There is a tendency for most users to prefer Windows over Linux simply because playing video games on Linux can be challenging. It used to be that way, but it is no longer the case. Most of the Linux distributions can already deliver a very smooth gaming experience. On top of that, some of the distros have gaming editions, and even, some are simply crafted for gaming. Here are 7 Linux distributions that offer great gaming experience.
Ubuntu Game Pack (UALinux)
Ubuntu Game Pack is an operating system that will ensure the launch of over 85,842 games made both specifically for Linux and for Windows, DOS, and numerous game consoles such as Sega, Nintendo, PSP, Sony PlayStation, ZX Spectrum, and many others.
The distribution kit is based on the operating system Ubuntu*Pack 20.04 (Like Win), which by default offers the appearance in the style of the Windows 10 interface and has all of its functions, as well as:
You can download Ubuntu Game Pack by clicking here.
Lakka is a lightweight open-source Linux distribution that transforms your computer into a retrogaming console. Lakka, which is based on the well-known RetroArch emulator, can simulate a broad range of systems and includes features like automated joypad recognition, rewinding, netplay, and shaders.
Keep in mind that Lakka is still being developed. The project, as it stands, lets you play the majority of games on the majority of platforms. The majority of systems can be fully emulated by a modest PC equipped with an Intel graphics card. For a lower cost, the Odroid-XU4 is likewise highly capable. The Raspberry Pi 3 is also a viable option. Depending on how you intend to utilize Lakka.
Lakka supports 51 gaming systems including Nintendo DS, Sega 32X, PlayStation, Atari 7800, and more.
You can download Lakka by clicking here.
The “GameOver” version of Sparky Linux has a compact desktop, a ton of games already loaded, as well as practical utilities and scripts. It is entirely compatible with Debian’s “testing” branch and was built on top of SparkyLinux 3.6 “Annagerman”. It also already comes with:
Itch client for Linux
Sparky IA – gives you quick access to Internet Archive old games via a web browser
Sparky APTus Gamer – helps you quickly install applications such as AdvenceMENU, Atari800, DeSmuME, Desura Installer, DOSBox, DOSEMU, ePSXe, FCEUX, FS-UAE, GNOME Video Arcade, Hatari, Higan, Hega Fusion, Itch.io, MAME, Mednafen, MESS, Nestopia, PCSX, PlayOnLinux, PPSSPP, Steam, Stella, VisualBoyAdvance, Virtual Jaguar, Wine, Winetricks, Yabause, ZSNES.
The set of games and other extra tools for gaming can be installed on the top of any desktop environment or window manager, via the meta package sparky-meta-game. GameOver also comes with a couple of games already installed, such as Pacman, Slime Volley, Snake4, Tennix, Tetzle, War Zone, and more.
You can download Sparky Gameover by clicking here.
Garuda Gaming Edition
The dr460nized gaming edition of Garuda features the same modifications and appearance as the standard edition. It uses the KDE desktop environment and has an intricately stylized theme. It has several programs already installed that a Linux gamer could need. Garuda Linux’s dr460nized editions provide a dim, hazy, and wholly immersive Plasma experience. The top bar’s baked-in app menu makes the process similar to a Mac.
It also comes with these launchers already installed:
- Heroic Games Launcher
- Minigalaxy WINE
You can download Garuda’s Gaming Edition by clicking here.
In an attempt to make the Regata OS one of the best places for those who love to play games, the operating system also focuses on gamers. For example, for those who bought games outside of Steam, there is the Game Access app, which brings together the most varied game launchers in one place.
Furthermore, with Game Access, the user does not have to worry about complex configurations. Games run on top of a custom version of the Wine compatibility layer (based on the latest version of Wine-GE-Proton).
However, if Game Access is not enough for players, it is possible to find popular apps such as Lutris, Heroic Games Launcher, Bottles and Minigalaxy in the Regata OS Store. The Regata OS also features a custom Linux Kernel, which has some optimizations to help improve game performance.
You can download Regata OS by clicking here.
HoloISO (SteamOS 3)
HoloISO aims to give a close-to-official SteamOS experience by converting the Steam Deck’s SteamOS redistribution into an installable version. Keep in mind that it is not official but the ISO is being built using the same rootfs bootstrap as all HoloISO installations, and the code and packages come straight from Valve with no modifications. After connecting to your network and signing into your Steam account on the Steam Deck’s OOBE screen, you may effortlessly switch to KDE Plasma by selecting Switch to desktop from the power menu.
If you have an NVIDIA GPU, know that the latest Valve updates for Steam client have broken gamepadui, so it is not possible to get support for it.
You can download HoloISO by clicking here.
A company by the name of System76 created the Linux distribution known as Pop!_OS. Pop!_OS lets you download graphics drivers right from installation so you do not have to worry about obtaining them after. You will have to get Steam and Lutris from Pop!_Shop and manually install ProtonDB. A lot of Linux users prefer Pop!_OS for gaming for its performance, even considering going back to Windows impossible since it seems to be running things quite smoothly.
You can download Pop!_OS by clicking here.
FAQs about gaming Linux distros
Can I use Linux for gaming?
Yes, Linux can be used for gaming. Many game developers have started to release Linux versions of their games, and there are also many games that can be played on Linux through compatibility layers or virtual machines.
Can I play Windows games on Linux?
Yes, you can play Windows games on Linux through compatibility layers such as Wine, Proton, or PlayOnLinux.
What is Wine?
Wine is a compatibility layer that allows users to run Windows applications on Linux, including many popular Windows games.
What is Proton?
Proton is a compatibility layer developed by Valve Corporation, based on Wine, that allows users to play Windows games on Linux through Steam.
What is PlayOnLinux?
PlayOnLinux is a compatibility layer that allows users to install and run Windows games and applications on Linux.
Are there any Linux distros specifically designed for gaming?
Yes, there are several Linux distros that are specifically designed for gaming, including Lakka, Sparky Gameover, Garuda Gaming Edition, HoloISO (SteamOS 3), Pop!_OS.
Can I run Linux and Windows on the same computer for gaming?
Yes, you can dual-boot your computer with Linux and Windows to play games on both operating systems. You can also use virtual machines to run Windows on Linux.