Is a Chromebook good for gaming? - The Leamington Observer

Is a Chromebook good for gaming?

Correspondent 16th Mar, 2023 Updated: 31st Mar, 2023   0

In the choc-a-bloc world of gaming hardware, there are so many options for button-mashers to choose from. Do you go console and trade game variety for system stability? Perhaps you go handheld and sacrifice power for portability? Or do you trade simplicity for variety, less expense, and upgradeability by joining the PC crowd?

Up until a few years ago, if you wanted to join the lattermost tribe, you needed a head for tech and plenty of patience to set up a gaming PC. But today, stable PC laptops like Chromebooks are on the market. Do they solve the final piece of the PC puzzle? Are they good for gaming?

What is a Chromebook?

Chromebooks are slimmed-down versions of laptops. Instead of running on Windows, iOS, or Linux, they use ChromeOS. They’re heavily dependent on an internet connection too. That’s because they fulfil much of their storage (they have small hard drives) and performance needs over the cloud.




This lighter type of laptop comes with your everyday needs, like a web browser, Google Docs, Gmail, and access to a range of apps via the Google Play Store. They’re low-cost to buy, and most apps are free, which has made them popular, particularly with schools and students.

Google says there is abundant security on its Chromebooks. Yet, with the device so dependent on the internet, it can be a good idea to load up a VPN for Chromebook whenever going online. That way, you can be sure your data isn’t stolen over public Wi-Fi networks.


Can I game on Chromebook?

So, now we’ve introduced the Chromebook, can you use it for gaming?

The answer is yes. Plenty of games are available for the Chromebook, and any browser-based games will also work perfectly. There’s a big caveat to bear in mind here, though – specs. Let’s look at a typical HP Chromebook. We can see that it features a Celeron processor, 4GB of RAM, an internal Intel graphics chip, and 64GB of onboard storage. Put simply, this isn’t enough power to run most new games. In fact, you might need to dial back time to the early teens to find a game that will run off the hardware alone.

Okay, so it can’t play good games?

Not right now, but soon, yes. Google recently partnered with Valve to make this possible via their Steam Link app. This app offloads lots of the hardware’s heavy lifting to the cloud. This means the image is streamed via the internet, and Steam’s servers do the heavy computation.

The main requirement is that you are using a Steam account connected to the same network you’re logged into. And your Chromebook needs to be up to the task – you’ll still need an Intel i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 CPU and 16GB of RAM. This, however, only works for the newest Chromebooks, like the ones from Acer and ASUS – which also come with the hardware to back it up. Steam Link is currently in Beta. Check it out here, but beware, all its features aren’t quite ready yet.

Cloud gaming on Chromebooks is something we’ll be enjoying in the future. But, as of now, a Chromebook is great for mobile gaming, but can’t compete with a proper gaming laptop or desktop PC for more complex and tech-intense games.

Article written by Steph King.

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