Arma 3 fans, we have bad news…
After months of developing an experimental Arma 3 Mac version, Bohemia Interactive has decided to stop working on it. This means no more updates moving forward, at least from the time being:
Each of these Experimental Port updates are quite demanding in terms of preparation and testing. […] So as our time and other resources are limited, we do need to consider the business side of things. With that in mind, we’re currently not yet planning a new port update.
Bohemia Interactive has always been transparent about their experimental ports, warning that development could indeed stop at any moment. Still, this is disappointing, especially after months of active development (including the addition of 64-bit support).
In the meantime, I suggest you direct your attention to one of the many excellent shooters that fully support macOS.
Into first-person shooters? These are our favorites:
Arma 3 on Mac: Everything you need to know
Set in authentic and vast settings, Arma 3 is the leading military simulator out there. This isn’t a Battlefield 2042 or Far Cry 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. That alone would put it among the best FPS games for Mac (if it’s ever officially released).
Arma 3 features a wide variety of single and multiplayer content, over 20 vehicles, 40 weapons, and limitless opportunities for content creation.
The game has received so far good reviews, especially from gamers, since its 2013 release:
Arma’s 3 Mac experimental port has been updated to version 1.82, which means you won’t be able to play with friends running the official Windows version of the game (version 1.90).
If you still want to play Arma 3 with your Windows friends, there is one workaround: download the legacy branch of Arma 3 version 1.82 to ensure that everyone is running the same version of the game.
Other than that, the Mac version does have several other limitations, such as limited mod support, no launcher, and more. You can find all there is to know on Bohemia’s Experimental Ports page.
Can you play Arma 3 on Mac
The macOS experimental port uses Virtual Programming’s wrapping technology. And according to Bohemia’s own internal tests:
You may experience up to 30% degraded performance in comparison to the Windows version.
I tested the game on my high-end 27-inch iMac a few weeks ago and was honestly disappointed by the game’s choppy performance:
- iMac (5K, 27-inch, Late 2014): 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 8 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB)
Using our FPS counter Count It, we tested the game using a 1280×800 resolution and Medium settings and the game ran at an average 46.3 FPS (frames per second).
That may not sound too bad on paper but the experience was extremely choppy, so much so there’s a chance our FPS counter wasn’t reading the real FPS. It felt more like 20 FPS (read: unplayable).
These are Arma 3’s Mac system requirements:
- OS: 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)
- Video Memory: 1 GB
- RAM: 8 GB
- Hard Drive: 21 GB
Arma games are infamous for being extremely demanding but this was decidedly too low.
Arma 3 Mac download
You can purchase Arma 3 for Mac on Steam. But unless you plan to play this game primarily on Windows, I would stay away from this game. Performance is too low and the future of the Mac version is in the air. Spending $39.99 to mainly play Arma 3 on Mac is too risky.
And if you’re desperately looking for a military shooter that officially supports macOS, you still have Call of Duty and Insurgency.