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Now that the huge release of Steam Play Proton 7.0-1 is out, work begins again on Proton Experimental as it pulls in all the latest changes for you to play with. What is Proton? It's a compatibility layer designed to run Windows games from Steam on Linux. See more about it in our full guide.

As of Proton Experimental updated on February 18, here's what's changed:

  • All changes from Proton 7.0-1.
  • Fix STAR WARS: Squadrons displaying warning about outdated drivers.
  • Fix Dead Cells hanging on launch.
  • Fix Devil May Cry 5 and Capcom Arcade Stadium crashing when scrolling through videos too quickly.
  • Fix Uplay / Ubisoft Connect reliably failing to update with fsync enabled.
  • Fix GTA V randomly crashing on certain window managers.
  • Fix Teardown randomly crashing.
  • Fix Melty Blood: Type Lumina hanging on the intro video.
  • Fix Arma 3 launcher.
  • Update file distribution method to save disk space.
  • Update dxvk to include the latest development work.
  • Update vkd3d-proton to include the latest development work.

See the Proton Experimental changelog to see all the current differences to the normal Proton releases.

Need to know how to actually use Proton Experimental? Here's a simple HOWTO (as it's not complicated!). Make sure it's installed by searching for it in your Steam Library, then select it from the Compatibility menu in the Properties section of a game. See our quick video below:

For an explainer in text form:

  1. Search for Proton Experimental and install if not already.
  2. Right click any game on Steam and go to Properties.
  3. Select the Compatibility menu on the right side.
  4. Ensure the "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" is ticked.
  5. From the dropdown box that appears select Proton Experimental.
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STiAT Feb 18, 2022
Yes, the ubisoft thing greatly annoyed me. I seemed to always run into the issue and had to retry several times.

Good to see it fixed, will try later in the afternoon :-).
nadrolinux Feb 18, 2022
For me Arma 3 launcher still doesn't work.
Ivancillo Feb 18, 2022
I don't like all of this emulation things.

It's OK for old games that doesn't make sense for the developer to port, because don't worth.

But at the same time desincentivates them to make native Linux version of new games.
kokoko3k Feb 18, 2022
Anyone has more info about:
"Update file distribution method to save disk space."?
whizse Feb 18, 2022
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Quoting: kokoko3kAnyone has more info about:
"Update file distribution method to save disk space."?
This maybe?

"Don't ship proton dist files in a tarball anymore"
hephaistion Feb 18, 2022
Quoting: IvancilloI don't like all of this emulation things.

Proton is not an emulator.
no_information_here Feb 18, 2022
Quoting: hephaistionProton is not an emulator.


Purple Library Guy Feb 18, 2022
Quoting: hephaistion
Quoting: IvancilloI don't like all of this emulation things.

Proton is not an emulator.
Yeah, yeah, but you know what they mean.

For me, while I get their point, I think it's shortsighted. The problem is, Linux gaming hasn't been going anywhere. Without Valve it would have been far more nowhere than it is. At our size in the market, it's a major chicken-egg problem: Few were going to release their games for Linux unless there were more Linux buyers, and few were going to play games on Linux unless there were more games released for it. And as a side note, few would be likely to use Linux as their desktop at all if they couldn't play their games. At best, the status quo undisrupted sees Linux dragging along with a few decent games and stagnating market share; at worst, even the level we're at turns out to be a long-tailed artifact of the failed "Steam Machine" push and we gradually get fewer and fewer games released, trickling down in the general direction of where we were before Valve's initial Linux push.

So. Here's Valve, trying to break the cycle. They back Wine and DXVK and use 'em to make Proton, with the potential to allow nearly all games to be played on Linux so close to native as to make no practical difference. And yes, in the short term that means fewer games actually developed for Linux natively.
But they also release the Steam Deck, a mass market game machine running Linux, which would not be practical without Proton. If it goes well, suddenly the market share for Linux gets far larger, making Linux a much more noticeable development target. If they succeed, the chicken-egg problem will be, if not broken, at least seriously weakened. And Linux gaming in general becomes significantly more practical for a wider variety of gamers, making growth more plausible off the Deck as well.

So yeah. If the Steam Deck fails, and market share doesn't grow, then Proton could turn out to be a long term net negative. But the status quo is not tenable anyway.
Philadelphus Feb 18, 2022
Yeah. If it's "new games on Proton" or "no games", I will take new games. The last ~decade has clearly shown that even a concerted push from Valve, the de facto kingmaker of PC gaming, is not enough to effect lasting change in the number of companies making Linux-native versions. It's becoming increasingly obvious that the only way we're going to get that is by increasing Linux's share of the market, and as Purple Library Guy said, that needs people—specifically gamers—to change OS, which they're not likely to do if they can't play their favorite games. And if, in the meantime while we wait for Linux market share to rise, the Proton version performs indistinguishably from a native version…well, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's good enough for me!
Eike Feb 18, 2022
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Quoting: Purple Library GuyFor me, while I get their point, I think it's shortsighted.

My point (well, in an other thread) is a different one:
Yes, Proton is the crutch that makes Linux gaming walk.
Until now, I don't see it helped native Linux gaming,
but it might - or might not - later on.
But either way, it's still a crutch.
I won't take it 's The Golden FLOSS Solution to the problem.

Quoting: IvancilloI don't like all of this emulation things.
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