How to play all Steam games on Linux

Thanks to Steam’s proton you can play your Windows only Steam games on Linux. Gaming was the one reason I stayed with Windows but that’s no longer a good excuse. But there can be a few issues depending on the game you are trying to play.

What is Steam’s Proton?

Proton is a fork of Wine that Valve has developed and integrated into the steam client so that Windows games can run on Linux. It is basically a compatibility layer that mimics Windows.

How to turn on Steam’s Proton

Using proton is very easy. Valve has built it right into the Steam client and all you have to do for most games is turn it on.

You will want to go to the top menu and click on the word Steam then click settings in the drop down menu.

Valve's Steam

After that go to Steam Play and check the box to enable. Then in the drop down menu go ahead and pick the newest version you see.

Steam games on Linux using Proton

Now when you look at a Windows game in your Library you will notice the install button is lit up.

Skyrim on Linux
Skyrim on Linux

Proton’s Performance

Steam games on Linux with Proton works rather well for the most part. But I do notice some FPS and performance drops ones in a while. Some games are worse than others. For example, I can feel the FPS drop in Fallout 76 when I go indoors. But Vampyr is mostly good with just a small drop in FPS ones in a while.

Other games have no issues and I’ve heard some people say they have found games that run better and faster in Linux. I don’t have any examples of that yet but I’ve just started using Proton so maybe I’ll find one soon.

There’s also a handy site called ProtonDB. It tells you if the game runs well and in some cases what custom Proton versions you can use to run the game better.

Custom Proton Versions

Sometimes the default Proton won’t run the game or it has some kind of issue like no audio. But with the help of custom proton builds I have not found a Steam game yet that I can’t play on Linux!

Multiplayer games

The down side is that some multiplayer games will not work. Specifically the ones with some kind of anti cheat software. I guess the anti cheat software detects something odd when running under Proton and thinks the client is cheating. I am not sure but luckily I don’t care a lot about multiplayer games. Fallout 76 works and that is the only Multiplayer game I have played in about a year.

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