Chromebooks just got the feature gamers have been waiting for

HP Chromebook showing the Steam store page for Half-Life 2
(Image credit: Vantage_DS / Shutterstock / Valve)

Chromebooks now have official support for the Steam client, gamers who own such a device will doubtless be pleased to hear.

This comes as part of the new ChromeOS 119 which is rolling out to Chromebooks (indeed, you may have already got it).

As Android Central reports, Steam now nestles in the app drawer of ChromeOS 119 – although note that this is the installer, not the full client.

This means Chromebook owners can fire it up and install Steam if they wish, but if they’re not interested, it’s not on the device by default.

Previously the Steam client was present in ChromeOS but hidden away behind a flag, but Google has made it official with this latest version of the OS. With it now present in the app drawer, it’s effectively been declared as ready for public consumption.

ChromeOS 119 also introduces a new feature to the Privacy Hub that allows you to turn off the camera and mic, and the ability to save (and later recall) specific tab groups in the browser, among other additions.

Analysis: Long road to gaming

It’s been a long road for Steam games coming to Chromebooks. Google first talked about implementing Valve’s platform for ChromeOS way back in 2020, and little was heard about it until early this year. Steam support went into testing back in March 2023, so it has made relatively rapid progress through to the stable version of ChromeOS.

The catch is that it’ll only be available on some Chromebooks – supported models capable of gaming, to be specific (as not every laptop will be, and certainly low-powered budget Chromebooks are obviously not going to be capable of doing anything much in the way of gaming).

Speaking of affordable Chromebooks, there are certainly plenty of wallet-friendly models with serious discounts to be found in the Black Friday sale currently.

You might also like

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).