Chromebooks can now run Minecraft natively, and this is great news

minecraft characters standing around a large laptop
(Image credit: Google)

Chromebooks have been capable of gaming for years now, thanks to streaming services like Nvidia GeForce Now. But an announcement today (June 7, 2023) from Google brings even more exciting news about Chromebook gaming.

According to an official Google blog post, Minecraft: Bedrock Edition is now available to download through the Google Play Store on Chromebook, meaning that Chromebook can natively play the game. Also included is the Minecraft Marketplace, as well as the ability to play in Realms. It’s available to all Chromebooks released in the past three years, which is even better news for those with older models.

And if you want to play with others, crossplay functionality is available between Android, Xbox, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Windows PCs. Several online modes like Creative mode and Survival mode are accessible through crossplay, as well as the new Trails & Tales update and all its content.

We reached out to Google for a statement concerning whether other titles will be made available natively for Chrome OS and will update this story when we receive official word. 

Gaming Chromebooks are the future

Though gaming on Chromebooks has been possible for several years, Chromebooks devoted to gaming like the Acer Chromebook 516 GE are a bit more divisive. Some believe that the mere concept of them is a ‘scam’ while others think they might be part of a bright future in gaming. The original point of contention was that since gaming Chromebooks rely on streaming services instead of native play, any Chromebook could be dubbed a ‘gaming Chromebook.’

But now there’s the news of Minecraft being natively available to any recent Chromebook, as well as the report of Google having an internal prototype codenamed ‘Hades’ that will come with the more affordable RTX 4050 and a 13th-generation Intel CPU with DDR5 memory. With both of these developments, Google is clearly showing off the gaming prowess of its Chromebook, essentially telling naysayers and doubters that this machine is more than capable of running some of the best PC games around.

What makes this even more enticing is that Chromebooks, even the best models, are very reasonably priced compared to Ultrabooks and now even dedicated gaming machines. So by Google investing in gaming Chromebooks, they could have a product that offers all the best of a gaming laptop but without the massive gaming laptop price tag. And as a fellow consumer, the idea is an exciting one to me.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.