Okay, this post is not because I faced problems or find ZorinOS unusable for gaming but because the friends I recommended Zorin to did.
It's been difficult trying to make games work for them and the fault, as far as I can see, is definitely something that ZorinOS could've had a fix for by default.
Here are some things that I noticed that I hope the devs can fix:
The WINE version is severely outdated: I love that ZorinOS comes with WINE but it's severely outdated. WINE already provides repos for the latest stable version of WINE and I think it should be included by default instead of using v5. Why? Because v7 is better, more optimized for more hardware, more stable than older version and less bugs overall. I do not see how adding WINE v7 (or any latest stable version) would make ZorinOS' current WINE v5 implementation worse so I'd like to request this.
The kernel doesn't support FSYNC: This is kinda critical. Not only does FSYNC make many games smoother but it also makes the whole experience painless. Without FSYNC, many games would straight up run in slow motion, even if the hardware is top-notch. It's such a critical feature in Lutris that it's a no-brainer to include it in the kernel, which is why many distros like Pop and Manjaro include it. Currently, the only way to have FSYNC in ZorinOS is to install a whole different kernel (Like Xanmod) and hope that it works with your system and graphics drivers. It does work but it's kinda awkward having to ask linux beginners to install a whole different kernel just because their game runs like a snail.
No latest Gamemode: Many games require gamemode in WINE to work perfectly. Even Lutris requires gamemode so that games can launch, otherwise they would refuse to work. Currently, Zorin has no pre-installed gamemode and it'd honestly make everything better if gamemode came pre-installed on Zorin.
No extra dependencies with WINE: With Windows program loader support, there's no option to install DirectX v9, VC Redist and .NET versions. I think some essentials should be installed by default to maximize compatibility. Since Windows Program Loader downloads dependencies anyway, I think it'd be great to include some more by default.
Please let me know if I'm wrong somewhere, I don't know everything about the internal workings of Linux systems so I do not know how hard would it be to make the changes I suggested but I hope the devs can take a look at this post and consider the requested changes.
If ZorinOS had these things, it would've been a no-brainer recommendation choice for gaming but currently as things are, I really cannot lie to my friends about the gaming experience on ZorinOS being great and effortless.
I think that there are two things Linux as a whole must pay more attention to:
I think that part of the reason Linux does not is that Linux, generally, is geared more toward Work than Play.
Linux also has a very small percentage of the market share. With very few users, it is difficult to get the resources needed to fullfill gamers needs, when 80% of gamers are on Windows.
And while Mac OS has a similar market share as Linux, Mac OS is heavily proprietary and charges you an arm and a leg.
It is interesting that Apple as a company is as lucrative as the Dominant Windows.
I think your above suggestions are good ones. I have also noticed a lot of users having more difficulty with installing WINE recently. Trying to suss out the issue has been tricky... and it looks partly due to Wines packages and partly due to missing packages in the Ubuntu Main Universe.
This may be resolvable, by following your suggestion of upping to Wine 7.
Generally, it is wise to stick with stable for an LTS distro like Zorin OS.
But Wine 7 is quite stable.
Taking the liberty of tagging @AZorin and @zorink
I listening Titus from YouTube channel sayed Nobara operating system is very good for gaming. All problemem what you wrote. They are updated and repaired with KDE.
I don't know nearly as much about the problem as the original poster does. But I do know that Linux can be used to play games without all that hassle. I switched to Liinux Mint 20.3 because I was easily able to install several games and my favorite RC flight simulator by using Play on Linux. In spite of a lot of help from people on this forum I was never able to get the RC flight simulator to work. But it works just fine on LM 20.3.
My other reason for moving to LM is because of the software updater on Zorin. I was regularly getting messages that I needed to do an update but when I tried I sometimes got an update and other times just got error messages. Arivisian showed me how to use some terminal commands to get things working again but a week or so later the problem came back. So far I have not had update problems with LM. I would like to come back to Zorin but those problems need to be fixed. I really prefer this forum and support I have gotten from Zorin but for now I will be using LM.
Got no problems by gaming on Zorin OS. But I'm using Steam and Steam Proton, not wine. I have over 400 titles that I bought over the years that can run.
Nice that you mentioned it. I also get quite often these messages that there are updates in the store, and there I cannot update anything.
Yeah, Steam shouldn't be a problem since it uses Proton by default but if you don't have your games on steam, it's problematic to say the least.
This is why I created this tutorial guide Play Windows games on Linux with Lutris (Tutorial) - ZorinOS, Ubuntu, Linux Mint #linuxgaming - YouTube
and to be honest, this video could've been just a minute long but because of the missing things in ZorinOS, it turns into a long process.
I think ZorinOS is much well equipped with the correct software than Linux Mint but it's just that the WINE dependencies are kinda outdated. Linux Mint doesn't have them at all so there's that.