Saturday, August 18, 2018
Articles

Linux Gaming for Beginners

When buying a new gaming PC or laptop, one of the often unexpected costs involved is the operating system. By choosing Linux instead of Windows, you can save yourself some money, and still get a great gaming experience.

Can You Play Games on Linux?

The short answer is yes. However, while Linux will run on the same PCs and laptops that Windows, and in some cases OSX, runs on, it works very differently. Linux is an entirely different operating system than Windows, so trying to run an app from one on the other would be like trying to run an iOS app on an Android phone.

However, whereas Linux was once a graveyard as far as gaming was concerned, many of the biggest Windows titles are now available on Linux. Not only are developers increasingly embracing Linux as a viable platform to release games on, but the player base is also growing. This means that online games such as Counter Strike are gaining a bigger appeal.

Where to Find Linux Games

Not long ago, playing games on Linux would require the use of an emulator, and some extra work on the part of the player when compared with using Windows natively. However, there are now a large, and ever-growing, database of games available natively on Linux. This has been helped in large part by the arrival of Steam on Linux.

Steam is a digital distribution platform that allows players to purchase and run games directly through the client. This means that players can access their library of games from any computer with an internet connection. If you have previously used Steam to purchase games on Windows or OSX, you will find that you are able to access them on other operating systems as well.

Browser Games

If you enjoy playing browser games on your Windows PC, the good news is that these will work regardless of the platform. Coupled with the minimal system requirements (the specifications your computer’s components need to meet to run the game), this means that any PC has access to a wide range of games from the beginning.

However, Linux has an extra advantage here as, thanks to the Google Chrome Web Store, there are even more games on Linux. These games via Chrome are installed as standalone apps and can be accessed like any other app on the system.

Desktop or Laptop?

Linux can be installed on either a desktop or a laptop. Which is the best platform for you will depend upon your individual needs and typical usage. Laptops will offer greater portability, but they will cost more than an equivalent powered desktop. Note that Linux is more efficient than Windows, meaning it can run more with less. You can also often save money by buying your PC or laptop without an operating system (Linux is free!). If you need help choosing between a desktop and a laptop, The WiredShopper has an easy to follow guide to help you.

Gaming on Linux is a completely different world to just a few years ago. While Linux gaming was once considered something of a joke amongst gamers, it is now just as viable an option as Windows.

Bob Buskirk
the authorBob Buskirk
About 10 years of computer experience. Been messing around with electronics since I was 5, got into computers when I was in highschool, been modding them ever since then. Very interested in how things work and their design.
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