It is widely known that there is a lack of video games developed for macOS, and despite Apple‘s efforts to address the issue through the launch of Apple Silicon and Apple Arcade, there is still a significant gap in the number of titles available compared to Windows. In this post, we will explore ways to install games on a Mac that are not officially supported.
Wine and PlayOnMac
Wine is a compatibility layer that is open-source and can be used to run Windows apps on Unix-based operating systems, such as macOS. Unlike emulators, Wine does not create a complete Windows environment, but instead translates Windows function calls into macOS function calls in real-time. This allows users to play games quickly without needing to have a Windows partition installed.
To make it easier to use Wine on macOS, there is a graphical user interface called PlayOnMac. It simplifies the Wine installation process and provides a user-friendly interface. Let’s take a look at how to install and use PlayOnMac:
- Download and install PlayOnMac from its official website ( https://www.playonmac.com/ ) and perform the classic process that you do with any application downloaded for macOS.
- Run PlayOnMac
- Next, you have to click on the “Install” button at the top of the window and look for the video game you want to install.
- Finally, in the event that the game is not available, you can go to the list and select the option to select “Install an unlisted program” and follow the instructions to install it manually.
If you’re looking to play a Windows-only game on your Mac, another option is to use a Windows emulator like VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop, the latter of which is compatible with Apple Silicon. These emulators create a virtual Windows environment within macOS, which enables you to run Windows applications and games smoothly. Here’s how to install a video game using VirtualBox:
- Download and install VirtualBox from its official website ( https://www.virtualbox.org/ ).
- Get a Windows ISO image (make sure you have a valid license for the operating system).
- Run VirtualBox and create a new virtual machine. Follow the instructions to set it up using the Windows ISO image.
- Then start the virtual machine and install Windows.
- Download and install the game inside the virtual machine.
Suppose you want to play a game that’s only available on Windows, and you have a Mac. In that case, you can use a Windows emulator like VirtualBox or Parallels Desktop, which works well with Apple Silicon. These emulators create a virtual Windows environment within macOS, allowing you to run Windows games and applications seamlessly. Below are the steps to install a video game using VirtualBox:
- Download and install Porting Kit from its official website ( https://www.portingkit.com/ ).
- Run Porting Kit and find the game you want to install in the ports library.
- If the game is available, follow the instructions to install and run it on your Mac.
- If the game is not in the library, you can try creating a custom port using Wine.
To conclude, it should be noted that not all games will be accessible on all Macs despite the availability of solutions. These limitations are not necessarily due to compatibility issues, but rather to performance and stability issues.