steam interface on a chromebook screen

Does your Chromebook support Steam games?

Just in case you haven’t heard, Google takes the idea of ​​making ChromeOS a great gaming platform very seriously. ‘Alphabet have high hopes that Chromebooks can still appeal to a wide range of gamers from every genre and platform imaginable. It all started in 2016 when Google promised us the Play Store and Android apps on ChromeOS. It’s been a long and somewhat painful road, but a few years later, Chromebooks now come with the Google Play Store out of the box.

Google is still fighting the good fight to encourage and enable developers to create Android apps designed to run on larger devices, but the app ecosystem on ChromeOS is thriving and growing more every day. This means your Chromebook has access to thousands of Android games that deliver optimized experiences on your Play Store-enabled device. More recently, Google has doubled down on cloud gaming and even though the company’s in-house game streaming service is fast approaching its end, some OEMs have teamed up with Google to release the first-ever “gaming” Chromebooks. designed for the cloud gamer on the go. The addition of streaming platforms from Nvidia, Microsoft, and Amazon gives users access to major AAA titles that once eluded Chromebooks that lacked the power to run these kinds of graphics-intensive games.

This is all great news for the ChromeOS world, but there’s another gaming platform that Google is serious about adding to the Chromebook resume. It’s been nearly three years since Google shared that it was working with Valve to bring Steam games to ChromeOS. Due to the cloud-centric nature of Chromebooks, we freely assumed it would come in the form of some sort of streaming like Valve’s Steam Cloud Play. However, that was not the case.

Further developments revealed that Google was creating a container that would run Steam and its games natively the same way ChromeOS runs Linux apps in a container locally on the actual device. That seemed a bit far-fetched because most Chromebooks, even the powerful Core i7 models, lacked real graphics processing power as they were limited to Intel’s integrated UHD graphics. However, Intel recently launched the company’s Iris Xe graphics which puts Core CPU graphics more on par with low-to-midrange GPUs found in gaming devices. Iris Xe isn’t going to 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 in the Steam library.

After months and months of development, Google finally made the Steam game project official in March this year. Launched in Alpha, Steam on ChromeOS was only available in experimental ChromeOS channels and it required one of the few devices with a special “token” to activate Steam. Last month, Steam on ChromeOS moved into beta, and the project added more devices, more supported titles, and a host 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 often unstable tokens or development channels.

Does your Chromebook support Steam?

The good news is that Google and Valve have extended Steam support to later-generation devices that don’t necessarily have Iris Xe graphics or the most powerful on-board GPUs. As of last month, a wide variety of Chromebooks with Core i3/Ryzen 3 (AMD 5000 series) and higher processors can now access Steam games. You will need a device with at least 8GB of RAM and as these games are locally installed you will need to have a good amount of storage available to you. Luckily, most of these more powerful Chromebooks come with drives of at least 128GB and larger. Below is the list of officially supported devices to access Steam on ChromeOS Beta.

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

  • A short hike
  • Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
  • Age of Mythology: Extended Edition
  • Baba it’s you
  • Besiege
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Bloons Battles TD 2
  • Celestial
  • Core Guardian
  • Worship of the Lamb
  • Adept Simulator
  • Cuphead
  • Darkest Dungeon®
  • dead cells
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution – Director’s Cut
  • Risky Dungeons
  • Disco Elysium (long loading time on initial launch)
  • Dishonored
  • Disney Valley of Dreams
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2 (set graphics quality preset to medium or lower)
  • Dome Guardian
  • Don’t starve together
  • LOSS
  • Dorfromantik
  • Enter the dungeon
  • Escape Simulator
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Factorio
  • Fallout 4 (Set graphics quality to medium or lower. 16 GB recommended)
  • Farm together
  • peach planet
  • Soccer Coach 2022
  • for the king
  • gang beasts
  • geometric dash
  • sinister dawn
  • The shot is reborn
  • Hades (select default version at launch)
  • Half Life 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV
  • hollow knight
  • Human: fall flat (set advanced video to medium or lower)
  • Registration
  • In the breach
  • Katamari Damacy REROLL
  • Kerbal Space Program
  • black queen killer
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • loop hero
  • Mini-metro
  • mirror edge
  • monster train
  • Mud
  • Northgard
  • Ori and the Blind Forest: Definitive Edition
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Oxygen not included
  • papers please
  • PAYDAY 2
  • Portal 2
  • Prey
  • Zomboid Project
  • Return of the Dinn Work
  • RimWorld
  • RISK: world domination
  • Shatter Remastered Deluxe
  • Shop Titans
  • The Civilization of Sid Meier V
  • kill the arrow
  • slime breeder
  • STAR WARS™: The Old Republic™
  • Stardew Valley
  • Stellaris
  • Stormworks: build and save
  • guys who stumble
  • Subnautical
  • table simulator
  • Team Fortress 2 (Disable multi-core rendering (Options > Graphics > Advanced)
  • terrariums
  • Tetris® effect: Connected
  • The Battle of Polytopia
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition (Set graphics quality to medium or lower. 16 GB recommended.)
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 8 Other party packs work well too!
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (Set graphics and post-processing to low. 16 GB required.)
  • Tomb Raider (Use Proton 7.0-4)
  • Totally accurate combat simulator
  • Two Points Hospital
  • Untitled Game of Goose
  • Not returned
  • Vampire Survivors (May need to use public beta.)
  • wingspan
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order
  • World of Tanks Blitz
  • Yu Gi Oh! Master of Duels

So. If you own one of the Chromebooks listed above, you now have access to a whole new gaming platform and a host of great game titles. If you’re shopping for vacation or just looking for a new device and love playing games on your PC, now you know which devices will serve you best in the future. Remember that Steam on ChromeOS is still in beta and you may experience some issues. I have a feeling that Google and Valve will continue extensive testing before moving this project to a stable release. Hopefully we’ll see it happen by mid-2023. Oh, I didn’t forget Steam Play. Here’s how to enable Steam Play, which will allow the Proton Compatibility Layer to play Windows titles on your Chromebook.

Activate for a single title

  • In the game library list, click the settings cog
  • Select “Properties”
  • Select “Compatibility”
  • Check “Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool”
  • Proton Experimental is recommended

Enable platform-wide for all eligible games

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

We’ll be testing a few titles in the coming weeks and will keep you posted on how the experience progresses. Stay tuned. Learn more about the Steam on ChromeOS project here.

#Chromebook #support #Steam #games

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