Game Cheats aims to be a reliable source of information for it’s readers. In order to do that, GC provides it’s users with a balanced view of the Ubuntu (and Linux in General) experience. All to often on Linux blogs, the writers seem to be completely out of touch with the end user experience. They will tell you that you can do anything in Linux that you can do on Windows or Mac – in theory this is true but in reality it doesn’t always hold up.
Gaming in Linux can sometimes be VERY frustrating as there is a lack of support on many commercial games. This is not an issue with Linux but by the fact that developers are not providing Linux versions. For those developers who actually do port their games to Linux they face an extremely difficult supporting Linux users simply because their are so many variations of Linux (Ubuntu, Redhat, Arch, Debian, etc, etc, Ad Nauseam) and so many different combinations of hardware — a positive of point Linux, the fact that it can be run on all types of hardware, is a disadvantage on this point.
This is further complicated by the fact that many of the video drivers, though often working well out of box, are not always supporting the full capabilities of the hardware (my ATI HD 5650 is a perfect example). This is because many of the drivers were written by the Linux community who don’t have the full hardware documentation needed in order to take full advantage of the video cards. Again, this is not an issue with Linux itself (or the developers for that matter).
Just remember, until recently, even Apple didn’t have a lot of gaming support. We Linux users need to increase in numbers — which is why I fully support Canonicals goal of on-boarding 200 million new users.
If you are a heavy gamer on Windows and thinking about moving to Linux, you should take all I’ve just said into consideration before making the leap.
Having said that, I would like to talk a little bit about gaming on Linux.
There are many games available in Ubuntu. Many of these games have been developed for free by the Linux community as well as some commercial games (the Quake series comes to mind first).
The first place you will want to look for games (once you have installed Ubuntu of course) is Ubuntu Software Center which can be found in the main menu (or in the Unity side bar if you are using the latest version of Ubuntu). Simply click on the games link (see image below) to get the listings.
At the time of writing this there are 516 free games in the Ubuntu Software Center. The games range from the simple to 3D First person shooters.
You can also find a few commercial games in the Ubuntu Software Center by going into the “For Purchase” section located to the left navigation pane. World of Goo is there for example.
- Quake Live – This is pretty amazing considering you are running it through a browser. It currently only supports Firefox 3.6 on Linux but you can download the modified version of the plugin here (which just version bumps the extension) to make it work flawlessly on firefox 4. UPDATE: Tested and works on Firefox 8
- Angry Birds – I don’t need to bother telling you what this is. You know. It requires the chrome (or Chromium) browser.
There *are* other options for gaming in Linux (using Wine, crossover or emulators for example) but I intentionally did not cover them as I do not think they are suitable for end users.
You may also want to try humble bundle – they offer many games which you decide how much you will pay for. All of their games run ob Linux (as well as Windows and Mac)