Games

Can You Play Games on MacBook?

All of your friends have been chatting about this awesome new game that’s coming out. You’ve been watching videos of it and hyping yourself up, only for disappointment. The game isn’t available on your MacBook.

This is a struggle that many Mac gamers have been dealing with for a long time. You’re starting to question “is Mac good for gaming”? The short answer is no.

Their hardware isn’t set up to be able to handle it for a reason. Still, that doesn’t mean that you can’t download Steam and play the occasional title or two. The few games you can play aren’t that bad.

Is that enough to make up for the many drawbacks of Mac gaming, though? Check out this guide to find out.

Is Mac Good for Gaming? 

No. The answer here is no. Apple markets themselves as business only and their tech reflects that.

They’re not designed with gamers in mind. They don’t pack the same amount of graphics power as a portable gaming PC, they can’t be upgraded because the operating system is so regulated, and while there are tons of games available on Mac, the choices pale in comparison to Windows.

Graphics 

It’s not that Mac hardware is horrible for gaming or anything. Most of them have a high enough CPU and pack plenty of RAM to play whatever you want. The problem lies with the graphics card.

The high-end Mac laptops have a good enough graphics card for gaming. The old ones do not and those are the ones that an average gamer might be able to afford. Or be willing to afford rather.

You’ll spend around 2,000 dollars for a Mac with a graphics card that’s on par with a PC. You can get a good Windows gaming laptop for much less.

Computing Power 

The processor is the second most important part of a gaming computer. The first being the graphics card. Again, most Macs have a good enough processor to handle games.

When weighing Mac vs PC gaming performance, Mac actually beats Windows computers in this category. Every single one of Apple’s machines is loaded up with the latest processor.

Game Selections 

If you get on Steam, you’ll see that there are a few thousand games available on Mac. It’s still not a lot. The constant frustration that Mac gamers run into is that PC gamers have way more choices.

The reason for this is that the PC is known for running games and developers know this. So, they prioritize PC. They might deliver an OS version down the line, but you’ll be waiting a while for AAA titles.

On top of the popularity factor, it takes a while to convert codes from PC to Mac because of the many differences between the operating systems.

Upgradability 

Say, your graphics card in your PC stops being able to keep up with your games. You can’t play everything on max settings like you used to. There is a simple fix.

It won’t be cheap, but you can buy a new graphics card and replace the old one. Upgrades are always a click away on Windows computers.

The same can’t be said for Macs. Apple doesn’t want you to buy upgrades and make little fixes on your own so, they don’t make it easy.

If the warranty is still up on your computer, you really don’t want to open it up and rummage around because that will void the warranty.

Have Things Always Been So Bad? 

Believe it or not, when Apple first popped up on the scene in the 80s and 90s, they were actually the computers to get for gaming. It wasn’t until much later when they started marketing toward businesspeople in an attempt to be taken more seriously, that things started to go downhill.

While most of their marketing since then has been centered more around work than play, things are changing. In the past few years, they’ve been reaching out to gamers more. They even have their own library with the Apple Arcade.

It will be a while before you’ll be able to play AAA titles on Mac the day of release, but there is hope, at least.

What’s the Best Mac for Gaming? 

If after reading all this information you decide that you want to buy a Mac for gaming, you’re going to need the right machine for the job. Our advice is to save up for the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

It’s got a powerful processor and 16GB of RAM. That’s not bad considering most computers come with 8GB if you’re lucky. The graphics card is pretty great too.

We’ll tell you that you will be paying for Mac pro gaming. It costs almost $3000 dollars.

You can shave a little bit of money off by going with the 15-inch instead. It doesn’t pack quite as much power as the 16-inch, but it should suit your needs.

Are There Any Games That Can be Played on Mac? 

Now that you know what computer to buy, let’s talk about the games you can play on it. There won’t be that many games available to you on Mac, but the library isn’t small by any means. Here are a few awesome titles that you’ll have access to.

Portal 2 

If you enjoy science fiction, Portal 2 has you covered. As the name suggests, you’ll be using portals to navigate your way around. You shoot them out of a gun and use your brain to solve puzzles.

The game is challenging but, not so challenging that you’ll chuck your computer against a wall. It won’t hold your hand either, though. You’ll at least feel a wave of accomplishment when you finally make it through a level.

Divinity: Original Sin

For those in the crowd who enjoy a good RPG, Divinity: Original Sin is most likely the best one available for Mac gamers. The storytelling will either make you laugh or cry.

Every single choice that you make matters to some degree. The soundtrack is banging and you go through the story with your friends in co-op mode.

Undertale 

Undertale isn’t pretty as far as graphics go, but it’s got an interesting concept. Basically, humans and monsters got into a war. As a result of this war, the monsters were sealed away in an underworld location.

This is where you come in. You play as a human who’s stuck there and is trying to claw their way out by solving puzzles and yes, fighting monsters.

The lore is interesting, the storytelling has a nice splash of humor and seriousness, and the gameplay can be pretty fun.

Final Fantasy 14

Final Fantasy 14 did not have a good start on the Mac. In fact, Square Enix issued an apology to Mac gamers for how badly the game ran on the OS operating system and gave everyone a full refund.

The good news is that Square’s worked on the game and made the much-needed improvements that they promised to make. That was after they dropped a literal meteor in the servers and ended the entire thing while people were still playing it.

Once it was revamped and relaunched, it did pretty well. In fact, it’s one of the biggest MMOs available right now. If you enjoy playing a good adventure with your friends, you can download it on your Mac and play up to the second expansion for free.

Stardew Valley 

Stardew Valley is all about flexibility. If you want to plant a bunch of crops and live off the land, that’s your choice. You can mingle with and date the locals in your little home community.

There are small rival-factions and a world of politics you can explore. You can choose to opt-out of all of this in favor of heading to an interesting cave. There’s a lot of realism involved, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

Slay the Spire

Slay the Spire is both a deck builder and a roguelike game. You travel up a tower and battle enemies using a card system. The top screen will remind you of your favorite turn-based RPG.

As you fight enemies, you obtain new cards that you can put in your deck. There are also merchants around that you can buy cards from.

Final Verdict on Mac Gaming

Is Mac good for gaming? It depends on what kind of gamer you are. If you want to play the newest AAA titles, the answer is no.

The hardware isn’t up to standards for it unless you pay out tons of money. Even if you do have one of the $3,000-dollar models, developers never drop the Mac version of their games on day one. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t tons of great games you can choose from.

Got more computer gaming questions? We can answer them. Check out our blog daily for all the latest tech news and tips.

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