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How to play Overwatch on Linux

Blizzard’s Overwatch is one of the most massive multiplayer first-person shooters in the world right now. It has an enormous community and dozens of dedicated fans across Xbox, PS4, and Windows. However, with compatibility software, you can enjoy this game on Linux too.

Note: Overwatch is a Windows video game. When running it on Linux, you will run into issues and it may not work for you. Be sure to refer to the Overwatch WineHQ page for help troubleshooting.

Before we begin

According to popular consensus among Linux users, the version of Wine currently available on most Linux distributions isn’t good enough. It doesn’t render BattleNet or Overwatch correctly, and you won’t be able to play the game correctly if you go ahead with this tutorial without updating Wine.

On Addictivetips, we have a tutorial that goes over how to install Wine-Staging; the version of Wine that works best with Overwatch on Linux. With that said, the tutorial is from April of this year. Since then, Wine-Staging has changed, commands may slightly differ, repositories may have changed URLs, etc. For this reason, we’ll briefly go over how to get Wine-Staging working on Linux. Open up a terminal window and follow the directions that match your OS.

Ubuntu 18.04

wget -nc https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo apt-add-repository https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-staging

Ubuntu 18.10

wget -nc https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Emulators:/Wine:/Debian/Ubuntu_18.10_standard/Release.key
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Emulators:/Wine:/Debian/Ubuntu_18.10_standard ./'
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-staging

Debian

wget -nc https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo echo '#Wine-Staging' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo echo 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/debian/ DISTRO main' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-staging

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S wine-staging

Fedora 28

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/fedora/28/winehq.repo

sudo dnf install winehq-staging

Fedora 29

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/Emulators:/Wine:/Fedora/Fedora_29_standard/Emulators:Wine:Fedora.repo

sudo dnf install winehq-staging

OpenSUSE Tumbleweed

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/Factory/standard/x86_64/wine-staging-3.19-1.1.x86_64.rpm

sudo zypper install wine-staging-3.19-1.1.x86_64.rpm

OpenSUSE LEAP 15.0

wget http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/openSUSE:/Leap:/15.0/standard/x86_64/wine-staging-3.7-lp150.1.8.x86_64.rpm

sudo zypper install wine-staging-3.7-lp150.1.8.x86_64.rpm

Generic Linux

On a Linux distribution that doesn’t have Wine-Staging? You’ll need to build the software from source, via GitHub. Head over to the Wine-Staging page, read the directions and learn how to build the latest Wine-Staging packages for your Linux operating system.

Tweaking Wine

Now that your version of Wine is the Staging branch, we can tweak it so that OverWatch will run correctly. To tweak Wine, press Ctrl + F2 on the keyboard and open up your desktop’s command-launcher. Then, in the launcher, write:

winecfg

Press Enter on the keyboard to launch the Wine configuration app on Linux. Then, look to “Windows version”, change it to “Windows 10” and click the apply button.

After setting your version of Windows in Wine to Windows 10, click on the “Staging” tab in WineCFG. Check the boxes next to “Enable VAAPI” and “Enable CSMT”. Select “Apply” to set the changes to Wine.

Install BattleNet

Blizzard’s Overwatch game will only install on a computer via the BattleNet PC gaming client. Thankfully, BattleNet works pretty well on Linux.

To get BattleNet working on Linux, you won’t be able to use a terminal-based downloading tool like Wget or cURL. Instead, you will need to download the program manually, by heading over to the BattleNet website.

As you are on Linux, the BattleNet EXE will not automatically open. To launch the program, open up your Linux file manager and click on “Downloads.” Then, find the BattleNet EXE file and double-click on it to run it with Wine. Alternatively, open up a terminal, CD into the ~/Downloads directory and start it via the command-line.

cd ~/Downloads

wine Battle.net-Setup.exe

Go through the installation setup process and get BattleNet up and running on your Linux PC. When the installation completes, close the installation wizard, open your application menu

Install Overwatch on Linux

Setting up BattleNet on Linux doesn’t set up Overwatch. It’s a game that must be downloaded and installed separately via the game client.  To install Overwatch on Linux via Wine, open up the  BattleNet application and log in with your username and password.

Note: if installing Overwatch through Wine doesn’t work, feel free to try the Winepak version of the game.

Once logged into BattleNet, the program will try to scan your Linux computer for “existing games.” If the program finds any previously set-up Blizzard games, it’ll process the data and add it to the launcher so you can play it.

Click on the “Overwatch” logo on the side, purchase the game (if you don’t already own it) and install it to the system. When Overwatch is done installing, open up your application menu, find the “Wine” section and click on “Overwatch” to start playing!

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