Check out our Monthly Survey Page to see what our users are running.
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. See more here.

Seven years ago, Valve officially released the Steam client for the Linux desktop and since then the amount of games playable on Linux has continued rising. Thanks to Steam Play Proton, that's grown drastically too. Here's a brief look at how Linux gaming is doing right now.

Looking over Steam stats there's now well over 6,000 games that support Linux with a build. Taking into account games being listed that have not yet released, it's actually around 6,366. Three years ago it had only just hit over 3,000 so it's more than doubled during that time.

Here's a little look at how that number of Linux games releasing monthly on Steam has changed:

It's worth noting that between 2013 and 2018, the total amount of games being released on Steam jumped thousands a year. However, the difference between 2018 and 2019 was quite small. Steam as a whole appears to be calming down drastically on increased yearly releases.

With Steam Machines being announced back in September 2013, you can see a clear upwards trend going on afterwards. To me now, this data tells us we're finally seeing the tail-end of the original hype as Valve steered away from Steam Machines (although SteamOS may yet live again) and it looks like we're actually stabilising to monthly releases around the 80 mark.

It is just a number though of course, quality is obviously the most important but it's still impressive considering how Linux gaming is currently still very much a niche. We do have some of the most consistently popular Steam games available on Linux including: Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Terraria, Total War: WARHAMMER II, PAYDAY 2, Stardew Valley, Cities: Skylines and the list goes on. Lots of Linux games constantly being the most played on Steam.

As of March 2020, Linux sits at 0.87% of the total market share on Steam from Valve's monthly opt-in user survey. This puts the amount of "monthly active" Linux players on Steam around 826,500 (see our Steam Tracker for more).

To help with that number, nearly two years ago Valve announced and released Steam Play with Proton (see our Steam Play page for more). A compatibility layer based on Wine (with other bits included) to get Windows games running on Linux. This means anyone switching to Linux, can hopefully play the majority of their games. Some are flawless, some don't work at all and there's all sorts in between. When it works and works well (example), it can be pretty amazing.

How's Proton doing nearly two years on? Using data crowdsourced from users on ProtonDB it's proving popular.

That tells one story, how about how many Windows games are actually playable on Linux when using Proton? Let's take a look at that too. Only using what games should be click and play ("Platinum"):

There's likely a lot more that are playable, as ProtonDB depends on user reporting. As impressive as it is, there's still a very long way for Proton go still. For multiplayer titles anti-cheat is still a sore spot. You won't (usually) be able to play games that have Easy Anti-Cheat or BattlEye (they both have Linux builds but they don't work with Proton). We did get confirmation of Easy Anti-Cheat attempts being made before, same with BattlEye but since then not much in public has been said about it.

All of this is only looking at Steam too.

There's still a lot of games that aren't available on Steam at all. Over on, even they have close to a thousand games available for Linux. You also have big hitters like Overwatch (which works great), Starcraft II, the Battlefield series and more from certain publishers with their own store launchers. A lot of them can also be played on Linux with Wine, and using Lutris makes them easy to setup too.

Is that an elephant in the room I see? Yes. The Epic Games Store, that's another that doesn't support Linux and it appears Epic Games have no current plans to do so either. Tim Sweeney did mention before he thinks Wine can help break the cycle, and that's certainly what Valve seem to be trying to do. Wine again can help there though, since the Epic Games Store can be run through it.

Pictured: Epic Games Store on Linux

Right now, Linux gaming has been Steamrolled forwards thanks to many different companies and people—mostly Valve (and their many contractors and partners). There's a lot of others doing awesome work though, don't think I will forget that ever. Various Linux game porters, people working on cross-platform game engines and other software that supports Linux - every single bit helps.

It's pretty incredible how far it's come! If you just want to click and play, making a /home on Linux has never been better.

Article taken from
Tags: Editorial, Steam
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
Page: «2/2
  Go to:

Shmerl Apr 23, 2020
Quoting: YoRHa-2BThe game is known to support D3D12 with optional raytracing

Do you have a source for that? I've never seen developers of CP2077 explaining what graphics API they are using. I asked them many times, they never explained. The only indirect information was their announcement of Stadia support which naturally implies Vulkan.

Ray tracing announcement alone doesn't explain things, since Nvidia supported it with Vulkan same as with DX12 from the start, and now there is a standard Vulkan extension for it as well. So using ray tracing plans announcement doesn't say anything about DX12 really.

Last edited by Shmerl on 23 April 2020 at 7:52 pm UTC
GeoGalvanic Apr 24, 2020
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Looks like monthly releases have more or less levelled off. I'm curious as to what the linux monthly releases look like in comparison to to all monthly releases, but I'd assume that the latter is continuing to grow, which would mean that the percentage of games releasing that support linux is actually decreasing. :'(
Liam Dawe Apr 25, 2020
Quoting: GeoGalvanicLooks like monthly releases have more or less levelled off. I'm curious as to what the linux monthly releases look like in comparison to to all monthly releases, but I'd assume that the latter is continuing to grow, which would mean that the percentage of games releasing that support linux is actually decreasing. :'(
The issue is interesting.

As looking at total releases on Steam for Windows, between 2018 and 2019 the later year only just had more releases the difference was very small overall. When looking at SteamSpy that is, my own scraping calculation actually showed less releases overall in 2019 than 2018. Either way, each year until 2018-2019 the difference was multiple thousands, now it is far far less.

Averaging total 2020 releases so far, it's not going to be much more than 2019 if the trend keeps up. So it's not a black and white issue of Linux decreasing by itself - total releases on Steam seem to be around a point where the dramatic yearly increases are no longer happening. You could say, Steam itself has gotten to a point where it's close to stagnating in terms of yearly releases growth.

Last edited by Liam Dawe on 25 April 2020 at 1:22 pm UTC
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Reward Tiers: Patreon. Plain Donations: PayPal.

This ensures all of our main content remains totally free for everyone with no article paywalls. We also don't have tons of adverts, there's also no tracking and we respect your privacy. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.