My 2020 Journey with Gaming on Linux

Having used various Linux distros on and off since around Fedora Core 2, I started using Linux daily around Q4 2018. 2020 man, what a year for Linux gaming!

I remember back when Valve first worked with various community members to get Proton (SteamPlay) up and running to the point that you could play Windows games on Linux with a fairly button-press solution…then came the GloriousEggroll community releases in years to come, following Valve’s official releases (5.13) with big changes to how containerizing games are handled etc. Needless to say, a lot has happened in the WINE, Proton and Lutris worlds since I first started slowly moving all my games to a Linux install in 2018.

A few friends, such as my buddy Jason, have been posting about gaming on Linux in 2020. These publications inspired me to write my own post about my experiences this year. Believe it or not, excepting Genshin Impact and one other, I haven’t had to use Windows to play any games this year! Such a freeing feeling.

I’ll go into a little more detail on the play-ability and ease of getting into the games I’ve been playing on Linux this year. I’ll make sure each title name is clickable to send peeps to the associated storefronts or websites as well.

Note that I’ve been running all of these on Fedora 33 on an original Corsair One Pro with 16gb RAM, 1tb SSD, 7th gen Core i7 and GTX 1080 as well as my Thinkpad P51 with 48gb of RAM, Core i7 7th gen and Quadro M1200 4GB.

  • Starcraft II
  • Install Lutris, run the install script, sign into afterwards to install it and you’re good to go! Runs fine on my Corsair One Pro and Thinkpad P51
  • Minecraft Java
  • I just install the flatpak that Mojang apparently contributes to, sign in and play the game from there! Flawless on the C1P and Thinkpad.
  • Note that you can also install the Technic Launcher, if you want to play modded installs of Minecraft etc, you just have to download the .jar and then open it in terminal with “java -jar TechnicLauncher.jar” and it will install. Note if you want a desktop shortcut, see here.
  • Oblivion
  • I have the GOTY version of Oblivion from a huge sale on GOG, so I just sign into my GOG account on Lutris, run the install script and I’m good to go! Alternatively, I’ve heard some people enjoy using the community-built Minigalaxy client to install GOG games.
  • Risk of Rain 2
  • This is probably one of my favorite games that released this year. I was looking forward to this and Borderlands 3, but since I’ve sadly had too many glitches and hangs in Borderlands 3 I’ve given up on it and have mainly been playing this. This is a PERFECT 3D roguelike in my opinion!
  • Once you enable SteamPlay (Proton) for all titles in the Settings menu of Steam, you just install this title and you’re good to go! I highly recommend a nvidia 10xx series/Vega 64 or higher GPU for this title though, as it can get pretty heavy when you have a ton of enemies on your screen! The best part of how fun and replayable this title is, is that it’s a one-click install once you have SteamPlay enabled! Just see all the positive Linux feedback on it here!
  • Astroneer
  • Another fun exploration/crafting title on Steam! This game ran for me fine before Valve released Proton 5.13 for some reason, so I’ve been using an older version of Proton from GloriousEggroll that has this game running fine! I just extracted the .tar file with “tar -xvf” and then moved the extracted folder to ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/ and restarted Steam. Maybe in 2021 I’ll see a Proton release that has it running fine again with no need for older versions!
  • Note that after restarting steam, as of the date of this post, you have to go into game properties and force the older Proton version to get it running.
  • Littlewood
  • This game has a native release for Linux on Steam! Just install and run with no issues! This felt like a fun, peaceful mashup between Stardew Valley, Legend of Zelda and Terraria.
  • Veloren
  • Yet another Linux-native game! This game, which is still in active development, can be installed via Airshipper/flatpak/snap or other methods as listed on their install page! I’ve been using the flatpak with no issues at all. Note that this is a lovely, open source title! It kind of feels like older Legend of Zelda games meet a Minecraft graphics style.
  • Note that while an account is required to keep your save data consistent in the game, they don’t track or mine any of your data, as they wouldn’t want that either.
  • Empire Earth II
  • An oldie but goodie! I have this through GOG so I mainly just run the installer, follow the steps and jump into a game! I’ve also had LAN games with my buddies work fine.
  • Alternatively, I’ve heard some people enjoy using the community-built Minigalaxy client to install GOG games like this one as well.
  • Halo: The Master Chief Collection
  • I have this through Steam as well! I’m once again using the older version of Proton from GloriousEggroll, extracted and moved to the ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/ directory. This had some problems on 5.13 or newer for me for some reason. I love jumping into some classic Halo 3 and Reach games, though!
  • Note that, for multiplayer, you’ll have to choose to disable EAC when opening the game…as of the time of this writing, you can only play private games with friends. Also you’ll need a Microsoft account to sign in on first launch.
  • Satisfactory
  • Another title through Steam, once again using the older version of Proton from GloriousEggroll, extracted and moved to the ~/.steam/root/compatibilitytools.d/ directory. Runs fine! This game definitely requires a beefy GPU for the textures and the like though, so I’ve only been able to run this on my C1P, as the Thinkpad suffers from loading all the textures.
  • Though this game initially released on Epic Games, I have some problems with the way they run their company, so I waited for release on Steam. You can use your Steam account to “sign into epic games” and play this game on launch.
  • Void Bastards
  • This is a newer title that recently came out on Steam. Runs fine with current gen Proton builds and is a great roguelike! People seem to agree with me that it just runs fine out of the box, even on my weaker Quadro-equipped Thinkpad!
  • Battlefield 2142 (via Reclamation Project)
  • This game has recently been re-awakened by the community! I’m so happy to see one of my earlier ahead-of-its-time first person shooters get some support from the community! I have no idea how to get this running on Linux yet, so stay tuned for news on that! I might need to install it via the Origin launcher using a CD key purchased off a third-party site….and then add some stuff via the Reclamation project…