The State of Gaming on the Mac in 2023

  • Special Content faviconSpecial Content

    Jan 26, 2023, 2:28 pm1.9k ptsInteresting

    The age-old debate of whether Macs or Windows PCs are better is an argument that can never be truly settled as there are fanboys and fangirls on either side of the fence that will simply never consider switching sides.

    color keyboard

    Looking objectively, the two operating systems have their own unique combinations of pros and cons, making Windows better suited to some tasks and the Mac well-placed to do others.

    Mac is the platform of choice for creatives that want to do graphic design or video editing tasks, while Windows generally offers better access to niche software, business-related applications, and older hardware.

    Microsoft's operating system has also been the leader in the PC gaming space, streets ahead of both Linux and Mac.

    For a long time, gaming on the Apple Mac was much more of a chore than it was on Windows. Compared to their computer counterparts, Mac owners had fewer options when it came to the games themselves, as well as the number of peripherals and accessories that were available.

    That has all begun to change in recent years, but have Apple players reached a parity with PC people?

    Mac Hardware

    For the most part, Macs have had few physical limitations preventing them from running many AAA games. Provided you don't own one of the weird licensed Macs of the pre-Jobs-return era or a lower-powered device like the MacBook Air, you usually have the power you need to get a game going.

    The majority of Macs contain powerful processors and respectable graphics chips, even if they're not quite on par with the high-end cards used by the most hardcore gamers.

    So, assuming there were no operating system limitations, most Macs should be capable of running most games of their era, even if it they don't have the graphics settings turned all the way up.

    What Can You Play on a Mac in 2023?

    Gaming on a Mac has, arguably, never been as good as it is in 2023 as the range of content that you get access to is much larger than ever before.

    Thanks to HTML5, any modern game that can be played through a web browser will be compatible with most Macs, provided it doesn't require a legacy plugin like Flash or Java (which is rare).

    On top of that, more and more developers are creating Mac versions of their software so that Apple users can also enjoy their games. For example, PokerStars has an innovative Home Games feature that allows users to create their own poker club that's just for them and their friends. To use it, the PokerStars client is required, but this is available for all Intel-based machines that run macOS 10.12 or later. This version of the operating system was released in 2016, so it means most machines still in use are going to be compatible.

    Arguably one of the most popular gaming stores, Valve's Steam platform is also packed with titles that can be run on Mac, including big names like Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Football Manager 2023, Rust, Runescape, and Stardew Valley. You will also need the Steam client from the official website.

    colorful macbook

    What Can't You Play on Mac

    However, there are, unfortunately, still many games that aren't yet compatible with the operating system and that list is as long, if not longer, than the list of games that can be played on Mac.

    This includes key titles like Crysis, Skyrim, and The Witcher III. Some of these games have been ported to a long list of different platforms but Apple's OS has been overlooked and shunned in these efforts.

    Boot Camp

    Another option for playing games on a Mac is to use Boot Camp, the tool that allows you to run Windows on Apple hardware, making big-name titles like Grand Theft Auto V compatible with these machines.

    However, while this technically means that you are running these games on your Mac, you are doing so via a different platform, negating the entire point of having an Apple device in the first place. And, given that the hardware is designed for the Mac, Windows and Windows applications will simply not be as efficient, meaning you won't get the best gaming experience.

Trending Today on MacHash