How to Install and Play GOG Games on Linux


Gaming on Linux has made great strides in the last few years. Gone are the days when playing Steam or GOG games on Linux was unimaginable. Playing GOG’s huge library of games on your Linux machine is not only possible—it’s also surprisingly easy.

Thanks to Linux apps like Lutris and the Heroic Games Launcher, you can install and play GOG games in a breeze.

Pour Some Wine for Your Windows-Based GOG Games

Wine manager and configuration windows of Heroic Games Launcher and Lutris

Playing GOG games on Linux isn’t as simple as double-clicking your games’ EXE files on Windows. While there are some GOG games with native Linux ports, the majority of its games are built for Windows. To play Windows-based PC games, Linux gamers use Wine, a compatibility layer that lets Linux users run EXE files. They also use Valve’s Proton, which is built to run Windows games.

Both Lutris and Heroic Games Launcher use Wine and Proton to run GOG Windows games on Linux. Both apps scan for new versions of Wine, Proton, and other similar community builds. With these apps, you’ll be playing your favorite games on Linux without much trouble.

Disco Elysium page of ProtonDB website

To be sure, gamers also use ProtonDB to check how well their games run on Linux. It’s a useful site for finding what Wine version and configuration works best for a particular game. Most if not all GOG games are on ProtonDB’s database.

Installing GOG Games Through Lutris

Lutris website

Lutris is a gaming client that brings games built for Windows to your Linux desktop. Lutris imports your games from sources like Origin, Steam, Ubisoft Connect, and GOG. It’s convenient for putting all your game libraries together in one app.

Download: Lutris (Free)

Once you’ve installed Lutris, make sure that you have up-to-date versions of Wine.

Lutris Wine version management window

To do this, hover over the Wine tab, listed under Runners in the sidebar. Click the open box-shaped Manage Versions button that shows up. A window for managing Wine versions will pop up.

Lutris will automatically detect and show the latest versions of Wine. It will also show other community-built compatibility layers like Wine GE.

Install your preferred compatibility layer and click Ok to proceed.

Lutris' Configure Wine window

Next, hover over the Wine tab in the sidebar, then click on the gear-shaped Configure button that shows up.

A Wine configuration window will pop up. Click the dropdown box next to the Wine version, then choose the compatibility layer that you installed.

Lutris main window with mouse hovering on Connect to GOG button

To connect the Lutris app to your GOG library, hover over the GOG tab in the sidebar. Click the person-shaped Connect button that shows up.

Lutris GOG login window

Clicking connect will bring you to a GOG login window. Enter your login credentials and click Log In Now.

Lutris main window showing library of GOG games

Once you’ve connected your GOG account to Lutris, your GOG game library will show up on the app. Because of Wine, you have the option of installing both Linux-native and Windows GOG games through Lutris.

From here, double-click your game of choice to begin installing it.

Lutris game install window

This window will show different methods of installing PC games on Linux. Click the Install button to proceed.

Lutris game install window prompting to select an installation directory

Next, select the folder directory for installing your games. By default, the directory will be set under a Games folder in your Home directory. Click Install to proceed.

Lutris game install window prompting to download extra content

Your GOG game may come with extra content, such as wallpapers and game art. Lutris will detect any extra content and give you the option to download them. Click Continue to proceed.

Lutris game install window prompting to download installation files

Next, Lutris will show you the installation files that you need to download. Click Continue to begin downloading the installation files.

If the game doesn’t install successfully at first, then having a cache of the installation files will come in handy. Click the Cache button to set a folder for keeping the downloaded installation files. You can come back to the cache of installation files if you need to install the game again.

Disco Elysium GOG installer window

Once the installation files are downloaded, Lutris will open the GOG installer for your game. If you’re installing a Windows-based game, Lutris may run Wine for the GOG installer. Like with any other GOG game installer, you can proceed to install your game from here.

Lutris main window with 'Locate installed game' button selected

Once you’re done installing the GOG game through the installer, Lutris may not detect the installed game. Don’t fret, because you can get Lutris to manually detect the game.

To do this, click the game you installed, then click the dropdown arrow button next to the Install button. Finally, click Locate installed game.

Lutris Add a new game window

On the Add a new game window, click the Runner dropdown to select Wine or Linux, depending on the game.

Lutris 'Game options' tab of 'Add a new game' window with game executable selected

Next, click the Game options tab, then click Browse on the Executable row to select your game’s EXE file. The EXE file will be in the /dosdevices/c:/GOG Games/ directory.

You can also choose which Wine version you want to run for your game under the Runner options tab.

Lutris main window with installed GOG game

With your GOG game installed on Lutris, all that’s left to do is hit the Play button to start gaming!

Installing GOG Games Through the Heroic Games Launcher

Heroic Games Launcher website

The Heroic Games Launcher is a cross-platform game launcher for Epic Games and GOG games. An open-source alternative for the Epic Games Launcher, Heroic allows users to install Epic Games and GOG games with ease.

Unlike Lutris, Heroic automatically goes through game installation processes. With this app, you’ll only need to click two buttons to install your favorite GOG games.

Download: Heroic Games Launcher (Free)

Heroic Games Launcher main window prompting to log in an account

With Heroic Games Launcher installed, you’ll need to log in to your GOG account to connect your GOG game library to the app. Click Log in under the GOG logo to go through the login process.

Heroic Games Launcher library window

Once you’ve connected your GOG account to Heroic, your GOG game library will show up on the Library button on the sidebar.

Heroic Games Launcher Wine Manager window

Before installing your GOG games, click the Wine Manager option on the sidebar. Heroic automatically detects the latest versions of Wine for Lutris, Proton GE, and Wine GE. Download your Wine version of choice, head back to the Library window, and click the Download button on your game of choice to begin the installation.

Heroic Games Launcher prompting to install Disco Elysium

If you’re installing a Windows-based game, a pop-up will prompt you to select an installation path, a WinePrefix path, and a Wine version for your game. The default paths under the Games folder will work just fine. Click Install to proceed.

Heroic Games Launcher window showing Disco Elysium installation in progress

From here, all you need to do is wait. Heroic may take some time to download and install your game, depending on its size.

Heroic Games Launcher showing an installed copy of Disco Elysium

Once Heroic finishes installing your GOG game for you, you may need to restart the app for the changes to take effect. Once that’s all done, your GOG game should be ready to play!

Which Linux App Should You Use for Playing GOG Games?

While both Lutris and Heroic Games Launcher are capable of playing Windows-based GOG games on Linux, both have their pros and cons.

Lutris offers gamers a lot of control when it comes to installing and running games. But it also adds a lot of complexity to the process. Meanwhile, you can get GOG games on Heroic with the click of two buttons.

If you just want to sit down and play games, then you might want to go with Heroic instead. But if you want to fine-tune your system to get the smoothest gaming experience possible, then Lutris will work better for you.

Either way, both apps give users amazing experiences with gaming on Linux. GOG gamers can have an even better time on Linux with the right compatibility layer, like Proton GE.


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