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!
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: 1/1/19.
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!
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.
- 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 “ + 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
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!
How to install, download, run, and play Terraria on a 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!
Backup your data
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
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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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!
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
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.
Are you playing Terraria on your Chromebook yet?
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!