So, you want to get some Robocraft action on your Chromebook.
Well, you’ve come to the right place. It’s not hard to install and play Robocraft on a Chromebook, but the only problem is that it’s a pretty demanding game so it takes a pretty powerful laptop to get it running.
Regardless, if you’re a hardcore fan of the game, you can always give it a try. Who knows, you could be mowing down your enemies in your plasma cannon hovercraft in less than an hour from now.
And don’t worry about bricking your Chromebook. Everything in this tutorial is completely reversible so it’s impossible to break anything. You can easily revert to factory settings at any point during the installation process.
Ready to get started? Let’s install Robocraft on your Chromebook!
Last updated: 1/11/21. Checked for accuracy.
The first thing we need to cover is the hardware requirements.
If you don’t have the proper components, the game won’t install or you’ll get poor performance which may make it unplayable. So it’s important to check that your Chromebook meets the minimum requirements of Robocraft before installing so you don’t waste your time!
In 2020, this method is still reported to be working as long as all the requirements below are met. If you get stuck, leave a comment and I’ll try to help you out!
The first and most important thing is that you have an Intel processor. If you have a MediaTek or ARM-based CPU, this won’t work. Sorry. A lot of Samsung and some Acer Chromebooks have these processors, so you should double-check that you have an Intel CPU.
Here are a few easy ways to check what processor your Chromebook has:
- Look for the Intel sticker (the infamous blue/white sticker)
- Look on the bottom panel of your device for Intel logos
- Do a search online for your Chromebook (just go to your favorite search engine and search “ + ” and look up your specs
Or you can do the following:
- Launch Chrome.
- Type “chrome://system” in the URL bar and hit Enter.
- Look for “cpu” in the list
- Check for Intel
Anything made by Intel will work. It doesn’t matter if you have an Intel Pentium, Celeron, m3, i7, i5, i3, or anything else. As long as it’s Intel, it’s got the proper architecture to run Robocraft.
With newer Chromebooks coming out all the time with interesting new chipsets, Linux only plays well with Intel at this time. Perhaps in the future we’ll get some other compatibility. But for now, stick with an Intel-based computer if you plan to mod it.
You’ll need at least 4GB of RAM for Robocraft on your Chromebook. Mos toddler models have 2GB of RAM, which is playable, but the experience will be poor. Perhaps you can adjust the video settings to increase the FPS (which we’ll cover later this in this guide). You can still try with 2GB RAM, but I recommend at least 4GB.
Need a new Chromebook that can play games? Check out this list.
You’ll just need a standard 16GB SSD if you want to install the game directly on your machine. If you have more space, that’s perfect. Note that 16GB isn’t really a lot of space if you plan on installing other Steam games on your Chromebook. I have tutorials for lots of games:
And a ton more. Just search for “how to play” in the search bar.
If you don’t have a lot of space, you can install Steam on an external USB drive instead. But for the purpose of keeping this tutorial easy to follow, I’ll be installing Robocraft directly on the SSD.
How to install Robocraft on a Chromebook
Here’s a brief overview of what we’ll be doing in this tutorial:
- Backup your stuff
- Enable Developer Mode
- Install Linux
- Install Lutris
- Install and play Robocraft!
Sounds easy enough, right? It should only take about an hour or less and if you have any questions or get stuck, just leave a comment and I’ll get back to you ASAP!
Even if you don’t know if you can get it working, just try it! You’ll learn something about computers and who knows, perhaps you can install a whole bunch of other games instead once you have Linux installed on your Chromebook. It’s worth it if you’re a hardcore fan of the game.
Back up your data
Backing up your stuff is important because doing this will require a Power Wash, which means your Chromebook will be wiped completely. This includes everything in your Downloads folder, custom folders/directories, images, videos, PDFs, Chrome Web Store apps, Chromebook settings, wallpapers, and even your Google Play apps if your Chromebook has access to the Play Store.
Pretty much, your Chromebook will be restored to when it was like new by doing a Powerwash. And it’s not optional. It’s an automatic process that’ll take place as you get your device ready for Linux, which is required for Robocraft.
But don’t worry, you can easily back up your data so you don’t lose anything. And another thing to note is that you won’t lose anything you have saved in your Google Account- such as your Gmail, Drive, or settings.
Since I’ve already written a guide on how to backup your data, you can just check that out instead of me re-writing it here. After you’re done backing up what you want to keep, resume with this tutorial and let’s continue!
Using a school or work Chromebook
I should mention that if you’re using a school or work Chromebook, this probably won’t work. By default, Chromebooks that are enrolled or managed by a work organization or school admin won’t let you enable Developer Mode, which is necessary to install Linux and then install Robocraft.
You can try and see if they allow Dev Mode, but if not, you won’t be able to do anything without getting permission from an admin first.
Enable Developer Mode
Okay, so now that we’ve all that boring stuff out of the way, we can actually focus on installing Robocraft now.
The first thing we need to do is enable Developer Mode on your Chromebook. This is easy to do and only requires a few keyboard combinations. Note that once you start, you can’t go back!
This step will automatically wipe your device of everything you have saved, so be sure that you’ve already backed up your stuff (like you were supposed to do earlier!).
Ready? Let’s roll.
Enable Dev Mode
Note: All commands in this tutorial are to be typed WITHOUT the quotes! If you use quotes, improper casing/spacing, you’ll get an error. So the first thing you should do is check for errors if something doesn’t work.
Enabling Developer Mode is easy! Get your sprinter legs on and start your engines! Here’s how:
Step 1: Press “ESC + Refresh + Power” and hold them together until it your Chromebook reboots by itself.
You’ll then see a warning screen show up when it reboots. Read over the scary text and then press “CTRL + D” when you’re ready.
Step 2: Another warning screen will show up. Read it over and hit Enter. Your Chromebook will now enter Dev Mode. It’ll take up to 20 minutes to do this process.
Step 3: Wait patiently like a good person.
Step 4: When Dev Mode is enabled, it’ll restart again automatically and you’ll see a screen telling you that “OS Verification is OFF.” This is good. We want OS Verification to be OFF or else we can’t install Robocraft/Linux.
Step 5: Press “CTRL + D” again to enter your Chromebook in Developer Mode.
That’s it. You’re done. You’re now developer Mode!
Note: Every time you restart your laptop, you’ll see this warning.
Remember to hit “CTRL +D” and NOT the spacebar or else you’ll revert out of Dev Mode. You need to keep your Chromebook with Dev Mode enabled in order to play Robocraft or else it’ll wipe everything- including your Linux install. Don’t hit the wrong key.
If you’re having problems enabling DM, you can refer to this complete tutorial I wrote. Follow the steps there and continue here when you’re done. You can also leave a comment if you need help and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP!
Install Linux with Crouton
Okay, so now that you have a Chromebook with Dev mode enabled, the next step is to simply install Linux! Can you smell the cube armor yet?
Don’t fret, this step is super easy. In fact, it’s so easy you can do it with just a single line of code! (It really doesn’t get any easier than that.)
The key to getting Linux is to get Crouton. Crouton is a small app that’ll automatically install Ubuntu Linux on your Chromebook with just a single command.
So naturally, first, we need to grab a copy of Crouton. It’s completely free and was created by a Google employee- please correct me if I’m wrong.
You can get Crouton here.
I suggest you read over the FAQ page and learn a bit about the program and how it works. Don’t worry, it’s written in plain English so it’s easy to understand- even for the total newbie.
Also, if you don’t want to install it directly on your SSD but prefer to install Linux on a USB drive, that’s possible.
Besides, it contains some important things you should know about installing Ubuntu Linux. For example, if your Chromebook has a touchscreen and you want to continue using the touchscreen feature in Linux and Chrome OS, you’ll need to modify your single line of code to get the support for touchscreen-enabled Chromebooks.
But if you just want to install the bare-bones version of Ubuntu, you can continue with this guide. I’ll be installing Ubuntu because it’s the most well-documented release of Linux out there. If you ever get stuck, you can simply do a search on your favorite search engine to find a solution.
Ubuntu also comes with multiple desktop versions. So essentially, we’ll be installing two things:
- The distro of Linux: Ubuntu
- The desktop environment of Ubuntu: Xfce
I chose Xfce because it’s a minimalist version and easy to use. It also uses very few resources so your Chromebook can smoothly run Robocraft smoothly rather than power your desktop.
After you get Crouton, launch it.
Then you can install the basic version of Ubuntu with Xfce by running the following command:
“sudo sh ~/Downloads/crouton -t xfce”
This will download and install Linux on your machine.
If you get stuck, follow this troubleshooting page exactly as shown.
If you want to customize your installation, you’ll have to use different targets in the code. You can refer to this tutorial for a complete walkthrough.
And if you get stuck at any point, again, leave a comment or refer to the guide in the previous sentence to get help.
Install Lutris on your Chromebook
The next step is to install Lutris! Go ahead and get familiar with your new desktop environment. It should look pretty bare and empty, but that’s okay, it’ll only benefit you when you’re playing Robocraft without lag on your Chromebook! Ready to equip some Tesla blades?
For starters, Lutris is a game library management platform kind of like Steam. Well, it’s like Steam for Linux, even though that already exists.
This is the first step we’ll be taking and if it doesn’t work, we’ll try installing Steam instead. We’ll just start with Lutris first because it’s much faster and simpler than trying to get Steam on there- though if you’re interested and you prefer it, you can check out this tutorial on installing Steam.
When you’re done messing around, let’s get to business and install it.
Lutris requires just a few commands to install. Remember to not use the quotes and type it in exactly as shown!
Step 1: Launch the command prompt (“CTRL + ALT +T”).
Step 2: Type in the following commands:
“ver=$(lsb_release -sr); if ; then ver=18.04; fiecho “deb http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/strycore/xUbuntu_$ver/ ./” | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/lutris.list”
“wget -q http://download.opensuse.org/repositories/home:/strycore/xUbuntu_$ver/Release.key -O- | sudo apt-key add -“
Step 3: Then type:
“sudo apt-get update”
“sudo apt-get install lutris”
That’s it. Lutris will automatically install in the background and update itself.
If you’re having trouble, check out the official Lutris downloads page.
When it’s done, go ahead and launch it by looking for it in the menu. It should be somewhere under Menu > Applications > Lutris. If you don’t see it there, check Menu> Games > Lutris. Or you can just click the Ubuntu button and search for “lutris” and you’re done! And it’s always good to get it done!
Now that you’ve successfully installed Lutris, we can install Robocraft! We’re almost there. Can you smell the plasma cannons yet?
And finally, install the actual game on your Chromebook
Installing the game is easy. Get some plasmas, rails, or guns are blast off! Here’s how:
Step 1: Launch Lutris.
Step 2: Search for “robocraft” and look for it. Read over the game’s description if you want. Or just click here.
Step 3: Click on the “install” button. It works similarly to Steam. The game will start installing.
Step 4: Be patient and wait like a good person.
After it’s done installing, you’ll see it in your Lutris library. You’re now ready to play Robocraft on your Chromebook! Just launch the game from Lutris and it’ll start. Congrats. You’ve successfully installed Lutris!
Robocraft not working?
If the game doesn’t work, you can try a set of commands to update your software. It could be an outdated graphics card, repo, or other software updates that’s stopping your game from launching. This also is worth a try if you’re getting poor performance.
Step 1: Launch the command prompt (“CTRL + ALT + T”).
Type the following commands:
“sudo apt-get update”
“sudo apt-get upgrade”
“sudo apt-get dist-upgrade”
Step 2: Then try launching the game again.
If it doesn’t work, check what error code you’re getting and let me know by posting a comment. I’ll try to help you out. You can also try looking it up yourself online by plugging in the error message and seeing what other people do to solve it.
You can also try using PlayOnLinux instead of Lutris to get Robocraft. Here’s a tutorial on installing PlayOnLinux. Just follow the directions to get POL and substitute Robocraft instead of League of Legends.
Update your video drivers
You can update your Chromebook’s video drivers to the latest version by doing the following steps. It’s easy.
Step 1: Launch the command prompt (who’d have guessed?). Then type the following commands:
“$ sudo apt-get install -y software-properties-common”
“$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:xorg-edgers/ppa”
Step 2: Exit Ubuntu and go back to Chrome OS.
Step 3: Launch the command prompt again. And type the following command:
“$ crout -u -n trusty”
Step 4: Start Linux again.
Another approach is to simply use Steam to install Robocraft on your Chromebook. If you’re already familiar with Steam, this method should be good because you already know how to use it.
Installing Steam is super easy. Just do the following:
Step 1: Launch the command line (“CTRL + ALT + T”).
Step 2: Type the following command:
“$ sudo apt-get install -y steam.”
Step 4: Wait for it to install like a good person.
Step 5: When it’s done, launch Steam by going to Applications > Games > Steam in your Ubuntu menus. If you can’t find it, search for “steam” in the search by (you can find this by clicking on the Ubuntu button).
Step 6: Steam will update itself. Be patient again.
Step 7: Relaunch Steam and log in with your credentials.
Step 8: After you’ve installed Steam, navigate to Robocraft’s Steam store page and install the game by clicking on “Install.” If you’ve never used Steam before, you’ll have to register an account. Then you can find the game by searching for “robocraft” in the search bar within the Steam client.
Congrats. Now you have Steam and you can easily install the game from here.
Screwed up? Powerwash your Chromebook
If you screwed up at any point, or you’ve given up and want to just make things back to normal again, you can easily do so with a Powerwash.
This is identical to what happens during the Powerwash that’s automatically performed when you enabled Developer Mode at the first step. So if you screw something up and your Chromebook is acting weird, you can just do a Powerwash and start over or set it back to factory default settings and choose what you want to do from there.
This will erase Linux, Robocraft, and anything else you’ve done in this tutorial like it never happened at all. You’ll also lose all saved data on both Linux and Chrome OS, so back up whatever’s necessary if you want to keep something (like an awesome screenshot of Robocraft for something).
Here’s a tutorial on Powerwashing you can refer to.
And here’s a tutorial on backing up your data.
This will revert your Chromebook back to factory settings and delete Linux and all the other actions you’ve done so far. So be sure you want to do this before proceeding. And back up your data if you have anything you want to save.
You can refer to the guides and follow the process, step-by-step!
How to increase FPS/performance of Robocraft
If you’re having performance issues getting your game to run smoothly, you can mess around with the graphic settings to get better performance out of your game.
If you experience any of the following issues, you may need a more powerful Chromebook to run the game properly:
- Low FPS
- Random lag spikes
- Frame lag
- Game freezing
- Long loading times
- Game crashing
You can adjust the simple video settings to remedy some of these problems. Robocraft doesn’t have custom video settings, so all you can really adjust is the screen resolution and the quality settings.
Go to the “Settings” menu when you’re in the garage with your Robot. Look for the “Settings” option. Click on it. Then do the following:
- Change the “resolution” to the LOWEST possible value you’re willing to play on.
- Change the “quality settings” to the “LOW” setting for maximum performance.
- You can also untick the “fullscreen” option as playing in windowed mode may help get you better FPS.
- You can also do a neat trick and turn the resolution to the lowest possible setting but play in full-screen mode. Then you’ll get a bigger picture with smoother FPS.
If you’ve done all this and you’re still getting performance issues or lag, it just may be that your Chromebook is too weak. Robocraft is recommended for at least 4 CPU cores or more, which most Chromebooks don’t have- they just have 2 core typically. If you’re a hardcore fan and you really want to play Robocraft on your Chromebook, try getting a gaming Chromebook.
So, did you install Robocraft successfully?
If you did, congrats. Enjoy getting your robot action on your Chromebook. If not, leave a comment with your error message(s) if possible and I’ll try to get back to you ASAP. Please be as detailed as possible with your comment so I can find a solution!
If you’ve found this guide helpful, leave a comment and let me know. And consider telling a friend so you can get your robo on together. That’s the best way you can help =].
Enjoy playing the game. It’s time to launch your Robocraft!
Thanks for reading!