Fix - Steam Games w/ Proton on Zorin OS Not Working / Not Loading

I was having a lot of trouble getting many of my Steam games running on my Zorin OS Lite install. Behavior I observed was games sitting at "launching"/"stop" status for 10-15 seconds, then flipping back to "play" silently. Running steam from a terminal didn't provide any assistance, though it had some red herring errors related to unsupported features and 32 bit shared files that failed to load.

This was unexpected, because ProtonDB indicated the games I was attempting to run should have been fully or partially supported. Some games ran correctly, but many others that should have would not.

Ultimately, the fix was two things:

  1. Don't use Steam from the software store (can be checked from the terminal with flatpak list). Install the steam .deb file from the Steam site instead.
  2. In compatibility options for your game, start with Proton Experimental. When that doesn't work, change the version to the next oldest version, then try launching the game again. If that doesn't work, go back another version. Continue until one succeeds.

Note that you'll need to let it sit on the "launching"/"stop" status for 30+ seconds for some games before they launch, so don't write it off as not working too soon. Also, it's worth mentioning that only one of the ~12 possible Proton versions worked for some games - it seems pretty arbitrary.

Hope this saves someone else time!


After a very long time of never having any problems with Steam, this issue happened to me recently, as well. Several Games including Valheim, Astroneer and Tombraider stopped launching and quietly went back to "Play."
Moved thread to Chat about Zorin unless others feel it should be in Tutorials & Guides

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