Six days ago there were less than 5,000 games available to install and play on Steam for Linux. Following Valve’s incredible Steam Play update, which adds simplified layers of compatibility for Windows games only, that number is potentially much, much higher. Certainly no all works out of the gate because there is a huge amount of work and optimization left. But one fact remains: in less than a week, the number of perfectly playable games on Steam for Linux has increased by almost 1,000 titles.
That’s an increase of almost 20% virtually overnight, and it’s guaranteed to climb higher as the Linux community continues to test the huge library of Windows games on their favorite Linux distributions.
The valve has officially Only whitelisted 27 games at this early stage, but we can expect that number to grow at a rapid rate.
As of this writing, 2,134 unique games have been tested by users from the Steam library for Windows. Each game is assigned one of six ratings: Completely Stable, Stable, Unstable, Unplayable, Crash, or Won’t Start. A completely stable rating means the game exhibits native-like performance with no bugs or errors. Since testing began, 971 unique titers have been stamped with Completely Stable status.
It should be pointed out that your mileage may vary depending on the version of the GPU driver and the operating system. Note that Ubuntu accounts for 37% of all submissions (Arch Linux is in 2nd place) and 64% of users run on Nvidia.
5 reasons to ditch Windows and switch to Linux
Over the hours, it becomes clear how beneficial this latest update to Steam Play is for the Linux community as a whole. Valve’s first step to rejuvenating Linux in 2013 with SteamOS and the Steam Linux client paid off, but “The Year Of Desktop Linux” never happened. By improving on the tools created by the open source community – and employing the developer behind the DirectX-to-Vulkan project, it did more for PC gaming on Linux last week than it managed to do in 5. years.
You see, before that happened, Linux users were forced to use workarounds like Wine and DXVK to make these games work with varying degrees of success. Even with nice GUI tools like Lutris, there was still a lot of guesswork. Now Steam automatically applies these workarounds and various customizations to every game. It’s as seamless as just installing a game on Windows. You can even point your Steam client for Linux at your Windows installation, and it will download the necessary updates.
Again, that doesn’t mean you can ditch Windows and expect every game to work. Not yet. Maybe never. Especially those that contain aggressive DRM and anti-cheat software. This Is means that in the coming weeks and months, the total number of available games you can play on Linux – and with native-like performance – is expected to at least double. And I think that’s a conservative guess.
I started doing my own tests and was pleasantly surprised by games like Monster Hunter: World, DiRT 4 and Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus. All three are games that I previously relied on a Windows 10 install.
Community-maintained Steam Play compatibility reports can be viewed here. You can submit your own results here. You can also view a web version of the compiled results at https://spcr.netlify.com/ and sort them as you like.
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