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As we speculated previously, Valve have now officially announced their new version of 'Steam Play' for Linux gaming using a modified distribution of Wine called Proton, which is available on GitHub.

What does it do? In short: it allows you to play Windows games on Linux, directly through the Steam client as if they were a Linux game.

What many people suspected turned out to be true, DXVK development was actually funded by Valve. They actually employed the DXVK developer since February 2018. On top of that, they also helped to fund: vkd3d (Direct3D 12 implementation based on Vulkan), OpenVR and Steamworks native API bridges, wined3d performance and functionality fixes for Direct3D 9 and Direct3D 11 and more.

The amount of work that has gone into this—it's ridiculous.

Here's what they say it improves:

  • Windows games with no Linux version currently available can now be installed and run directly from the Linux Steam client, complete with native Steamworks and OpenVR support.
  • DirectX 11 and 12 implementations are now based on Vulkan, resulting in improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact.
  • Fullscreen support has been improved: fullscreen games will be seamlessly stretched to the desired display without interfering with the native monitor resolution or requiring the use of a virtual desktop.
  • Improved game controller support: games will automatically recognize all controllers supported by Steam. Expect more out-of-the-box controller compatibility than even the original version of the game.
  • Performance for multi-threaded games has been greatly improved compared to vanilla Wine.

It currently has a limited set of games that are supported, but even so it's quite an impressive list that they're putting out there. Which includes DOOM, FINAL FANTASY VI, Into The Breach, NieR: Automata, S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl, Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and more. They will enable many more titles as progress on it all continues.

To be clear, this is available right now. To get it, you need to be in the Steam Client Beta.

There will be drawbacks, like possible performance issues and games that rely on some DRM might likely never be supported, but even so the amount of possibilities this opens up has literally split my head open with Thor's mighty hammer.

Read more here.

Holy shit. Please excuse the language, but honestly, I'm physically shaking right now I don't quite know how to process this.

Update #1: I spoke to Valve earlier, about how buying Windows games to play with this system counts, they said this:

Hey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

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Whitewolfe80 21 August 2018 at 10:54 pm UTC
liamdaweUpdate from Valve to me:
QuoteHey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

Oh wow that is excellent good so this could be the move that makes devs think about native linux ports if they see a big enough profit margin mmmm
minidou 21 August 2018 at 10:55 pm UTC
NeptNutzQUESTION: Once this goes stable, what's to stop every desktop gamer jumping to Linux, especially with bright new horizons like Mesa 18, RADV, and Linux completely smacking the pants off Windows with the new Threadripper?

Anti cheat softwares.
Shmerl 21 August 2018 at 10:55 pm UTC
Ah, found it:

I think this is the major project that Wine developers were working on to fix this:

Last edited by Shmerl at 21 August 2018 at 10:56 pm UTC
legluondunet 21 August 2018 at 10:56 pm UTC
It's one of the biggest news, it's not the biggest news for Linux gamers for a long time!
Last time I feel so excited it was the announce of the Steam client port on Linux or the first Tomb Raider Linux version.
But for the moment I didn't find the button to install Windows games on Linux....where is it lol
Oh my god there is Tekken 7 in the Whitelist!!! Where is this Steam play button???

Last edited by legluondunet at 21 August 2018 at 11:00 pm UTC
somebody1121 21 August 2018 at 10:56 pm UTC
This mean that I can play windows online games without getting ban
Maybe will see a rise in Linux usage on Steam, especially with the Chinese coffees since it will be cheaper to install Linux than buy a Windows license

Now if this can actually make injectors work for things like far mod for Nier...
Alm888 21 August 2018 at 10:59 pm UTC
So, in case Valve in fact gets somewhere with its small WINE trick…

How long will it take for Microsoft® to sue WINE and Valve® for copyright infringement regarding Windows™ API and unlicensed DirectX™ implementation?

After all, WINE was tolerated only as long as it was relatively useless. I dobt Microsoft® will allow someone to chew off some 20…30% of its market share with basically its own API.
Luke_Nukem 21 August 2018 at 10:59 pm UTC
liamdaweUpdate from Valve to me:
QuoteHey Liam, the normal algorithm is in effect, so if at the end of the two weeks you have more playtime on Linux, it'll be a Linux sale. Proton counts as Linux.

Oh this is so gooooood!
Patola 21 August 2018 at 11:02 pm UTC
If anyone is willing to test: go to steam settings, account, beta participation, choose the beta steam client. It will restart.
Then go to steam settings again, go to steam play, check these settings: image
Restart Steam again.
Try and find a free title from the supported list. One that I found is Doki Doki Literature Club (it has a linux version elsewhere but it doesn't matter for the test). Click on install.
After it finishes just press play. It will ask for confirmation:
That's it!
If anyone wants to use this post or any of its images, consider it public domain.

Last edited by Patola at 21 August 2018 at 11:04 pm UTC
Nezchan 21 August 2018 at 11:05 pm UTC
I wonder if some devs being lazy is actually fine in the long run. After all, it remains that even with the boom in native Linux games, largely thanks to Steam, the perception that we don't have very many games is still one of the big barriers to "regular people" adopting Linux. So if this goes any distance to overcome that, then it increases the market share of people taking up the platform and gaming on it the same as the rest of us already do. Newcomers don't care how they get their games, just that they can play them.

Which in the end gives us more leverage to convince devs to give us proper ports rather than rely on Wine and the like. Perhaps that's overly optomistic, but I think that's the sort of strategy that's in Gabe's head right now.
antisol 21 August 2018 at 11:07 pm UTC
mirooh well, I am really not that happy as most people.

from now on I'm really afraid that too many publishers will use this as an excuse not to provide native linux builds in case it runs "well enough" with proton/wine.

since this is now to be built-in, most people will not have to understand what wine even is, they will take the running binary for granted. hence what is to expect is less performance and continuous direct x instead of opengl or vulkan

this would totally be acceptable for older/legacy titles, but I really think too many will jump on that train that it runs with proton and that there is no need to compile it for linux.
we'll see.

This is exactly how I feel. On the whole I'm betting it'll be detrimental - we'll see less ports as a result.
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