ATTENTION ALL POKEMON GO ADDICTS- listen up.
You’re addicted to PG on your phone. Now you want it on your Chromebook.
I have no idea why you would, but it’s totally possible to do so. Maybe you’re a hardcore Pokemon Go fan. Or maybe you want to message your Pokemon Go friends. Or maybe you’re just a terrible employee or student. I don’t know why, and I don’t care really.
Whatever your reason is, you can definitely play Pokemon Go on your Chromebook. It’s kind of technical, but if you’re a real addict, you’ll push through it. Just like how Pikachu always pushes through for Ash. (Zing.)
Last updated: 4/27/17. I’ll constantly check the web for any updates so you get the most accurate information in this tutorial.
Anyway, here’s how to do it. Step-by-step.
How to install and play Pokemon Go on your Chromebook
Step 1: Make sure your Chromebook can run Pokemon Go.
To install and play the game, you’ll have to make sure your laptop is compatible with the Play Store. The Play Store is an update that allows Chromebooks to install and run Android apps. It’s a relatively new update that’s limited to a number of different models. It’s slowly rolling out to more and more Chromebooks.
When Pokemon Go first came out, the Play Store was only been released for 3 Chromebook models.
Now, it’s a lot later. More and more models now already have the update pre-installed, such as the newest Samsung Chromebooks (Pro and Plus). Other models are capable of downloading the update or are due to receive it.
If your laptop doesn’t have the update yet, you can see when (and if) it’s going to get it on this full list.
Not on the list? Impatient for the update?
Here are your options:
- Wait until your model gets the Android update
- Buy a Chromebook that’s on the list
- Buy a newer, touchscreen Chromebook (preferably one made in 2017) that either has the update already installed or is due to receive it- newer models receive the update faster than older ones
Step 2: If your Chromebook has the Play Store, go ahead and install Pokemon Go on your Chromebook.
Launch the Play Store. Search for Pokemon Go. Install it. Easy enough.
Step 3: Allow permissions for the Pokemon Go app.
The app will ask for certain permissions on your Chromebook. You’ll obviously have to allow these permissions to play the game and launch the app. Some users have reported that there were issues where the app won’t ask for permissions and won’t launch. Simply relaunch the app if this happens and it should work the second time around.
Pokemon Go will ask for permissions for the following items:
- Location data
- Webcam access for pictures and videos
You’ll have to accept these as they’re integral to the game, especially your location. The game needs to know your location so it knows what Pokemon to spawn and your environment (land, ocean, city, etc.).
Step 4: Log into your Google account.
If you don’t have a Google account, you’ll have to register one in order to play Pokemon Go. If you already have one, just log in.
Step 5: Understand the compromises of playing Pokemon Go on your Chromebook instead of a smartphone.
Pokemon Go is a GPS-based game. That’s a given. You’ll need location services for the app to work correctly. The problem is that your Chromebook doesn’t have GPS built-in. It relies on your network setup for location data.
So, what are you going to do? Well, your Chromebook will detect your location via your WiFi network using GPS. So if your service provider is accurate enough, you should be right where you are with near-100% accuracy.
However, some service providers have their WiFi network located in a remote location from where you actually are, so you may see unfamiliar streets and locations. This is just something you’ll have to deal with. You’ll be walking around in a land you’ve never heard of, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s the environment that matters. As long as you can identify it, you’ll be okay. This is a bug and consequence of playing the game on your Chromebook. If you have a newer model, some offer more connectivity options that may work around this bug.
As long as you can identify it, you’ll be okay. This is a bug and consequence of playing the game on your Chromebook. If you have a newer model, some offer more connectivity options that may work around this bug. But most users won’t.
Your Chromebook is a portable device. Remember?
Take it with you. Instead of walking around with your phone, you’ll be sporting a Chromebook. Sit down at a location with WiFi and go huntin’. You can do this because lots of places offer free WiFi and you just sit down and catch ’em all. You can do this in malls, restaurants, events, stores and more.
Sure, it’s not as convenient as a smartphone, but why did you decide to use a Chromebook in the first place to catch Pokemon? Whatever the reason, that’s why it’s worth it to lug your Chromebook around. Show your hardcore devotion to the art.
Step 6: Play. (The best step.)
Besides the GPS issue, the game works pretty well. You can buy stuff at PokeStops, go to gyms, and of course, catch ‘em all. But that’s if you find one in your location determined by your WiFi network, or wherever you happen to bring your Chromebook.
Here’s a YouTube video demonstrating the game in action:
One other thing you’ll notice- the augmented reality (AR) feature doesn’t work. Like. At all.
Well, it works. But backward.
If you try to use AR on your Chromebook to play Pokemon Go, you’ll likely see a Bulbasaur bouncing around on your forehead due to the webcam access.
So, besides the AR and GPS issues, the game basically works and is playable. You’ll be able to catch Pokemon while chatting with friends on Google Hangouts and Skype while watching YouTube while trying to do your English assignment in Google Docs.
And you can do this anywhere. Only on Chromebook. Only for geeks.
How awesome is that?
Did you get it working?
This is pretty cool that you can basically emulate the game on a laptop. Although it’s glitchy, it shows the power of integration between Chrome OS and Android. It’s pretty impressive and I had a blast playing the game on a laptop screen over my phone. I’m pretty sure over time the game will improve. Perhaps even a Chrome OS version will come out.
That’s something worth Pikachu’ing at.
What are your thoughts? Leave a comment and let all of us know.