Steam for Chromebook

SteamSteam has become the standard for downloadable games for PC / Mac / Linux. There are two issues – one, it doesn’t carry software that will run on Chrome OS, and two, it’s not available for Chrome OS. That’s not the end of the story for gaming though – and even better, in order to run games on Chrome OS you don’t have to download any software whatsoever.

The Chrome web store

The Chrome web store has a surprisingly decent selection of games, including stalwarts like Angry Birds, Bastion, Cut The Rope, and Runescape. There are plenty of simple puzzle games as you’d expect (e.g. Bejeweled, Fieldrunners) but you’ll also find games that run in 3D (Need for Speed, Hitman) and work offline.

Chrome Web Store games
Chrome Web Store games


Since Chrome OS runs flash, you also have access to any of the flash game sites on the web like Kongregate. These sites mainly provide casual gaming experiences, but there are some great and addictive finds in there.

Kongregate Heximilate
Kongregate, running Heximilate

Minecraft for Chromebook

MinecraftMinecraft is an open world indie game that allows players to create environments out of cubes. It is available for PC, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, Android, iOS and a Java based web version. However, Chrome OS does not by default support Java and hence cannot run the web version of Minecraft.

Running on Ubuntu

You can install Ubuntu, but this is only for those who are very comfortable technically. If you’re serious about your Minecraft and you’re happy to take the plunge, check out this great in-depth blog post.

Running on Chrome OS

I haven’t tested it myself, but there are instructions for installing Java on your Chromebook and getting the web version of Minecraft to work on Chrome OS. It’s not going to be pretty, and expect to spend time trawling forums and blog comments.

  1. Head into Developer Mode (instructions for all models are here)
  2. Install Java (these instructions are for the CR-48, but should be a useful starting point)
  3. Install Minecraft (which in this case is not just simply heading to the web based URL)

Chrome OS Developer Mode


Although Minecraft for the web doesn’t quite exist yet, the voxel.js project shows the potential. You can see some early examples here – click on any of the voxel-* projects to see it running on your Chromebook.

voxel on Chromebook

I will update this page with more information (fingers crossed for a release on the Chrome web store!)

Angry Birds for Chromebook

Angry-Birds-160pxAngry Birds is a hugely popular game on iOS, Android and pretty much every other system you can think of. The good news: Rovio made a special version just for Chrome.

Angry Birds for Chromebook
Angry Birds for Chromebook

You can install the apps straight from the Chrome Web Store:

Angry Birds (classic)
Angry Birds Space

Alternatively, you can get straight into the action by heading here.