Dark Souls on Mac: How to run it (and best alternatives)

by | Sep 30, 2020 | Role-Playing

The “Dark Souls is coming to Mac” rumor has been floating around for a while. After all, a Reddit user found actual proof that a Mac version was in the works.

That was years ago, yet gamers keep asking on forums, Reddit and Twitter, for a Dark Souls Mac version. And it’s understandable. Dark Souls is an excellent third-person action RPG that quickly became famous for being equal parts awesome and challenging.

It’s one of the most influential games of the last decade and it would be an excellent addition to Mac gaming, easily earning a spot among the finest Mac RPGs available.

Will Dark Souls ever support MacOS?

At the time, we learned that someone called “jetpackinteractive” was working on it. It turns out, that’s the name of a development studio that is directly connected to Dark Souls. They even mention Bandai Namco as a client:

Bandai Namco
Provided engineering support for Steam upgrade

But all previous evidence pointing to a Mac version has been scrapped, and years later, no new evidence has surfaced. They probably explored the idea but most likely abandoned it for some reason.

How to play Dark Souls on Mac

The official Mac version may have been scrapped, but you really want to, you can still play Dark Souls on your Mac. We prefer playing our games natively on Mac but if you really need to run a Windows app or play a Windows game, there are ways…

Dark Souls Mac featured

There are different options at your disposal when it comes to running Windows games on a Mac. This table summarizes the most popular ones, along with the main Pros and Cons you can expect:

MethodCostRequires Windows license?Requires Reboot?Pros and Cons



✔ Great performance
❌ Constant rebooting



✔ Easy to use
❌ Limited performance
NVIDIA GeForce Now$25 for 20 hours



✔ Excellent performance
❌ Expensive



✔ Absolutely free to use
❌Complicated to set up

Personally, I have always preferred Boot Camp. It’s free and offers the best performance your machine has to offer. But if a monthly fee is acceptable for you, streaming services have come a long way and are today an excellent choice.

Dark Souls “Mac” system requirements

Released in 2012, Dark Souls is somewhat old, but if you to try it for yourself, I suggest opting for the improved Dark Souls: Remastered.

If you do, pay attention to the new system requirements. The game won’t have specific Mac requirements but if you decide to use Boot Camp to run it, the game’s Windows requirements apply:

  • A 64-bit processor and operating system
  • Processor:  2.8 GHz Intel Core i5
  • Memory: 6 GB RAM
  • Graphics: GeForce GTX 460, 1 GB / Radeon HD 6870, 1 GB
  • DirectX: Version 11
  • Storage: 8 GB available space

But what if you’re unwilling to deal with Windows? Are there worthy alternatives to Dark Souls on Mac?

Top Dark Souls Mac alternatives

If I had to recommend an RPG for Mac, it would be one of our top three favorites:

Game★ Best OverallRunner-upBest Value
GenreAction RPGParty-based RPGSci-Fi RPG
Release date201920182015




Our rating★★★★★
Full Review
Full Review
Full Review




Check Price


Humble Bundle

Humble Bundle

But what if you’re looking for something particularly punishing and gritty, as Dark Souls? Worry not, there are a few excellent MacOS native options at your disposal:

Dead Cells

Dead Cells Mac artDead Cells is definitely less dark and grimy alternative, still, it remains one of the best Metroidvania games from recent years. In fact, the developer itself describes Dead Cells a “Souls-lite” action-adventure game. In any case, if you’re looking for a more colorful take on the Dark Souls formula, Dead Cells is for you.

With an impressive 94% Very Positive reviews from over 27,000 Steam users, you know you can’t go wrong with Dead Cells.

Hyper Light Drifter

Hyper Light Drifter Mac artAnother pixelated action-adventure game, Hyper Light Drifter features excellent combat that combines melee and long-range combat. It is nowhere as punishing as Dark Souls, but the story and the way you explore the world can make any Dark Souls fan feel right at home.

With 94% Very Positive reviews from close to 10,000 Steam users, Hyper Light Drifter is another safe bet, especially for fans of 16-bit games.

Salt and Sanctuary

Salt and Sanctuary Mac artFinally, Salt and Sanctuary is another indie with heavy Dark Souls-esque vibes.

Taking place in a cursed realm, the game features fast and brutal 2D combat. It certainly isn’t as punishing nor precise as Dark Souls, but its Metroidvania-style exploration, with its interconnected world, gives it a similar vibe.

The game has 91% Very Positive reviews on Steam from over 7,000 users.

Other games you can check out are:

  • Necropolis
  • Titan Souls

Or you can even give Pascal’s Wager, a brand-new iOS and Android game, a try.

Your turn

Having Dark Souls would be great, especially now that a Remastered version exists. Alas, that will probably never happen, but at least now you know how to run it on your Mac if you really want to.

With games like Fornite and CS: GO, not having PUBG on Mac is not as bad as it used to be. Still, if you absolutely need to play it, you now know how.

What’s your Battle Royale game on Mac?

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  1. Rasmus Englund

    I have a couple of friends (PC users) who got Dark Souls a couple of days ago; and I’ve been so frustrated that I can’t play it 🙁
    If this is true then it would be more than AWESOME! 😀

  2. Smoke Tetsu

    This is another example of a late game since they already have a sequel and a spiritual-sequel out (Dark Souls 2 and Bloodborne respectively). But more games is always good. This might help pave the way to at least the sequel Dark Souls & other Japanese games coming to Mac.

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      I see what you mean. It’s like the Call of Duty franchise where we are several games late. It was also the case for Total War too and look where we are now! Windows and Mac parity 😉
      Hopefully this will be the beginning of something good!

  3. Camilo Alonso López Cristoffan

    It would be awesome if we could get a port of this game to Mac =D!

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      SteamDB is rarely wrong so the big question is “when”!

  4. mikelyons

    I hope this comes to pass. That would be awesome. I need some serious punishment. Sorry, too much info! lol

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Try to keep PG13 please… lol kidding, you can share all your weird gaming habits here, we all have some so go ahead 😉

      • mikelyons

        I generally am well behaved depending on the context of where I am when I post something. That’s about as far as I’d go and I figured it was vague enough only an adult would pick up on it. Don’t worry, I’ll be a good boy. 😀

  5. mikelyons

    I deleted my bootcamp partition recently. I decided if it doesn’t run natively, in Wineskin or Boxer or lastly in Parallels, I’m not playing it on my iMac. This may eventually lead to a PS4 purchase to fill in the gaps but for now I have a ton to play anyway. I doubt this would run well in parallels and even if it did, native sure would be nice. Eventually, I plan to ditch Parallels too. I’d really rather have nothing to do with Windows so bring on the ports!

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      I would ditch parallels too 😉 If I had more time to play games, I would probably get a Xbox One for all the games I really really want to play but aren’t available on Mac. But there are already too many on Mac that I should play but can’t find the time so….

      • mikelyons

        No Parallels/no Windows at all is the plan in time. I only have it now along with the Windows 7 license I bought 3 years ago to work through a backlog of games purchased on Steam and GOG that require Windows to play. However, I reached a point where I decided if it also requires a reboot, forget it.

        Like you said, there is so much goodness on Mac now I am behind in a big way, particularly where I have focused on trying to clear the Windows backlog which is big too. It’s too much really and I feel like I am missing out on being anywhere near current with what is cool in native Mac gaming. I own a bunch of great games ported by Feral and Aspyr for example and yet I am spending time playing KRATER in Windows because the Mac version is broken in Yosemite and Medal of Honor Airborne from 2007 presently. I should be playing the Feral ported Brothers in Arms games, Aspyr ported Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2, Half-Life 2 (hangs head in shame) and so on, all for Mac. Yes, I am that far behind despite having kept up with buying all the new Mac stuff on various sales. I haven’t even played the Bioshock games and I own them all. I haven’t played Civ IV or V but I own them both, expansions and all. The list goes on. I need therapy I think.

        Maybe you could run a story on therapy for gamers with ridiculous backlogs to help them learn to be normal, as in buy a game, play it, buy the next one, play it, etc. I think that is what normal must be like but I am not sure not being normal. 😉

        So yeah, I really should cut the cord and just abandon the Windows ship but I’d still like to play Kingdoms of Amalur, The Mass Effect Trilogy, the Risen games and I forget what else now. I probably could cut the Windows list way, way down though and then be done with it. I don’t buy Windows games anymore and haven’t in quite some time now.

  6. Josh Hatchett

    Man I have had this in my Steam Library for I don’t even know how long…This need to come to OS X!

    • Mac Gamer Ric

      Well, If you already have it, it can only be a perfect deal for you, even if it takes long or performance isn’t perfect.

      • Josh Hatchett

        Yeah, exactly. A lot of the games I’ve been playing recently on my iMac have really been performing well. I really hope to see this and many other games being released for OS X this year. 🙂

  7. Steve Jobs

    Hollow Knight would be another great alternative.

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