How Can You Play Minecraft on a Chromebook?

Can You Play Minecraft on a Chromebook?

If you already have a Chromebook or you are thinking about getting one, there are a few questions you may be asking. With the popularity of Minecraft, a question near the top of the list is: Can I play Minecraft on a Chromebook?

The short answer is no. The long answer is yes.

Chromebooks do not download and store applications, so it cannot download and install Minecraft. When it comes to power, a Chromebook is certainly powerful enough (the mobile version can be played on a Kindle or a mobile), that is not the problem. Minecraft is supported on Windows, Mac OS, Linux, and Android. It is not supported by Chrome OS, and that is the problem when it comes in playing it. Without support, you cannot play it. In essence, the answer is no, but there is always a solution to a problem.

What’s the Deal with Chrome OS?

When Chrome OS was being developed, the idea was to create something with only the core features, which would all be stored online, thus increasing the speed of your machine and creating a seamless online browsing experience. With Chrome OS, all apps are web apps, opened in Chrome. Storage happens in the cloud.

At its core, most Chromebooks have 16 – 64GB of storage, which is more than enough to download and store Minecraft (and play it), but Chrome OS does not want to deal with Java applications, and the way it has been created negates the need to. So what can you do?

Install a Linux Distro

Yes, there is a way around this troublesome problem. With a little of your time, you can install Linux on your Chromebook and play Minecraft. Chrome OS is based on Linux, so when you have your Linux Distro installed, you will be able to switch between that and Chrome OS with the touch of a button.

Here is our step by step guide “How to get Minecraft on Chromebook”

Find the Esc and Refresh keys. Hold them both down together. Next, press the power button. Your Chromebook will now reboot and enter Recovery Mode.

You will know that you are in Recovery Mode when you see the screen with the yellow exclamation mark. When you see that press Ctrl+D. You will then be prompted. The pop up will ask you if you want to enter Developer Mode. Select yes or press enter.

Be patient as it will take a few moments to get to the new screen. Do not press anything while the transition is being made. A new screen will appear for a few moments, and then your Chromebook will reboot again. This is where you need to be even more patient. The process of enabling Developer Mode can take 15 minutes. You do not need to do anything during this time. Let your Chromebook take care of it.

You will know that you are successful when you see a screen with a red exclamation mark. Let your Chromebook continue the reboot until you are back in Chrome OS. (*Note: With some older Chromebooks there may be a physical switch to flip in order to turn on Developer Mode)

Do a Google search for the Crouton download and find an applicable download. Download the software onto your Chromebook.

  • Press Ctrl+A+T. This will bring up your Chromebook terminal
  • Enter ‘shell’ and hit enter. This will enter you into an Ubuntu shell
  • Enter ‘sudo sh -e ~?Downloads/crouton -t xfce’ and hit enter

Your Chromebook will now install crouton. This also takes some time, so show some more of your trademark patience as you wait for it to do its job. You will know that you have been successful when you are asked for a username and password. Choose whichever username and password you wish.

Crouton will finish installing, and you will be entering more terminal commands (if you do not have access to the terminal, press Ctrl+A+T again).

Enter ‘sudo strartxfce4’ and hit enter.

You will now have Ubuntu installed. To switch between Ubuntu and Chrome OS, use Ctrl+Alt+shift+Back and Ctrl+Alt+shift+Forward.

Download Minecraft on Chromebook

Now that you have Ubuntu installed, you can download and install Minecraft. Here is how:

  • Open your terminal using Ctrl+A+T. Type in ‘sudo software-center’ and hit enter
  • Search for Open JDK
  • Find the Java 7 Runtime version and click on Install. It should not take too long to install this on your Chromebook
  • Switch back to Chrome OS and open your Chrome browser
  • Find the Minecraft launcher here. Find the Minecraft for Linux version and click on the link to download it
  • Once it is downloaded, switch back to Ubuntu
  • Find the file manager in the launcher. Find the download folder and the file you just downloaded. Right click on this file and chose properties, and then permissions. Find the checkbox with ‘allow executing file as program’ beside it. Check the box.
  • Now you can double-click on the file which you downloaded.
  • Minecraft will now run and install.


Chromebooks are not built to download and play games, or to download anything else for that matter. They are built to be used with web applications and websites. Because of this, they are extremely fast without needing an enormous amount of power. On the downside, they are powerful enough to run and play Minecraft but are not able to. As we have seen in this little tutorial, though, there is a way around that.

If you are a big Minecraft fan, the steps above are worth the time they take to get Minecraft up and running. Make sure that you are confident enough to go through all the steps exactly to avoid doing something which could distract the whole hard work to get Minecraft not working on your Chromebook.

The other things to think about are the software and drivers on your Chromebook. There is a chance that Minecraft may not run as expected and you will need to upgrade drivers and the like. This is easy to do but will add some time to your Minecraft Chromebook installation.

So, can you play Minecraft on a Chromebook?

Yes, you can.

Best Chromebook for Minecraft

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