Linux continues gaining prominence in gaming. Funny enough, the OS only recently began featuring AAA titles. Compatibility with game distros is changing that. Gamers can comfortably find thousands of games. More are on the way too. Compatibility is the iceberg’s tip, however. Keep reading and learn all you need to know about gaming on Linux.
1. WINE is Essential
We just said compatibility is the iceberg’s tip. WINE was originally an acronym for “Wine is Not an Emulator.” And true to its name, the program is not that. Instead, WINE is a compatibility layer. This requires far less resources to run than emulators. This is vital for enjoying AAA games.
WINE is efficient. It is also becoming more comprehensive. There’s currently 6000+ compatible games. Play classics and modern titles alike. For every doom there’s a Bioshock Infinite or later title.
2. Remember Steam
WINE is quite comprehensive. Steam has also released an Ubuntu-compatible version. As you might expect, reception was huge. Simply put, there is much more incentive to creating Linux-compatible games. Users need only visit the Linux version of the store. Civilization V, Rust, and DOTA 2 all make appearances.
3. Look Into CrossOver
WINE is free and Steam is free to use. CrossOver is a viable alternative if willing to spend the cash. Also a compatibility layer, CrossOver also works with Mac OS. Such compatibility isn’t super critical for diehard Linux users. It’s also useful for anyone that also uses Mac OS. Other little benefits include multiple user accounts and phone support.
4. GOG also Has Linux Ports
GOG is late to the game compared to Steam. The platform only began supporting Linux in 2014. Their library is significantly growing, though. GOG specializes in older games along with newer releases. Only thing is that their Linux titles are also on Steam. Well, at least usually. At least the alternative exists.
5. Check Out Other Game Distros
There are a few other distros aside from Steam and GOG. Quality is more scatter shot. Of course, AAA titles are not the be-all, end-all of gaming. There are plenty of smaller distros with fun games. The Fedora Games spin offers plenty of content. Ditto for the Sparky Linux Gameover Edition. That option even includes compatibility with emulators. The Ubuntu games pack, of course, also has quite a few options.
6. Consider Emulators
PC games are great. They also are not the sole option for Linux users. They can also use any number of emulators. Those looking to revisit console games have plenty of options. Be warned, however. These emulators are typically for retro consoles. Think SNES, the Saturn, Dreamcast, and PS 2. Of course, performance is not as big of an issue. Most games hardly require impressive specs to run. The emulators themselves can be burdensome, though. Run multiple applications are your own risk.
7. Get Ready for Some Awesome Ports
There are a lot of awesome titles available for Windows. Linux will probably be playing catchup for years. Still, the library continues growing. As important, new titles continue trickling in. BoilingSteam.com is an excellent resource for titles. Expect most games to be from a few years. Some recent titles also make the lists, though. ARMA 3 and XCom 2 for one.
8. Check Out “Don’t Be Patchman” Just Because
Linux gaming continues gaining steam. None, however, are Linux exclusives. Enter Don’t be Patchman. This action/adventure/stealth game has humor galore. Initially Linux-exclusive, it also was ported to Windows in January. Play this title to enjoy a bit of video game history.
9. Using Something Aside from LiquidSky? You’ll be Optimizing Drivers
Linux is becoming more usable with each edition. Getting the most out of a gaming system still requires some technical knowhow. Don’t believe us? Check out this helpful guide. And this one. And this article, too. Be ready to mess with drivers for GPUs, CPUs, SSDs, and more. The results are worthwhile though. Linux is also capable of overclocking cards. Just make sure not to melt it. That can happen.
10. Better Yet, Just Use LiquidSky
Tangoing with hardware can be fun. It can also be quite frustrating. With LiquidSky, however, everything is already optimized. That means no updating the GPU. No changing the CPU governor. No need to overclock or alter anything. Similarly, LiquidSky comes pre-installed with WINE, Steam, and other gaming essentials. Talk about at-the-ready!