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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 Valve might also want to update the Steam support page too, it's rather outdated.

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139 comments
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Eike 18 January 2019 at 2:41 pm UTC
elmapul"-Reworked global Steam Play enable settings to only override the Proton version used by unsupported games

IMHO: Supported games use the Proton version Valve chooses and supports; you can choose a version for the rest.

elmapul-Fixed a bug where the global Steam Play enable setting wouldn't prompt for a Steam client restart"

IMHO: Enabling Proton globally will result in a request to restart Steam.
mirv 18 January 2019 at 2:42 pm UTC
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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.

1. Convience:
-Don't need to restart Steam constantly to play different games.
-Less Steam directories (all your games in the same steamapps folder)
-Steam chat won't be interrupted while restarting Steam.
-Able to view all your installed games without switching.
-Much easier to setup(just select Proton with the biggest number) especially when considering Staging, tkg, DXVK, esync, PBA, 32/64bit, and Proton's other patches
2. Stability - Running the Steam client through Wine can sometimes have stability issues (crashes and dropdown menus freezing)
3. Steam Overlay - Doesn't work while running the Steam client through Wine
4. Steam Controller Configuration - Doesn't work while running the Steam client through Wine
5. Steam Big Picture - Doesn't work while running the Steam client through Wine

1. Ok, but I didn't see that as an issue (restart). Didn't think it would be done often enough - but, I presume you do. That's actually quite informative to me.
Viewing installed games, same deal. I hadn't thought of that - choose what to remove to free some space perhaps?
I don't personally have setup issues, so I can't relate to that point.
2. Ok, again, never had that as a problem. Can't relate. Which version of wine, or all versions?
3. Huh. I'll check that in just over a week when back at my main system.
4. Another point I didn't think on. Cheers.
5. Ah. Big picture. Never worked properly outside of wine either, so never bothered via wine and forgot about it. Now this is a really good point, and does indeed make a difference where it's used. Cheers.
Eike 18 January 2019 at 2:42 pm UTC
NeptNutzLet's be clear, desktop towers are now almost—exclusively—the domain of PC gamers. Every other non-gaming "legacy" user has moved on to laptops, all-in-ones, tablets, and Chromebooks.

I'm just sitting next to a PC tower at work, and I don't think I'm the only one.
MagicMyth 18 January 2019 at 2:49 pm UTC
somebody1121I tried tomb raider 2013 and it's much faster than native. In the mountain village a get now 60 fps with vsync enable, on native it's 22-24 fps because of one core with 100% utilization. I also tried Deus Ex MKD but doesn't start.

BAH you beat me to it! Currently still downloading the Windows version myself to compare (backed up the native). The mountain village/shanty town area seems to be massively CPU bound. To the point that increasing my CPU from 3.8GHz to 3.85GHz gained me an extra 3-6 frames in that area keeping just above 30. I've tested the same system with a R9 285, R9 390 and now a RX 580 and all perform identical in that particular area. Clearly hitting some translation bottle neck that requires raw CPU performance to get over the hump which is why my friends i7 6700K greatly outperforms my Ryzen in that specific use case. In the past I ended up playing the game on an old laptop i7-3520K with an external R9 270X running the Windows which ran maxed settings at a solid 60fps. Not hateing on Feral here as it was one of their earliest ports and I think it used Openg GL 3.3 rather than 4 which probably made getting a good DX11 translation even harder. I really wish they would go back and apply some of there obviously improved techniques to the game. I'd happily pay them another few quid for an updated port. I wouldn't be surprised if that bottleneck at the shanty town was not even challenging for them now.

Anyway I'll report back to confirm if the Proton running version works out better.
mirv 18 January 2019 at 2:53 pm UTC
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mirvThat mirv guy was told to get his eyes checked for not agreeing. I didn't see it as a joke and asked it to be dropped. It was not.

No, I'm being told my opinion is wrong, without being told why. I suspected a case of "because Valve", and planted a few words to check....and it seems that way in some cases.
But not others. There have been a couple replies of normality, some reasons I hadn't considered. Might I highlight them?

Do you not see the hypocrisy in that? I'm not going to say that others havent reacted poorly. I'm not gonna argue that others arent in the wrong too. But let me just play out the scenario for you.

mirv: why not use wine?
others: **reasons**
mir: why not use wine?
others: **reasons**
mir: why not use wine?
others: why are you being like this?? (plus some less than favorable responses)
mir: why are you saying im wrong?

Arent you pretty much saying that others opinions are wrong by ignoring their points? People have said plenty of times that it being built in to steam is easier for them and for many many people. I, like many others, hate touching wine. Good for you in that you mastered it. Your responses (or lack thereof) clearly aren't encouraging civil discussions.

Everyone (including myself), lets take a step back and try to learn and become better members of the community to try to mitigate further encounters like this.

Sorry, but I didn't see many giving actual reasons. Some gave "reasons" of something that was already possible, in my experience, which was why I asked: why be excited when it could already be done? TheDaftRick pointed out much I hadn't thought of, and liamdawe had a couple things too.
I've not mastered wine. Vanilla, latest release, and sometimes I try git. I would like to know why I'm ok with it (technically speaking), while others might not be - or maybe they're getting something extra from "Proton" that I'm not seeing. Which are the main reasons why I ask.
jardon 18 January 2019 at 3:03 pm UTC
mirv
jardon
mirvThat mirv guy was told to get his eyes checked for not agreeing. I didn't see it as a joke and asked it to be dropped. It was not.

No, I'm being told my opinion is wrong, without being told why. I suspected a case of "because Valve", and planted a few words to check....and it seems that way in some cases.
But not others. There have been a couple replies of normality, some reasons I hadn't considered. Might I highlight them?

Do you not see the hypocrisy in that? I'm not going to say that others havent reacted poorly. I'm not gonna argue that others arent in the wrong too. But let me just play out the scenario for you.

mirv: why not use wine?
others: **reasons**
mir: why not use wine?
others: **reasons**
mir: why not use wine?
others: why are you being like this?? (plus some less than favorable responses)
mir: why are you saying im wrong?

Arent you pretty much saying that others opinions are wrong by ignoring their points? People have said plenty of times that it being built in to steam is easier for them and for many many people. I, like many others, hate touching wine. Good for you in that you mastered it. Your responses (or lack thereof) clearly aren't encouraging civil discussions.

Everyone (including myself), lets take a step back and try to learn and become better members of the community to try to mitigate further encounters like this.

Sorry, but I didn't see many giving actual reasons. Some gave "reasons" of something that was already possible, in my experience, which was why I asked: why be excited when it could already be done? TheDaftRick pointed out much I hadn't thought of, and liamdawe had a couple things too.
I've not mastered wine. Vanilla, latest release, and sometimes I try git. I would like to know why I'm ok with it (technically speaking), while others might not be - or maybe they're getting something extra from "Proton" that I'm not seeing. Which are the main reasons why I ask.

i think that in most cases (and in mine specifically) its just a hassle. most people come from windows or mac and just want to click and install things. and while ive been using linux for quite a while, sometimes having to learn all new systems just to use simple programs is just exhausting. there are times where im totally down for putting in the effort to learn something new and tinker, but even i just feel like having everything just work sometimes. while you may have streamlined youre setup and configurations for wine, most of us havent and would have to invest a significant amount of time to get to where you are.

That being said. Thanks for responding to TheDaftRick. I know we can all be a pain to deal with sometimes. I've gotten in my fair share of arguments with some of the people here. Lets all keep working on respecting each other and putting our pride aside. Cheers mate
MagicMyth 18 January 2019 at 3:03 pm UTC
Tomb Raider 2013 definitely runs much better using Proton. I wacked the settings up to ultimate and went straight to the mountain village. Was getting over 60fps in the same area I got half that on OpenGL. DXVK's magic is damn impressive.

Also worth noting. When switching over to the Windows version Steam only downloaded an extra 570MB instead of the several gigs a fresh install is. So it seems Steam might be intelligent enough to re-use the parts of the content that are identical between versions.

I do feel a little dirty running the Windows version when a good (effort) native one is available
Eike 18 January 2019 at 3:10 pm UTC
NeptNutz
EikeI'm just sitting next to a PC tower at work, and I don't think I'm the only one.
I'm sorry to hear that. Maybe you should install some games on that thing.

Thanks, I'm happy with it.
... but yes, some games for the time after work(*) would be nice!

(*) It's a shame that the English language doesn't have a decent word for the German "Feierabend". "Feierabend" ("Feier" being celebration/party and "Abend" the evening time) has a connotation of finally, work is done and we can do what we want. (Probably the opposite of what we Germans are know for. )
Liam Dawe 18 January 2019 at 3:10 pm UTC
I will have an article out today with some comparisons and thoughts, might help settle some arguments...
Eike 18 January 2019 at 3:13 pm UTC
mirvSorry, but I didn't see many giving actual reasons. Some gave "reasons" of something that was already possible, in my experience, which was why I asked: why be excited when it could already be done? TheDaftRick pointed out much I hadn't thought of, and liamdawe had a couple things too.

As I'm wondering if you seen it, I'll repost mine:

EikeWhile I got more concerns than being excited about Proton (and neither use WINE nor Proton for gaming), Proton..
* is easier to use,
* makes games count as Linux sale and
* offers Valve's support for the whitelisted games.
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