Fallout 4 is the 4th installment in Bethesda Game’s popular post-apocalyptic role-playing game. In the game, you are the “sole survivor” and must travel the Boston nuclear wasteland to track down your lost son Sean. Like all Bethesda games, the developer does not port games to the Linux platform. However, thanks to the magic of modern Linux tools, it is possible to play Fallout 4 on Linux!
Method 1: SteamPlay/Proton
As Fallout 4 never made it to Good Old Games like the previous Fallout games, the SteamPlay method is by far the most fool-proof way to get the game working on Linux. To start the process of setting up Fallout 4 on Linux, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Note: this method requires the installation of the Linux version of the Steam client. To install this app, search your package manager for “Steam” and install the software the way you typically do. Alternatively, check this page on Pkgs.org for instructions detailed to your Linux OS.
Step 1: Fallout 4, like all Windows games running through Valve’s Proton tools need SteamPlay. Sadly, SteamPlay isn’t configured to work with Fallout 4 by default. Instead, you must set your Steam client to run all games.
To set up SteamPlay on Linux for all titles, open up the Steam settings, find “SteamPlay” and enable the setting. Or, if you’re having some issues setting it up, head over to our guide and learn how to set up SteamPlay on Linux.
Step 2: After enabling SteamPlay on Linux for all titles, find “Store” and click on it to go to the Steam Storefront. Then, click on the search box to access the search function.
Step 3: In the search box, type “Fallout 4”. Then, wait for the search results to appear. When the results load up, find “Fallout 4,” and click on it to go to the game’s store page.
Step 4: On the Fallout 4 game page, find “Add to cart” and click it to purchase the game. Upon purchasing the game, it will be instantly added to your Steam library.
Step 5: Once you’ve purchased Fallout 4, find the “Library” button and click it to go to your Steam Library in the Steam for Linux app.
Step 6: Sort through your library for “Fallout 4” and select it. Then, click the blue “Install” button to download the game to your PC.
Step 7: When the Linux Steam application is finished downloading Fallout 4, the setup is complete. From here, click the “Play” button to enjoy your game!
Troubleshooting – SteamPlay/Proton
The SteamPlay/Proton installation method for playing Fallout 4 on Linux is the ideal way to go for this game as it takes a lot of the hard work out of setting it up. However, it doesn’t have a perfect rating on ProtonDB. If you run into some issues playing Fallout 4 with SteamPlay, do check out the ProtonDB page for help.
Method 2: Wine/Steam
Steam is indeed the only way to get Fallout 4 working on Linux. However, the SteamPlay/Proton way isn’t the one way to get the game to run. If you’re not a massive fan of SteamPlay or want an alternative method, it is possible to get Fallout 4 working on Linux via Wine.
It should be noted that the Wine method isn’t as fool-proof as the SteamPlay method. Test results on WineHQ indicate that users have very mixed results getting the game to work. Only follow this method if the SteamPlay/Proton method gives you issues.
Step 1: Wine is critical to installing Fallout 4 on Linux in this method. So, you must install the latest version of Wine on your Linux PC. To do this, follow our guide on how to install Wine.
Step 2: After installing Wine on your Linux PC, you must install the “Winetricks” application. This tool will make downloading and installing the Windows version of Steam much, much simpler.
To install Winetricks, open up a terminal window and follow the instructions below.
sudo apt install winetricks
sudo apt-get install winetricks
sudo pacman -S winetricks
sudo dnf install winetricks
zypper addrepo https://widehat.opensuse.org/opensuse/repositories/Emulators:/Wine/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/ wine
sudo zypper install winetricks
After installing the Winetricks application, use it to download and install Windows Steam with the command below.
Winetricks will download Steam for Windows onto your Linux PC. From there, use the Steam installer to set it up, log into your account and launch it.
Step 3: Inside Steam, find the “Store” button and click it to make your way to the Steam storefront.
Step 4: On the Steam storefront, find the search box and click it. Type “Fallout 4” in the box and press Enter to start a search for the game.
Step 5: Click on “Fallout 4” to go to the game’s Steam store page. Purchase the game, and it’ll be added to your library.
Step 6: Find the “Library” button and click on it, and look for “Fallout 4”.
Step 7: Select the “Install” button and allow the game to install on your Linux PC via Windows Steam. When the installation is complete, click the “Play” button.
The Wine/Steam version of Fallout 4 is iffy. For the most part, it should work fine. However, keep in mind that many users who have tried this method have run into problems. If you experience any, do read the WineHQ page on Fallout 4. The page has detailed workarounds and instructions to solve issues that may occur.