5 Ways to Play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac – Our Experience

·

·

, ,

Site Navigation


Latest Posts

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)

To play Baldur’s Gate 3 on Mac with the native macOS version, you need to have a compatible Mac model that meets the requirements, and enough disk space, memory, and graphics resources for the game. Then, you need to follow these steps:

• Download and install Steam on your Mac, if you don’t have it already.

• Launch Steam and login with your account. Then, search for “Baldur’s Gate 3” and purchase it from the store.

• Once the game is purchased, you can download and install it on your Mac. The game size is around 150 GB, so make sure you have enough space on your hard drive.

• Once the game is installed, you can launch it from Steam and choose the DirectX 12 option. The game should start with the native macOS version.

Boosteroid Cloud Gaming

Features: Constant 1080p/60 FPS; Stable connection; Low bandwidth requirements (15 MBPS); Huge gaming library with all the latest AAA titles.

Pros

  • Cheapest cloud-gaming option
  • Compatible with all macs
  • Hardware specs don’t matter
  • You can play in your browser in about 15 minutes

Cons

  • Requires a good internet connection
  • You need to look if the game is supported with your chosen vendor

Extras: Here’s our review of Boosteroid with a comparison to GeForce Now; also check out our Boosteroid Games List.

For Mac users in search of a hassle-free gaming experience, Boosteroid shines as an excellent choice. Its standout feature lies in seamlessly blending visual quality and performance, catering to those who desire a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience without the intricacies associated with high-end gaming setups.

  1. Click the “Play with Boosteroid” button to visit their site. Sign up for a new account or use your Google Account to log in.
  2. In the upper right of the homepage, select “My account”. Choose and activate a subscription plan under “My subscription”.
  3. To find your game, use the search feature. Remember, that in order to play, you should first own the game on platforms such as Steam, or check for a discount on CD Keys.
GeForce Now

Pros

  • Access to a vast library of games.
  • High-quality graphics and performance.
  • No need for powerful local hardware.
  • Cross-platform support.

Cons

  • Requires a stable and fast internet connection.
  • Limited to supported games.
  • Potential latency issues in online games.
  • Requires a subscription for some features.

GeForce Now revolutionizes Mac gaming by providing a cloud gaming service that brings a vast array of games to your fingertips.

Note: Remember, that in order to play, you should first own the game on platforms such as Steam, or check for a discount on CD Keys.

  • GeForce Now is as a top-tier gaming solution for Mac users that delivers an excellent gaming experience without the need for powerful hardware. A noteworthy aspect that sets it apart is NVIDIA’s adept management of processing that ensures superior graphics and smooth performance, even on older Mac models. The platform’s versatility allows users to effortlessly switch between their Mac, PC, and mobile devices while maintaining their gaming progress—a valuable feature for those who enjoy gaming across diverse platforms.
  • It’s crucial to highlight the role of a stable internet connection in ensuring a consistently smooth gaming experience on GeForce Now. Also, users should be aware that not all games are accessible on this platform, and certain premium features may come with a subscription fee.

CrossOver + the Game Porting Toolkit

Pros

  • It’s free
  • Unlimited compatibility
  • Stable and reliable

Cons

  • Takes time to set up
  • Takes tons of storage

Note: Remember, that in order to play, you should first own the game on platforms such as Steam, or check for a discount on CD Keys.

Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit (GPTK) enables native Windows gaming on Mac, although the process can be complex. However, integrating CrossOver with GPTK potentially streamlines the complexities associated with native Windows gaming on Mac, and this guide provides all the necessary information to get started.

1. Visit the CrossOver site by clicking the button below, and download and install CrossOver.

2. Open CrossOver and create a new Bottle from the Bottle menu.

3. Right-click the newly-created bottle, click Install Software in Bottle, and then search for and install Steam (or another game launcher if you own the game elsewhere).

4. Make sure that D3DMetal option is enabled if you are about to play a DirectX 11 or 12 game, and then launch and log into Steam, find the game in your library, install it, and click Play.

Boot Camp

Features: Provides a native Windows 11 experience. Allows running all Windows-compatible programs and games as long as the Mac’s hardware can support them.

Note: Not available for Apple Silicon models.

Pros

  • It’s free
  • Unlimited compatibility
  • Stable and reliable

Cons

  • Takes time to set up
  • Takes tons of storage
  • Unavailable for M1/M2

Note: Remember, that in order to play, you should first own the game on platforms such as Steam, or check for a discount on CD Keys.

Boot Camp, a method that installs Windows on a separate partition, offers stable gameplay on Macs without compatibility issues.

  • The Boot Camp method offers a significant advantage by providing a gaming experience closely resembling the native environment, efficiently utilizing your Mac’s resources for a stable non-cloud gaming experience.
  • However, Boot Camp does have its drawbacks. The setup process is lengthy, posing a challenge for less experienced users who may find it confusing. Additionally, it requires a substantial amount of free storage space, accommodating both the game and the entire Windows 10 OS. Another notable disadvantage is the inevitable heat buildup in your Mac when using this method for gaming, which may be a concern for those seeking cooler operating conditions.

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.

Baldur's Gate 3 Mac Requirements
Baldur’s Gate 3 Mac Requirements

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 on MacBook Air M1
Baldur’s Gate 3 on MacBook Air M1

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.

Conclusion

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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *