Steam Update Now Runs Windows-Exclusive Games on Linux

Valve has been doing a lot of good work for the Linux community since its announcement of Steam Play – a way for users to access Windows, Mac, and Linux versions of games with a single purchase in 2010 and over 3000 of the added games have Linux support.

Read Also: 40 Linux Games That You Must Play in 2018

On the 21st of August, Steam announced the beta release of a modified Steam Play with improvements to the project that they started working on 2 years ago.

What is unique about the new Steam Play version is the inclusion of proton, an open-source modified distribution of Wine together with additional libraries that provides Linux compatibility with Windows games.

To quote Valve’s release note, here are the features that Proton brings to its users:

  • Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
  • DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
  • Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
  • Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
  • Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.

It is important to note that the new Steam Play is in beta and is still undergoing heavy testing.

That notwithstanding below is the list of games that valve confirms are enabled in the release:

Steam added that more game titles will be enabled soon and pointed out that whitelisted games will not be up for purchase or marked as supported on Linux during this initial beta period; Users can, however, vote for their favourite games to be considered for Steam Play using platform wishlisting.

Also, gamers are free to try to play non-whitelisted games by using the override switch in the Steam client.

Proton is free to contribute to on GitHub as was stated by Valve in their announcement that reads:

If you’re familiar with building open source projects, you can even make your own local builds of Proton; the Steam client has support for using those to run games in lieu of the built-in version.

Join the discussion in the issue tracker and share your patches and testing results with the rest of the community.

How excited are you about being able to play games that are Windows-only on your Linux distro?

You can read the full announcement from Steam here.

Would you be rocking the latest Windows games on your Linux distro? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Divine Okoi is a cybersecurity postgrad with a passion for the open-source community. With 700+ articles covering different topics in IT, you can always trust him to inform you about the coolest tech.

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1 thought on “Steam Update Now Runs Windows-Exclusive Games on Linux”

  1. I have tried this out and it works great. DOOM (2016) runs like silk, but it’s on the initial list of games that are supposed to work. Just for fun, I tried out several others: Dishonored, Skyrim, Call of Juarez Gunslinger, and Bejeweled 3 (I wanted a mixed bag), and all worked fine. Dishonored required some tweaking of my graphics settings, but everything worked. This really is an amazing achievement and potentially a game-changer (pun intended). One of the chief reasons Windows retains such huge market share is gaming, and as Steam continues to improve Proton, Linux might begin to win over those who have traditionally stayed with Windows because they want to play the most recent game titles. So far, and this is just the beta, Steam has something here that could really impact the appeal of Linux as a viable gaming system.


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