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Steam Play update makes Windows-only games playable on Linux

Valve rolls out new open source compatibility tool Proton, complete with Vulkan support

Linux users are now able to play more Steam games that were previously only playable on Windows.

Valve has detailed the latest update for Steam Play, its system that enables users of the marketplace to access their purchases across Windows, Mac and Linux. While more than 3,000 titles do have official Linux support, the firm is keen to expand this to more of its inventory.

The new Steam Play update has been released in beta and includes a compatibility tool called Proton, which enables Windows-only games to run on Linux. The tool itself is based on a similar product called Wine and is fully open source, available via GitHub.

DirectX 11 and 12 are now handled by the Vulkan API, and Proton also automatically recognises all Steam-supported controllers.

For developers, Valve advises that if they are already working on Linux support or use a compatible engine, they should just carry on as planned. If a studio was not planning to release on Linux, making their game work natively with Vulkan should open the option for it to work via the new Steam Play update.

There are 27 games that are officially supported by the beta version of this update, ranging from indie titles like Doki Doki Literature Club and Into The Breach to AAA games like Tekken 7, as well as classic titles like the first Doom games and the 2005 Star Wars: Battlefront 2. There are even virtual reality titles on the list, including Beat Saber and Doom VFR.

Valve notes that Proton can be used to play Windows-only games on Linux even if they're not market as compatible by enabling Steam Play for all games. Users will also be able to vote for titles they want to be added to Steam Play using their wishlist.

The company does note that some titles using anti-cheat systems or complex DRM will be "difficult or even impossible to support."

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James Batchelor: James is Editor-in-Chief at, and has been a B2B journalist since 2006. He is author of The Best Non-Violent Video Games
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