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5 Best Steam Game Store Alternatives For Linux

Soon after Steam came out on Linux, it became the king of game stores for everyone in the community. Still, Valve is a controversial company. Not all users are on board with their product and vision.

If you’re someone that loves gaming on Linux but dislikes using Steam, this is the list for you. Follow along with us as we discuss the 5 best Steam game store alternatives for Linux!

1. Lutris

Lutris is, by all counts, the complete replacement for Steam on Linux. Not only does it allow users to manage their games with a desktop client, but it’s possible to download and purchase games with it too.

If you’re a fan of open source and want to support games that adhere to that philosophy check it out. Even if you don’t care about free software ideals, check it out anyways. You won’t regret it!

Notable features:

  • Distributes free, open source games for Linux users which can be added via the website to play in Lutris on the desktop.
  • Along with distributing free, open source games, users can purchase video games via the “pay what you want” model.
  • The Lutris client has support for games purchased in both the Humble Bundle and Good Old Game stores.
  • Aside from allowing users to download/pay for PC games, it can also work with and handle emulator ROMS.
  • The Lutris service/app focuses on open source, software freedom which is essential to many Linux users, especially those that have a problem with Valve’s DRM practices.
  • Lutris can import and manage many video games distributed on your own Linux distribution, as well as the ones it hosts online.
  • The client works well with Wine. This feature allows users to download or purchase many Windows games to play.

2. Itch.io

Itch.io is a very competitive replacement to Steam for Linux and other platforms. On it, users can purchase dozens of games, and manage them, thanks to its excellent desktop application.

Unlike Lutris, Itch.io doesn’t espouse “open source” ideals or rhetoric. While this is a bummer for many Linux users looking to support free software, it’s still a solid replacement if you’re trying to find games to play without using Steam on your Linux PC.

Notable features:

  • The platform primarily focuses on indie developers, and developers get paid a fair share.
  • Itch.io has an excellent Linux desktop application that rivals Steam in its ease of use, especially when purchasing video games.
  • Anyone can submit and upload a video game, and create a storefront on Itch.io.
  • Games don’t have an open source focus, but there are dozens of video games on the service that support Linux.
  • Like Steam, Itch.io has a two-factor authentication feature to help protect your account from hackers.

3. GOG/GOG Galaxy

GOG Galaxy is the no-DRM companion to GOG.com. It allows users to download video games (both modern releases, as well as older video games from the past) purchased from the website and install them with ease.

As of now, the Galaxy app is only on Windows, though the developers are working very hard to make a Linux version. For now, the Windows version works flawlessly in Wine, due to the developer’s commitment to Linux.

Notable features:

  • Even though many GOG Galaxy games are Windows-only, the GOG team works very hard to ensure that many of their games play nicely with Wine, to allow for Linux support.
  • All games purchased through GOG can be downloaded DRM free and can play without the Galaxy game client.
  • Games downloaded with GOG Galaxy do not need the client to run. Instead, it merely downloads it and lets the user play it independently.
  • The Good Old Games service allows users to connect their Steam account to GOG. Once connected, it will scan the Steam library and unlock DRM free games on their service for free.

4. Game Jolt

Game Jolt only supports indie titles, but it’s still an excellent alternative for buying games on Linux if you’re trying to avoid Valve and the Steam platform. Everything on the Games Jolt service put up by independent developers looking to make a name for themselves, and everything is reasonably priced.

Linux users looking to find an excellent source of indie titles ought to check out Games Jolt.

Notable features:

  • Game Jolt has a full-featured Linux client that has support for all major desktop Linux distributions.
  • Aside from letting users purchase and download desktop games, the Game Jolt service has support for web-based HTML5 games too.
  • The Game Jolt client is open source, and the source code is available on Github for auditing.
  • Anyone can create, submit, and sell a video game on the service.
  • The Game Jolt service has an open source “Game API,”  that lets any developer add achievements, leaderboards and cloud storage into their video game.

5. Humble Bundle

The Humble Bundle doesn’t have a desktop app like Steam, but it does have several Linux games available for sale. This fact alone makes it a decent Steam game store alternative.

The service sells modern video game titles (many of which have direct support for Linux). Users have the opportunity to donate to charity with each purchase.

Notable features:

  • Humble Store supports Linux and offers many modern game titles that are usually available for download DRM free.
  • Many purchases on Humble Bundle do include a Steam key, but many games are available on Linux to play without Steam.
  • Each purchase through the Humble Bundle allows users to donate to a charity of their choice, or the game developer and others, instead.
  • Each game you purchase can be re-downloaded on multiple platforms (including Linux) at any time, thanks to Humble Bundle’s online library system.

Conclusion

Valve has done a lot for Linux. It has helped push the gaming industry along a path that takes our community seriously. However, not everyone appreciates that. If you hate Steam, these services can pick up the slack!

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