For years, people considered Mac gaming a joke mostly because the laptops and desktops were too underpowered to handle next generation games. Most people wouldn’t imagine playing No Man’s Sky on one. Those who were serious about playing the latest releases would have to invest in a PC. Yet times are changing. More consumers are turning to Apple for their hardware needs from their smartphones to their home computers. Can we expect a shift in the consensus anytime soon and will Mac gaming become more mainstream?
Disadvantages of Mac Gaming
The fact remains Mac gaming is still fairly restrictive. Not as many studios release their games on OSX and the more affordable Macs like the Mini are simply not powerful enough to play advanced games.
Good PC gaming is expensive. Some people custom-building their own rigs but you will need to invest in the right parts. The thing PC gamers get is customization. The only thing that limits them is their motherboard configuration.
The same can’t be said about Macs. You’re pretty much stuck with the hardware you get. Considering the requirements for games increasing with almost every new AAA release, within a few years even a Mac Pro might not be able to keep up. Macs also tend to cost far more money for the power than a PC. This is especially the case when one takes into account the ability for PC users to swap out old parts instead of replacing their entire machine.
Interestingly, Macs used to be the place to go if you wanted to play games back in the late 80s and early 90s. Maxis brought all of the Sim games to Mac. Even Bungie started off initially as a Mac-exclusive developer until they got snatched up by Microsoft after the success of Halo. Yet as time passed Windows pulled further ahead by providing affordable graphics and strong performance.
How To Game On A Mac
While Windows might still hold the market in terms of the sheer number of games available, a growing number studios are developing for Mac due to consumer demand. Top studios such as Blizzard are releasing their games simultaneously on both Mac and PC while others are bringing their games to the system faster after launch. Thanks to the rise of game engines like Unity, many indie developers are able to release cross-platform games in an instant. With the rise of gaming on the iPhone and Steam pushing for more cross-platform compatibility developers are slowly starting to release for both systems.
Of course, there are still more games for PC than Mac. If you want to play everything, you’ll need to dual boot your computer via Apple’s Boot Camp. This allows you to install Windows and then switch between the two operating systems. Apple provides comprehensive instructions on how to create and load the ISO image. If you really want to play the latest and greatest games. You’ll need to spend the money on one of Apple’s top tier computers or laptops for a better processor and graphics card. The Mac Pro, while more of a work station, is the best option for people who want the best of the gaming and professional world. For more portable gaming, you should look into the 15” Macbook Pro.
If you don’t want to use Boot Camp, there are a few other options, although they aren’t as efficient. You can use a virtual machine (VM), but performance won’t be nearly as good as what you would get from Boot Camp.
Regarding what to get, you’ll need a top-tier computer with the best parts. Accompanying that, you’ll want to get a solid gaming keyboard and mouse. Some gamers might want to find a USB controller instead. Other gamers concerned about security might want to use a recommended Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect their accounts.
Where To Find Good Games
The app store isn’t the best place to find good games. You’ll want to check out Steam instead. If you already have a good collection on there, you can search through your library to see if any of them are compatible. If not, you can simply search Steam’s Mac section.
Other companies such as Origin and Blizzard offer great OSX versions of their popular games. That means you can still play Overwatch or World of Warcraft with your PC loving buddies. A quick search will probably yield you the answers you need if you are interested in a game.
Are you a Mac gamer? What do you think could win over PC fans to Mac for gaming? Do you have any hope (or lack thereof) for the future? Let us know in the comments below.