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Playing on Fedora: 2024 – Fedora Magazine

The world of gaming is thriving, with this captivating pastime continuously expanding and introducing new gaming experiences. As technology progresses, games are becoming more sophisticated, offering immersive and interconnected gameplay. This evolution fosters a social environment where individuals can team up, compete, and unwind. And the great news is that Fedora Linux provides you with the freedom to enjoy all of this. Read on to discover how you can engage with the latest video games on Fedora Linux in the year 2024.

Previously on…

Before we delve into the details, it’s recommended to refer back to our 2021 article for valuable insights. While much of the information from that piece still applies today, the landscape of Linux has indeed evolved in the past three years.

Disclaimer

This guide serves to assist you in playing the newest video games. However, it is important to note that many commercial games are proprietary and often require subscription-based online services. By utilizing such services and games, you may encounter various unfavorable software practices, including aggressive monetization, intrusive anti-tamper tools, and user data tracking. This guide focuses on the prerequisites for non-FLOSS gaming using Fedora Linux. The choice ultimately rests with you.

Game Launchers

Firstly, it’s essential to highlight that there are multiple community tools available for gaming on Linux. While our previous focus was predominantly on Steam, let’s explore a few other applications.

Minigalaxy

GOG.com has played a significant role in Linux gaming, providing native Linux packages for a wide range of games since 2014. They prioritize selling games without DRM. Despite their efforts to support Fedora Linux and other distributions, their official desktop application is not currently accessible on Linux.

Minigalaxy steps in to fill this gap. This community-created tool enables you to download games from GOG.com, automate updates, and more. Minigalaxy can be obtained as a conventional package or as a Flatpak.

$ sudo dnf install minigalaxy
$ flatpak install flathub io.github.sharkwouter.Minigalaxy

Bottles

For those who own games on physical media, repurchasing them on Steam or GOG could be deemed wasteful. While Lutris may support disk installations, it might not always be a viable option. In such cases, resorting to Wine is necessary.

Enter Bottles. This modern application simplifies Wine or Proton configuration without excessive complexities. Users can create a ‘bottle’ for each application, customizing configurations as needed. While this method may be more involved, it provides an alternative for running specific legacy software.

Bottles offers built-in scripts for installing platforms like Battle.net, Epic Game Store, and more. It even supports Steam, allowing your system to mimic a matryoshka doll. Bottles is currently the preferred tool for managing Wine, easily installable via Flatpak or traditional package.

$ flatpak install flathub com.usebottles.bottles
$ sudo dnf install bottles

Tweaking

In addition to launchers, there have been significant software updates over the past three years. Discord and Open Broadcast Software (OBS) now officially endorse Flathub, making it the recommended platform for utilizing these applications.

Proton Versions

Proton, as a utility, has made considerable progress. While Valve integrates official Proton versions with Steam, users also have the flexibility to download custom Proton versions. One popular community-managed variant is Proton Glorious Eggroll, renowned for its cutting-edge patches and enhancements not offered by Valve for the Steam Deck.

To streamline Proton management, consider using ProtonUp-Qt. This user-friendly application simplifies downloading the latest Proton GE version, along with other versions provided by various volunteers online.

$ flatpak install flathub net.davidotek.pupgui2

Gamescope

An additional tool that can enhance your gaming experience is Gamescope, developed by Valve. This tool enables you to upscale games using various methods, seamlessly integrating with Wayland to address auto-scaling issues encountered when transitioning from the X-window manager.

When combined with Steam, Gamescope allows you to render games at 1080p and output them at 1440p, optimizing performance for hardware that might otherwise struggle with certain titles.

$ gamescope -f -h 1080 -H 1440 -- %command%

You can also leverage Gamescope for older titles, rendering at 320p and outputting at 1440p with advanced upscaling.

$ gamescope -F fsr -f -h 320 -H 1440 -- /usr/bin/application

Gamescope accommodates users facing challenges with older games or limited hardware capabilities, offering a robust solution for gaming on Fedora Linux. Both Flatpak and traditional package versions can be concurrently installed.

$ sudo dnf install gamescope
$ flatpak install flathub org.freedesktop.Platform.VulkanLayer.gamescope

Challenges

Despite the positive aspects, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not everything is flawless, and while gaming on Fedora Linux is commendable, maintaining a realistic perspective is essential.

Drivers

From a consumer standpoint, driver support for gaming hardware remains relatively consistent. Nvidia has taken strides in open-sourcing their proprietary drivers, but the substantial benefits may not be immediately apparent to consumers due to the complexity of the project. Nvidia users are advised to follow the setup guidelines outlined in the original article. On the other hand, hardware from AMD and Intel typically function seamlessly.

Anti-cheat

A paradoxical predicament arises with the emergence of advanced anti-cheat technology, potentially overshadowing the gains made with Nvidia’s support. Many developers employ anti-tamper and anti-cheat systems that are incompatible with Linux. Although some developers are making efforts to incorporate Linux compatibility, this remains an area of concern. An online resource, Are We Anti-Cheat Yet?, maintains a comprehensive list of games that are not compatible. Prior to investing in a game or its content, it’s advisable to consult this resource.

Furthermore, a new wave of anti-cheat measures revolves around kernel-level access, reminiscent of the challenges posed by Nvidia’s closed-source drivers. Even excluding the ethical debate surrounding closed-source drivers, the prospect of game developers and publishers releasing the tools needed to create proprietary anti-cheat drivers seems unlikely.

Summary

As with any comprehensive guide, there are numerous tools and applications that could not be covered exhaustively. Topics such as emulation warrant dedicated discussions, while streaming services like GeForce NOW are contributing to a smoother gaming experience on Fedora Linux.

The evolution of gaming on Fedora Linux over the past three years is truly remarkable. Proton’s development, backed by Valve’s support, has led to substantial improvements across the gaming landscape. The Steam Deck’s impact should not be underestimated, streamlining the gaming experience on Linux with innovations extending to Fedora Linux and other distributions.

Deciding whether to transition to Fedora Linux for gaming hinges on multiple factors. The rising concerns regarding anti-cheat systems for competitive games pose challenges, and certain companies may deem Linux’s market share insufficient to warrant significant attention. Ultimately, your expectations and willingness to compromise will dictate your decision. Nevertheless, existing Fedora Linux users will find a plethora of gaming options at their disposal.

Author’s reflection: Over the past three years, I’ve found endless enjoyment playing video games on Fedora Linux. With more games than available free time in my collection, the Steam Deck has emerged as my go-to gaming device, although it is not affiliated with Fedora Linux or its partners. The device has instilled confidence in the future of Linux gaming.

Have any favorite video games to recommend? Share them in the comments section below.

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