How to play RuneScape on your Chromebook – Updated for 2017

By | 11/07/2016

If you’re a RuneScape fan, you’re probably itching to play it on your Chromebook.

So, you go to their site, attempt to load RuneScape, and you’ll notice that your Chromebook can’t even run the java environment required to play the game in the first place. This is because of the way Chrome OS was built, and you’re about to see why it’s a good thing.

Don’t be disappointed.

Chrome was built without java for a reason- mainly security. This is why Chromebooks can’t play Minecraft or RuneScape out-of-the-box. But thankfully, there’s a pretty easy workaround to get RuneScape running on your Chromebook.

Note that you need to have some idea of using the command prompt (terminal) to do this. It’s not difficult, but it’s easy to make a mistake. If you’ve never used the command prompt before, it’s okay. Just follow the steps below and make sure you type in each line of code exactly as stated here otherwise your Chromebook will throw an error.

Another note of warning: setting your Chromebook up for RuneScape requires that you enable developer mode on your Chromebook. This is potentially dangerous in the sense that you can screw up your laptop, but you can always do a powerwash and reset your Chromebook to factory settings.

And another warning: be sure to backup all your personal files, pictures, data, images, and whatever else you have saved to your Chromebook before doing this.

Okay, are you ready? Let’s install RuneScape on your Chromebook. Woot.

Here’s how to do it.

Last updated: 1/11/17. This guide will constantly be updated when needed to provide an accurate installation process. Did you find an error? Is there a missing step? Please leave a comment and I’ll update this page promptly when a solution is found.


Install Linux on your Chromebook

Chromebooks can run RuneScape using a copy of Linux.

Chromebooks can run RuneScape using a copy of Linux.

To get around the java-less environment of your Chromebook, we’ll have to install Linux. Linux is an operating system (just like Windows, Mac, or Chrome OS) that’s widely used among developers around the world. It’s free and offers a lot of features just like Chrome OS. Linux can run java applications, which is exactly what you need for Runescape.

Also, note that this will only work for Intel-powered Chromebooks. Most Chromebooks are powered by Intel processors, but some are ARM-based or MediaTek-based. Just look at your Chromebook’s stickers or check your system settings to see what processor your Chromebook has. If you don’t have Intel, don’t waste your time with this guide. It won’t work. Sorry. If you’re a hardcore fan, consider buying an Intel-based laptop. I have a Chromebook buyer’s guide for that.

If you do have Intel, proceed onto the following steps.

So, you have an Intel-powered Chromebook and you want to play RuneScape? Let’s go.

Enable developer mode

To install Linux, you’ll need to enable developer mode on your Chromebook. So check it out and follow the steps there, then come back here and proceed. It should be fairly straightforward.

Install Crouton on your Chromebook

RuneScape can run on most Chromebooks with Crouton installed.

RuneScape can run on most Chromebooks with Crouton installed.

Okay, so now you have developer mode enabled. Next, we’ll install Crouton, which is basically an installer that installs Linux on your laptop. For simplicity’s sake, Crouton is just a launcher that installs Linux. Don’t get confused over the naming. To make things more confusing, we’ll be installing Ubuntu, which is a version of Linux using Crouton. And on top of that, we’ll be installing Xfce, which is derivative of Ubuntu. And…we’ll be using the “Trusty” version of Xfce. Too much? Don’t worry about it. It’s all pretty much done automatically.

Step 1: Download Crouton from the github page here.

I suggest you also read the page as it covers important steps to install it such as adding support for touchscreens and whatnot. If you decide to add additional features, modify the lines of code below to fit your needs. To keep things simple, I’ll be supplying bare-bones code below.

Note: be sure to save Crouton to the default “Downloads” folder or else it won’t work with the following steps.


Step 2: Open up the command terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” and you’ll get a popup box. In the box, type the following lines of code (without the quotations):


“sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -r trusty -t xfce”

What this will do is install “Trusty” on the Xfce environment. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry about it. For more advanced users, there are different desktop environments of Ubuntu you can install. For this tutorial, we’ll stick with Xfce which is plain and simple.

Note: The “-trusty” command is optional, but it’s recommended to prevent errors from possibly occurring later in the process.

Step 3: Start up Ubuntu. After the installation completes, type in:

“Sudo startxfce4”

If you’re using a different desktop environment, replace “xfce4” with whatever you chose.


Step 4: Install all updates to make sure you have the newest improvements and patches. You can do this by booting into Ubuntu, type the following commands:

“sudo apt-get update”

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”

Then type in:

“sudo apt-get install software-center”

These steps will update your Ubuntu to the newest version, and install the software center which makes installing applications on your Chromebook via Ubuntu much easier.

Tip: You can use “Ctrl + Alt + Shift + Left/Right Arrow” to switch between Chrome OS and Ubuntu easily. So if you have issues looking up how to do something in Ubuntu, you can switch to Chrome and look it up using your familiar browser.


Download the RuneScape installer

Okay, so at this point you should have a Chromebook with Ubuntu installed. Next, we’ll install RuneScape on your Chromebook.

Step 1: Boot up your Ubuntu installation from Chrome OS. Open up the terminal by pressing “Ctrl + Alt + T” and type the following lines of code:

“sudo apt-add-repository ppa:hikariknight/unix-runescape-client”

“sudo apt-get update”

“sudo apt-get install unix-runescape-client”

After that, RuneScape will install on your Chromebook. You’re almost ready to play.

Step 2: Type in “runescape” and hit Enter. RuneScape will boot and you’re all set.


You’re done! You should now be able play RuneScape on your Chromebook!

Play RuneScape on your Chromebook. You did it.

Play RuneScape on your Chromebook. You did it.

Improving the performance of RuneScape on your Chromebook

If you have a cheap Chromebook, you may notice that the game chugs and doesn’t run too smoothly. When I first launched RuneScape, I was getting about 12FPS on my Acer Chromebook CB3-131 (Intel Celeron, 2GB RAM). What I did was switch the game over to Legacy mode, which is made to run on weaker computers. This alone boosted me up to about 22FPS. You can also change the graphic settings within the game. Change the resolution to the lowest playable resolution for another performance boost. You can disable any background applications you may have running to squeeze out some more performance. Playing in a smaller window also seems to help as well.

If you had any trouble with getting RuneScape to run, here’s a video going over pretty much the same steps:

Well, that’s about it. You should now be able to run RuneScape pretty smoothly on your Chromebook, and start training your fire-starting and fishing skills ASAP. If you have any issues, please let me know in the comments below. Note that this guide doesn’t work for ever single Chromebook. Strangely enough, some Chromebooks work and some don’t- even if it’s the same operating system. There is no universal guide that works for all Chromebooks. However, with minor tweaks and such, you can get RuneScape to play on most Chromebooks.

If this guide has helped you, consider telling your friends about it using the social buttons on this article. If you’re having issues, leave a comment and I’ll see what i can do. But first, try to tinker and see if you can figure it out yourself. It’s always good to learn and become a Chromebook master.

About Andy Z.

Andy is a casual-hardcore Chrome OS fan and contributes to the site regularly. He likes computers, tech, sports cars, videogames, and of course, Chromebooks. Thinker. Introvert. Geek. You can find him on Twitter (@platytech), or send him an email (

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