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Steam for Linux adds 1000 titles in under a week

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Go have a read :)



Six days ago there were less than 5000 games available to install and play on Steam for Linux. Following Valve's incredible Steam Play update, which adds streamlined compatibility layers for Windows-only games, that number is potentially much, much higher. Granted, not everything works out of the gate as there's a daunting amount of work and optimization remaining. But one fact stands tall: In less than a week the number of perfectly playable games on Steam for Linux increased by nearly 1000 titles.

That's an increase of almost 20% practically overnight, and it's guaranteed to climb higher as the Linux community continues testing the enormous library of Windows games on their favorite Linux distributions.

Valve has officially whitelisted only 27 games at this early stage, but we can expect that number to grow at a rapid pace.

As of this writing, 2134 unique games have been user-tested from the Steam for Windows library. Each game receives one of six ratings: Completely Stable, Stable, Unstable, Unplayable, Crashes or Won't Start. A Completely Stable rating signifies that the game exhibits native-like performance with no bugs or errors. Since testing began, 971 unique titles have been stamped with a Completely Stable status.

It's worth pointing out that your mileage may vary depending on GPU driver version and operating system. Note that Ubuntu accounts for 37% of all submissions (Arch Linux is in 2nd place), and 64% of users are running on Nvidia.

5 Reasons To Ditch Windows And Switch To Linux

As the hours tick by, it's becoming clear how beneficial this latest Steam Play update is to the Linux community at large. Valve's first step at rejuvenating Linux in 2013 with SteamOS and the Linux Steam client yielded results, but "The Year Of Desktop Linux" never arrived. By improving on the tools created by the open source community -- and employing the developer behind the DirectX-to-Vulkan project, it has done more for PC gaming on Linux in the last week than it managed to do in 5 years.

See, before this happened, Linux users were forced to use workarounds like Wine and DXVK to get these games running with varying degrees of success. Even with pleasant GUI tools like Lutris, there was still a lot of guesswork. Now Steam automagically applies those workarounds and various customizations to each game. It's as transparent as simply installing a game on Windows. You can even point your Steam for Linux client at your Windows installation, and it will download the necessary updates.

Again, this doesn't mean you can ditch Windows and expect every game to work. Not yet. Possibly not ever. Especially ones that contain aggressive DRM and anti-cheat software. It does means that in the weeks and months ahead, the total available games you can play on Linux -- and with native-like performance -- should at least double. And I think that's a conservative guess.

I've started doing my own testing and have been pleasantly surprised with games like Monster Hunter: World, DiRT 4 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. All three are games I previously relied on a Windows 10 installation for.

The community-maintained Steam Play compatibility reports can be viewed here. You can submit your own results here. You can also check out a web-friendly version of the compiled results at https://spcr.netlify.com/ and sort them to your liking.

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Ooh and for anyone who has not clicked the first link in the article, apparently Vulkan is a big part of this


I had to blink a few times at today's news from Valve HQ. While we knew it was working on something special to run Windows games on the Steam for Linux client, I didn't expect an announcement this huge, and I didn't expect it so soon. Let's not draw out the suspense. Here's a quote directly from Valve: "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."


Valve just dropped what's arguably the biggest and most exciting news to hit Linux in years, and that includes SteamOS and the (admittedly failed) Steam Machines movement. This is a different animal. For folks who've wanted to ditch Windows and cite gaming as their biggest reason not to, this could change a lot of minds. Let's get into the details.

For the past two years, Valve has been funding and working on improving existing solutions for Linux that offer compatibility layers for Windows games, such as WINE. WINE, maintained by CodeWeavers, is by far the most widely used tool that allows most -- but not all -- Windows games and software to run on Linux with varying degrees of success. But it's often tricky to get them running smoothly, if at all, even with more elegant software front-ends like Lutris.


Valve is seemingly taking the headaches out of the equation. No more tinkering, no more dependency nightmares, no more guesswork. They've developed their own libraries and a custom version of WINE called Proton. It's open source, meaning anyone can contribute to it and use their own versions within Steam. All of this is being released inside a new Beta version of Steam Play.

Fans of Vulkan, the "close to the metal" graphics API used in games like DOOM, will certainly love the next bit of news: Valve has also made significant contributions to DXVK, and VKD3D, projects that essentially convert DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 (respectively) API calls to Vulkan on the fly. With the Steam Play update on Linux, all DX11 and DX12 implementations are now based on Vulkan. This means a dramatic performance boost compared to OpenGL.


Here's what Valve has to say about performance expectations: "A performance difference is to be expected for games where graphics API translation is required, but there is no fundamental reason for a Vulkan title to run any slower."

There are other perks too. Any Windows game installed on Linux will automatically detect any controller that Steam currently supports, from Valve's own Steam Controller to PS3 Dualshock, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch Pro controllers.

And get this: You can point the Steam for Linux client at your Windows Steam games, and it will automatically update them!

If there's a touch of less-than-thrilling news (I can't classify any of this as bad or disappointing, after all), it's that during the first phase of this Steam Play Beta, only about 27 Windows-exclusive games will be officially supported. These are games like Star Wars: Battlefront 2, DOOM, Beat Saber, The Last Remnant and Fallout Shelter. The full initial list is here.


This functionality is available now on Steam for Linux. Here's how to implement it.VALVE / JASON EVANGELHO

Now, these are titles that have been fully vetted by Valve, meaning they consider the experience to be identical to Windows. If you're feeling more adventurous, you can simply hit an override switch and install literally any game that's available only on the Steam for Windows store. I expect there may be hiccups and performance issues here, but the sheer fact that you can install and run these games with one click is something Linux gamers have been dreaming of for years. Plus, Valve is continuously working on adding more titles with full support.

Are there any games that just won't work? Valve explains that games "using complex DRM or anti-cheat systems will be difficult, or even impossible to support."

Keep in mind this news applies to literally any Linux distribution that you can install Steam on. Not just SteamOS. Ubuntu, Mint, Debian, etc.

Valve has stated they currently have no plans to bring this addition to Steam Play to MacOS.

The implications here are massive, and I can't wait to flip this switch on my Ubuntu installation and start tinkering. I think some Windows vs Linux performance comparisons are definitely in order, but I also want to install games like Monster Hunter: World and see how they fare.

If you're on Linux and want to try it out, let me know what your experience is like!

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