X11 or wayland, which is better for gaming?

Hi friends.

I don’t know what the difference is between x11 and wayland (I’ll look for information tonight), but I would like to know which one is better to play, or if there really is no difference between the 2.

I’m using EOS with KDE 6.0, and I spend almost all my time in Blender or playing on Steam. I know there is x11, wayland and xorg, but I think KDE doesn’t have xorg (not sure).

So I wanted to know which of the 2 “desktop types” you recommend for gaming (in case there is any difference between them).

Sorry, I don’t know much about this, so it’s possible my question is silly.

Thanks in advance.

All I can say is I’ve noticed much better performance using Wayland on my PC but it may be different for you. I mentioned in a post earlier that under X11 I could barely play Divinity Original Sin 2 with the minimum settings however on wayland I am able to play it comforatbly with medium settings. The only way you’ll find out what works better for you is to try it out.

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It depends on a million things. Hardware, drivers, other software running at the same time, the specific game you play, your expectations and preferences, etc…

Instead of asking random people on the forum who have entirely different setups and hardware than you which one is better, just try using both for a couple of hours and see for youself which one works better for you


Steam games are mostly developed for Window, meaning that they rely on the Proton emulation layer which is an X11 application. Proton currently relies on XWayland to be usable in a desktop environment which means that you will effectively be running an X11 session within Wayland to play Proton games. Therefore, absent any other considerations, using Proton on Wayland should result in decreased performance compared to X11.

That said, Wayland in general is less taxing on system resources than X11 so you may find that this barely noticeable. Any performance decrease from running Proton through Xwayland might be compensated for in other ways depending on your setup. My advice would be to try both and use whichever works best for you.

The above relates to games developed for Windows. Steam games which run natively on Linux should work just fine on Wayland.


For this question I would say try both and see what works best for you


I personally would say wayland, because you can run games using gamescope. Gamescope made gaming significantly better for me on Linux.


Try for yourself, But

I have been LOVING wayland. My gosh, the tearing is gone, the fps is stable, the lighting, textures, colors, almost everything has been such a big improvement. I have no complaints either. I was running plasma 5 with x11. Went with the flow on plasma 6 to wayland and POW - never going back.

Wayland - The Future Is Now

(Highly opinionated, try for yourself!)

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I would roll my eyes at you, but on Wayland, you can’t even do that.


I really can’t get into this…I’m still suffering PTSD from the System V Init vs Systemd wars…


I can’t tell if there is a difference between x11 or wayland for gaming (in terms of performance), but if you have a mixed refresh rate monitor setup (one monitor 144hz, secondary monitor 60/75hz) I would recommend using wayland, as if using x11 causes both monitors to default to 60hz. If you’re playing singleplayer games, this would not be a problem but if you play multiplayer games, you should definitely try to use wayland. But if you use nvidia, ehhhhhh mileage may vary.

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Thank you all for your responses friends. I need to try more games on Steam and Lutris, but I think it’s going a little better on wayland, although maybe it’s a placebo effect.

I’ve been interested in this Gamescope thing and I’ve been watching videos and reading a little, but I don’t quite understand it.

Gamescope is a composer used in the Steam distro. A composer isn’t Wayland and X11, that has another name right?

So, apparently I think that what Gamescope does is deactivate the composer that KDE comes with, and activates the one from Gamescope. And what this does is focus all the % of CPU/GPU power on the active window (the game), like in Windows?

So, it looks like there are other composers like Swey or Hyperland (I don’t know which of these I’m using in my KDE, or how to look at it).

And would this only work when running games from Steam, or from Lutris as well?

I mean, if this works, all distros should bring it since it seems like something really important!

That’s my understanding but I honestly don’t know and haven’t tried it at all because of how unclear understanding what it is and does is for me. It is probably worded well but I just can’t make enough sense of it.

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Heroic uses it also, since I have started to use this over lutris as it “feels” a lot easier to use

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It took me about a month to understand how the Wine prefix works, and the Lutris prefix, and the Proton prefix (the 3 have different routes), I really went crazy, until a Youtuber explained it with colored paper cutouts, and I got understand it more or less.

I wanted to try Heroic, although it is newer and I have heard little about it. The problem is, do you know if it works with non-Steam games?

Because, let me explain, I use Lutris to install installer.exe games, and I add a global prefix in Lutris to use with all games. Then later with Lutris I changed the path from installer.exe to launcher.exe. (This ensures that everything is installed correctly from Lutris, the C++, Directx… that the install.exe includes).

(I do this because I don’t know how to add a global prefix for wine without Lutris, since if I start an .exe with the right click, wine will create prefixes for each .exe, right?)

Then I add the .exe to Steam and launch the game using proton-ge.9.2 and it works better than Lutris with wine-ge.

If I use Steam to install the installer.exe, the C++, Directx, etc… will not be installed correctly (I don’t know why).

Is Heroic perhaps easier than doing all this? I think I’ll try it this week. I read on Reddit that they were mostly for official Epic Games games? I don’t know if they will work with .exe games.

It is what I use it for, I run any games that I have on steam through Steam. Any other games I have I install through heroic and have had a much better experience using it than Lutris (I’m not saying Lutris is bad in any way just that Heroic was a better experience for me) It took me a little getting used to but after that it was quite easy to work out.

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I would just try it out instead of reading others reviews on it, get a better overall opinion and can decide if it is for you. Easy enough to remove if you don’t like it.


Ok so, I’m running Hyprland (Wayland) and XFCE4 (XOrg) on the same computer. I launched Borderlands 3 from Steam and ran their benchmark test. My setup is “Team Red” (all AMD).
…Benchmark runs well on both, but I’m getting over 5 FPS better on Hyprland than I am on XFCE4.

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My two cents: most apps I’ve seen work fine on both, but if they’re unstable on one, it’s Wayland.
For one, I tried playing Tabletop Simulator (Steam) on Wayland but had graphical bugs like UI flickering, but it worked perfectly on X11.

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Hi friends. I’ve been testing Wayland, and I’ve been having some problems.

Practically 90% of games flicker, a lot. I have tried activating mangohud and gamescope (separately) from the options of each game in Lutris and Heroic (activating the box, I did not use the launch command). The flickering disappears, but the game freezes and goes black.

Some programs like clamtk or goverlay do not work in wayland for me. It gets stuck and closes.

The fps performance with wayland flicker is high, but it flickers and is unplayable this way.

I don’t know if this happens to anyone else, or if maybe this is the fault of my 1050 ti, which is old.

I also don’t know why programs get stuck in wayland, but they work in xorg, I thought that the difference between wayland and xorg was only visual, but I think there is something more behind it…

By the way, Wayland runs much more fluidly and with less lag. It’s a shame that my PC is not fully compatible. Maybe one day I can buy an AMD graphics card, and then I can use Wayland.

Maybe there is some reason why some applications don’t work for me in Wayland, I will continue investigating and maybe I can go back to Wayland, if not, I will stay in xorg (I like Wayland because it runs faster than xorg, but xorg the games and programs work perfectly ).

Yes, there is a reason why some applications don’t work in Wayland. This reason is: Wayland sucks.

No, the difference is great and very fundamental. You should read up on that.