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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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Shmerl 22 August 2018 at 12:21 am UTC
I'm going to test Esync Wine shortly.
linuxslacker 22 August 2018 at 12:27 am UTC
switched to the beta and upgraded to latest NVIDIA drivers

sofar only ran subnautica and had the escape pod/some objects be invisible so used feedback to submit the bug
really wish subnautica would just do a linux port been waiting since it was announced hopefully they fix it to work with steamplay atleast

more titles still downloading i just hope this doesnt lead to less linux ports i normally dont do wine but atleast this type of wine will count as a linux sale instead of whatever windows version wine reports

anyone put up a list anywhere of games that run well/has problems with this modified version of wine?

Edit: got subnautica working by forcing opengl

also tried but doesnt work
sniper elite v2
viscera cleanup detail - freezes installing .net

works but with lag
sanctum 1

Last edited by linuxslacker at 22 August 2018 at 2:48 am UTC
Luke_Nukem 22 August 2018 at 12:29 am UTC
Spud13ySo I guess this is how gaming on Linux will die.

No... It won't.

This means that all those people who said "But muh Windoz gamezs!!!" no longer have that excuse to not try Linux. This plus the use of Proton counting as a Linux sale means GOOD THINGS!
Liam Dawe 22 August 2018 at 12:39 am UTC
Tried Star Wars: Battlefront 2 and yup, works like any other game. Tried S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat (not on Valve's official list) and also worked like a dream.

Sadly, Skyrim Special Edition didn't give me any NPC voices, so that was a bit of a bust for now.

Doom is going to take forever to download, so I think it might be time to get some sleep and gather my thoughts...
Traversy 22 August 2018 at 12:41 am UTC
Very excited to try this when I get home. Over the years my linux games library grew to over half my games, but this gets back all the rest.

I symphatize with the concerns about developers not targetting linux, but unless we can make targetting linux consistently worth it, we'll just keep waiting. It may never arrive.

I was secretly hoping Steam would let us download games and launch it in Wine/crossover, but proton and the dxvk incorporation really lowers the barrier of entry.

All this being said, I'll generally stick to games with proper linux ports or proper vulkan implementation. May make an exception for NieR Automata though..
Asu 22 August 2018 at 12:42 am UTC
Dedale 22 August 2018 at 12:42 am UTC
Good night Liam !

I need some sleep too.
Salvatos 22 August 2018 at 12:47 am UTC
I like how Valve seem to also be pushing for Vulkan adoption with this in their statements. And with Google funding Photoshop compatibility via Wine, that's more and more barriers falling before a new Windows exodus.
chancho_zombie 22 August 2018 at 12:49 am UTC
and now we now why dxvk it's not open to donations, besides of having a gazillion of devs.

Last edited by chancho_zombie at 22 August 2018 at 12:50 am UTC
rkfg 22 August 2018 at 12:49 am UTC
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Tested Mass Effect 2, kinda wonky experience. Sound disappeared at the first launch, the game crashed on starting a new game (the error window was behind the main game window and the loading animation was playing over and over again so I waited patiently). The resolution was set to 800x600 but it's probably expected from an old game, I changed it manually to 1920x1200. It also said my hw is not supported so I should expect bugs. Then it crashed right after creating Shep but I restarted it and loaded the save, all was fine after that.

Also, tried Big Picture with Steam Controller. First time it also launched weirdly, probably in a minimized window or so, then it was fine. The game doesn't support controllers so I chose a popular configuration and it was good. I remember ME2 was quite solid on pure Wine but it was about 6 years ago. And yeah, graphics look quite dated now after all these AAA ported games, especially RotTR.

tl;dr I feel old now, thanks GabeN.
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