Is Linux a Good Choice for Gaming? 8
Hacking is rife in gaming circles, and many gamers are looking for better, safer gaming tools. Linux is traditionally known as a hacker-resistant operating system far safer and more stable than Windows. But is Linux a good choice for gaming?
Linux is more secure, privacy-focused, and dependable than Windows. It uses far less RAM, CPU, and storage, so you can deploy it on older computers and still get great results. Windows is easier to use because it’s familiar and supports a broader range of software and apps, but Windows offers zero privacy and is prone to security issues.
Traditionally, gamers have been hesitant to switch from Windows to Linux because of perceived obstacles to adopting Linux and because they’ve heard that they’ll have to sacrifice their favorite games. Let’s take a quick look at these eight important aspects of gaming to help you choose.
1. Overall Safety
Almost everyone uses their computers for both work/home computing and gaming. In that situation, there is no doubt that Linux is generally safer than Windows. In fact, if you are a Windows gamer who does not use a premium antivirus and a gaming VPN, you are essentially looking for trouble.
2. Range of Available Games
More than 80% of the top 1000 games on Steam can now be used on Linux, either run natively on Linux or using a compatibility layer like Wine or proton. On top of that, you have a lot of free games that you can jump into straight away.
Still, Windows offers vastly more games than Linux. If you want endless variety, stick to Windows for now.
3. Out-of-the-box Gaming Experience
A few of the games adopted for Linux require minor tweaks, but most Linux game versions run perfectly well out of the box. But there is a disappointing twist. In some cases, the Linux game versions beautifully, but the accompanying anti-cheat software such as Denuvo, Easy Anti-Cheat, and BattlEye does not.
If your game requires running such additional software, you’ll have to stick to Windows for a little longer.
4. Hardware Comparison
This is the one aspect where is almost no comparison. You can run software on Linux that you wouldn’t even attempt on an older Windows PC. Nearly all Windows versions, particularly Windows 11, consume vastly more RAM, storage, and CPU resources than almost all Linux distros.
On average, Linux performs the same or better due to its lightweight design. If you love a particular game that has already been ported to Linux, this might be a great opportunity to separate your gaming activities from your other computer needs. Take the step and try gaming on a Linux computer!
5. Accessories and Driver Support for Linux vs. Windows
The Linux kernel supports all major hardware. Generally, Linux gamers won’t run into any compatibility issues. Hard-core gamers concerned about future cutting-edge technologies can stick to mainstream distros like Ubuntu and avoid the plethora of non-mainstream distros intended to revive ancient PCs.
6. Endless Customization Compared to Windows
Linux wins again, as most Linux distros are almost endlessly customizable to provide gamers with the perfect keyboard shortcuts, commands, hardware combos, or controllers for more comfort. Even Linux beginners can customize their Steam games via the Steam control settings.
Windows is far less customizable, but admittedly, many gamers are happy with the famous Windows plug & play setup, and they don’t want or need additional customization.
7. Gaming Costs
Most Linux distros are free, whereas a Microsoft Windows license can be fairly expensive. If you add the cost of gaming service subscriptions or the purchase price of a premium game, you could be looking at a significant bill.
8. Additional Tools for Safe Gaming
Gamers need a gaming VPN to protect them from doxing, swatting, and hacking. A free VPN means you give up your privacy and pay with your data, plus you always get stuck on a crowded, slow VPN server.
Whether you game on Linux or Windows, always use legitimate software and keep it up to date. Add a layer of protection with a reputable gaming VPN with gaming-optimized servers in your country to prevent gaming lag.
If you just want to plug & play in your downtime, don’t get too invested in games, and enjoy endless variety, stick to Windows. If you’re looking for better built-in security and privacy protection, plus more flexibility and customization, Linux will be very rewarding. If you have an old PC lying around, revamp it with one of the popular gaming distros and see how you like it!
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