Apple’s MacBooks are not designed for gaming specifically. Also, all games are initially designed for Windows, so you may not have the same experience as a Windows personal computer on a Mac.
But there are ways in which you can improve your gaming experience.
Let’s take a look.
1. Use a controller
A trackpad does not do justice to gaming. You need a controller that you can use while gaming. There are some games where the keyboard works just as well, but controllers give you a lot more flexibility.
2. Invest in eGPU
eGPU or External Graphics Processing Unit is an additional graphics card that works alongside the internal video processor and boosts graphics.
This can considerably improve your gaming experience and allow you to play Virtual Reality powered games and use secondary displays for an immersive gaming experience.
You can manually choose which apps should use the eGPU or leave it to the computer.
3. Increase your RAM
A better gaming experience requires more RAM. If you have an older Mac, you’re in luck. You can expand your RAM. You cannot do this with the newer versions since it’s soldered to the logic board.
4. Use the right game client
The ideal game client allows you to play the best games on Mac and pay less. The App Store may be a good place to find these, but it is recommended you look elsewhere because of the premium prices.
A good alternative is Steam that allows you to play tons of different games and offers discounts all year round.
5. Check your Activity Monitor
At the time of gaming, you cannot multitask. You have to make sure to quit every app and process that is not in use. Close all apps that you are not using. Close all the browser tabs that you do not need anymore.
Use the Activity Monitor to see what may be hogging up your memory and processing power and quit the respective apps and processes.
6. Optimize your storage
To run optimally, you need at least 10% of free disk space, but to have a seamless gaming experience, your SSD should at least be 512GB because games take up more space. If you have a low storage variant, this article will help you check how much storage is free and how you can free up more space.
Apple has also listed out some basic recommendations that you can use before moving on to advanced techniques.
7. Remove login items
Apps that launch at startup are known as login items and are memory intensive. You can disable all of them in Users & Groups.
8. Prioritize the discrete GPU
Macs have both integrated and discrete GPUs. Disable ‘Automatic Graphics Switching’ and prioritize discrete GPUs that perform better.
9. Adjust game settings
Each game has its own settings, but you can follow some best practices:
- Adjust the screen resolution settings. Find the sweet spot where your games load fast without making it look like you’re playing games from the 90s.
- Check the disparity between playing a game in a full-screen mode and in a windowed mode.
- Check in-game graphic settings. You can set it low if it speeds up the game.
- Try low resolution if nothing else works.
10. Purchase a Mac that supports gaming
If you know that your main priority is gaming, you’re better off purchasing a 21.5 inch iMac or a 16 inch MacBook Pro. MacBook Air, while portable, is just not designed for gaming.
Also, look out for the processor. The newer M1 chips are obviously better but if you cannot afford that, get the Intel i7 processor at the very least.
11. Clear your Desktop
Clutter on the desktop can slow down your Mac. Every icon on the desktop has to be processed, which can start to add up if you have not cleared your desktop in a while.
12. Use cleaner software
Third-party software designed to clean your computer can be really helpful if you are struggling to find free storage space. Some are free, while some require an investment. If you are looking to automate the process of cleaning unnecessary files, this is a good way to do that.
13. Restart your system
If you haven’t shut down your laptop in a while, consider doing that. If you keep putting your Mac to sleep, there are a lot of background processes that keep running that accumulate temporary files that linger around. Rebooting your system gets rid of these and improves your system’s performance.
14. Run Windows
Boot Camp, an in-built feature on Mac, allows you to install Windows pretty easily. You can use Windows on Mac to play games.
Apple’s computers are definitely not designed for gaming, but with a little bit of effort and investment, you can make it work for your gaming experience.