The Gaming Scene on Linux - Let's Talk About It!

It’s clear that the gaming scene on Linux as a platform has improved. If I’m not wrong, Google’s Stadia uses Linux as well (which should also help).

However, I just don’t see my favorite games on Linux. (the only reason why I still have Windows installed).

And, some of the games - just don’t work as good as it works on my Windows setup (optimization for instance).

Of course, this isn’t true for “every” game out there. But, for me with a GTX 1050ti, it’s just not a pleasant experience.

I might be missing something. So, I’d like your input to shed some light on the gaming scene on Linux with the following points in mind:

  • What solutions would you recommend like GameHub?
  • Is SteamPlay good enough? Feel free to share your experience with it.
  • What else am I missing that potentially makes (or will make) Linux the preferred platform for gaming?

This software changed a lot. Since this came out, my friend changed entirely to Linux and he plays all the games he wants to play. Some of them run natively on Linux, others are run with Proton which makes them also work on Linux.

SteamOS is another step in the right direction which further opens the door for Game developers having an additional reason to at least make their games Linux compatible.

These are good steps in the right direction, as this is not just some random project, but these are projects by the most used Gaming platform in the world. So there is reason to take playing on Linux into account, when making games.


The main thing keeping me from switching my gaming PC over to Linux is lack of drivers for my racing wheel, pedals and shifter. I am part of a very competitive sim racing league and I need my equipment to work flawlessly. Over the years I’ve been watching and waiting to see if anyone has developed drivers for Linux for sim racing wheels, and still nothing. I would develop them myself, if I had even the slightest idea of how to go about doing so, and had the time to do it, but I don’t. Until then, I’ll have to continue gaming on Windows.


Fair enough. This is a real trouble, I agree.

It has improved for sure. Unfortunately, I don’t see the support for Rainbow Six Siege game on Linux. That’s my favorite one and the upcoming Halo: Masterchief Collection coming to Steam (with no Linux support afaik).

For multiplayer games, the only problem on Linux is that the anti-cheat programs don’t work - so the game does not work either. I’m not sure how it works “technically” - but there’s no solution to it yet.

So, maybe Linux is safe for singleplayer games in general but not multiplayer games.

Indeed. I hope more developers/publishers consider Linux as a major platform too for next-gen games.

The friend I mentioned plays mainly multiplayer games. I think he does not play any singleplayer game at this moment. I play with him regurlarly, him being on Linux, myself on Windows.

My friend always says, you should at least try it out. There are far more games working on Linux, than the list of supported games shows.

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Thanks for the heads up. Interesting to hear that. I’ll dig in for more information.

Also, would be curious to know the games that he regularly plays - I could try them first.

Recently we played Risk of Rain 2. We also played Space Engineers. He also plays Heroes of Umbra. Don’t remember what else he plays, right now.

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I gave up Windows in 2012… switched 100% to Linux, thanks to Steam… first games I got from Steam had native Linux ports :
Serious Sam 3

Then I got hooked when Borderlands 2 released a native version, was disappointed to see some of the visual effects on the Windows version were not available on Linux, but I could live with that…
So - got the Borderlands Pre-Sequel, too, native on Linux (love it - partially developed in Australia, with lots of Aussie voice actors - great to hear Aussie accents in a game!). Unfortunately, no Borderlands 3 on Steam or Linux (I think some people have been able to get it to work via Proton).

There’s been some pretty shonky ports of some games, Cossacks 3 on Linux is abominably unstable - but I don’t run Windows so I’ve no idea what it’s like on that platform… Other GSC RTS games work fine in Wine (e.g. Alexander). I might see if I can force Steam to run the Windows version via Proton instead of the shonky Linux port.

My Steam game library tells me I have 64/177… I’ve no idea what that number 177 means… 64 sounds about right… most of them are native : Brutal Legend (gave up - too hard to play some missions), same for The Witcher 2 (too hard to play - gave up)… Planetary Annihilation… Portal and Portal 2, Bioshock Infintite, Surviving Mars, Shadow Tactics (like the old Commandos, but in Shogun era Japan - and I think Commandos is being “rebooted” with a Linux native version likely), The Talos Principle, Zombie Night Terror, to name a few.

And now with Steamplay via Wine/Proton - a bunch of Windows games work pretty much flawlessly, Wolfenstein The Old Blood, Doom (2014), and my old favourite Age of Empires II HD Edition (this is the game I still play mostly - I don’t think there’s ever been a better RTS IMHO [except maybe Battle Realms], AoE 3 was a piece of cr@p).

My daughter got me a Steam Controller (and a Steam “streaming” doohickey, which runs Linux inside) for Xmas around 2015/16 - but I don’t use it much - works flawlessly in Linux, but I’m too old to use it, just don’t have the co-ordination - I prefer using a keyboard, I’m a lefty, so I have to bind keys other than WASD, usually the cursor/arrow keys - can be a PITA, Steam mostly remembers my key bindings for all my games, but not always…

I saw something recently (probably at ) about getting Logitech wheels working in Linux. I’ve got a Logitech wheel for Playstation (PS2), which I use occasionally on Linux with a PS2 USB game controller adaptor… bought it years ago to play the Windows version of GTA 3 and Colin McCrae Rally…

Most Saturdays I spend the whole day playing AoE2 HD Edition…

Multiplayer works fine on Linux for most games I’ve tried - many of the public servers for many games actually run Linux… Haven’t done for a few years, but sometimes my two daughters and I would play co-op L4D2, me on Linux and hosting the LAN server, them on Windows 7…


If you like that, you should love Dead Island. :laughing:

I remember it having bad reviews on GOG and I think they were related to a bad performance overall.

Definitely one of the best RTS games ever. Though it’s hard to define “best” as a game like Battleforge is a much more complicated and versatile RTS, yet it is not a classic RTS so many AoE fans wouldn’t like it.

I never really knew though what the fuzz back then was about. I thought that AoE3 was pretty similar to its prequel.

And that should be the case out of necessity, because especially when playing games you don’t want unnecessary bloat (I. e. anything Windows related) to hog up unnecessary computer resources. :laughing:

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Okay, so as an update to this thread, I tried a couple of games, it didn’t work out for me:

Rainbow Six Siege
Apex Legends
PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds

Some games that I found to potentially work: Hitman 2, Witcher 3, Borderlands, 1,2.

So, I’d say that the support for newer games is a strong signal.

But, I wouldn’t suggest someone to setup a gaming rig on Linux unless I know the catalog of games they play.

Also, if they have a metered/limited Internet plan - verifying whether the game works/not is kind of a big deal.

Maybe, a list of verified/active/working games through SteamPlay can help.

For that, you can check out ProtonDB - which has a decent amount of data to see whether the game you want to play could run on Linux via SteamPlay or not :slight_smile:


I’ll add to this and mention my detestation for studios like f–king Bethesda!

ALL of ID Software’s legendary games, well most anyway, were developed on UNIX platforms, on NeXT workstations, with UNIX code on the backend - so porting them to BSD/Linux/UNIX was trivial…

I remember doing some after hours weekend IT work at a coal mine in the mid 1990’s and they had a bunch of Silicon Graphics workstations with Doom 2 installed!

Up till the mid 2000’s , we used to get really good rock-solid ports of ID software games to Linux, Doom3, RTC Wolfenstein, Quake 1/2/3 et cetera…

Bethesda? They bought ID software’s “catalog” and abandoned “us”… It seems almost religious their zealous derision for NIX ports of their products! I had high hopes for Rage! - the server version of Rage was pure Linux, a few hackers noted that the localhosting server part of the Windows game had some Linux stuff in it… but no… I don’t know if Bethesda do ports to Apple platforms or not, but OS X is NOT UNIX (even if it is POSIX compliant).

So? A big f–k you to Bethesda!

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Not only that, but the fact that they botched the Fallout series in recent years. I still love Skyrim and have tons of mods installed (running in windows though). Remains to be seen how the next Elder’s Scrolls game will turnout. I’m not hopeful after the mess that is Fallout 76. Glad I didn’t buy that game, lol.


Here’s something I found useful to read to sum up 2019 on Linux gaming:

Feel free to share your thoughts after reading this!^

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I follow that GamingOnLinux page(s) via facebook (i.e. FB notifies when there’s a new article published) - I highly recommend following…

Note : Battle Realms, my 2nd favourite RTS has been rebooted (it’s not a rewrite, its the same code base) and available on Steam - but - here’s a big BUT - it’s Windows only, I bought it ($14.50 AUD “early access”) taking a risk it wouldn’t work in Proton - and - it DOESN’T doh!

IT fires up (launches from Steam client) on my Ubuntu 18.04 AMD Phenom II desktop with NVdiia GTX650Ti, but then blurts out “Steam must be running, click to continue” dialog box against the game “backdrop”, click and it exits… (how do you tell it Steam is ACTUALLY running and I used it to launch the game!).

On my Ubuntu 19.x Intel CPU/GPU laptop, it doesn’t do anything at all… Steam says it’s running but there’s no interface and I can’t find a “likely culprit” running PID.

I could ask for a refund, but I don’t want to, I want it to work! Fingers crossed they sort this out (apparently, will double in price after early access period)… Love that game, but is it worth dual booting Windows? IMHO nothing is worth dual booting Windows :smiley: … I may try and see if it works in VirtualBox or VMware workstation on Windows 7…

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I really like to use an Australian slogan frequently…



Never really thought of that as particularly Australian… e.g. “no way Jose” etc…

Here, where I live, you are known as heroes for that.

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The platform for games is Windows, but have some good titles for Linuxers :innocent:

It’s changing very quickly though. :wink: