How to Get Terraria on a Chromebook (Ultimate Tutorial) – 2023

So, you want to play some Terraria on your Chromebook.

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Seriously!

In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to install, download, and play Terraria on a Chromebook.

You don’t need any technical skills to do so because I’ll outline each step one at a time so even a total “noob” can follow along!

You’ll be crafting a Bee Keeper by the end of this guide! Uh-huh!

This will take about an hour to set up, so be sure you have some time to put aside.

When you’re all done, you’ll be building up a base and slashing down zombies in some Terraria action in no time.

But you do need one thing- patience! I anticipate that Terraria players have tons of this from those spelunking journeys a plenty!

And if you get stuck or any have questions, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

Sound good? Let’s play some Terraria on your Chromebook!

Last updated: 2/24/23. Updated for Terraria’s last expansion release ever! Plus some additional methods to install it.

The hardware

How to get Terraria on Chromebook.
Let’s get set up and get Terraria on your Chromebook!

First thing’s first, let’s go over the hardware requirements you’ll need to play the game. As you probably know, Terraria isn’t exactly a resource-demanding game, so you’ll only need a basic Chromebook to run it.

That’s good because the majority of Chromebooks aren’t that powerful. But if you’re ready to get a Terra Blade, you’ll have to meet these requirements!

As of 2023, this method still works as reported by users. If you’re stuck for any reason, leave a comment below. Even though Terraria is no longer updated, this method works for the latest version 1.4 – Journey’s End. Sadly, even though the game is no longer being developed, you can still play it up to version 1.4+. So get your gear on and let’s roll!

Terraria time.

Why do I need to verify the hardware?

You don’t want to go through all the steps just to find out your Chromebook is too weak or not able to smoothly run Terraria.

So skim through these requirements quickly and find out if you can run the game or not first! You may end up getting that infamous slowdown error when you’re walking around if your computer’s too weak!

You’ll need to be an Intel fanboy

The most important thing you’ll need is an Intel-based processor. If you don’t have intel, this won’t work. Sorry.

If you’re not sure what kind of processor you have, it’s easy to check.

Here’s how:

  • Look for the infamous blue Intel Inside sticker. It should be on the palm rest of your Chromebook.
  • Look on the bottom panel. There’ll be a sticker with lots of branding information all over it. Look for Intel brands.
  • Look up your Chromebook’s specs online. Just do a search for “[your model] + specs” in your favorite search engine. For example, if you’re running a Samsung Pro, you’d type in “samsung pro specs” and just hit Enter.

The last method is the fastest but a little more advanced, but it’ll tell you exactly what you have and a detailed list for all your Chromebook specs:

  • Launch Chrome.
  • Type “chrome://system” in the address bar and hit Enter.
  • Press “CTRL + F” and type in “CPU” and hit Enter.
  • Then look for your processor in the “CPU” field. Just be sure it’s Intel.

Does the Intel processor matter?

Nope. As long as it’s Intel, you’re good to go. That means if you have any of the following processors, it’ll work just fine for Terraria:

  • Intel Celeron
  • Intel Pentium
  • Intel i3, i5, i7
  • Intel m3
  • Etc.

Any other CPU like MediaTek or ARM won’t work. Typically, some Acer and ASUS Chromebooks have these chipsets. You’ll need to double-check your CPU if you have one of these brands.

If you have an AMD, ARM, or some other CPU, you can try installing it. But the software available is largely designed for Intel’s architecture so you’ll likely run into problems trying to install and play the game.

Okay, so you have Intel, right? You’re all set. Let’s go to the next requirements


Next up is RAM. By default, all Chromebooks have at least 2GB of RAM.

This is enough to run Terraria, but since we’re running it via Linux, you may want to invest in some additional RAM if possible. If you have a 4GB+ RAM Chromebook, you’re good to go. But if you’re a little short on it, it’s okay. The game should still run fine but with minor performance issues like FPS drops or long loading times if you have a slower CPU. You’ll need this if you want to get a True Excalibur sword!


All you need is just 2GB of free space. Terraria itself is only about 200MB, but Steam requires that the game have at least 2GB of free space for updates via Steam. It’s just a space hog.

All Chromebooks have at least 16GB of storage space. So no matter what model you have, you should be good to go!

After you install Steam and Linux, you’ll have limited space. Plus if you plan on installing other games via Steam or Lutris or PlayOnLinux onto your SSD, you may want to invest in additional storage. If you plan to download a lot of games, you should install Steam onto an external drive like a USB/flash or external hard drive so you don’t use up all your available storage on your Chromebook.

You may want to check out how to install Steam on an external drive on a Chromebook. The guide is written for DotA 2, but it works for this purpose. Just skip to the section about installing Steam.

Don’t have an external storage device? Check out the best Chromebook compatible external drives.

Okay, so now that we’ve covered all the basics, let’s move onto the actual process of getting Terraria!

Update: In 2022, Terraria still runs like a charm. You can use Linux, Lutris, or PlayOnLinux for a smooth experience. Even older toasters will run the game just fine.

How to install, download, run, and play Terraria on a Chromebook

Play Terraria on a Chromebook.
A list of steps to play Terraria on your Chromebook!

Here’s a brief overview of what we’ll be doing in this tutorial:

  • Backing up your stuff
  • Enabling Developer Mode
  • Getting Crouton
  • Installing Linux
  • Installing Steam
  • Installing and playing Terraria!

This whole process should take about 1-2 hours total.

So be sure you’ve set aside some time for this little project. IF you need to stop in the middle of it, you may not be able to use your laptop for the time being depending on where you stopped. So just be ready for that. Or have a second computer/mobile phone handy just in case!

Sadly, Terraria: Journey’s End was the last update to the game. So for fans everywhere, I know exactly how you feel. On the flip side, no more updates means nothing breaking once you get it running on your device, right?

Once you get this set up, you’ll be able to enjoy it as long as you keep it in Developer Mode. That’s all you need to do to keep it running. New players will be able to dive into a whole new world.

Backup your data

Back up your Chromebook.
Back up your data first before attempting to install Terraria!

The first thing you should do is backup all your stuff. Doing this process involves a Power Wash, which will automatically wipe your entire Chromebook. Can you already smell the Godly modifiers?

You can backup your stuff to an external drive or a cloud provider like Google Drive. I’d suggest just using a quick flash drive or Google Drive since it’s integrated with your Chromebook and backing up your stuff is super easy.

If you don’t know how to backup your Chromebook, I have so many guides about it that I can backup my machine in my sleep. Check out this tutorial for the quickest way.

Remember everything will be wiped. And there’s no going back. So back up your stuff that you care about. Right now.

Enable Dev Mode

Install Terraria.
Next, enable Developer Mode!

Developer Mode is what you’ll need in order to install Linux.

It’s basically “unlocking” your Chromebook so you punch in commands and do more with “administrator” access. This doesn’t void your warranty or damage your Chromebook in any way. So don’t be afraid to mess around. You’ll be washing your Blade of Grass in no time!

And you’ve backed up your stuff, right? Because this is the step that’ll erase everything on your hard disk!

And if you do screw up at any point during this tutorial, you can start over and revert your Chromebook to factory settings by doing a Powerwash, which we’ll cover later in this tutorial.

So, turning on Dev Mode is super easy. Here’s how to do it:

Press and hold “ESC + Refresh + Power” until it reboots automatically.

You’ll see a warning screen. Read it over. Then press “CTRL + D” to advance to the next screen.

You’ll then see a prompt asking you if you want to turn off OS Verification. You do. Press Enter to do so. Your Chromebook will disable OS Verification. We need this disabled in order to install Terraria.

After it reboots, you’ll see another warning screen. Press “CTRL + D” to continue. Your Chromebook will then enter Dev Mode. Be patient. This can take up to 20 minutes!

After a final reboot, you’ll be able to log in to your Dev Mode Chromebook!

“How do I know if I’m in Developer Mode?”

You can easily do a test to see if you’ve successfully enabled it, just press “CTRL + ALT + T” after you log in. You’ll see a command line. Don’t be afraid!

Type “shell” and see if you get an error. If you get something like:

“ERROR: unknown command: shell”

Then Dev Mode is NOT enabled. You’ll need to try again.

Tip: Note that every time you boot up your system, you’ll see that warning screen. Be sure to press the right keys in order to keep Dev Mode enabled. In other words, DO NOT turn OS Verification back on. Press “CTRL + D” to complete the boot sequence, NOT the spacebar. This will revert it back to factory settings.

If you get stuck, refer to this tutorial on enabling it. It covers the process in complete detail.

Okay, so you’ve got a Chromebook with Dev Mode on right? Let’s go to the next step. We’re one step closer to getting Terraria on your Chromebook! Awesome. Can you smell the zombies yet?

Get Crouton

Get Crouton for Chrome OS.
Get Crouton to get your Bee Keeper going.

Okay, so the next step is to simply get Crouton. Crouton is a small program that makes installing Linux a lot easier for us. Get your Mythical modifer ready for some arcane magic!

You can download Crouton here.

After it’s downloaded, I suggest you also read over the FAQ page, as it covers a lot of details about how Crouton works. It’s explained in plain (and humorous) language, so it’s an easy read. If not, then you’re a pretty daring person. Heh.

Note: Be sure Crouton has been downloaded into your Downloads folder. If not, the following code won’t work and you’ll get an error. If you’ve created any custom directories or folders, double-check that Crouton has been downloaded to the default Download folder.

Install Linux

Get Linux on Chromebook.
Install Linux to play Terraria!

After you’ve downloaded Crouton, it’s time to install Linux! Ready to hunt down a Falcon Blade?

Note that installing Linux comes in many different flavors. You can install different distros, desktop environment (everything from minimalist to eye-candy), and even add things like touchscreen support.

I’ll be installing Ubuntu with Xfce. Xfce is nice because it’s a very minimal desktop environment that’s fast and lightweight. Why use more resources to running the desktop and malign it look classy when you can dedicate all that towards Terraria and other games? Chromebooks only have 2 or 4GB of RAM (typically), do we need to save the resources for the actual gaming!

If you have a touchscreen Chromebook, want to use a different distro, desktop environment, or want to modify your installation, check out this installation guide.

If you’re cool with just installing the bare-bones version of Ubuntu y0ur Chromebook, just continue reading.

Here’s how:

Press “CTRL + ALT + T” to launch the command prompt (it’s time to type some code!).

Type in “sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce” and hit Enter (without the quotes!).

Linux will now install. Grab a drink. Watch some Terraria videos.

After it’s completed, you can launch Linux by typing in “sudo startxfce4” and hit Enter!

You’re now in Linux. Congrats.

Tip: You can switch between Chrome OS and Linux by pressing “CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + Back Arrow” and “CTRL + ALT + SHIFT + Forward Arrow.” Note that the arrow keys are on the top-row of your Chromebook keyboard- NOT the arrow keypad at the bottom. Don’t get confused!

  • If you get an error, I suggest following this troubleshooting guide and following it exactly as shown.
  • If you get stuck at any part, you can refer to this tutorial that covers the whole process in detail.

Install Steam

Get Steam on Chromebook.
Steam will let you play Terraria on your Chromebook, so get it!

Okay, now that you’ve successfully installed Linux, get familiar with it. Feel free to mesa round and get to know where everything is. Can you smell the Starfury yet?

Whenever you’re ready, let’s go ahead and install Steam!

Thankfully, the command prompt makes it easy. All we need is a few lines of code and Steam will be automatically installed in a jiffy!

Here’s what you need to do:

Step 1: Press “CTRL + ALT + T” to launch the command prompt.

Step 2: Type in the following command- again, without the quotes:

“sudo apt-get install -y steam”

Step 3: You’ll see a licensing agreement. Press “Tab” to highlight “OK” and hit Enter.

Step 4: Wait for Steam to install. Have a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink. You’ll need it when it’s time to pull an allnighter with Terraria on your Chromebook.

Step 5: After it’s done, launch it by going to Applications > Games > Steam.

Step 6: Update Steam.

Step 7: Relaunch it. Then login with your Steam Account. If you don’t have one, you’ll need one to get Terraria on your Chromebook. Get a Steam account here.

Note: If you want to install Steam on an external drive or SD card, you can refer to the instructions here. Follow the part about installing Steam using an external device, then come back here when you’re done.

You now have Steam on your Chromebook. Just one more step to playing Terraria!

Download and Install Terraria

Get Terraria using Steam.
Get Terraria using Steam, and then just install the game!

The final step is to simply download and install Terraria. If you have a Steam Account, the game will already be in your library. Just click on it and then click “Install.” Or you can click here to see the store page for the game.

If you don’t own the game yet, you’ll have to buy it. You can buy it directly from Steam or from a third-party seller like Amazon. You can sometimes find it on sale and cheaper on Amazon compared to Steam. But the game’s already lowly-priced as it is!

Note: If you’ve installed Steam on an external device, you’ll have to change the location where you install the game to the same device. You can do this by installing Terraria as normal, but when the Install window appears, look for the “choose location for install” drop down and install it where you installed Steam.

This will allow you to install all your games on an external device rather than using up storage on your Chromebook. Perfect if you play a lot of Steam games!

Screwed up? Powerwash it!

How to Powerwash Chromebook.
Screwed up? Do a Powerwash!

If you screw up or break something at any point during this tutorial, just do a powerwash and you can start over again.

That’s the best part about Chrome OS- it’s very hard to break something. Powerwashing will revert it back to factory settings and you can start from the beginning. And you’ll move through it faster the second time because you already know what you’re doing!

Here’s a guide on how to wipe your Chromebook completely so you can start over with a clean slate.

Improving the performance of Terraria on a Chromebook

Slowdown bug improve FPS Terraria.
Get more FPS with these tips on improving Terraria’s performance.

Chromebooks aren’t gaming machines, so you’ll likely have to adjust some graphic/video settings in Terraria in order to make it run smoothly.

The default recommended specs are the following:

  • CPU: Dual Core 3.0GHz
  • RAM: 4GB
  • GPU: 256MB

Most Chromebooks already meet this requirement. The only thing that may be bottlenecking the performance is the CPU. However, you can easily remedy this and increase your FPS, loading times, and even gameplay quality by fine-tuning the video settings.

To get the best in-game performance in Terraria, I’d suggest the following graphics settings:

  • Resolution: 800 x 600 (or lower if you’re still lagging or getting FPS drops)
  • Fullscreen mode: On
  • Parallax: 0%
  • Frame Skip: On
  • Lighting: Retro
  • Multicore Lighting: Off
  • Quality: Low
  • Background: Off

This will get you the best possible performance so it’s playable. I can get at least 40FPS on average on an older Acer CB3-131 Chromebook using these settings.

Getting “slow motion” lag when walking? Or freezing/slowdown?

This is a common issue in Terraria even for those who have beefy computers. The . way to solve this problem and get rid of the lag or “slow motion” graphics when walking is to change it to fullscreen mode, then changing Frame Skip to “Off” and background to “Off.”

This should fix the lag when walking around or the slowdown bug.

Other options to install the game

If the basic Linux install fails to work for you, there are other things you can do to get the game running.

Consider the following:

  • Install PlayOnLinux, then downloading the game through the launcher. It’s an alternative to Steam that has compatibility for the game.
  • Install Lutris, which is easy as pie. Then download Terraria through the game library and run it.
  • Try using the Google Play Store. Most modern Chromebooks can now run apps from the platform like an emulator. This is probably the easiest, but you may have trouble with keyboard controls. Control remapping may be needed.

You can go check out playonlinux or Lutris for more info.

Note that whichever technique you choose, you’ll need to actually purchase the game before you can play it. Support the devs for making such a fine game. Perfect for those days when you’re just not up for Minecraft.

Am I right?


Are you playing Terraria on your Chromebook yet?

How to get Terraria on a Chromebook.
Did you get Terraria installed and running on your Chromebook?

Well, that’s about it.

You should now be able to play some Terraria right on your Chromebook! Now you can hunt down Night’s Edge or a Phantasm or even a Bee Keeper all on your laptop anywhere you go.

Leave a comment if you need help or get stuck anywhere in the tutorial and I’ll try to help you out.

And if you’ve found this guide helpful, let me know as well. Telling a friend would be the best way to give thanks. And it helps you out too- then you can play Terraria with a friend. Together. On your Chromebooks. Woot!

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 (check the "Contact Us" page).

84 thoughts on “How to Get Terraria on a Chromebook (Ultimate Tutorial) – 2023”

  1. I have steam and everything else I need but upon clicking play It says “Running” then stops and dosen’t open

  2. umm whats crouton for and can i have the no dev mode? and why is the screen black when i launch terraria

  3. I got it downloaded but its only 2 to 5 frames per second and my chromebook meets the requirements spot on. Are there any more ways to make it run better.

  4. ok so im trying to open the ctrl + alt + t cmd prompt but all im getting is the crosh panel which i tried on both shell mode and normal

    • Sounds like the issue I had – mine turned out to be a problem with the audio buffer being too small, eventually I just disabled all sound and now it runs every time (fingers crossed!)

      Mine is using Pulse so you’ll need to find out what audio server you’re running, then from Terminal:
      sudo killall pulseaudio
      then try launching steam from a terminal and starting the game normally. Best of luck!

      • Hello, I tried this and it did not work, all you did was delete all my audio, if this was just some delete systems 32 kinda prank, you got me, now I just wanna be able to play hollow knight(The only game I can play on a chromebook) with sound, so please tell me how to turn my sound back on.

        • It’s no prank. The audio server isn’t deleted (unless you found a way of deleting it!), and you’re just running an instance inside a browser tab, so any of the following should restore the audio, in order of effort required:
          – Restart your Chromebook
          – Shut down and restart the virtual linux machine
          – Restart pulseAudio (if that *is* your audio server – only you can tell), using a command like pulseaudio
          – Reinstall linux
          – Read up about what you’re doing rather than just blindly following instructions you find on a website 😛

          IF your audio has stopped working OUTSIDE of the virtual linux environment then this is likely an issue with your chromebook itself. Try a powerwash.

          Good luck to you!

  5. so ive done everything and everything works,except loading terraria up.when i load up terraria it just stays at a black screen and just closes out after a certain amount of time.what do i do?

  6. Hey, I’ve gone through the steps so far, and I got in developer mode, but when I do the (sudo sh ~/Downlads/crouton -t xfce) command, it says “ERROR: unknown command: sudo”
    What can I do about this?

  7. Oh boy, did this help in quarantine! It took me several hours, i’m ashamed to admit, because of my online school and me having the digital knowledge of a deep fried rat. However, this guide gently held my hand and made sure I took every single step I needed to in order to taste the divinity that is Terraria 1.4 and Calamity. I have no more words to say other than thank you.

    • Is playing normally? Im asking because when I did it, everything was in slow motion and sometimes, parts of the screen would start flashing weirdly.

  8. when i try to type in the password it says “sorry try again” and i dont know what to do because i didnt even create a password

  9. So I’m in Linux, steam is installed, but when I open steam it says “Error: You are missing the following 32-bit libraries, and Steam may not”. What can I do now?

    • Hey Robert,

      This sounds like we need to install some directories on there. Which method did you use to install Steam? The command prompt is hit-or-miss. You can also try using the Ubuntu Software Center, Lutris, or PlayOnLinux in place of Steam.

      (Those URLS go to other tutorials, but they take you through the same process. Replace the game with Terraria on any of those platforms and it should be OK.)

      Let me know if you’re still stuck and any diagnostic info you can provide helps!


  10. I was doing ‘sudo apt-get install -y steam’ but it said that the command was unknown. and yes, i’m on developer mode… HELP!

    • Hey there,

      The cursor doesn’t move on the screen, but it’s collecting the keys you press. It’s normal and a safety feature of Linux. Just be sure to not screw up the entry or else it’ll be a pain to reset!

      Let me know if you have any other questions.

      • When I was creating the password, I saw that the keys that I was pressing were not being displayed so I pressed every button there is. Is there a way to reset the password without resetting everything.

    • Hey bepis,

      At this point, Intel is required to get Linux running in parallel to Chrome OS. Any other CPU has little-to-no workability to get Ubuntu up and running.


  11. There were some points that were confusing like when you said if you away and stop in mid you may not be able to use Chromebook for a while was confusing and Scarry as you didn’t explain why it would happen when and how it acts but other than that tank you

    • no, it is not going to be free if you are following this. this is a simple guide to get it on a laptop, not getting the game for free.

    • i just put me in developer mode enabled linux beta and installed steam from steam website but when youve installed the apk you need to right click on it and press install with linux beta

    • What I did is I installed it from steam and then I opened the blue folder in Linux went to downloads and downloaded the package from there

  12. I tried to install steam but i got the error: “sudo: apt-get: command not found”
    Help please

  13. Also, ye see, every Chromebook is different, it takes much more time to write out the commands and stuff because my Chromebook registered things differently. So yeeeaaa.

  14. I wanted a way that didn’t use developer mode, like getting a file from Mediafire, and then using the crossover app to make it compatible with the Chromebook
    It works for undertale, so why not terraria?

    also, one very funny thing while I was trying that out. I had both undertale and the terraria files inside my files app, and I selected terraria to download, and then I downloaded undertale as the name terraria. So, I launched “terraria” (I thought it was terraria at that moment in time, I didn’t know it was undertale) and then undertale came up. If someone was using Crossover, they would see the name of the game on the top of the window, and it said terraria, so I was mega confused about why terraria was the new undertale.

    But in the end, I would love for you to be able to search for a solution with crossover.
    email me back if anyone found a solution.
    Please and thank you! 🙂

    • The reason it doesn’t work with crossover is that crossover is meant to run an installer that will install the program on the computer (but crossover makes it install in the app). Terraria is an app that doesn’t really need an installer. When you use a terraria exe it just runs the commands to open terraria, and not to install it on your computer. If you use Ubuntu (crouton), like the tutorial, you install steam, and on there you can buy terraria. When you have done that it appears in your library and you run the terraria linux file because it is a linux Steam. It saves all of your data on steam and that does not happen with crossover. What crossover does is it saves the data on the installed program. But, if you need to run the same file over and over again without installer, like terraria, it can’t save data to a program, because it has not installed one. When you open terraria it only runs the exe instead of a program that you installed with an exe.

      TL;DR: terraria doesn’t have an installer, which makes it not install on crossover, which makes it impossible to save data because it is not installed, but only running the program.

    • i just put me in developer mode enabled linux beta and installed steam from steam website but when youve installed the apk you need to right click on it and press install with linux beta

      • you dont need to install linux beta, but crouton. Crouton puts you into ubuntu linux os, but linux beta only allows program installing. READ THE *** TUTORIAL.


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