How To Use Steam On Chromebook



Welcome to the world of gaming on your Chromebook! If you’re a passionate gamer who owns a Chromebook, you might have wondered if it’s possible to run Steam and enjoy your favorite games on this lightweight device. Well, the good news is that it is indeed possible! In this article, we will guide you through the steps to set up and use Steam on your Chromebook.

Chromebooks are known for their portability, ease of use, and affordability, making them popular among students, professionals, and casual users alike. While their primary focus is web browsing and productivity tasks, thanks to the advancements in Chrome OS, you can now turn your Chromebook into a gaming machine.

Steam is a popular gaming platform that offers a vast library of games for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. With the introduction of Linux (Beta) support on Chromebooks, you can now take advantage of this feature to install and run Steam on your Chromebook.

It’s worth mentioning that not all Chromebooks have Linux (Beta) support, so before proceeding, make sure your device is compatible. With that said, let’s dive into the process of setting up Steam on your Chromebook!


Setting Up Steam on Your Chromebook

Before you can start gaming on your Chromebook, you’ll need to enable Linux (Beta) and install Steam. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Settings menu on your Chromebook by clicking on the gear icon in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. Select “Linux (Beta)” from the left-hand menu.
  3. Click on the “Turn On” button to enable Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook.
  4. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up Linux (Beta). This process may take a few minutes.
  5. Once Linux (Beta) is enabled, open the Terminal app. You can do this by clicking on the “Launcher” icon in the bottom left corner of the screen, typing “Terminal” in the search bar, and pressing Enter.
  6. In the Terminal window, enter the following command: sudo apt install steam and press Enter.
  7. Confirm the installation by typing “Y” and pressing Enter.
  8. The Steam installation process will begin, and a window will appear with the Steam license agreement. Read the agreement, and if you agree, click on the “I Agree” button.
  9. After the installation is complete, you will find the Steam app in the “Linux Apps” section of your Chromebook’s app launcher.

Now that you have successfully set up Steam on your Chromebook, it’s time to dive into the world of gaming. In the next section, we will guide you on how to run Steam games on your Chromebook.


Enabling Linux (Beta) on Your Chromebook

In order to install and run Steam on your Chromebook, you will need to enable Linux (Beta) support. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do it:

  1. Click on the “Settings” icon on your Chromebook’s taskbar, usually located in the lower-right corner.
  2. In the Settings menu, scroll down and select “Linux (Beta)” from the left-hand side menu.
  3. Click on the “Turn On” button to begin the installation of Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook.
  4. Follow the on-screen prompts to set up Linux (Beta). This may take a few minutes, so be patient.
  5. Once Linux (Beta) is installed, you will see a Terminal icon available in your list of apps.

Enabling Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook brings the power of a Linux operating system to your device, allowing you to run a wide range of Linux applications, including Steam. It’s worth noting that not all Chromebook models support Linux (Beta), so make sure to check if your specific model is compatible before proceeding.

With Linux (Beta) enabled, you are now ready to install Steam and start enjoying your favorite games on your Chromebook. The next section will guide you through the installation process.


Installing Steam on Your Chromebook

Now that you have enabled Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook, it’s time to install Steam and get ready to play your favorite games. Follow these steps to install Steam:

  1. Open the Terminal app on your Chromebook. You can find it in the app launcher or by searching for “Terminal”.
  2. In the Terminal window, type the following command: sudo apt install steam and press Enter.
  3. Enter your password when prompted and press Enter again.
  4. The installation process will begin, and the required files will be downloaded. This may take some time, depending on your internet speed.
  5. Once the installation is complete, you will see the Steam login screen.
  6. Sign in to your Steam account or create a new account if you don’t have one.
  7. After signing in, you will have access to the vast library of games available on Steam.

With Steam successfully installed on your Chromebook, you can now browse, purchase, and download games directly from the Steam store. Keep in mind that the availability of certain games may depend on your Chromebook’s hardware capabilities and compatibility with Linux (Beta).

Now that you have Steam up and running, let’s move on to the next section to learn how to run Steam games on your Chromebook.


Running Steam Games on Your Chromebook

With Steam installed on your Chromebook, you can now start playing your favorite games. Here’s how to run Steam games on your Chromebook:

  1. Launch the Steam app from your app launcher.
  2. Sign in to your Steam account if you haven’t already.
  3. In the Steam interface, you can browse through your library of games or explore the Steam store to find new additions.
  4. Select the game you want to play and click on the “Play” button.
  5. If it’s your first time running a game, Steam may prompt you to download and install any required updates.
  6. Once the game is ready, it will launch in a separate window.
  7. Enjoy your gaming experience on your Chromebook!

It’s important to keep in mind that not all games available on Steam may be compatible with your Chromebook’s hardware and Linux (Beta) environment. Some games may require more resources than what your Chromebook can provide, resulting in suboptimal performance or even inability to run certain games.

Additionally, it’s a good practice to ensure that your Chromebook is connected to a stable internet connection while playing online multiplayer games or downloading updates for your games.

Now that you know how to run Steam games on your Chromebook, let’s explore some tips to optimize performance for a better gaming experience in the next section.


Optimizing Performance for Steam Games on a Chromebook

While Chromebooks are not typically known for their gaming prowess, you can still optimize the performance of Steam games on your Chromebook to ensure the best gaming experience possible. Here are some tips to help you optimize performance:

  1. Close unnecessary apps and tabs: Before launching a game, close any unnecessary apps or browser tabs to free up system resources.
  2. Update your Chrome OS: Regularly update your Chromebook’s operating system to ensure you have the latest performance enhancements and bug fixes.
  3. Adjust game settings: In the game settings, you can adjust graphical options such as resolution, texture quality, and effects to find a balance between visual fidelity and performance.
  4. Reduce background processes: Limit the number of background processes running on your Chromebook by closing any non-essential apps or extensions.
  5. Use a cooling pad: If you find that your Chromebook gets hot during extended gaming sessions, consider using a cooling pad to prevent overheating and maintain optimal performance.
  6. Manage storage space: Keep your Chromebook’s storage space organized and decluttered. Uninstall any unused games or apps to free up disk space.
  7. Disable unnecessary extensions: Disable any Chrome extensions that you are not using while gaming to conserve system resources.
  8. Consider hardware limitations: Keep in mind that Chromebooks have varying hardware capabilities. Some older or lower-end models may struggle to run more demanding games.

By following these optimization tips, you can make the most of your Chromebook’s resources and enjoy a smoother gaming experience on Steam. Remember, the performance of each game may vary, and it’s important to find the right balance between visual quality and smooth gameplay on your specific Chromebook model.

Now that you’re equipped with performance optimization techniques, let’s move on to troubleshooting common issues you may encounter while running Steam on your Chromebook.


Troubleshooting Common Issues with Steam on Chromebook

While running Steam on your Chromebook can provide hours of gaming enjoyment, you may encounter some common issues along the way. Here are some troubleshooting tips to help you overcome these issues:

  1. Game compatibility: Not all games available on Steam may be compatible with your Chromebook’s hardware and Linux (Beta) environment. Ensure that the game you’re trying to run is compatible with your Chromebook’s specifications.
  2. Performance issues: If you experience lag or poor performance while running games, try closing unnecessary apps and browser tabs, adjusting game settings to a lower resolution or graphics quality, and ensuring that your Chromebook is updated to the latest software version.
  3. Steam not launching: If Steam fails to launch or crashes upon opening, try restarting your Chromebook and launching Steam again. If the issue persists, reinstall Steam by removing it through the Linux terminal and then reinstalling it using the installation steps mentioned earlier.
  4. Internet connectivity: When running multiplayer games or downloading updates, ensure that your Chromebook is connected to a stable internet connection. Check your Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection and troubleshoot any network issues that may arise.
  5. Audio issues: If you encounter sound-related problems, such as no audio or distorted sound, try adjusting audio settings within both Steam and your Chromebook’s system settings. Additionally, check if the game’s audio requirements are supported by your Chromebook.
  6. Controller support: Not all game controllers are fully supported on Chromebooks. Ensure that your controller is compatible with Chrome OS and supported by the game you’re trying to play. You may need to configure the controller settings within Steam or use a compatible alternative.
  7. Display issues: If you encounter display issues, such as resolution problems or screen tearing, try adjusting the display settings within both the game and your Chromebook’s system settings. Additionally, ensure that your Chromebook’s screen resolution is set to an appropriate level for optimal gaming experience.

If you continue to experience issues with Steam on your Chromebook, it’s recommended to check online forums and community groups specific to Chromebook gaming. These resources often provide valuable insights and solutions to common problems.

By troubleshooting common issues and seeking additional support from the gaming community, you can overcome obstacles and enjoy a smooth and delightful gaming experience on your Chromebook.



Congratulations! You have successfully learned how to set up and use Steam on your Chromebook, opening up a world of gaming possibilities. By enabling Linux (Beta) and installing Steam, you can enjoy a wide range of games right on your Chromebook.

Remember to optimize the performance of your Chromebook by closing unnecessary apps, adjusting game settings, and considering hardware limitations. Troubleshoot common issues by checking game compatibility, ensuring a stable internet connection, and adjusting audio and display settings.

While Chromebooks may not have the same gaming capabilities as dedicated gaming PCs, they offer a portable, affordable, and convenient way to enjoy gaming on the go. With the increasing availability of Chromebook-compatible games on Steam, you can discover new adventures, experience thrilling gameplay, and connect with a vibrant gaming community.

So, go ahead and dive into the world of gaming on your Chromebook. Explore the vast library of games on Steam, unleash your gaming skills, and have a blast. Create unforgettable gaming moments right on your lightweight and versatile Chromebook!

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