I have now been playing games only on Linux for a year, and it has been great.
With the GPU shortage, I had been waiting for prices to come back to reasonable levels before buying a new GPU. So far, I had always bought NVIDIA GPUs as I was using Windows to run games and the NVIDIA drivers had a better “reputation” than the AMD/Radeon ones.
With Valve’s Proton seriously taking off thanks to the Steam Deck, I wanted to get rid of the last computer in the house that was running Microsoft Windows, that I had kept only for gaming.
But the NVIDIA drivers story on Linux had never been great, especially on distributions that move kernel versions quickly to follow upstream releases like Fedora. I had tried using the NVIDIA binary drivers on Fedora Kinoite but quickly ran into some of the issues that we have listed in the docs.
At the time, the Universal Blue project did not exist yet (Jorge Castro started it a bit later in the year), otherwise I would have probably used that instead. If you need NVIDIA support today on Fedora Atomic Desktops (Silverblue, Kinoite, etc.), I heavily recommend using the Universal Blue images.
Hopefully this will be better in the future for NVIDIA users with the work on NVK
So, at the beginning of last year (January 2023), I finally decided to buy an AMD Radeon RX 6700 XT GPU card.
What a delight. Nothing to setup, fully supported out of the box, works perfectly on Wayland. Valve’s Proton does wonders. I can now play on my Linux box all the games that I used to play on Windows and they run perfectly. Just from last year, I played Age of Wonders 4 and Baldur’s Gate 3 without any major issue, and did it pretty close to the launch dates. Older titles usually work fairly well too.
Sure, some games require some little tweaks, but it is nothing compared to the horrors of managing a Windows machine. And some games require tweaks on Windows as well (looking at you Cyberpunk 2077). The best experience is definitely with games bought on Steam which usually work out of the box. For those where it is not the case, protondb is usually a good source to find the tweaks needed to make the games work. I try to keep the list of tweaks I use for the games that I play updated on my profile there.
I am running all of this on Fedora Kinoite with the Steam Flatpak. If you want a more console-like or Steam Deck-like experience on your existing computers, I recommend checking out the great work from the Bazzite team.
According to protondb, the only games from my entire Steam library that are not supported are mostly multiplayer games that require some specific anti-cheat that is only compatible with Windows.
I would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the open source graphics and desktop developers out there and to (in alphabetical order) AMD, Collabora, Igalia, Red Hat, Valve, and other companies for employing people or funding the work that makes gaming on Linux a reality.
Happy new year and happy gaming on Linux!