Gaming on Waydroid

For a while now I did experiment with waydroid and running android apps on linux. So in this post I will go through how to set waydroid up for gaming and what I found out to work and what not.

Setting up waydroid

First you need to install waydroid. To do that follow the instructions for your system: https://docs.waydro.id/usage/install-on-desktops

Setting up the Google apps support

After you finished the installation initialize waydroid with the following command:

sudo waydroid init -s GAPPS

This downloads and sets up waydroid with the lineage os rom and with google apps support.

Next you need to certify your installation with google play. Follow the official instructions in the waydroid docs or use the script shown below.

Using waydroid extra scripts

FIrst off clone the waydroid scripts by @casualsnek: https://github.com/casualsnek/waydroid_script

Follow the instructions on the top of the README for installation and running main.py.

At the time of writing the default android version of waydroid is android 11, so make sure to select that one in the scripts.

You need to install libndk or libhoudini if you want to run arm apps. According to their documentaion libndk seems to work better on AMD CPUs and libhoudini should be better on Intel CPUs. Since I only have AMD CPUs I did my testing using libndk. I will post an update if I retest everything with libhoudini since there might be differences in the games that run.

If you want ot view DRM protected content you also need to install widevine from the scripts.

As mentioned above the script can also help with the device registration. In that case select “Get Google Device ID to Get Certified”. It will show your device ID and give the link needed to register a device with your google account.

Installing common apps

There are some apps that are required for a lot of apps to work properly so make sure to install them from the play store. Note that depending on the exact games you might not need all of them or even extra ones.

  • Webview
  • Chrome
  • Google Play Games

Tested Apps

I tested the following apps with the setup decribed above. I try to update the list with every game I test or if I notice a change.

  • TFT (working, could play the tutorial)
  • Legends of Runeterra (working, could play without problems)
  • Riot Mobile (working but buggy)
  • Genshin Impact (not tested properly I could log in but didn’t wait for the 30GiB download to finish)
  • Wild Rift (broken, can download but not login)
  • Minecraft (broken, crashes all the time)

Conclusion

While the setup is fairly complicated and can be a hassle to figure out, waydroid is a nice tool to get some android exclusive apps to run on linux. At the moment the compatiblity is still not high and it can crash a lot. However it has some advantages over real android emulators. It has better performance since android itself does not get emulated (it only runs in a container), apps can run as their own window and you can start a waydroid only desktop session.

So use this to play TFT on your PC in case riot breaks the client again (as it is atm).

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