Valve have put out an updated stable update to the Steam client that brings in a rather interesting feature for OpenGL and Vulkan games.
This latest stable update pulls in the changes introduces in recent beta versions, most notably the new Shader Pre-Caching system that's available for OpenGL and Vulkan games.
Certain games can take a long time to load, or stutter quite heavily when you first play it. This is often because it's building a shader cache. With this new system, some games may come with this pre-made for you resulting in a smoother experience, something that will be ideal for Linux gaming.
The feature can be disabled too if it causes issues, you can find it in the overall Steam settings. Here's how Valve explained it:
New feature: Shader Pre-Caching. Whenever possible, depending on hardware and driver support, Steam can download pre-compiled shaders for your specific video card. This reduces load times and in-game stuttering during the first few launches of OpenGL- and Vulkan-based games on supported hardware. This feature may use a small amount of additional bandwidth as Steam uploads and analyzes a shader usage report after each run of the game. The feature can be disabled via a new entry in the Settings dialog.
On top of that, they also pulled in these Linux-specific fixes:
- Fixed creating desktop and application menu shortcuts
- Added detection and a workaround for certain titles that shipped with broken Steamworks SDK libraries
See the changelog here.