Are you just setting off on your Linux gaming adventure? Then you need to know about the best Linux games you can play for free. So many great Windows games are available on Linux, and there’s even a few unmissable titles that are only available on Linux.
So, if you’re looking for the best Linux games to play for free, here are 10 titles to get you started…
Mixing humor with combat, Wakfu is an amine-inspired MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) with a life of its own. Worlds away from the earnest grind of WoW, Guild Wars, and other giants of the genre, Wakfu is just fun.
Heard of Wakfu already? It’s been spun off into an animated TV series, which you may have seen.
Wakfu is a different take on the MMORPG, so veterans of such games might spot a few issues with class balancing and crafting. If you’re new to MMORPGs, however, Wakfu is the perfect introduction to a massive gaming genre.
Wakfu is free, but you’ll need to purchase additional game content from Steam.
One of the greatest and longest running gaming franchises is available on Linux via Steam. But if you’re looking for a free and open source alternative to Civilization, the answer is Freeciv.
Pit your nascent civilization against others in a test of time that requires you to dominate financially, militarily, and scientifically, while controlling and protecting your territory. The endgame is either total domination, or a successful rocket launch to explore the stars.
A network mode is available, giving you a great multiplayer experience. Freeciv also has a web version, and you can configure the game map for hexagonal or rectangular tiles, depending on your preferred style of play.
Freeciv was released in 1996 and is based heavily on Civilization 2. You can run it on Solaris, Amiga OS, and Windows, as well as Linux.
3. Dota 2
Join millions of players on Valve’s Dota 2, reportedly the “most-played game on Steam”.
Boasting that “no two games are the same,” Dota 2 boasts a wide selection of heroes, abilities, and weapons. Nothing delivers an unfair of unwelcome advantage, however; you win or lose based entirely on your skill with the game and its features.
With such a popular game, joining as a new player might seem intimidating. Fortunately, we’ve compiled some great Dota 2 tips to help you become a better player.
Perhaps the most intriguing gameplay option is support for the HTC Vive, delivering a immersive Dota 2 experience via VR.
Although the core Dota 2 game remains free, you can buy cosmetic enhancements for your characters.
Download: Dota 2
An open source version of 1995 game Transport Tycoon Deluxe, OpenTTD is a business sim in which you make money in transport and haulage.
Duplicating most features from the original game, OpenTTD ends on the source material, offering bigger maps, customizations, an improved user interface, and local and internet multiplayer, for up to 255 players. Additionally, the game has been visually enhanced, so prepare for polished graphics, bigger maps, new features, and increased complexity.
Fan of the original Transport Tycoon Deluxe or new to the game completely? Find help in the OpenTTD online manual.
It can be tricky to start making money, so check out our guide to creating amazing transportation systems in OpenTTD.
5. Team Fortress 2
Another big Valve title, Team Fortress 2 (aka TF2) is a free-to-play multiplayer first-person shooter (FPS). There’s a visible amount of gore in the game, which means the game is 16+, but if you’re old enough and that’s your thing, TF2 is incredibly good fun.
While multiplayer shooters can be intimidating, TF2 makes it easy to get started. Character creation can be tweaked to suit your gameplay style. Meanwhile, newcomers to TF2 can play training and offline practice modes to get themselves in shape for genuine MMO action.
Premium downloadable content is available for TF2, but you’ll find most customization items in-game.
Download: Team Fortress 2
An open source take on the Command & Conquer: Red Alert RTS (real-time strategy) series, OpenRA is a fan-created remake. It includes gameplay elements from other games by original developers Westwood, including Command & Conquer: Tiberian Dawn and Dune 2000.
Among enhancements over the original OpenRA are support for game replays, capture of civilian structures, fog of war, and the ability to stream games online.
Copyright holders EA announced in late 2018 that they plan to revive the Command & Conquer franchise. However, this should not affect OpenRA.
As well as running as a futuristic RTS, OpenRA can perform as a game server for network play.
OpenRA is available for BSD, macOS, and Windows, as well as Linux.
Another multiplayer action shooter, Robocraft lets you build your own customizable robots and engage in combat with other players online.
Building takes place in an easy to use block-based user interface, where dozens of different weapons options can be added. When you’re done, test the robot against the AI before going online and fighting other players.
While things might get repetitive (fix this by creating plenty of different robots), Robocraft is a fun Linux multiplayer game.
First released in 2006, Hedgewars is a side-scrolling turn-based strategy game with a good dose of comedy. Sound familiar? Yes, it’s a Worms clone, but Hedgewars has an army of pink hedgehogs to control for domination of the map.
With support for up to eight players, single, local and network multiplayer, and in infinite number of maps based on 31 environments, you’re not going to get bored with this free Linux game.
Teams can be modified, games tweaked, and a selection of 55 weapons are at your disposal. These include options like the Piano Strike and the Melon Bomb. You can even make your own maps and costume mods, and download mods from other players.
Overall, if you’re looking for some good, free multiplayer strategy action on Linux, Hedgewars is so much fun!
9. Star Conflict
In this Elite Dangerous-style space combat MMO, you play as an elite space combat pilot, fighting in a galactic interplanetary skirmish.
Essentially a shooter in a spaceship, Star Conflict features PVP and PVE battles and quests, single player and multiplayer campaigns, over 100 types of spacecraft, various tactical roles, and much more.
Premium downloadable content is available for Star Conflict, which can save you a lot of time developing in-game skills.
Download: Star Conflict
Created as an open source, Linux-only alternative to Super Mario Kart, SuperTuxKart is one of the most popular Linux games.
Initially released in 2007 (forked from TuxKart, which launched in 2000), SuperTuxKart features characters from various open source game projects, like the racers in Mario Kart.
However, SuperTuxKart isn’t a complete copy of the Nintendo title. To start off, it offers many game modes, from the standard normal race and time trial to the Easter Egg hunt and soccer modes.
As well as Linux, you can run SuperTuxKart on Windows, Android, and macOS.
Notably, SuperTuxKart features a story mode that unlocks tracks and characters, with each won race contributing to advancing the plot.
Where to Find the Best Free Linux Games
Gaming on Linux is easier than you think. You have a choice of finding free games on Steam or browsing the web for the best free and open source titles.
You can also look further afield, beyond Steam, to sites like itch.io where an index of Linux games is maintained. Or you could head to GOG.com and try some retro games with Linux compatibility (thanks to built-in DOS emulation).
Also look within the repositories of your Linux distro. Here you’ll find games that will run with your particular Linux flavor, which will typically include classics like Doom, and a ScummVM engine for point and click adventures.
If you’re keen on Linux gaming, it’s important to ensure you’re using the best operating system and drivers. Check out the best Linux operating systems for gaming to ensure you’re getting the most out of your PC. And for the curious, here are the technologies and services that have improved gaming on Linux: