Games are not a strong suit of Chromebooks, but thanks to the Linux Support, Chromebook games are better than ever, since you can now install and play many desktop-level games on Chrome OS. Steam is one of the best digital game distribution platforms and it’s officially supported on Linux. So, you can get it running on Chrome OS and enjoy desktop games. And the best part is that you don’t need to move your Chromebook to the Developer Mode or install Crouton. Things are quite straightforward now and the installation process is a breeze. On top of that, you now have the option to stream Steam games through the Steam Link app. So without any delay, let’s go ahead and learn how to install and play Steam games on a Chromebook in 2021.

Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook (Updated 2021)

Here, we have mentioned the steps to install and play Steam games on a Chromebook. Along with that, we have also tested a few Steam games to check if Chromebooks can be a viable alternative for desktop gaming. Keep in mind, if you have a school-issued Chromebook and the administrator has locked Linux on your Chromebook then you won’t be able to run Steam. However, if you have got Android app support then you can use the Steam Link app to stream desktop games on your Chromebook. Having said all of that, let’s first go through the Linux method.

  • Run Steam Games on a Chromebook in 2021 (Linux Required)

1. First and foremost, set up Linux on your Chromebook by following the linked article. After that, enable GPU acceleration for Linux in Chromebook for better graphics and smoother gameplay. In case, GPU acceleration is not enabled, don’t worry, just move on with the steps.

set up Linux

 

2. Next, open the Linux Terminal and execute the below command. It will update Linux on your Chromebook to the latest build. If you get any errors, don’t worry, just move on.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y

update linux

3. Now, click on this link to download the setup file of Steam. Similar to the EXE format on Windows, it’s a DEB file for Linux. Next, move the DEB file to the “Linux” section in the Files app.

steam on chromebook

5. Having done that, double-click on the setup file and click on “Install“. It will start installing Steam on your Chromebook.

Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook

6. After the installation, press the “Search” key on the keyboard and search for “steam”. After that, open it.

launch steam

7. Alternatively, you can open the App Drawer and manually look for the Linux folder. After that, open Steam. The Linux folder generally resides on the last page of the App Drawer.

run steam on chromebook

8. Now, Steam will automatically start downloading dependencies and libraries which are needed to smoothly run Steam on a Chromebook.

Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook

9. After the update, Steam will automatically open up. Now, sign in to your Steam account. If Steam does not pop up after the update then open it manually from the App Drawer. Note that, if you are using your Chromebook’s trackpad, you might have to press on the trackpad rather than soft-tapping it.

steam login

10. Finally, there you have it. Steam running successfully on a Chromebook. But there is one more setting that you should enable.

Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook

11. Click on Steam at the top-right corner and go to Settings -> Steam Play -> Enable Steam Play for all other titles and click on “OK”. Make sure “Proton Experimental” is selected in the drop-down menu. This will unlock and allow you to run several Windows games that are not natively available for Linux.

enable steam play

12. In our testing, we installed Counter-Strike: Global Offensive on our Chromebook through Steam, but it failed to run. However, other non-intensive games like Among Us, Stardew Valley, Squad, Tank Force ran absolutely fine and without any graphics issues. I would recommend you to try your favorite Steam games and see if they work on your Chromebook.

Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook

  • Stream Steam Games on Your Chromebook With the Steam Link App (Play Store Support Required)

If you don’t want to mess with Linux and you have got Play Store support on your Chromebook then you can easily get Steam running on your Chromebook. You need to install the official Steam Link app from the Play Store on your Chromebook. Also, note that you will need a Windows PC in your local network from where you will stream desktop games on your Chromebook. Here is how to go about it.

1. Open Play Store and search for the Steam Link app (Free). Now, install the app.

Stream Steam Games on Your Chromebook With the Steam Link App (Play Store Support Required)

2. Once installed, open it and connect your gaming controller to the Chromebook. If you don’t have one, you can skip it. You can play with your keyboard and mouse.

Stream Steam Games on Your Chromebook With the Steam Link App (Play Store Support Required)

3. I am assuming you have already set up Steam on your Windows PC in the local network, either via WiFi or Ethernet. By the way, Ethernet is recommended for lag-free gaming. The Steam Link app will now scan the local network and will display the name of the server. Simply, click on it and pair your PC with your Chromebook.

Stream Steam Games on Your Chromebook With the Steam Link App (Play Store Support Required)

4. After a few automatic tests, you will be connected to your PC’s Steam setup. Now, go ahead and you will be able to play Steam games right on your Chromebook. Enjoy!

Stream Steam Games on Your Chromebook With the Steam Link App (Play Store Support Required)

List of Popular Chromebooks

Our tutorial will work with all of the following Chromebooks. It is not an exhaustive list and is only here to serve as an example.

Brand NameModel Name
AcerAcer Chromebook 315
Acer Chromebook CB315-3H-C2C3
Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT-C296
Acer Chromebook CB315-3H-C4QE
Acer Chromebook CB315-2HT-44MJ
Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT-C3J0
Acer Chromebook CB315-3H-C5JS
Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT-C6XF
Acer Chromebook CB315-3H-C36A
Acer Chromebook CB315-3HT-C16B
Acer Chromebook 314
Acer Chromebook CB314-1H-C34N
Acer Chromebook CB314-1H-C66Z
Acer Chromebook CB314-1H-C02A
Acer Chromebook 311
Acer Chromebook CB311-9HT-C4UM
Acer Chromebook CB311-9H-C12A
Acer Chromebook 311 - CP311-3H-K5GD
Acer Chromebook CB311-9H-C7C8
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 - CP713-2W-79H3
Acer Chromebook 512 - C851-C1J7
Acer Chromebook 311 Touch - CB311-9HT-C4UM
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 - CP311-3H-K5GD
Acer Chromebox CXI3 - CXI3-I7V16GNKM4
Acer Chromebox CXI3 - CXI3-4GKM4
Acer Chromebox CXI3 - CXI3-4GNKM4
Acer Chromebook Spin 13 - CP713-1WN-51EA
Acer Chromebook Spin 713 - CP713-2W-79H3
Acer Chromebook Enterprise Spin 13 - CP713-1WN-76M7
Chromebook Spin 13 - CP713-1WN-813G
CB714-1W-32D4
CB714-1W-525Q
Acer Chromebook Spin 514
Acer Chromebook 311 C733-C0FK
Acer Chromebook CB314-1H-P7ZZ
ASUSASUS Chromebook C204EE
ASUS Chromebook C403NA
ASUS Chromebook Flip C214MA
ASUS Chromebook C203XA
ASUS Chromebook C202XA
ASUS Chromebook 14 C425TA
ASUS Chromebook Flip C434TA
ASUS Chromebook Flip C433TA
ASUS Chromebook Flip C302CA
ASUS Chromebook Flip C436FA
ASUS Chromebook C202SA
ASUS Chromebook C423NA
ASUS Chromebook C523NA
ASUS Chromebook C223NA
ASUS Chromebook Flip C101PA
GoogleGoogle Pixelbook Go GA00521-US
Google Pixelbook Go GA00519-US
Google Pixelbook Go GA00526-US
Google Pixelbook Go GA00124-US
Google Pixelbook Go GA00519-UK
Google Pixelbook Go GA00523-US
Google Pixel Slate C1A
HPHP Chromebook - 14a-na0003tu
HP Chromebook 11A G6 EE
HP Chromebook x360 12b-ca0010TU
HP Chromebook - 14a-na0002tu
HP Chromebook - 11-v010nr
HP Chromebook - 15-de0010nr
HP Chromebook - 14-db0030nr
HP Chromebook - 14-db0020nr
HP Chromebook - 15-de0015nr
HP Chromebook - 14a-na0097nr
HP Chromebook - 14a touch optional
HP Chromebook - 14-db0098nr
HP Chromebook 11a-nb0047nr
HP Chromebook 11a 11a-na0010nr
HP Chromebook 11a 11a-na0060nr
HP Chromebook 14A G5
HP Chromebook Enterprise 14A G5
HP Chromebook 11A G6 Education Edition PC
HP Chromebook 14A G5
HP Chromebook 11A G8 Education Edition
HP Chromebook x360 11 G3 EE
HP Pro c640 Chromebook
HP Chromebook 11A G8 Education Edition
HP Chromebook 14A G5 Notebook PC
HP Pro c640 Chromebook
HP Elite c1030 Chromebook
HP Pro c640 Chromebook Enterprise
HP Elite c1030 Chromebook Notebook PC
HP Pro c645 Chromebook
HP Chromebook x360 12b-ca0010nr
HP Chromebook x360 - 14c-ca0065nr
HP Chromebook x360 - 14b-ca0010nr
HP Chromebook x360 14a-ca0097nr
HP Chromebook x360 14c-ca0085nr
HP Chromebook x360 - 14ct-ca000
HP Chromebook 11 G1 Notebook PC 1NW60UT
HP Chromebook - 14-ca020nr
HP Chromebook 11 G6 Education Edition 3PD94UT
HP Chromebook x360 11 G1 EE - Customizable
LenovoChromebook Duet (10.1") 2 in 1
Lenovo 10e Chromebook Tablet
500e Chromebook 2nd Gen (11.6") Intel
300e Chromebook 2nd Gen (11.6")
100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (11.6")
14e Chromebook (14")
Chromebook C340 (11")
Chromebook C330 (11.6")
Yoga Chromebook (15.6")
Chromebook 3 (14”)
Lenovo Chromebook S345 (14”)
Chromebook Flex 3i (11”)
Chromebook Flex 5 (13”)
100e Chromebook 2nd Gen (11.6”) AMD
300e Chromebook 2nd Gen (11.6”) AMD
SamsungSamsung Galaxy Chromebook
Samsung Chromebook Plus (LTE)
Samsung Galaxy Chromebook 2
Samsung Chromebook 4+
Samsung Chromebook 4
Samsung Chromebook Plus (V2)
Samsung Chromebook 3
Samsung Chromebook Plus

Play Your Heart Out with Steam Games on a Chromebook

So that was our short guide on how to install Steam and play games on a Chromebook. While the installation process is not a one-click process like on Windows OS, it’s still quite straightforward and all you need is a bit of familiarity with Linux. So go ahead and install various Steam games to check if your Chromebook can handle graphics-intensive games.

Anyway, that is all from us. But how has been your experience? Let us know in the comment section below. In case, Steam didn’t work for you then you can use GeForce Now on your Chromebook. It’s a cloud gaming service and does not require Linux support. On top of that, the game library is pretty huge.

126 COMMENTS

  1. It says i need alot of space to download games but i have more than the needed space on my chromebook and it only says i have 3 gigabites when i have atleast 30. please help!!!

    • The allotted Linux size might be small. You can expand it from Settings -> Developers -> Linux (Beta) -> Linux -> Disk Size.

  2. Everything worked fine until I tried running a few of my games. It looks like they’re all compatible via steam play, but when I hit run a window that should have the game opens for a second and then immediately closes. The window is completely blank with a bunch of boxes at the top part where it can be dragged.

  3. Totally late at this point but for other people who are just figuring this out as well. Once linux has installed and opened steam, the game will say that its non-installable. Go click on the settings button right next to the info button, open properties, configuration and click the one button available on that page. From there it should ask if you want to add to home bar or shortcut. Tada! Hope this helps

  4. i get an error everytime this is the error

    E: https://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates/main amd64 libjavascriptcoregtk-4.0-18 amd64 2.30.4-1~deb10u1 is not (yet) available (404 Not Found [IP: 2a04:4e42:58::644 443])
    E: https://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates/main amd64 libwebkit2gtk-4.0-37 amd64 2.30.4-1~deb10u1 is not (yet) available (404 Not Found [IP: 2a04:4e42:58::644 443])

    not exactly sure what to do, id like some help. thanks 🙂

  5. so i tried to do this and didnt have enough space so steam partally downloaded but i cant get steam to launch to finish and also whenever i launch linux it says [Error starting penguin container: 50
    Launching vmshell failed: Error starting crostini for terminal: 50 and i cant type. PLS HELP!

  6. It all installed fine but wont let me log in, keeps saying user name or password is incorrect, I have reset passwords and checked I am entering correctly but it just wont accept them?
    Anyone else got this issue? any suggestions?

  7. Managed to get as far as installing steam, but on launch it goes to update but fails with Fatal error and steam needing to be online to update. The laptop is connected to the internet fine and no issues. Anyone else get this and found a solution?
    Oh I downloaded the .deb file direct from the steam website.

    • I am getting the exact same error… no solution as of yet ( been researching for 2 hours now )… anyone else figure this out?

    • I am getting the exact same error as Fedzy… “Managed to get as far as installing steam, but on launch it goes to update but fails with Fatal error and steam needing to be online to update. The laptop is connected to the internet fine and no issues. Anyone else get this and found a solution?”

      no solution as of yet ( been researching for 2 hours now )… anyone else figure this out?

  8. I keep getting this error : You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not run:
    libc.so.6

    Any tips? Ive tried updating too and nothing

  9. Alright so I fixed my problem with the deb file and what I did is went to my account on Steam, now I do not have Steam installed, I have an account and what I did was got to the top right where it shows my email. So I click on my email and it then shows View Profile, Account Details, Logout, preferences, etc. So click on preferences and your going to go all the way to the bottom where it says “Platform Preferences”. And underneath it it’ll say Operating Systems and there’s 3 boxes you can check Windows, Mac OS X, and SteamOS + Linux. Check the last one and then go back to the install, under windows click on Steam and once it downloads, go to your files and find the Steamdeb file and click it and then you might be able to install it.

  10. When you get to the install Steam page dont click the windows installation, underneath it you’ll see the apple icon and the steam icon. Click the steam icon and that will download the deb file so once that is finished go to the file and you should be able to install it. When your done with that just message back.

  11. Got everything working on Samsung chromebook 4, I can open my downloaded steam games but game pads are not recognized. I’ve tried wierd Xbox 360 & Logitech controllers. I’m bummed to get this far and hit a roadblock. Anybody know how I can fix this?

  12. I got to the part of downloading Steam through the Linux installer. It just says error, and that there is not enough storage. It says to run ‘dpkg — configure -a to correct the problem, but I have no clue what to do from there. I have most of my files taken off of my Chromebook and it still says I have only 1.8 Gb of storage left but I didn’t think this was a big download. Anyways, Chromebook is dumb for taking up 7.3 GB from the “system” itself and only putting 15 GB of data on the device in total.

  13. IT WORKED! But tbh, there are a lot of other steps you need to take apart from what’s shown here to actually make it work.

  14. okay so like, after i got it installed and everything it simply said, cannot run steam without internet connection, even though im connected, help ;-;

  15. Once i ran the commands in order, I received the same messages, however I was able to use the linux installer to run the install by just going to steams website, and downloading the linux (steam) installer. worked like a charm.

  16. All went well until: “sudo apt install steam”

    It said this:
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
    requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
    distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
    or been moved out of Incoming.
    The following information may help to resolve the situation:

    The following packages have unmet dependencies:
    steam:i386 : Depends: libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 but it is not going to be installed
    Depends: libgl1-mesa-glx:i386 but it is not going to be installed
    E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

    Can anyone help?

    • Instead of doing this the complicated way, just install the linux beta, head over to the steam website, click on “Install Steam” and underneath the Windows icon, next to the Apple icon, click on the steam icon. This will download the .deb file. Open the .deb file after linux has finished installing. The .deb file will install steam for you. If you run into any issues, it’s important to first update linux by opening a terminal window and simply pasting “sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”. Hit return and when everything finishes in the terminal window hit “Y” to accept. Linux will be updated and you can go and install steam using the .deb file.

        • If you get unmet dependencies warnings, then issue this command:

          sudo apt-get install -f

          That should install all the packages that were missing, and reconfigure the original package.

  17. how do i get around this error message?

    This file is designed for a PC using Windows software. This is not compatible with your device running Chrome OS. Please search the Chrome Web Store for a suitable replacement app.

  18. The mini window for Steam didn’t pop up after I went through all the other steps. I tried typing in steam but it says: /usr/games/steam: 16: /usr/games/steam: /home/maddieg727/.steam/ubuntu12_32/steam: Exec format error
    tar: This does not look like a tar archive
    xz: (stdin): File format not recognized
    tar: Child returned status 1
    tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now

    How do I fix this?

    • just wait but idk whenever i hover my mouse over steam in the launher it might open sometimes then u have to wait

  19. E: Type ‘echo’ is not known on line 5 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.

    • you can only install games supported by google. for example I tried aoe 2 bur it was not supported but when I tried sid meiers civ5 it was supported and i could install it

  20. someone help fix this please i typed down everything correctly and it came up with this
    sudo apt install steam
    Reading package lists… Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information… Done
    E: Unable to locate package steam

    it says unable to locate package steam . what do i do?

  21. What am I supposed to do when It says Error starting penguin container :13
    Launching vmshell failed: Error starting crostini for terminal :13

  22. This was the only tutorial that worked on my machine. After the install I was never prompted for a login so I just typed steam into the command line. When it updated and opened, it then asked to login and after that I was able to browse my collection and play games. You might have to allocate more memory under the storage management section in settings for linux then restart the linux app and steam.

  23. When I type sudo apt update it give this error:
    ‘sudo’ is not known on line 3 in source list /etc/apt/sources.list
    E: The list of sources could not be read.
    What should I do?

  24. Everything works fine until I try to download a game. Everything pops up like it should, then when I hit download it says “An error occurred while updating the game (invalid platform”

  25. i downloaded steam through this process but when i go to download rise of nations the install button is greyed out. The game is already purchased

  26. Hi, I was able to install steam and download Binding of Isaac. However when I hit play to launch the game within the Steam app, it launches a little window which promptly disappears. The game never launches. The play button in Steam switches to Launching and then back to Play. I tried sudo apt update and upgrade and it didn’t help.

    Any recommendations?

  27. I have a Chromebook and I just followed the steps to download Steam and it worked out perfect! But when I try to play a game (such as VRChat) it says “Error.” Do I need to download Unity too?

  28. I am getting the following error. You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not run:
    libc.so.6

    • Package libgl1-mesa-dri:i386 needs to be installed
      Package libgl1:i386 needs to be installed
      Package libc6:i386 needs to be installed
      XIO: fatal IO error 11 (Resource temporarily unavailable) on X server “:0”
      after 149 requests (149 known processed) with 1 events remaining.
      Running Steam on debian 10 64-bit
      STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
      Pins up-to-date!
      Error: You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not run:
      libc.so.6

      • Run the below commands one by one. After that, reinstall Steam by following the instructions mentioned above.

        sudo apt-get update
        sudo apt-get upgrade

        • I noticed this error after running sudo apt-get update
          Err:8 http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu groovy Release
          404 Not Found [IP: 2001:67c:1560:8008::15 80]
          Hit:9 https://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates InRelease
          Reading package lists… Done
          E: The repository ‘http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu groovy Release’ does not have a Release file.
          N: Updating from such a repository can’t be done securely, and is therefore disabled by default.
          N: See apt-secure(8) manpage for repository creation and user configuration details.

          This is what showed after sudo apt-get upgrade
          Running Steam on debian 10 64-bit
          STEAM_RUNTIME is enabled automatically
          Pins up-to-date!
          Error: You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not run:
          libc.so.6
          Can’t find ‘steam-runtime-check-requirements’, continuing anyway
          /home/btmullin77/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam
          /home/btmullin77/.local/share/Steam/steam.sh: line 749: /home/btmullin77/.local/share/Steam/ubuntu12_32/steam: cannot execute binary file: Exec format error

          I really appreciate the help!

          • I mislabeled that second part. Sorry. That is obviously what happened when I tried run Steam. I apologize for the confusion.

  29. Okay, so when I type in Sudo apt update, what I get is this message = E: Malformed entry 4 in list file /etc/apt/sources.list (Absolute suite component). What should I do

      • can you please help me i cant figure out the final steps.. i got to the point where i did the download and the steam app is in my linux folder but anytime i click it it just will not open the steam

    • Wow. It honestly makes me sad to hear that, considering I just did it with no issues. Maybe check to see if you typed something in wrong?

  30. my friend and i were trying to get this to work in order to play stardew on her chromebook, and it seems like we got through everything. steam is downloaded and stardew was installed. but once she tried to open stardew, steam froze and it wouldn’t load at all. we’ve tried to uninstall and reinstall steam and the game itself multiple times, but nothing has worked yet. are we overlooking something that’s super simple? we got so close but we weren’t able to run the game 🙁

  31. Everything seems to be working out and I can get into Steam, but when I try to play/download any of the games, it says “An error has occurred while updating *game* (invalid platform)”. Do I need to setup something like Wine (if so, please explain to me the steps/commands)? If not, then is it not possible to play any Steam games on a Chromebook (I have an Acer Chromebook 13)? It took me around 45 minutes to install Steam on my Chromebook because problems kept popping up and know I feel I did it for nothing.

    • when I open the steam shortcut, it loads then stops. and when I type steam in the terminal, i get this:/usr/games/steam: 16: /usr/games/steam: /home/onenut09/.steam/ubuntu12_32/steam: Exec format error
      tar: This does not look like a tar archive
      xz: (stdin): File format not recognized
      tar: Child returned status 1
      tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
      What do I do?

  32. I tried and went through with everything here, and it does say its updating steam, but when it finishes and moves on to extracting steam, it says it cant because it failed to load steamui.so? what can i do to make it work?

  33. I followed all the steps all the way to selecting “I AGREE” and the installation continued to completion, but no steam log-in came up. How do I get that to happen? (I have absolutely ZERO Linux experience)

    • Open the app drawer and look for the Linux folder. There you will find the Steam shortcut. Or else, you can just type steam in the Terminal and hit enter to run Steam.

      • So when I double click on the Steam shortcut it starts to load and nothing happens for a minute until this pops up–You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not run: libc.so.6. How do I fix this?

      • So when I double click on the Steam shortcut it starts to load and nothing happens for a minute until this pops up–You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not run: libc.so.6. How do I fix this?

  34. i get the command
    $sudo apt install steam
    up to this point everything is doing what it should, but when i reach the install point i get this message
    reading package list… done
    building dependency tree
    reading state information… done
    E: unable to locate package steam
    so now i dont know what im supposed to do, i do have decent knowledge techwise and and more than competent on windows platforms but im a complete newcomer to linux.
    please help
    kieren roberts

    • You should be connected to the internet to execute this command. Anyway, try sudo apt-get install steam or sudo apt-get install steam-installer.

          • What does your last sentence there mean? I downloaded this file and it installed. I then got a window saying the installation was complete, clicked ok. Then nothing happened. How do I “open Linux folder from app drawer and open Steam for further installation”? What is the Linux folder? (I have a Linux client but not a folder) and open Steam? There is no Steam icon in my app drawer 🙂

          • There should be a folder named “Linux apps” inside the app drawer. It usually sits on the first page. Open it and click on Steam for further installation. Apart from that, you can also run ‘steam’ (without quotes) on Linux Terminal to proceed with the installation.

          • This worked beautifully! I did the ‘steam’ on Linux Terminal option to proceed with the installation. I’m super not techy so your guidance has been excellent! Thank you!

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