Macs are not built for gaming but that isn’t to say you cannot play them if you want to. There are fewer Mac-specific ports of games than Windows games but there are ways to play Windows games on Mac. Here’s how.
Ever since Mac began using Intel processors, it has been easier to emulate a Windows environment. So if Steam for Mac doesn’t have the game you want, you can emulate Windows using Boot Camp and (hopefully) run the game seamlessly. I say hopefully because it isn’t an exact science and can be a little hit and miss with some releases.
Boot Camp allows you to boot into a Windows partition on your Mac. You can then use it to boot into Windows, play the game or run the program and then return to OSX once you’re finished. It isn’t an elegant solution but it is workable. There are other ways to run Windows, such as Parallels but I like Boot Camp.
You will also need a legit copy of 32-bit Windows and an 8GB or larger USB drive. Verify your Mac is compatible first by checking here.
- Insert the Windows media into your Mac.
- Use the Boot Camp Assistant with Command + Space, typing ‘boot camp’ and hitting Enter.
- Follow this process for setting up Windows on Mac.
- Boot into Windows and install your game(s).
The advantage of using Boot Camp over Wine or a virtual desktop is that it is already included in Mac OSX and works out of the box. Wine is good, but it has its problems and can be quite troublesome when trying to run newer games. Boot Camp creates a legit Windows environment within which you can run Windows games. No compromise except the loss of hard drive space it takes up.
The Boot Camp installation process is quite straightforward and many of the default settings are fine for most Macs. Watch the hard drive space allocation though as you don’t want to be left short for your regular programs.
Macs are not designed for playing games and the graphics cards can be underpowered compared to Windows PCs. As long as you have a decent Mac and don’t want to run the latest releases at the highest resolutions you should be fine though.