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PCGamingWiki Looks At Tropico 5 And Borderlands 2 Linux Ports

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Regular readers may recall PCGamingWiki contributor soeb's previous high level analyses of Civilization V and XCOM: Enemy Unknown (read here for our previous coverage), which looked at the visuals, performance and end user experiences provided by their Linux ports.

Earlier this week, soeb published two more Port Reports, this time sitting down to compare Tropico 5 and Borderlands 2's Linux ports against their Windows counterparts.

For Tropico 5, the report highlights Linux having graphical equality with Windows, but slightly lower performance. Also of note is the improvements in game pad support that were added to the game alongside the Linux port. Cross platform Steam cloud support is missing, but is apparently on the way.

QuoteDespite the lower over-all performance, I think it's safe to say this is a very solid port. With graphical parity, improved experience in places, and what is after-all the first foray into Linux and OpenGL development by the developer, the game still behaves very well.


On the Borderlands 2 front, performance is notably lower on Linux than Windows, though still high enough to provide Linux users with a pleasant experience. Graphics are again on par, although some PhysX effects are disabled in the Linux version.

QuoteIt can be said with confidence, that this is a really well-made port. Though still not the perfect port in the performance department, the improvements in this area will require effort from both game and driver developers. The lack of discrepancies and the overall stability of the port do more than enough to make playing on Linux as comfortable as on Windows.


soeb has reached out to ask for feedback from the Linux gaming community to find out what people appreciate from the PC Report series and what they would like to see in future articles as they become more in-depth.

QuoteI've found it deeply enjoyable to write these articles, and I'd love to hear what do people see as most useful in them. I'm always keen on expanding the scope of these reports, and I'd be happy to hear any suggestions as to which areas they should expand into, and what else should future articles cover.

What are your thoughts? Article taken from
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About the author -
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Game developer, Linux helper person, and independent writer/interviewer.

Currently working on Winter's Wake, a first person text adventure thing and its engine Icicle. Also making a little bee themed base builder called Hive Time :)

I do more stuff than could ever fit into a bio.
See more from me
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Beamboom 10 Oct, 2014
Slightly offtopic maybe, but can someone explain to me what exactly this "PhysX effects" is? What am I missing from my Borderlands experience on Linux?
I've played Borderlands 2 both on PS3 and Windows earlier, but can't seem to notice any difference in the physics in the Linux version (if we by physics means how things fall and move and handle and so forth)?
Switches 10 Oct, 2014
PhysX is basically a multi-threaded physics simulation engine that allows PPU or Cuda (Cuda is much more used now than a seperate PPU like the 3dfx days)to handle physics calculations. In basic terms it makes the GPU handle the Physics calculations so it doesn't waste CPU time.

It's not really noticeable to an end user, it just allows for smoother physics handling with it all being done by the GPU.
natewardawg 10 Oct, 2014
Yes, you pretty much nailed it on the head. PhysX is a commonly used middleware that handles physics simulations :)
Osirez 10 Oct, 2014
Also must be noted that PhysX is proprietary to Nvidia. Which means even for Windows users that have AMD cards or cards that don't support PhysX then they don't get these extra effects.
natewardawg 10 Oct, 2014
As far as the port goes, I've been playing BL2 on Linux. There are a few hickups such as the game locking up for about a second or two, it happens rarely enough to not be too annoying. Overall, I'm very happy with the port and it was the only game I had been using Windows for (and was actually playing it in Wine). So, I don't expect to be using Windows for gaming at all anymore. :)

I have XCOM and Civ 5 also. I've played both quite a bit and they've been flawless for me.
Guest 10 Oct, 2014
PhysX in Borderlands is noticeable though not game changing; here's a comparison video:
pete910 10 Oct, 2014
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You know that DynamicLights is off by default in Borderlands2 for *nix!

/.local/share/aspyr-media/borderlands 2/willowgame/config/willowengine.ini

Line 1099


Change to


Xpander 10 Oct, 2014
Quoting: pete910You know that DynamicLights is off by default in Borderlands2 for *nix!

wait what? it was enabled for me by default.
afaik its only disabled by default for ati gpu users
pete910 10 Oct, 2014
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It was disabled on my sons too, as well as mine. He has Nvidia card.
natewardawg 10 Oct, 2014
Mine is enabled by default, it may be a checking for the card and setting initial settings for it.
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