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How to play GTA III on Linux

Grand Theft Auto III is the first video game in the GTA series in 3D. It was released in 2001 and was completely revolutionary. It reworked how the gaming industry views open-world video games and is a classic.

When GTA III was released, it made it to PS2, PC, and the original Xbox. Later on, in its life, it was ported to Android, iOS, and other operating systems. However, it was never ported to Linux. As a result, if you want to replay this classic, you will need to run it through a compatibility tool. In this guide, we’ll show you how to do just that!

Getting GTA III working on Linux

Grand Theft Auto III works decently on the Linux platform. According to ProtonDB, it is rated Gold, so it’s not going to be flawless.  To start the installation process, open up a terminal window. Then, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below.

Step 1: To play GTA III on your Linux PC, you will need to install the Linux Steam Client. To install it, follow the command-line installation instructions outlined below.


Those using Ubuntu Linux will be able to get Steam directly through the Ubuntu software repositories on their system using Apt.

sudo apt install steam


Debian does have Steam in the “Non-free” software repository. However, it is much faster to install Steam by manually downloading the package. To download Steam, use the wget command below.

wget https://steamcdn-a.akamaihd.net/client/installer/steam.deb

Install Steam on Debian with dpkg.

sudo dpkg -i steam.deb

Arch Linux

Arch Linux has always had Steam available in their software repositories. To install it, use Pacman.

sudo pacman -S steam


If you plan to play GTA III on Fedora or OpenSUSE, the best way to go is to install the Flatpak release of the Steam client.


You can install Steam as a Flatpak. This is good news, especially if you’re on a distro that makes installing Steam tedious. To start up the installation, follow our guide to set up the Flatpak runtime on your Linux PC. The Flatpak runtime is required, and you will not be able to use Flatpak without it.

Once that’s taken care of, run the flatpak remote-add command to add the Flathub app store to your Flatpak installation. Flathub is where the Linux Steam client is.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

After setting up Flathub, you can install the Steam app on your system. Using the flatpak install command below, get the app working.

flatpak install flathub com.valvesoftware.Steam

Step 2: With the Steam app installed, open up the Steam client and log in with your username and password. Then, find the “Steam” menu, and click on it with the mouse. The “Steam” menu is on the top-left. Inside of the “Steam” menu, click on “Settings” to access the Steam settings area.

Step 3: In the settings area, find “Steam Play” and click on it with the mouse. From here, look for “Enable Steam Play for supported titles” and select the box next to it to turn it on. After that, find the “Enable Steam Play for all other titles” and click on the box next to it.

By enabling these two settings, your Linux Steam Client will be able to run GTA III.

Step 4: Find the “OK” button and click it to save the changes.

Step 5: Find the “STORE” button, and click on it with the mouse to go to the Steam Storefront. Once on the Steam Storefront, locate the search box, and click on it with the mouse. Inside the search box, type “Grand Theft Auto III” and press the Enter key to search for it.

Step 6: In the search results, click on “Grand Theft Auto III” to be taken to the GTA III Storefront page in Steam. Once on the GTA III Storefront page, look for the green “Add to cart” button, and click it to purchase the game.

Step 7: Click on the “LIBRARY” button in Steam to go to your Steam library. Then, search through your games for “Grand Theft Auto III.” Once you’ve found the game in your library, click on it with the mouse to access GTA III’s library page in Steam.

On the library page, look around for a blue “INSTALL” button and click on it with the mouse. Once you click on this button, Steam will begin to download and install GTA III on Linux. Keep in mind that this download may take a bit of time. Be patient!

Step 8: Let Steam install GTA III on your PC. When the process is complete, the blue “INSTALL” button will turn into a green “PLAY” button. Select it to start up GTA III on your Linux PC! It should run great!

Troubleshooting GTA III on Linux

GTA III has a Gold rating on ProtonDB. Gold is not a perfect score, and it indicates that in some instances, Linux users may have issues with the game. For the vast majority of players, GTA III should work just fine. However, if you run into issues getting it to work, do yourself a favor and check out the GTA III  ProtonDB page. It’ll help you fix the problems you run into!

Looking to play GTA San Andreas or GTA Vice City on Linux? We’ve got guides for both.

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