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ARK: Survival Evolved switches away from Linux Native to use Proton

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You wouldn't know this looking at the Steam page for ARK: Survival Evolved but Studio Wildcard have now put their Native Linux version behind a Beta on Steam as they now prefer Linux users to play with the Proton compatibility layer.

They didn't announce this change on Steam, instead leaving it somewhat hidden on their official forum post that reads:

Steam Proton has been enabled by default on ARK: Survival Evolved for Steam Linux players, include complete BattlEye support. If you are experiencing any issues with the Proton version of the game, please let us know in this thread and we'll work with Valve (Steam) to get these resolved as soon as possible.

If you do, for whatever reason, wish to use their rather poorly supported Native Linux build you can access it by opting into the "linuxnative" Beta on Steam.

Not overly surprising. As someone who followed along ARK ever since release, their Native Linux version always had a ridiculous amount of issues and they never seemed to pay much attention to it at all. In this case, it has been preferable for quite some time to just play it through Proton anyway. Given the time and resources Valve puts into Proton, and Studio Wildcard ensuring the BattlEye anti-cheat works, it's a far better experience.

ARK was Steam Deck Verified some time ago, which was also using the Windows version run through Proton which you can see some footage of mine on below:

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lod 11 Jul
Ark is generally a buggy mess, but the linux version was also the definition of a bad port. Here's an old comparison, when dxvk just started to run some games. https://youtu.be/bRSSuJtafRg
sub 11 Jul
Imho bad ports are not an argument against native versions.

It's going the way lots of us expected with Proton.
Instead of supporting games without native binaries,
fewer and fewer developers are willing to port their games.
This is a problematic dependency on Proton.

I'd rather see the awareness AND SKILLS for Linux grow in developer studios.
This is quite the opposite. :/
dvd 11 Jul
Well it looks like it's going where it was. The studios/publishers that had several products on linux are continuing to release all or most of their stuff on it, and the rest just dont. I think porting in itself a problem, it shouldn't be a problem to plan for multiple pc platforms at the same time. They did and do it for Mac, and thats a more shifting target if anything.
TheSHEEEP 11 Jul
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Quoting: subImho bad ports are not an argument against native versions.
No, but they are an argument for developers who don't have the skill to make native versions (no matter how little skill that requires in the end) to instead officially support Proton.

This way, the game will actually get support on Linux.
Previously, looking at how badly broken ARK's port was for, well always, that was not the case.

The choices in those cases are not:
A) Good native version
B) Nothing
C) Proton support
They are:
A) Bad native version
B) Nothing
C) Proton support


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 11 July 2022 at 11:26 am UTC
ARK: Survival Evolved....... also known as the answer to the question of where did the free space on my hard drive go???....... 125.95 GIGGARYDOOS!!!!
Chronarius 11 Jul
The game is a bug mess, not only the linux build. Then the GUI is a mess as well. If I want to play a TEXT Adventure then I play Zork. The "Options Menu" is the next mess.

BTW: The Minecraft Version "Pix Ark" installs 27 GB!!! WTH? LOL!

I have just two words for this mess: Incompetent Developers

I'm not surprised that they move to Proton. The Game worked a lot better with Proton for a long time already. But it is still a bug fest nevertheless!
Were I a developer I'd probably go this route; compile my game for Winblows, test it on Linux via Proton. Proton is a powerful and polished-enough tool for Linux end users with more people being pushed to Linux by Apple and Microsoft forcing people to discover the beauty that Linux is. I understand the "no tux no bux" argument but if Linux-native sales don't warrant development and maintenance while the same product works just as well via Proton, why bother? Are you a 'Windows gamer' if you're playing a Windows game on Linux via Proton?
berarma 11 Jul
Developers which can't do proper Linux ports usually have trouble doing Windows ports too. The main issue is frquently in the way the source code is built.

It's a matter of having complete control over the port or adding more complexity and dependencies on external software. Normally a company wouldn't want it but when they don't care much about the users they can opt for the latter.

This is better than leaving the port to die but don't tell everyone that this is the best technically savy decission because it isn't. No company wouldn't run their product through something like Proton on Windows even if it would make it easier for them to support different Windows versions and configurations. They care too much for Windows users to do that.
Quoting: subImho bad ports are not an argument against native versions.

It's going the way lots of us expected with Proton.
Instead of supporting games without native binaries,
fewer and fewer developers are willing to port their games.
This is a problematic dependency on Proton.

I'd rather see the awareness AND SKILLS for Linux grow in developer studios.
This is quite the opposite. :/

I'd agree that better to have native linux games than not. but studios aren't making linux ports or making bad ones. that means we have no choice but to rely on dxvk and proton
drjoms 11 Jul
That explains 90 gigs download...
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