Proton: Surfing the Wave of Windows Compatibility


Proton has been a major enabler to make it possible to run Windows games without a sweat on Linux. We know it has made huge strides over the years, but how much exactly? This is an easy answer for us at Boiling Steam, since we can leverage the wealth of ProtonDB data for this! Since the beginning ProtonDB collects data from end users to determine how well each game reported runs - up until later in 2019 it was relying on a user assessment of the rating, and after a new rating system, data-driven, was introduced to make ratings more consistent and less prone to bias. Since then, the overall trend has been one of steady improvement, as you can see below (click for a larger picture):

This graph is based on different samples every month: the unique titles reported in that particular month, from month to month. As new games are tested as they are released, there is always a bias towards recent games in every slice of that graph, which gives you a sense if Proton’s support is improving over time, and not just on stuff that’s old.

Notably, the proportion of Platinum-rated games (those that work flawlessly out of the box) has been increasing steadily. However, it’s the decrease in Borked titles – from 25% four years ago to less than half that now – that truly stands out. This decline has been remarkably linear, with no signs of slowing down.

This ongoing success is further evidence that Valve’s decision to rely on Linux and the FOSS stack was a wise one. Month by month, year by year, Proton continues to deliver outsanding results.