5 Ways to Play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac – Our Experience
Can you play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac?
After almost three years in Early Access, the highly anticipated third installment in the iconic Baldur’s Gate gaming series has officially been released. With full MacOS support, Apple users have the convenience of directly downloading and playing Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac, however, this comes with the prerequisite of having a substantial 150 GB of free space and a Mac that meets the game’s hardware requirements. The question then arises: are cloud gaming platforms like Boosteroid and GeForce Now viable alternatives for those with more modest hardware? And, can Intel Macs also run this game? Let’s delve into these questions and share more about our experience.
Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac: Methods and Instructions
Here are the methods that we tried to play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac. If you prefer a more detailed exploration of the workarounds, based on our hands-on experience during the testing process, continue reading below.
Natively with Steam (recommended method)
Boosteroid Cloud Gaming
CrossOver + the Game Porting Toolkit
Baldur’s Gate 3 Mac Requirements
Baldur’s Gate 3 Mac requirements can be broken down based on your desired game settings. Apple Silicon models, like MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini with 8 GB of unified memory, should handle the title well on Low to Medium settings. If you aim for higher settings, however, Baldur’s Gate 3 Mac requirements include 16 GB RAM, 8 GB VRAM, and an M1 or M2 processor for reliable gameplay.
However, even with Baldur’s Gate 3 Mac compatibility, not every Mac is up to the task. If your Mac is too old, lacks the required hardware characteristics, or has insufficient space, the game won’t run smoothly. Fortunately, you can use a cloud gaming service to stream the game over the Internet and bypass any hardware limitations.
Baldur’s Gate 3 on macOS with Cloud Gaming
Boosteroid and GeForce Now are two well-known cloud gaming services, both providing access to Baldur’s Gate 3 in their libraries. To use these services, you’ll need a subscription (GeForce Now also has a free plan with limited playtime) and a reliable internet connection. Boosteroid offers a maximum streaming quality of 1080p at 60 FPS with a minimum internet speed of 15 Mbps, while, GeForce Now, on the other hand, requires a minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps for its 1080p at 60 FPS streaming.
Our testing, done on an M2 Pro MacBook Pro with 16 GB of RAM and a 50 Mbps internet connection, revealed that both services provided a smooth and enjoyable experience with high settings and 1080p resolution, maintaining a consistent 60 FPS. While there were minor input delays on both platforms, they did not significantly impact gameplay. Boosteroid had a faster setup process, but we have to mention that GeForce Now offers additional features like ray tracing and DLSS, which, though not applicable to Baldur’s Gate 3, can be used for some games. Ultimately, both services are solid options, and your choice may depend on factors like ease of use and preference for advanced features.
Baldur’s Gate 3 on MacBook Air M1 + M2 with Steam
The Baldur’s Gate 3 macOS version is currently only available on Steam, so if you want to play this game on your Apple computer, you’ll need to first install the Steam client on your Mac and then download the game from it.
The native macOS version runs on various Mac models meeting the requirements, but we personally tested Baldur’s Gate 3 on MacBook Air M1 with 8 GB of RAM, and we have to say that we got great results. The game ran smoothly thanks to its robust support for Mac M1 and M2 that harnesses the advanced processing capabilities of these chips, and maintained an average of 30 FPS with Medium settings at 1440p resolution. Whether navigating intricate maps or engaging in intense battles, we had stable performance and graphics, which provided us with an immersive gaming experience. The only drawback was the significant disk space consumption required for game installation on your Mac.
Baldur’s Gate 3 for Mac: Download with Crossover + GPTK and Boot Camp
Using CrossOver and the GPTK is a possible way to download Baldur’s Gate 3 for Mac, but it is not the easiest or the best way. It requires some technical skills and patience, and it does not offer the best performance and quality. Therefore, you may prefer to use the native macOS version of the game or cloud gaming services, such as Boosteroid or GeForce Now, as they offer a smoother and more convenient BG3 Mac experience, without sacrificing the quality and performance.
Still, we tried this method with Baldur’s Gate 3 on MacBook Air M1 with 8 GB of RAM, and it worked moderately well. The game ran with medium settings and 1080p resolution, and we got around 20-30 FPS on average. There were some graphical glitches and occasional stutters, but nothing major.
For the test with Boot Camp, we used a 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro, equipped with an Intel Core i9 processor, 16 GB RAM, and an AMD Radeon Pro 5500M GPU. Setting up Boot Camp was straightforward, though time-consuming but once Windows was up and running, we installed Baldur’s Gate 3 through Steam. The game installation process was similar to any typical Windows setup.
In terms of performance benchmarks, when playing at high settings, we achieved an average frame rate ranging from 25-30 FPS. However, when we pushed the graphics to ultra settings with a 1792×1120 resolution, the frame rate saw a notable drop. It’s also worth noting that the MacBook Pro experienced significant heat buildup. Users with similar or higher-spec Mac models have reported comparable performance, with many suggesting tweaks and settings adjustments to optimize gameplay. However, considering that there are alternative methods that deliver superior performance, we wouldn’t particularly recommend relying on these two methods.
In conclusion, the Baldurs Gate 3 macOS experience can vary significantly based on your machine’s specifications. If you’re using a weaker or older Mac, like a 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro with 8 gigs of RAM, you can still achieve a decent FPS rate, albeit with lowered graphical settings. However, for a smoother BG3 Mac experience with High or Ultra settings, a more robust machine is recommended and you should consider a MacBook Pro 15-inch or 16-inch from 2019 with 16 gigs of RAM and AMD Radeon Pro 5500M 8 GB GPU, or opt for an M1/M2 model with 16 GB of unified memory. Going for M1 Pro, Max, or Ultra chips will provide an even better performance boost, but if you don’t have such a powerful machine, keep in mind that cloud gaming is a viable solution, and, with it, the overall performance will be reliant solely on the strength of your internet connection.