Steam for Chrome OS is officially coming to 7 Chromebooks as an alpha release

Google has officially released an alpha build of Steam for a select group of Chromebooks.

The company today released a supporting document about the Steam alpha release after teasing the release last week. Unfortunately, the software will only be available for seven models, or what Google described as “a small set of recent Chromebooks.” They understand:

  • Acer Chromebook 514 (CB514-1W)

  • Acer Chromebook 515 (CB515-1W)

  • Acer Chromebook Spin 713 (CP713-3W)

  • ASUS Chromebook Flip CX5 (CX5500)

  • ASUS Chromebook CX9 (CX9400)

  • HP Chromebook Pro c640 G2

  • Lenovo 5i-14 Chromebook

Additionally, the Steam alpha will only work on Chromebooks configured with Intel’s Iris Xe integrated graphics, an 11th Gen Core i5 or i7 processor, and at least 8GB of RAM. “Because many games have high performance requirements, we have focused our efforts so far on a set of devices that more games can run well on,” the company said.

“Configurations of these devices with an i3 processor or 4GB of RAM are not supported,” Google added. “Some Chromebooks lack the necessary hardware to provide a quality experience for Steam games, and therefore are unlikely to be supported.” So if you’re using a low-end Chromebook, you’re out of luck.

Google has also released instructions on how eligible users can try out the Steam version, which involves upgrading to the Development Channel for their Chromebook’s operating system.

“Starting with Chrome OS 14583.0.0, the dev channel will include an early alpha-quality build of Steam on Chrome OS,” the company said. However, users should expect to encounter bugs, missing features, and potential crashes. So it’s best to avoid running the alpha version of Steam on Chromebooks devoted to important work.

The other limitation is that not all games can run on Steam software. That said, Google has already tested 50 games that work. Titles include Hades, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Tekken 7, Fallout 4, and Disco Elysium, among others.

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“Chrome OS will typically run the Linux version of a game if it exists,” the company added. In other cases, users can run Windows versions by installing Steam Play, which uses Valve’s Proton compatibility layer to run Windows software.

If you try the alpha version of Steam, Google hopes you will send feedback about the experience. His support page also has a running list of known issues with the Steam version.

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