ChromeOS 105 brings keyboard controls for touch-first Android games
Google is making gaming on Chromebooks even easier. Starting with ChromeOS 105, you’ll notice an early Alpha test of game controls in touchscreen-only Android games. This should let you control and enjoy more Android games with your Chromebook keyboard since the feature helps simulate touch events.
In this Alpha release of the feature, Google is rolling out just a few things to try out on Chromebooks. When you launch a compatible game like Mr. Autofire or Stack Fall, (a full list can be seen below) you’ll be able to see an overlay showing the keys you can use to simulate various touches on the screen via your keyboard. It is important to note though that Google doesn’t intend this feature to be used in active gameplay as of yet. It still suggests using the mouse for menu navigation and in-game dialogues.
The initial controls on ChromeOS 105 can send signals like tap actions and touch and drag. You’ll also be able to customize the key bindings in the game controls menu, via a pop-up white square menu hovering on the right side of the game’s window. Right now, these controls can be found in select joystick, single button, multi-button, and swipe games. If you don’t want these controls, you can turn it off, too.
List of compatible games
- Heroics Epic Legend of Archero
- Wizard Legend: Fighting Master
- Pixel Blade R – Revolution
- Zombero: Archero Hero Shooter
- Archer Hunter – Offline Action Adventure Game
- Mr. Autofire
- Geometry Dash Lite
- Stack Ball – Crash Platforms
- Fire Balls 3D
- Stack Smash
- Drop Stack Ball – Fall Helix Blast Crash 3D
- Helix Smash
- Stack Crush Ball
- Crush Stack Ball Blast
- Stack Fall
- Helix Stack Jump: Smash Ball
- Tap Titans 2
- Hill Climb Racing
- Ninja Arashi 2
- Ninja Arashi
- Ninja warrior: legend of adventure games
- Power Hover
- 2048 (Androbaby)
- 2048 Original
- 2048 (Solebon LLC)
- 2048 Number puzzle game
- 2048 (S2Apps)
Google says it came up with this feature because it found that keyboard support is critical for ChromeOS, where the majority of ChromeOS users interact with apps using a mouse and keyboard. It also found that many apps from the Google Play Store are only designed with touch interactions in mind, which is a problem for gamers since it requires quick movements or button taps that you can’t do with a mouse.
Heading into the future, Google is planning to add an editor to make adding game controls support possible for any game from the Google Play Store that can run on your Chromebook. Mouse and gamepad support, and more types of touch interactions are other things that Google has planned. You also can submit feedback to Google via the hover menu to help make the feature great for everyone.