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Steam on Chrome OS Alpha

Beginning with Chrome OS 14583.0.0, the Dev channel will include an early, alpha-quality version of Steam on Chrome OS for a small set of recent Chromebooks. If you have one of these Chromebooks (listed below) and decide to give it a try, please send your feedback - we are in active development and want to incorporate as much user input as possible.

What do we mean by alpha?

Alpha means anything can break. Due to the inherent instability of the Dev channel and the in-progress nature of this feature, we don’t recommend trying this on a Chromebook that you rely on for work, school, or other daily activities. You will encounter crashes, performance regressions, and never-before-seen bugs - that’s part of the fun!

Supported Devices

Because many games have high performance demands, we’ve focused our efforts thus far on a set of devices where more games can run well. Currently, Steam can be enabled in the Dev channel on configurations of these Chromebooks with Intel Iris Xe Graphics, 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 processors, and at least 8GB of RAM:

Note: Configurations of these devices with an i3 CPU or 4GB of RAM are not supported.

Additionally, there are two known issues that affect particular device configurations:

We are actively investigating ways to improve these issues.

This list will be updated as new models and configurations are enabled.

Instructions

Note: Dev channel is inherently less stable. We don’t recommend trying this on a Chromebook that you rely on for work, school, or other daily activities. Before you switch channels, backup your data.

  1. On your supported Chromebook, switch to Dev channel.
  2. After updating, navigate to chrome://flags. Set both #borealis-enabled and #exo-pointer-lock to Enabled.
  3. After restarting, open a crosh terminal with ctrl+alt+t.
  4. Type “insert_coin volteer-JOlkth573FBLGa” and hit enter.
  5. Follow the setup flow to install Steam.
  6. Log in with your Steam account and start playing!

We recommend trying games from the list below, as not all games currently work well. Rest assured we are actively working to support as many titles as possible.

If you encounter issues, first check the known issues list below, then file feedback with a description of your issue and “#steam” so we can triage it quickly.

Known Issues

These are some issues you may encounter when using Steam on Chrome OS:

Category Known Issue
Compatibility
Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye do not yet work with Proton on Chrome OS
Proton titles using DX12 fail to start
Some Proton games have incorrect window placement, including offscreen
Some titles have occasional rendering artifacts and glitches
Performance
First few minutes of gameplay have poor performance for some titles
"Processing Vulkan shaders" occurs frequently and can take a long time
Some games work with 16GB RAM but not 8GB RAM
Display
External monitors are not supported and have unexpected behavior
4K and 2K displays have issues with performance and scaling
UI
Some languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai) are missing fonts
Timezone for Steam and games is different from device
Input
Launcher key & keyboard shortcuts don't work when Steam/a game is focused
Plugging in a controller during gameplay may not be recognized
Gamepads that are not designated WWCB may not work correctly
Audio
Audio quality in Steam voice chat is poor
Storage
Games may fail to install citing a disk error
External storage is not yet supported
Power
Device will not sleep when Steam or a game is focused
Steam and games sometimes freeze when device is asleep

Please report any other issues you see via the Send Feedback dialog with tag “#steam”.

Game List

These are some games that we’ve tried ourselves and think you might enjoy. Some will require enabling Steam Play in order to install (see below), others may work better on models with higher specs (like 16GB RAM).

Game Tips and Known Issues
Portal 2
Hades Select Vulkan version at launch
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
World of Tanks Blitz
The Elder Scrolls V: SSE Set quality to medium or low. i7 recommended
Vampire Survivors
Team Fortress 2 Disable multicore rendering (Options>Graphics>Advanced)
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Dead Cells
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Graphics & postprocessing to med/low. i7 required
Celeste
Unturned
Half-Life 2
Stardew Valley
PAYDAY 2
Terraria
Sid Meier's Civilization V
Project Zomboid
RimWorld
Left 4 Dead 2
Stellaris
Bloons TD 6
Factorio
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Set Graphics Quality Preset to Medium or lower
Geometry Dash
Human: Fall Flat Set Advanced Video to Medium or lower
Overcooked! 2
Hollow Knight
Tabletop Simulator
Killer Queen Black
Slay the Spire
Cuphead
TEKKEN 7
Loop Hero
Kerbal Space Program
Grim Dawn
RISK: Global Domination
Northgard
Fishing Planet
Don't Starve Together
Farm Together
Darkest Dungeon®
The Jackbox Party Pack 8 Other party packs work well too!
Baba Is You
A Short Hike
Fallout 4 Set graphics quality to medium or lower. i7 recommended
Return of the Obra Dinn
Disco Elysium Long load time on initial launch
Escape Simulator
Untitled Goose Game

Regardless of what games you play, please send feedback about how well it worked and any issues you encountered during gameplay using the post-game survey.

Steam Play

Chrome OS will typically run the Linux version of a game if it exists. Steam Play allows you to run additional titles by leveraging a compatibility tool called Proton.

To enable Steam Play for a particular title:

To enable Steam Play for all relevant titles:

FAQ

Q: When will Steam come to Beta or Stable channel?

A: We don’t have a specific date to commit to. We’ll expand availability when we feel the product is ready.


Q: When will Steam be available on my Chromebook?

A: Some Chromebooks lack the necessary hardware to provide a quality experience for Steam games, and thus are unlikely to be supported. As new, compatible devices come out, we will update the supported device list.


Q: Can I play my favorite game on a Chromebook now?

A: If your game is on the list above, it’s likely to run based on our testing. Otherwise, the only way to find out is to give it a try! Please send feedback about what you find.


Q: Can I play games from other game stores?

A: Chrome OS also supports Android Games from the Play Store. Outside Steam, other PC game stores are not supported.


Game Developers

We’d love to work with you to ensure your games run great on Chrome OS. If your game is already on Steam and runs on Linux (with or without Proton), you can try it using the instructions above. If you encounter Chrome OS specific bugs with your game, have particular workflows you’d like supported, or are otherwise interested in working with us, please reach out to borealis-game-dev@google.com.