Chrome OS was introduced more than ten years ago but only in recent years has it registered an important growth in its functionality. The arrival of the Play Store (not available for all devices) has significantly increased the usable software fleet making Chromebooks among the most interesting laptops.
Those looking for an ultra-portable device, for productivity but not only, can carefully evaluate the purchase of one of the best Chromebooks currently available on the market.
Playing on Chromebooks is possible even if the options available to users are still very limited. There are not many games available on the Play Store that can be fully exploited on a Chromebook. In the same way, the titles normally available on consoles or Windows PC (via Steam, Epic, the Microsoft Store, etc.) are not available on Chrome OS, thus limiting the options considerably.
To play with your Chromebook you can rely on different solutions. Without compromising the security of the Chrome OS system, the owner of a device of this type will be able to access a good catalog of titles by mainly exploiting the Android apps, accessible for several years on many Chrome OS models, and the extensions of the Chrome Web Store.
Also worth considering is the possibility of using a video game streaming service, such as Stadia, which allows you to play a video game using an external server.
Although with some limitations, gaming on the Chromebook is possible. Here are the best games to try on your laptop with Chrome OS.
Video game streaming services
The streaming services are, to many, the future of gaming. Thanks to this solution it is possible to play, in high resolution, very recent and demanding titles (in terms of hardware resources) even without having a particularly powerful PC.
For this reason, for those who have a Chromebook, betting on a streaming service for gaming can be a winning choice. Since there is no need for particularly high technical specifications and there are no software limits related to Chrome OS, this is the first option to consider.
Currently, the reference for streaming games for Chromebooks is Google Stadia. The service, launched by Google in 2019, is constantly growing and offers constantly improving performance and a catalog of stocks growing strongly. In the future, other services (such as Ge Force NOW and Project xCloud) may also enrich the options of Chromebook owners.
Google Stadia may be the ideal choice for gaming with a Chromebook. Just open Google Chrome and access the official Stadia website to take advantage of the service. After creating a new account on the platform, you can bet on the Stadia Pro subscription service for the price of 9.99 Euros per month.
This service, available with the first month free, allows you to access a rich catalog of games to play, streaming, from any device, including Chromebooks. To register, just use your Google account.
Then there is the possibility of using the Stadia store to purchase games to be accessed instantly, without the need to wait for the completion of downloads and updates. In a few seconds, thanks to Stadia, you can transform your Chromebook into a real gaming PC with many titles to try.
The only requirement (in addition to the registration of the account and the activation of the subscription) is represented by the Internet connection. Being a streaming service to continue playing you will need a good connection.
For access to Stadia and all the games on the platform, Google recommends a minimum speed of 10 Mbps. The maximum supported resolution is 4K but the image quality of the game is dynamic and adapts to the speed of the connection. All titles can be played using a Stadia controller or a PS4 controller, Xbox One, or any other supported controller.
On Google Stadia there are many titles, also very recent. A good portion of the titles released in recent years on consoles and Windows PCs are available and playable, with excellent performance, through Stadia. This solution can, therefore, be an excellent ploy to get around the hardware and software limitations of Chromebooks.
Android app for Chromebook
One of the main options for gaming on Chromebook is represented by Android apps, available on an ever-growing number of Chrome OS devices, through the Google Play Store. By taking advantage of the rich catalog of software available on Android, it is possible to enrich the functionality of Chromebooks. Also regarding gaming, this solution offers several options to keep an eye on.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Being designed to be used on the move, Chromebooks are ideal for short but intense gaming sessions. One of the best games that can be used on Chrome OS for this purpose is Asphalt 9: Legends. Gameloft’s title is the latest evolution of the Asphalt series and supports both single-player and online multiplayer. The game includes several tracks and a rich catalog of cars, presenting varied and dynamic gameplay that can potentially offer hours of play.
From the graphic point of view, the game is the highest peak reached by the Gameloft series and guarantees excellent performance allowing you to play even in 4K with a high frame rate. The game supports the use of the keyboard in addition to the touch controls designed for Android. Asphalt 9: Legends is available for free (with ads and in-app purchases).
One of the most interesting games to download from the Play Store for Chromebooks is PinOut. It is an advanced version of the classic pinball machine. The gaming experience is fun and varied. The title also presents a certain level of challenge and can offer many hours of play even to the most experienced gamers. It is an ideal game both for quick games and for longer and more articulated sessions.
PinOut supports the keyboard of the Chromebook and, therefore, it is very simple to play without having to resort to touch controls designed for Android smartphones and tablets. The game is also available for free and without in-app ads. The premium version of the title, which can be unlocked in-game directly, costs 3.99 euros and allows you to take advantage of the checkpoints to easily complete all the levels provided for in the title.
Sonic the Hedgehog Classic
Retro gaming is always a winning choice for a mobile gaming session. No emulators are available on Chromebook but it is possible to play Sonic the Hedgehog Classic without any problems. It is the first title that gave birth to the saga of the hugely popular blue hedgehog, recently also featured on cinema screens.
The original title, which is about to turn 30, is available in its entirety on Chromebook. The game is free but there are in-app ads that can be removed for € 1.99. Sonic the Hedgehog Classic also fully supports the keyboard with the W, A, S, and D keys which are used for movement and the J key which is used for jumping.
Pocket Mortys is one of the most particular titles in the mobile sector. The title, mimicking the mechanics of the popular Pokémon series, is based on the multi-verse concept introduced during the first season of the Rick and Morty series. The objective of the game is to capture all the Mortys present in the multi-verse (they are over 100 different types), train them, and challenge the Mortys to oppose each other. Next, we will have to fight and defeat the Rick Council.
The game almost fully supports the keyboard. Almost all the keys are mapped and can be used to take advantage of all the main functions of the game. In some cases, in any case, you will have to resort to the on-screen controls because of the lack of full support. Pocket Mortys is available for free but there are in-app purchases
Alto’s Odyssey, a follow-up to Alto’s Adventure, is undoubtedly one of the most popular titles on the mobile gaming scene. It is an evolution of traditional endless runners, one of the most common game types on mobile devices. Like its predecessor, Alto’s Odyssey offers varied gameplay and a technical and artistic realization of the highest level. It is a product to try, both for short sessions and for more articulate game sessions.
Available for download for free, Alto’s Odyssey includes keyboard support but, by presenting very simple commands (just “plug” on any part of the screen), you can also use the touch controls. The game, both for its simplicity and its quality, is a valuable piece of the catalog of titles available for Chromebook
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is the re-edition of one of the most important RPGs in videogame history. Arrived on PC in the late 90s, the game was brought back to life with the Enhanced Edition created by Overhaul Games and available on different platforms, including a mobile version available on the Play Store.
This version of Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition can also be played excellently on Chromebooks, offering the opportunity to experience many hours of adventure between various fights and many areas to explore.
On Chromebook, Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition guarantees mouse/touchpad support, an essential element on PC, and on the keyboard as well as supporting touch controls designed for the Android version. Also, note the absence of controller support (the title was never designed to be managed via the controller). In addition to the full version of the adventure, the Tales of the Sword Coast expansion is also included.
Baldur’s Gate: Enhanced Edition is available for purchase at a total cost of 10.99 Euros. There are no announcements and additional in-game purchases to be made. Once the purchase is complete it will be possible to play the entire adventure without any limitation.
Another title to try on Chromebook is Fallout Shelter. It is a game that arrived in 2015 on mobile devices (Android and iOS) and more recently also on Windows PC and consoles. Fallout Shelter is a management system that takes up the themes of the Fallout video game series which, in recent years, has had an excellent success starting from Fallout 3.
The title puts the player in the shoes of the supervisor of a Vault, the underground fortresses present in the universe Fallout narrative.
The player’s task will be to manage all aspects of the vault and collect resources for survival. The mechanics of Fallout Shelter are now run in and appreciated by millions of players all over the world (a total of 100 million players has been exceeded).
From a technical point of view, Fallout Shelter presents support for the full-screen mode and the mouse/touchpad which joins the touch controls designed for use on smartphones. The game is free to download with a variety of in-app purchases.
Games from the Chrome Web Store
Another option to play with your Chromebook is represented by the extensions of the Chrome Web Store that allow you to access some titles accessible from the web browser. These are fairly simple games but they can offer hours of fun. Here are some of the best titles:
Arcane Legends is one of the most interesting RPG titles available on the Chromebook. Available for free through the Chrome Web Store, the game offers everything you can look for in a classic role-playing game. Players have the opportunity to create their hero, choosing from several available classes, to complete various types of quests.
The game is also available with an Android app which, at the moment, is not fully optimized for Chromebooks. Arcane Legends is however fully playable via a web browser. The title offers many hours of fun guaranteeing a traditional RPG structure but with a light character and a very particular design. You can download it from here: Arcane Legends.
Available as an extension through the Chrome Web Store, with a completely free download, Pandemic 2 can, without a doubt, be defined as one of the games of 2020 (even if only for the topics covered). The player is called to choose disease and make sure that its spreading defeats humanity.
Pandemic 2 presents an extremely basic graphic sector, focusing much more on management content and the particular game theme than aesthetics. In any case, the title offers many hours of play in addition to varied gameplay that guarantees high replay value thanks to the possibility of having to deal with various variables. You can download it from here: Pandemic 2.
Save the Day
Save the Day is a title with a marked arcade character and with a very “old school” approach. The player, aboard a helicopter, will have to save people in difficulty and, at the same time, will have to avoid the threats posed by fires and obstacles of various types. The time available will be short and, therefore, the gameplay will be particularly intense and dynamic.
Also available in this case through the Chrome Web Store, Save the Day is an ideal solution for those looking for an arcade title that can offer lots of fun in short game sessions. It is, therefore, a perfect game for a little mobile gaming and a few hours of fun. Save the Day is freely downloadable from the Web Store: Save the Day.
Best Chromebooks for gaming?
Devices equipped with Chrome OS were born to be used, mainly on the move, for Internet access, and the use of “web-based” services. It is, therefore, an operating system and a range of devices that originally had very little to do with gaming. Unlike what is recorded with Windows solutions (and to a lesser extent macOS and Linux x), gaming on Chromebooks is a secondary activity compared to the fields of use of these machines.
Therefore, there are no “gaming” Chromebooks. When choosing a laptop with Chrome OS, in any case, you can keep in mind some aspects to improve the gaming experience with your device. Most of the titles available come from Android apps which represent a very important addition for Chromebooks. To have a good series of games to choose from, also in the future, it is advisable to focus on a Chromebook that supports Android apps.
To get the most out of Android apps on Chromebook you need to be able to count on a touch display. Many games (but also many apps) support the keyboard in a limited way and are optimized to give the best by using gestures and touch commands. Fortunately, most Chromebooks support this feature.
The future of gaming could also be linked to streaming platforms, as we have seen with Google Stadia. When choosing a Chromebook it is, therefore, advisable to analyze the performance of the connection. A good device must be able to guarantee excellent Wi-Fi connectivity or the possibility of connecting to the home router via ethernet (perhaps using a special ethernet adapter – USB-C).