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You Can Play Over 2,600 Windows Games on Linux Via Steam Play

(Image credit: Steam)


At the end of August, Valve announced a new version of Steam Play for Linux that included Proton, a WINE fork that made many Windows games, including more recent ones ,such as Witcher 3, Dark Souls 3 and Dishonored, playable on Linux. Just two months later, ProtonDB says there are over 2,600 Windows games that users can play on Linux, and the number is rapidly growing daily.

Proton Library Keeps Expanding

When Valve Software launched Steam Play with Proton, it made it easier for gamers to play Windows games that hadn’t yet been ported to Linux with the click of a button.

Not all games may run perfectly on Linux, but that’s also often the case with Windows 10, which can not play older games as well as previous versions of Windows did, even under Compatibility Mode.

In only two months, the database of games that work with Proton has increased to over 2,600—more than half of the 5,000 Linux-native games that can be obtained through the Steam store.

Before long, there should be more Proton-enabled Windows games that can be played through Steam than Linux-native games that have been officially ported to Linux by the original developers.

Valve’s Planning Ahead

Valve Software has been one of the primary companies encouraging game developers to port their Windows PC games not just to macOS, but also to Linux. This objective only increased in priority after Valve saw some warning signs that Microsoft would one day force all software developers to sell their games through the Microsoft app store and not through third-party stores, such as Valve’s Steam store.

We may be a long way off until that happens, if ever. But Microsoft has taken some small steps in that direction in the past few years. Some of these steps include encouraging laptop manufacturers to sell Windows 10 S laptops that only work with Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps, as well as giving users the option (for now) to “secure” their machines by running only UWP apps on their full Windows 10 devices.

At the moment, all of this seems optional, but if many users end up running Windows 10 S or enough third-party developers start distributing their apps and games exclusively through the Microsoft store, the company could find reason to eventually make UWP mandatory for all but enterprise users.

  • kenjitamura
    It's pretty amazing the work being done on these translation layers. A little over a year ago you couldn't get a single DX11 game to work in WINE and now the DirectX 11 to Vulkan implementation, DXVK, can be used to play practically any DirectX 11 title that doesn't use certain DRM software. To top it off it's done with at most a 10-20% performance hit and in some cases results in better picture quality through exposing Vulkan's own SSAO.

    It was revealed earlier this year that DXVK's progress was kicked into overdrive with Valve funding the main developer.
    Reply
  • hannibal
    Yep!
    Much better now... It may even become possible to abandon Windows and move to Linux even if you are PC game player. Stil you have to wait longer for the support and not every game gets it, but better much better than before!
    Reply
  • Peter Martin
    it's a good thing to see. I never thought they would do it.
    Reply
  • djmart666
    Cool but last week i try GTA 5 and it block on Social Club launcher and the game don't start. This is the game i play the most. Apparently Linux still don't want me.
    Reply
  • djmart666
    I must say i try Linux Mint 19, with latest nvidia drivers. I hope this project will continue, it's a lot better than before, but i still need windows for some games.
    Reply
  • ubercake
    If the performance isn't close, I can't see it catching hold. I can't imagine games made for one OS really are going to run great comparatively on another OS. But people like to tinker and that occasionally leads to progress.
    Anyone doing any frame rate / frame time comparisons as a gauge of how effective this works? How's the sound? Does it support G-sync? Freesync?
    Reply
  • R_1
    is there a list of games that will work or is the trial and error of trying every game a game in and of itself?
    Reply
  • kenjitamura
    21442181 said:
    Cool but last week i try GTA 5 and it block on Social Club launcher and the game don't start. This is the game i play the most. Apparently Linux still don't want me.

    That bug seems to occur because the game needs corefonts which is a copyrighted font package that Valve is not allowed to ship. The end user can install corefonts themselves but Valve is unable to ship it with their Proton build.

    It looks like they are looking at implementing a workaround that substitutes open source fonts for the corefonts package: An Open Source Alternative to Corefonts #571,
    Reply
  • kenjitamura
    21442556 said:
    If the performance isn't close, I can't see it catching hold. I can't imagine games made for one OS really are going to run great comparatively on another OS. But people like to tinker and that occasionally leads to progress.
    Anyone doing any frame rate / frame time comparisons as a gauge of how effective this works? How's the sound? Does it support G-sync? Freesync?

    There seems to be a youtube channel with videos showing side by side the performance difference between Wine/DXVK/Proton and Windows 10.

    GTA V
    Battlefield V
    WoW Bfa
    Gsync is supported using the proprietary Nvidia driver and Freesync is supported on the proprietary AMD driver. However, the best performance on AMD cards comes from the opensource driver and the plumbing to support Freesync on the open source driver has yet to be included in the kernel. The kernel will support Freesync use with the open source AMD drivers with the first new kernel release of 2019: AMD FreeSync 2 HDR Coming To The Linux Kernel In 2019
    Reply
  • mitch074
    21442991 said:
    21442181 said:
    Cool but last week i try GTA 5 and it block on Social Club launcher and the game don't start. This is the game i play the most. Apparently Linux still don't want me.

    That bug seems to occur because the game needs corefonts which is a copyrighted font package that Valve is not allowed to ship. The end user can install corefonts themselves but Valve is unable to ship it with their Proton build.

    It looks like they are looking at implementing a workaround that substitutes open source fonts for the corefonts package: An Open Source Alternative to Corefonts #571,

    ... meaning that here, Microsoft doesn't want you to run GTA V on Linux. Who would have known...?
    Reply