Is there an alternative to Steam? I would like to play Half-Life 2 legally, but I am not willing to install Steam (again). I looked at Steam alternatives, but non of them are offering Half-Life 2. Will it be possible to install and play Half-Life 2 without Steam?

  • 8
    Out of curiosity, what is your objection to Steam? Especially since just about every single alternative I can think of off the top of my head is significantly worse... Commented May 12, 2013 at 7:36
  • 2
    @Shadur I assume he wished to go the DRM-less route, a-la GOG
    – JohnoBoy
    Commented May 12, 2013 at 8:53
  • 4
    Half-Life 2's release was sort of Valve's flagship title for helping to promote Steam in the first place. There was never a non-Steam version for PC.
    – Lemmings19
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 15:32

2 Answers 2


With Half-Life 2 being a game by Valve, and Steam being Valve's distribution platform, Half-Life 2 is only available via Steam. This will probably also be true for all Valve products released in the future.

You can, however, play the Xbox360/PS3 version of Half-Life 2 via The Orange Box, if you have any of these platforms.

  • Thanks for the edit @BlueRaja, early morning mis-types, I guess :P
    – JohnoBoy
    Commented May 12, 2013 at 8:52
  • s/via/with/ ... arm, I mean "is only available with Steam".
    – Bobby
    Commented May 12, 2013 at 11:13

Yes, you can launch Half-Life 2 without Steam (though you still have to download it through Steam, and so you still will need to install Steam to download Half-Life 2).

Navigate to the Half-Life 2 folder and run the following command:

hl2.exe -hushsteam

Congratulations, you have just launched Half-Life 2 DRM-free!

For Mac/Linux, launch with the same argument but with hl2.sh instead.

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