Are Macs good for gaming? Back in the day, the answer to this would have been a strong “no.” Today though, things are changing.
Macs are becoming more and more popular, with over 8 percent of the world’s devices running macOS, with this share growing dramatically if you only look at computers. Due to this surge in popularity and gaming becoming more mainstream, gaming on Mac is now perfectly possible but it can be a little more difficult than on Windows.
In this guide, we’re going to show you how to play PC games on Mac and the different options available to you. We’ll also take a look at whether Macs are any good as gaming hardware.
Ready to learn more? Read on!
First Off: Are Macs Good for Gaming?
So the first thing that we need to look at is whether Macs are actually any good as gaming hardware. The answer is not as simple as you might expect. The gaming prowess of Macs depends very much on which Mac you own.
By and large, you shouldn’t be gaming much on a MacBook Air. This laptop isn’t designed to run triple-A games and if you do manage to get them running, you can expect low framerates.
If you’re interested in running Fortnite on Mac or if you want to play indie games or less-graphically intense genres like CRPGs and grand strategy games, you should be able to manage on a MacBook Air.
What you need to be aware of is that most MacBook Airs don’t have dedicated graphics cards, which is the main bottleneck.
A MacBook Pro is a much better proposition for gaming than the Air. These devices often have dedicated graphics cards and higher specifications. While you may still struggle to play AAA games on ultra-high settings, you should be able to get by.
If you want to boost your performance further and play the latest titles and have them looking their best, you should invest in an eGPU. An eGPU is an external graphics card that connects to the Thunderbolt port on your Macbook and lets you play games at their most graphically intense.
The latest iMacs are powerhouses that can play most games at high or very high settings and have them look amazing on their Retina displays, too! These machines have dedicated graphics cards, solid processors, and good amounts of RAM that let them really make the most of your favorite titles.
The Easiest Way to Play Games On Mac
If you’re looking for the very easiest way to play games on Mac, then you should consider downloading Steam. As one of the biggest games stores online, there’s a huge selection of games that are compatible with Mac on the Steam store.
Until recently, running most games on Macs required arcane techniques (we’ll get into that later) but today, you can install a lot of them simply.
There are some absolutely amazing titles that work with Mac natively too. We’d recommend checking out Killing Floor, Borderlands 3, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and Tomb Raider.
Another possible way to play games on Mac is to download Geforce Now. This new service from Nvidia is free to use for limited sessions of one hour at a time. If you want longer sessions, you’ll need to subscribe.
So what is so special about Geforce Now? Well, it gives you access to the best graphics settings on low-powered machines. This is because Nvidia’s servers handle all of the processing.
All that happens on your end is streaming. Geforce Now streams the game to your system and your inputs are then sent back to the servers.
This means that if you want to play games on Geforce Now without stuttering, you’ll need a very fast internet connection. If you’ve got one of these, then give it a shot: you might find it a real revelation!
So that’s the easiest way to play games on Mac. Yet not every game supports Mac quite so easily: sometimes you’re going to need to get a little more technical.
If you want to get access to every Windows game on your Mac without paying for a subscription, then you need Boot Camp. This bit of software lets you run Windows on your Mac: you don’t need to overwrite macOS, either. When you start up your Mac, you’ll get the option of loading into macOS or Windows.
Installing Boot Camp isn’t difficult but you will need an official copy of Windows. You should install Windows 10, as this lets you run Gamepass too, which gives you access to a huge range of games for free each month.
You should also make sure that you give the Windows partition enough space. If you only give your Windows partition around 50 GB, you’re not going to be able to store many games on there: some games won’t fit on it at all!
If you want to use your Mac as a gaming machine, give the Windows partition at least a few hundred gigabytes of space.
Playing Games On Mac
There are a few other ways that you can play games on Mac. For instance, you can use disc virtualization to run both OSs simultaneously, but these are either complex or come with a big performance hit. Use the methods that we’ve outlined and you’ll be gaming in no time!
So, are Macs good for gaming? While they still lag behind Windows machines, it’s certainly possible to game on Mac!
For more interesting and informative articles about tech, check out the rest of our site!