Linux titles disappearing from Steam unless they work with SteamOS

If you enjoy playing video games on your Linux box, Valve has made it less obvious which ones will work for you. It looks like the studio’s decided that “Linux” actually means “Steam OS”, and is removing icons for games that are not compatible with the new system.

Tux just isn't welcome on Steam these days

Tux just isn’t welcome on Steam these days

Of course, Steam OS is a type of Linux, but there are plenty of people running plenty of distros that aren’t created by Valve, and the new move has left them out in the cold.

According to Gaming on Linux, the handy “Linux compatible” logo is being removed from games that don’t run perfectly with Steam OS. This would be okay if it was just an aesthetic website thing, but it actually means that Linux users aren’t able to download the games in question, even if they’re not using Steam OS, and even if they are using a Linux distro that the game is known to work with.

As with most things like this, if you’ve already purchased a “Linux compatible” game, you can still install it and play happily – the problem only happens if you don’t already own the software.

Some games – such as StarMade – have stated the compatibility icon will return following an update. In some cases, the problem may be related to Java, or outside launchers such as Adobe Air or Flash.

In hindsight, the decision was a long time coming – back in May, Valve removed the familiar Linux mascot “Tux” from its Linux-compatible games, replacing it with Steam OS icons instead. The more recent change sort of makes sense, if you look at it in that light – but that’s no solace to affected Linux users.

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