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Top 7 Best Paid Linux Games to Play in 2020

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A decade ago, nobody would recommend Linux as an operating system for gamers. Today, Linux users can choose from an overwhelming selection of premium games with flawless Linux compatibility. Regardless of if you’re a fan of in-depth simulations or thrilling action games, our selection of the best paid Linux games available in 2020 is here to help you get your gaming fix.

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Steam Kicks Off 2020 With Linux Gaming At The Highest Point In A While

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Valve has just reported their January 2020 numbers from the controversial Steam Survey.

Running off December's numbers, at first they reported a 0.14% decline in the Linux gaming market-share only to revise it late in January. The revised figure for December 2019 put the Linux gaming population on Steam for the month at 0.83%. That is within the normal range we're used to seeing out of the Steam Survey with since the Steam Play launch roughly around 0.8% and jiving with what various game studios generally independently report as the Linux gaming customer base being at 1% or less.

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Games: Descent 3, Starcom: Nexus, Linux GOTY and OpenRA/Westwood

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  • Descent 3 returns to Linux (and macOS) with an official modern port

    Ryan "Icculus" Gordon, a developer who has ported tons of games to Linux has done it again. Descent 3, has been re-ported and upgraded for Linux (and macOS).

    Originally released in 1999, it was later ported to Linux thanks to the defunct Loki Software in 2000 and eventually in 2014 the Windows version came to Steam. The Linux port was old, not easy to find and many people likely didn't even know it was a thing today.

  • The Linux version of Starcom: Nexus is now officially live and out of Beta

    Ready for a new space adventure and a little action? Starcom: Nexus, an open-world sci-fi game with some RPG elements is now properly out and supported on Linux.

  • The Linux GOTY Award 2019 is now open for voting

    Get ready to cast your votes, as the Linux GOTY Award 2019 is now open for business. After some time to let people nominate games, we've done a bit of cleaning up and it's ready.

    This is a simple way to show off to other Linux gamers what's really good, it shows developers their games are appreciated on Linux and it's supposed to be a bit of community fun.

    We're going to keep it open for voting for a full week, so you can come back to a category if you can't yet make up your mind. It will close around 8PM UTC on Saturday 8th February.

  • OpenRA has a new release for classic Westwood real-time strategy - massive upgrade also in testing

    The team working on OpenRA, the game engine that keeps classic Westwood real-time strategy games alive have pushed out a new release. Plus there's some real exciting advancements coming.

  • Release 20200202 "Render Test" builds

    Alongside the new Release 20200202 hotfix, I am releasing a new version of the "render test" builds that were previously shared in the Discord and IRC channels. These builds port several features that will be in the next playtest back to the current release so players can test and give feedback while playing on standard servers with other players using the regular release build.

    There are two reasons for this: the first is that we are excited that these changes fix one of the oldest and worst usability issues with OpenRA and want to share it as soon as possible, and the second is that the underlying code changes they are built on may have serious implications for game performance and compatibility on some hardware/software configurations. We would therefore like some early testing so we have time to fix issues and understand whether we will be excluding a significant number of players with older systems (unfortunately our system information database does not capture enough information to test this).

Games: Frictional Games, Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask, Battledroid and Volcanoids

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  • Frictional Games are getting sneakier with their teaser - looks like we have a baby coming

    I hope you're getting as ridiculously excited as I am about whatever this ends up being. Frictional Games have updated their teaser website for their upcoming game again.

    Here's an overview of how it's changed.

  • Psychological horror adventure Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask confirmed on the way to Linux

    Acting as a free demo showing off the first part of the upcoming psychological horror adventure, Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask will be coming to Linux. A modern point and click adventure with a psychological horror theme, which takes some inspiration from the likes of Broken Sword, Gabriel Knight, Black Mirror, The King in Yellow, True Detective and more that follows a series of murders that seem linked to devil worship and witchcraft

    Currently in development by Red Martyr Entertainment (prev called Tanais Games), and while there's no expected release date for either Saint Kotar or the demo with Saint Kotar: The Yellow Mask they have now confirmed that it will be on Linux.

  • Puppygames have formally announced Battledroid - a massively multiplayer strategy game

    Using their own state-of-the art custom voxel graphics engine named Voxoid, Puppygames have formally announced their next game with Battledroid.

  • Volcano eruptions no longer prevent exploring in Volcanoids with Blast Shelters added

    Volcanoids, an incredibly unique and extremely promising steampunk base-builder just had a huge feature update and it's a big improvement.

    Your base, the Drillship, is also your transportation but the island you're on has a constantly erupting Volcano which usually meant a mad-dash back to your ship. This made exploration a bit of a nuisance but no more! You can now find dedicated Blast Shelters to hide in, with each village having one and so you can explore further without too many worries. The developer also added in various mines to find spread across the map.

Games: RetroPie, More Retro, Northgard, Proton GE, Edna & Harvey, Legend of Keepers

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  • Weekend Project: Build a portable RetroPie powered Game Console

    In this video, I show off the process of creating your very own retro gaming console that's completely portable, powered by RetroPie!

  • Retro-styled colourful non-linear adventure platformer Alwa's Legacy now has a Steam page

    After a successful crowdfunding campaign in December last year, Elden Pixels explain that progress is going well on their very colourful non-linear adventure platformer Alwa's Legacy.

    In the first update this year on Kickstarter, they explained that work on it is progressing well with plenty of new content being added and it appears the story is already finished. They also now have a Steam store page up, so you can follow it along ready for release sometime in the Spring.

  • Northgard expands with The Clan of the Ox - DLC out now with a rather unique Warchief

    Shiro Games continue expanding their real-time strategy game Northgard, following on from the huge Conquest Mode free update last year they have a new DLC out adding in an entirely new Clan.

    Himminbrjotir, Clan of the Ox is the new clan and they're a tough lot both stronger and bigger in stature than the other clans. Led by the powerful Warchief Torfin, they have +15% attack power and defence bonus, however they do eat 10% more than other clans so you need to balance your food stocks even more than usual. They're fully featured, coming with their very own map for the Conquest Mode and if you beat it with them they have their own special Ox Townhall.

  • Proton GE has a fresh new build out with lots of updates and special fixes

    Proton GE, the unofficial build of Proton mainly for use with Steam Play (but you can use it outside Steam too - like with Lutris) has a big new release out with Proton 5.0 GE 1.

    Why would you use Proton GE instead of the official version included with Steam? Valve/CodeWeavers sometimes take a while to update it and certain games made need fixes sooner that Proton GE provides.

  • Edna & Harvey return to Linux with The Breakout - Anniversary Edition now available

    Daedalic Entertainment have been a good developer and publisher for Linux and they continue to be great. Edna & Harvey: The Breakout - Anniversary Edition, the upgraded version of the 2008 adventure game is now on Linux.

    This enhanced version of the multi-award winning adventure game released in December last year, with it gaining Linux (and macOS) support only yesterday. It has been given a "complete overhaul" with better controls, high resolution art and "new technology" (so an upgraded game engine and things like that).

  • Dungeon management and defence game Legend of Keepers releasing in March

    Goblinz Studio continue upgrading the free Legend of Keepers: Prologue and in recent patch notes, they gave Legend of Keepers a release date for Early Access.

    They've said it's going to launch on March 26 but they're still adjusting it all based on feedback, which they're using to improve both the Prologue and the full game. Most recently, it gained a whole new Motivation system so don't work them too hard and there's now a Psychologist to let your monster crew talk it out and hopefully get better. Goblinz Studio also expanded the Prologue in other ways with new monsters, 7 new random events and new locations.

Games: AMD, FTL: Faster Than Light, Little Racers STREET and Dota Underlords

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  • AMD Doesn’t Work Great for Gaming on Linux Desktop PCs

    AMD has been getting a lot of attention lately, especially with its great performance-over-price graphics cards and processors. However, that love story sounds limited when it comes to desktop PCs working on Linux, and with gaming.

    We wrote few months ago about how great AMD is performing on laptops on Linux comparing to Windows. You can even get 10-20 FPS higher on Linux than on Windows using your integrated graphics card. We still stand on our experiments that we did on AMD-powered laptops, however, desktops is another issue. AMD on desktop PCs perform extremely lower on Linux than on Windows for gaming, and not just by a little bit, but by an extremely huge margin, that can sometimes reach 100 FPS between the two.

    Our average hardware combination of the famous Ryzen 5 1600 CPU and the AMD RX 580 GPU is performing horribly on Linux comparing to Windows. While this setup is considered an on-budget one, and may not reflect all AMD’s cards, we think most people would consider it for their feature desktop PC, and we believed its important for you to know what you are about to enter if you plan to do Linux gaming on the same combination.

  • FTL: Faster Than Light now has Steam Achievements over seven years after release

    Subset Games today released a small update to FTL: Faster Than Light, finally giving it some Steam Achievements after the original release in 2012.

    FTL did already have its own built-in achievements but now it's all nicely hooked up with the Steam API so you can show off how good you are. Not me though, I think I only ever had one successful run of it. Absolutely brilliant game though, a real devil with your time as you just want one more run.

  • Little Racers STREET gains a brand new Linux (and macOS) port using FNA

    Ethan Lee is back with another game port, this time it's a little different. Little Racers STREET already had a Linux version but it's been remade.

    Why? Well, Little Racers STREET is an older game now first released back in 2014. Milkstone Studios gave it same-day Linux support but it's suffered from various severe issues, with many not able to actually play it anymore without digging into workarounds. So today, Ethan announced the new port that's been completely redone with FNA.

    Going into further details, Ethan mentioned this is their 60th Linux port which is a crazy milestone. Ethan has given Linux some fantastic games like Rogue Legacy, Salt & Sanctuary, Pyre, Dust: An Elysian Tail and so on. They also did the port for free, as it's so old and unlikely to make a profit but you can support Ethan's porting work and FNA/FAudio using GitHub Sponsors on their page and if you're a game developer you can hire Ethan to do porting work.

  • Valve announce Dota Underlords releasing on February 25 - new Underlord up today

    Today, Valve announced that Dota Underlords will be leaving Early Access and officially releasing on February 25.

    On top of that, the Underlord named Enno has officially joined the cast today. Enno is a ranged Underlord, who "leaps around the board poisoning enemies and generally wreaking havoc". Hold on a hot second, poison? Yup, that's in now too as a new status effect causing 15 physical damage per second and reduced healing—poison can stuck up to 5 times.

DXVK 1.5.3 Released

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  • DXVK 1.5.3 Released - Helps Games Like Skyrim + Mafia II, Direct3D 9 Fixes

    Succeeding last week's DXVK 1.5.2 is now a version 1.5.3 release with various fixes.

    Leading to this quick DXVK 1.5.3 release is a fix for a potentially critical Direct3D 9 regression introduced in the previous release. There is also a fix for Vulkan validation errors with D3D9 and on the plus side better GPU-limited D3D9 performance with some Vulkan drivers.

  • Vulkan translation layer DXVK 1.5.3 is out fixing up a 'potentially' critical D3D9 regression

    A small but needed release of the Direct 3D 9/10/11 to Vulkan translation layer has been put out today fixing up some issues.

    DXVK 1.5.3 has a rather important fix in as the headliner here, as 1.5.2 had a potential "critical D3D9 regression". Additionally there's some fixed up Vulkan validation errors, improved GPU-limited D3D9 performance on some drivers, and the HUD will now properly show D3D10 when it's used rather than D3D11.

    For game specific fixes Mafia II, Skyrim and Torchlight were all mentioned so each should have a better experience under Wine with DXVK and so Proton too whenever Valve/CodeWeavers update it.

Games: Raspberry Pi, Dead Cells, ULTRAKILL, System Shock, Battle Axe, Iron Danger

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  • Build your own first-person shooter in Unity

    Raspberry Pi Press is back with a new publication: this time, it’s Wireframe’s time to shine, with Build Your Own First-Person Shooter in Unity.

  • The Bad Seed DLC releases for Dead Cells on February 11

    One of my absolute favourite action platformers, the "RogueVania" game Dead Cells is getting a first DLC with The Bad Seed and it now has a release date of February 11.

    The Bad Seed should keep runs feeling fresh, with two new early-game biomes mixed with a bunch of new enemies and weapons plus "some unseen mechanics and a giant boss". Sounds like everything the game needs once you've played multiple tens of hours in it.

  • ULTRAKILL - a fast-paced and rather violent FPS has a Steam page up and new demo coming soon

    Retro first-person shooters as a genre and theme are very much back in action, I am super happy about this and ULTRAKILL is one that needs to be in your sights.

    Fusing together elements from the classic like Quake, with modern touches from newer games and fast-paced character action from the likes of Devil May Cry it's definitely got a unique feel to it.

    It currently has an older demo up on which we briefly covered before. Now, it has a Steam page up as it moves closer to a wider Early Access release and they've announced that a new demo will be coming soon.

  • Nightdive Studios have released some extended System Shock footage

    Excited for the System Shock remake? I certainly am! Nightdive Studios recently sent a special demo to backers but to keep the hype going for everyone else they've also doing a long new video.

    This is not the same as the demo recently released to the public, this is a bigger version that Nightdive will continue to update and backers keep hold of it until the game releases. You might want a coffee ready and the video is over an hour long but it's a good look into what to expect from this hotly anticipated System Shock reboot.

  • Battle Axe has some awesome pixel-art with gameplay inspired by Gauntlet and Golden Axe

    Currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, Battle Axe looks impressive. A retro-themed pixel-art action adventure taking inspiration from the likes of Golden Axe, Dungeons & Dragons: Shadow over Mystara, and Knights Of The Round.

    It will be launching with Linux support, as clearly confirmed on the campaign page.

  • Tactical combat with time manipulation arrives with Iron Danger on March 25

    Today, Daedalic Entertainment and Action Squad Studios announced that their tactical combat game Iron Danger will release on March 25.

    An exciting sounding game with time manipulation mechanics and it looks pretty darn good visually too. The setting sounds equally delightful, with a mixture of nordic mythology, steampunk and tech noir. We covered this briefly back in September last year, where the developer confirmed Linux would happen. With the announcement today, Daedalic confirmed very clearly on Twitter that Linux support is in.

Games: The Pedestrian, Dwarf Fortress, and Playing With Godot Engine

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  • The Pedestrian is an imaginative and fun puzzle game about travelling through signs - out now

    You are The Pedestrian, the little person you see in various street and wall signs and you're on a mission. It's a clever idea for a game but is the gameplay worth it? I took a look to find out. Note: Key from the dev.

    Truthfully though, unless something major changed, I was fully expecting to enjoy this. The demo released previously I briefly wrote up was already very enjoyable and showcased what they wanted to do well enough. The Pedestrian can be played by pretty much anyone, as the story is without text and dialogue.

  • Huge new Dwarf Fortress release out with villains and interrogations - you can also pet animals

    Dwarf Fortress, a single-player fantasy game that's quite a complex mix of genres has a big new release now available. It's been around a long time and it's so popular it's inspired the creation of other amazing games like RimWorld, Prison Architect, Minecraft and plenty more.

    Yesterday, Bay 12 Games put out v0.47.01 with some pretty huge new features, plenty of which are spread out across the multiple game modes. For the fortress mode, you will now get petitions for guildhalls and temples when you have enough believers digging around. Slightly more concerning though, is that villains might target you and steal some artifacts. If you have a Sheriff, you will get reports on it and you will be able to interrogate people and perhaps get the name of their master eventually.

  • Ordmonster

    The first thing I’d like to point out that my fluency in Godot as a tool is starting to show of. I’m more happy with the code structure of ordmonster, and I start to feel that I don’t continuously bump into the sharp edges of Godot, but use the engine as it was meant to be used.

    I also learned a couple of things. The first one is the Control::mouse_filter property. The GameButton nodes (the ones showing a word or a picture) consists of a Button with a Label for text and a TextureRect for holding the picture. The TextureRect sits inside a MarginContainer. It turns out the MarginContainer stops all mouse events from passing through, effectively disabling the Button. This took a while to figure out.

    The second half has to do with how resource files can be traversed on Android. Resources are embedded into the executable produced by Godot. The words available in the game are stored as the filenames of the images, so that I don’t have to create a table and keep it in sync with the file names. Really smart idea – right? This smart idea cost me quite some time.

    First up, it seems like you cannot have non-ASCII characters in asset filenames when building apk files for Android devices. Really annoying. The fix was using English for the filenames and having to add the words to my translation tables, so now I have a table to keep in sync with the filenames anyway.

    The fun did not end here. Now it worked on desktop (both Linux and Windows), but my Android builds simply crashed on me. It turns out that the Directory::list_dir_begin and friends do not seem to work on Android, or the assets are not included in the apk. I’ll spend some time figuring out what is up, then I’ll probably file a bug report. In the mean time you can follow the current forum discussion.

Sony Now "Officially" Maintaining The Linux PlayStation Input Driver, But Leads To Interesting Problem

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It turns out Sony is now maintaining the mainline Linux kernel's hid-sony input driver in an "official capacity now across various devices." This hid-sony driver is what traditionally has supported the various PlayStation controllers and other input devices for their hardware. But their newfound "official" support for this open-source input driver could lead to interesting predicaments.

Sent out this week by an independent Linux user was a patch for supporting Gasia controllers with the HID Sony driver. These controllers made by Gasia Co are USB-based controllers aiming for compatibility with the PlayStation 3 controller. These Gasia controllers are similar to "knockoff controllers" we've seen from other vendors for the PlayStation and other game consoles like the Xbox in that often times they even use the same device IDs and aim to mirror the hardware/software behavior all the same.

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