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Steam on ChromeOS Beta

Beginning with Chrome OS 108.0.5359.24, the Beta channel will include an early, beta-quality version of Steam on ChromeOS for a set of recent Chromebooks. If you have one of these Chromebooks 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.

Note: DLC for Beta channel is in process of rolling out. You may see errors installing Steam on Chromebook until the rollout is complete, even on 108.0.5359.24.

What do we mean by beta?

Major issues affecting the whole system should be uncommon, and hundreds of Steam games are now playable on a wider variety of Chromebooks. However, many other games do not run or run poorly, parts of the user experience are not release-quality, and some OS-level features are still in development (see Known Issues).

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 beta channel on configurations of these Chromebooks with Core i3/Ryzen 3 or higher CPUs and at least 8GB of RAM:

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

Instructions

  1. On your supported Chromebook, switch to Beta channel.
  2. After updating, navigate to chrome://flags. Set #borealis-enabled to Enabled.
  3. After restarting, open the ChromeOS launcher, search for Steam, and select the top result.
  4. Follow the setup flow to install Steam.
  5. Log in with your Steam account and start playing!

If for whatever reason searching for Steam in the launcher doesn't work, you can open a crosh terminal with ctrl+alt+t and enter insert_coin.

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 Workaround
Compatibility
Easy Anti-Cheat and BattlEye do not yet work with Proton on Chrome OS
Some Proton games have incorrect window placement, including offscreen Try pressing fullscreen key
Performance
First few minutes of gameplay have poor performance for some titles
"Processing Vulkan shaders" occurs frequently and can take a long time Enable “Allow background processing of Vulkan shaders” in Steam settings. Will impact battery life.
Some games work with 16GB RAM but not 8GB RAM
Display
External monitors are not supported and have unexpected behavior
Client UI scaling is not ideal on high DPI displays Enable #borealis-force-double-scale in chrome://flags
Input
Gamepads that are not designated WWCB may not work correctly
Audio
Audio quality in Steam voice chat is poor
Storage
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
A Short Hike
Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
ASTRONEER
Baba Is You
Besiege
Bloons TD 6
Bloons TD Battles 2
CARRION
Celeste
Core Keeper
Cult of the Lamb
Cultist Simulator
Cuphead
DARK SOULS™: REMASTERED
Darkest Dungeon®
Dead Cells
Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut
Dicey Dungeons
Disco Elysium Long load time on initial launch
Dishonored
Disney Dreamlight Valley
Divinity: Original Sin 2 Set Graphics Quality Preset to Medium or lower
Dome Keeper
Don't Starve Together
DOOM
Dorfromantik
Enter the Gungeon
Escape Simulator
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Factorio
Fallout 4 Set graphics quality to medium or lower. 16GB recommended
Farm Together
Fishing Planet
Football Manager 2022
For The King
Gang Beasts
Geometry Dash
Grim Dawn
Gunfire Reborn
Hades Select default version at launch
Half-Life 2
Hearts of Iron IV
Hollow Knight
Human: Fall Flat Set Advanced Video to Medium or lower
Inscryption
Into the Breach
Katamari Damacy REROLL
Kerbal Space Program
Killer Queen Black
Left 4 Dead 2
Loop Hero
Mini Metro
Mirror's Edge
Monster Train
Muck
Northgard
OCTOPATH TRAVELER
Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
Overcooked! 2
Oxygen Not Included
Papers, Please
PAYDAY 2
Portal 2
Prey
Project Zomboid
Return of the Obra Dinn
RimWorld
RISK: Global Domination
Shatter Remastered Deluxe
Shop Titans
Sid Meier's Civilization V
Slay the Spire
Slime Rancher
STAR WARS™: The Old Republic™
Stardew Valley
Stellaris
Stormworks: Build and Rescue
Stumble Guys
Subnautica
SUPERHOT
Tabletop Simulator
Team Fortress 2 Disable multicore rendering (Options > Graphics > Advanced)
Terraria
Tetris® Effect: Connected
The Battle of Polytopia
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition Set graphics quality to medium or lower. 16GB recommended.
The Jackbox Party Pack 8 Other party packs work well too!
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Set graphics and postprocessing to low. 16GB required.
Tomb Raider Use Proton 7.0-4
Totally Accurate Battle Simulator
TUNIC
Two Point Hospital
Untitled Goose Game
Unturned
Vampire Survivors May need to use public beta.
Wingspan
Wolfenstein: The New Order
World of Tanks Blitz
Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel

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:

Optimizing Performance

Many games will attempt to automatically adjust their performance-related settings based on your device’s specs. However, you may want to manually adjust in-game settings to optimize performance further. Here are some common steps we recommend trying:

In all cases, please note in your gameplay report what you tried and what the impact is to help us investigate.

Export data

If there are files that you want to export from your Steam installation, you can follow these steps:

  1. Start Steam
  2. Open a Crosh terminal (ctrl+alt+t)

In the Crosh terminal:

  1. Run vmc share borealis Downloads
  2. Run vsh borealis
  3. Navigate to the files you want to export and copy them to /mnt/shared/MyFiles/Downloads
    • e.g cp ~/.local/share/Terraria/Players/ /mnt/shared/MyFiles/Downloads -r
  4. 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 accurately.

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.

FAQ

Q: When will Steam come to 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.