So, you want to play some Stardew Valley on your Chromebook.
This classic game is one THE most relaxing RPGs of all time IMO.
The music. The bright colors. The endless grind to chop wood. It’s the perfect game to play on your Chromebook after a stressful day to unwind.
Just tune in to the Secret Woods OST and drown out everything else. Or turn on your favorite podcast, Twitch stream, or YouTube and play while listening at the same time.
Thankfully, the game is simple to get on ChromeOS and has a high compatibility rate.
So it should work for the majority of Chromebooks on the market.
Let’s learn how to install, run, and play Stardew Valley on Chromebook.
You’ll be watering your crops in just a tad. On that Deluxe Barn. Oh yas.
Can I play Stardew Valley on a Chromebook?
Yes, you can!
You’ll be fishing at Mountain Lake (get those bass) in no time.
Stardew Valley is one of the few games that require very little resources to run smoothly.
It runs nearly perfectly on Chromebooks dual-booted with Linux so you can enjoy the game to its full glory.
You only need very minimal system requirements to run it:
- OS: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS
- Processor: 2 Ghz
- Memory: 2 GB RAM
- Graphics: 256 mb video memory, OpenGL 2
- Storage: 500 MB available space
If you have any Chromebook made after 2017 or so, it should have enough juice to run it at playable frame rates without issue.
Can I use the Stardew Valley APK?
Using the APK to get SV is possible as you can simply sideload it on your Chromebook.
You should consider supporting the developer and enabling updates in the future.
SV often goes on sale and it’s only a few bucks.
Plus, you save yourself the headache of constantly having to get the newest version when Concernedape releases updates.
How to install Stardew Valley on Chromebook
Here’s the tutorial to download, install, and play Stardew Valley on Chrome OS.
I suggest starting from the beginning and moving on to the next install method if the previous one doesn’t work.
However, using Linux + Steam should work successfully for 99% of Chromebooks out there! Unless your machine is severely underpowered, you should have little to no issue installing it.
The majority of Chromebooks out there should be able to at least run the game at a playable framerate.
While you may not get some buttery smooth 60FPS gameplay like you’re accustomed to on your phone or PC, you can still play it with minor stutters here and there.
Note that you’ll need at least 1GB of space to install it. If you’re getting Linux, you’ll need even more (set aside at least 8GB).
(Tied up on free disk space? Learn how to get more disk space on your Chromebook.)
There is some code involved, but don’t worry. I’ll walk you through it step by step. If you have any questions, just drop a comment.
Sounds good? It’s time to upgrade that farm to a Deluxe Barn.
Download it through Steam
Steam will be the key to this entire thing. Getting Steam is easy. Use this tutorial to get Steam.
Follow the steps and come back here when you have it installed.
It’s straightforward once you have Linux installed on your Chromebook.
Note: If you decide to get Linux, you’ll need to know two things:
- You’ll void your Chromebook warranty (if you just bought it and it’s still covered under warranty, you may want to buy a used Chromebook or an older one instead)
- It’ll wipe your device completely (everything that’s stored on the SSD locally, but not your online files)
It also will NOT work on a school or work Chromebook that you borrowed.
The admin likely locked down the privilege to run Developer Mode, which is necessary to get Steam or SV game mods on Chromebook.
Here are the steps to get the game using Steam. Click on each step to read a detailed guide if you need it:
- Make a complete backup of your data. Use a USB drive, SD card, Google Drive, etc. This can take anywhere from a few minutes to quite a few minutes, depending on the amount of junk you have to backup.
- Enable Developer Mode. This will wipe your device. Be sure you’ve backed up your data. For older models, you’ll need to flip a physical switch on the side of your computer. This step takes up to 30 minutes depending on your Chromebook’s speed.
- Get Crouton. It’s just downloading a file. Grab it from Github. See the FAQ if you need detailed instructions.
- Install Ubuntu. Takes up to 30 minutes. If you’ve never done it before, the code is laid out for you.
- Download Steam and install it. Easy enough with just a few commands through the command line.
- Launch Steam.
- Update it if necessary (it probably will need one if you’re starting it up initially).
- Restart Steam upon updating.
- Sign in to your account or create one.
- Search for Stardew Valley in the game store.
- Install it to your device. It should show up in your game library.
- Find it, right click it. Ensure that the settings are good to go for Linux under Game > Properties. Check that the game is set to run as .exe.
- Run it!
That’s it. Congrats.
Now you can launch it from your library and play it like you usually do.
The game may get some performance issues on slower machines, but that’s just how it is.
You can optimize the game by doing things like disabling mods, running it vanilla, and reducing shaders/effects in the options menu.
Running it within Ubuntu using a smaller window with reduced resolution also works.
Fullscreen mode makes it use a lot of resources so it’ll likely lag.
If you don’t want to dual boot both ChromeOS + Ubuntu, you can toggle on Linux Beta from the Chrome options menu.
This lets you run Linux straight through Chrome, but it does have issues running apps. It’s not as reliable as the “desktop” version of Ubuntu.
So it’s worth a try if you want to try it out first before you go through the process of enabling Developer Mode then wiping your Chromebook just for Stardew Valley.
Go to the Chrome Settings page, then find Linux Beta. Activate it.
Get the files for Steam and flat pack over to get Steam running.
Once you do that, you can play the game in its native format directly through Chrome in its own tab.
Don’t know what you’re doing? Here’s a tutorial for getting Linux without Developer Mode.
Play on Linux
If you don’t want to use Steam, or if you’re running into technical difficulties getting it going, use PlayOnLinux (PoL).
PlayOnLinux is a game library/installer that simplifies the process of installing and playing games on Linux.
It also has a rating system that signifies how well a game runs- such as whether or not you’ll run into performance issues, lag, crashes, stuttering, game freezing, compatibility, etc.
You can install PlayOnLinux by doing the following from the command line:
Press “CTRL + ALT + T” to launch the terminal. It’s time to for code!
Type the following commands, one per line:
- wget -q “http://deb.playonlinux.com/public.gpg” -O- | sudo apt-key add –
- sudo wget http://deb.playonlinux.com/playonlinux_trusty.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/playonlinux.list
- sudo apt-get update
- sudo apt-get install playonlinux
This will downloads and install PlayOnLinux straight from the prompt! That’s the beauty of navigating using commands.
Or you can refer to this page for detailed instructions.
After you install PoL, download Stardew Valley and launch it using PoL.
Then you should be able to launch PlayOnLinux and then start it up from within the program.
While PoL isn’t guaranteed to work for everyone, it’s a good alternative to Steam if it’s not working out the way you want.
PlayOnLinux is free, but Stardew Valley isn’t. You need to have a game license to play it. Sorry.
Similar to PlayOnLinux, Lutris is another game management library.
If both PoL and Steam don’t work on your Chromebook, try Lutris.
I’ve always had good success with it. It’s very easy to use just like PlayOnLinux.
Here’s how to install Lutris on Chromebook:
Launch the command prompt.
Enter the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lutris-team/lutris
sudo apt update
sudo apt install lutris
If you need detailed step-by-step directions, use their install page.
Get Lutris, then install Stardew Valley from the game page (Applications> Games> Lutris)
When it’s done, you should see it in your game library. Launch it and play!
You’ll need a working license key for it to run.
Steam Proton lets you run Steam games on Linux.
It’s written for Among Us, but it works the same.
Use it if the game doesn’t work for you using the regular Ubuntu install. Proton gives you extra options for running the game.
Perhaps that most popular and straightforward technique on this list, using the Google Play Store is as simple as installing any app on your Chromebook.
- Press the Launcher key or click on the Launcher icon at the bottom-left of your screen
- Launch Google Play
- Search for “stardew valley” in the Store.
- Click on the bright green “INSTALL” button. If your Chromebook is compatible, it’ll show. If not, it won’t let you download the game.
- Wait for it to install.
- Find it in the Chrome Launcher. Play it.
For this to work, you need to have a newer Chromebook made after 2017.
It needs to have the Play Store installed. If you have an older device, check to see if it’ll get the Play Store update.
Remote access your PC using Chrome Remote Desktop tool
A weird, but workable method is to play the game on your Chromebook but let your PC do the rendering.
You can accomplish this by using remote access to your PC straight from your Chromebook.
This way, you’re basically running your laptop as an external monitor while your PC is sitting at home.
The cool part about this is that you can play Stardew Valley anywhere in the world on your Chromebook if you have WiFi. The bad part is that you may get some lag if the latency is high.
Otherwise, it’s simple to use.
Once you set that up, use Chrome Remote Access extension to use your PC on Chrome OS.
When you install SV through the Play Store, the controls can be a little wonky.
After all, you’re playing the mobile touchscreen version on a laptop with a keyboard/touchpad (use a Chromebook compatible mouse to make your gaming easier).
I can’t imagine anyone playing Stardew for hours upon hours without a mouse.
That’d wreck your fingers.
If you’re rocking a touchscreen Chromebook, then you’re in for a treat.
The game works great with a touchscreen, and you can even use both the mouse and the touchscreen at the same time while you play.
The keyboard also works, but it’s a lot more efficient to just point and click on the display.
But for some actions, the keyboard saves your hands- such as fishing. Just hit “C” and it’s much easier.
Stardew Valley is compatible with keyboard, trackpad, touchscreen, and external USB mouse.
It’s one of the few games out there that are fully compatible with Chromebooks using the Play Store version.
Getting used to the keyboard controls for Stardew Valley may be strange at first, but you’ll see that it’s very intuitive:
- WASD = Movement direction
- Left-click OR C = Use
- Right-click or X = Check
- ? = Chat
- L SHIFT = Run
- F = Journal
- Y = Emotes
- M = Map
- 1-0 Hotkeys
- F4 = Screenshot
- E = Options
- Tab = Shift toolbar
Can you transfer or sync saved games between Chromebook and other devices?
You can download and export your saved game from your phone using the file explorer app, but it’s not easy to do on a Chromebook.
So you can transfer from your phone to another phone, but as for syncing from phone to Chromebook, I don’t think that’s possible.
I haven’t found where to plug the file into the Stardew Valley game directory on Ubuntu.
If you’re able to get this working, please post a comment and let me know.
I’ve seen people take the saved file from their phones, but not from Chromebooks.
While the game doesn’t require much in terms of hardware to run, you can optimize it to get more FPS and smooth out gameplay for weaker Chromebooks.
If you’re not running a complete potato of a laptop, you should be good to go with minor performance issues.
Here are some quick tips to improve gameplay performance:
- Don’t play in full-screen mode
- Use windowed borderless or windowed mode
- Disable flash effects
- Reduce lighting quality
- Don’t use mods that overload your game
- Lock the FPS to 30
- Disable V-sync
- Play vanilla if mods or multiplayer make your game lag
- Get a more powerful Chromebook?
Here’s an excellent forum post that shows you how to get more FPS.
If you have any tips to share, please drop a comment and let your fellow players know.
About that battery
If you let your laptop get hot all the time, it’ll wear down the battery quickly. Just thought I’d throw this out there for those who want to baby their electronics.
How do I redeem Stardew Valley on Chromebook?
If you already own Stardew Valley on a different platform (PlayStation, Xbox, PS Vita, Wii U Switch, PC, iOS, MacOS, phones, Linux, etc.) and you want to play it on your Chromebook, you’ll need another license key.
The game doesn’t let you purchase it once and then play anywhere.
You’ll need to buy another copy of the game for each platform you want to play it on.
If you have the Android version, you can play it on your Chromebook so you’re all set!
The easiest way is to just buy the Play Store version then use that key for your Chromebook. There’s no “Chromebook version” that exists, so don’t go looking for that.
If it doesn’t work, then stick with the Linux version. You can use Linux Beta and install SV. It runs wonderfully through Linux.
Stardew Valley Chromebook mods
You can get mods using the SMAPI which lets you mod the game using the Play Store version.
Note that it does require a lot of space, so if you’re running a 16GB SSD, it may not be worth your time.
Basically, it works like this:
- Download and install SMAPI, which makes modding on SV easy. Get it here on the official site. here on the wiki. Save it on your desktop in Ubuntu.
- Create a folder. Name it something like “smapi” so you can easily find it.
- Locate the SMAPI.zip file.
- Extract the .zip using 7z or other unzippers. You can install these unzippers using the ubuntu software center. Just find one that has good reviews and looks promising. Extract the .zip into the folder you just created. It should NOT be your game folder.
- Run the install on Linux.sh file.
- It’ll install on its own with some on-screen prompts. Just follow them to complete it.
- Once SMAPI is installed, you should be good to go.
- Find and download the SV mods you want to use (such as on Nexus), save them into a local folder somewhere easy to find.
- Drag and drop the mod folders into the /MODS folder in the game’s directory.
- That’s it. You need your Chromebook to be in Developer Mode for this to work.
- Congrats. You can now play Stardew Valley with mods on your Chromebook!
- If you get an error that reads “Where is your game folder?”
- Type In the direct path to the folder containing StardewValley.exe. If you don’t know where it is, go here to find it.
Still stuck? Check out the SV wiki.
There’s a subreddit you may find useful. If you get stuck, you can post your questions on it, but read the sticky.
Can I get it for free using Chromebook perks for Stardew Valley?
This was a unique deal by Google in 2020.
They were offering free copies of the infamous DOOM plus Stardew Valley for new Chromebook owners. However, this deal is gone.
You can check out the Chromebooks Perks Program to see what they’re giving away now.
Does Stardew Valley work online work on Chromebooks?
Here’s the deal.
The vanilla version of SV won’t work for online multiplayer if you’re running the Android version since it doesn’t support online play by default.
But if you can run the PC version of SV, then it’s possible to crossplay with a PC.
Here are 3 ways to play Stardew Valley online using a Chromebook:
- Get the Linux version on Steam and you should be able to play with PC players (it supports crossplay)
- Or you can use remote access through the Chrome Remote Access extension to run the PC version
- Use a cloud service to access a cloud PC and play SV through there
If you use the Play Store version, you won’t be able to play multiplayer.
Other games you might like
Now that you’ve gone through the trouble of getting it on your Chromebook, you may as well enjoy these other fine titles:
Now you can play Stardew Valley on your Chromebook!
Wasn’t that easy?
Now you can finally finish building that Community Center. Straight from your Chromebook. Nice.
Stardew Valley is one of the most relaxing games of all time IMO.
So it’s perfect when you just wanna kick back and get some good vibes after a day at school or work.
The benefit of being able to play it on ChromeOS makes it that much easier. Multitask while you listen to music, watch your favorite streamers on Twitch, or even when you’re getting some work done.
Did you get stuck? Do you have any questions?
The game is easy to run and low on resources, so even the most entry-level laptops should be able to run it.
Drop a comment if you’re getting issues getting the game to run.
If you found this guide helpful, please let me know! Consider telling a friend so you can both play Stardew online. Together. On your Chromebooks.