How to Play Anything on Linux Using Steam Play
No more fussing with virtual machines and dualbutt.
Some users are deterred from switching to Linux by one unpleasant fact: there are few games in this OS. Of course, the situation began to improve when Valve ported Steam, but still far from ideal.
Fortunately, Valve cares about Linux users. Recently, a new Steam chip called Steam Play, which allows you to run Windows games on Linux, came out of the beta test stage. Let’s try it out.
Install Steam Installer. In most popular distributions, such as Ubuntu or Mint, this can be done through the “App Store” or through the “Application Manager” in Manjaro. You can also download and install Steam via THE DEB file from the official page.
Finally, if you are a cool Linuxoid and prefer to use the command line, just type the following command in the terminal:
sudo apt install steam-installer
Once installed, open Steam via the main menu and wait for it to download all the necessary updates.
Steam will prompt you to log in to your account. Do this, or create a new one if you don’t already have one.
You can now buy and download games from Steam for Linux, just as you would on Windows. Basically, running titles with native Linux support is available without any additional settings. You can see a list of such games in the store. The ones marked with the SteamOS icon work fine on Linux as well (which makes sense since SteamOS is based on Debian).
But that’s not enough for you, isn’t it? Now we are activating an option that will allow you to play Windows titles on Linux.
Turn on Steam Play
Steam Play includes Proton. This is Valve’s modified version of Wine, an application that can run Windows programs on Linux without emulators or virtual machines.
Open the settings of your Steam client. To do this, select Steam → “Settings” in the menu bar at the top.
Look for the Steam Play settings section (it is the last in the list of options). Enable Steam Play for supported titles. This option will allow you to play Windows games officially approved by Valve to run on Linux. Among them are Doom, Final Fantasy VI, Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword, Payday: The Heist and so on. You can see the full list in the thematic community. It’s not dense, but it’s just the beginning. The list is gradually growing, and in addition, Steam Play has another interesting option.
Enable the following Enable Steam Play for all titles setting, and Steam will attempt to run all Windows games from your library on Linux, even if they are not officially supported by Steam Play.
After saving the settings, the Steam client will prompt you to restart. Confirm the action.
Now you will be able to open all video games for Windows on Linux. Note that this feature is under development. Some titles may not function correctly or show poor performance.
The ProtonDB website contains statistics of Windows-games running on Linux. Each has its own status: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, depending on how well it works on Linux.
Users report that they played The Witcher 3, Dark Souls 3, Skyrim, Tekken 7, Phantom Pain, Cuphead, Doom and Wolfenstein on Linux without any problems. Try searching the ProtonDB database for your favorite game and see if it worked well for others.
The only thing that upsets: so far, Valve does not plan to introduce similar features in Steam for macOS.