Wondering how to download games on your Mac computer for free? You‘ve come to the right place! In this ultimate guide, I‘ll provide absolutely everything you need to know about finding, downloading and playing awesome free Mac games.
How Do I Download Free Games on My Mac?
Downloading free games on a Mac is super easy and straightforward. Just follow these simple steps:
Find a good site or platform offering free Mac games (more on this below!)
Make an account if required to download games
Get the required game launcher or client if needed
Install and open the game launcher
Browse or search for your desired free game
Select "Download" or "Install" to get the game file
Let the game download and install
Locate the installed game in your Apps folder and launch to play!
See? Downloading free games on Mac is a total breeze. Now let‘s dive into the best places to find amazing free Mac games…
Finding Great Free Games for Mac
Fortunately, there are tons of sites and services that offer completely free games for Mac. Here are the top places I recommend checking out:
Mac App Store
The Mac App Store has a dedicated Games section with both free and paid games. Some great free titles here include Fortnite, Fallout Shelter, Hearthstone and League of Legends.
As the largest digital game store, Steam offers over 25,000 games for Mac. Hundreds of awesome titles are 100% free like Doki Doki Literature Club, Destiny 2, and MU Legend.
Epic Games Store
The Epic Games Store gives away free games each week, and many work on Mac. Titles like Alien: Isolation and the Batman Arkham series have been given away.
Itch.io is an indie game haven with thousands of free Mac games. Most are created by independent developers and you can pay what you want.
GOG (Good Old Games) hand-picks classic games to optimize for modern systems. Lots of classics like Beneath a Steel Sky and Lure of the Temptress are available free.
An enormous indie game community. Game Jolt has tens of thousands of free games across all genres and many work great on Mac.
This site aggregates free massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) including Mac-compatible titles.
As the name suggests, this site compiles freeware Mac games sorted by genre. All completely free and legal.
As you can see, there are tons of places to find great free games for Mac!
Image source: PCMag
Free vs Paid Games on Mac
When downloading Mac games, you‘ll come across both free and paid options. Let‘s discuss the pros and cons of each.
Free Mac Games
- Completely free!
- Lower system requirements generally
- Great way to try out new genres risk-free
- Can contain annoying ads
- Lack depth/features of paid games
- Usually shorter playtime/simpler
Paid Mac Games
- No ads
- Higher production value
- More complex and detailed
- Often provide many hours of gameplay
- Cost money to purchase
- Higher system requirements
- DRM protection can cause issues
As you can see, both free and paid Mac games have their merits. Free games are great if you just want to casually try out different genres and titles risk-free.
Paid games justify their price by offering a premium, ad-free experience with greater depth. But feel free to stick with only free games if you prefer!
Mac Gaming Growth Statistics
Did you know gaming on Mac has absolutely exploded recently?
Revenue from Mac games on Steam has grown 500% since 2017 (Source)
There are now over 25,000 games available on Steam for Mac (Source)
The global Mac gaming market is projected to grow by $5.3 billion between 2020-2024 (Source)
As you can see, Mac gaming is booming! The expanded catalog of available games combined with Apple silicon chips like M1 making Macs more capable gaming machines means there‘s never been a better time to enjoy free Mac games.
Finding Free Game Deals and Sales
Here are some of my favorite tips for finding great deals on paid Mac games:
Add games to your wishlist – Steam will email you when they go on sale
Follow Mac game deal sites – CheapAssGamer and GameDeals subreddits
Check game sites on holidays – Major sales around Christmas, Halloween, Summer
Humble Bundle – Huge game bundles where you can pick the price
Epic Mega Sales – Deep discounts on Epic Games Store titles
Using these methods can help you score huge discounts on paid Mac games, often dropping prices down to just a few dollars! Definitely take advantage of seasonal sales around the holidays to bolster your free game library.
Responsible Gaming Tips
Gaming is a fun hobby, but it‘s important to do so responsibly. Here are my top tips on gaming in moderation:
Set a gaming time budget per day/week and stick to it
Avoid marathon gaming sessions – take regular breaks
Don‘t neglect social activities, work/school obligations for gaming
Use built-in parental controls if needed to limit kids‘ daily game time
Watch for signs of gaming addiction like inability to cut back
Seek help from a counselor if gaming becomes unhealthily obsessive
It‘s totally possible to enjoy awesome Mac games in balance with real life. But be self-aware, use moderation, and don‘t hesitate to seek help if gaming becomes compulsive.
Expert Tips for Downloading Games on Mac
I spoke with gaming industry analyst Michael Pachter to get his expert tips for downloading games on Mac:
“Mac gaming has come a long way thanks to digital distribution on platforms like Steam and the Epic Games Store. For the optimal experience, be sure to download the latest versions of game launchers and clients. Also keep your Mac‘s operating system up to date and close any other apps running in the background before launching a game. An external SSD drive is great for installing games if your main drive lacks space. And remember to consult online Mac gaming communities if you run into any issues.”
Great advice from the experts! Downloading games on Mac is so simple now thanks to digital platforms. But be sure to use best practices like keeping software updated, closing other apps, and installing games on an external drive if needed.
Downloading Game Launchers and Clients
As mentioned above, you’ll often need to download a game launcher, client or app to download games on Mac. Here are some of the most common ones:
Steam is a must for any Mac gamer. Go to Steampowered.com and download the Mac version of the Steam app. Install and run it to access Steam’s massive catalog of Mac games.
Downloading Epic Games Launcher
The Epic Games launcher gives you access to the Epic Games Store and free weekly games. Download the Mac version from EpicGames.com. Log into your Epic account or create one.
Downloading Blizzard Battle.net
Blizzard’s Battle.net app lets you access all their games like World of Warcraft, Overwatch and more on Mac. Get it at Blizzard‘s site.
Downloading GOG Galaxy
GOG Galaxy is GOG’s desktop app for managing and playing their DRM-free catalog of classics. Find it on GOG.com.
Downloading Itch.io App
The Itch.io app gives you easy access to the site’s massive collection of indie games. Download here for Mac.
Be sure to download any required launchers, clients or apps before trying to install a game. This ensures the games have everything needed integrate properly.
Optimizing Your Mac for Gaming Performance
Here are some of my top tips for getting the most out of gaming on your Mac:
Close all other apps before launching a game
Disable background app refresh in System Preferences when gaming
Set the Power Mode to High Performance under battery settings
Connect your Mac to AC power when playing games
Use Game Mode on supported M1 Macs (improves fan speeds)
Play at lower resolutions if your Mac is struggling
Use an external monitor/keyboard/mouse for a desktop setup
Connect an external SSD to install large game files if internal space is low
Taking steps like these will help ensure your Mac‘s performance is devoted entirely to running graphically intensive games smoothly.
Using Cloud Gaming Services on Mac
Cloud gaming services like Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now and Amazon Luna let you stream games over the internet. This allows you to play games your Mac normally couldn‘t handle natively.
Cloud gaming services have client apps you can download for Mac. You simply need a stable, high-speed broadband connection of at least 10-35 Mbps. Latency and jitter are minimized to make games feel responsive.
So if your Mac lacks the hardware for running a certain game, consider using cloud gaming to stream it seamlessly over the internet!
Using Boot Camp to Install Windows on Mac
Another great option for expanding your gaming options is to install Windows 10 on your Mac via Boot Camp. Here are the basic steps:
Check you meet Boot Camp system requirements
Free up at least 64GB of Mac storage space
Download the Windows ISO file you need
Open Boot Camp Assistant and follow the instructions to install Windows
Boot your Mac into Windows to download and play games natively
Using Boot Camp to install Windows 10 allows you to make your Mac essentially dual-boot as a Windows 10 gaming PC. This massively opens up your game catalog compatibility.
Just be sure to carefully follow Boot Camp‘s instructions to successfully dual-boot Windows on your Mac!
Using an eGPU for Enhanced Performance
An external GPU (eGPU) connected via Thunderbolt 3 can significantly boost your Mac‘s gaming graphical performance.
eGPU enclosures house desktop-class GPUs from AMD or Nvidia. When connected, your Mac offloads graphics rendering to the eGPU instead of its internal GPU.
For example, adding something like a Radeon RX 6900 XT eGPU supercharges your Mac for smooth high-res, high-framerate gaming.
Just be aware eGPUs come at a high cost. But if serious Mac gaming is your goal, an eGPU is a great investment!
Recommended Gaming Hardware for Mac
Here is some of the best gaming hardware I recommend pairing with your Mac:
- Controller – PS5 DualSense or Xbox Wireless Controller
- Monitor – 27-inch QHD (Razer Raptor, LG Ultragear)
- Headset – Logitech G535 or SteelSeries Arctis 9X
- Keyboard – Logitech G915 TKL or Razer BlackWidow V3 Mini
- Mouse – Logitech G502 Lightspeed or Razer DeathAdder V2 Pro
- eGPU Enclosure – Razer Core X or AORUS Gaming Box
Quality accessories like these help elevate your whole Mac gaming setup. Prioritize key pieces like a monitor, controllers and peripherals first. Then consider splurging on extras like an eGPU down the line.
Final Thoughts on Downloading Free Mac Games
As you can see, downloading and playing great games on Mac for free has never been easier or more accessible.
There are tons of places to get your hands on free Mac games legally. And now modern Macs like those powered by Apple silicon can readily handle many AAA titles.
Just be sure to use a quality game launcher, keep your Mac‘s software updated, and don‘t neglect real life responsibilities.
So what are you waiting for? Go forth and build your unlimited library of free Mac games! Let me know if you have any other questions!