Last week, Valve brought Windows game compatibility to Linux in the form of an official tool for Steam. The team had been working on this new compatibility tool for around two years and now that it is in public beta, the community has been quick to test it. While Valve’s initial wave of officially approved games was fairly small, community testers have figured out that close to 1,000 games are already perfectly playable on Linux now.
The new Steam Play update for Linux contains a modified version of Wine known as ‘Proton’. This allows Windows games to install and run directly through the Steam client, complete with native support for Steamworks and OpenVR features. Vulkan support is added to improve compatibility and reduce performance impact. Valve also worked to improve multi-thread performance over vanilla Wine and add support for controllers and fullscreen modes.
You can find the initial wave of Valve-approved games HERE. However, according to the Linux community, many major games are already perfectly stable using this new tool. According to Forbes, over 2,134 unique games have been tested already and 971 of them achieved ‘completely stable’ status, meaning it works and runs just as well on Linux as it would on Windows.
Jason Evangelho has personally tested titles like Monster Hunter: World, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus and DiRT 4 with plenty of success. Given the amount of community feedback coming in, Valve’s list of officially whitelisted games should begin to grow at a rapid pace.
With all of that said, mileage will vary depending on each user’s Linux distro of choice, in addition to their graphics card. Some systems will be more stable and capable than others.
KitGuru Says: While I don’t use Linux personally, this is actually very exciting and could open the door for SteamOS to be more widely adopted and usable in the future. Have any of you tried out Steam’s new Linux compatibility tool?