Steam is Getting New Built-in Tools to Let Users Run Windows Games on Linux

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While Valve’s popular Steam client has long-since supported games running on a Linux box, albeit within a Windows virtual machine, the company is launching full-fledged support for Windows PC games launching on a Linux machine.

The new development comes via their Steam Play cross-platform initiative, which is now getting a huge update for the improved Linux support. The new update is actually in beta right now, so if you run a Linux machine you can opt in and start going to town.

The new Linux tools run on Proton, a custom distro based on the popular Wine compatibility tool. In non-technical speaking person terms, this means you’ll able to basically run the majority of Windows PC games on your Linux box, right from Steam.

Valve is currently vetting “the entire Steam catalog” of games and whitelisting titles that run on Linux via this new toolset with no issues, however you can turn off those rules and launch whatever you want, of course. Proton will enable Linux users to also get better controller and fullscreen resolution support for games running in Steam.

Here’s a list of the currently whitelisted games in the beta:

  • Beat Saber
  • Bejeweled 2 Deluxe
  • Doki Doki Literature Club!
  • DOOM
  • DOOM II: Hell on Earth
  • DOOM VFR
  • Fallout Shelter
  • FATE
  • FINAL FANTASY VI
  • Geometry Dash
  • Google Earth VR
  • Into The Breach
  • Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012
  • Magic: The Gathering – Duels of the Planeswalkers 2013
  • Mount & Blade
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire & Sword
  • NieR: Automata
  • PAYDAY: The Heist
  • QUAKE
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl
  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2
  • Tekken 7
  • The Last Remnant
  • Tropico 4
  • Ultimate Doom
  • Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® – Dark Crusade
  • Warhammer® 40,000: Dawn of War® – Soulstorm

To opt-in for the beta, go through your account tab in your Steam settings menu. Click “change” and enable the Steam Beta Update option, and then restart your Steam client.

As for Mac OS users, Valve is currently only expanding support for Steam Play to Linux boxes, and not machines running the Apple operating system. Valve also notes that “invasive third-party DRM middleware” can cause compatibility issues with this new toolset.

Brandon Orselli

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Big Papa Overlord at Niche Gamer. Italian. Dad. Outlaw fighting for a better game industry. I also write about music, food, & beer. Also an IT guy.