator using compatibility mode with different versions of  Windows. Lastly, HDD space can also be an issue. Make sure there is more space than the actual size of the game present in order for all files to fit.

Game crashes
There are many reports stating Half-Life: Alyx crashes. Players should look out for CPU and RAM usage. You can do that by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. This helps to keep an eye out for some processes that consume too much CPU usage or Memory. You can turn these off by right-clicking on them and choosing ‘end task’ to kill the process.

Sometimes leaving Google Chrome open can also affect the game as the browser is known for hogging a lot of RAM so it is advised to close Chrome in the background. For reported game crashes, check your PC specifications and see if they meet the system requirements.

If you are using MSI Afterburner to manage GPU temperatures then make sure you have the on-screen overlay feature turned off. This feature of this software does affect many games with problems like not letting the game go above 30fps or simply crashing it randomly.

Lastly, try to verify the file integrity on steam in order to avoid crashes. Sometimes the game may have issues with the download and misses or corrupt files in the downloading process due to connectivity or slow internet. Doing so re-downloads the files that contained errors or did not download at all.

Low FPS, Freezes and Stutter Lag
Half-Life: Alyx is a VR game hence many things can affect the performance of the game resulting in crashes, fps drops or stutter lag. Before the installation of the game, make sure your graphics drivers are up to date. You can do that by updating through your graphics card’s software (Nvidia GeForce Experience or AMD Adrenalin).

If updating directly does not work then download DDU (Display Drivers Uninstall) software and boot your system to safe mode. After doing so manually uninstall your drivers through DDU. Then download fresh drivers again and do a fresh install of the new drivers directly.

This method removes all traces of older drivers that may interfere with the new update files. Doing a GPU driver update can drastically improve performance.

Your PC might be short on RAM or video card memory as the game does require 12GB of ram and a GPU with 6GB VRAM. Other fixes include playing around with the graphics settings. Try turning off anti-aliasing and lower other settings. Many of the graphics setting options consume a lot of resources and switching them off can be a wise option. This may boost performance and increase the FPS rate while not affecting the quality of the picture massively.

Controls not working
Always check your devices in the windows settings to see if they are detected and functioning properly before running the executable file. After running the game if the controls still don’t seem to work then this may be due to the simultaneous connections of other input devices.

As VR already consists of many devices, disconnecting a spare gamepad can fix this problem. If you also have more than 2 keyboards or mouse connected, it is advised to only stick to one of both devices when playing this game.

Black Screen Error
This is one of the most common issues in the new Half-Life: Alyx game. This issue may have more to do with your GPU. Make sure that your graphic card meets the lowest requirement at least. The game’s system requirements mention an Nvidia GTX 1060 6gb or an AMD RX 580 8gb. Again recheck if your graphics drivers are up to date.

If your system meets the system requirements but still faces this issue, try to shift to a different window and then return to the game screen by pressing ALT+TAB.

Another fix that may also work is pressing ALT+ENTER which changes the game to windowed mode. You can switch back to the full screen by performing the key command again.

No sound issue
If you face this error, firstly check other applications to see if the sound is detectable on them. Then also check if the sound is turned off in the game audio settings. Make sure you also check if the correct audio playback device is selected in your sound control panel.

After this, try checking the volume in the volume mixer on the bottom right corner of your taskbar. If you are using an external sound card, try and check if the drivers need an update on the manufacturer’s website.

Veteran Gamer, Trophy Hunter, And a Youtuber.