In February 2013, Valve released a Linux-compatible version of it's Steam client, making it easy for even an inexperienced Linux user to install and run games. What once could have taken hours to figure out can now be done with the push of a button. Since then, the total number of free games for Linux on Steam has climbed to over 1,000. The following four games are free to play, Linux-friendly, and available on Steam.
These days, it seems like a lot of games want to be like either Minecraft, or World of Tanks. Freejam's Robocraft combines elements of both to form a third-person vehicular combat game with a level of customization that hasn't been seen before. Build your robot brick-by-brick, then take it into battle in one of several different game modes. You can only have one type of weapon, such as rail guns or machine guns, mounted on your robot at a time. This means that choosing a weapon type is like choosing a class in other shooters.
Fans of older combat flight simulators will fall in love with War Thunder, a combat simulation game by Gaijin Entertainment. War Thunder brings both land and air vehicles from the Korean War and World War II to life based on their real-life counterparts. The realistic damage system and flight mechanics coupled with the intensity of PvP conflict make this a game that's hard to put down. The developers also update the game fairly regularly, adding in new vehicles, maps, and game types.
Team Fortress 2
Team Fortress 2 is one of the most popular free games for Linux on Steam. Valve's class-based action shooter became free to play in 2011, and has since been updated with new items, maps, and game modes. You will obtain equipment as you play, which lets you customize the weapons and appearance of each of your classes. These items can also be traded with other players. With unique game modes and an interesting overall personality, Team Fortress is sure to grab your attention.
Dota 2 is a standalone action/strategy game developed by Valve that originates from a popular mod for Warcraft III. Two teams of five players compete to take down the opposing towers, and eventually destroy the enemy base. Each of the heroes has a unique set of abilities, so there's always something new to try. Dota's vivid graphics and wide array of characters should feel familiar to Warcraft fans, while MOBA players will be comfortable with the game play. After all, the original mod played a part in shaping the genre into what it is today. The game is extremely popular, and is even played professionally by some dedicated players through tournaments.
These games and more are now available for free to Linux users, thanks to Steam. Both AAA companies and indie developers use Steam to distribute their games, and more Linux-compatible titles become available every week. With so many games adopting a free-to-play or pay-to-play model, Linux users can use the Steam app to enjoy the games that it has to offer.