How to get Steam on Chromebook

A simple but lengthy process.

Image via Valve

Google finally launched an early alpha build of Steam on Chrome OS, signaling a first-look at the future of gaming on Chromebook. While the alpha’s come with inherent bugs and other unknown issues, those eager to jump in and try out Steam on Chromebook can go right ahead.

There are a couple of big notes up top before jumping in. Firstly, be sure to back up your Chromebook before switching channels. Secondly, Steam is only available on new models of Chromebook with enough power to run Steam and its games. Lastly, Google also advises that you do not use work, school, or daily driver Chromebook to test out Steam on Chrome OS.

Here’s how to get Steam on Chromebook.

First, you’ll need to switch channels to the Dev channel.

  • Sign into your Chromebook.
  • In the bottom right, click the time.
  • Locate and select Settings.
  • Find and select About Chrome OS in the bottom left.
  • Hit Additional details.
  • Select Change channel next to where it says “Channel”.
  • Highlight the Dev channel and select.
    • Your Chromebook will update and restart.
  • Navigate to “chrome://flags#borealis-enabled”.
  • Change value to Enabled.
    • Your Chromebook will restart.
  • Open crosh terminal using ctrl+alt+t.
  • Type in “insert_coin volteer-JOlkth573FBLGa”.
  • Hit enter.
  • Follow Steam setup instructions.
  • Log into Steam.

Steam on Chromebook uses Linux versions of games whenever possible. You’ll also need to enable Steam Play for some titles in order to use compatibility tools like Proton.

Here is how to enable Steam Play for a particular title on Chromebook.

  • Navigate to your Steam library.
  • Select the settings cog icon.
  • Click Properties.
  • Hit Compatibility.
  • Check “Force the use of a specific Speam Play compatibility tool”.
  • Choose a tool version.
    • Google’s choice is Proton, which is also used by the Steam Deck.

Here is how to enable Steam Play for all titles on Chromebook.

  • Open Steam.
  • Click “Steam” in the top left corner of the launcher.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click Steam Play.
  • Click “Enable Steam play for all other titles”.
  • Choose a tool version.
    • Google’s choice is Proton, which is also used by the Steam Deck.

Additionally, not every game will work right away. Games with third-party anti-cheat won’t work on day one and others may have issues with the native display resolution if it’s above 1080p.

Below is a list of Google-recommended games at the time of the alpha’s launch. Some games have compatibility notes, so be sure to consult them here.

  • Portal 2
  • Hades
  • Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition
  • World of Tanks Blitz
  • The Elder Scrolls V: SSE
  • Vampire Survivors
  • Team Fortress 2
  • Euro Truck Simulator 2
  • Dead Cells
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • Celeste
  • Unturned
  • Half-Life 2
  • Stardew Valley
  • PAYDAY 2
  • Terraria
  • Sid Meier’s Civilization V
  • Project Zomboid
  • RimWorld
  • Left 4 Dead 2
  • Stellaris
  • Bloons TD 6
  • Factorio
  • Divinity: Original Sin 2
  • Geometry Dash
  • Human: Fall Flat
  • Overcooked! 2
  • Hollow Knight
  • Tabletop Simulator
  • Killer Queen Black
  • Slay the Spire
  • Cuphead
  • TEKKEN 7
  • Loop Hero
  • Kerbal Space Program
  • Grim Dawn
  • RISK: Global Domination
  • Northgard
  • Fishing Planet
  • Don’t Starve Together
  • Farm Together
  • Darkest Dungeon®
  • The Jackbox Party Pack 8
  • Baba Is You
  • A Short Hike
  • Fallout 4
  • Return of the Obra Dinn
  • Disco Elysium
  • Escape Simulator
  • Untitled Goose Game