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.
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!
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:
- 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 Chromebook
- Lenovo 5i-14 Chromebook
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:
- Devices with 8GB of RAM may encounter issues in games that require 6GB of RAM or more.
- Devices with display resolutions greater than 1080p may encounter performance and scaling issues.
We are actively investigating ways to improve these issues.
This list will be updated as new models and configurations are enabled.
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.
- On your supported Chromebook, switch to Dev channel.
- After updating, navigate to chrome://flags. Set both #borealis-enabled and #exo-pointer-lock to Enabled.
- After restarting, open a crosh terminal with ctrl+alt+t.
- Type “insert_coin volteer-JOlkth573FBLGa” and hit enter.
- Follow the setup flow to install Steam.
- 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.
These are some issues you may encounter when using Steam on Chrome OS:
Please report any other issues you see via the Send Feedback dialog with tag “#steam”.
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).
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.
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:
- On the game’s library listing, click the settings cog
- Select “Properties”
- Select “Compatibility”
- Check “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool”
- Select a version. We recommend Proton Experimental
To enable Steam Play for all relevant titles:
- In the top left corner of the Steam client, select “Steam”
- Select “Settings”
- Select “Steam Play”
- Check “Enable Steam Play for all other titles”
- Select a version. We recommend Proton Experimental
If there are files that you want to export from your Steam installation, you can follow these steps:
- Start Steam
- Open a Crosh terminal (ctrl+alt+t)
In the Crosh terminal:
vmc share borealis Downloads
- Navigate to the files you want to export and copy them to
cp ~/.local/share/Terraria/Players/ /mnt/shared/MyFiles/Downloads -r
- You should now be able to see your exported files in your Downloads folder
note: if you're looking to copy game installations (not saves) you may want to
make use of Steam's Backup feature.
Make sure to select
/mnt/shared/MyFiles/Downloads as the folder to use and
be careful managing the available disk space, as it may not be reported
note: if you'd like to import files, you can follow a similar process, but,
instead of copying files to
/mnt/shared/MyFiles/Downloads, you can instead
copy them from that directory.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.