Since it launched in October of 2019, Call of Duty Mobile has taken the mobile gaming world by storm, amassing a ridiculous 100 million plus downloads and a massive player base along the way. I play the game regularly on my phone and there is never a wait for any of the play modes and no lack in highly-competetive play across the board. The game is addictivie and insanely fun with new modes, maps, and events happening all the time. But there’s been one problem that has made no sense to me the entire time: odd, lacking Chromebook support.
Don’t misunderstand me: there are going to be games and apps that just don’t work on Chromebooks and that’s fine. It is in the way this particular game chooses not to work that is most aggravating. I’ve installed Call of Duty Mobile on multiple Chromebooks and some form of the same story always happens. The game installs and I can log in and I can navigate around the menu portions just fine. After a few minutes, however, everything simply shuts down and after that, any attempt to launch the game simply crashes within a few seconds.
It definitely feels like the game is checking the hardware on that first run and once it determines that the device is a Chromebook, it shuts the door and refuses to run again. The way the initial screens load and function, however, tells me that this game is more than capable of running on a Chromebook and I can’t decide if this is a Chrome OS block or an Intel block that the app is choosing to shut down for.
Of course, when the Lenovo Chromebook Duet came in, I had to try out Call of Duty on it and, just like the 10e before it, Call of Duty runs just fine. With the 10e, I wasn’t sure if maybe the game just slipped through the cracks, but as I’ve played more on the Duet and also installed it on other ARM Chromebooks, it seems that the ‘limitation’ of the game has more to do with the processor under the hood than the operating system. Not once has COD crashed on me and, to be honest, it is one of the best mobile games I’ve played on a Chromebook to date.
The mid-range processors in the Lenovo tablets have no business running Call of Duty as well as they do, yet the game remains buttery smooth without choking all over itself even in the larger battle royale modes. I’m not fully sure why this is the case as the Intel-based Chromebooks I’ve tried playing COD on are far more powerful than the Duet, but I can tell you that Call of Duty Mobile is a great experience on the Duet and 10e and as we get more capable ARM Chromebooks throughout the year, it will likely run well on those as well.
As an added benefit, COD Mobile has built-in controller support, so gaming on your Chromebook could be even better with this enabled if you’d prefer a controller. I’ve tried a few of the cheap Bluetooth controllers I have around to no avail and the game doesn’t recognize the Stadia controller when plugged in, but we’ll keep testing to find one that works. For now, the Duet is the perfect size for touch-screen gaming and Call of Duty Mobile is easily one of the best around. While I love that these lower-priced Chromebooks are getting in on the action, I’m hopeful that COD Mobile will eventually run on all Chromebooks regardless of whether or not their processors from are Intel, AMD, or ARM.