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How to Play Windows Games on Linux

Windows is undoubtedly the most popular operating system for gaming. But it lacks various security measures. More and more people are switching to Linux because it has a very user-friendly interface and is more stable after updates than Windows. However, some are reluctant to try Linux out. It is namely because of a widespread notion that video games are unplayable on this operating system.

Linux can run the same software like Windows, including web browsers, word processors, etc. There are far fewer games created exclusively for Linux. This operating system has witnessed major advances in recent years. Gaming enthusiasts can play the latest titles on their Linux OS with emulators and compatibility layers. So let’s explore this further and learn how you can play Windows games on Linux.

Steam Play

Wine compatibility layer has been a go-to for all Linux gamers. Valve recognized its potential and collaborated with the team behind Wine. It resulted in Proton, also known as Steam Play. Now all you need to do to access Steam’s vast library of video game titles is install Steam Play just like on Windows. The compatibility layer is a part of the app, and there is no need for additional downloads.

The install process varies depending on the distribution, but they are all straightforward. Users rarely encounter issues along the way. It is important to note that Steam Play doesn’t immediately say which video game titles are compatible with Linux. The majority of games available in the store have a big blue install button, and you will be able to play them. In essence, you can run almost all available games, but keep in mind that you might encounter some performance problems if a game is not Linux approved by Steam.


If you prefer indie games that are not distributed via Steam and want to have them all within one app, Lutris is the way to go. It’s an open-source gaming platform that allows users to install games from, Steam, Origin, or other independent sources. In essence, it unites all the engines within a single app. Therefore, you only need to launch Lutris to access games from other platforms or websites like

Installing Lutris can be a bit tricky, especially if you are new to Linux. You might bump into the missing Vulkan library. Users can solve this problem in a couple of minutes, so don’t worry. Additionally, installing games directly via Lutris is impossible. You still have to go to the original game provider, and only then will you have the ability to download a game of your choice.

Since Lutris will be sending you around the web to search for video games, make sure you stay safe by using a VPN. What is a VPN? This nifty tool will not only mask your IP address but also warn you about dangerous websites containing malware. Malware is prevalent on websites related to gaming and video games, so it is better to be safe than sorry.

Of course, this gaming platform has many positive sides. For instance, your entire Steam library will be waiting for you on your Linux computer. If you purchased a title on your previous Windows computer, you could install it in no time using Lutris. It’s an exceptional tool for all future Linux gamers that want to have their entire collection in one place.


PlayOnLinux can’t work without a Wine emulator, but it offers a better user experience due to an impeccable interface. It also has built-in scripts that allow users to find and install various video game titles very quickly. PlayOnLinux regularly updates the list of available apps and video games. Therefore, you will never run out of titles to play. The compatibility with the Wine emulator is helpful. When you can’t find a game in the POL database, you can quickly search Wine and download it nevertheless.

The performance of the games will depend solely on the hardware you already have. So if your computer or laptop is not suitable for gaming, you will notice that the video games are running slower than they should. Additionally, PlayOnLinux does depend on a Wine emulator, so you need to have both installed on your machine. Overall, it is an alternative for other platforms mentioned above that will enable you to enjoy both old and new video games.

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