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The platform was launched to great success in thanks to the parent company, Valve, releasing it alongside one of the most highly anticipated PC games of all time: Half-Life 2. Today, lots of Mac users are still wondering: does Steam work on Mac? Truth is, for many years, Mac users had very little access to the most recent games.

Although Steam was originally Windows exclusive, it eventually began to support Macs too — with a catch. The main reason for Steam not initially supporting Macs was them containing proprietary hardware that game developers struggled to cater for. Additionally, Windows made it easier for game developers to interface with their hardware using widely supported API tools such as DirectX.

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In the early s, Apple was more concerned with their suite of creative applications and music software rather than games. As gaming became more popular, the company struggled to enter the market through their own App Store, as competing products had already captured market share.

The Best Mac Games You Can Play Right Now (July ) | Digital Trends

Suddenly, gaming on Macs became viable — in an effort to reinvent the industry Apple is releasing Arcade this fall, its gaming subscription service for all the Apple devices. But while we are yet to see what is Apple hiding up its sleeve, Steam has already jumped on the opportunity to make it work. Now is a better time than ever for gamers on Mac, thanks to greater Steam support and more powerful hardware parts. The install should now be complete. Test it by opening Steam from your Dock or Applications folder. You can usually update the settings of your mouse, including the Apple Magic Mouse, to use a two-button style in your System Preferences.

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  • Game developers still have to make accommodations for their games to run properly, most often quality assurance testing and specific Mac updates. The Steam downloader will automatically start in the background and notify you when complete. Your game will then become available from the Library tab. Windows and Mac support. Windows, Mac and Linux support. Sometimes a game publisher might release a SteamPlay version of a game separately from the original, Windows only version. In that case, you will need to buy the new version that includes Mac support. Reference: Steam Support: SteamPlay.

    This has worked well for me with running games with complex graphics that might not be as optimized when running under Mac OS X. Some games only run on Windows. These games, obviously, will not run on your Mac and do not appear by default in your library. Unfortunately, this is a technical limitation which generally cannot be worked around by giving Valve more money. WINE, as mentioned in another answer, may give you some success, but in my experience, it is very case-by-case in how well it works. Steam does not make you re-buy games.

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    Once you own it, it is attached to your account for good. You do need to download your games again, though. You might be able to copy the steamapps folder from Windows to Mac, but I don't have experience doing that cross-OS. It does work reasonably well from Windows to Windows, though. At the very least, it might let you just "validate integrity of game cache" instead of re-downloading from scratch.

    So if you bought a game for PC you can run it in any of the game's supported operating systems, be it Windows, Linux or OS X which are the only ones who can currently run the Steam client. They should appear as cute little icons in the right sidebar of the game's store page both in the web browser and the Steam client. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Ask Question.

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    Asked 3 years, 9 months ago. Active 2 years, 11 months ago. Viewed 50k times. Involuntary Eyeroll Involuntary Eyeroll 1 1 gold badge 3 3 silver badges 3 3 bronze badges. Although like Kevin said you will loose a lot of games due to cross OS issues. You don't lose any games. You can't run many of them in Steam on Mac natively, but you still own the games that you've purchased.

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    Also, the last time that I checked a year or more ago, admittedly , you could run Steam in Wine or a Wine-wrapper such as CrossOver and play Windows-only games from there. 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. 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.

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    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. 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. Once you understand what each option does, you'll be more comfortable tweaking and making changes in your games in a way that actually improves performance without sacrificing quality, instead of doing the big things that may even compromise both.

    Obviously, adjusting the graphics settings for your game is one of the best ways to make sure it runs a little more smoothly, but another thing you can try is switching between full-screen and windowed mode. Even windowed mode taking up the entire screen can sometimes smooth things out for you, and which one will work better depends heavily on the games you play. I've had some titles strain in windowed mode but really pick up when set to full-screen, and other titles choke in full-screen but suddenly become playable in windowed mode.

    Your mileage may vary.