With This Many Linux Games On Steam, You Could Almost Drop Windows

With This Many Linux Games On Steam, You Could Almost Drop Windows

It didn’t happen overnight, but Steam’s catalogue of Linux games has grown significantly over the last few years, no doubt helped by the release Value’s Debian-powered SteamOS. Abandoning Windows for the open source platform was once the quickest way to gaming frustration, be it a lack of native ports or wrestling with the likes of Wine or other virtualisation option, but with almost 700 working titles available, the variety is certainly there.

If you hit up SteamDB’s Linux page, you’ll find a robust list of games for the operating system, with 863 at last count. Of those, 676 are “confirmed to be working”, but that’s still a healthy number.

It’s not just indies or esoteric games either, with Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, Serious Sam 3: BFE, Company of Heroes 2, Baldur’s Gate II: Enhanced Edition and plenty of others representing the larger developers and publishers.

The question is though: Could you dump Windows today without sacrificing your ability to game? Sadly, the answer to that is no. Don’t get me wrong, you can definitely live it up on Linux, but if you just want to download a game and play it, your experience is going to be smoother on Windows.

The gap is narrowing, though.

Linux Games [SteamDB, via Gaming On Linux]


  • Unfortunately not just yet. I still have too many games that I like to play that need Windows. At this moment I have 154 games that can run on Linux via Steam. Most of them are indy/retro ones or casual ones. But it’s is getting better and better and it won’t be long before Linux will be a viable alternative

  • Right now, Steam on Linux is in the same position Steam on Mac OS X was 4 years ago. Right now, I think you can use Mac OS X instead of Windows for about 70% of gaming that your average person would care about. I bet by the end of the decade Linux and Mac OS X will have enough of a library for me to switch permanently, even if it means I skip a few AAA titles every now and then.

  • Fix Graphic drivers on Linux then we talk. Main problem of Linux were the lack of dedicated driver support.

    • Graphic drivers on Linux system is mainly related to the vendors themselves notably AMD and Nvidia. Same applied to other systems like Microsoft Windows where some heavy hardware accelerated games requires vendor drivers for optimal uses.

  • Or if you really wanna limit the games that are available to you you can just go ahead and buy a current-gen console!

  • I’ve always wondered how they port games to linux. Do they redo the graphics so it’s natively OpenGL or do they be lazy and create some kind of DirectX to OpenGL translator thingy…

    Regardless, the only thing I use linux for is browsing the web, networking, and Minecraft. I tried the Witcher 2 for linux and it was horrible.

    • The Linux version of The Witcher 2 falls into the latter category you mentioned, and is run with a wrapper on top of the windows code [more-or-less]. It is an absolutely terrible port, and runs like a dog on my linux system. The patches they are providing is making it better, but it shouldn’t have been released in that state.
      That isn’t to say that translation layers are all terrible. Not at all. Valve’s Linux version of all of their Source games have been ported over in this manner, and they all have similar [in some times better] performance than on windows.

  • oh give up already… ive been hearing this same old song since the inception of Linux. its the year 2014-15 if it aint happened by now ITS NOT EVER GOING TO HAPPEN. I swear Linux people are partly delusional…… just saying.

    • Wow, butt-hurt much?

      At no other point in the history of Linux has there been such a large catalogue of native games, nor has there been such a rate of growth in the market.

      You’re saying that a platform based on Linux which has both a large array of developers and customers buying the software can never happen? Well, gee, I guess Android is just fooling us all then eh?

      Gabe Newel, [you know, the guy who runs the largest digital distribution platform on the planet?], is investing millions of dollars developing a Linux platform for gaming, because he wants to not be so dependant on Windows. Are you saying you know something that he doesn’t?
      I’d take his opinion over yours on the matter…… just saying.

      • Agree mostly with what you’re saying but Android ≠ Linux in consumer/public perception and as such are indicators to be used for market share or comparisons between products of Linux and Windows. Exactly the same example would be comparing Windows Phone to Windows, completely different product sku’s.

        • No you are right they are not equal. But I used it as an example to show that when a market exists of both developers and consumers, a platform can be created and sustained.

    • There was a time when I was trying to get people to jump to Ubuntu the next time they bought a computer. But in the end the OS was too volatile to give normal people. With that much power came too much responsibility. Linux is not an easy os to maintain unless you have tech know how, then it is beautiful, and an excellent reason to not pay for windows. But on Linux it is so easy to change one thing on accident that corrupts the whole os inner workings, I’ve done it quite a few times but I didn’t mind because I was just messing around, but for someone who doesn’t even know how to install an os, Not very user friendly. If it was going to happen, it really would have, and there would have been a good reason for it.

  • The answer to that is ‘Yes’, if you want to do so.

    I’ve ditched Windows completely now, and only use Linux on all of my computers, gaming included. Sure, not *every* game is on Linux at the moment. But, who has time to play *every* game anyway. There is more than enough to take up all of my free gaming time.

    Just a quick browse through my steam library shows the following AAA games…
    – Civ V
    – Planetary Annihilation
    – Wasteland 2
    – The ‘Wargame’ franchise
    – Metro: Last Light
    – CS:GO
    – The rest of Valve’s Source games….

    Plus all of the indy gems and everything in between.

    And these are just native games, wine works pretty great on a whole bunch of games too.

    Sure, I can’t play *every* game released for PC…. but I never played every game to begin with.
    I’m more than happy to make this compromise if it means I can stop running Windows on my machines.

    • That is getting really close to sounding like a console fanboy. “eh, I didn’t wan’t all those other games anyways, they weren’t that good.” Keep telling yourself that. All just because you want to stop running windows.

  • The main thing putting me off linux is the need to use OpenGL, which is just crap atm. Perhaps when opengl NG comes it may match directx in performance but atm testing applications in opengl and comparing to their directx renderer reveals how shocking opengl truly is.

    For example try War Thunders DX11 vs OpenGL to see what I’m talking about. (the PS4 must use opengl btw, and its SHOCKING).

    • OpenGL does have it’s problems, yes. I’m hoping that Mantle can grant some progress on the situation. [Not anything to do with AMD vs nVidia, but merely as a new alternative API to directX which is Open Source, which makes it relevant to Linux as a gaming platform].

      The PS4, however, does not use openGL. It has two graphics API’s, GNM [very low level] and GNMX [higher level, similar to DX and OpenGL]. It also uses the PSSL [PlayStation Shader Language]. They are maintained by Sony and optimised for use on the PS4’s freeBSD kernel and custom APU, so it’s hard to get a true comparison with openGL, but I imagine performance would be better on the fixed architecture.

  • I dropped Win 8.1 from my HP Probook, then couple of days ago trying to setup a small partition for Win.
    Ended up with a graphically glitchy Windose so its gone once again =D
    Happier than ever that gaming is increasing on Ubuntu, myself is just a casual gamer loving Left4dead2

  • i’m dreaming of the day that this is true and i can ditch windows… but its a looooooooooong way off (if ever)

  • Since 2010 I was dual booting both Linux and Windows, but this year I went over to fully Linux. Yes there are some games I cant play native or with wine, but it is no longer enough games for me to consider it worth while paying for Windows, which is why my new PC didn’t come with windows.

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