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Seems like there's no hope for BattlEye support within Steam Play

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With Valve and Easy Anti-Cheat in talks to get EAC supported within Steam Play, many readers asked about BattlEye as it's another anti-cheat solution blocking games actually working with Steam Play on Linux. I now have an answer on that.

I had a chat with the team at BattlEye and the result was basically this:

Unfortunately we can only support Linux if the respective game natively does so.

So there you have it. Titles like DayZ and PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS and many others are likely to never be fully playable on Linux with Steam Play. To be clear, I would love to be wrong of that of course. However, without the direct support of BattlEye, any progress towards it could be constantly broken any time it's tweaked and that's not a great situation to be in.

Since BattlEye does support Linux with native releases, if we want any title that makes use of it they're going to need to bring the game to Linux officially for now. For that to actually happen though, the elephant in the room is obviously the market share situation and how a lot of these developers don't see it as being worthwhile to do.

I've mentioned numerous times that such multiplayer titles will be a sore spot for Steam Play and it's likely to continue to be so for some time. At least, until we see the talks between Valve and EAC result in something.

There's also the new "Steam Trust" system Valve announced in January, as part of some changes coming to Steam. If developers end up using that (or EAC if it's eventually supported) then things for Steam Play may get better.

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28 comments
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Purple Library Guy 13 March 2019 at 4:55 pm UTC
Gobo
Shmerl
liamdawe
rea987That's odd, BattlEye previously supported Arma III which was an eON port. It looks like VP's ports are compatible with BattlEye than Proton.
This is because VP used the native BattlEye.

Can't the same be done with Wine? I.e. create some library which interfaces with native one through Windows shim? Their answer doesn't make sense. If it works natively on Linux, it should be able to work in Wine as well in theory, as long as they implement what's needed.

Well, I guess the main point about BattleEye and other cheat protections is spotting and prohibiting the tinkering with the software. And running the software through a layer that does not want to be called emulation but essentially is doing exactly that is a whole lot of hackery that sets off a lot of alarms in BattleEye to flag your PC as an unsafe and compromised environment.
I think Shmerl meant the other way around. I was wondering the same thing. There's a Linux native version of BattlEye, right? Sooo, what if Proton included that, and then the Windows version of the game could talk to the native Linux BattlEye which in turn talked to the Linux you're running, with nothing unusual between it and the OS, and probably not much unusual between it and the game.
Shmerl 13 March 2019 at 5:06 pm UTC
GoboWell, I guess the main point about BattleEye and other cheat protections is spotting and prohibiting the tinkering with the software. And running the software through a layer that does not want to be called emulation but essentially is doing exactly that is a whole lot of hackery that sets off a lot of alarms in BattleEye to flag your PC as an unsafe and compromised environment.

How do they decide, that native Linux environment isn't doing some stuff because it's customized? Nobody stops you from building a custom distro. The whole idea of "anti-cheat" is very moot really.


Last edited by Shmerl at 13 March 2019 at 5:07 pm UTC
Xaero_Vincent 13 March 2019 at 6:09 pm UTC
EAC-enabled multiplayer games may bring up the resurgence of GPU passthrough tech for Linux users until Wine & Proton have solid support for EAC. It's still a thing for the less purist Linux gamers open to using a Windows VM and a passed AMD or Nvidia GPU + Looking Glass.

I've personally had success running EAC-enabled games with the easy-to-use Intel GVT passthrough tech:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=95sLF_tLdWQ

image

Another option of course is In-Home Streaming. I've noticed good results using a crossover Ethernet connection directly between two computers. Just have to fiddle with Steam so it connects via the crossover connection rather than the router network.
Shmerl 13 March 2019 at 6:12 pm UTC
I'd recommend just ditching such games. Don't feed MS even by running Windows in VMs.
raneon 13 March 2019 at 6:23 pm UTC
Steam should add a red flag to games using something like BattlEye. In the case of Conan Exiles I can at least avoid BattlEye and still use the game that I paid for!
liamdawe 13 March 2019 at 6:37 pm UTC
raneonSteam should add a red flag to games using something like BattlEye. In the case of Conan Exiles I can at least avoid BattlEye and still use the game that I paid for!
I actually mentioned something similar more than once in articles before, that Valve need to have the anti-cheat noted on store pages to fully inform buyers.
axredneck 13 March 2019 at 6:41 pm UTC
Xaero_Vincent... using a Windows VM and a passed AMD or Nvidia GPU + Looking Glass...
You still need Windows for it. I don't have one except unsupported WinXP.
Xaero_Vincent 13 March 2019 at 6:43 pm UTC
ShmerlI'd recommend just ditching such games. Don't feed MS even by running Windows in VMs.

True. Only idle curiosity to try the most hyped about battle royale games get me to do so but I don't typically continue playing them for long. Running Windows in a VM on a Linux host isn't such a problem for me because I'm not a "purist" and unfortunately have to work with Windows systems everyday at work, so I really cannot become one. Besides, Windows 10 is free to download and install; Microsoft lets you use it indefinitely in an inactivated state and software like 'O&O ShutUp10' will help disable a good chunk of the telemetry spyware.

Like I said, Steam In-Home Streaming or Moonlight streaming are good options too, if you have access to another Windows computer on a home network and don't want to taint your main system with a dual-boot or virtual machine.
jens 13 March 2019 at 6:59 pm UTC
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Purple Library Guy
Gobo
Shmerl
liamdawe
rea987That's odd, BattlEye previously supported Arma III which was an eON port. It looks like VP's ports are compatible with BattlEye than Proton.
This is because VP used the native BattlEye.

Can't the same be done with Wine? I.e. create some library which interfaces with native one through Windows shim? Their answer doesn't make sense. If it works natively on Linux, it should be able to work in Wine as well in theory, as long as they implement what's needed.

Well, I guess the main point about BattleEye and other cheat protections is spotting and prohibiting the tinkering with the software. And running the software through a layer that does not want to be called emulation but essentially is doing exactly that is a whole lot of hackery that sets off a lot of alarms in BattleEye to flag your PC as an unsafe and compromised environment.
I think Shmerl meant the other way around. I was wondering the same thing. There's a Linux native version of BattlEye, right? Sooo, what if Proton included that, and then the Windows version of the game could talk to the native Linux BattlEye which in turn talked to the Linux you're running, with nothing unusual between it and the OS, and probably not much unusual between it and the game.

Considering also because something similar is already happening between a Steam Play/Proton game and the native Linux Steam client for Steam authentication.
ElectricPrism 13 March 2019 at 8:03 pm UTC
The ELI5 from a developer perspective (Player Unknown) probably looks like this.

Everyone has a maximum of 8-12 hours in a day where they could work.

They're already slammed with requests from users and problems to fix to keep the wheels running.

With the existing success of the game, why should they divert their very limited resources away from making sure the existing playerbase sustains.

Anyone that has ever owned a large business knows how tricky it is to bring in new human resources, and how ineffective, inefficient, and costly problem identification, and resolution can be. It's really easy to bite off more than you can chew.

With enough player demand though, their priorities can and do change.
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