Best Gaming Linux Distributions: Top 2023 Picks

Best Gaming Linux Distributions
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Since the advent of technology, there have been many advancements, and one recent one that is nothing short of a wonder is gaming on Linux. Gaming on Linux has risen to previously unheard-of levels and is still setting new records. Here are the top Linux gaming distributions if you want to start playing games on Linux.

#1. Steam OS

SteamOS is an operating system that is specifically built for gaming. It is based on Debian and comes with the Steam client pre-installed. This makes it suitable for using Steam to play games. It also includes a desktop mode for usage as a general-purpose operating system. SteamOS is compatible with the majority of Steam titles and supports both Windows and Steam controllers. Furthermore, gamers may use their gaming PC to stream non-native games to their SteamOS, making it a more adaptable alternative.

#2. Ubuntu

Ubuntu is a popular general-purpose Linux distribution that is also a great choice for gaming. It boasts a large community, excellent documentation, and a user-friendly interface, making it an excellent choice for newcomers. Ubuntu features a large software library containing many games, making it simple to search for and install your favorite games. Gamers can now use Steam on Ubuntu, which expands the software selection even further. Ubuntu supports both AMD and Nvidia graphics cards and has a superb user interface that makes gaming more enjoyable.

#3. Drauger

Drauger is a new Ubuntu-based distribution for gamers. This is one of the distributions that have particular improvements to help with gaming and overall Linux performance. Drauger makes use of Xfce, a desktop environment designed for outdated hardware, allowing you to run Drauger and the game on an old PC. Draguer 7.6 STRIGOI is the most recent version of the operating system.

The OS has Steam, Heroic, and PlayOnLinux apps, as well as a Game Hub where you can play games from GOG and other platforms. And, because Drauger is based on Ubuntu, it will receive upgrades for the next five years and is more stable than most distros. Drauger additionally includes DXVK and Wine preinstalled. Overall, it’s a fantastic distribution for gaming or even everyday use.

4. Pop!_OS

Pop!_OS is a gaming-focused Linux system based on Ubuntu. It has a one-of-a-kind automated GPU switch capability that allows you to switch between the integrated and external graphics cards based on the application. This function improves gaming performance while lowering power usage. Pop!_OS has Nvidia graphics drivers out of the box, allowing users to connect and play with gaming peripherals.

#5. Manjaro

Manjaro is an arch Linux-based distribution that focuses on usability and accessibility. Its rolling release methodology ensures that customers receive the most recent updates, making it a fantastic choice for gaming. It has optimized the open-source drivers, and the manner in which Manjaro is updated will not interfere with the users’ gaming experience. Manjaro gaming is simple and customizable to a large extent. Manjaro also features a large collection of GTK themes and icons that are popular among gamers.

#6. Garuda

Garuda Linux has a well-deserved reputation in the Linux gaming community because of the OS’s built-in packages that allow you to get started with gaming on Linux right away. Like Arch, Garuda is a rolling release, and aside from the gaming goodies, most people like how it looks. The distribution includes software named “Garuda Gamer” that allows users to install all necessary apps such as Steam, Heroic, DXVK, Wine, and others with a single click.

Furthermore, to increase gaming performance, Garuda uses the Zen kernel rather than the standard Linux kernel and ships with ZRAM enabled by default. Overall, Garuda Linux is an excellent choice for a gaming distribution that is both highly customizable and simple to use.

#7. Fedora

Fedora is a community-driven open-source Linux distribution that focuses on cutting-edge technologies and features. It provides good community support, fast performance, and graphics support. Fedora is compatible with the majority of PC components and provides a large selection of games and apps. Fedora also supports Wayland, the next-generation display server protocol, which makes it suitable for gaming.

#8. OS Regata

Regata OS is yet another Linux distribution based on openSUSE. One of its selling points is the Regata OS game access app, which separates your games and consolidates them into a single app for easy management. You may also handle games from other gaming launchers like Epic Games, Ubisoft Connect, Origin, GOG Galaxy, and so on.

Furthermore, the OS has its own store, and for laptops with hybrid graphics, the Max-Q app lets you choose which apps you want to run on dedicated graphics, saving you a lot of time. Because the operating system is built on openSUSE, you will always be the first to have access to new improvements to the Linux kernel and the openSUSE base. Overall, Regata OS is one of the greatest gaming distributions available.

#9. Lakka Linux

Gaming isn’t always about playing the latest AAA titles; sometimes it’s about reliving nostalgia with older retro titles, and no OS does a better job of letting you do that than Lakka Linux. Lakka is built on LibreELEC and RetroArch, two of the best emulator front ends for both old and new PCs. The operating system essentially transforms your PC into a full-fledged console.

Lakka lets you play games from the original PlayStation, PlayStation 2, and older Nintendo consoles like the Wii, as well as 2D, 3D/s, NES, GBA, and many others. Installing Lakka should be simple, and the operating system itself is very scalable and configurable. While downloading ROMs may be illegal, if you’re prepared to take the chance, there are a plethora of places on the internet that can assist you in getting ROMs for Lakka.


What is the Best Operating System for a Gaming Computer? 

#1. Microsoft Windows 10

Because the majority of PC games are built and optimized for Windows, it is the most popular and extensively utilized operating system for gaming among PC gamers and aficionados. Windows 10 has a large gaming library and is compatible with most gaming devices, including graphics cards, controllers, and virtual reality headsets. 

DirectX 12, a low-level graphics API included with Windows 10, enables developers to generate better graphics and visual effects in the latest games. Furthermore, Windows 10 includes iGame Mode, a feature that improves gaming performance by allocating the majority of system resources to the game being played. Although Windows 10 is pricey, it is an excellent alternative for gamers searching for a diverse and sturdy operating system.

#2. SteamOS

SteamOS is a Linux-based operating system that Valve Corporation created with gaming in mind. It is pre-installed with the Steam client and primarily works with Steam games. SteamOS is based on the Debian operating system and works with both Nvidia and AMD graphics cards. It has low latency and seamless gaming, making it suitable for high-demanding games. The only restriction of SteamOS is that it has fewer games than Windows 10 and requires some amount of Linux skill to personalize.

#3. macOS:

Apple’s macOS is well-known for its productivity capabilities, but it also works well for gamers, offering outstanding gaming support and optimization. macOS is designed to interact smoothly with hardware, including graphics cards, and has a proven track record in power management, prolonging battery life, and giving great performance. Although macOS has a smaller game collection than Windows, many popular games are available on the macOS platform. Furthermore, macOS is very trustworthy, stable, and simple to use, making it a fantastic choice for Mac gaming aficionados.

Is the Operating System Important when Gaming on Linux?

Absolutely! When gaming on Linux, the operating system (OS) is important. Operating systems differ in their compatibility with games, and some games may be offered only for certain operating systems. Additionally, the choice of operating system has an impact on a game’s performance and optimization. For example, games operating on Windows may be superior to those running on MacOS or even Linux.

Linux has long been known for its reliability and security, and the gaming landscape on Linux has vastly improved in recent years, with more game developers and platforms supporting the OS.

Although not all games are as compatible with Linux as they are with Windows, there are various methods for running Windows games on Linux, such as employing compatibility layers like Wine or even leveraging virtual machines.

The performance level of Linux is also an important feature to consider when selecting an operating system for gaming.

Linux may not be as dominant as Windows, but it is still a viable gaming option due to the numerous ways to run Windows games on it.

Why is a PC game superior to a mobile game on Linux?

There are various advantages to gaming on a computer with Linux as opposed to a mobile game. 

I’ll give a few reasons why you should switch from mobile gaming to PC gaming on Linux:

#1. Customization 

When compared to mobile platforms, Linux has greater customization options. PC gamers can change their visual settings, change other features of the game to fit their preferences and install mods, which are not common on mobile platforms.

#2. Game selection

While mobile gaming has grown in popularity, PC gaming provides a diverse range of genres, high-quality visuals, and complex game experiences. When compared to mobile gaming, PC gaming has a larger and more diverse selection of titles.

#3. Controls

PC gaming often provides additional control choices via tools such as keyboards, mice, gamepads, and even virtual reality (VR) setups. This enables accurate and diverse control methods, which can improve gameplay in genres such as first-person shooters and strategy games.

Does the operating system influence RAM in Linux?

It certainly does. The operating system chosen can have an impact on how RAM is used in Linux. Linux requires less RAM to run smoothly and can make better use of available memory. On Linux, a mechanism known as ‘swapping’ is utilized to improve memory utilization. When RAM becomes scarce, Linux can shift less frequently used data from RAM to hard disk swap space, freeing up RAM for more active processes.

Ultimately, the decision to use Linux is based on your preferences, the games you want to play, and the experience you want to have.

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