Google reportedly preparing a new “Game Mode” for Chrome OS

Google reportedly preparing a new “Game Mode” for Chrome OS

Chromebooks have always been great for getting work done, providing easy access to services like Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and more. With Chrome OS already firmly established among enterprise and education users, Google is reportedly working to make these devices more popular among gamers, too.

According to Chrome Unboxed, Google is reportedly working on a new “Game Mode” for Chromebooks. The new mode will allegedly leverage “Borealis,” a Steam gaming container coming to Chrome OS. Commits from the Chromium Gerrit reveal the Game Mode will turn on when a Borealis window is made full-screen.

“Implement logic to track window state and toggles game mode when a Borealis window is focused and enters and exits full screen,” reads a commit via Chromium Gerrit. “Currently game mode is not implemented and a error message is logged instead to indicate entering and exiting game mode.”

Chrome Unboxed speculates once Game Mode on Chrome OS is enabled it’ll provide users with pointer lock and performance priority on the gaming window. It’s also possible users will continue to have access to things like messaging, screen recording, and more.

Chromebook users already have access to Stadia and GeForce NOW, and once a native Steam client arrives, users will have access to a trifecta of high-end gaming experiences. With more powerful Chromebooks expected later this year, it makes sense for Google to introduce a Game Mode.

Google has reportedly been working in cooperation with Valve for over a year now on bringing Steam support to Chrome OS, which would reportedly be enabled by Chrome OS’ Linux compatibility. It’s possible to run the Steam Linux client on Chrome OS using Crostini, but official support would provide users with a much-improved experience.

If gaming isn’t your thing, Chrome OS is getting plenty of other features, including the recent arrival of Android 11 to the Chrome OS Beta channel, which introduced dark theme support.

About author

Brandon Russell
Brandon Russell

Brandon's love of technology can be traced back to his childhood, when he would obsessively watch Back to the Future. Since then he's followed the industry and its many innovations, from handheld consoles to powerful smartphones. He's still waiting on a hoverboard.