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Half-Life: Alyx - Tweaking the Gravity Gloves for Sideways Motion

Written by flarn2006   /   Mar 28, 2020    


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The gravity gloves are awesome, but one thing that always bugged me is that a clear movement to the side still brought the object right to my hand. It would be cool to be able to toss things to the side as well as bringing them to my hand. Luckily, a bunch of the parameters for the gloves are exposed as console variables, which can be tweaked to your liking. Here's how you can enable sideways movement.

How to Enable Sideways Movement



Basic Instructions



First, open the HL:A installation directory. To do this, right-click the game in your Steam library, go to "Manage" and click "Browse local files". A folder window will open.

Open the "game" folder, then "hlvr", then "cfg". Do not open any other folders unless you're okay with knowing in advance (or you already know) the names of all the maps in the game.

Open Notepad, and paste in the following text:

vr_hand_pull_acceleration_max 100
vr_hand_pull_angle_far 45
vr_hand_pull_angle_near 90
vr_hand_pull_angle_far_distance 300
vr_hand_pull_angle_near_distance 100

Save the document in that "cfg" folder, and call it "free_pull.cfg". Make sure you DO include the quotes when typing in the name.

Right-click the game in Steam once more, and click Properties. Click "Set Launch Options...", and type:

  • +exec free_pull.cfg -novid

The "-novid" part is optional and has nothing to do with the gravity gloves; it will make the game skip the Valve logo. Leave it off if you don't want this.

Click OK, launch the game, and try it out. If you jerk your hand to the side instead of toward you, it should pull things sideways instead. This will have less of an effect with objects that are farther away. I think this is a pretty nice quality-of-life change. If you don't like it and want to go back to the default settings, just remove the "+exec free_pull.cfg" from the launch options.

Tweaking the Parameters



Here's what the values in the file mean, in case you want to adjust it more to your liking:

  • vr_hand_pull_acceleration_max: When you grab an object, it applies a force to it to make it move to your hand. The higher this value, the stronger this force is. The default is 500; I've found setting it to 100 works well.
  • vr_hand_pull_angle_far: 0-90, in degrees. You may have noticed it already applied a bit of force in the direction you moved your hand. This sets the maximum angle at which this can happen for distant objects. 0 means it will ignore the direction and always act as if you pulled it toward you; 90 means it can go up to 90 degrees to the side. I have it set to 45, as for farther objects it's more likely I want to move it toward me.
  • vr_hand_pull_angle_near: Same as above, except this is for nearby objects. I have this set to 90, of course.
  • vr_hand_pull_angle_far_distance: The distance at which objects should be considered far away for purposes of the above variables.
  • vr_hand_pull_angle_near_distance: Similar to above, the distance for nearby objects. I'm pretty sure that objects between this and the far distance have the angle set to a value proportionally in between.

If you want to experiment, add the following to the launch options:

  • -console -vconsole

Then press ~ on your keyboard while in-game. You can type in the names of these parameters and their values, exactly the same as in the lines in the config file, and see the results without having to restart the game. You can also type:

  • vr_hand_pull_acceleration_debug 1

in the console, and it will show you visually how it calculates the trajectory. Keep in mind there may be some minor spoilers in the autocomplete popup.



Written by flarn2006.