Linux Gaming Review: GrandChase Classic

Linux Gaming Review: GrandChase Classic

Yes! The Chase is back on PC via Steam as GrandChase Classic and I can't wait to try playing it in my Linux setup. Did it work? Yes! Did it work out of the box? Unfortunately, not.

To make GrandChase Classic work on Linux, we need to run the game once via Steam (it will crash as expected,) then install some Windows dependencies it needed using protontricks:

protontricks 985810 mfc42 mfc140 vcrun6 dotnet40
Remember to run the game once before running protontricks. This is to generate the Wine prefix for app id 985810 (GrandChase Classic).

There are instances where the installation of .NET 4.0 (dotnet40) will fail but that is fine – GrandChase will still run when the tweaks are applied!

Gaming Experience

As for the current version of the game, there are only 4 characters available – Elesis, Lire, Arme, and Lass. Back in 2013, there are 20 characters available in the game. Unlike how it was when the game first released, all their job advancement quest are already available and most of the maps are already playable.

Gameplay Changes

A major change players notice during the beta testing and the current release is that most of the characters skills are weaker. A good example of this is Arme's Meteor skill. Back then, this single skill can easily clear a dungeon room; now it can't. Turns out, this is not exclusive to a single character – every skills is nerfed in this version!

Another change players experience is that some of the moves are removed completely from the game. These moves cannot be acquired thru any means.

A good thing from this gameplay changes is the removal of the Premium Skill Tree. Back then, there is a section of your character's skill tree that you can only unlock with premium currency. In GrandChase Classic, this part of the skill tree is completely free!

Stability Issues

A game from late 2000's should run better in a 2020's hardware, right? Right? No.

It feels that the game is still made for the older hardware even if the game now works in a modern hardware. A common issue here is that the models are stretched when playing in a 16:9 aspect ratio, a popular spec in today's monitor. The game models are still made for 4:3 monitors that we use more than a decade ago.

Another common issue is the 55 FPS limit while most of us are used on playing with 60-144 FPS. I hope this will be update to today's hardware and not be a limitation because of the game's netcodes.

Even if the game does not require intense resources to run, players still experience frame drops. From what I see, this frame drops are caused by the in-game windows not properly closing when moving on to another window. Since the resources used by the previously opened window is not released due to it not being closed, it stresses the game and frame drops starts to appear.

Speaking of netcodes, there are ongoing server issues plaguing the players. First is the limited availability of the servers/channels that prevented the players from logging in. Since its launch, more servers/channels are added to accommodate the wave of nostalgic players. I hope that the newly added servers are actually located in the availability zone it represents (like Asia, Americas, Europe, etc...)

Steam trends for July 28, 2021. GrandChase is at the top 10 spot for the number of concurrent players online.

Because of the server load, lag has become a common experience in both PvE and PvP – how nostalgic!

Old GrandChase players should remember stamping your entire screen with cursors when the game lags while loading.

Bugs and a Lot of Bugs

There are a lot of bugs in the game that even I can't track. Most of the bugs players experience are quests that cannot be completed due to a bug, or a boss that remain invulnerable due to a bug on its trigger, or a boss that does not spawn at all! Good thing the developers are fixing these since this frustrates the players so much.

Another bug that I experience, that I do not remember when playing GrandChase back in 2010's, is the bad hitbox design on the mobs and player characters. Sometimes the projectiles just passes thru the enemies even if you can clearly see a hit. Maybe this is connected to the netcode issue, or maybe this is just a bad hitbox design. This and the consistent lag makes PvE and especially PvP hard.

Aggressive Monetization Issues

The biggest complaint from the playerbase you can see across different sites such as Steam and Reddit, is the monetization model currently applied in the game.

Most of the items bought with in-game currency are removed, and the premium currency is sold at a very high price.

Current VP prices (in USD): $5.40, $20.40, $58.80, and $104.40.

Many Brazilian players complains that the highest tier of VP (GrandChase's premium currency) is priced almost the half of their minimum wage (source). In context to GrandChase PH back then, the highest tier of VP can be bought was ₱1000 – that is around 20% of what they are offering right now.

That high price, numerous performance instability, and a lot of unreleased content prompts most of the playerbase to play exclusively F2P and refuses to spend real money to the game.


The game works normally in Linux. Just do a few tweaks with protontricks.

There are issues in the game like frame drops, lag, bad rendering of models, etc... These are not because of Linux or Proton. The game is actually released in a bad state. But at least, the entire skill tree is now free!

I hope that the game will be more stable in the coming days and fix numerous issues found in the game. GrandChase has a large loyal playerbase from the old times and new players that sees it right now in Steam.

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