Arma 3’s Mac version available in Beta – Now supports 64-bit
Work on Arma 3’s experimental Mac port, the open-world tactical shooter from Bohemia Interactive, quietly continues.
Virtual Programming, the team in charge, just added 64bit support and updated the ports to version 1.70. This brings the Mac version much closer to Windows, but cross-platform multiplayer will remain impossible until they both share the exact same version.
Warning: Bohemia Interactive has stated again and again that these experimental ports may never be fully released (and could be dropped at any moment).
Keep this in mind before purchasing Arma 3 solely for its Mac version.
Why is Arma 3 different?
Set in authentic and vast settings, Arma 3 is the leading military simulator out there. This isn’t a Call of Duty clone where taking down dozens of enemies is business as usual. This is a realistic military sandbox where every bullet counts and tactics and cover matter.
Arma 3 features a wide variety of single and multiplayer content, over 20 vehicles, 40 weapons, and limitless opportunities for content creation.
It’s been a long time since I tried this on my Mac, but back then performance was more than decent, and gamers claim this latest version performs even better. Taking advantage of 64 bit largely explains that and overall support for these experimental ports seems quite good.
Is the Mac version any good?
Meant as “a complimentary service to anyone who owns Arma 3 for Windows” (in Bohemia Interactive own words), you could think this is an abandoned port that barely works on Mac. Truth is, I tested the game a long time ago and was surprised it had decent performance.
This is a very demanding game and according to readers performance keeps improving (probably thanks to 64bit support).
Plus, Bohemia keeps calling this experimental, but I still find it hard to believe. Why on Earth would they suddenly throw away a working beta and waste all that work (and money)?
Arma 3 for Mac is non-native. Does it matter?
According to Bohemia, both Mac and Linux ports are non-native as they use a specialized porting technology from Virtual Programming.
This is what we usually refer to wrappers and we all know performance will invariably suffer. In fact, from Bohemia’s own internal tests:
You may experience up to 30% degraded performance in comparison to the Windows version.
But as pointed out by our friends over at Gaming On Linux, who cares? If the Mac version is stable and runs smoothly, who cares about how the port was made. Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance is a perfect example of a non-native port done right.
That said, Arma games are infamous for being extremely demanding and Arma 3 is no exception and I suggest you do not buy it unless you also want to play it on Windows.
Arma 3’s Mac minimum system requirements:
- OS: OSX Sierra 10.12.5
- PROCESSOR: Quad-core processor (Intel Core i5 4570S, Intel Core i5 4570R)
- GRAPHICS: Metal 2.0 compliant GPU (NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M or better)
- GPU MEMORY: 1 GB
- RAM: 8 GB
- HARD DRIVE: 21 GB
Are you an Arma 3 fan?