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Chrome OS 'Game Mode' may support Android games, but there are some challenges

Lenovo Chromebook Duet 3 GTA San Andreas frozen
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

What you need to know

  •  Chromebooks gaining a ‘Game Mode’ with support for Android games.
  •  Google looks to bring more full screen Android gaming experiences.
  •  Early tests indicate that Chrome OS could be the one struggling.

Recent findings have pointed in the direction of Chromebooks gaining their own "Game Mode" for Android games. We last talked about Google launching a "Game Mode" alongside Steam for ChromeOS over a year ago. The recent findings build upon those initial aspirations and are looking to crack down on some worrisome issues.

With this new feature, as reported by ChromeUnboxed, Chromebooks could enhance how you play mobile games on larger screens. This new feature for Google's OS is still in its early stages as testing proceeds. Google is setting its sights on supporting those Android games after the work it did with Steam, codenamed: Borealis, got underway smoothly and is currently in Alpha on some of the best Chromebooks.

As Google looks to bring more games to its fabled OS, it's urging app developers to make more Android games for a full-screen experience on larger-screened devices. Through a Chromium Gerrit commit that ChromeUnboxed made mention of, Google is cracking down on ensuring these Android games run smoothly on Chromebooks. However, there appear to be some hurdles that Google has to address while trying to bring in this new feature, a primary one dealing with memory pressure.

The concern is that playing games could affect the performance of a Chromebook, and it appears that Google wants to prevent any memory pressure from shutting down games or background processes. As highlighted in the comments,  memory constraints could cause issues with Chrome OS where it usually wouldn't on Android. This could render the OS sufficiently unstable to run properly, something that Google hopes to address by capping memory pressure with the new Game Mode container.

Game mode on Android phones and other computing devices is often a way for users to control the performance of their phones while gaming. With this, users can prioritize the game over other processes so that gamers receive the best experience while the game is running.

These early tests are important to Google in trying to figure out how to give gamers the best experience on Chromebooks, whether it's playing Steam or Android games. Hopefully, we'll get more details soon on this feature.

Nickolas Diaz