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Half-Life 2: Update Mod – Version 2.0 Released [Updated with a Small Episode One Fix]

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Update: Episode One didn’t have too many bugs and it mostly used HDR, but one of the more annoying things added in the 26th May update was that the vortex effect which was originally more subtle… now looks pretty bad. Filip has fixed this up too, believe it or not. Here’s the YouTube video, and here is the download link.

Way back in April of 2009, a Source modder named Filip Victor announced his plans to do what Valve hadn’t gotten around to doing yet and what people had been asking for since the launch of The Orange Box in October 2007: putting HL2 and Episode One on the Source 2007 engine, or Orange Box engine, if you prefer. The console ports of The Orange Box’s versions of HL2 and Ep1 ran on the Source 2007 engine, and as such they featured full HDR on all maps, a few other graphical additions and achievements.

On the 31st of December 2009, Filip Victor finally released his work under the form of the “Update” mod. While this initial release had a few issues, it did what it was supposed to do: add HDR in all maps, add achievements, and a host of new features. On the 26th of May of this year, Valve released HL2 and the Episodes on the Mac, and people wondered if this would finally be the long-awaited official Orange Box update, and, surprisingly, it was.

The problem is the new engine hadn’t been tested very well, as it was quite unstable. Many people experienced a lot of really weird glitches that hadn’t been in there in 2004, and many wanted the old engine and original game back. There was a lot of whining on the forums, and Sierra Oscar, a SPUF moderator created a bug report thread… and, well, it ain’t very pretty. In addition, not all of the maps had HDR, and the ones that did supposedly did not have full HDR.

Well, the time has come, and exactly one year later, almost to the day, Version 2.0 of the Update mod is out, and not only does it fix all the issues that were introduced – it makes HL2 two times as pretty. Take a look!

Half-Life 2: Update Mod – Version 2.0 Released [Updated with a Small Episode One Fix]

All bugs in the mod and the game itself have been patched up, and the new effects have been tuned and optimized. Instead of being installed as a separate mod, this is applied directly to your installation of HL2. It doesn’t do anything to the core GCF’s, but we advise that you backup your installation of HL2, and then install the mod. We highly recommend that you try this out. It’s pretty amazing – no bugs at all, and some completely new effects. The mod gives HL2 new life, and as some may say, brings HL2  into 2011 with a bang.

Download it here:

Also check out the SPUF thread and the Steam Group: and


  1. Everything worked great except the fact that it changed the language and now I cant turn it back to english…

  2. Hey, just wanted to know if this will corrupt my saved games, because I’m still playing the game and woudn’t like to start it from the beginning

    • I’m not sure if your “vanilla” save games will be compatible with the Update mod, but they shouldn’t be corrupted or affected in any way (and you can always use the chapter select feature in the New Game menu to roughly resume your game). Consider backing your saves up just to be on the safe side.

  3. Hey, I installed this properly as it was rather simple. However as I play I have lots of frame rate issues and my computer well……Can run Future Solider, Crysis 2, Fallout 3, and pretty much anything. So what are the System Requirements? Or am I missing something?

    • Not sure what to tell you. The new effects could be a bit unstable – the new branch of Source that HL2 is using isn’t exactly the most stable tech it’s ever had underneath the hood. But maybe verifying the game cache can straighten something out – give that a quick try.

  4. This mod crashes my game.I don’t if it’s because I bought the PC Orange Box version of Half Life 2 or the mod install instructions ar ewrong.
    They were written in the old days of steam when it was located in your steam folder ,not valve folder.
    Anyone know how to intall it properly?

  5. I did everything but when i run the game it comes an error saying
    The refenrence “0x24” (something like that) make the memory of “0x” (i don’t remember the number) can’t be “read”
    idk i run the game, shows load screen, and crash with an error

  6. Wow that looks awesome! Downloading now.

  7. Here is an anoather small “update” fix for HL2:Episode One

  8. The Update Mod is great, runs smoothly, has more shaders in use than Valve’s update (phong shading etc) and also fixes some stuff like missing trains, broken skyboxes and more.
    Great job Filip!

  9. Oh god, That list of bugs… D:

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