How to Play Games via Steam on Chromebook

Chromebooks are for fun, not just productivity on the go

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Do you love playing video games, but don’t have a gaming PC? Or maybe you’re traveling and want to be able to play your favorite games on the go. If so, here’s something to know about – you can actually play games via Steam on a Chromebook. In this article, we’ll walk you through step-by-step instructions on how to install Steam and start playing your favorite games with Steam on Chromebook.

What do you need to play Steam games on your Chromebook?

First things first, while there is Chrome OS support coming for Steam at some point, that option (at the time of writing) is only available to developers. It’s also worth noting that while it’s possible to play games through Steam with the Steam Link App, this will require more resources, and the games available are limited. So here we’re going with Linux, and to play Steam games on your Chromebook you will need:

  • A Chromebook that supports Linux apps
  • The latest Chrome OS update
  • A stable internet connection
  • A game controller (optional)
Get Steam on Chromebook
Play Steam games on Chromebook with help from Linux

How to install Steam on Chromebook

Quick Guide

The process is pretty straightforward and only takes a few minutes. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Open the Chrome settings menu and click “Linux (Beta)” under the “Advanced” section and “Turn On”.
  • When you’ve done this, a pop-up window will appear asking if you want to install Linux. Click “Install” and wait for the process to finish.
  • Once it’s finished, you’ll see a new “Terminal” app in your app drawer.
  • When complete, in the Terminal app type the following command: sudo apt-get install steam.
  • Once the installation process is complete, launch Steam from your app drawer. When prompted, log in with your Steam account credentials.

Step

1

Enable Linux Apps on Your Chromebook

If you want to play Steam games on your Chromebook, you first need to enable Linux apps. To do this, open the Chrome settings menu and click “Linux (Beta)” under the “Advanced” section and click “Turn On”. Once you’ve done this, a pop-up window will appear asking if you want to install Linux. Click “Install” and wait for the process to finish.

Once it’s finished, you’ll see a new “Terminal” app in your app drawer. To ensure you’ve got the latest Linux version, you can open the the Terminal app and  type:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

Step

2

Update Your Chromebook

Next, you need to make sure that your Chromebook is running the latest version of Chrome OS. To do this, open the Chrome settings menu and click “About Chrome OS.” If there’s an update available, it will begin downloading automatically. Once the update has finished installing, restart your Chromebook.

Step

3

Install Steam

Now that Linux is up and running on your Chromebook, it’s time to install Steam. To do this, open the Terminal app and type in the following command:

sudo apt-get install steam

Once the installation process is complete, launch Steam from your app drawer. When prompted, log in with your Steam account credentials.

Step

4

Optimize your Chromebook

At this point it’s worth checking whether your Chromebook has GPU acceleration, which you’ll want turned on for best performance. Not all Chromebooks do have this. You’ll also want to ensure that your microphone is enabled and you’ve set up any controller you want to use.

Step

5

Start Playing Steam Games!

Now that you’ve installed Steam and logged in, you’re ready to play Steam games on a Chromebook! To do this, simply click on the “Store” tab at the top of the Steam window and browse for games. When you find a game you want to play, click “Add to Cart” and follow the prompts to purchase and install the game. Once the installation process is finished, click “Play” to start playing!

You will need to Enable Steam Play

Enabling Steam Play for supported titles will allow you to enjoy those games right from your Chromebook. The Steam Play feature uses a modified version of Wine to provide support for opening Windows-based games and applications directly on Chrome OS.

Before enabling Steam Play, check the list of supported titles first to see if your game is on it. The open source community also continues to build new compatibility layers for games that are not yet officially supported by Valve. For example, Lutris is a popular community project that aims to enhance support for Linux gaming. You can find more information about Lutris on its website. If you’re a fan of gaming on Linux, enabling Steam Play on your Chromebook will let you enjoy some of the best Steam games with fewer issues.

Chromebooks are quite capable machines, particularly some of the higher-spec options, so it shouldn’t be a surprise they can handle gaming. And there are several great games that can we recommend playing on Chromebooks. Here are some of the best Steam games that should work well on Chromebooks:

  • Dota 2: One of the most popular multiplayer online battle arena games in the world
  • Rocket League: An addictive and action-packed game that combines soccer and driving
  • Civilization VI: A turn-based strategy game that tasks players with building an empire.

With a wide variety of games to choose from, there’s something for everyone on Chromebooks: perfect if you’re looking for a new gaming platform without the mega performance requirements…and with some extra mobility.

Tips for getting the most out of Steam gaming on a Chromebook

Now that you know how to play Steam games on your Chromebook, here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your gaming experience:

Use an external game controller

While most Chromebooks have built-in keyboards and touchpads, they’re not ideal for gaming. For the best results, we recommend using an external game controller. This will give you better control and accuracy while playing games.

Connect to a stable network

If you’re going to be playing online multiplayer games, it’s important to connect to a reliable network. If you’re looking for a new setup or upgrade, check out our guide on the best Asus home streaming routers.

Use a Chromecast

If you want to play games on a bigger screen, you can use a Chromecast to stream your games to a TV or monitor.

Use Steam Remote Play

If you have a gaming PC, you can use Steam’s Remote Play feature to stream games from your PC to your Chromebook. This is great for playing graphically-intensive games that wouldn’t be able to run on a Chromebook otherwise.

You should now know everything you need to know about how to play Steam games on your Chromebook. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Happy gaming!

Play Games via Steam on Chromebook – FAQs

What do I need to play Steam games on my Chromebook?

In order to play Steam games on your Chromebook, you’ll need to have the following:

  • A steam game that is compatible with your Chromebook
  • A stable Internet connection
  • An external game controller (optional)

Can I play all Steam games on my Chromebook?

No, not all Steam games are compatible with Chromebooks. However, there is a growing list of supported titles. You can find a list of supported titles on Valve’s website.

Do I need to purchase a separate copy of a game to play it on my Chromebook?

No, if you already own a copy of a game that is compatible with Chromebooks, you can play it on your Chromebook without purchasing a separate copy.

Can I play Steam games offline on my Chromebook?

Yes, you can play Steam games offline on your Chromebook – if they can be played offline. However, you will need to connect to the internet at least once every two weeks to stay logged into your account.