Rumour: Valve May Be Adding Windows Steam Game Compatibility to Linux

Written by Stuart Thomas on Wed, Aug 22, 2018 12:59 PM
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UPDATE: Valve has confirmed the rumours and officially announced Steam Play, a new method for Steam users to player Windows Steam games through Linux.

The Steam Play beta uses a modified distribution of Wine known as Proton, allowing games with no official Linux versions whatsoever to run through the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and VR support.

"Our goal for this work is to let Linux Steam users enjoy easy access to a larger back catalog," said Valve's Pierre-Loup Griffais. "We think it will also allow future developers to easily leverage their work from other platforms to target Linux. This would give them the option of focusing on areas that would make a meaningful experience difference for all users instead, such as supporting Vulkan."

The newly support Windows Steam game playable via Steam Play will utilised DirectX 11 and 12 implementations based upon Vulkan. Fullscreen support should now work without a hitch, performance in multi-threaded games has been improved, and Steam Linux will automatically detect all gamepads officially supported by Steam.

As this is only a limited beta test right now, the list of officially supported games is as follows:

  • 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

More titles will be added in due time with Valve implementing a voting process for the most request titles. In the meantime, users can override the list of supported games and attempt to run them as is using the Steam Play override switch.

Should this take your fancy, Proton is available to download now over on GitHub.

Original Story: 15-Aug-2018 - Rumour: Valve May Be Adding Windows Steam Game Compatibility to Linux

In a very interesting move, sleuths over at GamingOnLinux appear to unearthed evidence that Valve is experimenting with tools that could allow Windows Steam games to be playable on Linux operating systems.

Up until this point, a game has to be specifically developed for Linux in order to be compatible with Unix-based operating systems. There are workarounds available right now, but it’s notoriously unreliable and a major hassle to get sorted.

However, updates posted to the Steam Database github indicates Valve is at least testing an automatic method for running Windows games on Linux. Picking through the github notes, the tool appears to be called ‘Steam Play’, which the compatibility info says “Steam Play will automatically install compatibility tools that allow you to play games from your library that were built for other operating systems.”

It looks as if there will be officially supported Steam Play titles that have basically been given the thumbs up for compatibility with other operating systems. There will also be the ability for force enable Steam Play, which users "can use Steam Play to test games in your library that have not been verified with a supported compatibility tool."

At the moment the language used is too vague to draw any definitive conclusions, although it certainly appears as if Valve is at least messing around with the idea.

In the short term this would be of little benefit to Valve should this actually happen. The number of Linux users currently using Steam is vanishingly small, but a large number of people are probably using Windows for the express reason that there aren’t as many gaming options on Linux. Having access to a larger library of Steam games on Linux could be an attractive proposition, particularly as more and more gamers grow fed-up of the Steam and Windows combination.

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23:12 Aug-22-2018

Will it be windows performance

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05:43 Aug-23-2018

No

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10:23 Aug-24-2018

It will probably be worse

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12:11 Aug-24-2018

It won't be that bad, if more users starts to use linux then more games will be developed/supported for linux.

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22:24 Aug-22-2018

Small list, buy hey it's a start :). Which makes me very excited to see what else they can modify to run on linux.

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18:31 Aug-22-2018

Finally something good is coming out of WINE. By the time MicroInformationThiefsNotReallyMicroNorDoingItSoftly gonna end their support on my babe Windows 7 on January 2020, I'll probably be using Linux Manjaro as my main distro. There is already Visual Studio replacement for me on Linux called Mono Development IDE, which shouldn't be hard to adapt on.

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18:39 Aug-22-2018

As for gaming, I'll have to wait and see if Steam will be able to add support for my main games such as Total War series and Warframe.

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20:44 Aug-22-2018

Lol what an unsophisticatedly-on-the-spot nickname for microsoft XD

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16:20 Aug-22-2018

Keep up the good work Steam. Don't need much of an excuse to avoid Windows 10, have been sticking with Windows 7. This will definitely help when I am ready to upgrade my system in 2020.

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15:12 Aug-22-2018

Just play on Windows, problem solved.

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15:59 Aug-22-2018

If I could play games on linux and can achieve at 60fps in games without any other issues, I would switch. Windows is nice but can be an annoyance sometimes.

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21:12 Aug-22-2018

There will always be some sort of problem. It's better to stick to the real deal.

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21:51 Aug-22-2018

I see my opinion is unpopular. Not going to apologize for it though. Not that I should have to.

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21:53 Aug-22-2018

But seriously, I considered this myself at one point and then I realized I was kidding myself.


Also MS will try to stop this, just wait and see.

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22:01 Aug-22-2018

No, you just want to make it sound like that Windows is jack of all trades (bias much?) and no, that will never happen.

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22:11 Aug-22-2018

More like just me seeing the reality of the matter.

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22:12 Aug-22-2018

Besides why would I lie about something like that? I have nothing to hide.

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04:30 Aug-23-2018

No need for apologies, that's just your opinion. For me I always find its licensing cost a big hurdle, especially in my country- literally converting the dollars into Indian rupees, plus slapping 18% tax makes it almost equivalent to 60% household's monthly income.

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04:35 Aug-23-2018

On top of that, the sheer amount of viruses in that os make me cringe- I do know that viruses exist in linux and other os but still windows is way too much vulnerable to virus. Many computer users even today do not have proper internet access so broken os and virus is what steering people from getting a computer

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04:44 Aug-23-2018

So basically windows is no easy to use, if factored all the above points and just gets to pocket money, but on other side the linux is free to use, less vulnerable and they do provide regular updates, and work well even with ancient hardware. Just the problem is the program support.

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12:38 Aug-23-2018

What you fail to consider is that the only reason Linux is not as vulnerable to viruses is because more people use windows. If Linux were to suddenly become more people, there will be a lot more viruses made to target Linux PCs.

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14:55 Aug-23-2018

Yes it is true about the targeting, but not so easily, because in my experience any kind of installing and uninstalling or making drastic changes needed password authentication and was quite mandatory, so i think people will be somewhat alert before doing so.

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15:00 Aug-23-2018

Still linux is vulnerable and the situation might be different if linux were more used. No point in forecasting or speculating in the head about this.

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14:44 Aug-22-2018

I wonder if they somehow make older pc titles that doesn't work good with windows 10, run better in linux.
Because there a lot of games with this "Notice: This game does not support Windows Vista, 7, or 8."

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14:24 Aug-22-2018

I like How Doki Doki was a priority i guess someone at Valve likes
Anime

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14:48 Aug-22-2018

Well they also supported the Nier:Automata. I would rather say someone at Valve is a fan of japanese games.

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14:51 Aug-22-2018

I See Someone At Valve is a Man Of Culture

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14:59 Aug-22-2018

Agreed man

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13:48 Aug-22-2018

Well done steam! Now just add more games to the steam play and i'll ditch this ****y windows soon.

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12:22 Aug-22-2018

Windows 10 dying in 10..9..8..7..

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13:54 Aug-22-2018

For me windows died with the windows 10, kind of like EA approach- buy the buggy os and get updates that breaks the windows; oh and we'll collect your data as part of telemetry and make monies from it. My pc feels less like a pc and more like android now.

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14:29 Aug-22-2018

Waiting for someone to "add support" for a game based upon how popular the game is by voting? I'm sure you'll be playing all your favorites in no-time xDDD

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17:39 Aug-22-2018

heh xD

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09:08 Aug-23-2018

How long have you been saying Windows is gonna die?

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12:32 Aug-17-2018

I think when they removed the Steam machine section from the shop the statement we were given stated that it wasn't successful but they'd keep working into that direction. Those PCs were running the steam OS which is Linux based, this seems like a step to make their OS actually viable for gaming.

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10:30 Aug-16-2018

Finally! Good Guy Valve

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06:51 Aug-16-2018

Or maybe developers may also start adopting vulkan API, they will neither lose gamers on windows and give the option of Linux compatibility. Still this is good move from steam, hopefully bringing a substantial amount of windows games on Linux without much hassle.

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05:41 Aug-16-2018

This is very interesting news, but WINE has come a long way. You can even run TW3 now quite easily with a dx wine patch and lutris. Although, fps is a bit lower than on windows.


Simplication of the prosess is much appreaciated though.

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12:22 Aug-22-2018

I just checked TW3 is supposed to run good, performance biased towards AMD, yet impressively playable :)

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23:30 Aug-15-2018

Will be keeping my eye on this development.... even if they are just installing their own version of WINE, anything that simplifies the process and will allow you to play the games you want to play simply by clicking one "Install" button will be a good thing! Maybe with Valve behind it, WINE will even get some much needed improvements, like compatibility with newer games.

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21:35 Aug-15-2018

I'm taking this as a second push for the Steam Machine

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09:34 Aug-16-2018

Steam Machines are just a push for Steam OS and Linux in general rather than any great urge to shift hardware.

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20:54 Aug-16-2018

it still would be an ample time to push with them again as a 'here, we got it all working now so please buy our stuff', and it actually getting traction. They are developing a better egg on a broad scale so in addition to everyones chickens being better, there's will be too

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20:15 Aug-15-2018

WINE is nothing new, it's limited to DirectX 9/10 and depends on OpenGL implementation (sad story for Mac users there)
such solution is very usable for older and non-demanding games, but easily caps with newer titles, let's consider something like Skyrim a limiting performance threshold

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07:18 Aug-16-2018

Lots of DX11 titles are very much playable as well already.

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09:19 Aug-16-2018

yup, but it really depends on API bridging,
there's already WINE build with D3D 12 (OpenGL - DirectX 12),
also there's VKD3D (Vulkan - DirectX 12,
true rudimentary support for DX12 is planned in WINE 4.0 in 2019 (notice how schedule is meant to succeed before Windows 7 runs out of life, so people won't have to go for Windows 10 :))

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19:29 Aug-15-2018

Does it will make use of Wine?

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19:12 Aug-15-2018

breaking news: "Microsoft Sues Valve for Making a Windows Apps Emulator in an Attempt to Overthrow Microsoft's Dominance"
xD

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18:14 Aug-15-2018

It would be great. With some good lightway Linux Distros it could easily replace old machines with windows xp. As we know steam droping windows xp support later this year.

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16:50 Aug-15-2018

Having access to a larger library of Steam games on Linux could be an attractive proposition, particularly as more and more gamers grow fed-up of Steam.??? I'm confused....

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17:46 Aug-15-2018

They may have meant Windows 10 rather the Steam.

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14:13 Aug-16-2018

You are not alone

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