Out of the Top Fifty Games on Steam, 70% Work on Linux


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 games (based on popularity) out there, how good is Proton? 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…

[table id=4 /]

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.

So what did we get?

  • 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 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 only has 21 out of 50 titles 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 or better Proton support. But the glass is not even half full anymore, it’s getting refilled as we speak.