Games Windows Compatibility

How to play Windows games on Linux

Linux OS provides the kind of security and stability that somewhat Windows fails to deliver. However, most of the gamers deviate towards Windows because of the misconception that Linux cannot support Windows games. Users who want to go for gaming will rarely pick Linux and users comfortable with Linux will rarely switch to Windows.

The most often question you’ve been asked as a Linux user is how do you play games? Well, when it comes to gaming we know that Windows leads Linux to some extent. That doesn’t mean that we can never play our favorite Windows games again. It’s just a misconception that Ubuntu does not support Windows gameplay. What people don’t usually know is that game developers are increasingly taking advantage of the Linux’s growing market. Not only there are companies making Linux based games but companies like Valve or Steam are trying to develop tools that can support Windows games on your Linux system, not just Ubuntu but Linux in general.

A big advantage of using Linux over any other gaming platforms is the stability it has to offer. Other systems are generally loaded with bugs or freezing issues. Gamers can easily get frustrate from untimely interruptions whilst completing their missions. To save you from this trouble, Linux will give you better stability in the gaming domain as well.

So now coming to the juicy part of our topic, how exactly can you play Windows games on Linux? Below are tools that support your favorite Windows games on Linux.


The most common way to support Windows games is to get Wine installed on your system. When the WineHQ released their first stable version 1.0, it already supported 200 most popular games of Windows. The latest version of wine also offers rankings of the games which help in determining the number of configurations they require. If you see a Platinum ranking, it means that the game has 99% chances of working. Gold ranking means that you’d need to configure them a little bit, but in the end, they’ll work fine.  They are labeled as gold because they haven’t been integrated with the newest version of wine. Silver and Bronze labels mean that there may be some issues in the game. Of course, if a game shows garbage ranking, the chances of it working would be as rare as seeing a penguin talk. Check out their huge database before installing it.

Steam Play

A new beta version of the Steam play was released this year. A way that allow users to access Windows, Mac and Linux versions of steam games. They already had more than 3000 games for Linux users and have been adding more with each day. In order to increase the compatibility with the Windows games, they decided to include the beta version of Steam Play which includes a modified of Wine, Proton.
Their official site has listed some of the benefits that the new version will provide:

  • Windows games with no current Linux versions can be installed and run directly from Linux Steam client.
  • It will include complete built-in support for Steamworks and OpenVR.
  • Improved game compatibility and reduced performance impact due to the implementation of DirectX 11 & 12
  • Games will recognize all controllers automatically.
  • Multi-thread games will have improved performance as compared to vanilla Wine.

Check out the list of games that new Steam beta version supports.

PlayOnLinux (POL)

Not only does it provide an interactive and user-friendly front-end, but also includes a series of pre-built scripts to help users install some specific games pretty quickly. It is an effective and more user-friendly interface to Wine emulator, allowing you to configure and access it outside of command line. The advantage that you have is if you cannot find your game listed in PlayOnLinux or if the script fails, you can just visit Wine Application Database and enter the name game you desire in the Search box. Cons of POL is that Wine is hardware specified meaning that its performance will depend on the kind of hardware you’re using and unfortunately POL cannot work without Wine.


Lutris is a tool that allows you to install and manage games on Linux. It works for built-in and Windows games as well as emulators. A Wine-based compatibility layer, Proton, which allows playing Windows-only games, but is strictly for steam games. Lutris can be used to enhance your experience of playing other games, like Blizzard games. It provides a large database of games and has install scripts for download.


People are trying to move towards Linux due to the greater degree of stability it offers. Gamers have this idea that Linux won’t be able to support their favorite games, hence they are hesitant. However, it is just a hox and companies, worldwide, are putting efforts to provide comfort to gamers who might want to shift to Linux.

About the author

Zeeman Memon

Zeeman Memon

Hi there! I'm a Software Engineer by degree, Blogger by skills who loves to write about tech, develop websites & do SEO. You can reach out to me on LinkedIn.