Which Chromebooks and Chrome OS devices will support Steam gaming?
Best Answer: Currently, Steam Beta is supported on more than seven different Chromebooks. Google states that at a minimum, you'll need a Chromebook with at least 11th Gen Intel Core i5 or i7 processors, AMD Ryzen 3 or higher, and at least 8GB of RAM
Steam on Chrome OS has been rumored and teased for the better part of the last two years. Since then, only little tidbits have been shared about Google and Valve's plan to bring "true" gaming to Chromebooks and other Chrome OS-powered computers.
Following the somewhat uneventful announcement during one of the Google for Games Developer Summit talks in 2022, many wondered what the requirements would be. A few days following the announcement, Google provided a bit more information as to what hardware will be needed if you want to try to play your favorite Steam games on Chromebooks.
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On the Steam on ChromeOS Beta landing page, Google provides a list of Chromebooks that are currently compatible with the program. These include some of the best Chromebooks that have been released in recent months, along with some that are not commercially available.
However, Google also provided some indication as to what the requirements will be once Steam on Chrome OS moves out of its Beta stage. These are the models that are currently compatible with Steam Beta:
- Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W)
- Acer Chromebook 515 (CB515-1W)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 514 (CP514-3H, CP514-3HH, CP514-3WH)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)
- Acer Chromebook Spin 714 (CP714-1WN)
- Acer Chromebook Vero 514
- ASUS Chromebook CX9 (CX9400)
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500)
- ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5601)
- ASUS Chromebook Vibe CX55 Flip
- Framework Laptop Chromebook Edition
- HP Elite c640 14 inch G3 Chromebook
- HP Elite c645 G2 Chromebook
- HP Elite Dragonfly Chromebook
- HP Pro c640 G2 Chromebook
- Lenovo 5i-14 Chromebook
- Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook 14
- Lenovo ThinkPad C14
The potential problem here is that if you have one of the compatible Chromebook models, but have either the Intel Core i3 or 4GB of RAM models, you won't be able to test drive Steam Beta. Even if your system has 8GB of RAM, you "may encounter issues in games that require 6GB of RAM or more." The limitations don't stop there; you might run into problems when trying to play games at resolutions higher than 1080p.
And again, this is just a beta version of Steam that requires your Chromebook to be on the Beta channel in order to even try it out. This means that not only will you have to worry about potential stability problems with Chrome OS, but those problems could cause even more of a headache if Steam Beta is thrown into the mix.
It's just the beginning
So what does all of this mean? Well, for starters, those who have opted for low-budget Chromebooks are pretty much left in the dark for now. Even if you went for higher-powered models, it still might not be enough according to Google. It's definitely disappointing to see the limitations, but it's important to remember that this is just a Beta program, so not all of your games are compatible just yet.
The Acer Chromebook 516 GE is one of the best gaming-centric Chromebooks out there. It sports an addressable RGB keyboard, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a gorgeous 16-inch QHD display.
While there are more gaming-focused Chromebooks available, the HP Dragonfly Pro Chromebook offers a rather unique take. It's a productivity powerhouse with 16GB of RAM and a screen that reaches up to 1200 nits of peak brightness. Plus, it has plenty of juice to play your favorite Steam games.
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Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.