Playing visual novels on Linux using Wine

So I play a lot of visual novels these days. One problem is that most of them are only released on Windows, and I don’t use Windows. So for that I use Wine. Below is a simple script to setup Steam with Wine so that you can play the visual novels available through Steam. Make sure you check the visual novel on steam before you use this solution however, since some of them do have Linux support and can be run via the Steam Linux client.

Distro: Ubuntu 18.04 (x64)

if ! [ -x "$(command -v wine)" ]; then
	echo "Installing latest wine"
	#Update all repos
	sudo apt-get update

	#Enable 32bit (If you're on 64bit)
	sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

	#Add wine repo
	wget -nc https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key
	sudo apt-key add Release.key
	sudo apt-add-repository https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/

	#Install wine-stable (3.0.1)
	sudo apt-get update
	sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-stable
fi

#Install latest winetricks
echo "Installing latest winetricks"
wget  https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Winetricks/winetricks/master/src/winetricks
chmod +x winetricks
sudo mv winetricks /usr/bin

echo "Installing Steam and various"
mkdir -p ~/.wine-apps/steam
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-apps/steam/ winetricks tahoma corefonts ie8 allfonts steam

echo "Login to steam and install the Visual Novel"

 

Also, if you need a desktop icon for the Steam client, you can put it in the file /usr/share/applications/steam-windows.desktop (Remember to replace USER with your username).

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Steam
Exec=env WINEPREFIX="/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam" wine "/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam/drive_c/Program Files/Steam/Steam.exe" -no-cef-sandbox
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
Path=/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam/dosdevices/c:/Program Files/Steam
Icon=BAC4_steam.0
StartupWMClass=steam.exe
Name[en_US]=Steam - Windows

 

For other visual novels not on Steam, I just create a folder called “Games” under “/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam/dosdevices/c:/Program Files/” and put them there. Then you can add another shortcut to that specific game like below.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=VisualNovel
Exec=env WINEPREFIX="/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam" wine "/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam/drive_c/Program Files/Games/VN/VisualNovel.exe"
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
Path=/home/USER/.wine-apps/steam/dosdevices/c:/Program Files/Games
Icon=/path/to/icon/file
StartupWMClass=VisualNovel.exe
Name[en_US]=VisualNovel

For steam download issue: https://www.reddit.com/r/wine_gaming/comments/8r0gh6/steam_in_winedevel_content_servers_unreachable/

Also, some visual novels outside of Steam may run into all sorts of problems. You can install a separate Wine prefix for that and do individual settings for such games. The following worked for me for one game that crashed when going into full screen. Generally I try to stick with the ones on Steam as I keep having the most luck with them using Wine. Sometimes they simply aren’t available though.

mkdir -p ~/.wine-apps/vn
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-apps/vn/ winetricks tahoma corefonts ie8 allfonts d3dx9_36 wmp9 quartz ddr=gdi win7

#Start game
env WINEPREFIX="/home/USER/.wine-apps/vn" wine "/home/USER/.wine-apps/vn/drive_c/Program Files/Games/vn/vn.exe"

 

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