Thursday, November 5, 2009

My Linux Gaming Experience

Arguably gaming is the one place in which Linux is sorely lacking. Very few titles release with a native installer for this platform and as such many say gaming is impossible on Linux. This is just not true. For a long time I was a "hardcore" gamer, spending easily over forty hours a week in front of my computer playing various online games. In the last couple years I have slowly moved into the "casual" gamer category. On average I spend between ten and twenty hours a week currently playing various PC games. As they are PC games very obviously I run them on my computer and my computer only contains an Ubuntu as an operating system - as such this also means all the games I play run on Ubuntu. Ubuntu is fully ready for desktop systems and for a casual (or in some cases even hardcore) gamer it is more than capable of running most of the important titles. The following are games I enjoy on a regular basis on Ubuntu (and how I run them):

Starcraft - Wine with Windows version set to 98
Warcraft III Frozen Throne - Wine with default settings
Diablo 2 - Wine with default settings
Counter Strike: Source - Wine with default settings. I set the game to run with dxlevel 81 to obtain a better FPS
Team Fortress 2 - Wine with default settings. I set the game to run with dxlevel 81 to obtain a better FPS
Left 4 Dead - Cedega using the Left 4 Dead profile.
Left 4 Dead 2 - CXGames with default settings
Borderlands - Cedega using the UT3 profile
Unreal Tournament 3 - Cedega using the UT3 profile
Killing Floor - Cedega using the UT3 profile
Unreal Tournament 2004 - Native Linux Installer
Savage 2 - Native Linux Installer
Morrowind - Wine with default settings
Oblivion - Wine with default settings
Crysis - Cedega using the UT3 profile and a few native dll over rides
Half-Life 2 - Wine with default settings
Pirates, Vikings, and Knights - Wine with default settings
Guild Wars - Wine with default settings
Day of Defeat: Source - Wine with default settings. I set the game to run with dxlevel 81 to obtain a better FPS
Dark Messiah Might & Magic - Wine with default settings.

As you can see its a fair size list of games. These are just the ones I play personally there are many more than run just fine under Linux. Check out the Wine Applications Database to see how well others fare with various applications.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. Just want to add one to your list. Regnum Online is a free fantasy mmorpg with a Linux installer. I ran it on Slackware, Zenwalk and Pclinux with no problems. Only thing I could think of that someone might find a negative is its doesnt have an open source licience and requires proprietary drivers to run properly. I think the developers deserve some recognition for bothering to port this game to linux when so few others do.

  2. Borderlands actually works? Sweet! How well does it run? (Playable, not so playable, almost playable?)

  3. And yes, I did check the Wine database, but aside from the Gold / Silver ratings, I'd like to know what you're experiencing (like frame rates, glitchy stuff, etc).

    Keep on bloggin'! :D

  4. Everything I listed runs at a decent FPS, other than Crysis they all average at or above 50 in combat (Crysis gets around half of this 25ish).

    Borderlands specifically runs perfectly playable under Cedega (only issue I have is water discoloration but this is hardly a large issue.) It also runs under Wine but at a much worse frame rate and it suffers from the same mousing bug as UT3.

  5. Its sad that you have to emulate... lose performance

  6. Ehh. When you have good hardware a performance loss is not a big deal 100 FPS VS 75 FPS or even 80 vs 50 is not a big deal.

    Also Wine Is Not an Emulator. Its a compatibility layer - there is a large difference between the two.

  7. I play some decent games on GNU/Linux:

    Penumbra series
    Open Arena
    Doom3 (Darkmod Thief conversion)
    Eschalon Book 1
    Never Winter Nights 2
    DosBox emulator (crap load of old pc games)

    World of Warcraft (wine)
    Lord of the Rings Online (wine)

  8. what do you think about 'crossover games'?
    if it's nice i may buy it, mostly because it's cheaper than cedega :D

  9. I like CXGames alot, I own both it and Cedega. Which one is best for you depends on what games you are going to be playing. - I gave a good break down of the differences between CXGames and Cedega here:

  10. @Scott, Jeff91:

    It's a bit of a mixed bag actually. It isn't an emulator, but most of the big performance issues in games come from using 3D API emulation to run DirectX stuff on top of OpenGL-based video drivers.

  11. all this list work in LINUX, amazing.