September 18, 2020

GeForce Now games start streaming on Chromebooks

You no longer need a Mac or Windows PC if you want to use GeForce Now on your laptop.

nvidia geforce now on a chromebook

Credit: Nvidia
  • Nvidia has launched a GeForce Now beta for streaming games on Chromebooks.
  • It sees this as ideal for students who want to play the latest games on school laptops.
  • It’ll eventually sync with your Steam game library.

You no longer need a Mac or Windows PC if you want to use GeForce Now on your laptop. Nvidia has launched a beta that brings the game streaming service to Chromebooks and other Chrome OS devices. In other words, a school laptop can handle top-tier PC games without turning to alternative cloud gaming services like Google Stadia.

Like on other devices, you can use both free and paid Founders accounts, and you can access the same 650-plus games (including upcoming releases like Cyberpunk 2077). Nvidia recommends a USB mouse, at least for more intensive games.

You will have to wait a while for feature parity. Steam Game Sync is slated as coming “soon,� while existing features like automatic highlight videos and Freestyle appearance customization aren’t yet ready. Nvidia’s Ansel screenshot tool is also on the way.

Read more: The best Chromebooks you can buy

The usual caveats apply. Game streaming is still dependent on a fast connection and can occasionally be prone to issues like lag and video compression artifacts. And of course, you’re subject to the desires of game developers — companies like Bungie, Epic, and Ubisoft may have titles on GeForce Now, but other big names like Activision Blizzard and Bethesda have withdrawn support.

Still, this could make a Chromebook much more appealing if the lack of PC-quality games was an obstacle. You don’t need to buy a top-end gaming laptop to play titles the way they were intended — a no-frills Chrome machine will be enough. With that said, we wouldn’t be surprised if teachers and corporate managers crack down on GeForce Now to keep people focused.