Steam Proton Guide – How to Set Up, Play Non-Steam Games

In our Steam Proton Guide, we have detailed everything you need to know about getting started with Steam Proton in a step-by-step manner.

Steam Proton is basically Valve’s effort to increase the number of games available on the Linux operating system. Proton is WINE, but easier to use, and in some cases, better by some margin. This Guide will cover how exactly to use Steam Proton to play games and run applications that aren’t available on the STEAM store.

Do note that some applications may not work at all or may break. Steam Proton is still in the very early stages.

You can find out more information on the Steam Proton project through their open-sourced repository on GitHub

How to Activate Steam Proton

Unlocking/activating Steam Proton on your Linux-based system is easy. Go to Steam > Settings > Steam Play and toggle “Enable Steam Play for Supported Titles. “

Valve has tested and fixed some Steam titles, and you will now be able to play them. However, if you wish to go even further and play titles that even Valve has not tested, toggle the option “Enable Steam Play for all titles. “

Restart your Steam

After activating Steam Proton successfully, click OK and Steam will ask you to restart it, for changes to take effect. Restart it.

How to Test

Before testing Steam Proton, you must download a Windows game from Steam first.

You will notice that if you are downloading a Windows game for the first time, the download will be a bit bigger than the game’s size. Apparently, Steam will also download your chosen Steam Proton version with this game. Choose smaller games to speed up the process.

After the download is done, simply click “Play” button.

How to Run Non-Steam Games through Steam Proton

Although Steam Proton mostly works on Steam games only, there is a workaround to play some Non-Steam games on it too. The catch? You have to go through some hoops to get it running. Not to worry, we have outlined it in an easy-to-follow process.

Download the Windows App/Game

Download the non-Steam app/game you wish to boot on Steam Proton. It can be anything. I chose MPC-HC. If possible, choose a portable version.

Download Steam Windows Game

With the method mentioned above, download a Windows game available on the Steam store.

Copy the Windows App/Game Over to your Steam Game

Pretty simple thing to do. If you cannot find your Steam game’s location, right click your game in your Steam Library and click Properties. Then choose the ‘Local Files’ option. Finally, click on ‘Browse Local Files’ here.

The folder should open now. Copy the Windows app/game’s files into this location.

  • Delete your main executable file.
  • Be sure to note your executable file’s name first, before proceeding.
  • After deleting your file, rename your Windows app/game’s main executable file into the name the old file had.
  • And you’re done.

Boot your New App on Steam

Yep, the name of the game won’t change, but at least now, you will be able to run the game with Steam Proton?

Problems Regarding Renaming

If you are having problems regarding renaming the file’s name, for whatever reason, you can use the command mv to rename your file. ‘mv’ stands for move, but it can also be used to rename a file.

This should work, but if you have any permissions issues, use sudo.

How to Find Out Whether Proton Supports Your Application

When you are trying to figure out if your application will work with Proton or not, ProtonDB serves as your solution. All you need to do is search for your desired game or application, and you’ll find it with a rating extracted from user reports ranging from “Plantium” to “Borked”.

Avatar photo

Namra is a gaming enthusiast and guides writer, always looking to play AAA titles on day one, while her favorites being Last of Us, Uncharted series, Spiderman, Final Fantasy, and Alan Wake.