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Even though many engines are released under an open-source license, most game assets are not. That means you have to provide your own original assets from legally purchased versions of the game. These can come from the original game media, or from re-releases found on services like GOG. Most source ports only require you to copy a few files into the right directory before you can play. Not only are source ports a great way to relive some of the best games ever made, but they also pack in improvements.

Many source ports include new rendering engines, widescreen support, and back-end improvements that give life to new projects. Check out some of the best games that rely on source ports available right now. Emulators are another great way to play games on your Mac, though they exist in a legal gray area. Even though emulators themselves are not illegal, procuring games known as ROMs that you do not own is. Many jurisdictions allow you to create software backups ROMs and play them provided you own the original media. One of the best emulators available for Mac in terms of ease of use is OpenEmu.

DOSBox requires a working knowledge of DOS, namely the ability to bind folders, change directories, and launch executables. They have tens of thousands of ROMs available for all sorts of systems, some of which you can even play in your browser. Luckily, whatever controller you have lying around will probably work well.


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Most generic USB devices work just fine on the Mac, allowing you to bind button presses to actions in your favorite games and source ports. Free app Enjoyable lets you map keypresses and mouse input to a controller, should you need it.

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Peripheral manufacturers will indicate Mac support on the box or their websites, so always check before you buy. You can fully customize the behavior of any Mac keyboard—including remapping the entire layout—using the free app Karabiner-Elements. The Mac gaming scene is relatively healthy in Windows continues to be the dominant gaming platform outside of consoles, but more new games are coming to the Mac than ever before.

The future is looking exciting, too. Comments 0. The Best Tech Newsletter Anywhere. As a package, this series should undoubtedly top your Steam library and have you furiously waiting for the next instalment. Prison Architect is a simulator where players can construct their own maximum security prison and ensure its smooth operation.

Currently in Alpha on Steam, Prison Architect throws players some empty land to build their prison, hopefully evolving from a small cell block into a bustling metropolis capable of handling any prisoner that needs the facility. You can choose to go down an intensive Alcatraz-esque route or throw your inmates a bone and let them enjoy a relaxed rehabilitation.

Widely regarded by fans as the best in series, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare is the earliest instalment of the Call of Duty franchise available on the Mac. As is expected, Black Ops also features a popular multiplayer mode that affords the game its high replayability and is extendable with DLC packages. A personal favourite game mode of mine in Black Ops is, however, Zombies, which sees players work co-operatively to battle of unlimited waves of the undead across a variety of maps again extendable with DLC.

Unlike other games in this roundup, Call of Duty: Black Ops is sold separately as individual Mac and Windows editions. Left 4 Dead 2 is set in the zombie apocalypse and sees players in the role of one of four survivors aiming to take out the undead. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive builds upon the historic Counter-Strike franchise — a series that originated as a Half-Life mod — with new maps, weapons and characters.

The 20 best games you can play on your Mac right now - Business Insider

Fans of classic Counter-Strike will enjoy revamped versions of classic content, available as one package as part of Global Offensive. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive sees players join a terrorist or counter-terroist team and then battle it out on a variety of objective-based game mode over a number of maps.

Top 12 Free Mac Games of 2018

With the 3D Universe considered the real breakthrough for the franchise and with Grand Theft Auto V due out later this year, the series available through Steam is a great way of starting out with the franchise. Beyond that, you can always use some of our favorite tools to clean up and spruce up your Mac, like Onyx , our favorite system tweaker for the Mac , or iBoostUp , another fast and free Mac tweaking tool.

Additionally, you can kill off some of OS X's features that you know you never use, like Dashboard or Notification Center, if you never use them. They're generally always running in the background, and when it comes to gaming, every bit of added horsepower you can get it useful. Notification Center should immediately go away.

5 Ways to Play Games On Your Mac

If you get a "process not found" error while running one of the above commands, that's okay—it should work regardless. If you ever need Notification Center back again, open a terminal window and enter this command:. Since both processes run all the time in the background, you may be able to free up some system resources for your games to run a bit more smoothly, especially if you have integrated graphics.

If the bulk of the games you play on the Mac are Steam games, your best bet before you fire up your favorite games—or before you hit the road with your Mac—is to let Steam do everything it needs to do long before you feel like playing anything. Patches, updates, new game installs, do it all before you play, and don't trust Steam or your Mac to manage that stuff in the background while you're trying to game.

In Windows, if you have a powerful enough gaming PC, you can freely let Steam work while you do other things. In OS X, it just doesn't seem to work quite as well.


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Edit : Someone pointed out to me that Steam suspends downloads and patches while you're playing - that's true, and that's a good point. It should settle down when you launch a game.

Personal experience here, but if you're planning a trip and you want to game on your Mac, even if you know you'll have reliable internet access where you're going, let Steam update itself and all of your games before you even leave the house. Then you won't have to worry about any of them when you get where you're going.

You may not think about it because OS X assumes most of the duties when it comes to managing your system's graphics, drivers, and other settings, but there are some things you can do to get familiar with how your Mac handles video and how you can improve it. While you can't just go and install your own drivers usually , previously mentioned gfxCardStatus gives you some insight as to when your Mac is using integrated graphics, and when it's switched over to a dedicated card.

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You can even force OS X to use one card or another using the app although you probably won't want to. Similarly, you'll be able to make smarter tweaks to your games' graphics settings if you learn what all of those toggles and options mean. Check out our guide to graphics settings to get familiar with everything from anti-aliasing to v-Sync.