Linux has always been seen as a rather rigid operating system for gaming. Many games used to be unavailable on Linux, and the ones that you could play used to have all sorts of bugs. However, the situation’s not the same anymore with Ubuntu 20.04.
The OS is way better for gaming than you may think. In certain situations, games even run better on Linux than on Windows. This is quite impressive so let’s see what lead to Linux’s improvements.
Gaming on Linux is just as simple as pressing a button nowadays. You require no extra drivers, hardware, or unnecessary setups as everything is packaged into ProtonDB. This is a tool released by Valve and enables Linux users to play games straight through Steam Play without any extra tweaks.
ProtonDB is based on a few other tools like Wine and DXVK, supporting even DirectX 9 games. Right now, over 70% of the top 1000 games on Steam have a rating of Gold++ on Linux. And, 26% of them have native Linux versions and don’t even require an emulator. You can even play Triple A games, without experiencing much of a performance difference from Windows.
Moreover, some games even output a better performance on Linux than on other platforms. The only problem with Linux gaming is adoption but Proton, and the few developers that create native games, plan to fix this. Proton comes preinstalled on Ubuntu 20.04 so you don’t need any extra setups. You can run top games out of the box.
A lot of people are speculating that Valve developed Proton and supports Linux more because they plan on using the OS for their Cloud Gaming services. These are only speculations now but they do make up a compelling case.
As mentioned above, 26% of the top 1000 games and 44% of the top 10 most popular games on Steam have native-developed versions for Linux. Among these, you can find titles like DoTA 2, CS:GO, Rocket League, and many more.
Browser gaming is another method to deliver apps and games to Linux users. For example, the Office suite is not compatible with Linux as it’s developed by Windows, a direct competitor. But, users can access Office 365 through the browser, and many apps alike.
Users also can play a large variety of browser-native games. Even if these are simpler, certain games are at their prime in the browser. Casino games only have browser and mobile versions of their games, without any downloadable versions for Windows. This means that you can easily gamble on Linux.
The Gametwist online casino for example has both a browser version that can be accessed from Linux and Windows but also mobile apps that can be installed on iOS and Android. This makes gambling largely available to all users, including the Linux ones. Moreover, certain emulators even enable Linux users to play android apps on their computer but this technology is not perfect as of yet.
Linux is obviously not perfect. There are quite a few games that are not native nor do support Proton, and therefore can’t be used on Linux. If developers deliberately make games that are incompatible with Linux there’s nothing else to do.
Another issue is the small community around Linux gaming. A large number of support tickets on Steam are created by Linux users. But, Linux is still a low priority to Steam so you might experience slower responses from the support team. The developers are slower too, so the release of certain features might be delayed on Linux. But, all these issues will be resolved with further adoption.