Games are not a strong suit of Chromebooks, but thanks to the Linux Support, now you can 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. So without any delay, let’s go ahead and learn how to install and play Steam games on a Chromebook.

Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook

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. Now, let’s go through the installation process step by step.

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.

set up Linux

2. Next, open the Linux Terminal and execute the below commands one by one. It will create the directory and install the base required for Steam to work on a Chromebook.

echo 'deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free' | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt update

How to Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook 1

3. Now, run the below command to finally install Steam. Type “Y” and hit enter to proceed with the installation.

sudo apt install steam

How to Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook 2

4. Further, select “I AGREE” and hit the “OK” button. After the installation is done, a mini window will open up for Steam login.

How to Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook 3

5. Now, sign in with your Steam credentials and there you have it. All your favorite Steam games are available and you can install them without any issue.

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

How to Install and Play Steam Games on a Chromebook 4

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 the Linux Terminal. 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. Also, if you love playing Minecraft, you can install it on your Chromebook without requiring Steam.

81 COMMENTS

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

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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?

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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”

  12. 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

  13. 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?

  14. 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?

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    • 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?

  17. 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 🙁

  18. 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.

  19. 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?

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

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