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Half-Life 2's UI is getting Steam Deck ready

All decked up.

With the imminent release of the first batch of Steam Decks to the public, Valve has quietly been working behind the scenes to optimise the experience to make gaming on the handheld machine as accessible as possible.

Those optimisations appear to go as far as updating older titles. Valve has released a beta update for Half-Life 2 that gives the game's user interface a facelift.

Spotted by Twitter user gabefollower, the new UI appears a lot more joystick friendly, but also has the added benefit of scaling better on high-resolution displays (seriously, try launching the game on a modern display, the menus are tiny!).

Gabefollower has also helpfully given instructions on how to access the beta if you want to try it out yourself: just enter the properties window for the game on Steam, select "beta updates" in the Beta tab, and add "-gamepadui" under Launch Options.

Half-Life 2 was released in 2004 as the successor to the critically acclaimed 1998 original.

It's rare too see nearly two-decade-old games receiving updates, but then again, it's rare to see Valve releasing games.

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About the Author
Ishraq Subhan avatar

Ishraq Subhan


Ishraq is a freelance games journalist. His first ever console was the PlayStation, where he found his love of games through Ridge Racer. He likes to think he’s really into story-driven games, but spends most of his time on the latest yearly Call of Duty release.

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