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I would really like to play my Steam games on my Chromebook, but I cannot figure out how to get Steam and play my games on said glorified web browser. Is there any good way to play Steam on a Chromebook?

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As mentioned in the other answer, you could install Linux on your Chromebook. However, this may not be of use because most of the games are processor-specific and will likely require Intel/AMD processors (x64 or x86 instruction set) instead of a Chromebook's ARM processor (completely different instruction set).

Although Steam offers multi-platform gaming, the binaries that are downloaded from Steam are specific to the platforms that Steam offers - Windows, macOS and Linux, and all of those (as far as I know) are Intel-only.

For example, you cannot install Steam on macOS on a PowerPC. Yes Mac OS is supported but ancient Mac OSX is not, and PowerPC is not even though it falls under the "Mac OS" umbrella.

The same is true of your Chromebook. You might be able to get it to run Linux but it won't be the CPU-specific version of Linux (Linux under i686) that Steam supports.

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    There are both ARM and Intel Chromebooks – Joseph Young Dec 5 '16 at 19:52
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The only way to nattily install steam on the laptop and run it, by first installing linux

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  • Is there enough space on a Chromebook? or do I need an external something or other? – Parzival Dec 5 '16 at 14:17
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    @Parzival Depends on your Chromebook. What is the hard drive size of it (do they even have hard disks)? – Timmy Jim Dec 5 '16 at 14:18
  • I think it's very very small. – Parzival Dec 5 '16 at 14:21
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    @Parzival There's no way to provide more accurate advice without having more information. Just saying "a Chromebook" isn't narrow enough, seeing as there are 18 different Chromebooks made by Acer alone. – Strongo Dec 5 '16 at 15:54
  • You might need to do something with the hardware to enable the UEFI to be flashed, so that something other than Chromebook can install. (Chromebooks take "Web PC" to a new level... they're useless for everything!) – wizzwizz4 Dec 5 '16 at 20:50
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There are always "ways". But one of the "best" is going to utilize In home Streaming.

First you get steam up and running on a powerful computer, then you install something like crouton, and then steam on the chrome book.

Finally, login to steam on both the powerful machine, and the chrome book, and you can play the game "from" your chromebook, but it's the powerful computer that's doing all the work.

If you don't have a x86 chrome book (most aren't) then you can try stuff like twerk and android streaming apps. They will work but's it's cludgy. See https://www.reddit.com/r/chromeos/comments/3kf73b/psa_you_can_stream_your_gaming_pc_to_your/ for an example.

Finally, though you may not want to hear it, you may be better of with something more dedicated. If you really want to stream to a portable then getting a cheap laptop around $200 and sticking XFCE on it with steam in home streaming is pretty awesome. Your not gonna get CS:GO to be fast enough to be competitive, but Civ 6 will do just fine.

Keep in mind, in all these options, it's the powerful computer that does all the work, not the portable.

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As of 2016, this wasn't easily possible. However, newer Chromebooks have started to come with an option to enable a Linux VM, as part of the OS itself. This is easy to do in settings.

As the VM runs a Debian-based distro (GalliumOS), you'll need a .deb for Steam (or any other games or programs you wish to run). You can install it by typing:

sudo apt install ./steam.deb

(where steam.deb should be replaced with the name of the file)

Having done this (with Minecraft Java, not Steam), I'd warn you to check your device's specs. If the game requires good graphics hardware or a lot of RAM, you're probably out of luck. (On my Acer R11, I get 4-5 FPS on Minecraft Java, although it's not known for it's performance).

As for storing the games, external USB/SD storage is not yet supported, so you may run into issues with installing multiple large games.

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I own an Acer 15 chromebook. in the download page of steam you should hit the tiny steam icon under the blue button. After installing linux to the chromebook open files app and click your new .deb file. hit the blue button that shows. it will install. once it installs you will launch steam and it will install itself. don't shut it during this.

THEN THE SIGN IN SHOWS UP! YAY!

(only one problem, you barely have space for games b/c Steam is hogging it all. they will also lag a lot at first but later it should be fine if you have the right settings in the game. I got Nuclear Throne to work just fine like this, so that's cool.)

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Short Answer: NO!

Explained: Chromebooks were made as a way to access the internet- NOTHING ELSE. I have owned 5 chromebooks over the years, all different brands. In all of them, everything was sautered onto the motherboard. They have about 8gb of hard drive space on average and one core processor. I think that they have about 3gb of ram. None of these parts can be upgraded because everything is sautered, not allowing you to alter anything unless u know how to do sh!t. I beleive that the average chrome book can run shell shockers at 20-30 fps at 750p. This is compared to my pc with a sixth gen i5 and 650ti with 5 gb of ram having no issue consistantly running 90-100 FPS at 1080p on shell shockers. I have never tried downloading steam on a chrome book. I tried downloading cod mobile on it once and it just crashed the chrome book by giving me a scary message and the blue screen of death. If you are able to download steam, you will not even be able to download much less play any games.

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  • What do the system requirements have to do with the ability to install Steam? The games the OP can play are still dependent on their hardware, but that's not the question, and this sounds more like a rant. – Joachim Dec 20 '20 at 18:31

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