Valve made an announcement today which might put an end to Windows’ monopoly in PC gaming. A Wine-like compatibility wrapper has been integrated into Steam which should allow Windows games to run on Linux-based systems with relative ease.
The announcement was made by Valve’s Pierre-Loup Griffais in what appears to be a lengthy blog post. It highlights some of the core improvements that Steam Play for Linux brings over the standard Wine version. These optimizations include:
- Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
- DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
- Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
- Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
- Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.
Steam Play uses Vulkan on Linux and although still in Beta, it supports more than two dozen titles at the moment:
- Beat Saber
- Bejeweled 2 Deluxe
- Doki Doki Literature Club!
- DOOM II: Hell on Earth
- DOOM VFR
- Fallout Shelter
- 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
- 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
Apart from these white-listed games, if you are the adventurous sort, you can also try the untested ones. However, be warned it might break the game or ruin your saves. If there is any particular game you’d like to see on Steam Play, you can vote for it here.
Steam Play whitelisted games will not be offered for purchase or marked as supported on Linux on the Store during the initial Beta period. If you are a developer and have some degree of proficiency with Wine, you can test your own custom versions of Proton with Steam Play.
You can read the entire blog-post here.