The Best Command and Conquer for Mac: Is it still Generals?

by | Sep 6, 2019 | Strategy

Is there a more legendary real-time strategy franchise than Command and Conquer (C&C)?

Ok, there is Starcraft and Starcraft 2 (still one of the finest Mac strategy games). Regardless, Command and Conquer games can all be considered cult-classics with huge followings even to this day.

Unfortunately, Command and Conquer Mac games are not as well supported as they should be. Some never made it to macOS while others were quietly discontinued years ago.

In this post, we’ll go through them all and chose the best Command and Conquer for Mac available today.

The list of Command and Conquer Mac games MIA

In the early 2000s, you could choose among several C&C games that natively supported macOS. Unfortunately, most of them were slowly discontinued, with most casualties coming from Apple’s move from PowerPC to Intel years ago.

At the time, EA had a working version of Command and Conquer: Red Alert 3 for Mac, Command and Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars for Mac, and more. In fact, you can still find remnants of this in old sales pages on Amazon.

Command and Conquer on Mac Red Alert

But when Apple stopped supporting PowerPC application support, all the games and apps that were not updated ceased to work, including all C&C games.

In parallel, Transgaming, the company that ported C&C games to Mac on behalf of EA, was purchased. As far as we know, they have ceased all of their Mac porting activities…

This leaves us with only one officially supported Command and Conquer on Mac.

Command & Conquer: Generals for Mac

Originally released in 2004, Aspyr updated the game to run on the latest macOS and re-released it exclusively on the Mac App Store, including the Zero Hour expansion. And the game mostly looks as good as ever.

Aspyr upgraded C&C Generals to the iMac’s 5K resolution, making the 3D gameplay amazingly detailed and crisp to behold on a giant screen. The details in the graphics, terrain, weapons, and firepower, all feel like they belong and they almost have to be seen to understand just how detailed and intricate these appear.

Command and Conquer Generals Mac

The only problem was that the videos couldn’t receive the same upgrade. When you launch C&C Generals for the first time, you can see these amazing 3D battle shots with a detailed menu system, and all while the screen rotates around the city square under attack.

Unfortunately, as soon as you begin a game in any format, those gorgeous high-definition graphics switch over to a Quicktime video rendered in full-screen at 320×200. And it looks exactly like someone took a video clip and smeared Vaseline all over the lens.

Command & Conquer Generals Mac

But then the game pops back up with its brilliant graphics again and all is right with the world. It’s annoying – but that’s the worst part of the game by far.

The other limitation we need to point out is the Multiplayer. As confirmed by Aspyr’s official FAQ page:

Multiplayer has been retired and is inactive. Command & Conquer Generals Deluxe Edition is a single-player only experience.

Other than that, General remains an good choice for strategy fans, especially for those who grew up playing C&C games. And as far as Remasters of old classics go, Aspyr did an excellent job here.

Command and Conquer: General Mac requirements

These are C&C Generals Mac minimum system requirements:

  • OS:  OS X 10.9.5 (Mavericks)
  • CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz
  • Video Card: ATI Radeon HD 3870, NVIDIA GeForce 330M, Intel HD 3000, with 256 MB video RAM
  • RAM:  4 GB
  • Hard Drive:  5 GB available space

Command & Conquer Generals Mac

The following video chipsets are not supported:

  • ATI Radeon: X1000 series, HD 2000 series
  • NVIDIA: GeForce 7000 Series, 8000 series, 9000 series, 320M, GT 100 series
  • Intel: GMA series
As can be expected from a remastered old classic, the requirements are low enough for most people to be able to enjoy the game.

OpenRA: The best Command and Conquer Mac alternative?

While the big companies such as EA or Transgaming have abandoned Command & Conquer, a team of rogue developers have been working hard for over 10 years, recreating an open-source version of the legendary C&C games.

Their project is called OpenRA and is entirely open-source. As explained on their website:

OpenRA is a project that recreates and modernizes the classic Command & Conquer real time strategy games. We have developed a flexible open source game engine that provides a common platform for rebuilding and reimagining classic 2D and 2.5D RTS games.

And most importantly:

It includes native support for modern operating systems and screen resolutions without relying on emulation or binary hacks, and features integrated online multiplayer.

For such a small operation, the work they have accomplished is impressive, as shown by the number of supporters OpenRA has gathered. You can see their work in action below.

If you feel like playing one of the earlier C&C game, you should definitely give OpenRA a try.

Your turn

C&C: Generals is great and shows the Westwood design from the pre-EA acquisition. However, the updates in the graphics department, engine, etc, fall flat when there is nothing to do after the single-player campaign finishes. We would have been more impressed if this was an iOS port.

In the meantime, if you’re feeling like building and managing, these are our absolute favorite simulation games available for Mac: 

Game★ Best OverallBest for MacBookBest Value
GenreCity-builderLife simulationRPG simulation
Release date201520142016




Our rating★★★★★
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Bottom line: With something like OpenRA also at your disposal, a game that is both free and open-source, it’s hard to recommend anything else for Command and Conquer fans.

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1 Comment
  1. ALEX

    I WISH we still had studios making Tiberian Sun, Red Alert and C&C.

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