Here’s how to solve the myriad of different VR puzzles in Valve’s latest.
Many of the puzzles in Half-Life: Alyx require your multi-tool. Since some puzzles can unlock things like the Combine Fabricator and can be attempted over and over again, there’s plenty of reason to stop and complete them. Let’s go over each puzzle type and how you should go about solving them. Some tend to be randomized so keep that in mind if you’re looking for 1:1 solutions.
Let’s start off with rewiring. Many times you’ll find that something requires power. The easiest way to fix this is to find an electrical source – be it a button or panel – and bring your multi-tool over it. You’ll see the wires glow – follow the glowing with your multi-tool. Eventually you’ll come across certain intersections which need to be rotated to reconnect the power flow. Do this by pressing Trigger on the multi-tool. Keep following the path for additional intersections and eventually, power should be restored.
Next up are puzzles that require matching different shapes. You do this by moving a glowing sphere around. It’s pretty easy once you get the hang of it. Sometimes the orb has to be shifted to allow certain markers to connect but that’s pretty much it.
Laser webs will likely be an annoyance for some players. Essentially, it involves grabbing some white orbs with the multi-tool and moving them around till you can align the red laser with the red orbs (the laser will turn blue when this happen). You need to make sure that the laser is passing through each red orb to complete the puzzle.
A variation of this puzzle is having a laser align with a red orb after it passes through some tubes. The tubes are essentially part of this giant sphere. You have to rotate the sphere in such a way that the laser moves through the entry tube and passes through the exit tube. You’ll need to carefully manipulate the sphere to accomplish this.
Disarming trip-mines is nothing new for Half-Life players but instead of shooting or throwing objects to detonate them, you can actually disarm the explosive. Get close enough to a laser trip-mine with your multi-tool – you’ll essentially have to guide an orb through some hoops while avoiding red particles. Failing this won’t detonate the trip-mine but make sure that you don’t accidentally nudge the laser with your arm or anything.
Finally, there’s a strange puzzle that involves grabbing a key and guiding them to other similar keys while avoiding these red particles moving about. Your multi-tool will move the keys while your free hand rotates the sphere that the entire puzzle is encased in. If you move the multi-tool away from a key, then any red particles that are passing by won’t trip it.
While the puzzle itself is straightforward enough, you need to be careful not to touch the red particles or the trails they’ll leave behind (which comes up in later variations). This will cause you to restart the whole thing. Carefully move the keys and remove your multi-tool as necessary to complete the puzzle.
How to Solve the Quarantine Zone’s Button Puzzle
Of course, we can’t mention puzzles without talking about the one that comes up in the beginning of Chapter 2: The Quarantine Zone. You’ll come across a box with four rows of four buttons each. Pressing the correct set of buttons allows you to advance forward – you just need to figure out the correct combination.
If you look around, you’ll see some artwork on the walls along with solutions to the box. To find the correct one, look for a cage with cardboard in it. There was cardboard floating about earlier – open the cage and this cardboard will also float. However, it will eventually form a mysterious shape.
Look for a ramp near the cage and stand on it. You’ll see that the cardboard has formed an eye. Look through the eye and you’ll find the solution – the third button in the top row and the second button in the bottom row. Go back to the box, press those buttons and voila.