How to Play Minecraft on a Chromebook

Can you play Minecraft on a Chromebook? Yes, here's how!

You can play Minecraft on Windows, Linux, macOS, and even on mobile devices like Android or iOS. Unfortunately, no version of Minecraft has ever been created for Chromebook.

Thankfully, you can install the version of Minecraft for Linux on your Chromebook by setting up Linux and installing the Debian/Ubuntu Minecraft file there.

How to Get Minecraft On Chromebook

Up until 2020, the only way to use Linux on your Chromebook was to enable developer mode and use Crouton to install Ubuntu. However, now you can install Linux from inside your Chromebook settings page.

Once you do, you can easily install and play Minecraft on a Chromebook with ease.

  1. To install Linux on your Chromebook, open Chromebook Settings and select Linux (Beta) from the left menu. Select Turn on in the Linux pane.

    Screenshot of the enabling Linux switch on a Chromebook.

    Setting up Linux on your Chromebook will use up 450 MB of your local Chromebook storage. Use the Chromebook file manager to make sure you have enough local storage available.

  2. On the pop-up Linux setup window, select Next to continue. Type a user name for your Linux session and select Install. It may take several minutes for Chromebook to download and set up the virtual machine where Linux will be installed. When it's finished, you'll see a Linux terminal window appear.

    Screenshot of Linux terminal on Chromebook
  3. Visit the Minecraft download page and download the Debian/Ubuntu Minecraft.deb file to your Chromebook. Save the file into the Linux files folder under My files in your Chromebook storage area.

    Screenshot of Linux files storage area on a Chromebook.
  4. Double-click the Minecraft.deb file and select the Install button to install Minecraft into the Linux virtual machine on your Chromebook.

    Screenshot of installing Linux (Beta) on Chromebook
  5. Once the installation is finished, open the App Drawer, click on the Linux folder, and select Minecraft Launcher.

    Screenshot of the Minecraft Launcher on Chromebook.

    If you see an installation error, open the Terminal app from the app drawer and type the following Linux commands to install the latest version of the Java Development Kit:

    • sudo apt-get update
    • sudo apt-get upgrade
    • sudo apt-get install default-jdk
  6. This will launch Minecraft for Chromebook. You'll see the login window. Just log into your Minecraft account to start playing Minecraft! Once you launch the game, the app will automatically download the latest release to your Linux container and install the update.

    Screenshot of Minecraft Login on Chromebook

    You can play the Demo without purchasing Minecraft. But to play the full version you'll need to select the Buy now link and purchase Minecraft Java Edition.

How to Play Minecraft on Chromebook

Minecraft will run fine on your Chromebook after using the steps above to install it. However, you may find the game is a bit laggy or the mouse may not work quite right. There are a few Chromebook settings you can tweak to improve performance and reduce the chance of experiencing any bugs.

  1. Enable Chrome flags. The following flags will improve your Minecraft playing experience. If you don't see any of the flags available below, then it isn't available on your version of Chromebook and you don't have to worry about enabling the flag.

    Enable all of the following flags by opening the Chrome browser, typing (or pasting) in the URL, and selecting Enabled from the dropdown list.

    • chrome://flags/#crostini-gpu-support
    • chrome://flags/#exo-pointer-lock
    • chrome://flags/#enable-pointer-lock-options
    Screenshot of Chrome flags
  2. Optimize Minecraft settings for Chromebook. Press Esc while in-game and select Options from the menu. Select Video Settings. Adjust the following settings.

    • Graphics: Fast
    • Smooth Lighting: Off
    • Render Distance: 10 chunks
    • Max Framerate: 30 fps
    • Clouds: OFF
    • Particles: Minimal
    • Entity Shadows: OFF
    Screenshot of video settings in Minecraft on Chromebook
  3. If you have a lower-end Chromecast device and you find that Minecraft still runs pretty slow even after updating the settings above, you can install OptiFine for Minecraft. This app optimizes your framerate for lower-end Chromebooks. Just download the latest version of Optifine, place it in your Linux files folder, and in the Terminal window type:

    java -jar OptiFine_1.14.4_HD_U_F5.jar 

    (Replace the name of the file with the one you downloaded. In our case above, our file name is OptiFine_1.14.4_HD_U_F5).

    Select Install and OptiFine will install to your Chromebook Linux installation.

    What this means is that even on a Chromebook, you can play Minecraft in full-screen mode and it'll run great.

    Screenshot of Minecraft in full screen on a Chromebook

Minecraft For Chromebook

On the Minecraft signup page, you'll see a message that Minecraft doesn't work on Chromebook. This is true, but when you use the procedure above, you aren't playing Minecraft on your Chromebook. You're playing it inside a Linux virtual machine on your Chromebook. As far as the Minecraft servers know, you're playing Minecraft on a Linux machine.

This means that so long as you have one of the supported Chromebook devices, you can run Linux (Beta) and use Minecraft on your Chromebook without any problems at all. If you don't have a supported device and really want to play Minecraft, you might consider upgrading to one of the better Chromebooks on the market today.