How To Use Steam Proton To Play Windows Games On Linux?

Proton brings over 16,000 Windows games to Linux!

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There’s no denying the fact that Linux gaming is getting better each day. Thanks to the Proton compatibility layer, which translates DirectX commands on Windows to Vulkan-understandable instructions on Linux, over 16,000 games in the Steam library can be played on Linux.

Proton is indeed a huge deal for Linux, especially with Valve using the same in its upcoming Steam Deck with Linux. But how exactly can we use Steam Proton to play Windows games on Linux? Read more to find out.

How to Use Steam Proton to Play Windows Games?

Enabling the Proton

1. Fire up the Steam app from the app menu.

2. In the top-left corner of the app, click on Steam and then click on Settings.

Steam settings - how to use proton in linux

3. In the sidebar, find and click on Steam Play.

4. Click Enable Steam Play for supported titles and Enable Steam Play for all other title options.

enable steam play

Now that Steam Play is enabled, you can start playing Windows games on Linux. Choose a game from your Steam library and click on Install. If you haven’t bought any games from Steam, here’s a list of the ten best AAA Windows games that you can play on Linux. Once the installation’s done, click on Play to launch the game and start playing.

CS: GO Manjaro

Can I Install Non-Steam Games Using Proton?

The short answer is, yes, you can. The Steam app allows you to add Non-Steam games to the Library. All you need to do is open Steam > Add Game (On the bottom left corner of the app) > Add a Non-Steam game > Navigate to your Game’s .exe file > Add Selected Programs.

If your game is on the Epic Games Launcher or Ubisoft Connect, you can use Wine with any Wine front-end (Lutris or Play on Linux) to install their respective launchers and games. If the games don’t work, try running them with Proton. Follow the same method as mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Games with anti-cheat mechanisms like BattlEye and EAC don’t work as of now. Valve, however, is working with developers of these anti-cheat programs and has promised that by the time Steam Deck comes out, close to 100% of games on Steam will be playable.

What do you think of the current Linux gaming scenario? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar is a Linux and Tech Writer. Hailing from a Computer Science background, the start of his love for Tech dates back to 2011, when he was gifted a Dell Inspiron 5100. When he's not covering Tech, you'll find him binge-watching anime and Tech content on YouTube or hunting heads in competitive FPS games. You can also find his work on Android Police and How-To Geek.
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