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Mac gaming. Tips and advice


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I've bought Macs for years, managed to play a few recent-ish things like The Path, Doom 3 and Portal at low settings on my 2009 Macbook Pro.

Recently decided I didn't fancy upgrading to the new iMac so I built a Hackintosh, which is the first time I've ever had a proper games-spec computer. I also installed Windows on a separate hard drive, purely for games, and the difference between the two is startling. In Left For Dead 2, for example, there are loads more graphics options, it runs smoother and looks better.

I'd recommend using Boot Camp and Windows rather than native Mac gaming, if you have the option.

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I've tended to play indie stuff that I've got in bundles, or cheapo in Steam sales. Thomas Was Alone is being worked through currently and it's completely lovely and works on pretty much max settings on my 2008 Macbook, so that should more or less run on anything you'd think. Titan Attacks and (obviously) FTL both get lots of time as well. Keyboard/trackpad is fine for all 3.

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I can see me going the Boot Camp route on my MBA and Mini soon. I've suddenly gotten into using Steam and my Windows machines are upstairs now so I'm missing out on a fair bit. I've just picked up Hotline Miami from Steam while still half price in readiness of the Mac release. Obviously if I sorted Boot Camp I'd be playing it now.

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A great new game is out on the Steam store for Mac today. Not heard of it before, seems quite good though.

It's called Half Life.

Seriously, it was cancelled on the Mac just before shipping back in 1998, but is finally out. If you have a PC version somewhere with a CD key, if you register that on Steam I suspect you'll get the Mac version free.

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A great new game is out on the Steam store for Mac today. Not heard of it before, seems quit good though.

It's called Half Life.

Seriously, it was cancelled on the Mac just before shipping back in 1998, but is finally out. If you have a PC version somewhere with a CD key, if you register that on Steam I suspect you'll get the Mac version free.

Yeah I had Half Life registered to Steam way back when Steam first showed up and it appeared in my Mac library a few days ago. It's clearly labelled beta though so not expecting much.

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  • 3 months later...

I'll be having some input into this thread. Just thought I'd put a game or two on my macs... Been on a hiatus since the original Halo and before that Marathon.

Anyway looking forward to it. Put HL2 on my MBA and after a shaky start it's running well. Any more Kentucky Route Zero impressions? Looks nice.

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I enjoyed it a lot (there's a dedicated thread somewhere), it's an 'experience' more than a traditional game.

I noticed the new X-Com is on the app store, I wouldn't mind picking that up but there's the usual question as to how it will run on a MBA.

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  • 1 month later...

Just got a new MBP 13" and this thread was a nice find for me. A lot of great recommendations here. I'd like to add Baldurs Gate: Enhanced Edt. to the list. Got it from the App Store on friday, and I've played it loads. Works great with trackpad controls as well.

How does Rollercoaster Tyccoon 3 on the mac os?

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I've tried a couple of games using Crossover. Star Trek Online and Rift both seem to run fine. Worth a go of the trial if anyone has anything Windows only they want to try.

Also Guild Wars 2 runs decently (If low rez) on my 11 inch MBA. It runs much, much better on my new 27inch iMac. (GW2 is apparently a custom Wine wrapper on Macs so the performance is impressive). World of Warcraft looks bloody stunning on one of these too :)

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Out of curiosity, how does WoW run on your MBA? If it runs fine, I guess it should run just as well on the MBP?

I run WoW on my MBP and it works great, so you should be fine.

I uses Parallels for the Windows stuff that I can't play on my Mac, but I have to say it's not for many games. Steam on Mac is pretty good now, and now that LOTRO has a Mac client, there's not much I use WIndows for. I am much more of a console gamer though, just MMOs and the Steam stuff I play on the MBP

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I run WoW on my MBP and it works great, so you should be fine.

I've only got the 13" Retina version, which has no dedicated GFX accelerator, just the onboard Intel 4000 chipset. Is this the same setup you have?

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I've only got the 13" Retina version, which has no dedicated GFX accelerator, just the onboard Intel 4000 chipset. Is this the same setup you have?

Mine is 12 months old with the Intel 3000 chipset, works fine for me. The only addition I've made is pushed it up to 8 GB of ram.

I was used to playing WoW on a 5 years old iMac, and this was a huge improvement for me, you may be used to better :)

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My fan runs high when I am doing any high end cpu stuff, converting video etc. I think it's almost a testament to how quiet they normally run and it's a "just in case" move by Apple to go for overkill on the fans. I wouldn't let it run very hot for a long time though

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Not everyone's cup of tea but I like Farming Sim 2013 :)

Only other things I play on mac are borderlands 2, FTL and WoW. I nearly bought Prison Architect the other day, but couldn't justify £20 for a buggy alpha. Will get this on release for sure though.

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