75% of Steam's Top 1000 games work on Linux now

Martin Brinkmann
Dec 21, 2021
Linux
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22

Valve Software, the company behind the popular Steam gaming platform and smash hits such as Dota 2, Half-Life and Team Fortress, announced plans in 2018 to improve Windows game support for Linux.

steam play launch

Steam Play, a feature that Valve Software launched in 2010 to allow cross-platform game play on Steam, would be used to improve support. Originally launched as a way for gamers to play their games on all platforms without having to purchase games for each platform, Valve Software included a modified version of Wine, called Proton, in Steam Play.

Proton improved compatibility and Linux users on Steam had access to more games using the new feature.

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Mike published a guide in 2020 in which he described how Linux gamers could play AAA games designed for Windows on their Linux machines using Proton.

The independent database protondb keeps track of compatibility using user reports. Compatibility has improved significantly in recent years. The site highlights compatibility for the top 10, top 100 and top 1000 games on Steam.

protondb steam games linux

75% of the top 1000 games run on Linux now, and the figure is even higher, at 80%, for the top 100 games. Only the top 10 games are not well represented, as only 40% of them run on Linux without major issues according to the database.

Users have submitted more than 150,000 reports for over 21,000 games to the site. Of these 21,000 games, more than 17,600 are working according to the site.

Games on the database are ranked using a medal system. Platinum and Gold rated games run perfectly, and silver games may have minor issues. Bronze games may crash or have serious issues.

Borked games won't work at all or are unplayable, and native Linux games are just the opposite of that.

Protondb has a search feature that Linux gamers may use to find out if games that they are interested in work well on Linux. All games that match the search term are returned, which means that you can search for entire series of games, e.g. King's Bounty, Final Fantasy or Civilization, and get all reported games and their compatibility rating returned.

protondb steam

Compatibility is improving, and while there are still games that won't run on Linux, it is clear that compatibility has improved significantly in the past couple of years.

Now You: do you play games? If so, on which platforms? (via Neowin)

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75% of Steam's Top 1000 games work on Linux now
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75% of Steam's Top 1000 games work on Linux now
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75% of the top 1000 games of Valve Software's Steam Platform run well on Linux as of December 2021.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Dumbledalf said on December 21, 2021 at 10:15 am
    Reply

    Working and working properly are two different things. I’m all for gaming on Linux, but even now it has at least 10+ years to go before it’s worth it.

    1. Anonymous said on December 21, 2021 at 7:38 pm
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      Hmm, no it won’t get 10 years because now a company like Valve is pushing publishers for linux compatible anti-cheats because of Steam Deck.
      Without the pushing of a big company yes it would take that much time.
      Combining that with Google’s push too, it won’t take that much. Google will push too because Steam is coming to ChromeOS in Q1 2022 in collaboration with Valve (Borealis system).

      1. Dumbledalf said on December 21, 2021 at 10:20 pm
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        @Anonymous,

        I like Linux, but you can keep dreaming on.

      2. Anonymous said on December 21, 2021 at 10:44 pm
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        @Dumbledalf,
        It doesn’t matter if you like Linux, or if I like Linux, it is what it is. You will have to find other “excuses” for keeping using Windows, it won’t be games. You will have to rely only on the Adobe card lol.

      3. Rico said on December 22, 2021 at 1:57 pm
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        You’re right and as long as clients (us) don’t push companies to make all software compatible with Linux and Mac, then most won’t be able to choose different devices / OS and will be stuck with Microsoft.

        Since a lot of time ago when I used Adobe products and saw that hardware acceleration, code optimization, stability and multi os compatibility was a myth, I left Adobe (and a lot of people did with Apple or 3rd party alternatives).

        If people go ahead with such products as Steam Deck / SteamOS, games will be at least available on Linux; I hope that Apple also sticks money and pressure on developers to increase mac compatibility.

      4. Anonymous said on December 23, 2021 at 9:10 am
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        > You will have to find other “excuses” for keeping using Window

        The most hilarious thing is that this dude is dead serious, lol

      5. Sloane Williams said on March 20, 2022 at 4:08 am
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        Haven’t you heard that you need to sign in to use Windows 11 now? kek

    2. chakkerz said on December 22, 2021 at 6:58 am
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      i dunno … i am playing MS Flight Sim, Sekiro, Total War: Warhammer 2, Jedi Fallen Order, Guilty Gear Strive, Homeworld … just fine, without issue. … MS Flight Sim needed a launch argument, and Guilty Gear a newer version of proton (literally download a tarball and decompress in the right directory).

      Bought No Man’s Sky earlier today, started up without any tweaking. Sekiro no tweaking. Dark Souls 2 and 3 … no issue … (Dark Souls 2 does not work on an external TV … not sure if that’s a linux issue though).

      So far, mostly everything just works. Quake (the new release) had some issue when first released with movies it played. Jedi Knight runs a bit poorly … but i think that’s my PC cause it didn’t run great in Windows 10. Not saying NO tweaking required, Civ 6 had issues, Crusader Kings 3 too … but mostly it’s one setting and you’re off. Space Marine doesn’t run cause of DRM, but again … mostly everything just works, some thing need tweaks that are on protondb … I don’t have windows on my main computer anymore…

    3. Adrian said on December 22, 2021 at 3:37 pm
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      My experience with Linux and GPU performance has Linux winning out by a significant margin over windows in performance. It’s not trivial to build unreal engine under Linux, but it works just fine and performance is exceptional.

      As a side note, I look after a machine containing 8x Quadro RTX8000 cards connected via quadrosync cards for a projection system. This configuration cannot be used under windows, but works perfectly under Linux.

      My only reason for keeping windows around is for parametric CAD tools that just aren’t available for Linux.

  2. Akina said on December 21, 2021 at 1:27 pm
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    The main reason of popular multiplayer games not working is anti-cheat services.

  3. Moebius said on December 21, 2021 at 6:24 pm
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    I’m more and more tempted to make a full switch to Linux. I only keep Windoze on my gaming PC while the rest of my devices I’ve happily ran Linux for years. I’m waiting to see how the compatibility is once the Steam Deck hits, if I’m happy with that I’ll finally be able to rid myself of M$ forever!

    1. Dumbledalf said on December 21, 2021 at 10:24 pm
      Reply

      I did a full switch a few weeks ago only a few hours later to go back to Windows. Half my games just don’t work and the performance was bad with windows stuttering when being dragged and whatnot.

      Vanilla WoW that run with like 200-300 FPS on Windows, ran with about 30-40 FPS on Linux. I don’t know if it was because of the nVidia drivers, but I just didn’t have the patience to bother with that when Windows just works. I’m not a fan of Windows, I’m just saying it works and I will never pay for it and still have an activated Pro version of it. Microsoft can suck it for all I care. Despite all the pushes in Windows 11 to make it next to impossible for people to set their preferred Default Apps, Windows 11 still “just works” fine.

      1. ShortCircuit said on December 25, 2021 at 10:07 pm
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        If you’re having performance issues with Windows games running on Linux, then there is something wrong with your hardware. Same computer, same game, I get anywhere between 10% and 200% boost in FPS. The Linux libraries are so good, elite gamers have started using them on Windows for the performance boost. So the old argument that having a translation layer drops performance is now done and gone. The last major issue to be addressed has been anti-cheat, but now Epic and Battleeye now provide support for titles to run under Proton.

        So, if you like gaming on Windows, keep doing so, but Linux is now not only a viable alternative for those that want to game on it, but in some cases, actually performs better. And for you Windows gamers that have to reboot your machines twice a day to keep stable, my Linux gaming box has an uptime of over 6 month, since the last time I turned it off to blow the dust out of the case.

  4. Happy said on December 21, 2021 at 7:41 pm
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    Imagine believing the marketing Steam is putting to say 75% of games already work in Linux lol
    Do they even work good?
    I always wondered why people are such weirdos trying to pretend they will be better if they switch from windows to something else but they have to do a lot of crap to “switch”.

    I am not even talking about games here, I mean, have you seen how many programs, professional ones work only for Windows and MacOS? too many, and yes, there are the alternatives for Linux and you can use wine and a bunch of dumb workarounds, but it is more the job you have to make to “switch” than what it is worth.

    People who only keep “windoze” (that’s how small their brain is) for only gaming… probably don’t do anything professional or important in their computers. I mean, look at photography, all professional programs are Windows and MacOS only, 3D? well, the biggest and best sculpting software is Windows and MacOS only, 3dsmax and their big Archviz industry is Windows only, then Vector illustration 2D drawing programs are mostly Windows and MacOS, Adobe and most profesional video editing software is Windows and MacOS only, which means plugins and all that for vfx like Red Giant are not for linux, the only video editing with vfx that is available on linux is Davinci Resolve.
    Then we have music? from all the big name DAWs, the only ones available for linux are Reaper and Bitwig.

    You want me to go on? and see how people who pretend they are so “tech” and cool, don’t do crap with their computers? they either force themselves to use non-professional software that will not get them any real job, or lower quality software like happens when software are usually open source and etc etc, like videoediting, you either pay for a good software, use the free version of the closed source one because the open source is bad, same with illustration apps or photography.
    If you want to make money, you can’t just go with any tool and force yourself to use something that will not help you.

    So if people want to switch, congratulations, it doesn’t mean realistically if they really used windows as it is meant to be, to launch freaking programs while not being tied to buy expensive hardware (like with Apple), then maybe they would be happier, they would make more money and they wouldn’t be like “oh I can go linux because I only use windows for gaming”.

    The reason Linux has such low marketplace is not because people don’t want to switch to it, it is that switching to it is not worth it and less and less every year. Yeah, there are few benefits like some 3D software will have more memory available on Linux, but realistically, it won’t change anything for most people who really use their computer and don’t look at task manager to complain about how you could work 1 second faster on linux but then you have to boot to a Windows partition or use a VM or some stupid crap like Wine because they still need windows for anything else.

    1. Rondon said on December 22, 2021 at 3:12 am
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      No please don’t go on, we beg you! You think the average person wants to run professional 3d imaging software and pay hundreds or thousands of dollars instead of using the readily available free alternatives? https://sourceforge.net/software/3d-modeling/linux/ (by the way send them a couple dollars if you use it).

      You are almost completely wrong there is software galore for video and image editing on Linux. Save us this nonsense. Do you dream of being an audio or video editor “professional”?

      1. Anonymous said on December 23, 2021 at 9:16 am
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        This one is being serious, too, lmao

    2. Anonymous said on December 22, 2021 at 5:07 am
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      Happy who posted up there is more angry I would think yeah? Also I have been using Linux for my gaming for a little over a year now and with my AMD GPU and AMD CPU I don’t have the driver issues that Nvidia seems to for users. Nvidia just needs to support Linux a bit better and it will smooth out. I haven’t logged into my Windows on my Desktop in close to a year. Everything I needed to do worked in Linux, to include gaming. I do not, however, do any photo or video or audo editing. I have streamed a few times using OBS and it works well enough. For any Office I have had no issues with LibreOffice and if you know SQL the open version of Access from Libreoffice or OpenOffice would work the same since the language is no different really.

      To each their own I suppose though.

    3. chakkerz said on December 22, 2021 at 7:13 am
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      Yeah … but some people know Linux better than Windows. Common complaint is that Linux is harder, and … it probably is for most people. I dunno, I have been using Linux for 20 years, have certifications etc, I have more issues with Windows.

      I don’t know that you can globally say that the Windows / Linux / Mac experience is better. User interaction is one thing (and i wouldn’t give my parents Linux for example), but for gaming, especially gaming, some things for some reason, run better on Linux. Maybe I’m not tweaking settings in Windows well enough, but out of the box … yeah slightly better in Linux. Guilty Gear Strive and Xrd. Jedi Fallen Order … mixed bag some levels early on were better in Linux, some were better in Windows … a little weird, but that game has issues for me.

      I suspect that my Linux setup is also better optimised. Again I know more about linux, Windows the laptop battery lasts ~3 hours, 4 with scrounging. Linux … 8-9 doing the same work. that power consumption is due to something, and those freed resources will have an impact.

      Is it worth it? no for most people probably not. Do you need workaround based on your OS choice. I don’t have a malware scanner running on Linux, I do on Windows (built in Defender, but its still there using resources). I have a Windows VM if i need it … and you know … i use it occasionally so i keep it patched, but … have i needed to use it … not really. OneDrive works better in Windows than Linux, but you know, day to day that’s what i occasionally notice in having made the switch… that and that my battery lasts all day just fine. Oh and that i can install updates without surprise reboots.

    4. MdN said on December 22, 2021 at 12:30 pm
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      Cool story there. Did you know that whatever you posted is now sitting on a server that runs Linux, just like the rest of the internet?

      Also, it’s on all the supercomputers, in all electric cars, routers, rockets, blah, blah. You name it.

      The highest-earning IT people I know run either Linux or MacOS. Your argument about MacOS tied to “expensive hardware” isn’t really correct when you look closer and compare prices.

      Basically, you answered yourself there – Linux users do look at MacOS as a “step up” in some uses, because it can do some stuff Linux can’t. Music production – you don’t need to worry about sound cards and drivers there, as you do on Windows. If you can afford expensive software, you can afford a Mac. You’re not a pirate, right?

      But, nobody wants to go back to Windows. Except gamers.

      1. Nerdelbaum Frink said on December 22, 2021 at 5:05 pm
        Reply

        Hey MdN, I’m a high earning IT professional who works specifically maintaining a compute cluster that is Linux based for a major tech company… and what OP said is very true for some of it, and the presence of Linux in infrastructure doesn’t negate his point. My main rig is Windows based. I need it for my DAW, and saying “You don’t need to worry about sound cards and drivers” on Macs is wrong, because virtually everyone will be using an external audio interface to run their equipment through and class compliant devices often aren’t very compliant. Someone making music on their computers will generally have a large hardware stack that grows with time, separate from their computers, and depending on what it is, it will or will not play nice with either Windows or MacOS, to which they’re tethered to or have a choice on based on their choice of DAW. What you typically don’t have a choice with is using it on a Linux OS.

        And then “You can afford expensive software, you can afford expensive hardware,” as if the concept of a budget is outside of your ability to conceive of. I have some musical instruments that run $20k, and I also use some free software plugins for different effects because spending extra money on perfectly modeled analog components so that my compressor injects a specific type of crunch or warmth into the signal isn’t part of my budget. Computer wise, I would never budget for a Mac and would just build my own computer, because I don’t need more than I do regardless of whether I’m paying tons for an instrument or piece of software or whatever.

        OP was needlessly antagonistic though. Gaming will move over to Linux and there’s no reason to believe that Valve is just lying with marketing rather than actually working to make gaming a seamless experience on Linux. But it’s also very true that the Linux zealots tend to be blinded to the reality of the value of Linux as a desktop for the general populace or that choice of operating system has any bearing on things like intelligence or technical aptitude or anything else. It’s an operating system. Making it part of your identity that you need to defend and attack others over is as absurd as the antagonistic parts of OP’s comment.

  5. Anonymous said on December 21, 2021 at 11:19 pm
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    Its time for someone to eat away Windows market share, maybe Microsoft will back get back to listening to users finally.

  6. NetflixandShill said on January 6, 2022 at 5:50 pm
    Reply

    Ah yes linux? But can Linux browse the internet as fast, safe and securely as Brave Browser? I don’t think so.

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