Google could launch 'Game Mode' alongside Steam for Chrome OS

GeForce Now on Chromebooks
GeForce Now on Chromebooks (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A new Chromium Gerrit commit suggests 'Game Mode' for Chromebooks is in the works.
  • It's possible 'Game Mode' will come to Chrome OS when the native Steam client arrives.
  • Google has been rumored to be working with Valve on the Steam client for more than a year.

March has been quite the month for the best Chromebooks and Chrome OS in general, as Chrome OS celebrated its 10th birthday earlier in the month. We've been seeing some fantastic Chromebooks released like the Lenovo Flex 5, along with the continued success of Chrome OS devices on the whole.

While Chromebooks are already fantastic choices for those who live inside of Chrome, but also want access to Android apps on a bigger screen, there's a refreshed focus on gaming for Chrome OS. Over the past year, we have seen reports and confirmations of a potential Steam client coming to the platform, and we could be closer than ever.

Thanks to ChromeUnboxed, a new Chromium Gerrit commit has been revealed showing that Google is working on a dedicated 'Game Mode' for Chrome OS. It appears that this Game Mode is tied to the supposed Steam client, codenamed 'Borealis'.

After it has been implemented into Chrome OS, this new Game Mode will activate whenever a full-screen window of 'Borealis' is being used. It's not that dissimilar to what happens when firing up Steam or another game on your PC, as the mouse and keyboard or controller are immediately tied up to the game that is being shown on the display.

We already have access to some of the best Android games on your Chrome OS devices, along with the likes of Google Stadia and NVIDIA's GeForce Now. Adding the ability to play Steam natively on your Chromebook would be a huge boost to the portable gaming section of the market, and would likely further drive sales of future Chromebooks up even more than we saw in 2020.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

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.