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Play more games on ChromeOS with Game Dashboard

At ChromeOS, we are committed to making our gaming experience better for users and developers alike. Gaming is a key area for ChromeOS that we recognize as important to the long-term health of the platform. Today, most Android games are only designed for touch interactions and have limited support for peripherals like mouse and keyboard. 90% users on ChromeOS, though, use a mouse and keyboard, not touch, so these games aren’t playable by most of our users. Starting in ChromeOS 125, that will all change with the introduction of the Game Dashboard.

Game Dashboard is an in-game overlay, initially for Android and GeForce NOW, to let you tailor your gaming experience, record and share gameplay, and get the most out of your games. . Game Dashboard aims to provide a unified and streamlined gaming experience for all ChromeOS users, and will launch with two key features: the ability to add custom keyboard and gamepad mappings to games, and the ability to record your playthoughs in real time.

Game Controls: custom key mapping and expanded controller support

Back in ChromeOS 105 we launched an early version of Game Controls, a tool to translate key presses into simulated touch events, that included pre-mapped controls for a select set of about 30 games. Beginning in ChromeOS 125, Game Controls support is expanding, letting you create your mapping for any of the hundreds of thousands of games in the Play Store!

Custom Game Controls through Game Dashboard.

Custom key mapping

You can now use Game Controls to customize key mappings that work best for your games and your setup. The floating Game Controls icon has been removed from the game window and is now accessed from the Game Dashboard button at the top of the window or by pressing Search + G.

To set up a new mapping:

  1. Open the Game Dashboard either via the button at the top of the window or by pressing Search + G.
  2. Click on the Controls row to open the mapping settings.
  3. Click the + icon to create a new control
  4. Use the mouse or keyboard to place the new control on top of a button within a game. This will open the edit key menu.
  5. Select the pencil icon to assign a key by then pressing your desired key on the keyboard.
  6. Select the Done button within the edit key menu.
  7. Repeat steps 3 to 6 until all desired game buttons are assigned on screen.
  8. Hit the Done button in the Controls menu.
  9. Enjoy playing your game with your keyboard! If you want to make adjustments, you can always go back into the Game Controls menu to delete or modify elements in your overlay.

Virtual D-pad support

Game Controls also features D-pad support to emulate keys used for movement, a common pattern in many games.

Locally saved layouts

Each game has its own set of controls, which are stored locally. Each time the game is started, the preset controls can be used again.

The Game Controls dashboard, showing custom Game Control settings.

Game Capture: record and play

We also know that many of you like to record yourself as you’re playing your favorite games. Game Capture lets you do just that, with gameplay captured at the frame rate and resolution of the game window. You can also record audio from your microphone and the game itself. When you’re done, the video is saved on your device and you’re presented with a notification allowing you to view the file or upload it to YouTube. You can also take screenshots of the current game window with it.

Recording gameplay with Game Capture.

Recording gameplay with Game Capture.

Screen recording completed with Game Capture.

Screen recording completed with Game Capture.

Go play!

With the addition of the Game Dashboard to ChromeOS, Chromebook gaming has become even more accessible. You can tailor your Android and GeForce NOW gaming experiences to your liking, letting you bring your favorite mobile games with you to your laptop and share your victories with your friends and followers, all without missing a beat. For developers, it means more reach, more awareness, and more hype for your games. We can’t wait to see how you’ll play!