The best and cheapest VR headset to buy for Half-Life Alyx

Available now on Steam, Half-Life: Alyx is the long-awaited new entry in the much-loved Half-Life franchise. The first Half-Life: Alyx reviews were unanimous in their adoration of the game, so you could well be tempted to give it a go.

Set between the first and second games in the series, this new entry comes with a hardware-related twist: Alyx is a virtual reality game, so you'll need to invest in a VR headset if you want to get involved.

If you're wondering which headset to go for, it's worth bearing in mind that the developers at Valve have stated overtly on Steam that Half-Life: Alyx only works with these four types of headset: the Valve Index, the HTC Vive, the Oculus Rift and the Windows Mixed Reality headset.

Here's everything you need to know about those options...

Valve Index is probably the best VR headset for Half-Life: Alyx

click to enlarge
+ 2

Given that Half-Life: Alyx and the Valve Index headset are both made by the developers at Valve, it seems like a safe bet to assume you'll get top-notch performance when you use the Index.

This is probably the ideal option for most gamers, but it isn't a cheap one: the Valve Index headset on its own will set you back £459 if you buy it from the Steam store. A bundle including extra kit will be £919... yikes.

The HTC Vive is also at the higher end of the cost spectrum, with pricing starting at £599 on the Vive website. Again, the more adds-on you buy, the more you'll see the spend skyrocketing.

Windows Mixed Reality is the cheapest VR headset for Half-Life: Alyx

click to enlarge
+ 2

Down at the cheaper end of the spectrum, you have some more affordable options that are currently proving harder to find.

The Oculus Rift S Virtual Reality Headset is currently priced at £399.99 on the Argos website, but the stock is currently listed as 'limited' on there.

Even cheaper than that, HP's Windows Mixed Reality Headset is listed on the Microsoft website as costing £379.99, but we can't find a single site online that has stock in the UK at that price. Stock count seems to be an issue here, as well.

Getting involved with Half-Life: Alyx isn't cheap, then, whichever way you look at these options. You might have some luck if you look on eBay for a Windows Mixed Reality headset, or, failing that, you could bite the bullet on an expensive purchase or wait for the cheap ones to come back into stock.

For more articles like this, take a look at our Buying Guides, Gaming, Hardware, and Tech pages.