Nvidia GeForce Now works (mostly) fine on Chromebooks – but there’s a catch

(Image credit: Nvidia)

GeForce Now apparently works just fine (more or less) on Chromebooks – at least ARM-based models, if you use Nvidia’s Play Store (Android) app.

This is according to Chrome Unboxed, with the tech site making the discovery during testing of Lenovo’s Chromebook Duet.

Apparently when using a Chromebook with an ARM processor, Nvidia’s GeForce Now app shows up in the Play Store and can be successfully installed, whereas it doesn’t appear at all in Google’s store if you’re hunting for it on a Chromebook with an Intel CPU.

And compared to having to access developer mode and sideload the APK – the current workaround as detailed by Chrome Unboxed – simply installing and running the Play Store GeForce Now app gives you a much, much better game streaming experience.

As Chrome Unboxed observed, using the latter method, Fortnite worked well and frame-rates were great (obviously they’ll still be dependent on the quality of your internet connection, as will always be the case when streaming games).

However, there was one small hiccup: a somewhat noticeable touch of input lag with the mouse, which isn’t ideal. That obviously won’t matter so much for some games, where twitch reactions aren’t so important; and even with a shooter, the experience was reportedly still playable enough.

Web player

So those who own a Chromebook with an ARM processor, and have been wanting to give GeForce Now a shot, can do so. However, Nvidia’s web-based client for the streaming service is likely to be where the longer-term future lies for GeForce Now subscribers on Chromebook – and it looks like the only path forward for folks with Intel CPUs.

While it is possible to get the GeForce Now app installed from the Play Store on an Intel machine via the aforementioned workaround, this requires messing about in developer mode which realistically isn’t something most users will want to do. The end result is a pretty shoddy experience as well, by all accounts.

Nvidia’s GeForce Now web player is expected to arrive later this year, or at least we are keeping our fingers crossed that this is the case (no official timeframe has been given, but you’d hope it will be sooner rather than later).

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).