There is a good reason why you (or the IT department) opted for a Mac, the only ‘issue’ is that many the best games are developed for the world's most popular operating system: sorry macOS – that's Windows. Of course, you can always hit up your iOS device to play games but the screen size and computing power is really what matters. And in this case each new line of Macs have the necessary screen size and processing abilities, but often lacks support for popular big-budget games. Fortunately, there are still ways that you can play your favorite games on your Mac.
Play Games on a Mac Using a Virtual Machine
Virtual machines are convenient because users don't need to switch computers to run two or more operating systems simultaneously. But this convenience has a cost and that is the performance penalty that you pay by using virtual machines.
The best paid hypervisors available are Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion. Both of them provide OpenGL 3.0 and DirectX 10 support – which is essential for playing 3D games – but when it comes to processor-intensive games virtualization isn't quite the best solution.
Of course, there are ways to optimize the guest OS (in this case, Windows) and its performance, but it's better to build your own computer optimized for gaming. Unfortunately, the prefabricated nature of the Mac isn't much help here.
What it does do well, however, is allow you focus on the task and get the job done by squeezing the most out of the installed hardware. Of course, the specifications of that hardware is key in terms of performance both for daily tasks but particular for games, so the better system specs the Mac has, the better the virtual machine’s and therefore the guest OS's performance will be greater too.
What's the Best Way to Play Windows Games on a Mac?
The best available answer to this is Boot Camp. Thanks to the built-in dual-boot utility macOS has users can take advantage of the Mac's hardware to the full and use the device for playing games. Unfortunately, this also means that they cannot run both macOS and Windows simultaneously, but look at the bright side: at least this way gamers can focus 100% on playing the game while the hardware will deliver its best performance since it doesn't have to share its resources with another operating system.
A secondary option is GeForce Now for Mac. NVIDIA's cloud-based game streaming service is currently in beta, and so it is available for free to all users ready to get gaming on their Mac. What makes this service a good choice is that the games are processed remotely and delivered to the Mac through the internet – so if this is your preference, don’t forget to connect via Ethernet rather than Wi-Fi.
Best Virtual Machine Software of 2023
- How Does a Virtual Machine Work?
- Is a Virtual Machine Good for Gaming?
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- Is It Safe to Run Windows on a Mac?
- What Is Virtual Machine Software?
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