Difference between revisions of "Gaming"

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m (→‎See also: remove penguspy/lgdb links (aleady on https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/List_of_games))
(Updated reference to the actively maintained moonlight AUR package and filled in some additional columns)
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{{Related articles start}}
 
{{Related articles start}}
 
{{Related|List of games}}
 
{{Related|List of games}}
 +
{{Related|Video game platform emulators}}
 
{{Related|Xorg}}
 
{{Related|Xorg}}
 
{{Related articles end}}
 
{{Related articles end}}
  
This page only contains information about running games and related system configuration tips. For lists of popular games for GNU/Linux see [[List of games]].
+
This page contains information about running games and related system configuration tips.
  
 
== Game environments ==
 
== Game environments ==
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Different environments exist to play games in Linux:
 
Different environments exist to play games in Linux:
  
* Native – Games written for Linux.
+
* Native – games written for Linux.
* Browser – you need only browser and Internet connection to play these types of games.
+
* Web – games running in a web browser.
** HTML5 games use canvas and WebGL technologies and work in all modern browsers but can be slow on weak machines.
+
** HTML5 games use canvas and WebGL technologies and work in all modern browsers.
** Plugin-based – you need to install plugin to play.
+
** [[Flash]]-based you need to install the plugin to play.
*** [[Java]] Webstart – used to install cross-platform games very easily.
+
* [[Video game platform emulators]] – required for running software designed for other architectures and systems.
*** [[Flash]] games are very common on the Web.
+
* [[Wine]] Windows compatibility layer, allows to run Windows applications on Unix-like operating systems.
* Specialized environments (software emulators) – – Required for running software designed for other architectures or systems, (Heed the copyright laws of your country!). Check the  [[List of applications/Other#Emulators|list of emulators]] for more details.
+
* [[Virtual machine]]s – can be used to install compatible operating systems (such as Windows). [[VirtualBox]] has good 3D support. As an extension of this, if you have compatible hardware you can consider VGA passthrough to a Windows KVM guest, keyword is [https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/vfio.txt "virtual function I/O" (VFIO)], or [[PCI passthrough via OVMF]].
** [[Wine]] – allows running of some Windows games, as well as a large amount of Windows software. Performance in Wine varies, the additional CPU overhead will cause slowdown in some games while in some cases games may run faster. Consult [http://appdb.winehq.org/ Wine AppDB] for game-specific compatibility information.
 
** [http://www.codeweavers.com/ Crossover Games] – members of the Codeweavers team are prime supporters of Wine. Using Crossover Games makes the installation & setting up of some games easier, more reliable & even possible, when compared to using other methods.  Crossover is a paid commercial product, which also provides a [http://www.codeweavers.com/support/forums/ forum] where the developers are very much involved in the community.
 
** [[DOSBox]] is a minimal virtual machine which runs a full DOS-compatible environment. It can be used to run classic DOS titles.
 
** {{Pkg|scummvm}} is an all-in-one engine reimplementation of many classic point-and-click adventure games. A full list of compatible titles can be found on the [http://scummvm.org ScummVM website].
 
** Similar to ScummVM, engine reimplementations exist for specific titles, such as Doom.
 
* Virtual machines can be used to install compatible operating systems (such as Windows). [[VirtualBox]] has good 3D support. As an extension of this, if you have compatible hardware you can consider VGA passthrough to a Windows KVM guest, keyword is [https://www.kernel.org/doc/Documentation/vfio.txt "virtual function I/O" (VFIO)], or [[PCI passthrough via OVMF]].
 
  
 
== Getting games ==
 
== Getting games ==
  
=== Native ===
+
Just because games are available for Linux doesn't mean that they are native, they might be pre-packaged with Wine or DOSBox.
  
A good number are available in the [[official repositories]] or in the [[AUR]]. [http://liflg.org/ Loki] provides installers for several games.
+
For list of games packaged for Arch in [[official repositories]] / the [[AUR]] see [[List of games]].
  
=== Digital distribution ===
+
* {{App|Flathub|Central [[Flatpak]] repository, has small but growing game section.|https://flathub.org/apps/category/Game|{{Pkg|flatpak}}, {{Pkg|discover}}, {{Pkg|gnome-software}}}}
 
+
* {{App|[[Wikipedia:GOG.com|GOG.com]]|DRM-free game store.|https://www.gog.com|{{AUR|lgogdownloader}}}}
* {{App|[[Wikipedia:Desura|Desura]]|Digital distribution platform featuring indie games. It can be considered good source of games (if you do not care about security and bugs too much).
+
* {{App|[[Wikipedia:itch.io|itch.io]]|Indie game store.|https://itch.io|{{AUR|itch}}}}
|http://www.desura.com/|{{AUR|desura}}}}
+
* {{App|[[Wikipedia:Lutris|Lutris]]|Open gaming platform for Linux. Gets games from GOG, Steam, Battle.net, Origin, Uplay and many other sources. Lutris utilizes various [https://lutris.net/runners runners] to launch the games with fully customizable configuration options. |https://lutris.net|{{Pkg|lutris}}}}
 
+
* {{App|[[Steam]]|Digital distribution and communications platform developed by Valve.|https://store.steampowered.com|{{Pkg|steam}}}}
* {{App|[[Steam]]|Famous digital distribution and communications platform developed by Valve. It has a large library with over 1000 Linux games. These include popular titles like Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, several AAA games, and lots of indie titles.
 
|http://store.steampowered.com|{{Pkg|steam}}}}
 
::*[http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Steam_under_Linux Steam under Linux.]
 
::*[http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/ See linux-games catalog.]
 
::*Not all Steam titles are native, some are packaged to run using Wine.
 
 
 
* The [https://www.humblebundle.com/store Humble Store]
 
 
 
* {{App|[[Wikipedia:itch.io|itch.io]]|Indie game store.|https://itch.io/|{{AUR|itch}}}}
 
 
 
* [http://www.gog.com/games/linux GOG.com]
 
::*The {{AUR|lgogdownloader}} package can be used to download GOG titles from the command line.
 
::*GOG.com only officially supports Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Bear this in mind if requesting support from them; you will not get a refund if you are having trouble running games on Arch.
 
::*Many GOG.com titles come pre-packaged with DOSBox, ScummVM or Wine.
 
 
 
=== Flash ===
 
 
 
Several huge Flash games portals exists, among them are:
 
* https://armorgames.com/
 
* https://www.kongregate.com/
 
* https://www.newgrounds.com/
 
 
 
=== Java ===
 
 
 
* Lots of games smaller than 4kb (some are real masterpieces of game design) can be found at http://www.java4k.com.
 
* https://www.pogo.com/ – biggest casual Java gaming portal
 
* [http://www.javagametome.com/ The Java Game Tome] - huge database of primarily casual games
 
 
 
=== Wine ===
 
 
 
* Centralized source of information about running games (and other applications) in [[Wine]] is [http://appdb.winehq.org/ Wine AppDB].
 
* See also [[:Category:Wine]].
 
 
 
It is recommended (especially for beginners) to use {{Pkg|playonlinux}}, which pulls all necessary dependencies during installation, automatically downloads Windows tools at first start-up to configure and set-up native windows applications to launch properly. For more information, see [https://www.playonlinux.com/en/ Official Website].
 
 
 
=== Emulators ===
 
 
 
An emulator is a program which serves to replicate the functions of another platform or system so as to allow applications and games to be run in environments they were not programmed for.
 
 
 
{{Note|1=For possibly more up to date selection of emulators, try checking the [https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?O=0&K=&do_Search=Go&detail=1&L=0&C=5&SeB=nd&SB=n&SO=a&PP=25 AUR 'emulators' category]}}
 
 
 
{{Warning|Owning a high-level emulator is not illegal, but distribution of any type of copyrighted ROMs and unauthorized emulation (without written permission of the copyright holder allowing the user to do so) are '''illegal'''. Consequently, Arch Linux does not distribute this copyrighted content, including game ROMs and ripped console BIOSs. You are fully responsible for whatever usage of the emulators obtained from the [[official repositories]] or the [[Arch User Repository]] you make, as well as any legal repercussion that result. Arch Linux bears no responsibility at all.}}
 
 
 
==== Consoles ====
 
 
 
See also [[Wikipedia:List of video game console emulators]].
 
 
 
* {{App|Citra|Nintendo 3DS emulator.|http://citra-emu.org/|{{AUR|citra-git}}}}
 
* {{App|DeSmuME|Nintendo DS emulator.|http://desmume.org/|{{Pkg|desmume}}}}
 
* {{App|[[Dolphin emulator|Dolphin]]|Very capable GameCube and Wii emulator.|http://dolphin-emu.org/|{{Pkg|dolphin-emu}}}}
 
* {{App|epsxe|Emulator for the PlayStation video game console for x86-based PC hardware.|http://www.epsxe.com/|{{AUR|epsxe}}}}
 
* {{App|FCEUX|NTSC and PAL 8 bit Nintendo/Famicom emulator that is an evolution of the original FCE Ultra emulator. It is accurate, compatible and actively maintained.|http://fceux.com/|{{Pkg|fceux}}}}
 
* {{App|Gambatte|Accurate Game Boy Color emulator|https://github.com/sinamas/gambatte|Qt GUI frontend ({{Pkg|gambatte-qt}}), SDL CLI frontend ({{Pkg|gambatte-sdl}}).}}
 
* {{App|Gens2|Emulator for Sega Genesis, Sega CD and 32X that is written in assembly language and no longer actively developed.
 
:* activate OpenGL, set video resolution per custom to 1024x600 for streched full-screen or 800x600 for non-streched;
 
:* use "Normal" renderer, I couldn't find a visible advantage with the other ones.
 
|http://www.gens.me/|{{Pkg|gens}}}}
 
 
 
* {{App|Gens-GS|Gens2, rewritten in C++, combining features from various Gens forks.|http://segaretro.org/Gens/GS|{{Pkg|gens-gs}}}}
 
* {{App|gngeo|Command-line NeoGeo emulator.|http://gngeo.googlecode.com|{{AUR|gngeo}}}}
 
* {{App|higan|Multisystem emulator focusing on accuracy, supporting SNES, NES, GB, GBC, GBA.|https://byuu.org/emulation/higan/|{{Pkg|higan}}}}
 
* {{App|mednafen|Command line driven multi system emulator.|http://mednafen.sourceforge.net/|{{Pkg|mednafen}}}}
 
* {{App|Mupen64Plus|Highly compatible Nintendo 64 emulator with plugin system.
 
|http://www.mupen64plus.org/|{{Pkg|mupen64plus}} or a  graphical front-end, such as {{AUR|m64py}} or {{AUR|cutemupen}}.}}
 
* {{App|pSX|A not plugin-based PlayStation emulator with fairly high compatibility.|http://psxemulator.gazaxian.com/|{{AUR|psx}}}}
 
* {{App|[[PCSX-Reloaded|PCSXR]] | PlayStation emulator; Debian fork of the abandoned original PCSX|http://pcsxr.codeplex.com/|{{Pkg|pcsxr}}}}
 
* {{App|PCSX2|PlayStation 2 emulator. It is still being maintained and developed. It requires BIOS files.|http://www.pcsx2.net/|{{Pkg|pcsx2}}}}
 
* {{App|PPSSPP|PlayStation Portable emulator.|http://ppsspp.org/|{{Pkg|ppsspp}}}}
 
* {{App|Snes9x|Portable, freeware Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) emulator.|http://www.snes9x.com/|{{Pkg|snes9x}}}}
 
* {{App|[[Visual Boy Advance]]|Game Boy emulator with Game Boy Advance, Game Boy Color, and Super Game Boy support.
 
|http://vba.ngemu.com/|{{Pkg|vbam-gtk}}}}
 
* {{App|ZSNES|Highly compatible Super Nintendo  emulator.
 
|http://www.zsnes.com/|{{Pkg|zsnes}}}}
 
 
 
==== Other ====
 
 
 
* {{App|DOSBox|Open-source DOS emulator which primarily focuses on running DOS Games.|http://www.dosbox.com/|{{Pkg|dosbox}}}}
 
* {{App|DOSEmu|Open-source DOS emulator.|http://www.dosemu.org/|{{Pkg|dosemu}}}}
 
* {{App|MAME|Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator.|http://mamedev.org/|{{Pkg|sdlmame}}}}
 
* {{App|ResidualVM|Cross-platform 3D game interpreter which allows you to play LucasArts' Lua-based 3D adventures.|http://residualvm.org/|{{AUR|residualvm}}}}
 
* {{App|[[RetroArch]]|Frontend to libretro (emulation library, using modified versions of existing emulators as plugins).|http://www.libretro.com/|{{Pkg|retroarch}}}}
 
* {{App|ScummVM|Virtual machine for old school adventures.|http://www.scummvm.org/|{{Pkg|scummvm}}}}
 
* {{App|X Neko Project II|PC-9801 emulator.|http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~aw9k-nnk/np2/|{{AUR|xnp2}}}}
 
  
 
== Running games ==
 
== Running games ==
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Some SDL games (e.g. Guacamelee) let you disable grabbing by pressing {{ic|Ctrl-g}}.
 
Some SDL games (e.g. Guacamelee) let you disable grabbing by pressing {{ic|Ctrl-g}}.
 
You can also download {{AUR|sdl-nokeyboardgrab}}{{Broken package link|{{aur-mirror|sdl-nokeyboardgrab}}}} to gain the ability to use keyboard commands while in SDL games. If you wish to turn it up to 11, you can disable keyboard grabbing at X11 level using {{AUR|libx11-nokeyboardgrab}}, or with more fine-grained control with {{AUR|libx11-ldpreloadnograb}}{{Broken package link|{{aur-mirror|libx11-ldpreloadnograb}}}} using the {{ic|LD_PRELOAD}} environment variable to run applications with particular grab prevention. Wine/lib32 users should also look at the respective lib32 libraries.
 
  
 
{{Note|SDL is known to sometimes not be able to grab the input system. In such a case, it may succeed in grabbing it after a few seconds of waiting.}}
 
{{Note|SDL is known to sometimes not be able to grab the input system. In such a case, it may succeed in grabbing it after a few seconds of waiting.}}
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A game starting script making use of Openbox for your home directory or {{ic|/usr/local/bin}} may look like this:
 
A game starting script making use of Openbox for your home directory or {{ic|/usr/local/bin}} may look like this:
 +
 
{{hc|~/game.sh|<nowiki>
 
{{hc|~/game.sh|<nowiki>
 
if [ $# -ge 1 ]; then
 
if [ $# -ge 1 ]; then
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So after a {{ic|chmod +x}} you would be able to use this script like:
 
So after a {{ic|chmod +x}} you would be able to use this script like:
 +
 
  $ ~/game.sh xonotic-glx
 
  $ ~/game.sh xonotic-glx
  
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For games that require exceptional amount of mouse skill, adjusting the [[mouse polling rate]] can help improve accuracy.
 
For games that require exceptional amount of mouse skill, adjusting the [[mouse polling rate]] can help improve accuracy.
 
=== Mouse focus in GNOME ===
 
 
{{Merge|GNOME}}
 
 
The 'sloppy' and 'mouse' window-focusing modes in [[GNOME]] are known to cause issues with a variety of games, causing a 'click-through' effect. Users can remedy this problem by switching the focus mode to 'click' (with a tool such as {{Pkg|gnome-tweak-tool}}), playing in a different desktop environment, or spawing their game in a separate X-session.
 
  
 
=== Binaural Audio with OpenAL ===
 
=== Binaural Audio with OpenAL ===
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  snd_pitchquality 1 # Use high quality sounds
 
  snd_pitchquality 1 # Use high quality sounds
  
=== Tuning Pulseaudio ===
+
=== Tuning PulseAudio ===
  
 
If you are using [[PulseAudio]], you may wish to tweak some default settings to make sure it is running optimally.
 
If you are using [[PulseAudio]], you may wish to tweak some default settings to make sure it is running optimally.
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Pulseaudio is built to be run with realtime priority, being an audio daemon. However, because of security risks of it locking up the system, it is scheduled as a regular thread by default. To adjust this, first make sure you are in the {{ic|audio}} group. Then, uncomment and edit the following lines in {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}}:
 
Pulseaudio is built to be run with realtime priority, being an audio daemon. However, because of security risks of it locking up the system, it is scheduled as a regular thread by default. To adjust this, first make sure you are in the {{ic|audio}} group. Then, uncomment and edit the following lines in {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}}:
high-priority = yes
 
nice-level = -11
 
  
realtime-scheduling = yes
+
{{hc|1=/etc/pulse/daemon.conf|2=
realtime-priority = 5
+
high-priority = yes
 +
nice-level = -11
 +
 
 +
realtime-scheduling = yes
 +
realtime-priority = 5}}
 +
 
 
and restart pulseaudio.
 
and restart pulseaudio.
  
 
==== Using higher quality remixing for better sound ====
 
==== Using higher quality remixing for better sound ====
  
Pulseaudio on Arch uses speex-float-0 by default to remix channels, which is considered a 'medium-low' quality remixing. If your system can handle the extra load, you may benefit from setting it to one of the following instead:
+
PulseAudio on Arch uses speex-float-0 by default to remix channels, which is considered a 'medium-low' quality remixing. If your system can handle the extra load, you may benefit from setting it to one of the following instead:
 +
 
 
  resample-method = speex-float-10
 
  resample-method = speex-float-10
  
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=== Double check your CPU frequency scaling settings ===
 
=== Double check your CPU frequency scaling settings ===
  
If your system is currently configured to properly insert its own cpu frequency scaling driver, the system sets the default governor to Ondemand. By default, this governor only adjusts the clock if the system is utilizing 95% of its CPU, and then only for a very short period of time. This saves power and reduces heat, but has a noticeable impact on performance. You can instead only have the system downclock when it is idle, by tuning the system governor. To do so, see [[Cpufrequtils#Improving on-demand performance]]{{Broken section link}}.
+
If your system is currently configured to properly insert its own cpu frequency scaling driver, the system sets the default governor to Ondemand. By default, this governor only adjusts the clock if the system is utilizing 95% of its CPU, and then only for a very short period of time. This saves power and reduces heat, but has a noticeable impact on performance. You can instead only have the system downclock when it is idle, by tuning the system governor. To do so, see [[Cpufrequtils#Tuning the ondemand governor]].
 +
 
 +
== Remote gaming ==
 +
 
 +
[[Wikipedia:Cloud gaming|Cloud gaming]] has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years, because of low client-side hardware requirements. The only important thing is stable internet connection (over the ethernet cable or 5 GHz WiFi recommended) with a minimum speed of 5–10 Mbit/s (depending on the video quality and framerate).
 +
 
 +
{{Note|Most of the services that work in browser usually mean to be only compatible with {{AUR|google-chrome}}.}}
 +
 
 +
{| class="wikitable sortable" style="text-align: center;"
 +
! Service
 +
! class="unsortable" | Installer
 +
! In browser client
 +
! Use your own host
 +
! Offers host renting
 +
! Full desktop support
 +
! Controller support
 +
! class="unsortable" | Remarks
 +
|-
 +
| [https://dixper.gg/ Dixper] || {{-}} || {{Yes}} || {{Y|Windows-only}} || ? || ? || ? || {{-}}
 +
|-
 +
| [https://liquidsky.com/ LiquidSky] || {{AUR|liquidsky}} || {{No}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || {{-}}
 +
|-
 +
| [https://moonlight-stream.org/ Moonlight] || {{AUR|moonlight-qt}} || {{No}} || {{Y|Windows-only}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || This is only a client. Host machine needs GeForce experience installed.
 +
|-
 +
| [https://ui.parsecgaming.com/ Parsec] || {{AUR|parsec-bin}} || {{Yes}} (experimental) || {{Y|Windows-only}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || {{-}}
 +
|-
 +
| [https://playkey.net/ Playkey] || {{AUR|playkey-linux}} || ? || ? || ? || ? || ? || {{-}}
 +
|-
 +
| style="white-space:nowrap" | [https://www.playstation.com/en-gb/explore/playstation-now/ps-now-on-pc/ PlayStation Now] || Runs under [[Wine]] or [[Steam]]'s proton || {{No}} || {{No}} || {{-}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || Play PS4, PS3 and PS2 games on PC. Alternatively, you can use [[Video game platform emulators|emulators]].
 +
|-
 +
| [https://rainway.com/ Rainway] || Coming in 2019 Q3 || {{Yes}} || {{Y|Windows-only}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || ? || {{-}}
 +
|-
 +
| [https://shadow.tech/ Shadow] || {{AUR|shadow-beta}} || {{No}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || {{Yes}} || Controller support is dependent on USB over IP, and currently AVC only as HEVC isn't supported
 +
|-
 +
| [[Steam#Steam_Remote_Play|Steam Remote Play]] || Part of {{pkg|steam}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || {{No}} || {{No}} || {{Yes}} || {{-}}
 +
|-
 +
| [https://vortex.gg/ Vortex] || {{-}} || {{Yes}} || {{No}} || {{-}} || {{No}} || ? || {{-}}
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
== Improving performance ==
 +
 
 +
See also main article: [[Improving performance]]. For Wine programs, see [[Wine#Performance]].
  
== Improving framerates and responsiveness with scheduling policies ==
+
=== Utilities ===
Most every game can benefit if given the correct scheduling policies for the kernel to prioritize the task. However, without the help of a daemon, this rescheduling would have to be carried out manually or through the use of several daemons for each policy. These policies should ideally be set per-thread by the application itself, but not all developers implement these policies. There are several methods for getting them to work anyway:
 
  
=== For Wine programs ===
+
* {{App|GameMode|Daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS.|https://github.com/FeralInteractive/gamemode|{{AUR|gamemode}}, {{AUR|lib32-gamemode}}}}
  
{{AUR|wine-rt}} is a patched version of Wine that implements scheduling policies on a per-thread basis, using the equivalent of what the Windows developers had intended the threads to be run at. The default patch is more oriented towards professional audio users, and tends to be too heavy-handed of an approach for gaming. You may instead wish to use [http://pastebin.com/D9GBzBBv this patch], which also includes nice levels and uses more than one policy decision. Be warned that it uses {{ic|SCHED_ISO}}, which is only properly implemented on [[Linux-ck]], and will simply renice {{ic|THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL}} threads if your system does not support it.
+
=== Improving frame rates and responsiveness with scheduling policies ===
  
{{Pkg|wine-staging}} versions 1.9.5 and before incorporate the CSMT patchset which provides better performance for 3D accelerated games. The patchset has been disabled as of 1.9.6 pending an upstream update to the patch and incorporation into the main Wine source tree, so you will need to compile version 1.9.5 of wine-staging yourself if you wish to take advantage of this.
+
Most games can benefit if given the correct scheduling policies for the kernel to prioritize the task. These policies should ideally be set per-thread by the application itself.
  
=== For everything else ===
+
For programs which do not implement scheduling policies on their own, application known as {{Pkg|schedtool}}, and its associated daemon {{AUR|schedtoold}} can handle many of these tasks automatically.
  
For programs which do not implement scheduling policies on their own, one tool known as '''schedtool''', and its associated daemon {{AUR|schedtoold}} can handle many of these tasks automatically.
 
 
To edit what programs relieve what policies, simply edit {{ic|/etc/schedtoold.conf}} and add the program followed by the ''schedtool'' arguments desired.
 
To edit what programs relieve what policies, simply edit {{ic|/etc/schedtoold.conf}} and add the program followed by the ''schedtool'' arguments desired.
  
 
==== Policies ====
 
==== Policies ====
  
First and foremost, setting the scheduling policy to {{ic|SCHED_ISO}} will not only allow the process to use a maximum of 80 percent of the CPU, but will attempt to reduce latency and stuttering wherever possible.  
+
{{ic|SCHED_ISO}} (only implemented in BFS/MuQSSPDS schedulers found in -pf and -ck [[kernel]]s) – will not only allow the process to use a maximum of 80 percent of the CPU, but will attempt to reduce latency and stuttering wherever possible. Most if not all games will benefit from this:
{{ic|SCHED_ISO}} requires [[Linux-ck]] to operate, as it has only been implemented in that kernel. [[Linux-ck]] itself provides a hefty latency reduction, and should ideally be installed
+
 
Most if not all games will benefit from this:
 
 
  bit.trip.runner -I
 
  bit.trip.runner -I
For users not using [[Linux-ck]], {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}} provides an alternative, that can even work better. You should test to see if your applications run more smoothly with {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}}, in which case by all means use it instead. Be warned though, as {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}} runs the risk of starving the system! Use this in cases where -I is used below:
+
 
 +
{{ic|SCHED_FIFO}} provides an alternative, that can even work better. You should test to see if your applications run more smoothly with {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}}, in which case by all means use it instead. Be warned though, as {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}} runs the risk of starving the system! Use this in cases where -I is used below:
 +
 
 
  bit.trip.runner -F -p 15
 
  bit.trip.runner -F -p 15
  
 
==== Nice levels ====
 
==== Nice levels ====
  
Secondly, the nice level sets which tasks are processed first, in ascending order. A nice level of -4 is reccommended for most multimedia tasks, including games:
+
Secondly, the nice level sets which tasks are processed first, in ascending order. A nice level of -4 is recommended for most multimedia tasks, including games:
 +
 
 
  bit.trip.runner -n -4
 
  bit.trip.runner -n -4
  
 
==== Core affinity ====
 
==== Core affinity ====
  
There is some confusion in development as to whether the driver should be multithreading, or the program. In any case where they both attempt it, it causes drops in framerate and crashes. Examples of this include a number of modern games, and any Wine program which is running without [[Wikipedia:OpenGL Shading Language|GLSL]] disabled. To select a single core and allow only the driver to handle this process, simply use the {{ic|-a 0x''#''}} flag, where ''#'' is the core number, e.g.:  
+
There is some confusion in development as to whether the driver should be multithreading, or the program. Allowing both the driver and program to simultaneously multithread can result in significant performance reductions, such as framerate loss and increased risk of crashes. Examples of this include a number of modern games, and any Wine program which is running with [[Wikipedia:OpenGL Shading Language|GLSL]] enabled. To select a single core and allow only the driver to handle this process, simply use the {{ic|-a 0x''#''}} flag, where ''#'' is the core number, e.g.:
 +
 
 
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x1
 
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x1
 +
 
uses first core.
 
uses first core.
 +
 
Some CPUs are hyperthreaded and have only 2 or 4 cores but show up as 4 or 8, and are best accounted for:
 
Some CPUs are hyperthreaded and have only 2 or 4 cores but show up as 4 or 8, and are best accounted for:
 +
 
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x5
 
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x5
 +
 
which use virtual cores 0101, or 1 and 3.
 
which use virtual cores 0101, or 1 and 3.
  
Line 267: Line 223:
 
For most games which require high framerates and low latency, usage of all of these flags seems to work best. Affinity should be checked per-program, however, as most native games can understand the correct usage.
 
For most games which require high framerates and low latency, usage of all of these flags seems to work best. Affinity should be checked per-program, however, as most native games can understand the correct usage.
 
For a general case:
 
For a general case:
 +
 
  bit.trip.runner -I -n -4
 
  bit.trip.runner -I -n -4
 
  Amnesia.bin64 -I -n -4
 
  Amnesia.bin64 -I -n -4
 
  hl2.exe -I -n -4 -a 0x1 #Wine with GLSL enabled
 
  hl2.exe -I -n -4 -a 0x1 #Wine with GLSL enabled
 +
 
etc.
 
etc.
  
 
==== Optimus, and other helping programs ====
 
==== Optimus, and other helping programs ====
  
As a general rule, any other process which the game requires to operate should be reniced to a level above that of the game itself. Strangely, Wine has a problem known as ''reverse scheduling'', it can often have benefits when the more important processes are set to a higher nice level. Wineserver also seems unconditionally to benefit from {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}}, since rarely consumes the whole CPU and needs higher prioritization when possible.
+
As a general rule, any other process which the game requires to operate should be reniced to a level above that of the game itself. Strangely, Wine has a problem known as ''reverse scheduling'', it can often have benefits when the more important processes are set to a higher nice level. Wineserver also seems unconditionally to benefit from {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}}, since it rarely consumes the whole CPU and needs higher prioritization when possible.
 +
 
 
  optirun -I -n -5
 
  optirun -I -n -5
 
  wineserver -F -p 20 -n 19
 
  wineserver -F -p 20 -n 19
 
  steam.exe -I -n -5
 
  steam.exe -I -n -5
 
== Using alternate kernels ==
 
 
{{Note|Many users report inconsistant framerate and other performance hits when using [[Linux-ck]], even if the overall framerate is sometimes higher. You may wish to try using {{Pkg|linux-zen}} if you just want BFQ.}}
 
 
The stock Arch kernel provides a very good baseline for general usage. However, if your system has less than 16 cores and is intended for use primarily as a workstation, you can sacrifice a small amount of throughput on batch workloads and gain a significant boost to interactivity by using [[Linux-ck]]. If you prefer not to compile your own kernel, you can instead add [[Repo-ck]] and use one of their kernels. Using a pre-optimized kernel will most definitely offset any loss of throughput that may have occurred as a result, so be sure to select the appropriate kernel for your architecture.
 
 
=== Using BFQ ===
 
 
BFQ is an io-scheduler that comes as a feature of {{Pkg|linux-zen}} and [[Linux-ck]], and is optimized to be much more simplistic, but provides better interactivity and throughput for non-server workloads. To enable, simply add the kernel parameter ''elevator=bfq'' to your [[bootloader]]. It is important to note that although most guides recommend using either ''noop'' or ''deadline'' for SSDs for their raw throughput, they are actually detrimental to interactivity when more than one thread is attempting to access the device. It is best to use ''bfq'' unless you desperately need the throughput advantage.
 
 
== See also ==
 
* [http://osgameclones.com/ OSGameClones] - List of open source game clones
 
* [http://freegamer.blogspot.com/ Free Gamer] - Open source games blog
 
* [http://forum.freegamedev.net/ FreeGameDev] - Free/open source game development community
 
* [https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Games#Gaming_News_sites SIG/Games] - OS/Linux gaming news sites and lists at Fedora's wiki
 
* [http://live.linux-gamers.net live.linux-gamers] - Arch-based live gaming distro
 
* [http://www.gamingonlinux.com/ Gaming on Linux] - Active Linux gaming news and editorial source and community
 
* [https://www.reddit.com/r/linux_gaming/wiki/index /r/linux_gaming wiki] on Reddit
 

Revision as of 19:01, 19 June 2019

This page contains information about running games and related system configuration tips.

Game environments

Different environments exist to play games in Linux:

  • Native – games written for Linux.
  • Web – games running in a web browser.
    • HTML5 games use canvas and WebGL technologies and work in all modern browsers.
    • Flash-based – you need to install the plugin to play.
  • Video game platform emulators – required for running software designed for other architectures and systems.
  • Wine – Windows compatibility layer, allows to run Windows applications on Unix-like operating systems.
  • Virtual machines – can be used to install compatible operating systems (such as Windows). VirtualBox has good 3D support. As an extension of this, if you have compatible hardware you can consider VGA passthrough to a Windows KVM guest, keyword is "virtual function I/O" (VFIO), or PCI passthrough via OVMF.

Getting games

Just because games are available for Linux doesn't mean that they are native, they might be pre-packaged with Wine or DOSBox.

For list of games packaged for Arch in official repositories / the AUR see List of games.

  • Flathub — Central Flatpak repository, has small but growing game section.
https://flathub.org/apps/category/Game || flatpak, discover, gnome-software
https://www.gog.com || lgogdownloaderAUR
https://itch.io || itchAUR
  • Lutris — Open gaming platform for Linux. Gets games from GOG, Steam, Battle.net, Origin, Uplay and many other sources. Lutris utilizes various runners to launch the games with fully customizable configuration options.
https://lutris.net || lutris
  • Steam — Digital distribution and communications platform developed by Valve.
https://store.steampowered.com || steam

Running games

Certain games or game types may need special configuration to run or to run as expected. For the most part, games will work right out of the box in Arch Linux with possibly better performance than on other distributions due to compile time optimizations. However, some special setups may require a bit of configuration or scripting to make games run as smoothly as desired.

Multi-screen setups

Running a multi-screen setup may lead to problems with fullscreen games. In such a case, running a second X server is one possible solution. Another solution may be found in the NVIDIA article (may also apply to non-NVIDIA users).

Keyboard grabbing

Many games grab the keyboard, noticeably preventing you from switching windows (also known as alt-tabbing).

Some SDL games (e.g. Guacamelee) let you disable grabbing by pressing Ctrl-g.

Note: SDL is known to sometimes not be able to grab the input system. In such a case, it may succeed in grabbing it after a few seconds of waiting.

Starting games in a separate X server

In some cases like those mentioned above, it may be necessary or desired to run a second X server. Running a second X server has multiple advantages such as better performance, the ability to "tab" out of your game by using Ctrl+Alt+F7/Ctrl+Alt+F8, no crashing your primary X session (which may have open work on) in case a game conflicts with the graphics driver. The new X server will be akin a remote access login for the ALSA, so your user need to be part of the audio group to be able to hear any sound.

To start a second X server (using the free first person shooter game Xonotic as an example) you can simply do:

$ xinit /usr/bin/xonotic-glx -- :1 vt$XDG_VTNR

This can further be spiced up by using a separate X configuration file:

$ xinit /usr/bin/xonotic-glx -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf vt$XDG_VTNR

A good reason to provide an alternative xorg.conf here may be that your primary configuration makes use of NVIDIA's Twinview which would render your 3D games like Xonotic in the middle of your multiscreen setup, spanned across all screens. This is undesirable, thus starting a second X with an alternative config where the second screen is disabled is advised.

A game starting script making use of Openbox for your home directory or /usr/local/bin may look like this:

~/game.sh
if [ $# -ge 1 ]; then
        game="$(which $1)"
        openbox="$(which openbox)"
        tmpgame="/tmp/tmpgame.sh"
        DISPLAY=:1.0
        echo -e "${openbox} &\n${game}" > ${tmpgame}
        echo "starting ${game}"
        xinit ${tmpgame} -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf || exit 1
else
        echo "not a valid argument"
fi

So after a chmod +x you would be able to use this script like:

$ ~/game.sh xonotic-glx

Adjusting mouse detections

For games that require exceptional amount of mouse skill, adjusting the mouse polling rate can help improve accuracy.

Binaural Audio with OpenAL

For games using OpenAL, if you use headphones you may get much better positional audio using OpenAL's HRTF filters. To enable, run the following command:

echo "hrtf = true" >> ~/.alsoftrc

Alternatively, install openal-hrtfAUR from the AUR, and edit the options in /etc/openal/alsoftrc.conf

For Source games, the ingame setting `dsp_slow_cpu` must be set to `1` to enable HRTF, otherwise the game will enable its own processing instead. You will also either need to set up Steam to use native runtime, or link its copy of openal.so to your own local copy. For completeness, also use the following options:

dsp_slow_cpu 1 # Disable in-game spatialiazation
snd_spatialize_roundrobin 1 # Disable spatialization 1.0*100% of sounds
dsp_enhance_stereo 0 # Disable DSP sound effects. You may want to leave this on, if you find it does not interfere with your perception of the sound effects.
snd_pitchquality 1 # Use high quality sounds

Tuning PulseAudio

If you are using PulseAudio, you may wish to tweak some default settings to make sure it is running optimally.

Enabling realtime priority and negative nice level

Pulseaudio is built to be run with realtime priority, being an audio daemon. However, because of security risks of it locking up the system, it is scheduled as a regular thread by default. To adjust this, first make sure you are in the audio group. Then, uncomment and edit the following lines in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf:

/etc/pulse/daemon.conf
high-priority = yes
nice-level = -11

realtime-scheduling = yes
realtime-priority = 5

and restart pulseaudio.

Using higher quality remixing for better sound

PulseAudio on Arch uses speex-float-0 by default to remix channels, which is considered a 'medium-low' quality remixing. If your system can handle the extra load, you may benefit from setting it to one of the following instead:

resample-method = speex-float-10

Matching hardware buffers to Pulse's buffering

Matching the buffers can reduce stuttering and increase performance marginally. See here for more details.

Double check your CPU frequency scaling settings

If your system is currently configured to properly insert its own cpu frequency scaling driver, the system sets the default governor to Ondemand. By default, this governor only adjusts the clock if the system is utilizing 95% of its CPU, and then only for a very short period of time. This saves power and reduces heat, but has a noticeable impact on performance. You can instead only have the system downclock when it is idle, by tuning the system governor. To do so, see Cpufrequtils#Tuning the ondemand governor.

Remote gaming

Cloud gaming has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years, because of low client-side hardware requirements. The only important thing is stable internet connection (over the ethernet cable or 5 GHz WiFi recommended) with a minimum speed of 5–10 Mbit/s (depending on the video quality and framerate).

Note: Most of the services that work in browser usually mean to be only compatible with google-chromeAUR.
Service Installer In browser client Use your own host Offers host renting Full desktop support Controller support Remarks
Dixper Yes Windows-only ? ? ?
LiquidSky liquidskyAUR No No Yes Yes Yes
Moonlight moonlight-qtAUR No Windows-only No Yes Yes This is only a client. Host machine needs GeForce experience installed.
Parsec parsec-binAUR Yes (experimental) Windows-only Yes Yes Yes
Playkey playkey-linuxAUR ? ? ? ? ?
PlayStation Now Runs under Wine or Steam's proton No No No Yes Play PS4, PS3 and PS2 games on PC. Alternatively, you can use emulators.
Rainway Coming in 2019 Q3 Yes Windows-only No Yes ?
Shadow shadow-betaAUR No No Yes Yes Yes Controller support is dependent on USB over IP, and currently AVC only as HEVC isn't supported
Steam Remote Play Part of steam No Yes No No Yes
Vortex Yes No No ?

Improving performance

See also main article: Improving performance. For Wine programs, see Wine#Performance.

Utilities

  • GameMode — Daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS.
https://github.com/FeralInteractive/gamemode || gamemodeAUR, lib32-gamemodeAUR

Improving frame rates and responsiveness with scheduling policies

Most games can benefit if given the correct scheduling policies for the kernel to prioritize the task. These policies should ideally be set per-thread by the application itself.

For programs which do not implement scheduling policies on their own, application known as schedtool, and its associated daemon schedtooldAUR can handle many of these tasks automatically.

To edit what programs relieve what policies, simply edit /etc/schedtoold.conf and add the program followed by the schedtool arguments desired.

Policies

SCHED_ISO (only implemented in BFS/MuQSSPDS schedulers found in -pf and -ck kernels) – will not only allow the process to use a maximum of 80 percent of the CPU, but will attempt to reduce latency and stuttering wherever possible. Most if not all games will benefit from this:

bit.trip.runner -I

SCHED_FIFO provides an alternative, that can even work better. You should test to see if your applications run more smoothly with SCHED_FIFO, in which case by all means use it instead. Be warned though, as SCHED_FIFO runs the risk of starving the system! Use this in cases where -I is used below:

bit.trip.runner -F -p 15

Nice levels

Secondly, the nice level sets which tasks are processed first, in ascending order. A nice level of -4 is recommended for most multimedia tasks, including games:

bit.trip.runner -n -4

Core affinity

There is some confusion in development as to whether the driver should be multithreading, or the program. Allowing both the driver and program to simultaneously multithread can result in significant performance reductions, such as framerate loss and increased risk of crashes. Examples of this include a number of modern games, and any Wine program which is running with GLSL enabled. To select a single core and allow only the driver to handle this process, simply use the -a 0x# flag, where # is the core number, e.g.:

bit.trip.runner -a 0x1

uses first core.

Some CPUs are hyperthreaded and have only 2 or 4 cores but show up as 4 or 8, and are best accounted for:

bit.trip.runner -a 0x5

which use virtual cores 0101, or 1 and 3.

General case

For most games which require high framerates and low latency, usage of all of these flags seems to work best. Affinity should be checked per-program, however, as most native games can understand the correct usage. For a general case:

bit.trip.runner -I -n -4
Amnesia.bin64 -I -n -4
hl2.exe -I -n -4 -a 0x1 #Wine with GLSL enabled

etc.

Optimus, and other helping programs

As a general rule, any other process which the game requires to operate should be reniced to a level above that of the game itself. Strangely, Wine has a problem known as reverse scheduling, it can often have benefits when the more important processes are set to a higher nice level. Wineserver also seems unconditionally to benefit from SCHED_FIFO, since it rarely consumes the whole CPU and needs higher prioritization when possible.

optirun -I -n -5
wineserver -F -p 20 -n 19
steam.exe -I -n -5