Gaming
With Steam and Lutris

Purpose

Please read the Disclaimers before proceeding.

Gaming on Linux has never been better. Steam currently lists 6,345 titles as Linux compatible (423 pages at 15 title per page), while wikipedia states that "As of May 2019" over 5,000 Linux native titles are available. Over one thousand Windows titles are officially supported using the Proton compatibility layer Steam released in 2019. Ubuntu 18.04.3 LTS is supported by Steam, so installing and running Steam games usually requires just a few clicks.

The Proton layer empowers users to run "Windows-only" titles on the Focus (and many other Linux distros) with performance varies from modestly reduced to marginally faster. Games that offer Vulkan or OpenGL rendering often perform best, but many DirectX titles also perform well.

Doom 2016 is a great example of a Windows title that runs well on the Focus. We tested on the base RTX 2060 Focus with the Vulkan renderer and Ultra settings. The frame rate was mostly pegged at 144FPS, which is precisely the refesh rate of the LCD panel. After two hours of gaming, the device was modestly warm, but performance did not degrade.

Please consider using a guide like Best Games On Steam You Can Play On Linux and Windows to get started. You might also want to visit the Lutris database for information on games not on Steam, such as League of Legends or World of Warcraft.

Workflow Overview

Alternate packages

Consider Lutris to support games not found in the Steam ecosystem. The Focus has the repository enabled for Lutris. You can install it using the sudo apt install lutris in a terminal, or launch Discover, search for Lutris, and click install. We installed and ran BattleField 5 (found on the Origin EA game service) using Lutris and it ran well, however, there are reports since that EA is banning Linux players. Obviously, they do not embrace Linux the way Steam does.

This assessment is current 2020-01-16.

Steps

  1. Steam Install Steam by running it for the first time on your system. On a fast internet connection, installation will take roughly 2 minutes.

  2. Sign into Steam. Create an account if you need one.

    Steam start
  3. Select Game from Library.

    Doom game
  4. Optional: Install game.

  5. Click on the Play button.

  6. Optional: Enable unsupported Windows games

    Enable Proton using for unsupported games using Steam - Settings - SteamPlay and then clicking on "Enable Steam Play for all other titles" Use the latest Proton version available for default (4.11-11 as of writing). You will be prompted to restart Steam.

    One can modify Proton settings by clicking on the Gear when viewing a game in the library.

    One can return Steam games within 14 days and with less than two hours of gameplay. We feel this policy is generous and useful for testing out unsupported games.

Disclaimers

We try hard to provide a useful workflow validated by professionals. However, we cannot anticipate every situation, and therefore cannot guarantee this procedure will work for your needs. Always back up your data and test the workflow to determine the correct procedure for you.

THIS WORKFLOW IS PROVIDED BY THE COPYRIGHT HOLDERS AND CONTRIBUTORS "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE COPYRIGHT OWNER OR CONTRIBUTORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE USE OF THIS WORKFLOW, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.