Linux native games are games that are designed and developed to run natively on the Linux operating system without needing any software for emulation such as Wine or Proton. Linux native games are becoming increasingly popular as Linux operating systems get more popular, especially with gaming-focused distro releases. Many game developers now prioritize Linux support alongside other platforms.
Here are 7 Linux native games to definitely try and 3 honorary mentions!
7 Linux-native games to try
Oxygen Not Included
Oxygen Not Included is a game where you manage a small group of astronauts who are stranded on an asteroid. Your job is to keep them alive by providing them with food, water, oxygen, and heat. The game is all about managing resources and building systems. You might like Oxygen Not Included if you like resource management games with a distinct art style. It can also be played in multiplayer, which makes it even more fun. Oxygen Not Included is not a demanding game; so you can install it on lower-end machines as well.
You can get Oxygen Not Included here.
Stardew Valley is a fun and relaxing game where you play as a farmer who has inherited a rundown farm in a small town. Your goal is to turn the farm into a thriving business by planting crops, raising animals, and mining for resources. As you progress in the game, you can unlock new areas to explore, meet new people, and even get married and start a family. It is a great game to sit back and relax, as well as a game where you can try min-maxing. The music is wonderful and the atmosphere is addicting.
Stardew is a classic everyone should try at least once. Stardew’s multiplayer option offers a new spin to the game if you have played it for a long time, you can chat with your friends in-game, share resources and tools to help each other, and even get married to one another.
You can get Stardew Valley here.
Darkest Dungeon is a challenging and dark game where you lead a group of adventurers on dangerous missions to explore haunted dungeons and defeat monstrosities for a variety of rewards. It is known for its dark theme, intriguing gameplay, and the voice of its narrator.
The characters you control each have their unique abilities and strengths, and you need to carefully manage their health, stress levels, and equipment to make sure they survive the dangers of the dungeon. One of the unique features of the game is the stress system, which means that your characters can become stressed and affected by the horrors they encounter in the dungeon. It is a resource management type game but with the characters you control.
You can get Darkest Dungeon here.
Don’t Starve Together
Don’t Starve Together is a multiplayer survival game where you try to survive in a harsh and unforgiving world filled with danger and monsters. The game is all about exploration, crafting, and survival. You need to explore the world to find resources and materials to build your shelter, gather food, and create weapons to protect your sanity from the monsters that lurk in the darkness. One of the cool things about the game is that it has a day and night cycle as well as different seasons, and you need to make sure you have enough resources to survive both.
The game has a Burtonesque art style that gives it a dark and eerie atmosphere, which is one of the main attractions of the game. You can choose from a variety of different characters, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, and work together with your friends to survive as long as possible.
I recommend trying out some mods for it as well, for example, it is really fun to play as Sans and Papyrus from Undertale with your friend and get a sanity boost when the two of you are together.
You can get Don’t Starve Together here.
Undertale is a video game that has gained a lot of popularity for its engaging storyline, memorable characters, and unique gameplay mechanics. It’s like a combination of a classic RPG and a choose-your-own-adventure book, but still extremely unique. The characters are all so lovable and quirky, and the story is full of unexpected surprises that players don’t really expect from video games. The game feels alive as you are playing it, it reacts to you and your choices like a separate entity rather than a video game, sometimes even quitting the game and changing the save files by itself. Undertale is a game where your choices truly matter in the story. It truly is a classic everyone must experience at least once in their lives.
You can get Undertale here.
Hollow Knight is a platformer with an immersive atmosphere, hauntingly beautiful music, and detailed environments, filled with all sorts of bugs and beasts, or both. The visuals are gorgeous, with really intricate character designs and beautiful environments to explore. The combat is challenging and satisfying, with a range of weapons and abilities. I think the selling point of Hollow Knight is simply the atmosphere. If you don’t mind platformers and love a game with a melancholic atmosphere, Hollow Knight is an awesome choice.
You can get Hollow Knight here.
Terraria is an incredibly fun and addictive sandbox video game you can play with friends or solo. In Terraria, players create their own characters who are tasked with exploring a procedurally generated world filled with all sorts of creatures, bosses, and treasures. The game features a wide variety of biomes, from lush forests to dangerous deserts to dark and creepy caves. While the game does not necessarily have a goal, finding treasure, killing bosses, and exploring biomes is its own fun. What makes Terraria so special is the sheer amount of content that it offers for both a multiplayer and single-player experience.
You can get Terraria here.
Valheim is an open-world survival game that takes place in a procedurally generated world based on Norse mythology. You play as a Viking warrior who has been sent to Valheim, to hunt down the Forsaken who threaten Odin. Forsaken are the bosses you have to slay in the game, which all have different designs and intricate mechanics. One of the great things about Valheim is its emphasis on exploration and discovery. The world is full of hidden secrets and treasures, and you’ll need to explore every nook and cranny to uncover them all. Another highlight of Valheim is its multiplayer aspect. You can play with friends and work together to build a Viking stronghold, take down bosses, or simply exist in Valheim’s beautiful world.
You can get Valheim here.
Dead Cells is a rogue-like style game that features challenging combat and exploration. You play as a prisoner who has to fight your way through hordes of enemies to escape from an ever-changing castle. Each time you die, you’ll respawn at the beginning of the game, but with new abilities and weapons that you’ve unlocked along the way, like any rogue-like. One of the best things about Dead Cells is the customization power you have over the combat style. The momentum of the combat feels like dancing once you get the hang of it, making it incredibly satisfying and rewarding.
You can get Dead Cells here.
Dota 2 is definitely one of the free-to-play MOBA classics. It is a highly competitive game that requires strategic thinking, teamwork, and quick reflexes. Dota 2 is a complex game that requires players to have a deep understanding of the game mechanics, as well as a wide range of strategic knowledge and skills, and rewards them for it. There are hundreds of heroes to choose from, each with their own strengths, weaknesses, and playstyles. If you enjoy complex strategy games and are looking for a challenge, Dota 2 is definitely worth checking out if you haven’t already.
You can get Dota 2 here.