Just because social distancing measures are finally being lifted doesn’t mean that the online gaming season is over. As a Linux gamer, you can choose from many exciting titles that let you and your friends enjoy a healthy dose of cooperative or competitive fun. Listed below are 10 online games for Linux that you can’t afford to miss in 2021.
Release date: November 18, 2011, | Developer: Mojang Studios | Supported platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux
If there’s one video game that has become an integral part of our culture, it’s Minecraft. As all toddlers know, stacking blocks on top of each other can be a bottomless source of fun. Fun only increases when you throw in complex crafting mechanics and survival elements, which is exactly the formula that has made Minecraft one of the most successful video games of all time.
Release date: August 29, 2017, | Developer: Studio Wildcard | Supported platforms: Linux, Windows, macOS, PS4, Xbox One, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, Stadia
Could you survive stranded on a remote island filled with roaming dinosaurs and other dangerous animals? All you need to do to find an answer to this question is install ARK: Survival Evolved on your Linux computer and play this thrilling action-adventure survival video game for a couple of hours. Just don’t expect a couple of hours to be enough to experience everything ARK has to offer.
Release date: October 21, 2016, | Developer: Firaxis Games | Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Android
Civilization VI is the latest entry in the wildly successful turn-based strategy 4X video games developed by Firaxis Games. The game’s premise is simple: you must make wise decisions to successfully evolve from a primitive settlement to a futuristic superpower through various means, such as technological dominance or military power. Thanks to the game’s turn-based nature, you can keep it running in the background while you do your work and bring it to the foreground only when you’re ready to decide the faith of your civilization.
Release date: August 21, 2012, | Developer: Valve Corporation, Hidden Path Entertainment | Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360
First released in 2012 as the sequel to the popular modification for Half-Life, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, or just CS:GO for short, it is still played to this day by countless professional and amateur gamers alike. If you’ve never played any Counter-Strike game before, then expect a rather steep learning curve as many seasoned players know the game’s mechanics better than they know their own wives and girlfriends.
Release date: February 26, 2016, | Developer: ConcernedApe | Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation Vita, iOS, Android
There are times when a relaxing video game is the best cure for everyday worries, and you would be hard-pressed to find a more relaxing video game than Stardew Valley. You play as a character who inherited a dilapidated farm, and your goal is to turn the farm around. To achieve this goal, you can enlist the help of up to four friends, who can join the same world through split-screen, over LAN, or by IP address.
Release date: October 10, 2007 | Developer: Valve Corporation | Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, Linux, PlayStation 3, macOS, Xbox 360
Before Overwatch, Apex Legends, and Fortnite, Team Fortress 2, a team-based multiplayer online first-person shooter, lets players pick from multiple distinct classes, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, and special abilities. Team Fortress 2 may be one of the oldest video games on this list, but more than 100,000 concurrent players still play it.
7. Dota 2
Release date: July 9, 2013, | Developer: Valve Corporation | Supported platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS
Although Linux gamers can’t play League of Legends and several other multiplayer online battle arenas (MOBA) video games, they at least get to enjoy Dota 2, a sequel to a community-created mod for Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, called Defense of the Ancients. As a player, you control a character with unique abilities, and your goal is to cooperate with your teammates to defeat the opposing team. Dota 2 is a popular esports title, so nothing stops you from pursuing a professional Dota career if that sounds interesting to you.
8. War Thunder
Release date: December 21, 2016, | Developer: Gaijin Entertainment | Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S
War Thunder lets you control a broad range of land, air, and naval war machines ranging from the pre-World War I era to the Iraq war and beyond. The game runs on all major platforms so that you can play it even with your Windows, macOS, and console friends. War Thunder is a free-to-play title, which means that you can get started for free and spend money only when you decide to unlock more aircraft, helicopters, tanks, warships, and other combat vehicles for you to decimate your opponents with.
Release date: July 7, 2015, | Developer: Psyonix | Supported platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5
Rocket League is a soccer video game played with cars. Yes, cars. Since cars tend to be faster and less maneuverable than the average soccer player, you can expect true mayhem as you chase the ball at full throttle from one side of the field to the other one. Since Rocket League has been around for a while, you can buy it for a very good price, and heavy discounts during major shopping holidays are common.
Release date: September 8, 2011, | Developer: Team Xonotic | Supported platforms: Linux, FreeBSD, macOS, and Windows
Built on Quake engine, Xonotic is a fast-paced open-source arena shooter created as a fork of Nexuiz. The game is guaranteed to provide all Quake fans with hours and hours of free fun. That’s right, Xonotic is completely free (no microtransactions, loot boxes, and other revenue-generation mechanics are present), and its developers have promised that it will always be free-to-play and available under the copyleft-style GPLv3+ license.