How to play Windows games on Linux

Historically Windows users have always enjoyed the best games ever developed while other platforms were lagging. There’s no denying that Windows is still the platform of choice for die-hard gamers.

Linux is fast closing the gap with Windows gaming. Are you geared for the action?

However, things are moving fast in Linuxland and so is the support for games. Each day new state of the art Windows games are being ported to or enabled on Linux bridging the gap between Windows and Linux gaming experience. Ubuntu is the de facto Linux distro of choice for most Linux gamers. There are multiple ways you can play Windows games on Linux and many of those reportedly perform well on Linux than on Windows. Let’s explore the best options to play Windows games on Linux.


Steam is a platform from Valve just for playing games. You can either install Steam on Linux or choose Steam OS. Steam is multiplatform and can run on Windows and Mac as well. Let’s just say Steam binds gamers from different operating systems together. And as it claims, Steam is the ultimate online game platform. Some games which you can play on Steam are: Amnesia, Battle for Wesnoth, Nexuiz, Quake. Find latest updates on supported games here.


Supports games as well as software. PlayOnLinux allows you to easily install and play numerous games and apps designed to run with Windows. Download, install and start playing. Some of the supported games are World Of Warplanes, Wolfenstein 3D, The Matrix: Path of Neo Update 2 etc.


Desura is a digital distribution platform developed by Bad Juju Games for the Microsoft Windows, Linux and OS X platforms. The service distributes games and related media online, with a primary focus on small independent game developers rather than larger companies. Desura contains automated game updates, community features, and developer resources. The client allows users to create and distribute game mods as well.

Unlike Steam, the Desura client is heavily tied to its website through the use of the Chromium Embedded Framework. Most of its services are provided through its online interface, with the exception of the game launcher, installer, and update features. This provides Desura with an interface that does not vary much from system to system.


CrossOver is a well known name among Linux users who want to run Windows software like Microsoft Office. However, CrossOver supports many games too: Civilization V, Diablo III, Team Fortress 2 etc.


There is something common among all the options listed above: all of them use Wine in the background. In reality, many games run directly on Wine. For example, I have finished Castle of Wolfenstein on Linux using Wine.

If you are a serious gamer, Linux has plenty of choices for you!

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