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How you can Play PC Games on Linux With Lutris – Guide
From retro classics to the latest Windows titles, Lutris can help you play the best PC games on Linux.
Games on Linux have long been the holy grail of turning open source operating systems into conventional Windows competitors. Linux can do everything Windows can do except host the latest games. In an effort to solve this problem and make gaming on Linux a viable proposition, a gaming client, Lutris, has emerged. But what does Lutris do to run games on Linux, and should you give it a try?
What is Lutris?
A video game client for Linux desktops, Lutris aims to provide access to every video game you have on your PC. In addition to the current generation of console video games, you should be able to use it to play anything.
It’s a unique interface that integrates with stores and gaming platforms. You can enjoy over 13,000 games from retro systems, GOG, Steam and more, all from the comfort of a Linux PC.
How does Lutris work?
Lutris is basically a launcher for Linux games that integrates with what it calls “runners”.
This means that you can launch games from a single interface, which will ask the appropriate runners to provide support for running the title. Runners include:
These and other runners (many of which are for retro games) allow a vast library of games to run on Linux via Lutris.
What you need to play on Linux with Lutris
Depending on the type of game you plan on playing, you will need to consider your computer’s hardware. A modern and recent system must be able to play the latest games; older computers will be limited to the games they will run.
In short, if you are planning to play the latest titles with Lutris, you need the latest hardware. Trust older PCs and laptops to play retro titles.
Install Lutris on Ubuntu-based systems as follows:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa: lutris-team / lutris sudo apt update sudo apt install lutris
Instructions for almost any Linux operating system you can name can be found on the Lutris website, where it is also available for installation from source code. Note, however, that there is no Snap or Flatpak installation option.
How to Use Lutris to play your favorite games on Linux
Using Lutris is simple.
All that is required is for you to connect up your accounts (Steam, GOG, etc.) then use Lutris as a launcher. However, there are some complications that can occur in this process, which is where Lutris’ advanced settings come into play.
In most cases, however, if the correct runners have been installed and associated with the game you wish to run, Lutris should successfully launch the game you wish to play. Some adjustments may be necessary, but overall the process works well.
Installing Steam Games on Linux with Lutris
To install Steam games with Lutris, you first need to ensure Wine and Steam runner are installed. Then establish the Steam ID of the game you want to play. This can be found in three ways:
With the application ID noted down, switch to the Lutris window and click on +> Add a new game. Here, enter the Name of the game in Game Information and selected Wine like the runner. At the game options tab, enter the Steam app ID and click Save .
Finally, select the game in Lutris and click To start. A few moments (and a “wait or leave” prompt) later, the game should run.
For titles that don’t run on Linux natively, you can rely on the Wine Steam runner (see below), or stream from a Windows PC running Steam. Any game installed on Wine outside of Lutris can be added to the library and started.
Installing GOG Games on Linux with Lutris
If you prefer titles you purchased from GOG, they can be installed first by linking your GOG account to Lutris. See how we installed The Settlers: Rise of an Empire – Gold Edition on Linux using Lutris.
- Select GOG in the Fonts section and browse the list of games.
- Select the game and click Install
- Confirm installation of GOG
- Confirm the destination file path
- Click Proceed when prompted (eg to install the game manual)
- Click Proceed when asked to download the game
- Once the game is downloaded, proceed with the installation wizard.
- Click To throw when installation is complete
Install a game directly from the Lutris library
You can also install retro games through Lutris’s online library. They may require runners, but they can be installed automatically as part of downloading and installing the game.
- Select Lutris in the Fonts menu
- Use the To search for field at the top of the screen to find the game you want
- Select the game and click Install
- Click Install again to confirm the installation destination
- When prompted, click on Install a third time
- After installation, click on To throw to play the game
This simplicity makes Lutris a great choice for retro game fans.
Install a Windows game on Linux with Lutris
Finally, you can run Windows games on Linux and start them with Lutris. There are a few ways to do this, but the simplest is to rely on the Wine Steam runner, a customized version of Steam running on Wine.
All you have to do is navigate to the game and install it.
We found that the game (we tested the Dorfromantik strategy title) doesn’t start from Lutris, but from Steam.
Lutris Support for Linux Gaming
Lutris is a great way to play current PC games on Linux. As with many of these systems, it’s not perfect – there will always be a processing overhead, especially for new games – but Lutris successfully unifies a number of Windows gaming platforms and makes them playable on Linux. Play retro games and you’ll have a vast collection of titles to choose from.
Lutris is a non-profit project that you can return to on Patreon, via PayPal or using LiberaPay.
Or you can completely rely on Steam or SteamOS for your games on Linux.
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