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Here’s how to get Half-Life for free after 25th Anniversary Update

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As the 25th anniversary of Valve’s classic game Half-Life approaches, the company has made a huge update for the game and has made it available for free.

Half-Life, considered to be one of the best PC games of all time, was released on November 19, 1998. It was developed by Valve who is now better known as the company behind the PC game store Steam. With its 25th anniversary nearing, It looks like Valve still isn’t done with the game as the company just released a major update to celebrate the occasion.

The changes should make for a better experience for veterans and newcomers alike. With better looks, greater accessibility, brand-new content, and the return of some old maps, it looks like Valve wants this to be a celebration to remember.

What is in the Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update?

Half-Life Uplink, new multiplayer maps, updated graphics settings, and improved controller support are among the many things Valve has added in the Half-Life 25th Anniversary Update.

One of the biggest changes that have come to the game is the updated graphics settings which help the 1998 game look more polished on modern hardware. Additionally, the user interface was changed to better accommodate large displays.

Aside from just the graphical changes, four brand new maps have also been added to the game alongside three returning levels from Half-Life Further Data. Further Data was a bonus CD released a year after the original game containing extra content. More sprays from Further Data for the multiplayer mode were also added to the game. Furthermore, the demo of the game titled Half-Life Uplink is also playable now and is now bundled with the main game.

Other miscellaneous changes have been added such as controller support and Steam networking support, which will let players join and invite each other to games more easily. The game is also Steam Deck verified now, just in time for the release of the Steam Deck OLED. Half-Life also has old content restored such as the old Valve intro, original main menu artwork, and a bunch of bug fixes and change notes.

How to get Half-Life for free during 25th anniversary event

Half-Life is completely free to claim on the Steam store until November 20 as part of the 25th Anniversary Update. Simply go to the game’s store page on Steam and add it to your library.

The 1998 classic can be added to players’ accounts by going to its store page, from where it can be claimed. Once the sale is over, the Valve title will go back to costing its normal $9.99 so players will have to act fast to get the game. 

Although Valve now considers the new version the definitive version of the game, some players might still want to go back to the original. Fortunately, Valve offers a way for players to play the classic version of the game too.

To go back to the original version of Half-Life, players will have to select a beta branch for the game that will be titled steam_legac. The beta branch can be selected by right-clicking the game on the Steam library, opening properties, and going to the “Betas” tab.

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Written by Hannan Mundia

Hannan Mundia has been playing video games since he was just three years old. He loves everything about gaming, from RPGs to first-person shooters. He has sunk countless hours into Bethesda's popular RPGs, but his favorite game remains Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.

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