How To Play Minecraft on A Google Chromebook

Finally, at long, long last, there is a simple way to play Minecraft on a Google Chromebook! Now, whilst it isn’t exactly as quick and straightforward as downloading Minecraft onto a standard computer or onto your Xbox, it is still more than manageable for anyone with a bit of tech know-how or savvy. 

To learn how to play Minecraft on a Google Chromebook, simply follow our step-by-step instructions below. For any additional information or further queries, see our FAQs at the end of this article.

Note: In order to run Minecraft on your Chromebook, you will have to make some alterations to the Chromebook, and input some simple code (which we’ll provide you), otherwise you simply won’t be able to play the game on your Google Chromebook

Step 1: How to activate the Linux beta on your Google Chromebook

  1. Power up your Google Chromebook and sign in, if prompted
  2. Click the time and date in the bottom-right corner, to bring up the menu
  3. From the pop-up menu, go to Settings
  4. Now, where you read ‘Linux (beta)’, toggle this ON
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the activation of the Linux beta on your Chromebook; and know that this could take anywhere up to 10 minutes
  6. Once Linux has activated, a terminal window will appear. You now need to ensure that Linux is updated to its most recent version. To do so, input the following command and hit Enter: “sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y”
    1. Note: If the terminal window does not appear, you can find it in the Linux Apps folder within the App Drawer (or search for ‘terminal’ in the Chromebook’s search bar – which you can navigate to by hitting the ‘search’ key on your keyboard)

Step 2: Download and Install Minecraft via the Linux beta on your Google Chromebook

  1. Navigate to the Minecraft Debian/Ubuntu (minecraft.deb) version download (the version which is compatible with your newly-installed Linux beta) – 
  2. Click on the minecraft.deb package to download it to your Chromebook
  3. Now, move the downloaded file to ‘Linux Files’, which you’ll find inside your Chromebook’s ‘Files’ app
  4. Lastly, double-click on the Minecraft file in the Linux Files folder, and click ‘Install’
  5. Wait for the installation to complete (following any necessary on-screen instructions), and once it’s finished, open your newly-installed Minecraft app
    1. You can find the Minecraft app in the Apps Drawer > Linux Apps folder, or via the search bar (as above)
  6. Run Minecraft and sign-in (or sign-up) using your Microsoft or Mojang account details
  7. Click ‘Play Demo’ and your Chromebook will automatically begin downloading the latest version of Minecraft. Once it’s downloaded, the app will automatically close and reopen (though if it doesn’t reopen, just repeat step 5a).
  8. Finally, you’ll be able to play Minecraft on your Chromebook. To do so, simply press ‘Play Demo World’ in the Minecraft app, and off you go!

Note: A few helpful tips – changing sensitivity to ‘Hyperspeed’ in Mouse Settings is a good way of smoothing gameplay. Also, if you want to lock your mouse’s cursor whilst playing, then first open up a Chrome web browser and paste it into the search bar “chrome://flags/#exo-pointer-lock”. Hit Enter. Once on the website, enable ‘Pointer lock for Linux applications’, and exit the site. Restart your Chromebook and when you next play Minecraft your cursor will be locked.

And there you have it! Granted, it’s not a super quick method, but it is the only method that works. So to play Minecraft on your Google Chromebook, be sure to follow our instructions carefully!

For all other queries and any additional information, see our FAQs below.

Frequently asked questions

What are the benefits of playing Minecraft on a Google Chromebook?

Minecraft – one of the world’s biggest and most popular games, in which users mine resources and craft extraordinary worlds – is a whole heap of fun. As such, players often want the means to play it wherever they are, with no restrictions imposed on them purely for the devices they wish to use.

Whilst you can play Minecraft on gaming consoles and mobile or tablet devices, most Minecraft gaming takes place on PCs. However, until very recently, it was impossible to play Minecraft on a Google Chromebook – there simply wasn’t a version built which was compatible. 

Thankfully, this has changed, and users can now install a Linux-based Debian/Ubuntu version of the game on their Chromebook – however, only after they first make some changes to their PC.

What’s great though is that Chromebooks are affordable and lightweight, making them a really intriguing choice for a gamer on a budget, and/or a gamer on the go!

What are the drawbacks of playing Minecraft on a Google Chromebook?

In order to play Minecraft on your Google Chromebook, you first have to make some alterations to your Chromebook (don’t worry though – nothing that isn’t already built into the PC). Furthermore, you’ll also have to input a little bit of code (again, don’t worry – we’ll walk you through it). 

Ultimately, there are thankfully few drawbacks to playing Minecraft on a Google Chromebook, and our goal is not to discourage you from doing so. We just want to inform you that first, you’ll have to be comfortable to make changes to your Chromebook and that on top of that, you’ll need the requisite space on your device, since you’re downloading a whole game (and remember, Chromebooks don’t typically come built with much hardware storage space).

I don’t want to change my Chromebook at all, can I still play Minecraft?

We’re afraid not. There just hasn’t been a version of Microsoft built for Chrome OS yet (the operating system which Chromebooks run, as a rule), which is compatible. You simply have to choose whether to alter your Chromebook and play Minecraft, or not.

I don’t seem to be able to access Linux apps or activate Linux on my Chromebook, why is that?

The most likely reason is that you don’t own your Chromebook, and have it courtesy of a school or work administration. As such, whether you can or can’t install and run Linux apps is entirely at the discretion of your administrator. We recommend contacting them if you experience any such issues.

The other potential reason is that your Chrome OS or indeed the Linux beta has not been updated to the newest version, or that your device itself is too old, and has not come with the Linux capabilities installed which newer Chromebooks do. 

First, try updating both your Chrome OS and the Linux beta (via the means described above). If this doesn’t work, and you’re still unable to activate Linux or to download and play Linux apps, then the issue is most likely a hardware or storage one.

How much storage does Minecraft take up on a Google Chromebook?

The Unbuntu version of Minecraft for the PC may take up anywhere between 500MB and 4GB – as such, you’re going to need plenty of room on your Chromebook in order to run it and should factor this into your decision to download it, before you start altering your Chromebook.