How to convert pc games into mac
How to Play PC Games on Mac Without Installing Windows
Mac users have it rough. You get some of the best hardware on the market with super polished, stable software, yet so few games to play on it. But just because most developers aren't releasing their games for macOS doesn't mean you can't get PC games running on your Apple-made machine. It just takes a bit of finesse.
If you really want to play PC games to the best of your hardware's capability, you'll want to install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp (unless you have an ARM-based Mac, which won't support Boot Camp). It's the easiest way to get games running and provides the best performance.
It does, however, take up a lot of space on your hard drive, and it's annoying to reboot your computer every time you want to play a game. You could install Windows via virtualization, but you'll sacrifice a lot in performance.
If you don't want to deal with the hassle of installing Windows, we understand. Here are your alternatives for playing games on your Mac.
Look for Mac-Friendly Games
First, let's get the obvious out of the way—there are plenty of Mac-compatible games(Opens in a new window) out there. Steam, for example, shows a little Apple logo next to every game that's compatible with macOS, and I was surprised to find a decent number of my own games were available on the platform, including Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Call of Duty Black Ops III, and Civilization VI. Just make sure you look for that Apple logo, or go to Categories > macOS before you buy.
Also, remember that Steam isn't the only place to find games—Blizzard offers Mac versions of its games through its Battle.net(Opens in a new window) service, and you'll find plenty of great Mac titles on GOG.com(Opens in a new window) as well. Remember to search across the various stores when you shop, since you might be surprised what exclusives you'll find.
Get PC Games Running Under Wine
Okay, so you've exhausted all the Mac-compatible games in popular stores, and you're ready to tinker in order to get some other games running. Some Windows-only titles may run on macOS through Wine(Opens in a new window), a compatibility layer for Mac and Linux systems designed to run Windows programs. Wine itself can get rather technical to set up, especially when it comes to games, but there are a few third-party tools that make things easier.
Porting Kit(Opens in a new window) is usually my first go-to, since it attempts to do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Just search Porting Kit's app or website for a game, like Among Us(Opens in a new window), and it'll provide an Install Now button along with any quirks, patches, or extra steps you might need to take for smooth gameplay.
It can still take a bit of fiddling, but Porting Kit has some built-in tutorials to help you out. Once you're able to get a game working the first time, it'll be easy to launch in the future, since the title appears in your Applications folder like any other Mac app.
While Porting Kit is the easiest and most up-to-date tool for installing games with Wine, other programs aim to do something similar, like PlayOnMac(Opens in a new window) or the $60 CrossOver(Opens in a new window). Some may work better with certain games, so your best bet is to search for "the best way to get [the game you want] running on a Mac." To browse Wine-friendly games before you buy, check out the Wine Database(Opens in a new window) alongside Porting Kit's library to get a feel for what might work on your system.
Go Retro With Emulators
If you want to relive games from your youth, there's a good chance your favorite retro titles can be emulated on your Mac. There are plenty of emulators for retro game consoles out there, but Mac users have it pretty easy with OpenEmu(Opens in a new window), which can put all your favorite retro games in one place. Install the program, select the systems you want to emulate, and you're off to the races.
You'll have to grab a ROM file for any game you want to play—we'll leave it to you to find those—after which you can just drag them into OpenEMU's main window to add them to your game library. Or click the Homebrew tab to find free, newly developed games for those classic systems. You can read our full guide to OpenEmu here, and if you want to emulate a system it doesn't support, check out our list of the best emulators for more options.
While OpenEmu focuses on classic game consoles, you can also emulate the DOS programs of yore with DOSBox(Opens in a new window). It isn't quite as plug-and-play as OpenEmu—you'll need to do just a bit of that command-line work you did in the actual days of DOS—but for many games, it's pretty simple.
Recommended by Our Editors
The Best PC Games for 2022
The Most Niche Simulation PC Games We Could Find
Did You Score a Steam Deck? These are the Best SteamOS-Verified PC Games
Download a game's files to your Mac (again, we'll leave it up to you to find them), put them in a folder (like ~/Documents/DOSgames), then open DOSBox and run mount c ~/Documents/DOSgames to turn that folder into your emulated C: drive. You can then launch your game by typing in the path to its EXE file (like C:\keendrms\start. exe) and pressing Enter.
Some games may work with no extra effort, while others may require tweaking, so check out the DOSBox compatibility list(Opens in a new window) or look up your games of choice to see what fiddling might be required.
Stream Games From the Cloud
If all those options sound a little too cumbersome, there's one more method that's far more plug-and-play: cloud streaming. Services like Nvidia GeForce Now and Xbox Cloud Gaming allow you to play games on a number of different devices, including your phone, tablet, PC, or Mac. Each is set up a bit differently.
GeForce Now has a free option that includes some wait time before you can play a one-hour session, with a $10-per-month plan that eschews these limits and improves graphical fidelity. You can play games you already own, but only those supported by GeForce Now.
If you subscribe to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, you also get access to Xbox Cloud Gaming functionality, which can be used from a browser(Opens in a new window) on your Mac. Select a title and click the Play button to immediately start playing the game; no downloading required. Just make sure you have a Bluetooth controller, a supported browser, and adequate network support.
While streaming is simpler to set up than, say, Wine, its effectiveness is highly dependent on the speed and latency of your internet and home Wi-Fi. If you can sit close to your router or wire your Mac up to an Ethernet port, you'll likely get much better results. If your network isn't up to the task, check out our guide to boosting your Wi-Fi.
Sign up for our Weekly Apple Brief for the latest news, reviews, tips, and more delivered right to your inbox.
Thanks for signing up!
Your subscription has been confirmed. Keep an eye on your inbox!
Sign up for other newsletters
How to Play Windows Games on a Mac in 2022
Table of Contents
Macs are reliable and powerful, so it’s unfortunate that there are not a lot of games available to play on them. True, there’s an Apple Arcade, but, in comparison to Steam, it is seriously lacking. Luckily, there are several ways in which you can start running PC games on Mac today. The technology has gone so far that you’re even able to play the newest AAA titles without hiccups.
In this article, I will cover the most effective ones, some of which will work even on Macs with M1 silicon chips.
5 Ways to Play PC Games on Mac
Over time, many solutions were devised on how to access Steam titles with Mac. And not all of them are as effective. I’ve devised this list in a logical order, from the best to the least favorable alternative.
Option #1: Boot Camp
Apple’s Boot Camp is the most popular way of installing Windows on a Mac that doesn’t require a virtual machine. Instead, you’ll be able to choose to boot either Windows 10 or macOS. This way you can use all of your resources exclusively for playing games, which results in a smoother experience. The downside is that you can’t switch back to Mac in real-time, which is possible with a virtual machine.
Note: to ensure that everything goes smoothly, we recommend creating a Time Machine backup and reading our article about performing data recovery from a Time Machine backup.
To set up Boot Camp, simply follow these steps.
- Get Windows 10. Microsoft lets you download Windows 10 Disk Image (ISO) for free, and you don’t need to have a product key to use it. Simply select the version and the language you want, and click Confirm. Lastly, make sure to get a 64-bit version of the program.
- Go to Spotlight and open Boot Camp Assistant. This utility will immediately locate Windows 10 ISO and help you install it. Hit Continue and choose the size of your Windows partition. Keep in mind that some games require a lot of storage space. You won’t be able to change the partition size later. When you are happy, click Install.
- Set up Windows 10. Once you get to the main screen, choose your language and hit Next. Select I don’t have a product key and pick Windows 10 Home edition. When the setup is finished, Mac will restart and open up Windows.
- Install Drivers. You should now be on the desktop with a Boot Camp open. Make sure to go through this installation, as it will update your Mac with important drivers.
Note: If Boot Camp didn’t open on its own, you can find it by going to This PC > OSXRESERVED.
- Enjoy Your Games. Now you will be able to play most 32 and 64-bit games released on Windows. Sites like Steam, Epic Games, and Origin will supply you with thousands of excellent titles that would otherwise be unavailable to Apple users.
Note: To run a Boot Camp, you will need an Intel processor. Installation requires at least 64 GB of storage space. For best optimization, you will want to have around 128 GB available. To run the newest PC games on Mac, you will need to have a MacBook Pro or iMac with a non-integrated graphics card (4GB and up).
Option #2: GeForce Now
If you have weaker hardware but still wish to play the newest PC games on Mac, you can use GeForce Now. This is a cloud-based streaming service powered by Nvidia’s servers. Since all games are run remotely, all you need to have is a decent internet speed. After a long beta, most of its kinks are worked out and now you can use it to fluidly play even fast-paced multiplayer titles, such as Fortnite.
Speaking of games, GeForce Now has an extensive library of Steam, Battle.net, and Uplay titles. Most of them are already stored as a cached version, so you can quickly jump into your favorite game. GeForce Now can be used for free, but you will be limited to 1-hour sessions and will have to wait in a queue. If you wish to play longer, you are going to have to get a Priority Membership ($10).
GeForce Now is fairly easy to set up.
- Go to Nvidia’s Website. Before downloading GeForce Now, you will have to create a free account or log in via Google or Facebook.
- Download & Install GeForce Now for Mac OS.
- Log in to Your Account. Clicking on Log In will open a browser page. Simply click on the Nvidia logo in the middle to complete this process.
- Look for Games. GeForce Now has a lot of titles to choose from. Paid games will require that you log into Steam or another service before you can play.
- Start Playing.
Note: GeForce Now is only available in the US and Europe. You are still required to purchase paid games via Steam or another service.
Option #3: WineBottler
Another great alternative is to run Windows Steam games via Wine. This is not an emulator, but a compatibility layer capable of running many Microsoft applications. WineBottler is like its main hub – a place from which you can conveniently download all of the popular Windows apps. Best of all, it’s completely free.
This is how you can use WineBottler to play PC games on Mac.
- Visit WineBottler and Download the app. Make sure to get a stable version, instead of the latest.
- Install it. To do this, just open the download location and drag both Wine and WineBottler to the Applications.
- Open WineBottler. Go under the Games tab, locate Steam, and click Install.
- Log in On Steam. Creating an account is easy and can be done within one minute.
- Find Games in Store. Now, it’s time to browse through the store and download the games that you wish to play. Steam also offers a lot of excellent Indie titles for free, so you don’t even have to spend any money.
- Play! Once you are all set, head over to your Library. Find your game and click Play.
Note: WineBottler can only run Windows games that are compatible with Wine, which will somewhat limit your choice.
Option #4: CrossOver Mac
CrossOver is another app that utilizes Wine. Thanks to its slick interface, it’s more convenient than a WineBottler, but it is a paid product. CrossOver will cost you $40, although you can test it out for 4 days with a trial version. Along with Parallels, it is the only software that will let you play Windows titles on modern Macs with M1 chips.
Only 3 steps are needed to run PC games on Mac with CrossOver.
- Download and Install CrossOver.
- Get Steam. Open the app and click on Install a Windows Application. In the search bar, look for any app that you wish to get, such as Steam and Origin. Simply click install, and follow the process.
- Find the Games You Wish to Play. When you open Steam, all of the Windows games should be available. Download the ones you like and start them from the Library.
Note: CrossOver is effective, but won’t work for all games. It’s best to check this list of supported titles before purchasing it.
Option #5: Using a Virtual Machine
This may not be the best way to run Windows Steam games on Mac, since virtual machines use more resources. However, the benefit is that you can seamlessly switch between 2 operating systems whenever you want, without restarting your Mac.
There are 2 virtual machines worth mentioning: Parallels and VMWare Fusion, which can be used for free. For this example, we’ve decided to use Parallels since it’s more convenient, quick, works with Apple’s latest silicon M1 Macs and we have already tested it before. Although this is a paid product, you can test it out for free with a 2-week trial.
Here is how to set up Parallels.
- Visit Parallels … and create a new account.
- Install the App. From Dashboard, go to Parallels Desktop for Mac Technical Preview page. Scroll down to the Install and Activate section to get the latest version of Parallels. Under it, you will also find an Activation key that you will use later.
- Download Windows. If you have an M1 Mac, make sure to get the ARM-ed version of Windows. Otherwise, you won’t be able to create a virtual machine. You’ll also need to sign-up to become a Windows Insider, which is completely free.
- Start Windows Installation via Parallels. When the download is finished, go back to the Installation Assistant and hit Continue to set up a virtual machine. Parallels should automatically find Windows 10, so just click Create when it does.
- Enter your Activation Key. Paste your key from the website and click Activate to get Parallels to continue configuring Windows 10.After a few minutes, it will be ready to use.
- Visit Steam. Open Microsoft Edge and visit Steam. Install it and register if necessary. Browse and install.
Note: you can easily switch between Mac OS and Windows via the Command + tab shortcut.
How Can I play Windows Games on my Mac without Boot Camp?
There are 3 options: running a compatibility layer (Wine Bottler), a virtual machine (Parallels or VMWare Fusion), or via GeForce Now.
What is the best software to run Windows games on a Mac?
Boot Camp is the best option for gamers, as it will give you the best frame rate and doesn’t take much processing power. In case you have a weaker Mac, you can still play the newest AAA games by signing up for GeForce Now.
Can you run PC games on Mac with an M1 silicon chip?
While Boot Camp doesn’t have support for M1 Macs, you can use Parallels virtual machine or CrossOver Mac. Both of these are paid solutions.
Can I play Steam Windows games on Mac?
Yes. By installing or virtually running Microsoft’s operating system, you’ll get access to all of the popular Windows games.
As you can see, there are a lot of ways to run PC games on Mac. The best solution for you will depend on your preferences, hardware, and the amount of money that you wish to spend.
Post Views: 973
Andrey Vasilyev is an Editorial Advisor at onMac. Andrey is a software expert with extensive experience in data recovery, computer forensics, and litigation. Andrey has over 12 years of experience in software development, database administration, and hardware repair.
Transferring data from a Windows PC to a Mac
Windows Migration Assistant moves contacts, calendars, email accounts, and other data from a Windows PC to the appropriate folders on a Mac.
- Make sure your computer is running the latest version of Windows. Migration Assistant requires Windows 7 or later.
- Verify that you know the administrator account name and password on the Windows computer.
- Connect your Mac and Windows PC to the same network, such as your home Wi-Fi network. You can also create a direct network connection by connecting the ports on your Mac and Windows computer with an Ethernet cable. Some Mac computers require an Ethernet adapter, such as Belkin USB-C to Gigabit Ethernet or Apple Thunderbolt to Gigabit Ethernet.
Using the Migration Assistant
You are now ready to use the Migration Assistant to transfer files to your Mac from a Windows computer (if you want to transfer content from a Mac instead of a Windows computer, follow the instructions for transferring content between Macs).
On a Windows computer
- Depending on the version of macOS installed on your Mac, download and install the appropriate version of Windows Migration Assistant on your Windows computer.
- Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Monterey
- Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Big Sur
- Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Mojave and macOS Catalina
- Windows Migration Assistant for macOS Sierra and High Sierra
- Windows Migration Assistant for OS X El Capitan and earlier
- Close all open Windows applications.
- Open Windows Migration Assistant and click Continue.
- If your Windows computer is configured to automatically install Windows updates, you might be advised to turn off automatic installation of these updates. Click the "Continue" button.
- After the Migration Assistant displays a message that it is waiting for a Mac to connect, perform the following steps on the Mac.
On a Mac
- Open the Migration Assistant from the Utilities subfolder of the Applications folder.
- Follow the instructions on the screen until you select the transfer method. Select the option to transfer data from a Windows PC, then click Continue.
- Select the icon representing your Windows computer and click Continue.
On a Windows computer
Make sure that the same password is displayed on the Windows computer and the Mac computer, and then click Continue.
On a Mac
- When your Mac has finished scanning files on your Windows PC, specify the data you want to transfer to your Mac. Learn more about the data that can be migrated.
- Click the "Continue" button to start the transfer. Transferring a large amount of information can take several hours.
- After the migration is complete, sign in to your new user account on your Mac.
- Authorize your Mac for iTunes Store purchases. It's important to sign in before syncing or playing content from the iTunes Store.
If you have problems migrating data
If your Windows computer is running a firewall or antivirus, turn it off. These applications can be re-enabled after the transfer is complete.
Use the chkdsk utility on a Windows computer:
- Right-click Start and select Run.
cmdand press Enter. The command line will appear.
- At the command prompt, type
chkdskand press Enter.
- If the utility finds errors, type the following command, where drive is the drive letter where Windows is installed, for example D:
chkdsk drive : /F
- Press the Enter key.
- At the command prompt, type
Yto restart the computer.
- Repeat the procedure until the check disk utility reports no errors. If the utility cannot fix all the errors it finds, your computer may need to be serviced.
If you still can't transfer your data, you can use an external drive or file sharing to manually copy important data to your Mac.
What data can be transferred?
The Migration Assistant lets you choose what data to transfer to your Mac. The data transferred is listed below and grouped by application and data type.
Email data, contacts, and calendar
Email messages, email account settings, contacts, and appointments are migrated depending on the Windows version and account type.
The 32-bit version of Outlook on Windows 7 and later moves as follows.
- The contents of the People folder are transferred to the Contacts folder 2
- The contents of the Appointments folder are migrated to the Calendar application
- IMAP and Exchange settings and messages are migrated to the Mail application
- POP settings and messages are moved to the Mail folder 2
Windows Live Mail
Windows Live Mail app data on Windows 7 and later migrates as follows.
- IMAP settings and messages are moved to the Mail folder
- POP settings and messages are transferred to the Mail folder 2
Windows Mail app data on Windows 7 and later (excluding Windows 8) is migrated as follows.
- IMAP settings and messages are moved to the Mail folder
- POP settings and messages are moved to the Mail folder 2
- The contents of the People folder are moved to the Contacts folder
Bookmarks from Internet Explorer, Safari for Windows and Firefox are transferred to Safari.
Language and location settings and custom desktop images are moved to System Settings. The browser home page is transferred to the Safari settings section.
Photos and other images are transferred to the user folder. You can then add them to the Photos app or launch the app to automatically search for and import pictures on your Mac.
The Migration Assistant migrates iTunes content as follows: music to the Apple Music app, videos to the Apple TV app, podcasts to the Apple Podcasts app, and audiobooks to the Apple Books app.
The Migration Assistant also migrates the following files:
- top-level files of the current computer user folder;
- non-system files from the Windows and Program Files folders;
- Top-level folders from the drive with Windows installed and other drives.
1. Migration Assistant for macOS Big Sur and earlier does not support 64-bit versions of Outlook. You can manually transfer mail, contacts, and calendars from Outlook 2013 or Outlook 2016 by signing in and manually entering content on your Mac.
2. The Migration Assistant migrates only the mail or contact information that pertains to the signed-in Windows user. To migrate data from another user's account, use the Migration Assistant by logging into the appropriate Windows user account.