Valve continues tweaking the new ‘Proton Experimental’ for Cyberpunk 2077

With Cyberpunk 2077 being the hot new thing in gaming, Valve and CodeWeavers are trying to ensure it can run nicely through the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer since it doesn’t support Linux directly.

Valve recently set up a new branch of Proton named “Proton Experimental” along with the release of Proton 5.13-4. It appears to be the version of Proton where Valve will be adding in fixes quicker, and more newer features. Yesterday, December 14, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais mentioned the newest updates to Proton Experimental implements the Spatial Audio sound API which should fix Cyberpunk 2077 world sounds. Additionally there’s more CPU performance improvements, which should help Path of Exile too.

Currently though, NVIDIA still has issues with it crashing and sometimes entirely locking systems on Linux. I tried it myself today thanks to a gift from a reader and the experience for me on an NVIDIA 1080 wasn’t great. Ensuring to set my CPU into performance mode with High game settings it gave 30FPS and below, Medium gave a total freeze on the loading screen but a good 10FPS increase to between 30-40FPS in game when it does work (a little higher in more confined spaces).

Safe to say, you need a really high-powered computer for it right now, especially on Linux and not NVIDIA. That will change over time of course as CDPR optimize the game, as Valve optimise Proton and when NVIDIA sort the driver situation out. Even so, incredible it was working so soon with Proton on Linux.

Here’s all the current additions in Proton Experimental:

  • Beginnings of Wine architectural work to reduce CPU overhead and improve performance in scenarios related to input and windowing.
  • Memory allocator performance improvements.
  • Implemented the Spatial Audio sound API, fixing Cyberpunk 2077 world sounds.
  • Updated vkd3d-proton to 2.1, fixing Cyberpunk 2077 facial animations.
  • Improvements for non-US keyboard layouts.
  • All other changes from 5.13-4.

As always you can find Proton info on GitHub and on our dedicated page.

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