Steam Proton game compatibility report 2023

Updated: October 14, 2023

I must start this article with a quick explanation. Last year, I vowed to move away from Windows for good. I am tired of being part of this giant ad-fed low-IQ business. Therefore, I will need to use Linux 100% of the time, but this ain't an easy task. I'm a gamer. So how good is Linux for games? Well.

Over the past seventeen years of Dedoimedo, I've reviewed hundreds of Linux games, wrote extensively about Steam, Proton, and then some. In my last Proton review, things were kind of meh. But then, I got myself the Titan laptop, and started using Proton in earnest. And title after title, it would handle all of my challenges without any problem. I think I need to share my enthusiasm, and my results with you, so you know that if you're also seeking an "escape" from Windows, and mulling serious gaming on Linux, then that reality is happening, right now. After me.

GTA: Vice City thumbnail

My list of games

This is not a comprehensive list. It is MY list. The games that I care about and play. Back in March 2022, when I wrote my Moving away from Windows software checklist article, these are the games I mentioned then: Age of Empires II/III, Age of Mythology, American Truck Simulator, ArmA 3, Assetto Corsa, BeamNG.drive, Caesar III, Cities: Skylines, C&C Remastered Collection, Civilization V, Euro Truck Simulator 2, GTA: Vice City, SimCity 4, Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic, Wreckfest.

And so far, this is what I have:

Game Proton Linux compatibility Comments
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition Yes 100% Everything works, including 4K graphics pack and all of the game saves
ArmA 3 Yes 100% Everything works, including the game launcher, mods and DLCs; performance is identical to Windows
Caesar III Yes 100% Works, plus Julius HD mod
Cities: Skylines No Native
Command & Conquer Remastered Collection Yes 90% With Nvidia cards (2K, 4K), no issue
With Intel Iris XE card (3K), mouse constrain needs to be toggled off to allow in-game scroll
Different fonts
Euro Truck Simulator 2 No Native
GTA: Vice City Yes 100% Can load old saves (Steam format)
Should use widescreen option in the settings for 16:9 or 16:10 ratio
Works better than Windows (does not run on Windows 10+ for me)
Total War: Medieval II - Definitive Edition No Native Superior performance to Windows
Wreckfest Yes 100% Identical performance to Windows
Now, I haven't listed all of the games, and the reason for that is - I simply didn't have enough time to test all of my game titles just yet. My next objective is to see how BeamNG.drive and Assetto Corsa behave, and then also try the ultimate character builder, Workers & Resources: Soviet Republic. Given my experience so far, which is waaaaaay better than expected, I'm quite confident than things ought to be fine. Maybe Assetto Corsa will need some tweaking, maybe. Plus, it will be fun to see how the game handles my G27 steering wheel.

Some lovely screenshots

Medieval II: Total War has been re-released in 2016 as a cross-platform title, with proper UHD support and whatnot. So it's a no-brainer. I did of course install it on the Slimbook Titan. No need for Proton, but it's still an elementary choice, ha ha.

Report

P.S. I copied all of my saves from Windows, and things work without a hitch. All of my grand campaign progress is there, some nine or ten different nations. The game is fast and elegant. In fact, it feels even more responsive in the Linux build than it is in Windows, believe it or not.

ArmA 3

Wreckfest

Command & Conquer

Caesar III

Conclusion

I am ultra-happy. To be fair, I expected my Linux journey to "suck" more. Slower progress, less progress, more bugs, average game compatibility. Instead, Steam + Proton has completely transformed the landscape. The installations are trivial, the gameplay a joy. Almost everything works, and in some cases, it works better than the original. I've yet to find a title that won't run.

This is a huge difference to my 2021 report. Back in the day, Proton felt like a sad joke. Now, you can run complex games without any problems. Mods, DLCs, old saves, scenarios, whatever. Load it and have a blast. In fact, if I think about, apart from Microsoft Office, which can be solved by running Office 2010 in an older version of Windows in an always-offline virtual machine, and a few games I have yet to try, I'm pretty much done with the objectives of my Windows-to-Linux migration. I'm 90% there, 2 years ahead of my self-imposed deadline. On the gaming side, things are extremely promising. Simply fantastic. Well, there you go. Proton, the solution that will finally bring about the year of the Linux, just as I wrote in 2009 ... Indeed.

Cheers.