With a flick of a virtual switch, Chromebooks can now play 100 Steam classics like Civilization V, Terraria, The Witcher 3, Dark Souls, and The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim.
Try is the operative word here, though, as only fairly powerful Chromebooks are officially supported. You will find Steam access in select Chromebook models, in specs with at least 8GB RAM and an AMD Ryzen 3 or Intel Core i3 processor, or better.
If your Chromebook is several years old, or cost £200 originally, its name will not be on the list.
Which laptops support Steam?
Popular models invited include the Acer Chromebook Spin 713, the Asus Chromebook CX5, and Lenovo Flex 5i Chromebook. You can see the full list of laptops currently supported over at chromium.org.
How to get started
To do this, you will have to reset your Chromebook, called a Powerwash in Chrome speak. Back up anything you want to keep before doing so. You will then have to wait for its software to update with beta, and then switch Steam access on. It takes about a minute, and you’ll find the full instructions on the Chromium website.
• Switch over the Chrome OS software it uses to the beta version, which should only take a few seconds.
• Go to the About ChromeOS area in Settings and select Additional Details.
• Then Change Channel, and select Beta.
Is it worth it?
The usual warnings about beta software apply. Steam may not be all that stable yet, and in some games you will need to fiddle with the graphics settings to get them running smoothly. 16GB RAM is recommended for some higher-end games, too, titles that don’t typically need that much system memory to run well on a Windows laptop.
However, if you are comfortable around tech, this is one feature we think is worth trying out before it hits mainstream software release.
Steam for Chromebooks entered an even earlier alpha stage back in March, and it was announced years ago in early 2020, so it could be a good long while still before its offiial release.