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Another Steam Client Beta is out, adds the ability to force Steam Play

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Valve are working fast to improve the Steam client this year, with another beta now available including an option that was highly requested.

Firstly, Steam Input gained support for the HORI Battle Pad and HORI Wireless Switch Pad. Additionally, Big Picture mode had two bugs fixed. The usual stuff there and nothing major, that is until you get to the Linux section of the beta changelog.

Users have been asking Valve pretty much since Steam Play arrived, to add a method to force a native game to use Steam Play instead. So now, if you've opted into the Steam beta client you will see this on the properties of a game (the bottom option):

Why is that so interesting and important? Well, honestly, some Linux ports get left behind for months and years and some really just aren't good. Additionally, some Linux games have multiplayer that's not cross-platform, this could also help with that. Not to downplay the effort a lot of developers put in, it's just how it is. The ability for users to control between the version from the developer and running it through Steam Play is a nice to have option.

Linux changes:

  • Added the ability to force-enable Steam Play in per-title properties, including for native games
  • Fixed incorrect scroll offset in the in-game overlay
  • Reworked global Steam Play enable settings to only override the Proton version used by unsupported games
  • Fixed a bug where the global Steam Play enable setting wouldn't prompt for a Steam client restart

See the announcement here.

While not noted, the Steam client now actually shows what version of Proton is used for each title. Here's Into the Breach for example:


I would have played more but fullscreen is broken for me and it's a whitelisted title…

One of the next big stages for Steam Play, will be actually showing it for whitelisted titles on store pages. I'm still very curious to see how Valve will be handling that. Valve might also want to update the Steam support page too, it's rather outdated.

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151 comments
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beko 18 January 2019 at 9:49 am UTC
Be aware that the moment you enable "SteamPlay" Steam starts to redownload the whole thing for Windows (as expected) overwriting the installed Linux version. No further confirmation or question _where_ this download should go. A switch back to the native version will probably result in the same thing.

It was probably a bad idea of mine to try this on ARK, that requires already the most of my SSD, first. Now Steam is stuck in an unpacking loop after disk usage went to 100%. Time to shovel other files away to free some space *sigh*.
liamdawe 18 January 2019 at 9:55 am UTC
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

So is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.
Counts as a Linux purchase on top of the convenience factor, plus the better performance in a number of cases.
kuhpunkt 18 January 2019 at 9:57 am UTC
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...
tonyrh 18 January 2019 at 10:14 am UTC
Proton is gonna be the end of native ports and companies like Feral. It will also confirm Windows as the only "true" gaming os on personal computers. Really sad.
mirv 18 January 2019 at 10:26 am UTC
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kuhpunkt
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...

Wow, that wasn't condescending at all. Maybe you need to learn how to use your computer better?

I don't find needing a beta version and manually going through options in Steam for each game to use an outdated wine. Against just logging in from one shortcut or another.

@liam: fair enough, though I might debate performance (DXVK not relying on Steam and all).
kuhpunkt 18 January 2019 at 10:30 am UTC
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...

Wow, that wasn't condescending at all. Maybe you need to learn how to use your computer better?

How is any of what I said/wrote condescending?

mirvI don't find needing a beta version and manually going through options in Steam for each game to use an outdated wine. Against just logging in from one shortcut or another.

That's because at the moment it's just a beta - that doesn't even need you to go through options and all that stuff.
mirv 18 January 2019 at 10:49 am UTC
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kuhpunkt
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...

Wow, that wasn't condescending at all. Maybe you need to learn how to use your computer better?

How is any of what I said/wrote condescending?

mirvI don't find needing a beta version and manually going through options in Steam for each game to use an outdated wine. Against just logging in from one shortcut or another.

That's because at the moment it's just a beta - that doesn't even need you to go through options and all that stuff.

A) re-read your own words. About getting eyes checked. Then consider how you might be coming across.
B) game options must be accessed. See the article for that information.
kuhpunkt 18 January 2019 at 10:56 am UTC
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...

Wow, that wasn't condescending at all. Maybe you need to learn how to use your computer better?

How is any of what I said/wrote condescending?

mirvI don't find needing a beta version and manually going through options in Steam for each game to use an outdated wine. Against just logging in from one shortcut or another.

That's because at the moment it's just a beta - that doesn't even need you to go through options and all that stuff.

A) re-read your own words. About getting eyes checked. Then consider how you might be coming across.
B) game options must be accessed. See the article for that information.

A) There's a - meaning I'm teasing/joking.

B) Only for specific cases, WHICH IS STILL IN BETA
mirv 18 January 2019 at 11:10 am UTC
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kuhpunkt
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...

Wow, that wasn't condescending at all. Maybe you need to learn how to use your computer better?

How is any of what I said/wrote condescending?

mirvI don't find needing a beta version and manually going through options in Steam for each game to use an outdated wine. Against just logging in from one shortcut or another.

That's because at the moment it's just a beta - that doesn't even need you to go through options and all that stuff.

A) re-read your own words. About getting eyes checked. Then consider how you might be coming across.
B) game options must be accessed. See the article for that information.

A) There's a - meaning I'm teasing/joking.

B) Only for specific cases, WHICH IS STILL IN BETA

Then for future reference: teasing, joking, or poking a bit of fun, are not taken the same way by everyone. Obviously in this case. Let's agree to just forget about that all now?

Ok, still beta, but that doesn't change my original confusion: why the excitement over something that could already be done, and could be done for some time already? If I'm not clear, I honestly don't understand. By similar comparison, it's like people being excited that phone X can do something that all other phones could already do. I don't see what makes it so much more special now.
I suspect this is something that, like the craze of selfies, I'm not destined to understand.
kuhpunkt 18 January 2019 at 11:21 am UTC
[quote=mirv]
kuhpunkt
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirv
kuhpunkt
mirvStill not sure how this is any better than just firing up Steam itself through wine. I could already "force" a game to use wine that way. And choose various wine settings. And use an up-to-date wine. And it's not limited to Steam games.

But it's annoying to set up. One click solution is the key word. That's the way to attract people that have no idea how to setup Wine and whatnot.

mirvSo is this all still just a convenience thing for some people? I don't see that personally. I'm otherwise confused by the sudden excitement and "now game xyz can be played" when it was already possible for quite some time.

Maybe it's just me seeing things a little differently.

If you can't see the convenience factor, you might want to get your eyes checked out

And there is a lot of sudden excitement, because things now just work, not just because of Proton, but because of all the building blocks that Valve encouraged, DXVK, FAudio etc, networking issues fixed etc...

Wow, that wasn't condescending at all. Maybe you need to learn how to use your computer better?

How is any of what I said/wrote condescending?

mirvI don't find needing a beta version and manually going through options in Steam for each game to use an outdated wine. Against just logging in from one shortcut or another.

That's because at the moment it's just a beta - that doesn't even need you to go through options and all that stuff.

A) re-read your own words. About getting eyes checked. Then consider how you might be coming across.
B) game options must be accessed. See the article for that information.

A) There's a - meaning I'm teasing/joking.

B) Only for specific cases, WHICH IS STILL IN BETA

mirvThen for future reference: teasing, joking, or poking a bit of fun, are not taken the same way by everyone. Obviously in this case. Let's agree to just forget about that all now?

How could you take it any other way when you saying that you don't see why XYZ has literally nothing to do with eyesight? That doesn't even make sense. It was a joke.

mirvOk, still beta, but that doesn't change my original confusion: why the excitement over something that could already be done, and could be done for some time already? If I'm not clear, I honestly don't understand. By similar comparison, it's like people being excited that phone X can do something that all other phones could already do. I don't see what makes it so much more special now.
I suspect this is something that, like the craze of selfies, I'm not destined to understand.

People are excited for several reasons, which you seem to be confusing.

1) Proton is being pushed by Valve, the advancements being done in the past couple of months were huge.

2) Steam is a major platform, that tries to push Linux into mainstream.

3) It is simply much more comfortable to have one click solution, which is the case most of the times. You install Steam, download a game with one click and just press PLAY and the game starts. That is big.

Just because you could do something like this with more effort before doesn't mean it was the better way.
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