(Last Updated On: January 5, 2018)

In this blog post, we’ll cover How to Play Windows Games on Ubuntu.

Linux is gaining traction when it comes to compatibility with software and critical programs as noted alternative to Windows. However, gaming on Linux can be annoying sometimes. Sure, there are over 1,000 games now on Steam that you could play, but sometimes you just want to play a Windows (or alternative) game. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true.

Not every Windows game has a Linux version. Far from it. What’s more is that a lot of games are unlikely to have a Linux version anytime soon. For starters, there’s no online poker. In fact, on their FAQ page, PokerStars says that they have no intention of releasing a Linux game, and instead point to a similar solution, as I am about to offer.

You can get around the problem by installing a copy of Windows software as a virtual machine or by dual booting, but both methods involve having an actual copy of Windows, and this kind of defeats the purpose of Linux. To truly get around it, you can use applications such as Wine.

What’s Wine?

Wine is an open-source Windows compatibility layer. It works differently from an emulator, allowing Linux to run Windows software directly without requiring a copy of Windows itself. It might not run every app without a hiccup and you may experience performance issues from time to time on some games, but Wine is a great program that gives you instant access to thousands of games.

Wine is available in the Ubuntu official repositories or you can get it by using the terminal and entering the command:

$ sudo apt install wine

Overall, Wine is user-friendly, but adding PlayOnLinux will give you many more options.

Using PlayOnLinux

PlayOnLinux is a package manager for Windows games and other software. It comes with a simple point-and-click interface, which allows you to search and install games directly. Once downloaded, you can launch the games from PlayOnLinux as well as create desktop shortcuts.

You can install PlayOnLinux from the Ubuntu repository or use the command:

$ sudo apt-get install playonlinux

You can also download the latest version of the software from the PlayOnLinux website. Installing PlayOnLinux will also automatically start the process of installing Wine if you don’t already have it.

With Wine and PlayOnLinux installed you can easily play popular quality games like “FIFA,” “World of Warcraft” and many more.

Working with Winetricks

If you want to further increase your Linux system’s compatibility with Windows games, you could also download Winetricks, though this is not essential. Winetricks is a script that installs libraries to run programs in Wine. You can get the latest Winetricks using the command:

wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Winetricks/winetricks/master/src/winetricks
chmod +x winetricks
sudo mv winetricks /usr/local/bin

Finally (and again, optionally), you can install DirectX through Winetricks for greater Windows gaming.

Use the command:

$ winetricks directx9

to install and then install the package:

$ winetricks vcrun6sp6

to ensure smooth running.

Keep in mind, you don’t need Winetricks or DirectX to run Windows games. Installing Wine will be enough to get started, and PlayOnLinux will make the process of finding and downloading games much easier.

Enjoy your many hours of gaming fun!