After an initial announcement from Google, now Steam is available for download on Chromebooks, these laptops running Chrome OS. This is currently an alpha version.
Steam comes to Chrome OS
At the moment only a small number of Chromebooks are supported, but the list should grow over time. These are mostly the “high end” models, given that it takes quite a bit of computing power to run the games. If your computer is not eligible, you still have the cloud gaming solution with services like Stadia or GeForce Now.
Here are the Chromebooks that support Steam today:
- Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W)
- Acer Chromebook 515 (CB515-1W)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500)
- ASUS Chromebook CX9 (CX9400)
- HP Pro c640 G2
- Lenovo 5i-14
Google adds that if a game requires 6GB of RAM, it might not run very well on a laptop with 8GB of RAM. There are also performance and scaling issues with displays that run at resolutions higher than 1080p. But Google assures that it is doing what is necessary to solve these problems. It is an alpha version after all.
Chrome OS will usually run the Linux version of a game if it exists. Steam Play lets you run additional titles using a compatibility tool called Proton. For now, Google assures that at least 48 games are working well.
How to Install Steam on a Chromebook
How to have Steam on your Chromebook and thus play on Chrome OS? As said before, this is an alpha version, which means that we should expect several bugs. But if you’re comfortable and know what to expect, then head over to this page and follow the installation instructions. This includes switching your computer to the Dev channel.