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Cities: Skylines, Stellaris and more now use the Paradox Launcher and for quite a lot of people it has caused some problems. Now, there's an alternative.

Enter "Not Paradox Launcher", yes that's the actual name. As amusing as that is, this open source alternative was originally made for Windows but now it also has Linux support and in my own little testing it works quite well across multiple Paradox titles.

It's designed to use lower memory than the existing launcher, it can auto-start your game instead of clicking through more buttons, no data collection, no user accounts needed, can auto-load your last saved game and more. Quite a useful little open source application.

Safe to use? Yes. When you first run the application it only replaces a single text file to tell the initial Paradox launch script what launcher to use so that this shows up instead. Quite clever really. If you remove the text file (found in ~/.local/share/Paradox Interactive/launcherpath), then run a Paradox game again, it makes a new file to link it back to the official launcher. So if you don't like it, it's super easy to rollback.

Find it on GitHub here.

Hat tip to dpanter.

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kusochi 23 Mar
Paradox should just use this one instead of their proprietary launcher.
Maki 23 Mar
I stopped playing Cities: Skylines due to the launcher.
This might just get me back to playing it, although that means I add myself back to the active players pool again...
StraToN 23 Mar
Cities: Skylines has monstruous loading times on my laptop. I can't understand this. Anyway I'll try this launcher with other Paradox games I have, may be useful..
lah7 23 Mar
Good idea. Though, I forgot about the launcher entirely since setting the launch options on Steam:
/path/to/steamapps/common/Cities_Skylines/Cities.x64 %command%
ixnari 23 Mar
This is a great find! When I found out Cities: Skylines added a launcher I was annoyed, because Steam already IS a launcher of sorts and it meant more cruft to click through to get to the game. AND, it meant you get advertised to twice: in the launcher and in the main menu in the game. Then there's Paradox's insistence that you log into your Paradox account. For a single player game. Why.

Then I found out about the telemetry baked into the launcher and I stopped being annoyed. I was, or rather, am now pissed off. I'll never look at a Paradox product again without thinking of what it might be doing in the background when I launch it. Paradox was already skirting on the edge of douchiness with their flood of DLCs for every single one of their products, but the launcher is a new low.

This new launcher, though, might get me back in the game. But I'll be honest, I'm on the lookout for the next great city sim that doesn't treat me like a repository of data to be harvested.
g000h 23 Mar
I wish all devs would concentrate on making efficient code instead of needless bloat, and features (i.e. data-collecting metrics) that the end-users do not need.
Appelsin 23 Mar
g000hI wish all devs would concentrate on making efficient code instead of needless bloat, and features (i.e. data-collecting metrics) that the end-users do not need.

In all likelyhood, the devs would, if they weren't given such idiotic "we need one of these launcher thingies" orders from above. It's management that usually want this nonsense, because everyone has got to have their own launcher and store and account and Google Analytics and DRM and a launcher for the launcher which you launch through another launcher.
the list of positive features is alarming
i do own cities skylines, i have never installed it or played it

thanks for the tip, and the enlightening

& -- most of my HOSTS block analytics where reasonable.
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