Does your Chromebook support Steam games?

Just in case you haven’t heard, Google is getting very serious about making ChromeOS a formidable gaming platform. Despite the sudden demise of Google’s streaming game service Stadia, the folks at Alphabet have high hopes that Chromebooks can still appeal to a wide range of gamers of every type and platform imaginable. It all started in 2016 when Google brought us the promise of the Play Store and Android apps on ChromeOS. It’s been a long and somewhat painful path but after a few years Chromebooks now come with the Google Play Store out of the box.

Google is still fighting a good fight to encourage and empower developers to create Android apps designed to run on larger devices, but the app ecosystem on ChromeOS is thriving and expanding more every day. This means that your Chromebook can access thousands of Android games that offer enhanced experiences on your Play Store-enabled device. Recently, Google has doubled down on cloud gaming, and while the company’s in-house streaming gaming service is quickly nearing its end, OEMs have partnered with Google to launch the first “gaming” Chromebooks designed for cloud gamers on the go. The addition of streaming platforms from Nvidia, Microsoft, and Amazon gives users access to major AAA titles that previously eluded Chromebooks that lack the horsepower to play this kind of graphics-intensive games.

This is all great news for the ChromeOS world but there is another gaming platform that Google is keen to add to your Chromebook resume. It’s been nearly three years since Google shared that it was working with Valve to bring Steam games to ChromeOS. Given the cloud-focused nature of Chromebooks, we freely assumed this would arrive in the form of some kind of streaming like Valve’s Steam Cloud Play. However, this was not the case.

Further developments revealed that Google was creating a container that would originally run Steam and its games the same way ChromeOS runs Linux apps in a container locally on the physical machine. This seemed a bit far fetched because most Chromebooks, even the powerful Core i7 models, lacked any real graphics processing power because they were limited to integrated Intel UHD graphics. However, Intel recently released the company’s Iris Xe graphics which brings Core CPUs graphics more parallel to the low to mid-range GPUs found in gaming hardware. Iris Xe will not dance with the latest GPUs that cost hundreds or thousands of dollars but the integrated GPUs are capable of running a large number of games available from the Steam library.

After months and months of development, Google finally set the Steam gaming project on hold in March of this year. At launch in Alpha, Steam on ChromeOS was only available in Chrome OS beta channels, and it required one of a few devices along with a special “token” to enable Steam. Last month, Steam on ChromeOS moved to beta and the project added more devices, more supported titles, and a slew of tweaks and bug fixes to improve the user experience. Enabling Steam on ChromeOS is now as simple as moving your Chromebook to the ChromeOS beta channel and enabling the “borealis” flag in the chrome://flags menu. Not codes or developer channels that are often unstable.

Does your Chromebook support Steam?

The good news is that Google and Valve have extended Steam support for modern devices that don’t necessarily have Iris Xe graphics or the most powerful integrated GPUs. As of last month, a variety of Chromebooks with Core i3/Ryzen 3 processors (AMD 5000 series) and above can now access Steam games. You will need a device with at least 8GB of RAM, and since these games are installed locally, you will need a decent amount of storage space at your disposal. Fortunately, most high-powered Chromebooks come with a drive of at least 128GB and above. Below you will find a list of officially supported devices to access Steam on ChromeOS Beta.

So, these are the officially supported Chromebooks for Steam games but for now, what are you going to play. Well, you can try any game in your library. In fact, Google and Valve encourage players to test their favorite titles and provide feedback on any bugs or issues. This will help developers hone the user experience for a larger range of games. At the moment, there is a list of games that Steam developers have tested and recommend that you try. Some require Steam Play to be enabled but we’ll cover that in a bit. Known issues or recommended settings are in parentheses.

  • short walk
  • Age of Empires II: The Definitive Edition
  • Age of Mythology: Expanded Edition
  • Astronir
  • you are daddy
  • besiege
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Bloons TD Battles 2
  • Carrion
  • Celeste
  • kernel guard
  • Pregnancy worship
  • Cult Simulator
  • Cuphead
  • DARK SOULS™: Remodeled
  • Darkest Dungeon®
  • dead cells
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Directed by the Director
  • dungeons dungeons
  • Disco Elysium (Long load time on initial launch)
  • insulting
  • Disney Dreamlight Valley
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 (preset graphics quality to medium or lower)
  • dome keeper
  • Don’t starve together
  • the death
  • Dorromantic
  • Enter Gungeon
  • Escape Simulator
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Factory
  • Fallout 4 (Set graphics quality to medium or lower. 16GB recommended)
  • farm together
  • fishing planet
  • Football Manager 2022
  • for the king
  • monster gang
  • Geometric dash
  • Grimm Down
  • Shooting again
  • Hades (select the default version at launch)
  • half life 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV
  • Hollow Night
  • Human: Falling flat (set the advanced video to medium or lower)
  • encryption
  • in the breach
  • Katmari Damasi REROLL
  • kirbal satellite program
  • Killer Queen Black
  • left 4 dead 2
  • hero ring
  • mini metro
  • mirror edge
  • monster train
  • Clay
  • Northguard
  • OCTOPATH TRAVELER
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Oxygen not included
  • papers please
  • Payday 2
  • Gate 2
  • victim
  • Project Zomboid
  • Return of work debt
  • Reemworld
  • Danger: global domination
  • Shutter Remaster Deluxe
  • Shop Titans
  • Sid Meier V . Civilization
  • slay the spire
  • slime rancher
  • STAR WARS™: The Old Republic™
  • Stardu Valley
  • Stellaris
  • Stormworks: Build and Rescue
  • stumble you guys
  • Subnautica
  • too hot
  • tabletop simulator
  • Team Fortress 2 (disable multi-core rendering (Options > Graphics > Advanced)
  • terraria
  • Tetris® Effect: Connected
  • Battle of Polytopia
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (Set the graphics quality to medium or lower. 16GB recommended.)
  • Other Jackbox Party Pack 8 works well too!
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Set graphics and post-processing to low. 16 GB required.)
  • Tomb Raider (use Proton 7.0-4)
  • Fully accurate battle simulation
  • tonic
  • Two Point Hospital
  • untitled goose game
  • not inverted
  • Vampire survivors (may need to use public beta).
  • her wings
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • world of tanks blitz
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Master

Here you are. If you have one of the Chromebooks mentioned above, you can now have access to a whole new gaming platform and a host of great gaming titles. If you’ve been doing some holiday shopping or in the market for a new device and you enjoy playing games on your PC, now you know which devices will serve you better in the future. Remember that Steam on ChromeOS is still in beta and you may experience some hiccups. I have a feeling that Google and Valve will continue to do extensive testing before moving this project to a stable release. We hope to see it arrive by mid-2023. Oh, I haven’t forgotten Steam Play. Here’s how to enable Steam Play which will enable the Proton Compatibility Layer to play Windows-based titles on your Chromebook.

Enable to get a single address

  • In the Game Library menu, click the Settings gear
  • Select “Properties”
  • Select “Compatibility”
  • Check “Force a specific tool to be used for Steam Play compatibility”
  • It is recommended to use the Proton Experimental

Enable platform wide for all eligible games

  • In the upper left corner of the Steam client, select “Steam”
  • Select “Settings”
  • Select “Steam Play”
  • Select “Enable Steam Play for all other titles”
  • It is recommended to use the Proton Experimental

We’ll be testing some titles in the coming weeks and letting you know how the experience goes. stay tuned Learn more about the Steam project on ChromeOS here.

#Chromebook #support #Steam #games

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