Chromebooks have lightweight hardware, making them easy to transport. However, because of the inferior graphics options on board, they are not the best gaming devices. That said, nothing prevents you from installing Steam on your Chromebook.
You’ve come to the right place if you want to learn how to install Steam on a Chromebook. You’ll learn everything there is to know about the procedure. We’ll also address some frequently asked Chromebook questions.
Installing Steam on a Chromebook
Installing Steam on a Chromebook can be difficult because there are several factors to consider:
- Is your Chromebook compatible with Linux?
One of our methods for installing Steam on a Chromebook requires that your machine be capable of running Linux applications. This will allow you to install Steam as a Linux app and launch and play your games just like you would on a PC. If your Chromebook does not support Linux, this method will not work.
- Is the Chromebook sufficiently powerful?
Even if your Chromebook runs Linux apps without issue, the hardware may not allow you to play games. Graphics-intensive games simply cannot be run on the Chromebook. A higher-tier Chromebook is required to ensure that your games do not overburden the hardware.
- Can you run Android apps on your Chromebook?
If you are unable to run Linux applications, you can still use your Chromebook to run Steam via the Steam Link app. This method is more limited than the Linux app method and requires better graphics. Furthermore, you cannot take the Chromebook with you because it requires a connection to a proper PC in order to run games.
If your Chromebook meets at least two of these requirements, you should be able to install Steam on it. Let’s start with the first method.
Installing the Steam Linux Application
After Linux officially supported Steam, Linux PC owners could enjoy their games. The process was also simplified for Chromebooks. Previously, Chromebooks required a set of scripts known as Crouton to run Linux alongside Chrome OS.
The need to install Crouton and enter Developer Mode is no longer required. Since 2019, all Chromebooks have come standard with Linux support. As a result, it greatly simplifies the installation of Steam.
However, Chromebooks do not come with gaming hardware, and it is a rare occasion when a game from Steam runs. As a result, if a game does not work, do not force it.
To install the Linux Steam App, simply follow these steps:
- Navigate to the Settings menu on your Chromebook.
- If your Chromebook supports Linux, the option can be found at the bottom of the screen.
- Choose Turn on for Linux.
- When a new window appears, click Install.
- Allow your Chromebook to handle the installation.
- After that, in the Linux Terminal, type “
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y"to update Linux to the latest build.
- Get the Linux Steam App.
- Using the Files app, copy the DEB file to your Linux folder.
- Install the DEB file by double-clicking it.
After that, locate the file and launch Steam.
- You can now sign in after updating.
To improve your gaming experience, enable the microphone and GPU acceleration for Linux on your Chromebook. Not all Chromebooks have the ability to accelerate their GPUs, so check to see if yours does. You also don’t have to use the microphone if your games don’t require it, though it is useful in games like “Among Us.”
After you’ve finished installing and logging into Steam, you should enable a setting called Steam Play for Other Titles, which allows you to play Windows games that aren’t natively supported by Linux.
- Navigate to the Settings menu in Steam.
- Press the Play button.
- Check the box next to Enable Steam Play for Other Titles.
Many of your Steam games should now be playable. Although extremely hardware-intensive games are unlikely to run on your Chromebook, simpler games should work just fine, depending on the specs of your Chromebook.
Installing the Ubuntu Linux Operating System on Your Chromebook
This is an older method that necessitates entering Developer Mode. If you don’t like Chrome OS and want to run Ubuntu, go ahead and do so. Steam is natively compatible with Ubuntu, so installing it should be straightforward.
If you want to use this method, the steps are as follows:
- Turn off your Chromebook.
- Enter Developer Mode by pressing the Esc + Refresh + Power button combination.
- Press Ctrl + D while in Recovery Mode.
- When prompted to turn off OS verification, press Enter.
- Press Ctrl + D to continue, and a warning will appear the next time you reboot.
- Crouton can be downloaded here.
- To open Shell, press Ctrl + Alt + T.
- Type “
shell” and hit the Enter key.
- Next, type “
sudo sh /Downloads/crouton -t unity” and press the Enter key to confirm.
Allow the computer to install Ubuntu.
- Return to Ubuntu by typing “
sudo startunity"in Shell.
- Enter “
sudo apt install steam” and wait for the process to finish.
- After that, you can log in and begin playing.
Remember that this procedure will wipe your Chromebook. Before beginning the Ubuntu installation process, make a backup of everything on your local drive. Because most Chromebooks store data in the cloud, that data should be safe.
If neither of the preceding options are suitable for you, we have a third option. It may be more restricted, but it is still effective.
Making Use of the Steam Link App
The Steam Link app is essentially a program that connects your Chromebook to a more powerful PC. Because you’re streaming gameplay to your Chromebook, there will be some lag, but it will work if the other methods fail. However, your Chromebook must support Android apps.
Fortunately, many of the most recent ones do. If you’re interested in trying this method, here’s how:
- Download and install Steam Link on your Chromebook.
- Start Steam on your PC.
- Open the Steam Link app on your Chromebook.
- Click the Start Playing button.
Unfortunately, you will have to accept a few limitations with Steam Link.
- Selective about controllers
Steam Link is picky about the controllers it supports. The controller must be Bluetooth-enabled and Steam Link-compatible. As a result, many third-party controllers will not work if you use Steam Link.
- You cannot play a game remotely.
You’re confined to being close to the main PC. Because you’re connecting to it, being in the same room is the only way to ensure a reliable connection.
- Wi-Fi speeds have an impact on performance.
If your internet connection is slow, you will be unable to stream the game to your Chromebook smoothly. To enjoy your games, you must have a strong internet connection.
- Inadequate visual quality
The video game being streamed is already compressed, and your Chromebook may not even be Full HD. Unless you’re okay with it, the graphics on your Chromebook will be subpar. Its screen cannot compete with many gaming monitors on the market.
You can, however, play games on your Chromebook if you insist on using the Steam Link method.
On the Go Steam Gaming
These instructions and information will assist you in installing Steam on a Chromebook. If your Chromebook isn’t new and powerful enough, no amount of tinkering will help. Streaming is acceptable but not ideal because the quality is usually poor.
What was the most difficult aspect of installing Steam for you? Do you like to play Steam games on your Chromebook? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.