Poll Question 351 – Would you ever play Half-Life games on your mobile or tablet?

30th June 2016

Now that Steam is available on mobile Windows devices I started thinking about all the Half-Life games I had seen on Android, which lead me onto whether I would actually want to play Half-Life games on my mobile (I can’t, I have an iPhone – at least I don’t THINK I can) or a tablet (I can’t, I’m sure this time because I don’t have a tablet! Ha – gotcha.).

I know that desktop usage among non-business users is dropping significantly and mobile and tablet is soaring but there are some things better done on Desktops. I’m not suggesting that games HAVE to be better on desktops but some games work better there, just like some films HAVE to be seen in the cinema to really appreciate them. I’m sure you get what I mean.

The future could easily be VR goggles wirelessly connected to your mobile/tablet – who knows?

I don’t want you to think I am some old fuddy-duddy, I have played games on my mobile but only a couple. Mostly Dumb Ways to Die

I’d love to hear your thoughts on mobile gaming in general and specifically to FPS games like Half-Life.

Time to Vote

Would you ever play Half-Life games on your mobile or tablet?

  • No, I'm not into mobile gaming. (39%, 34 Votes)
  • Maybe, but it would depend on... (34%, 30 Votes)
  • Yes, I do now!! (13%, 11 Votes)
  • Yes, I would. (14%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 87

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  1. I actually have Xash3D on my Android phone, with some mods installed. It’s really impressive seeing HL run on a freaking phone, however the controls are really clunky. Especially with the Xen platforming sections. But overall, it’s mostly really fun, which I didn’t expect.

  2. That depends – are we saying we have to use touch controls? Because if that’s the case, then no. I just can’t play that.

    On the other hand, if we’re counting game controllers or other peripherals, sure, it actually works fine. I had a Windows 8.1 tablet that ran Half-Life 2 without problems. Unfortunately, because it had such lousy build quality, the stupid thing quit working in just over a year (thanks, Asus). Nvidia’s Shield lineup boasts official ports of HL2 and Ep1 as well. The hardware is mature enough to run it – it’s the controls that are the obstacle.

    Windows tablets running Steam are a wonderful idea in theory. Unfortunately, the current Microsoft will never realize its potential because they are too busy trying to convince everyone that they are Apple, believing they can command the same obnoxiously high prices on their hardware. Not only is the Surface Pro exorbitantly priced, but they don’t even throw in the keyboard cover or, in some cases, the stylus. It’s ridiculous. You ever try to use Windows purely with touch? It’s awful. For that price, you’re better off with a desktop PC or a massively better equipped laptop.

  3. I don’t have a lot of experience with mobile gaming, especially FPS games. I don’t know how well it would work with a game like Half-Life. I have played a couple of decent shooters on handheld devices, like the Mass Effect spin off on an android tablet and Metroid Prime Hunters on the Nintendo DS, if that counts. In both of those cases, the controls were designed from the ground up to fit their respective devices and they worked very well. So I don’t think a simple port would be fun for me, (I still have to try it for sure) but a mod made specifically for tablets with its own control scheme might be really cool.

    If I had a tablet and was interested in using it for games, I would try it out. Especially if it had a very innovative control scheme based on the device or controller.

  4. shark

    Yep sure would give it a go. I played Tomb Raider on my iPad – ok cheesy compared to HL – but still a great game for atmosphere. Took some getting used to the controls but it played great and was a welcome distraction on long flights.

  5. I’m into my mobile games, but mainly for Building/RPG genre, such as Fallout Shelter. Touchscreen controls are far too fiddly for an FPS

    A laptop is about as mobile as I’ll go with Half Life.

  6. Bill

    No. Mouse & WSAD are my preferred controls.

    1. Are you sure? You don’t sound very certain.

      1. Try playing something as STALKER on mobile, doh, even without the complicated keybinds and a simplified inventory system:


  7. I would absolutely adore it, and imagine in the near future we will have half-life 2 on it also!
    Of course I would use computer to play it most of the time, that wont change. But during slow or boring situations I would always play it on my phone, or whatever I have that can run it.

  8. I have Half-Life 2 on my phones and tablet.. but I would never play it on a phone or tablet.. the same I would never play any FPS Game on a phone or tablet.

    The reason is that on screen buttons are no where near responsive enough to be able to play properly.. and I’m old and I need tactile buttons.

    I’m sure most people feel the same way – hence the major lack of FPS games on mobile devices.

    Of course you can buy a Shield or controller for a tablet etc.. but those are accessories and if you’re going to spend the money turning a tablet into a console or “laptop” then you’re just better off buying a laptop and playing on that.

    And the final reason… Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are over rated games.. they borderline suck and they will never be popular. I would never waste my time playing those.

    Go play some real games!

    1. And the final reason… Half-Life and Half-Life 2 are over rated games.. they borderline suck and they will never be popular. I would never waste my time playing those.

      What are you even doing here?

      GET OUT


  9. OJJ

    No touchscreen controls please, i’d play it if it was say on a PSVita or something similar though

  10. This reminds me that I wanted ro port HL to the GameCube and Wii years ago ^^

  11. I did have Xash3D on my phone, and while it’s cool to do the Resonance Cascade in the middle of campus, it does slightly feel like i’m a crippled old man walking around in circles and struggling at doing the simplest of crouch-jumping.

    Combat is a bit frustrating, with me pretty much camping with autoaim on and on the “Easy” difficulty, but overall it’s a small price to pay.

    Having mods is just cherry on top, playing stuff like “DAVSub” or “Edge of Darkness” on it is just wonderful. Though for now it seems that Xash doesn’t yet support mods with custom dlls, or maybe i’m just installing it wrong or something.

    I guess it could be done better if Valve made a spinoff with mobile controls set from the get go, like what SE did with their Hitman and TR mobile games.

    1. Does that mean I’m able to play my 5000 HL mods on the phone? Excellent, but they’d take half of my SD Card.

      EDIT: Actually, I don’t think mods packed in setups (.exe) would work, so cut it down to 2700.

      1. Wait, don’t .exe’s pretty much do the same thing?
        Extracting the necessary mod folder?

        You can install the mod, and then copy the mod folder to xash’s folders.

        1. Some setups may not detect Half-Life on your computer, I had that happen to me several times when using the WON version. That or…

          I honestly don’t see why this wouldn’t work, but my instinct tells me otherwise. I’ve never even tried to run an .exe file on mobile, only APK’s. xD

          1. I rarely find automatic mod installer quitting immediately if you don’t have a Steam HL installation, they just usually asks you stuff and install anyway.

            Anyway, i don’t mean by using the .exe on the phone.

            I meant installing the .exe on the computer, and then copying the installed mod folder to the xash mods folder.

  12. Half-Life on mobile would be a fun thing to try, but I don’t think people should rely on it too much.

    Since I haven’t been up to date on Xash3D I’m surprised to hear that somebody has been actually able to port Half-Life.

  13. Although I will not deny the necessary use of mobile devices in this day in age, but whenever I am away from the desktop, I really prefer not to be playing a game or “surfing” online. As others have stated, the controls on mobile devices are not really meant for the level of control needed in first-person shooters. Lastly, apart from virtual keyboards, I find touch screens irritating to use due to the fact that you have to block the screen somewhat in order to interact with it.

  14. First-person shooters don’t really translate well to touch controls in general and I’m not a big fan of carrying around phone peripherals. That said, I have always wanted to play Half-Life on the go, and used to dream of a Nintendo DS or Nintendo 3DS port of Half-Life 1, just because the stylus touch controls there just might work.

    So, I guess it depends on the controls more than principle. I suppose the NVidia Shield would be an option, but I doubt Half-Life 2 would play as well there as on PC.

  15. I have both HL & HL2 running on my old Nexus 5 thanks to the help of someone (took ages to get HL2 working but it works!)

    I never really though about touchscreen controls though as my natural instinct was to go “Well I can’t plug in a KB & mouse so I’ll use a controller”
    Playing the titles with the aid of a Bluetooth controller has been quite an enjoyable experience, I had to get used to using a controller for them but it’s nice just to chill out on my break at work and play a few maps.

    Problem is, if you were going to officially support the titles on a mobile device, using a controller would probably be the best way to play it BUT not everyone will own a Bluetooth controller, so then you’re limiting the audience.

    Then again, if you had an official release, I don’t think buying a cheap Bluetooth controller would stop the masses who want more Half-Life goodness in their lives.

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