Skip to content

How to get steam on Chromebook (Step-by-step)

How to get steam on Chromebook

Since Chromebooks have lightweight hardware, you can move about with them with ease. Due to the inferior onboard graphics, this also implies that they are not the finest gaming device. Therefore, nothing prevents you from adding Steam to your Chromebook.

Can you get steam on Chromebook?

Yes, you can get steam on a Chromebook, and it’s easier when you follow this step-by-step guide. So if you’re looking for how to get Steam on a Chromebook, you’re here. We’ll walk you through the steps and also address some Chromebook-related commonly asked questions.


How to get Steam on a Chromebook

It may be challenging to install Steam on a Chromebook because of the following factors discussed below. 

Can Linux run on your Chromebook?

Your computer must be able to run Linux software to use one of our ways for installing Steam on a Chromebook. By doing this, you can set up Steam as a Linux application and play your games just as you would on a PC. This approach won’t function at all if your Chromebook can’t handle Linux.

Does the Chromebook have enough power?

Your Chromebook’s hardware can prevent you from playing games even if it manages to run Linux programs without any problems. Simply said, the Chromebook is ill-suited to play games with plenty of visuals. To be sure your games won’t overtax the system, you need a Chromebook of a higher calibre.

Can you run Android applications on your Chromebook?

You can still use your Chromebook to run Steam if you can’t run Linux applications by using the Steam Link app. This approach is somewhat more constrained and needs better graphics than the Linux app approach. Additionally, because the Chromebook needs a decent PC to run games, you can’t carry it with you.

You should be able to install Steam on your Chromebook if it complies with at least two of these conditions. Let’s examine the first approach.


Setting up the Steam Linux App

After Linux received official support for Steam, Linux PC users were able to play their games. Additionally, the procedure was made simpler for Chromebooks. Earlier, running Linux concurrently with Chrome OS on Chromebooks needed a collection of scripts called Crouton.

Crouton installation and entering developer mode are no longer necessary. Since 2019, all Chromebooks out of box are Linux compatible. As a result, it greatly simplifies the installation of Steam.

However, Chromebooks lack gaming-specific hardware, so it may sometimes be a miracle if a Steam game works on them. So don’t try to force a game to operate if it doesn’t.

Simply follow these instructions to install the Steam App for Linux:

  • Look for the Settings option on your Chromebook.
  • You may choose Linux at the bottom of the screen if your Chromebook has that feature.
  • Select Linux and then Turn it on.
  • In the new window that appears, click Install.
  • Leave the installation to your Chromebook.
  • Once finished, you may update Linux to the most recent build by entering “sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y” in the Linux Terminal.
  • Download the Steam App for Linux.
  • Using the Files program, transfer the DEB file to your Linux folder.
  • Install it by double-clicking the DEB file.
  • When finished, find the file and start Steam.
  • You may sign in after you have updated.

On your Chromebook, it is advised that you activate the microphone and GPU acceleration for Linux to improve your gaming experience. 

You’ll need to see whether your Chromebook can accelerate GPUs since not all of them can. Although a microphone is helpful in games like “Among Us,” you are not required to turn it on if your games don’t need it.

You should activate a feature called Steam Play for Other Titles once you’ve finished installing Steam and log in since it enables you to play Windows games that aren’t available on Linux by default.

  • Navigate to the Settings section of Steam.
  • Choose Play.
  • Select Allow Steam to Play Other Games.

You ought to be able to play most of your Steam games at this point. Granted, depending on your Chromebook’s specifications, more basic games should run just fine, but titles that need a lot of horsepowers probably won’t.


How to Install Ubuntu Linux on a Chromebook

This older technique requires entering Developer Mode. Please feel free to check out Ubuntu if you’re not a fan of Chrome OS. Installing Steam won’t be difficult since it is natively compatible with Ubuntu.

The steps are as follows if you wish to use this method:

  • Switch off your Chromebook.
  • Enter developer mode by pressing the Esc, Refresh, and Power keys together.
  • Press Ctrl + D to enter recovery mode.
  • Press Enter when prompted to turn off OS verification.
  • To continue, press Ctrl + D. Going forward, if you reboot again, a warning will now show up.
  • You may get Crouton here.
  • To launch Shell, press Ctrl + Alt + T.
  • Shell is entered once you hit the Enter key.
  • Next, enter a confirmation by typing “sudo sh /Downloads/crouton -t unity”.
  • Allow Ubuntu to install on the machine.
  • When finished, enter “sudo startunity” in Shell to return to Ubuntu.
  • Submitting “sudo apt install steam” and waiting for the procedure to finish.
  • After that, you may log in and begin playing.

Remember that this procedure will erase everything on your Chromebook. You should make a backup of everything on your local disk before starting the Ubuntu installation procedure. That data should be OK since the majority of Chromebooks keep their data in the cloud.

We also have a third option if the first two don’t work for you. It could be more constrained, but it still works.


Use the Steam Link App

In essence, the Steam Link software links your Chromebook to a more powerful PC. 

Since you are streaming gaming to your Chromebook, there will be some latency, but it will work if all other options are unsuccessful. However, your Chromebook must be able to run Android applications.

Fortunately, a lot of the more recent ones do. Here is how to use this technique if you’re interested:

  • On your Chromebook, install Steam Link.
  • Start Steam on your computer.
  • Your Chromebook should now launch Steam Link.
  • Select Play to begin.
  • Sadly, there are a few restrictions with Steam Link that you must accept.

Choosing controllers

When it comes to the controllers it supports, Steam Link is pretty picky. The controller must support Steam Link and have Bluetooth functionality. Because of this, if you utilize Steam Link, numerous third-party controllers often do not function for you.

No remote gaming is allowed

You must remain close to the primary PC. Being in the same room as the device you are connected to is necessary for a stable connection.

Wi-Fi speeds impact efficiency

You won’t be able to smoothly stream the game on your Chromebook if your internet connection is slow. For your games to be enjoyable, you need a reliable connection.

Low picture quality

Even if your Chromebook may not be Full HD, the streaming video game has already been compressed. The visuals on your Chromebook will appear poor unless you’re cool with it. Its screen won’t be able to hold a candle to many gaming monitors now on the market.

However, you can still play games on your Chromebook if you’re determined on utilizing the Steam Link approach.


Get and Play Steam Games

You may install Steam on a Chromebook using the instructions we outlined. If your Chromebook is old and underpowered, no amount of tweaking will assist you. Considering the often poor quality, streaming is okay but not ideal.