How to Play Phasmophobia on Chromebook (Tutorial)

So, you want to get your hunting skills on and play some Phasmophobia on your Chromebook.

While it’s technically possible, know this:

The majority of people will never be able to successfully run the game.

Downloading and installing it is easy. But actually RUNNING it isn’t.

This is because it requires a decently powerful computer, which most Chromebooks lack the hardware to run it.

As you know, these laptops aren’t the best for gaming.

So this is more of a theory than anything. But if you’re willing to try it, why not?

Even if you’re not able to play it, you can still play some other Steam games once you go through all the steps.

So it’s not a total waste.

If this sounds like something worthy of your time, then read on!

Can you play Phasmophobia on Chromebook?

Phasmophobia meme.
Yes.

Let’s get this out of the way: It’s possible but difficult.

Only a few people will be able to get Phasmophobia running on a Chromebook because it requires three things:

  • A powerful, beefy computer
  • Steam on Linux setup properly
  • Updated drivers and a dedicated GPU

If you have an older model with a weaker hardware setup, you probably won’t be able to get it running.

The download and installation are easy, but running it without errors will be difficult.

I just thought I’d method this before you attempt it to save you time.

But even if the game throws a bunch of errors, you’ll still have Steam up and running, so you can play other games that your Chromebook can handle, like these:

Or just search this site for a detailed tutorial.

It won’t work on borrowed school or work Chromebooks

Additionally, if you’re trying to do this on a school Chromebook, it won’t work. Sorry.

Schools enroll their Chromebooks into an enterprise management program, which blocks the ability to enter Developer Mode in the first place.

Dev Mode is necessary for Linux, which is needed to get Steam, which is the only platform that Phasmophobia is released on.

System requirements

Phasmophobia requires a powerful setup to run. This is why the majority of Chromebooks won’t be able to handle the game.

Here are the MINIMUM system requirements from Steam:

  • Intel i5/AMD FX 8350
  • 8GB RAM
  • GTX 970/Radeon R9 290
  • 13GB free disk space
  • 4GB VRAM

You won’t find a Chromebook with these specs, unless you’re sporting a Pixelbook or Samsung Pro.

This is why I said from the start that most people won’t be able to run the game.

But if you’re feeling daring and don’t mind a learning experience, let us proceed.

Remember- you can still play OTHER games once you get Linux up and running.

Overview

Since Phasmophobia is only available on Steam, we need it.

And that means we need Linux.

Here the game plan:

  • Make a backup of your important data
  • Turn on Developer Mode
  • Get Ubuntu
  • Get Steam
  • Download and install Phasmophobia
  • Play (or not)

OK, let’s roll.

How to download and install Phasmophobia

Here are the steps to do so. Follow them in order. For steps with code, type the commands exactly as shown.

Make a backup

Follow this tutorial to create a backup of your files.

Since we’re turning on Developer Mode, it’ll erase everything on your device like it was restored to default settings. Yes, it’s annoying.

But there’s no way around it.

Unless you use Linux Beta, but there are drawbacks to that.

(More on this later.)

Get Developer Mode

Now that you’ve made a backup, the next step is to turn on Developer Mode.

If you have an older Chromebook, there’s a physical switch you have to toggle on the side.

Newer models should be working with just the shortcut commands.

Developer Mode allows you access to mess around with more options on your Chromebook, in short.

You’ll be able to dual boot Linux, which is the end goal.

Get Crouton

Next, download Crouton.

After you download it, find it in your default downloads folder and launch it.

For most people, it’ll be simply named “Downloads” – how convenient?

NOTE: IF you change the default destination, you need to modify the following command to the new folder’s location!

Get Linux

Type these commands to install Ubuntu:

Press “CTRL + ALT + T” to launch command prompt

Type “shell” and hit Enter.

Type these commands, hitting Enter after each one:

  • sudo install -Dt /usr/local/bin -m 755 ~/Downloads/crouton
  • sudo crouton -t xfce

When it’s done, you’re good to go. Type: “sudo startxfce4” and hit Enter to launch!

This will help us install Ubuntu and dual boot. The process takes up to 20mins or so depending on how familiar you are with this kind of thing.

Once you’re in Ubuntu, you can switch back to ChromeOS by hitting “CTRL+ ALT + SHIFT + Back/Forward Arrow” to toggle between the two systems.

If you need help, follow this tutorial that goes over the process in easy steps.

If you’re feeling fancy and prefer a different distro other than Ubuntu, you can do that by modifying the commands.

(Poweruser? Check out some of the best Chromebooks for Ubuntu.)

Get Steam

Okay, so now you have Linux installed. Nice!

Next, we’ll get Steam installed as well.

With the help of the command line, this is super easy.

First, make sure you’re booted into Linux. Then press CTRL + ALT + T to launch the line.

Type the commands as shown:

sudo apt install steam-installer

This will install Steam in the background.

When it’s done, log in to your account (or create one). The Steam icon will appear under the applications menu if you can’t locate it.

Feel free to watch some Phasmophobia scare videos while you wait, like this one:

If you’re having issues getting Steam installed, here’s a full tutorial.

Additionally, you can find Steam on the Ubuntu Software Center. It makes it a lot easier to install popular software with just a few clicks.

Perfect for those who are afraid of code.

  • After it’s done, Launch Steam. It’ll probably update, as always.
  • Restart it after it’s done. Sign in to your account.
  • Find Phasmophobia on Steam and then download it to your Chromebook.
  • It should now be installed in your game library.

Enable Steam Proton

We’ll be using Steam’s Proton feature which allows us to easily launch Windows-based games on Linux.

You may already be familiar with it.

  • Look at the top menu bar. Find “Steam Settings” and click on it.
  • In the new menu that pops up, look on the menu nav on the left.
  • Find “Steam Play” and click on it. It should be the last option.
  • Check the box for “Enable Steam Play for supported titles” and “Enable Steam Play for all other titles”
  • Save the settings by clicking “OK” and exit the options menu.
  • Once Steam Play is enabled, when you launch Phasmophobia, the game should run on your favorite Linux distro without any issue.

The game has a “Gold” rating on ProtonDB, which means it’s highly functional and you should be able to enjoy the game.

Or try Lutris

Alternatively, you can get Lutris, which is a game manager just like Steam.

You can download Lutris here and then type the following commands to install it:

  • sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lutris-team/lutris
  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt install lutris

If you’re using some distro other than Ubuntu, check out their installation page for details.

After you have Lutris, go here to download Phasmophobia. This should be the second choice if Steam doesn’t work for you.

A note on Linux Beta

This is built-into newer devices, but I recommend avoiding it because it doesn’t work well for all games. It’s like a “lite” mode that runs in a Chrome tab but doesn’t run like the desktop version of ubuntu.

Since playing Phasmophobia is already hard enough, why make it more difficult with Linux Beta? Stick with the trusted method.

Besides, even if the game doesn’t work, you can still play OTHER games!

Don’t you want to play some Path of Exile, CS: GO, Unturned, or GMod with your buddies over Discord? On a Chromebook?

Of course, you do.

Linux Beta’s sole benefit is that it’s easy to enable. No Crouton is needed, software installs or anything like that is needed.

You go into Chrome Settings and toggle it on. You don’t even have to wipe your device.

What about the Play Store?

Phasmophobia isn’t available from the official developer at this point on the Play Store, so there’s no easy way to just “install” it on your device. Sorry.

There’s no easy way to download and install the game unless you use Steam and Linux.

Some Chromebooks don’t even have the Play Store!

However, there are some helper apps you can download for free. These can aid your gameplay.

For example, a popular one is Phasmophobia Companion.

This is a cool little app that lets you get the edge over the game.

You can download it on your phone and it lets you get intel on the game:

  • Read up on in-game mechanics
  • Find ghost profiles
  • Evidence matching
  • Completely journal
  • Time tracker

It’s just a free tool that you can download onto your Chromebook or phone during your hunt. Get it from Google Play.

There are also some other alternatives you can check out:

  • Phasmodex – Phasmophobia companion app (paid)
  • Phasmophobia Evidence Tool (P.E.T.) (free)
  • Phasmo.site (free web app)
  • Phasmophibabuddy (free web app)
  • Phasmophobia Companion (iOS)

Can I get Phasmophobia for free?

Phasmophobia is a paid game and you should buy it from Steam to support the developer. At the time of this writing, it’s still sitting at full price ($13.99)

But according to SteamDB, the game’s price fluctuates and drops as low $12.59. So there are deals if you don’t wanna pay the full price.

Optimizing performance

The main reason why the game will fail on a Chromebook is that they lack the hardware to run it.

Only the top few models will be able to run the game, and I think saying that is an overstatement.

Perhaps you can adjust the settings to optimize FPS to help smooth out the gameplay.

After all, the last thing you want is to be running away from a spook while your game stutters at 2FPS.

Lag, stuttering, game crashes, and poor framerates are common even on the PC. You can expect Chrome OS to be even worse.

Here are some tips to maximize performance for NVIDIA computers:

  • Set threaded optimization to ON
  • Change preferred refresh rate to HIGHEST AVAILABLE
  • Change power management mode to PREFER MAXIMUM PERFORMANCE
  • Set vertical synch to OFF
  • Set maximum pre-rendered frames to 1 FRAME

Common problems

Playing Phasmophonba on Linux doesn’t work 100%.

There are some problems that you’ll encounter. Here are the most common ones.

Voice recognition doesn’t work

As you know, talking to the ghosts in the game is a big part of it.

When you play it on Linux, it doesn’t work so you can’t speak to them.

ProtonDB is an excellent resource to check out.

It’ll gauge how well the game runs on Linux. At the time of this writing, the game has a “Gold” rating, which is excellent compatibility.

The game will run on Linux, and the distro (Ubuntu, Mint, etc.) doesn’t matter. I couldn’t find a working distro that has voice recognition working.

So if you want to talk to the ghosts, you won’t be able to.

You will be able to talk to other players though (such as over Discord). If you try to talk, they won’t know what you’re saying. If you plan to play alone, that’ll probably make the game…interesting.

For the voice interaction parts (game board and box of spirits), you’ll have to let your party do the talking.

Use Proton 5.0

Sometimes rolling back the Proton version magically fixes the problem.

You can select your version of Proton in the Steam Settings menu. Try 5.0-9 rather than 5.13 or higher.

You can do this by right-clicking on Phasmophobia > Properties > Force the use of a specific Proton Play compatibility tool > Proton 5.0-9 > OK.

If that doesn’t work, check to see if other games work. Steam may need updates, driver updates, or graphic drivers.

Verify file integrity

Try right-clicking on the game, then verify the files. Sometimes this fixes glitches, game crashing, or other errors.

Update Linux

You may have to update your version of Linux to get the latest updates. Launch command prompt by pressing CTRL + ALT + T or find it under the menu bar Application > Accessories.

Then type these following commands to update your distro:

  • sudo apt-get update
  • sudo apt-get upgrade

Update your graphics drivers

This depends on if you have a dedicated GPU, which most Chromebooks don’t.

If yours does, make sure it’s updated to the latest drivers.

Are you one of the few that got it working?

Now that you know a little more about porting over Phasmophobia onto your Chromebook, what do you think?

The hardest part is getting Steam going on Linux (plus that you need some decent hardware to run the game).

But if you have a newer, more powerful Chromebook, you may be able to get it working.

But, like mentioned earlier, the majority of people will likely run into performance issues or not be able to run it at all. This is more of a theory than anything.

If you have any questions, just drop a comment below and let me know.

If you’re one of the few that has a Chromebook capable of running Phasmophbia and you were able to get it installed on Steam, then happy hunting!

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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