A game controller in front of an open laptop.

Can Chromebook Run Steam?

With Chromebooks becoming more accessable they are rising in popularity. This is leading to more user groups purchasing them for everyday use. Gamers are often asking: Can you run Steam on a Chromebook?

Steam is a video game digital distribution service by Valve. It is officially supported and runs on the following platforms: Windows, Linux, macOS, iOS, and Android.

Does Steam work on Chromebook?

The short answer is yes.

Chromebooks run on Chrome OS, which isn’t listed in Steam’s supported platforms. So with no native app, you are going to have to do some hoop jumping if you want to try and play Steam games on your Chromebook.

We have listed two methods below. The first method is by far the easiest, whilst the second is more technically challenging.

A word of warning at this stage… Chromebooks are designed to be accessible, lightweight and affordable. So even if you do manage to get Steam working locally, you will not get the same experience as a high end gaming machine. That being said, you may find good results playing older titles or newer indie games that are less resource intensive.

This is by far the easiest and most user friendly way of playing Steam games on your Chromebook.

The Steam Link app brings desktop gaming to your Chromebook. All you need to do is pair a Steam compatable controller, connect to your computer running Steam (on the same network) and you can start playing your existing Steam games.

  1. On your Chromebook open the Google Play Store and install Steam Link.
  2. Turn on your other computer that contains your Steam games. This has to be on the same network.
  3. Open the Steam Link app on your Chromebook.
  4. Log in to your Steam account. This has to be the same one that is logged in on your other computer.
  5. Pair your Steam compatible controller.
  6. Start gaming!

Method 2 – Install Steam as a Linux App to Play Steam Games on Your Chromebook

This method installs Steam onto your Chromebook as a Linux application. It will run everything locally, which is the big difference from the Steam Link method.

A screenshot of a Linux sudo command

Time needed: 30 minutes

Install Steam as a Linux App to Play Steam Games on Your Chromebook

  1. In the bottom right click on the system tray

  2. Click on “Settings”

  3. Click on “Linux (Beta)” in the left menu

  4. Click on “Turn on” on the right

  5. When the “Set up Linux (Beta) on your Chromebook” menu appears, click “Install”

  6. Wait for this to be installed

  7. Once installed a command terminal window will appear

    If it doesn’t appear, press SHIFT + CTRL + T

  8. Type the below command and press Enter

    echo ‘deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian/ jessie main contrib non-free’ | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

  9. Type the below command and press Enter

    sudo dpkg –add-architecture i386

  10. Type the below command and press Enter

    sudo apt update

  11. Type the below command and press Enter

    sudo apt install steam

  12. Once Steam is installed, you can log into your account

    If you look in the Linux Apps folder you will see the Steam launcher

Just remember that Chromebooks aren’t built to be powerful gaming laptops. So any top tier titles such as Cyberpunk 2077 or Grand Theft Auto 5 installed locally may not work as intended. Your Chromebook may not even have enough local storage.

We hope you find this guide on how to run Steam games on your Chromebook useful. Happy gaming!


What is Linux on Chromebook?

Linux is a feature for your Chromebook that allows you to create software, code, and install applications. It runs in its own sandbox, keeping the rest of your Chromebook safe from the Linux sandbox.