Out of The Top 50 Games, 70% Work on Linux Now

7000 titles confirmed working out of the box on Proton? That’s all very fine, yes sir, but what if you don’t care about quantity? What if one considers ONLY the most desirable Top 50 games (based on popularity) out there, how good is Linux? That’s the real question, isn’t it ?

Well, I took a look very recently at the top 50 games on Steam with the highest number of concurrent players over the past 2 weeks.

And the verdict is…

NameDeveloperPublisherConcurrent UsersPlatformsVerdict
Counter-Strike: Global OffensiveValve, Hidden Path EntertainmentValve935189WMLNative
Dota 2ValveValve521391WMLNative
ValheimIron Gate AB Coffee Stain Publishing224934WLNative
PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDSKRAFTON, Inc.KRAFTON, Inc.187140WNo Go
Apex LegendsRespawn EntertainmentElectronic Arts135993WNo Go
RustFacepunch StudiosFacepunch Studios113780WMNo Go
Grand Theft Auto VRockstar NorthRockstar Games86330WProton
Team Fortress 2ValveValve83162WMLNative
Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six SiegeUbisoft MontrealUbisoft65661WNo Go
Rocket LeaguePsyonix LLCPsyonix LLC60503WProton
ARK: Survival EvolvedStudio Wildcard, Instinct Games, Efecto Studios, Virtual Basement LLCStudio Wildcard57952WMLNative
Destiny 2BungieBungie 49895WNo Go
WarframeDigital ExtremesDigital Extremes43494WProton Potential
Wallpaper EngineWallpaper Engine TeamWallpaper Engine Team40124WNo Go
Dead by DaylightBehaviour Interactive Inc.Behaviour Interactive Inc.38003WNo Go
Stardew ValleyConcernedApeConcernedApe35689WMLNative
Black Desert OnlinePearl AbyssPearl Abyss34723WNo Go
War ThunderGaijin EntertainmentGaijin Distribution KFT33489WMLNative
TerrariaRe-LogicRe-Logic33305WMLNative
Garry's ModFacepunch StudiosValve31795WMLNative
Path of ExileGrinding Gear GamesGrinding Gear Games31510WMProton
World of Tanks BlitzWargaming Group LimitedWargaming Group Limited29874WMProton
Euro Truck Simulator 2SCS SoftwareSCS Software29624WMLNative
PAYDAY 2OVERKILL - a Starbreeze Studio.Starbreeze Publishing AB27774WLNative
UnturnedSmartly Dressed GamesSmartly Dressed Games24018WMLNative
BrawlhallaBlue Mammoth GamesUbisoft23052WMProton
Monster Hunter: WorldCAPCOM Co., Ltd.CAPCOM Co., Ltd.19720WProton
Sid Meier's Civilization VFiraxis Games, Aspyr (Mac), Aspyr (Linux)2K, Aspyr (Mac), Aspyr (Linux)19079WMLNative
Counter-StrikeValveValve16841WMLNative
The Witcher 3: Wild HuntCD PROJEKT REDCD PROJEKT RED16352WProton
Arma 3Bohemia InteractiveBohemia Interactive16163WProton
Cities: SkylinesColossal Order Ltd.Paradox Interactive15995WMLNative
SMITETitan Forge GamesHi-Rez Studios15379WNo Go
Mount & Blade II: BannerlordTaleWorlds EntertainmentTaleWorlds Entertainment14269WProton Potential
Among UsInnerslothInnersloth14100WProton
Cyberpunk 2077CD PROJEKT REDCD PROJEKT RED14087WProton Potential
Dying LightTechlandTechland Publishing13773WMLNative
Fallout 4Bethesda Game StudiosBethesda Softworks13456WProton Potential
Left 4 Dead 2ValveValve12951WMLNative
PhasmophobiaKinetic GamesKinetic Games12884WProton
PaladinsEvil Mojo GamesHi-Rez Studios12250WNo Go
Don't Starve TogetherKlei EntertainmentKlei Entertainment11176WMLNative
Fall Guys: Ultimate KnockoutMediatonicDevolver Digital7368WNo Go
World of WarshipsWargaming Group LimitedWargaming Group Limited7087WProton
The ForestEndnight Games LtdEndnight Games Ltd6818WProton
The Elder Scrolls V: SkyrimBethesda Game StudiosBethesda Softworks6654WProton
NBA 2K20Visual Concepts2K6278WProton Potential
RaftRedbeet InteractiveAxolot Games5675WProton
Age of Empires II (2013)Skybox Labs, Hidden Path Entertainment, Ensemble Studios, Forgotten EmpiresXbox Game Studios5543WProton
Dota UnderlordsValveValve5123WMLNative

By the way, let me first say that Valheim is absolutely killing it. For a game that’s just recently launched and from a small studio, getting to the top 3 of concurrent players is almost unheard of. Turns out that I have been playing it too, and you should expect to read something about it pretty soon. But more on that later.

Valheim is one of the top 50 games running on Linux on Steam

So what did we get among the Top 50 games on Steam?

  • 34 games overall working well on Linux out of 50: 68%.
  • Among these 34, 19 have native clients, and 15 run well with Proton.
  • An extra five games kind of work on Proton but not perfectly (example: Cyberpunk 2077, which works OK on AMD but is kind of broken on Nvidia, still)
  • 11 games are borked (22%) in one way or another.

(Note: ARMA3 is considered as ‘working’ even though BattleEye prevents you from joining official servers. It it still, however, possible to host your own multiplayer sessions with friends for Co-op).

We can see from the above that Proton is a major enabler: it makes the compatibility on Linux jump from 19/50 (38%) to somewhere between 68% and 78%.

Among the 11 games that are considered borked:

  • Most of them do not work because of EAC (7)
  • One of them (Destiny 2) because of another DRM/anti-cheat system
  • Another one relies on BattleEye
  • and Black Desert Online checks for very specific Windows drivers or properties and does not launch otherwise.

We can see how big of a deal EAC represents (or even Anti-Cheat systems in general). If we had some kind of EAC support, we could bring the compatibility in top 50 from 68% (34/50) to something closer to 82% (41/50). That would be a major breakthrough for all those games that rely heavily on multiplayer features. Turns out a lot of predictions we received for 2021 are about Proton/WINE finally implementing support for EAC – that’s not even a rumor, we know it’s actively being worked on in the WINE project. The only question is WHEN, not IF.

Last but not least, Mac has ONLY 21 out of the Top 50 games working… 42%! I will let that sink in a little. We already know that Linux has become a much better platform than “native Mac”, but the gap is now very wide and will keep increasing going forward while Mac is pretty much stuck in the dust with their non-existing Proton support.

Of course, the real objective is to get to 100%, be it by more native titles and/or better Proton support.

But the glass is not even half full anymore, it’s getting refilled as we speak.


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[…] último dato, según Boiling Steam hablas de que el 70% de los juegos mas populares de Steam funciona en Linux, solo hay 19 que sean […]

[…] Steam están también disponibles para ser jugados en Linux. Según el experimento que han hecho en Boling Steam, el 70% de los 50 juegos más populares de Steam funciona en Linux, lo cual incluye, por supuesto, […]

jackz

The problem with proton is that it maybe works, it work to Huey and Dewey, but not for Louie

Darxus

Why do you believe EAC support is being worked on?

Bob

Both of those are from 2019, and nothing has been done since. It will *not* arrive in 2021 or even 2022. Don’t get people’s hopes up.

Bob

People in the Discord for development on it say otherwise, it sounds like your talking rubbish.

Bob

Yes, Some of them do, same for the Proton devs. EAC is not being worked on.

Tim

“Last but not least, Mac has ONLY 21 out of the Top 50 games working […] Mac is pretty much stuck in the dust with their non-existing Proton support.” Even if you care about those other 29 games (how many games do you need to play, really?), that’s a rather one-sided view. You could equally have said: Now that we’ve seen how successful Proton can be, we just have to have somebody (Valve or otherwise) produce a Proton-for-Mac. Then the Mac would have even better gaming support than Linux. There’s no technical limitation that makes this impossible. All of the… Read more »

Tim

What does Apple’s alleged lack of ‘interest in gaming’ have to do with it? Proton was based on Wine, which was developed entirely *despite* Microsoft, not due to any help they provided.

Khronos has a Vulkan-on-Metal translation layer, and it works well. Apple’s OS translates x86-to-ARM, and if that isn’t good enough for you, there are FOSS and third-party alternatives.

First you admit that there’s no technical limitation, but then you try to list some technical limitations, but they’re actually solved problems. What exactly is the “risky business”?

Xanas

Macs are walled garden units, I don’t think FOSS, which is about freedom in software, should want to have anything to do with the Mac.

Tim

What does FOSS have to do with any of this? Neither Windows, Steam, Proton, nor a single one of these games is FOSS. And what does “walled garden unit” even mean? Apple’s *App Store* is often described as a “walled garden”, but Mac software doesn’t have to use that, and most games don’t. You’ve always been able to run ordinary downloaded applications on macOS just like on Windows. Besides, all of these games (even the ones which run natively on the Mac today) are distributed via Steam, which is also a “walled garden”. So is every game console ever made.… Read more »