itch is another gaming platform that is similar to Steam and is available for multiple operating systems including Linux. This platform provides users with the latest indie games instead of AAA games. If you are open to creativity and likes playing/trying out different games, I guarantee you’ll love itch platform too. Similar to steam, itch also provides both free and non-free games, indicates game system requirements (except without the specifications), and some other common features. Read on below to learn more about this app.
Unfortunately, itch isn’t available as native packages on Linux distro repositories. So you won’t find it on your software center app.
Instead, we have to access its official website in order to download the itch app. Click here to open itch app download page. Select the Start Download button and an itch setup file download will begin shortly.
After, you’re done with the downloading, open your terminal program and change your directory to the downloads folder where your itch setup file is downloaded.
Change its file permission to be executable by executing the command below:
chmod +x itch-setup
and then launch it
On first launch itch app will download more additional files to finish its installation process.
Registering for an itch account
While the installation is going on, I recommend registering for an itch account. That way you can follow your favorite game creators/artists, leave comments for the games you loved playing, and access more cool features on itch.
On itch’s home page on the top right, you’ll see Log in and Register options. Select the Register button to create your itch account.
On itch, you’ll find lots of indie games. Some of the games are from game jams while others are from creators just having fun learning & creating games. Indie games are different from AAA games because they are mostly developed by an individual, unlike those huge successful titles. Similar to steam, itch too allows the game creators to distribute their game for free or charge some amount for the users to access the game.
For those not familiar with indie games, here’s a brief explanation sourced from Wikipedia:
"An indie game is a video game that is often created without the financial support of a publisher, although some games funded by a publisher are still considered "indie". Indie games often focus on innovation and rely on digital distribution."
Itch does not create desktop menus for the games you have installed. So you won’t be able to access your installed games from the app overview or the traditional start menu list. Instead, you have to launch itch app and then access your game from within the app. But what if you start having poor internet connection?
Don’t worry if you do not have a stable internet connection. With itch, you can still run the app offline and access + play your installed games.
Remember we did not install itch app from our native Linux package repositories? This brings up an issue about how the app is kept up to date. Luckily, itch uses another platform for managing its packages called the butler.
The app auto updates itself so you don’t have to worry about tinkering itch-setup file again after installation or re-downloading the installation packages from its official website at all. All you have to do is launch itch app and use it regularly, the app will auto-update itself in the background. Guaranteeing you have the latest version from the app’s developers.
We’ve pretty much dug up everything about itch platform but there is one question that most lingers on newbies mind: How do I browse games for my operating system?
The best way is to read the system requirement icons by hovering your mouse like the one shown below:
So if there is a Linux (penguin) logo you can rest assured the game will work on your system.
The other method is to use the filter feature where you can view all the games that have Linux support too. You can find that option on the sidebar with the column labeled as Filter Results.
Hope you’ve enjoyed learning about itch in this article. Go ahead download the app and try it out on your Linux gaming box. Let me know what you think about this platform in the comment section below.
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