Play Apex Legends on a Chromebook (Theory) – 2019

Play Apex Legends on a Chromebook (Theory) – 2019

So, you want to get some Apex Legends action on your Chromebook.

With the game being a huge hit in the battle royale community, it’s not surprising that some of you want to get the game on your Chromebook for some portable action at school, work, or wherever.

Apex Legends is huge.

But, there’s a very important warning you should know: Only a very small percentage of you (like 1%) will be able to get the game installed, let alone running. You should only attempt this if you’re willing to learn some basic Linux skills and have some time to waste.

This is more of a theory than an actual practice. So don’t expect to actually be playing the game afterward!

Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But if you really want to play games on your Chromebook, I have a ton of tutorials for all the popular games right now that you can check out later in this tutorial.

This post will detail a way to download, install, and play Apex Legends on a Chromebook, but it’s laggy and not fully tested because the game just came out.

But if you’re willing to do anything to be the last team standing, let’s give it a shot.

Ready to get started? Let’s roll.

 

This is a theory

Play Apex Legends on Chromebook.
Want Apex Legends on your Chromebook? You could- in theory.

Remember, this whole thing is a theory.

There’s no guarantee this will work, and for the majority of you, this won’t. Keep that in mind.

Chromebook’s aren’t made for gaming. But there are some gaming Chromebooks (not really, but they have decent power and a large screen).

Playing a demanding game like Apex Legends on your Chromebook ain’t easy, and only a small percentage of laptops have the physical hardware to even run the game. Well, not laptops, Chromebooks.

So if anything, read this for fun. Attempt this if you’re crazy. Other than that, you can try attempting this just for fun. Perhaps you’ll learn something out of it? Either way, you’ll be set up with Linux, which will let you play a bunch of other games even if this game doesn’t work out for you.

So go ahead. Grab your favorite drink. And sit down for some theory.

 

What you’ll need

How to use Linux on Chromebook.
Learn how to use Linux on your Chromebook!

You’ll just need two things for this to work:

  • A Chromebook (obviously)
  • Linux

Because Chromebooks run Chrome OS and this operating system doesn’t run third-party executables or programs, the only way around this block is to get Linux.

By getting Linux, we unlock a lot more potential with our Chromebooks. We can do a ton of stuff like play games, run Windows programs, and even play Steam games.

This is what we need to do to get this set up properly so we can get some sweet sweet Apex Legends on our laptop.damaris

You can check out this tutorial I wrote just a few weeks ago that covers everything that Linux can do.

 

Chromebook hardware requirements

Apex Legends states that the game requires the following hardware for minimum system requirements:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-6300 3.8GHz / AMD FX-4350 4.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • RAM: 6GB
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 640 / Radeon HD 7730
  • GPU RAM: 1 GB
  • HARD DRIVE: Minimum 22 GB of free space

And the recommended requirements state the following:

  • OS: 64-bit Windows 7
  • CPU: Intel i5 3570K or equivalent
  • RAM: 8GB
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 / AMD Radeon R9 290
  • GPU RAM: 8GB
  • HARD DRIVE: Minimum 22 GB of free space

Both of these systems are straight from Apex Legend’s site, so you can see how demanding the game would be for an underpowered laptop that many call a Chromebook. Just from the “OS” recommendation, we already know that there’s a ton of work to be done straight from the beginning.

Props to anyone who actually decides to try this. And double props to those who actually get this working (probably less than 1%).

As you can see, most Chromebooks don’t even come close to meeting those requirements. You’ll need one of the most powerful Chromebooks on the market just to meet those demands.

But for those who want to try anyway (just so you can get some bragging rights that you got the game running on your Chromebook), you can attempt this.

 

Chromebook and Apex Legends aren’t a good match

This is exactly why I said this is a theoretical kind of thing.

The majority of owners won’t be able to run the game. But if you happen to have a Chromebook Pixel, you just may be able to pull this off. Most people don’t though, which is why most people can’t play the game on their Chromebook.

Chromebooks just simply don’t have the hardware to do so, even if we can get around Chrome OS, we still don’t have the processing power needed to run Apex Legends.

The majority of Chromebooks only have 2 or 4GB of RAM, which does not meet the minimum requirement of 6GB. The other thing is that this requires a dedicated GPU, which no Chromebook really has on the market. And the last thing is the space, not many have a 22GB SSD, but a few do.

Oh, and the processor requires a minimum of an Intel i3, which only the top-end lineups have. So this is pretty much only 1% of all Chromebook owners will be able to pull this off.

You can check your system specs in a few different ways if you’re unsure of what hardware is powering your Chromebook.

 

Check your Chromebook specs

Here are a few different ways to check what components are under the hood:

  • Do a search for your Chromebook’s model/brand on your favorite search engine.
  • Launch Chrome and type in “chrome:system” then use the fields to read what hardware you have (CPU, GPU, RAM, SSD, etc.)
  • Look on the bottom panel and find the sticker that lists some of the hardware components.

After you get your system specs, you’ll quickly realize that it’s not enough to run Apex Legends- for the majority of users.

Again, that’s why I warned you ahead of time. If you don’t want to try this anymore, there are a ton of other games you can get on your Chromebook:

And a lot more. Just do a search for your specific game using the search bar on this site. If it’s a popular game, chances are I’ve covered it. If not, you can request a tutorial. Just leave a comment.

 

Getting Linux by enabling it

Linux and Apex Legends on Chromebook.
Linux and WINE is to key to getting Apex Legends on a Chromebook.

You may already have Linux available on your machine if you have a newer laptop.

The feature is called Linux (Beta) and is available on Chromebooks with Chrome version 69 and above.

You can check what version of Chrome you have by:

  • Launch Chrome
  • Click on the Menu
  • Hover over “Help”
  • Click on “About Google Chrome”

This will show you what version of Chrome you’re running on your device and will also auto-update your Chromebook if you’re a version behind (though, this should already be done automatically).

After you check for version 69 or higher, you’re ready to enable Linux on your device!

To enable Linux, it’s very easy. I have a tutorial I recently wrote that goes over enabling Linux beta on your Chromebook step-by-step. Should you get stuck, post a comment here or there and I’ll get back with you ASAP.

Note that once again, this is a theory, and even if you have Chrome 69 or higher, you may not have the option to enable Linux on your laptop.

This is a gray area as some users have reported that they were able to enable Linux while others weren’t- even though they both had the correct version. It seems as if this is a selective rollout update, which means only specific Chromebook models will be eligible for the update.

 

Getting Linux via Crouton

Enable Linux beta on Chromebook.
Enable Linux on your Chromebook to expand the possibilities of what it can do!

Assuming you don’t have that option, you’ll have to get Crouton the old-fashioned way.

Because I’ve written about this so many times already, I’m going to spare myself the effort and just refer you to this tutorial.

The basic premise is the same:

  • Enable Developer Mode
  • Get Crouton
  • Install Linux
  • Download Apex Legends
  • Play

Everything listed above has already been written about before.

 

Enable Developer Mode

Developer Mode easily can be enabled by doing the following. This will take about 20 minutes.

Here’s a quick tutorial:

Step 1: Press “CTRL + ESC + Refresh + Power” and hold until the Chromebook restarts. Some models may have a physical switch you’ll have to toggle on the side.

Step 2: After the reboot, you’ll see a screen saying that “Chrome OS is missing or damaged.” You can safely ignore this and just press “CTRL + D.”

Step 3: Then you’ll see another warning screen prompting to turn “OS verification OFF,” you’ll want this. So hit the “Enter” key. This will turn off file-checking, which means your Chromebook is now officially in Developer Mode! Congrats.

Note: The next time you boot up your Chromebook, you’ll have to press “CTRL + D” at the warning screen again. Don’t press the spacebar as this will enable OS verification, which will put your Chromebook back to the factory default.

 

Download Linux

As for installing Crouton/Linux, here’s another quick tutorial. This will take about 20 minutes also:

Step 1: Get Croton here.

Step 2: Read over the FAQ page to get a feel for what this program does and how to use it. It’s very easy to understand and will save a ton of confusion later- so read it!

Step 3: Press “CTRL + ALT + T” to bring up the command terminal.

Step 4: Punch in “shell” and hit Enter.

Step 5: Type in sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce”

Step 6: Wait for Ubuntu to install.

Step 7: Type sudo startxfce4” to launch Linux!

You’re done! That wasn’t too bad, was it?

 

Switch between Chrome OS and Linux

You can switch between Linux and Chrome OS by pressing:

  • “CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + Forward Arrow” to go to Linux.
  • “CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + Back Arrow” to go to Chrome OS.

Oh, and if you screw up, you can always revert your Chromebook back to factory settings (like how it was when it was new) by doing a Powerwash.

For those who get lost, here are some detailed tutorials for you to check out:

If you’ve done this before, you’ll know exactly what I’m referring to. If not, know that this process will take about an hour, so make sure you have time to set aside.

Also, doing this will wipe your Chromebook completely, so be sure to back up your Chromebook so you don’t lose your data!

Remember- even if you end up installing Linux and can’t play Apex Legends, you can still do all sorts of other cool stuff, and even grab Steam while you’re at it! So don’t feel like you wasted your time!

 

WINE does the magic

WINE is the magical program doing all the work.

This program lets you run Windows-native programs, such as Apex Legends within Linux. This is what you’ll need to get the game running on your Chromebook- in theory.

You can get WINE easily by using the Ubuntu Software Center that should’ve came with your Ubuntu download. Just launch the USC and type “wine.” You’ll find it populate and just go ahead and install it.

If not, you can easily get WINE by going here.

By far, the easiest way to get WINE on your Chromebook is to just download the package. This works just as a regular download- download the program, then launch it to install it. That’s it.

You can also use the command prompt (“CTRL + ALT + T” within Linux) and type the following command to get WINE:

ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa

This will install WINE on your Chromebook.

Should you get stuck during the process, you can check out the WINE FAQs page for some very detailed directions on how to install it on your device.

The page is also very useful if you want to only get certain specifications or if you’re using a specific setup (which I’d strongly recommend installing it from a source archive if that’s the case).

Here’s a video that demonstrates how to get WINE on a Chromebook (thanks to TECH BY DMG):

Get Apex Legends

After you get WINE, you’ll just need to download and install Apex Legends from the official site.

Pretty straightforward.

If you’ve never used Linux, it’s actually pretty intuitive and will download straight into your “Downloads” folder for you. After that, you can just launch the game, install it, and you’ll run the game with WINE.

 

Don’t have enough space?

Another thing is that most Chromebooks won’t even have close to the hard disk space the game requires.

This means that you’ll have to either install the game on an external hard drive or SD card. I don’t recommend the external drive because it’s not flash-based storage and read/write times are many times slower than flash-based drives, so definitely use an SD card or thumb drive to get the game.

Since you’re not using the flash drive with Chrome OS, the type of it shouldn’t matter. You may have to fiddle with it to get your system to recognize the drive.

Or do you need to buy an external drive? Check out the best hard drives for Chromebooks.

 

Project Stream

Suppose you couldn’t get Apex legends going on your Chromebook.

Guess what? You still have a chance- though you’ll have to wait for the future.

Project Stream is Google’s new project that lets you pretty much stream any game from their server directly within the Chrome browser. Why get a decked out, crazy gaming rig when you can play the most demanding games on the highest settings on your computer- even if your computer is just a potato (or a Chromebook)?

Project Stream lets Google’s servers handle all the processing and the game streamed directly to your computer. You don’t need a beefy setup to play the newest games.

The only problem with this is that:

  • It’s not out yet.
  • It’ll cost money.

Streaming data isn’t cheap, so there will likely be a monthly subscription cost associated with this. But if you really want to play the newest games on your Chromebook, this is one way you could do so- with Apex Legends probably a potential game you could play in the future.

Also, this feature isn’t out yet, so it’ll be some time before Project Stream actually comes out and becomes widely available.

Plus, not everyone will be willing to pay for a service just to play games on their Chromebook, so I can see many people still doing it the traditional way of using Linux as a workaround to Chrome OS in order to run programs, play games, or otherwise extend the possibilities of what they can do on their Chromebook.

You can find out more about Project Stream here.

 

Did you get Apex Legends on your Chromebook?

Play Apex Legends on a Chromebook.
And that’s how you get Apex Legends on a Chromebook.

Well, that’s about it.

Although this post is really just for entertainment purposes, it’d be pretty crazy to see this in action.

I’ve seen it before, but just a glimpse so I know it’s possible. But playable? That’s a whole ‘nother story.

If you got the game running successfully on your Chromebook, let me know in the comments. Or if you’re having problems, post in the comments and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP.

Though I doubt anyone will actually get this running, but for the few people who do have overpowered Chromebooks, this just may work for you. If you happen to actually get this working, I’d love to see a video of Apex Legends running on a Chromebook.

And possibly a killstreak while you’re at it. That’d be something to talk about for sure.

Consider telling a friend about this tutorial so you can squad up and take on the battlegrounds- together. On your Chromebooks.

And then brag on you’re both getting those “W’s” on Chromebooks- in theory.

Thanks for reading!

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 (platy@platypusplatypus.com).

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