Steam runs natively on Linux. You can probably just install it from your App store.
Usually you want to use Steam (Runtime). Only use Steam (native) if you know why you want to use it. If you use the Flatpak version, you will also need to use the Flatpak version of other software that you want to use with it, like MangoHud.
Enable Steam Play for all games
In order to run games that have no Linux version, and that are not explicitly whitelisted by Valve, go to Steam -> Settings -> Steam Play and check "Enable Steam Play for all other titles" and then select "Proton Experimental" in the drop down menu.
It's usually a good idea to use Proton-GE instead of Proton Experimental. It has lots of benefits like improved game compatibility, raw mouse input, additional codecs for cutscenes, and much more. However it can be unstable. So if you have stability issues, try something else, for example an older version. Installation instructions are here. If you want the latest features, you have to update it manually, though.
- 1. Download the ProtonUp-Qt AppImage
- 2. Mark the AppImage as executable
- 3. Double-click the AppImage to run ProtonUp-Qt
Alternatively, you can install it from Flathub.
You may find something like
mangohud AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADV gamemoderun %command% -fullscreen -dx12 on protondb. These are launch options.
To use them, you right click on the game, and go to the
general tab. There you can paste them into the
launch options field.
%command% is the command to start the game. Some launch options go before this command (commands to execute programs, for example
mangohud, or environment variables like
AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADV), and some go behind it (flags that are passed to the game itself, typically stuff that starts with a
-, for example
Explanation of the command above
%command%is replaced by something like
wine /path/to/game, so the whole command looks like this:
mangohud AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADV gamemoderun wine /path/to/game.exe -fullscreen -dx12
mangohudis started. This gives you a nice overlay that shows stuff like FPS and CPU utilization. MangoHud now runs the command
AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADV gamemoderun wine /path/to/game.exe -fullscreen -dx12.
AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADVis added to the environment. This means that every program that is called behind this, is able to read this. It's up to the program what it does with this information.
gamemoderunis started. GameMode will tell your system that it should execute the game with priority, so you get more performance. GameMode executes the command
wine /path/to/game.exe -fullscreen -dx12.
wineis started. It looks whether or not
AMD_VULKAN_ICDis set to any value, and whether or not that value is
RADV. Since this is the case, it executes
/path/to/game.exe -fullscreen -dx12using the RADV driver. If the variable would not be set, it would just use the first driver that it finds - which might very well be RADV if no other driver is installed.
/path/to/game.exeis started. It gets two flags:
-dx12. This tells it to start in fullscreen, and to use dx12.
Obviously, all of this only works if you specify things that are actually working.
For example, if you try to run
gamemoderun without GameMode being installed, the whole thing will just crash without doing anything. Note, that if you installed Steam as Flatpak, all other tools that you call from inside Steam also need to be installed as Flatpak.
It's also not really useful to use
AMD_VULKAN_ICD=RADV if you use an Nvidia GPU, or if you have an AMD GPU but you don't have RADV installed. You can find some interesting flags in the improving performance page, or in the documentation of a specific tool.
And if you use the
-dx12 flag, your game needs to support this specific flag. You might find flags for a specific game on https://www.pcgamingwiki.com.
%command% should always be part of the launch command and occur exactly once. If you leave it out, you basically tell Steam not to launch your game.
Steam Tinker Launch
Steam Tinker Launch is a swiss army knife tool that allows easy customization of multiple options for Steam games.
It includes helpers for custom commands, Vortex, Mod Organizer 2, Proton GE, Proton/DXVK/wine options, winetricks, ReShade + easy selection for shaders, FSR, debugging, side-by-side VR automation, SteamGridDB, SpecialK, Proton KillSwitch, Gamescope, GameMode, and more. You can find a more comprehensive list of features in the wiki (dropdownlist on the right). You can find instructions on how to install it here.
If you use the Steam Flatpak, your Steam folder is
If you use the "normal" package, your Steam folder is in
Games and Save Files
Your games are in
Your save games and non-Steam games are in
<steam_folder>/steamapps/compatdata/<some_number>/pfx/drive_c/<windows_path>. In order to know which number is correct, you can just use the search functionality of your file manager (probably
f) to search for the game name, or type
find <steam_folder>/Steam/steamapps/compatdata/ | grep -i "<game_name>" in the terminal.
You have to substitute <steam_folder> and <game_name> with the actual thing, of course.
Bugs & Workarounds
- if the friends list is open & in the background, the Steam client drops to less than 1 FPS
- -> disable animated avatars in the friends list settings