Released in 2015, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt received critical acclaim, scooping up over 800 awards, including over 250 Game of the Year awards. The Witcher 3 is available for Windows, PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo Switch, but Linux users have been left out in the cold.
The good news is there are some workarounds to get this critically-acclaimed game running on Linux.
In this article you’ll learn two ways to can play The Witcher 3 on Linux. As a word of warning, this tutorial does require you to have purchased The Witcher 3.
1. Install Witcher 3 using Steam Play
Steam Play is a service that allows Linux users to install and play games that were previously only available for Windows. Since The Witcher 3 was released for Windows, Steam and Steam Play can be used to run the Windows version of Wild Hunt on a Linux computer.
Install Steam on Linux
If you haven’t already, you’ll need to set up Steam for Linux, which requires you to download the Steam Installer. It’s available in most Software Centers/Package Managers, so you can easily find and install it. In Ubuntu-based distros, you can also install with the command:
Alternatively, you can download the Steam Linux packages for various distributions from the pkgs.org website.
Log into your Steam account
Launch Steam and log into your account (or create an account if you haven’t previously registered with Steam).
Since this is your first time logging into Steam from this computer, you’ll need to authenticate your identity. Steam will send a security code to the email address associated with your account – if you haven’t received this email within a few minutes, check your spam folder!
Once you have your security code, switch back to the Steam window and select “I’ve received the message -> Next.”
Paste your code into Steam, and then click “Next.” You should now be logged into your Steam account.
Accessing Windows games on Linux with SteamPlay
Next, you need to enable Steam Play:
1. In Steam’s top-left corner, select “Steam -> Settings.”
2. In the subsequent window, choose “Steam Play.”
3. Select the following checkbox: “Enable Steam Play for Supported Titles.”
4. Click “OK.”
These changes will come into effect following a restart, so reboot your computer now.
Enjoy the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Linux
If you haven’t already purchased Wild Hunt, then select “Store,” search for “Witcher 3” and then make your purchase. Install The Witcher 3, and you’re ready to play it on your Linux computer.
2: Wine and GOG.com
If you don’t want to use Steam, then you can purchase the Windows version of The Witcher from GOG.com and then play it via the Wine compatibility layer.
If you don’t already have Wine on your Linux computer, you can follow the instructions here to install Wine on Linux.
Download GOG’s offline backups
Assuming you have already bought the Witcher 3 from Gog.com, in the GOG.com toolbar, select your username and then click “Games.”
Select “The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt” and choose “Download offline backup game installers.”
You’ll need to download every component in this collection.
Make sure you download each file as a DOS/Windows Executable!
Depending on your Internet connection, downloading all of The Witcher 3 files can be a time-consuming process, to the point where you may even need to leave your computer running overnight!
Install the Witcher 3 with Wine
Once you’ve downloaded all The Witcher 3 files to your machine:
- Navigate to your computer’s “Downloads” folder.
- Right-click The Witcher 3’s “Setup …” EXE file.
- Select “Open with Wine Windows Program Loader.”
- After a few moments, the GOG.com installer should appear onscreen. You can follow the onscreen instructions to install The Witcher.
After a few moments, the game will be installed – you’re now ready to play The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on Linux!
If you are not into Windows games, there are also plenty of great games that you can play in Linux for free.