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80 Percent of Steam's Top 100 Games Run 'Nearly Flawlessly' on Linux

ProtonDB Game Compatibility List
(Image credit: Valve - ProtonDB)

Thanks to Valve's ProtonDB compatibility layer, 80% of Steam's top 100 games are now playable within Linux operating systems. The new milestone was achieved today and shows how committed Valve is to get as many games as possible to run on Linux from the Steam library. That's due in no small part to the new Steam Deck running on Valve's own Linux-based SteamOS.

But the accolades don't stop there. If you go to protondb.com you can see that 75% of the top one-thousand most popular Steam games are also playable within Linux. This means there's a good chance most of your favorite Steam titles are probably playable on Linux already, making Linux adoption even easier than before.

ProtonDB was started by Valve several years ago as a new way to get Windows games to automatically work within Linux operating systems by combining several other open-source compatibility tools such as DXVK and Wine together. Its growth was slow at first, but as the years went by and ProtonDB matured, it's now become one of the most popular ways to get Windows games to work in Linux either perfectly or nearly flawlessly.

Valve's largest hurdle now is protonDB's inability to run many of Steam's top ten most popular titles, of which only 40% of the games are currently playable on Linux. This is a big deal, considering the impending launch of the Steam Deck. Many gamers will undoubtedly want to play one or more of the most popular games on Steam, but only three — CSGO, Dota 2, and Team Fortress 2 — rate as green (native) support, with one more (GTAV) getting a gold rating. The other six are "borked," most likely due to DRM issues.

Still, having hundreds of Windows titles playable on Linux is a big milestone. It wasn't too long ago that getting even a handful of Windows games playable within Linux was a big hassle, especially if you had to run it through the Wine compatibility layer. Now, with Valve and ProtonDB, hundreds of games are playable within Linux at the push of a single button, or with very little tweaking required.

Valve continues to work hard to get as many games as possible within the Steam library compatible with Linux. Valve has even said it has a goal of getting the entire Steam library to run on Linux specifically for owners of the Stream Deck. We aren't sure if this is possible, and it will likely depend in a large part on just how popular the Steam Deck ends up being. Success begets success, in other words, but there will be benefits even for those who don't plan on using a Steam Deck.

Aaron Klotz
Freelance News Writer

Aaron Klotz is a freelance writer for Tom’s Hardware US, covering news topics related to computer hardware such as CPUs, and graphics cards.

  • -Fran-
    Well, I don't know if Razer gives Linux support for sure (I'll assume a big fat "no"), so I'm outside of that potential jump as I have an Orbweaver and a Tartarus, which I depend on (pretty much) for all my gaming needs; I moved away from using keyboards a long time ago. Also, does SteamVR work in Linux? What about other peripherals like game pads and specialized mice? I alos have a G27 that has unofficial Linux support, but Logitech hasn't made a Linux driver in ages from what I remember.

    While this is encouraging, I personally can't be excited as I wouldn't be able to move away from Windows given my "gadgets" not being fully supported. I wonder if Valve will up their "peripherals" game. I'd love to get more hardware from them. I have the game pad they cancelled and it's good. The Index has been excellent and they just need to get into the mice and keyboard market :D

    Regards.
    Reply
  • azcn2503
    -Fran- said:
    Well, I don't know if Razer gives Linux support for sure (I'll assume a big fat "no"), so I'm outside of that potential jump as I have an Orbweaver and a Tartarus, which I depend on (pretty much) for all my gaming needs; I moved away from using keyboards a long time ago. Also, does SteamVR work in Linux? What about other peripherals like game pads and specialized mice? I alos have a G27 that has unofficial Linux support, but Logitech hasn't made a Linux driver in ages from what I remember.

    While this is encouraging, I personally can't be excited as I wouldn't be able to move away from Windows given my "gadgets" not being fully supported. I wonder if Valve will up their "peripherals" game. I'd love to get more hardware from them. I have the game pad they cancelled and it's good. The Index has been excellent and they just need to get into the mice and keyboard market :D

    Regards.

    I’m unsure of the Orbweaver or Tartarus, but the Razer mouse I had worked flawlessly under Linux. OpenRazer was pretty good for controlling the RGB settings via a GUI. SteamVR also works under Linux.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    Linux needs all games to be on linux partitions so you can't just use your already downloaded games library.
    Re downloading Tb of games or even just finding enough storage space (and the time) to copy them over is going to keep most people with established libraries away from linux for a good long while.
    Steam deck is good to go since it's going to be a new device so no baggage for them.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    TerryLaze said:
    Linux needs all games to be on linux partitions so you can't just use your already downloaded games library.
    I'm pretty sure you can get around this with symlinks.
    Reply
  • TerryLaze
    hotaru.hino said:
    I'm pretty sure you can get around this with symlinks.
    Unless it's a right click option within steam with 100% everything working correctly it might as well not exists, only linux veterans are going to mess with something like that.
    Reply
  • sizzling
    80% of Steam games. In the last 2 years I have played 3 Steam games and all of those are more than 2 years old. Not actually bought a game on Steam in several years.
    Reply
  • hotaru.hino
    TerryLaze said:
    Unless it's a right click option within steam with 100% everything working correctly it might as well not exists, only linux veterans are going to mess with something like that.
    https://www.howtogeek.com/287014/how-to-create-and-use-symbolic-links-aka-symlinks-on-linux/
    You can do it with the file manager. And alternatively the command line is ln -s
    Reply
  • mitch074
    First : ProtonDB is, as its name implies, a DATABASE of games running on Proton. It's based directly on WineDB and serves the exact same purpose - this is logical, as proton (the name of the project) is a fork of wine - wine itself is more than 20 years old and proton does commit back several of its improvements.
    Second : it's perfectly possible to run games from the Windows install, but many will require reinstalling because registry entries, extra components etc. need to be recovered. However, Steam does include tools to "repair" such an install and not re-download the whole shebang. Worse comes to worst, you can also backup your Windows game install and restore from backup on your Linux install.
    Reply
  • salgado18
    mitch074 said:
    Second : it's perfectly possible to run games from the Windows install, but many will require reinstalling because registry entries, extra components etc. need to be recovered. However, Steam does include tools to "repair" such an install and not re-download the whole shebang. Worse comes to worst, you can also backup your Windows game install and restore from backup on your Linux install.
    I still don't get why you'd need to install a game on Windows and on Linux. If it is installed on Windows where it is native, why run it on Linux? The point of Proton is to allow people to not install Windows in the first place, using Linux as their only system, right?
    Reply
  • DemonicSky
    I'd say that headline is quite misleading or false. First of all it would depend a lot on which distro. I tried Linux Mint a month ago and can straight away say that majority of the games do not run flawlessly at all. DotA2, does run, but it's similar to running in 60hz rather than 144 (input delay, general lag, 2 min to start the game itself and so on).

    In regards to gaming hardware, it's support is virtually nonexistent. OpenRazer at least makes some Razer devices usually, in particular the DPI settings but adjusting the sensitivity in some Linux distro's is just impossible and this is a vital component if you play FPS games as most of us that do tend to have a "set" configuration we run on (Mine's 800 DPI 1.29 sense in CS under a particular resolution and I mimic this on all FPS games)

    And as a reply to Salgado18, I run it on Windows and Linux for the above issue. I've tried Linux several times the past years but it's generally a huge disappointment when it comes to gaming. Granted, it's taking steps forward but it's nowhere close as a replacement for Windows which I'm aiming for. Hopefully it will keep improving .
    Reply