We exclusively reported that Google is working to bring official Steam support for Chromebooks back in 2020. In parallel with developing a new Linux container that is better suited for gaming, the company is now also experimenting with a new “Game Mode” that can provide additional performance for the upcoming Linux container.

Chrome Unboxed found a new entry in Google̵

7;s development resource Chromium Gerrit that suggests so much, aptly named “Toggle game mode for Borealis when full screen” – Borealis is the code name for the new Linux container. The entry further explains, “Implement logic to track window status and switch game modes when a Borealis window is focused and goes in and out of full screen.” This indicates that game mode will be turned on automatically when you open or close a game, and it is even possible that there is not even a user-facing option that you can turn on and off. Instead, the game mode can be focused on automatically activating things like point lock and performance prioritization, but at this point it’s just speculation.

The Chromium Gerrit entry.

After a little more digging into Gerrit, Chrome Unboxed found that there will be clear messages when you quit and enter game mode, potentially like the ones you see when you enter full-screen pages or a Stadia game.

Ultimately, this game mode is just one step for many to make games on Chromebooks better, and it may very well be a requirement before Google is ready to introduce Steam to the platform. The game mode is still in an early stage, so it will take a while until we can definitely tell what it will look like and what it will do.