Gaming On Linux: 2 Ridiculous Myths And 2 Brutal Truths


My current adventure down the Linux rabbit hollow has been difficult, worthwhile, and really academic. In the system of protecting topics like Ubuntu and Valve’s Steam Play initiative here at Forbes, I’ve had a mess of Linux-curious game enthusiasts attain out and ask approximately the gaming enjoy. Some have questions, a few have doubts and a few haven’t thought about what to expect. This article is for them!

Steam for LinuxVALVE

I’ve also emerged as connected to many voices who have been entrenched inside the Linux network for years. One such pro-voice is Liam Dawe, the creator of Gaming On Linux, an impartial website that solely covers PC gaming at the Linux facet of the fence. While I can present my critiques after eight weeks using Ubuntu, I wanted to also recruit Liam for his more experienced angle, especially as a man who lives and breathes what he writes approximately all day long. The online website is a full-time assignment for him.

The premise right here is easy. I want to dispel some myths about Linux-based total gaming and gift a dose of reality to newbies.

Two Myths About Gaming On Linux

When I first briefly dipped my toes into Linux computer waters, Steam didn’t even exist. Not on Windows, no longer on Mac, and not on Linux. (Steam was only released for Linux in 2013 alongside Valve’s SteamOS working machine, even though it’s available for every Linux distribution.) I take into account using Red Hat and SUSE, and best being uncovered to a rash of decidedly Penguin-flavoured freeware video games like Tux Racer, a bunch of Nethack clones, and masses of different video games with, well, appreciably less staying power and satisfactory.

Developers like Loki and RuneSoft have been creating and porting a handful of games to “alternative” operating structures, but beyond that, the gaming panorama becomes quite barren.

If you have not had Linux on your radar in the past several years, the above can be the influence you convey these days. But that landscape has changed dramatically. Liam Dawe believes that is one of the most important myths that wish to be shattered.

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1) There Are No Games On Linux

So how many games are sure to be had to play on Linux these days? “That’s a little tricky, considering the number of various stores that simply sell Linux games like Steam, GOG, itch.Io, Humble Store, and so forth,” Dawe says. “Take Steam, for instance, mainly looking at just games for Linux, shows me proper now there is 4,800 while Windows has 23,882. Soon Steam especially, we’ve approximately 20% of the library, that is great whilst a few years ago that became a massive fat zero.”

And do not worry, Steam is not some overseas or watered-down enjoy on Linux. “For the maximum component, Linux gaming is the same as it’s far on Windows, especially in case you’re the usage of Steam,” Dawe provides. “Install Steam, install a recreation, hit play.”

Of direction, I interviewed Dawe earlier than Valve released its groundbreaking replacement to Steam Play, which lets customers play games on Steam for Linux that had been previously best launched on Windows.

The unofficial Steam Play Compatibility website has been monitoring the checking out of each Windows sport now playable on Steam for Linux. To date, extra than 3200 titles have been examined. Of those, almost 1300 have obtained “Platinum” popularity, which means they are not the most effective launch with the simple click one of the “Install” buttons on Steam; however, they have Windows-level performance and framerates.

Some of the first-class-selling Linux games at the Humble StoreHUMBLE STORE

Outside of Steam, you’ve got services like GOG (Good Old Games), which serves up one thousand games that run natively on Linux. And the Humble save doubles that to 2100 listings.

For greater adventurous game enthusiasts with a moderate level of staying power who aren’t afraid to open a Terminal window, there are 0.33 celebration solutions like Lutris. Want to put in the Blizzard launcher and play Overwatch? Lutris has you included. A huge range of Windows-only games can be played thru Lutris, using compatibility layers like WINE and DXVK. These are robotically hooked up in the history and translate DirectX to Linux-pleasant pix APIs like OpenGL and Vulkan.

But those come with some notes of warning, which we’ll get into underneath. Before that, how approximately that 2nd fantasy?

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2) Linux Users Don’t Buy Games

I suppose the mentality right here is “Linux is free, so Linux users ought to be penny-pinching, price range-aware, open supply-loving folks who expect the entirety at no cost, proper?” Not in step with Dawe.

“As the owner of a website where ninety-nine % of what we write approximately is without a doubt proprietary paid-for software program, I’m aware of how a whole lot humans do in reality purchase,” Dawe says. “Linux users get extremely enthusiastic about some of the pinnacle new releases; we constantly get emails from humans to request us to highlight new video games and so forth. [Additionally] our associate packages with GOG and Humble Store display plenty of Linux customers buying games.

Humble Bundle Average purchase via OS from 2011 to 2016.HUMBLE STORE

Though it is no longer updated, the Humble Visualizations assignment accumulated studies that illustrated how Linux gamers truly spend extra cash on their video games compared to Windows and macOS customers. Between 2011 and 2016, and tallying extra than 20 million transactions, the common purchase quantity for a Humble Bundle was $6.29. Broken down with the aid of OS, the common fee for Windows users changed to $6.09, whilst the common charge for Linux customers turned into $9.26.

While that is most effective a remoted stat, it does take 5 years really worth of purchases into attention, and those Humble Bundles have been predominantly from larger publishers.

My effect up to now is that Linux customers are obsessed with their platform and the software available for their platform. They’re delighted and inclined to attain into their pockets to get what they need.

Two Brutal Truths About Gaming On Linux

As Dawe mentioned above and I can verify, gambling games local to Linux are handy. What’s tremendous s about Linux is the possibility of playing actually something that became now not advanced for the platform. But now it is time for a dose of fact.