While those who use the Linux operating system currently have access to “more than 3000” Linux-compatible games in the Steam Store, this new update will eventually give them access to the entire back catalog of games previously only playable by Windows (and sometimes Mac) users.
Steam Play, released 2010, allows users to purchase games once on Steam and then have access to the title on all available computer platforms for the game, whether PC, Linux, or Mac. This new update to Steam Play is a huge upgrade for Linux users. Valve also wrote that there is an added benefit for developers who can “easily leverage their work from other platforms to target Linux.”
The new version is currently in beta mode, and is basically a modified version of Wine. Wine is free software which gives users of operating systems like macOS and Linux the ability to run Windows applications on their computers. With the latest Steam update, this feature is built in as a modified version of the software, called Proton.
Valve noted that it started the effort to support compatibility in non-Windows platforms two years ago by supporting software like Wine. While Linux users could already use Wine software to access certain Windows-only titles, now users can launch directly from the Steam client without having to go through Wine first for setup.
The new Steam Linux client includes “native Steamworks and OpenVR support” and also has improved game controller and fullscreen support.
For the beta period, Linux users won’t have access to all Windows titles, as Valve is still testing to see which games work well with the update.
“We will be enabling more titles in the near future as testing results and development efforts progress,” Valve stated in its post. “In the meantime, enthusiast users are also able to try playing non-whitelisted games using an override switch in the Steam client.”
Users should check the box next to “Enable Steam Play for all titles.”
During the beta period, Linux users will automatically have access to the following titles:
- “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”