Recently, an alpha version of Valve's Steam game store has finally arrived on the Chrome OS Dev channel, but does Steam work on Chromebook?
With the Steam Store on Chromebooks only in an Alpha phase, it's not the final product just yet. Anything at this phase is usually subject to crashes, bugs, and other performance issues, so manage your expectations accordingly to avoid disappointment!
Here, we'll go into how to test it for yourself, plus some of the types of Chromebooks that have the option enabled.
Does Steam Work On Chromebook?
Not every Chromebook will be able to use the Alpha version of Steam, and we would advise you to move cautiously when trying it out. For instance, don't use a Chromebook that you rely on for work or school. The alpha phase means that plenty can -and will - go wrong.
At the moment, the Chromebooks that are reported to work with Steam are as follows:
- Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W)
- Acer Chromebook 515 (CB515-1W)
- Acer Chromebook 516 GE
- Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-3H, CP514-3HH, CP514-3WH)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (CP714-1WN)
- Acer Chromebook Vero 514
- ASUS Chromebook CX9 (CX9400)
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500)
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5601)
- ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip
- Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition
- HP Elite c640 14 inch G3 Chromebook
- HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook
- HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
- HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook
- IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16
- Lenovo 5i-14 Chromebook
- Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook 14
- Lenovo ThinkPad C14
According to this report, even with these models, you'll need to make sure you have an (11th gen) Intel Core i5 or i7 processor, Intel Iris Xe Graphics, and at least 8 GB of RAM (16GB recommended). In other words, you should have one of the best Chromebooks to install Steam.
Be further warned: devices with 8GB of RAM may encounter issues in games that require 6GB of RAM or more. Moreover, devices with display resolutions that are greater than 1080p may encounter performance and scaling issues.
With these warnings in mind, if you're confident that your Chromebook matches up with the above, then here's what you'll need to install Steam.
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How To Install Steam On Chromebook
If you have one of the aforementioned Chromebooks, you can access the alpha-quality version of Steam on Chrome OS. To access the alpha version of Steam on Chrome OS:
- Switch to the Dev Channel in your settings menu. Here are the instructions.
- Navigate to: chrome://flags#borealis-enable
- Enable it!
- After restarting, open the ChromeOS launcher, search for Steam, and select the top result.
- Install Steam by following the setup process.
- Log in with your Steam account and start playing!
Google has the full install instructions on the Chromium.org forums, so head over that way if you need more of a hand.
Google has listed 48 games on Steam that are compatible with Chromebooks. However, not all games currently work well, with this still being in the test phase. Portal 2, Hades, Half-Life 2, The Witcher 3, and The Elder Scrolls V, to name a few. Some of these games will require enabling Steam Play in order to install.
If you encounter any bugs with your game, reach out to email@example.com. This may help the devs address and resolve issues faster.
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When Will Steam Come To Beta Or Stable Channel On Chromebook?
Google hasn't given a specific date. They said: "we’ll expand availability when we feel the product is ready."
The Alpha version is subject to crashes, performance regressions, and other bugs. So it's safe to assume that they are currently working on improving the stability and addressing other bugs and issues reported by the users.
Google doesn’t recommend trying Steam on a Chromebook that you rely on for work, school, or other daily activities as it might not be stable enough for your needs. It's better to wait until Google officially releases the beta or stable version of Steam for Chromebooks.