Logbook: How Linux Works to Play Games

In the past month, the Digital Look started a logbook to learn how Linux does to run games. Thus, in the first part, only games with native versions of the penguin system were tested, which performed well in the tests performed.

For this second chapter, as promised, the Digital Look It was after running Windows games on Linux, as most of the big titles still only make their presence on the Microsoft system. Here's how Linux came out to run Windows games.

Running Windows games on Linux with Steam

Last year Steam released in its Linux version, Proton, a feature to play Windows titles on the penguin system. The tool, I must remember, is constantly under development and has some "certified" titles, which should run smoothly, but can be used with any game as well, without a guarantee that they will run or have bugs.

The activation of this feature is done very simply through the Steam interface, ie, neither terminal nor installation by other places like repositories and others. To use Proton, just follow these steps:

  1. In the main screen of the program, just click on “Steam” and enter “Settings”;

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  2. Already on the “Steam Play” tab, only activate the options related to it and, if necessary, select its version.

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After following the steps above, Steam will download Proton and some extra files, already listing all the titles you have in your Library, without filtering whether they are for Windows or Linux. When installing a game with version only for Microsoft system, Steam itself will install the necessary runtimes of the game to run.

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The first test with Proton was performed on the classic Skyrim version Special Edition, which has some improvements over the original title. It ran with all the graphics at most and without any apparent bugs, at least in an hour of play. The frame rate was pretty much the same as that of Windows, always close to 60 frames per second, ie without slowing down.

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The second test was with Project Cars 2, a well-known racing game for computers. Here, I had to change the version of Proton used on Steam itself to leave an infinite loading, something simple to do in the menu shown above. Already in play, I was able to rotate it without slowing down, leaving its graph high with some settings like shadows and anti-aliasing in the mid / low.

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Already the third game of the time was The Witcher 3, which ran without having to make any modification to the version of Proton. The game performed well and was not buggy, running just a little slower than under Windows 10, but perfectly playable with the mid / low settings at 45 to 55 frames per second.

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For another simple and very light test, but still one of my favorite games, I took the Sonic Mania test, which had DRM Denuvo removed from its executable. Here, the game ran smoothly and without any configuration.

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In turn, the last game tested with Proton was Monster Hunter World, which runs on bass in Windows with some details in the middle. On Linux, the game was playable as well, but it was necessary to leave its resolution in HD and with everything down. For him, I even read about a processor patch that could help, but I couldn't install it. Anyway, it runs on Linux without graphic bugs and here the fact that it has been slow is due to the configuration of my PC. Unfortunately, I owe the screenshot of this game, as it was cut in several attempts.

Running Windows Games from Outside Steam

In addition to running Windows games on Steam on Linux, as mentioned in the previous article, there are other alternatives to playing what is not in the Valve store. One such program is Lutris, which acts as a Windows game launcher, and it also has support for importing titles from your Steam and GOG account.

Lutris installation is very simple and can be done with DEB files, which are downloaded from this link. Before installing Lutris, however, I followed the instructions on his official page asking him to install Wine on Staging and Dxvk, which in a simple explanation, serves to make Direct X run on Vulkan on the penguin system.

So, this was the order followed:

  1. I installed Wine by following these instructions according to my distribution;
  2. I installed Dxvk according to Lutris Github instructions;
  3. I installed Lutris with the DEB file, which brings the installation process graphically.

The first game I chose for testing here was Overwatch. Already the installation process was very simple, just need to go to your page on Lutris and click "Install". So Lutris downloaded Battle.Net (Blizzard app to start their games) and for l, the process was the same as downloading any Blizzard game on Windows. In terms of performance, the game ran the same way it did under Windows, with the graphics set up high with medium or low detail.

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The second test on Lutris was done with League of Legends, which has other ways to run on Linux. Despite these other options, I went straight for Lutris, which even comes with D9VK enabled. Although League of Legends is lighter than Overwatch, here, I had to run it with the “high-mid” graphics settings, having a frame rate of 90 to 140 frames per second. On Windows, the game averages 170 frames per second at very high settings, only with shadows on the medium.

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Conclusion

Linux has evolved a lot when it comes to running games. Thanks to Proton and Lutris today, the task of running games on the penguin system has been eased, and in almost all cases the instructions given by the installer, which sometimes have an observation, need to be followed. Another very positive fact, that in the titles I ran, I hardly saw any bugs or other graphic glitch.

During my research, however, I still have to warn you that not all games are compatible with Linux, especially online ones that have anti-cheat mechanisms to prevent cheats. In these cases, unfortunately, often the fact that the game is running on Linux causes this mechanism to come into action and block the process.

So, for example, Fortnite and PUBG, two popular games of the moment do not yet work on Linux. The League of Legends itself mentioned here sometimes crashes with some updates and needs developers to update the game access method. But still, the library of what you can already play on Linux is huge and your gaming communities are growing!

Clarifications and Acknowledgments

Before concluding the subject, here is a thank you for the comments and constructive criticism, who shared different experiences and brought suggestions for the second article. In particular, thanks to Linux-focused YouTube channels, such as Diolinux, one of the leading Linux references, who posted a video to help us implement our subject.

Since almost a month has passed since the last issue, I also leave a small update of what happened at that time. Steam started running on my machine other than Flatpak after changing the NVIDIA driver version for the graphic environment.

Regarding the PC used, it is clear that it runs some of the games mentioned above with Windows, but not all of them. Even GTA V has been left out of this list because of problems with our connection and disk space on the machine, but the issue will be updated with information on how it ran later.

As for the methods adopted, it is worth remembering that there is more than one way to perform the processes on Linux. Thus, because we do not use Linux daily, some paths may actually be simpler than the ones adopted and we count contributions to add information in the article.

. (tagsToTranslate) Games (t) Linux (t) Tips (t) Games (t) Tips & Tutorials