Valve releases Proton 9.0 for Linux— improves Nvidia graphics and high core count CPU compatibility

Steam Deck
(Image credit: YouTube - Valve)

Valve has released a major update to its open-source tool which facilitates running Windows games on Linux systems. Proton 9.0 is available now on GitHub, bringing support for a host of games that were only previously only playable using an experimental release. The Proton software, which is derived from the long-running Wine 9.0 project (released in January), has also been tweaked and tuned to be more friendly with Nvidia GPUs and high core count processors.

Considering newly playable titles first, some modern releases like The Finals, Dinogen Online, and The Lord of the Rings: Gollum are now said to be playable on this stable release of Proton 9.0. Some PC classics have also been warmly embraced, most notably several Command & Conquer titles, like Red Alert 2 and Yuri’s Revenge, Tiberian Sun and Firestorm.

Yuri's Revenge

(Image credit: Steam Store)

Sometimes older games don’t like high core count processors and Proton 9.0 fixes this particular wrinkle in some older PC games which are also classics. Proton limits the number of CPU cores seen by the following titles so that they run more smoothly, or without obvious issues: Far Cry 2 and 4; The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Enhanced Edition; Lara Croft and the Guardian of Light; Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, Dawn of War II, Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising, Dawn of War II – Retribution; Outcast - Second Contact; and Prototype. Adding the newly playable titles and high core count fixed titles gives us 25 new games for Linux users to enjoy.

In the intro, we mentioned an improvement for Nvidia GPU users. From Proton 9.0, NVAPI will be enabled by default for most games, says the GitHub page. The upshot is that GeForce users should be able to get more juice out of their hardware with less fuss.

Elsewhere in the release notes, we see a few notable specific fixes coming to players, or would-be players, of games like Microsoft Flight Simulator, Doom Eternal, Brawhalla, Civilization V, Final Fantasy XIV Online, a handful of Unity engine titles, Bayonetta, and Escape from Monkey Island.

Updates to vkd3d-proton, dxvk, and dxvk-nvapi should ensure better DirectX compatibility, and we have support for Steamworks SDK 1.59 for closer integration with Steam's latest features.

If you are keen to get Proton 9.0 on your system, the update should be rolling out now to users of the previous version(s), so you could just wait. Those new to Proton or wishing to give the update process a prod could search for Proton 9.0 in their Steam Library.

Mark Tyson
Freelance News Writer

Mark Tyson is a Freelance News Writer at Tom's Hardware US. He enjoys covering the full breadth of PC tech; from business and semiconductor design to products approaching the edge of reason.