Macs are great computers, but they can often disappoint even the most ardent Apple fan when it comes to playing video games. Game developers often make games only compatible with Windows, and this can be frustrating.
This has an explanation: the graphics of most Macs are not at the level of their rival computers. If you think your Mac’s graphics card is powerful enough, then you’ll be even more frustrated that many games don’t work on macOS.
Luckily for you, there are several ways you can enjoy your favorite video games on your Mac or MacBook. From Boot Camp to services streaming For Mac, we go over five ways to play PC games on a Mac.
Method 1. GeForce Now for Mac
Pros: Easy to use, no download required and access to a vast collection of AAA games
Cons: You need a fast Internet connection and preferably use an Ethernet cable before Wi-Fi
One of the easiest and most recommended ways to play PC games on a Mac is by using the video game service at streaming on the Nvidia cloud GeForce Now for Mac, intended for macOS and Mac OS X users.
For now it is available only in its beta version, but the good thing is, through this platform, you can access the Steam and Battle.net games on your account from anywhere in Europe and the United States.
In addition, you will not have to worry about how powerful your computer is graphically. Nvidia takes care of the processing so that you can play the game from your Mac and through a very fast Internet connection.
You should know that the latency is almost imperceptible, even in multiplayer games on-line What PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. All games have been optimized to be played in streaming, which means that you will enjoy them in the highest quality.
Nvidia also stores the latest available version of video games on its servers, so you don’t have to waste time waiting for updates to finish downloading. Best of all, the beta version is completely free.
Method 2. Stadia
Pros: Good performance, controller-centric interface and no download required software to access the service
Cons: No free trial, no Android app and a somewhat small catalog
Stadia is Google’s answer to the game on-line and offers the same experience as a game console but without a console. The focus here is the ability to play remotely.
As with GeForce Now and Shadow, this means you rely on a good internet connection to minimize lag. It also means that you can access it on both Windows and Mac.
It will be enough to have Google Chrome installed, although you can connect your laptop to the TV using Google Chromecast and thus enjoy a big screen experience.
Offers a gameplay 4K HDR with decent quality (which is expected to improve). Obviously, you will also need a Google Stadia controller.
One of the unique features that it offers is the possibility of playing in the modality picture-in-picture in multiplayer games. You also have access to YouTube tutorials to improve your experience.
Method 3. Shadow
Pros: Windows 10 user experience from the cloud and state-of-the-art specifications for gaming
Cons: A fast internet connection is required and the monthly subscription is expensive
If the idea of a cloud service appeals to you but you don’t want to give up the Windows user experience, Shadow is the ideal solution for you. Unlike the Nvidia platform, with Shadow you will have a copy of Windows 10 on your Mac.
Thus, you can install a wide variety of video game platforms such as Steam, Origin or Epic Games Store and change the settings as you would on a PC. Shadow is intended for gaming, offering the equivalent of GTX 1080 and 12 GB of DDR4 RAM.
In addition, it offers a gameplay 4K at 60 fps. The best part is that it is updated at no extra cost when technology improves. It also offers 256GB of storage so you can download more than one game at a time.
Another advantage is that this virtual computer offers download speeds of 1 GB / s and upload speeds of 100 Mb / s, so game downloads and updates will be very fast. Also, there is practically no latency.
You may be interested to know that the app is not only available for macOS, but that it is also compatible with Windows 10, iOS and Android. Of course, it is somewhat expensive with a price of € 29.95 per month and it can often take time to activate your account.
Method 4. Boot Camp
Pros: Cost-effective Windows for Mac user experience
Cons: Takes up more hard drive space
Those who want to live an authentic Windows user experience on their Mac without paying for a cloud gaming service like Shadow should use the Boot Camp tool to create a partition on their hard drive where they can install Windows 10.
Of course, this means that you will have to sacrifice part of your Mac’s hard drive to run Windows. We recommend that you install Windows 10. It will soon be compatible with Xbox Play Anywhere games, giving you access to PC and Xbox games on your Mac.
It is also recommended that you dedicate enough space to that partition of your disk, since the games will take up a lot of space. There are some like Battlefield v that can occupy 40 GB. You can resize partition whenever you want.
Method 5. Virtualization software
Pros: Run Windows and Mac at the same time
Cons: Performance can suffer and is expensive
Use a software virtualization allows you to run both Windows and Mac at the same time. This means that you can switch from one operating system to another with just one click. Some examples are Parallels, VMware or VirtualBox.
The big downside to using virtual machines to play video games is that performance can suffer. Unlike Boot Camp, which uses two separate partitions, with a software of this type the same partition is used.
Your experience gaming you will suffer from the simple fact that there is another operating system running in the background on your Mac. Of course, it may be enough for games that do not require a lot of processing or if you are a gamer casual.
Method 6. Wine
Pros: Good cost-benefit ratio
Cons: Too technical and not compatible with all games
With Wine you will have an additional layer on your Mac that will be instructed to run Windows API, or Windows application programming interfaces. That is, your Mac will be able to run Windows programs without any errors.
You should not confuse it with an emulator, although it certainly works similarly. Wine will emulate a different operating system than the original: in this case, it will emulate Windows on macOS.
It is somewhat difficult to learn to use Wine and, furthermore, once you have understood how it works, you may realize that the PC game you want to play is not compatible. Newer games tend to crash.
Now, not everything is going to be negative. It is a completely free service, so it does not hurt to try it and experience first-hand if it is worth it or not. Boxer is another similar service but more oriented to fans of DOS games.