HOWTO: Gaming and games on Linux

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Refalm
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HOWTO: Gaming and games on Linux

Post by Refalm »

1. Hardware
Choosing the right videocard is pretty important. The quality of drivers for videocards differ dramatically.

Here's a short comparison:
========
AMD Radeon [Nice]
Great non-free driver. Support for Vulkan is especially great.
Make sure you get the fglrx-experimental-X driver though, especially on a laptop.

NVIDIA GeForce [Good]
Decent non-free driver that gets updated regularly, everything that is supported on Windows and Mac OS X is in this driver.
However, if you're on a laptop, make sure you use nvidia-xrun, since Optimus support is poor.

Intel HD Graphics [Bwah]
Decent open source driver. However, this videocard is made for thin clients and netbooks, not so great for gaming.

Matrox Graphics [Bwah]
Decent non-free driver. 3D acceleration is supported, but it may be incompatible with a lot of games.
========

The best way to install the driver for your videocard is to look how to in your own distribution documentation.

Because installing non-free applications on Linux defeats the whole purpose of open source, the open source driver is installed. The open source driver works great with the desktop, but not with gaming, so obviously you want the non-free driver.

Some distributions like Ubuntu and Manjaro have a point and click interface to install it, on others like Arch and Gentoo, you need to recompile the kernel to include the driver. Use DuckDuckGo, or ask in the appropriate forum.

2. Linux native games
Now that you installed a non-free driver, you got to check out some games for Linux.

Check out Steam or Top 250 Steam games for Linux, GOG.com, or itch.io.
They offer a lot of commercial titles. You'll be surprised that games like Dying Light, Left 4 Dead 2, Life is Strange, Natural Selection 2, Serious Sam 3, etc. are Linux native.

3. Windows games
The best platform for PC gaming is Windows. But that doesn't mean that you'll have to run Windows. Just a small part of it, enough to run games and some applications.

Lutris
Get Wine and Lutris for any non-Steam game.

Find Wine in your distribution's store and install it. For example on Debian, start Synaptic and search for Wine. Major like Ubuntu and Manjoro have similar stores where you can search and install.

Read how to install Lutris.net. Lutris is pretty easy to use. Just search for the game you want to play, click a few buttons and it'll just work. It does things like patches and settings for you.

Steam
In Steam, go to "Settings" -> "Steam Play". Then make sure "Enable Steam Play For Supported Titles" is on, then click "OK". Now you can play many Windows-only Steam games on Linux. Restart Steam, and double click on a game to play as usual.

4. Mounting ISO's
You may not believe this, but some people actually copy their legally bought DVD to an ISO file, and then virtually mount it, so it looks like they inserted the original DVD.
Those people are probably in dire need of shiny beer coasters.

If this is you, you can install CDEmu.

5. Ownage
Now go make some headshots :P
Last edited by Refalm on Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:43 am, edited 29 times in total.

piratepenguin
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Post by piratepenguin »

Sound stuff.

However, I thought that a lot of Intel and AMD cards had decent free drivers. This has been my experience with all of my cards (good acceleration out of the box in Ubuntu), however my cards would be all aging.

Do you know how AMDs commitment to supporting a free driver is working?

Refalm
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Post by Refalm »

Intel indeed has an open source driver, so I edited the topic.

ATI has a non-free driver, and as far as I can tell, there are no plans to make them open source.

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