A linux guide written by \\
Warning: There are probably more elegant solutions to accomplish this than the messy way that I’ve done it. The guide is long but the steps aren’t that complicated, I’m just trying to be thorough. These instructions likely won’t work under the steam deck by default since you’ll need to run the Tribes Launcher under protontricks launcher every time and then use the launcher to launch the game, which is not likely doable under the default user interface or controls of the steam deck. Honestly though, this really isn’t the type of game best played without a mouse and keyboard anyway so…
This guide assumes your linux distro has the following programs installed and configured:
- Wine, Proton, DXVK (The Steam client for linux generally includes these tools. I use Proton GE with Tribes, but as of this guide the most recent compatible version works fine.)
- Protontricks and Protontricks Launcher.
Here are the steps to get Tribes Ascend working with TAmods under desktop linux. My distro of choice for this task is Garuda linux, as the required tools are already included and preconfigured and the workflow is straightforward and visually simple within the KDE desktop environment. Garuda shares a lot with Archlinux so most Arch users should be able to follow along.
- Log into steam and Install Tribes Ascend. It will be during this step to note the game’s steam id for later: 17080.,
- Right click on the game in your library and click
Properties...Under the General settings there’s a text entry box titled launch options. If you want to play Tribes on community servers without using the features or game modes that require TAmods, even occasionally, you can enter the following into this box:
-hostx=18.104.22.168. In short, the
-hostxoption tells Tribes how it should navigate to user servers to log in. The IP address after
=points to the community servers. If you use TAmods and TribesLauncher this step isn’t necessary, but it’s a nice practice if you accidentally launch the game from steam.
- If you plan on using a specific version of proton with the game, now is the ideal time to set this up. While you still have the game’s preferences open, click the compatibility tab and then check the box for
Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool, then select a version of proton you have installed from the drop down list. If you need to install other proton versions and come back to this, you can do that from your library by filtering Tools instead of games and then installing whichever version you want to use.
- It’s time to launch the game. The game will attempt to run a setup script, probably throw an error, then ask to ‘reboot’ (clicking ok is fine, it’s not going to do anything) and launch to the login menu. Now that the game has been opened once you can close it immediately. Steam will have used Steam Play to set up a wine prefix for the game, named after the game’s steam id.
- Right click on the game in the library and once again click
Properties...and then the
Local Filestab, and click the
Browsebutton. This will open a file browser window where the game is installed. The first thing we’ll do here is delete a file called
InstallScript.vdfto prevent steam from trying to run those configuration steps every time the game starts.
- We’re going to open a terminal window now and tell proton to install a prerequisite to run TribesLauncher. The command for this is
protontricks 17080 vcrun2019, which will install the most recent version and all prior relevant versions of this program (the visual c++ redistributable) into the environment that steam launches Tribes from. The version of proton you use with the game has to be relatively recent for this step to be successful- I can at least confirm that as of 7.0.0-4 and the most recent version of Glorious Eggroll, both of these versions of proton should install it without complaint.
- It’s time to grab the most recent release of TribesLauncherSharp and extract its contents directly into the Tribes folder you opened in step 5. Is this specific location important? Not really, but it keeps the launcher in a place you can get to quickly again from steam and it effectively bundles the launcher with the Tribes files if you ever decide to uninstall the local files again for whatever reason.
- This next step requires that you know a little bit of basic navigation and how Wine sees your folders. Copy the file path to your Tribes folder from your folder browser or a terminal to some kind of editor and get ready to adjust it. First we’ll take every
/in the file path and change it into a
\. Then we’ll add
\Binaries\Win32TribesAscend.exeto the end. Finally, we’ll go to the beginning of the file path and add the drive letter that the wine prefix for your game uses. For me at least, this defaults to a Z drive, but for you it may be different, like a C drive. When you’re finished, the syntax of this file path should look similar but maybe not identical to:
Z:\folder\path\to\your\SteamLibrary\steamapps\common\Tribes\Binaries\Win32\TribesAscend.exe. Copy that path to your clipboard, we’re going to use it in the next step.
- There’s definitely a simpler way to shortcut this but I don’t know it, so until one of us does the following step is going to be how you launch the game from now on. Right click on TribesLauncherSharp.exe and open with the Protontricks Launcher. Protontricks will pop up a menu asking you which Wine prefix to run the program. Scroll down to
Tribes:Ascend:17080and click ok. The launcher will open for the first time probably prompt you about something, but right after you answer that prompt delete all the text in the Game Path box, paste your file path from the last step (which should now point to Tribes Ascend) and then exit the Launcher once it looks like it’s idle (nothing going on in the bar underneath.
- TribesLauncher isn’t super stable under proton, so bit by bit we’re going to manually close it and then reopen it so that it has a chance to remember and save our changes. Start the launcher again like you did in the last step, and it should now remember the correct path to the Tribes game. The next thing to change is login server to Community. You might also consider switching injection type to automatic with a longer number (you can shorten it once you know how quick the game loads for you normally).
- Close the launcher and reopen, click the advanced tab and switch Process Detection to by Process ID (probably not necessary, I just do this since it makes more sense under an environment like proton). Close and reopen, and now click the update button in the bottom corner which will download the basic files to run TAmods.
- Once that’s done, the bar at the bottom is sitting idle and the button has changed to Launch, we’re going to close and reopen, and jump over to the Packages tab. This is the least stable part of the process but we only have to go through it once. Slowly go down the list to each package you want to install. Anything that’s colored green, you already have it installed. Anything that isn’t, you can click the install button to download and install it. Downloading and installing these, especially the Community maps, takes a lot of time and occasionally it will seem like the launcher is hanging, but eventually they will each succeed. Every now and then if you want to be safe and prevent having to redownload, close and reopen again so the launcher can update its internal state and remember what you’ve installed so far. Keep extra clicks to a minimum. Stay within the packages tab, and never click the info tab.
- Everything is downloaded? Cool. Close and reopen. The next time you open the launcher you only really need to click one button:
Launch. Tribes Ascend should launch, pointed to the community servers and ready for configuration. If you left inject set to
Manualyou’ll have to tab back over to the launcher and click the
Injectbutton in the place where
Launchonce was. If you hear that sweet cashmoney noise you’re good to go. If you had Injection set to Automatic, just wait on the login screen until you hear that sweet cashmoney noise and you’re also good to go. Log in with whatever name you’re going to use (password isn’t relevant unless you intend to save this name and verify it later) and start playing!