So you’re a Mac owner, and in spite of hearing that Macs aren’t great for gaming, you still want to know what your machine is capable of.
You’re in for a surprise:
Gaming on a Mac can be surprisingly good, even on MacBooks.
But don’t take our word for it. Instead of simply sharing official system requirements, we went ahead and performed 100+ benchmarks to help you answer the question you keep asking:
Can my Mac run it?
We went ahead and spent hours testing some of the best Mac games on several Mac models, ranging from powerful iMacs to older MacBook Pros. Enter our tool, Can I Run It Mac Edition.
Can you run it? Our Mac results
You can find all of our official results on the table below. To truly get the most out of it, though, make sure you filter, sort and check out the “See all results” link for all the juicy details:
Our stats so far:
How to use this table?
Odds that the specific game you want has already been tested on the exact same Mac model you have are slim. This table will continue to grow each week, but the make the most out of it right now, this is how you should proceed.
If you’re asking yourself: Can my Mac run this game?
- Look for the game you want to play.
- If you can’t find it, find something similar (click the “Genre” buttons to see which similar games have been tested)
- Look at the machines that were tested using that game.
- Find the one that resembles your Mac the most.
- The result from that machine will you give you a very clear idea of how your own Mac should handle that game.
On the other hand, if you’re wondering: What games can my mac run?
- Go to the Macs Tested sheet.
- Find a machine that resembles your Mac the most.
- See what games were tested on that machine and they run.
- That should give you a clear idea of what your Mac is capable of.
Finally, if you have a MacBook or an older Mac and want to figure out if it will be able to play any games at all, you can take a closer look at the MacBook Performance and Old Mac Performance data. But more on that below.
About our results
We went to great lengths to ensure all tests were performed under the same testing conditions (settings, resolution and, gameplay).
All of the games featured here were tested on at least our 3 in-house models below (although several other machines were tested thanks to other members of the Mac Gamer HQ team):
iMac (5K, 27-inch, Late 2014)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2013)
MacBook Pro (13-inch, Late 2016):
For all available results and details involving the machines that were used, make sure you visit our “See all results” links.
Can you run it Mac gamers?
You’ll notice only “official” results have been shared so far. That means I have personally tested the games on my machines or have shared specific testing conditions with other Mac Gamer HQ testers.
If you’re interested in helping us test games to include them here, send me an email and share your Mac specs. The more we test games on different machines, the better!
Expand to see how to interpret these results
For your reference, this is how we describe the different levels of performance (in frames per second):
|Below 20 FPS||Unplayable||Laggy gameplay, full of stutters and slowdowns.|
|20-30 FPS||Borderline||Can be Ok in slow paced games. Still, not optimal.|
|30-45 FPS||Playable||Acceptable for most (most gaming consoles do this).|
|45-60 FPS||Smooth||Fluid gameplay, with no perceivable stutters.|
|60+ FPS||Very Smooth||For hardcore and professional players, a luxury for most.|
Chances are you have a Mac that isn’t particularly good for gaming, at leat on paper. Namely a MacBook or any other Mac without a dedicated graphics card.
Most will tell you gaming is impossible on a MacBook but the results speak for themselves:
Demanding games will be out of your reach, that’s a fact. But slightly older games or modern indies will do just fine. To give you a better idea of what can be possible on an entry-level MacBook (in this case, my 2013 13-inch MacBook), all the games that are above the “unplayable” grey area should play fine on older Macs with integrated graphics.
Keep an eye on the MacBook and Old Mac performance section to have a better idea of whether your MacBook or older Mac will be able to do.
If you’re actually looking for a new Mac to buy and gaming happens to be important for you, you should definitely check out our Best Mac for gaming guide for which we tested two real-world games on every single Mac currently on sale:
While it was easy to find the fastest Mac, and hence “best for gaming”, we actually focused on the machines that offered the most value for money. Spoiler alert, it’s the 27-inch iMac (or 15-inch MacBook Pro if you need a laptop).
With that, we hope you now have a better idea of what your Mac is capable of.
Granted, Macs aren’t designed with gaming in mind, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still do a great job! As we continue doing performance reviews and Best of guides, we’ll continue to add all of our results here. This is a page you might want to bookmark 😉
Would you like us to test a particular game? Let us know in the comments section. If enough people ask for a game, we will be forced to test it!
Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission (this is how we pay the bills). This commission comes at no additional cost to you.