Hundreds more games are available to install via the repositories, in Steam or by downloading packages not available in the default repositories.
For example, you can install the gnome-games or kdegames packages, which come mainly with tens of board games. Or you can install shooters like the Quake 3 clone called OpenArena or AssaultCube, or strategy games like Warzone2100 or Wesnoth, or puzzle games like Enigma. You can even play games in the terminal. See the resources section for a complete reference to games which I overviewed in the past.
But the games that ship in the repositories and are installable via the Ubuntu Software Center are not the only ones available. You can now install Steam for Linux and play free games or buy top-notch ones. Even GOG.com announced that this fall will see a number of old games ported to Linux. And for Windows-only games, there is always Wine. These too are discussed in the sections below.
Installing Games via the Ubuntu Software CenterUbuntu comes with hundreds of games installable from the repositories, either using the Ubuntu Software Center (USC) or a terminal to do so. I will only show the basics here, but you can read a full tutorial on how to install software in Ubuntu here.
Ubuntu's Software Center allows you to easily browse and install games with just a few clicks. The repositories contain hundreds of free games:
Let's have a look at Battle for Wesnoth, which is one of the most complete and beautiful strategy game for Linux. To install it, you can browse the USC and install it graphically, or just open a terminal and type:
Steam GamesSteam is a gaming and software platform which allows you to play free games or buy titles which until a while ago had no native ports for Linux. Ever since Steam was natively made available for Linux, the number of titles grew from a few titles like Half-Life 2 or Counter-Strike to a few hundreds now, and more are scheduled to arrive. Now Steam offers a great range, like Football Manager 2014, RUST, DotA 2.
To install Steam, download the DEB package from the website and install it by either double-clicking it or using:
Here is a link to 11 free games playable on Steam, including DotA 2 or Team Fortress 2.
DesuraDesura is another Linux-friendly gaming platform which can be installed from here. Desura facilitates access to many free games, some of which are already available in the repositories.
Games Not Available in the RepositoriesDue to their non-free license, some great games are included in the Ubuntu repositories. However, these are free to play as well, and you can download and install them from their official websites. I can mention here Xonotic or Urban Terror.
Windows Games with Wine or PlayOnLinux
Wine - Wine Is Not an EmulatorWine is an application that lets you install Windows games and applications on Linux. You can install Wine from the repositories using the USC or by typing in a terminal:
To use Wine to install software, just double-click any Windows executable or type in a terminal:
PlayOnLinuxPlayOnLinux is a graphical frontend to Wine which facilitates access to hundreds of Windows games, provided you have the proper installers. You can install PlayOnLinux in Ubuntu from the repositories:
ResourcesHere are links to reviews I wrote in the past which cover over 100 games for Linux:
- 12 Completely Free, Open-Source Linux Games
- 5 More Completely Free, Open-Source Games for Linux
- Yet Another 5 Free, Open-Source Games for Linux
- Free Open-Source Games for Linux Part IV
- 10 More Great, Free, Open-Source Games
If you are fond of the command-line this article covers several games which you can play in the terminal. Even Emacs, the powerful development environment bundles a number of games.