Valve is expanding Steam to multiple platforms and after accomplishing the somewhat unique Steam Deck, it’ll soon be available on Google’s ChromeOS. While it became available to the Dev channel (in Alpha) earlier this year, Google has announced that Steam on Chromebook is now available in the Beta channel as well.
Steam on Chromebook – Now Available in Beta
With the release of ChromeOS Beta 108.0.5359.24, Google has now made Steam available to users on supported devices running on the mentioned OS version (and higher). Just like the Steam Deck, the ChromeOS version of the software will utilize the “Proton” layer to make Windows games compatible. Still, by default, the platform will run the Linux version of the games (in case the games are available for Linux).
Google has currently listed about twenty Chromebooks that can support Steam on the Beta firmware. As you may expect, all three of the new Gaming Chromebooks will support this feature alongside seventeen others from Acer, ASUS, HP, Lenovo, and Framework. There is also support for Intel 12th Gen and AMD Ryzen 5000 C-series processors now.
Google hasn’t confirmed any specific timing for the public release, but they did mention that it’ll be released when they feel it’s ready. So, expect a wait a while if you don’t want to switch to the Beta channel.
How to get Steam on your ChromeOS-powered laptop
The ChromeOS Public releases come under the “Stable” channel and to receive updates under the Beta channel, you have to switch to it. If you have a supported Chromebook, here’s how you can switch your channel and get Steam,
- Click on the Time at the bottom right of your laptop and click on “Settings“
- Now click on “About ChromeOS” and select Additional Details
- From there, click on Change Channels (located next to “Channels“)
- Change it to the “Beta” channel and the laptop should be able to download the latest beta update after that.
- After updating, navigate to chrome://flags and set #borealis-enabled to “Enabled”
- Restart your Chromebook
- Once restarted, open the ChromeOS Launcher and search for Steam. Then select the top result.
- The setup for Steam should appear now. Follow the steps to install Steam.
- Once Steam is installed, you can log in to your account and start playing games.
Always back up your data before changing Channels. Switching to a more stable channel (for example, Dev>Beta or Beta>Stable) wipes all your data stored on the Chromebook. However, even if you’re switching from Stable to Beta, you can back up your data, to avoid (unlikely) mishappenings.
Not all games will work right away as you may expect, but you can always try and find out if your games are working. There are a few games that have been tested and are working with the current beta and some games also require Steam Play. You can view the complete list of supported Chromebooks alongside, supported games, and how to enable Steam Play, on Chromium’s website.