ChromeOS isn’t exactly known as a gaming platform. Most people think about even the best Chromebooks as low-cost machines that work great as a dedicated browser or school laptop. However, it’s actually quite easy to enjoy a host of games on your Chromebook or Chromebox.
Most modern Chromebooks support Android apps, which also means Android games. You can also access cloud gaming services from Amazon, Microsoft, and Nvidia through the Chrome browser, which means AAA PC games on even a modest Chromebook. Other than that, Google has even enabled support for Steam games on ChromeOS in beta, which lets you play some lower-end PC games on your Chromebook locally (though this requires you to switch your Chromebook over to the Beta Channel). There are so many games to choose from, but we’ve rounded up our favorites across Android and the cloud.
Not all Android games are optimized for ChromeOS. This means your favorite game might technically open on a Chromebook, but would be a terrible playing experience. Many games also require a touchscreen Chromebook to play them properly. Additionally, playing Steam games on ChromeOS requires high-end hardware, like a cloud gaming Chromebook such as the Acer Chromebook 516 GE.
Best ChromeOS games: Android
The single largest source for games on ChromeOS is the Google Play Store. If you own a newer Chromebook, you should be able to run Android apps right out of the box. Many older Chromebooks also received an update to enable Android app support. We have a guide to Android apps on ChromeOS that explains how you can get started.
One of the advantages of playing Android games on ChromeOS is familiarity. You already play games on your phone, so why not bring those over to your laptop? Only some Android games are specifically optimized to run on the larger screen of your Chromebook. These games typically make for the best experience on Chrome OS. The Play Store has something for everyone, with millions of options to choose from. Here are our favorite Android games to play on Chrome OS.
Topping the list is Minecraft, a game that recently launched on Chromebooks, and is now available through the Google Play Store. Minecraft is one of the most popular games ever, and it really needs no introduction, but for those who might be unfamiliar, it’s a sandbox game where you can build the world of your dreams with pixelated blocks, explore massive landscapes, and even fight zombies in a Survival Mode. You can play with your friends and family who might own the console or Windows version of the game too, as the Chromebook version is the Bedrock Edition of the game. It’s a fun time for just about anybody, and you can buy a bundle that includes both the Android version and the Chromebook version for $20 on the Google Play Store.
Alto’s Odyssey is a serene action game that’s perfect for ChromeOS that’s easy to learn and difficult to master. This game is optimized for Chromebooks, so you can enjoy the beautiful scenery with gorgeous full-screen visuals. The simplicity of the tap-to-play interface makes this the perfect game to play for a few minutes or even a few hours.
At the heart of the Alto series is an elegant one-touch trick system. Chain together combos and complete 180 goals, all with intuitive controls. Overall, this is one of the best games on a Chromebook — or Android phone, to be honest. Just note you need a touchscreen Chromebook for Alto’s Odyssey since there’s no keyboard interface available.
Play online or over local Wi-Fi with 4-15 players as you attempt to prep your spaceship for departure in Among Us. But beware; one of your crewmates is an impostor bent on killing everyone! Crewmates can win by completing all tasks or discovering and voting the impostor off the ship, while the Imposter can use sabotage to cause chaos, making for easier kills and better alibis.
This game is the most fun if you play with a small group of friends, and has received countless fun updates since its launch. Among Us is also optimized for Chromebooks, giving you an enjoyable full-screen experience. It also supports cross-play, so you can play with friends across any platform.
Asphalt 9: Legends
Asphalt is a well-known brand in mobile racing. Immerse yourself in one of the most hyperrealistic arcade car racing games with Asphalt 9: Legends, with meticulously detailed rebel racing real cars, cool HDR techniques, and stunning visual and particle effects that turn every race into a real blockbuster race movie. Get the most out of this car street racer game with the online multiplayer mode.
The developer did an excellent job of optimizing controls in Asphalt 9 for Chromebooks, in particular. It’s hard to find a complicated Android game with better overall controls on a Chromebook. However, you’ll need a fairly high-end Chromebook to play this game without any stuttering — a core i5 or i7 would be ideal. Also, this game is a very large download (over 2GB) so make sure you have enough storage.
Create a brighter future…underground! In Fallout Shelter, you’ll select from various modern-day rooms to turn an excavation beneath 2,000 feet of bedrock into the very picture of Vault Life. Get to know your fellow Dwellers and lead them to happiness. Find their ideal jobs and watch them flourish. Provide them with outfits, weapons, and training to improve their abilities.
This simulation game is one of the best free games you can find and will appeal to those that love The Sims franchise. It’s a pretty addictive game, so the in-app purchases can become a problem if you’re really into that vault life.
You can play Terraria on your Chromebook either through Stadia or GeForce Now, or you can grab it from the Google Play Store. The Android version works great on ChromeOS with full controller support and up to 60 FPS gameplay, with plenty of settings to adjust if you need to tweak it for lower-powered hardware. This is no cut-down version, either. All content Terraria gets on PC and console comes to the mobile version.
Terraria has been with us for many, many years now, and it’s still one of the finest sandbox games ever made. Dig, craft, build, explore, and fight enemies. Terraria has a little bit of everything and is a game you can easily lose hundreds of hours to without even realizing it.
Stardew Valley needs little introduction, with its cutesy pixel style mixed with addictive gameplay. It’s an open-ended RPG centered around building your own farm and living off the land. That might not grab you at first, but there’s a reason so many people have played this game.
It’s a life sim, where the only real limit is your own imagination. Go fishing, get a pet, go dating, even. Build your own perfect little digital world. It plays great on Chromebooks, too, from the Play Store, with support for both keyboard and mouse and controller inputs. Or if you have a touchscreen, you can play that way.
Best Chrome OS games: Nvidia GeForce Now
Nvidia’s Geforce Now service allows you to buy games from Steam, Epic Games, and Ubisoft and stream them from the cloud. Not all games are supported, but plenty are, and there are new additions every Thursday. All you have to do is create an account, link your Steam, Epic, and Ubisoft libraries, and GeForce Now does the rest. The web app is built for Chrome and ChromeOS, and there is a free tier that you can use to check it out first. These are some of the top games from GeForce Now you can play on your Chromebook.
Fortnite used to be in the Google Play Store and while you could still go and get the Android APK, using GeForce Now is a much easier option. You can use GeForce Now for free, albeit with limitations, so you genuinely don’t have to pay a penny to get the proper PC version of Fortnite running on a Chromebook. With full cross-play support, you can play with all of your friends on any platform at any time.
What needs to be said about Epic’s global phenomenon? It’s one of the best examples of a live service game out there, with new challenges and locations coming all the time and even something that constitutes a story. And with the permanent addition of a no-building mode, those who never got along with that aspect of the game can jump back in and have a merry old time. Play Fortnite on GeForce Now by linking your Epic Games Store account.
Apex Legends is another battle royale that benefits from cross-play support. So you can fire it up in GeForce Now on your Chromebook and play with your other PC or console friends. Apex Legends was borne from the world of Titanfall and carried over a lot of the gameplay mechanics, making for a smooth first-person shooter experience. But it differentiates itself from other battle royales thanks to its colorful cast of characters and their various abilities.
Apex Legends is completely free to play with no limitations. It’s backed by the usual sort of in-game purchases for items like seasonal battle passes and cosmetics. To play Apex Legends through GeForce Now on your Chromebook, simply link your Steam account.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
A seriously underrated title, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy is one of the best single-player games from the past few years. The combat is perhaps the weakest part, but as a whole, it’s an absolute treat. The narrative, the characters, and the voice acting all add up to a very Guardians-like experience that’s unique from the movies.
Guardians tells the tale of our favorite space misfits and their adventures across the galaxy, with appearances from Lady Hellbender, Cosmo, and the Universal Church of Truth taking on the role of the main villain. You’ll see the infamous location of Knowhere, among many other gorgeous environments, and with a new game plus mode, you’ll have plenty of reasons to play through again, making different choices along the way. You can play Guardians of the Galaxy either with Steam or Epic Games.
God of War
Sony rebooted its famous franchise in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim and recently brought it to PC. With the power of the cloud, you can also enjoy it on ChromeOS, either through Steam or the Epic Games Store. In this game, Kratos is a dad again and must teach his boy how to fight and survive.
Visually, God of War is stunning, and the single-player, melee-based combat is as satisfying as ever. With DLSS support built-in, Nvidia’s cloud servers will ensure that you’re getting a smooth 60 FPS experience. We won’t spoil any story details, but this is certainly a game you should play at least once.
Genshin Impact is a free-to-play smash hit available through the Google Play Store, but GeForce Now is, hands down, the best way to play on ChromeOS. The Android version doesn’t natively install for a lot of Chromebooks. Even if it does, performance is spotty on even fairly capable hardware. It’s much better to grab it from Epic Games and play it through GeForce Now.
Genshin Impact is a huge open-world RPG with stunning-looking anime styling, tons of content, multiple characters, boss battles, dungeons, and of course, loot. The monetization tactics are sometimes controversial, but it’s free to jump in, and it’s a great game once you get going.
Destiny 2 has become the defacto MMO looter shooter and one of the best examples of cross-save and cross-play functionality. The base game is free to play, but the real meat comes from the paid expansions. Destiny 2 has an incredibly rich story, something lore hunters will truly appreciate. It’s constantly evolving, and there is new content almost every week. It can be overwhelming at times because there’s so much to do, but there are few better games in this genre.
Cyberpunk 2077 is a treat to run on Chromebooks. It is one of the biggest, most densely populated, and most ambitious open worlds ever created. In the action role-playing game, you take control of a character known as V and make your way through the fictional town of Night City, taking on one of three paths that’ll impact your story.
The game is about to get its first story expansion called Phantom Liberty, but even in the base game, there’s a ton to do. This is one of the best examples of what cloud gaming can do, with something this intensive and complex simply unimaginable on Chromebook hardware natively.
Control Ultimate Edition
Control’s story is a bit confusing, but the gameplay and the level design are extraordinary. It tells the story of Jesse, who’s searching for her brother inside the Federal Bureau of Control and all the weirdness and special powers that lie within. Graphically it’s fairly impressive, with a style that immediately tells you it’s a Remedy game.
The combat in Control is unlike any other, blending weapons with special psychic abilities. There’s lots to explore, collectibles and lore to acquire, and a variety of enemies that will challenge you. The Ultimate Edition comes with two DLC expansions, one of which is a tie-in with the legendary Alan Wake franchise.
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut
Disco Elysium: The Final Cut is the definitive edition of one of the finest RPGs ever made, and it’s well suited to play on a Chromebook with a mouse and keyboard or the built-in trackpad. This game doesn’t have any action, but if you appreciate deep, detailed characters and incredible writing, then it’s a game you will love.
You play as a detective and the path you take is yours to choose. Be the hero and crack the case, or take a bribe. You have total freedom of choice as to how you play and the interactions you make. Disco Elysium also has some of the finest voice acting you’ll ever find in a game. It is one of those truly must-play titles.
Best Chrome OS games: Steam
You can turn your Chromebook into a true gaming system of sorts by installing Steam onto it. The experience is still in early preview and requires you to switch your Chromebook to the Beta channel and then enable the #borealis flag under chrome://flags, but it’s relatively safe to do so. Even so, not all Steam games will work on a Chromebook, and you’ll need higher-end hardware (like a 12th-generation or 11th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU and 16GB+ of RAM) to play these games without experiencing dropped frames or other issues. We’re suggesting some of our favorite games below which have been tested and confirmed by Google to work on the best Chromebooks.
Fallout 4 is an award-winning game from Bethesda Game Studios. Google has listed it as compatible with Chromebooks through Steam, but you’ll need to tune the graphics settings down a bit to enjoy this title. It’s an open-world post-apocalyptic role-playing game set in the year 2077 where you must enter Vault 111 to survive a nuclear apocalypse. The game is packed full of lots of action, and side quests, and is sure to take up your time when you’re feeling bored.
Tetris Effect: Connected
Tetris Effect: Connected is a bit more of a relaxing puzzle game. This award-winning game combines the classic Tetris puzzle experience with modern sounds and music and adds in multiplayer, so you can play with your friends. It’s a sensory experience that’s designed to keep you active and alert and on your toes, as you play. There are over 30 different stages each with their own sound effects and graphical styles.
A Short Hike
A Short Hike is a fun game to play on Chromebooks. In this game, you can hike and climb and fly through mountains in the fictitious village of Hawk Peak Provincial Park. You play as an adorable bird trying to make its way up to the highest summit. Along the way, on your trip, you’ll find other affordable hikers, find hidden treasures, and enjoy a relaxing soundtrack.
Euro Truck Simulator 2
Did you always want to get behind the wheel of a truck? That’s what you do in this Steam game. Euro Truck Simulator 2 puts you in the driver’s seat of a truck as you deliver important cargo across various cities. You go from the countryside to big cities and everywhere in between. You can drive various types of trucks both fast and slow, and enjoy weather effects and life-like driving conditions. You even can paint your truck to your own liking, so it’s not too generic.
SUPERHOT isn’t your traditional first-person shooter game. This game has smarter mechanics and levels when compared to other shooters on Steam. You take control of a silhouette in this game and try to make your way through levels. However, movement you make impacts where your bullets might end up. The game takes a lot of thinking and concentration, and it’s super fun and one of my favorites.
Untitled Goose Game
Into Puzzle stealth games? That’s exactly what Untitled Goose Game is. In this game, you play as a goose that bothers an entire village. You wreak havoc and manipulate objects to complete fun and silly objectives that annoy everyone around you. You even can honk as a real goose would. It’s a relaxing and funny game that doesn’t demand too much from most Chromebooks to play.
The state of video games on ChromeOS is changing all the time. Google has also partnered with multiple Chromebook manufacturers like Asus and Lenovo to deliver cloud gaming-first devices. The first Chromebook to hit the market is the Acer Chromebook 516 GE, which has a gorgeous display and the latest and greatest 12th-generation Intel processors. Gaming on ChromeOS has only just begun.