Ah, the age-old question. Can I play Minecraft on my Chromebook? Unfortunately, the answer isn’t as simple as “Yes or No.” If you’re a student and you have a Microsoft Office 365 EDU account, you’re good to go. You simply have to activate the Play Store on your Chromebook and install the Android version of Minecraft: Education Edition. From there, log in with your Microsoft credentials and go to town. This particular version is very similar to the classic Bedrock build of Minecraft but has some added features geared specifically towards the classroom.
If you don’t have an Office 365 EDU account, there are some workarounds that will allow you to play Minecraft so long as you own the full Android version from the Play Store. This involves installing Flatpak via Linux on your Chromebook and running a package that is essentially the middle-man between Linux and the Android APK of Minecraft. It’s a little hacky, doesn’t run great, and isn’t officially supported by Mojang. Still, it works if you prefer to use the Android version of Minecraft.
If you’re looking for an alternative and relatively clean way to install Minecraft on your Chromebook, look no further than Minecraft: Java Edition. While both versions of Minecraft have some minor variances, they both look and feel very similar. The key difference between the Java Edition and Bedrock is the platforms for which they are designed. Minecraft: Java Edition is built for PCs, macOS, and Linux while Bedrock is made primarily for mobile and console gaming. The one you choose really boils down to personal preference but the Java Edition is designed for PCs and it’s the version that we’re going to run on our Chromebook. Here’s a quick how-to to get you up and running in just a few minutes.
Installing Minecraft: Java Edition on a Chromebook
First and foremost, you’re going to need a Chromebook that supports Linux applications. You can find the Linux setting under the Developers tab of your Chromebook’s settings menu. It will be nested under the Advanced tab right above “About Chrome OS.” Once you’ve enabled Linux, you can click here to learn more about setting up Linux on your device. Ready? Awesome. Let’s go.
Note: Minecraft: Java Edition comes with a free demo version but you will need to purchase a license to access the full version of the game. It is a one-time purchase of $26.95. Alternatively, Minecraft: Java Edition is included with PC Game Pass that gives you access to hundreds of popular PC titles.
Installing Minecraft on Chrome OS is relatively straightforward thanks to the fact that Majong offers an official Linux version of the game specifically for Debian and Ubuntu Linux. It just so happens that Debian is the flavor of Linux that runs on supported Chromebooks. You can find the package on the Minecraft website here or you can download it directly from the link below. Once you have it, make sure to move it to your Linux folder in your Chrome OS Files App.
According to the Minecraft website, this version is a one-click install. “No fuss.” Unfortunately, there’s a bit more to it for the Linux that’s running on Chrome OS. Don’t worry though. It only takes a couple of extra steps and you’ll be crafting in no time. Before we install Minecraft, we need to install a couple of dependencies that are missing from the Linux system. To do this, we will open up our Terminal app from the Chrome OS app launcher and paste the following two commands.
sudo apt-get install default-jdk sudo apt-get install libsecret-1-0 -y
Once the installation is complete, we can move on to installing Minecraft. To install the Minecraft.deb file we downloaded, run the following command in your Linux terminal. If all goes as planned, you should see the Minecraft launcher pop up and begin the installation process.
sudo dpkg -i Minecraft.deb
You should now have a new app in your app drawer named “Minecraft Launcher.” Just double-click that and wait for the game to load. You’ll get a second popup when you try to log in. I’ve noticed that it is hit or miss on whether or not it will display. Simply click the icon on the shelf to minimize it and when you click it again, the login screen will appear. You can then log in with your Microsoft or Majong account. That’s it for installing Minecraft on your Chromebook but there are a couple of things you need to do before you’re ready to play.
For some reason, Google has yet to implement pointer lock in the Linux environment. Therefore, you’ll need to enable that using the pointer lock flag. Otherwise, you won’t be able to turn 360-degrees while you’re in-game. Annoying. You can also make sure that GPU acceleration is enabled while we’re on the Chrome flags page. To start, head to chrome://flags and search “pointer lock.” You should see a flag labeled #exo-pointer-lock. Enable that and then, search for GPU. Find the GPU acceleration flag and set that to enabled. Now, you’re all set. You should be able to fire up Minecraft and play to your heart’s content. Enjoy!