CrossOver for Mac is a compatibility layer application that lets you play Windows games on your Apple computer. This app works on both Intel and M1/M2 Macs, and supports a wide selection of Windows games and other software, making it a viable way of gaming on a Mac. As of recently, it also became possible to run DirectX 12 games through the CrossOver by integrating Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit into it. As shown in our guide, this is done with the help of an open-source app called CXPatcher, resulting in the best currently available way to locally play Windows games on a Mac computer.
CrossOver Mac M1 compatibility
There is full CrossOver Mac M1 compatibility, so this app provides one of the most effective ways to play Windows games on an Apple computer that doesn’t require you to create a Windows virtual machine or to stream the game over the Internet. If you are looking for a way to play Windows-exclusive games on your Apple Silicon Mac, then you may want to give this app a try. Of course, in addition to the CrossOver Mac M1 compatibility, the app also works on Intel Macs as well, so even if you are on an Intel-based machine, you can still use this app for gaming. And with its 14-day free trial, you are free to first test the app and see if it works for you before deciding whether to commit to it.
The list of CrossOver games that you can play on Mac is big, but until recently, DirectX 12 titles (such as Hogwarts Legacy, Elden Ring, and Diablo 4) were excluded from this list, which was a major downside of the app. That was changed with the release of Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit, which is a free translation layer that makes it possible for DirectX 12 games to be run on a Mac. The toolkit comes with several issues, such as being difficult to use by regular users and having a number of unpleasant bugs, but those problems can be easily solved by integrating it with CrossOver with the help of a free app called CXPatcher. This effectively adds a big number of highly-poplar titles to the CrossOver games list, making the app even better.
CrossOver and the Game Porting Toolkit
As mentioned, it’s now possible to freely integrate Apple’s Game Porting Toolkit with CrossOver, which greatly improves the functionality of both programs. On its own, the Game Porting Toolkit is difficult to work with as it requires extensive use of Terminal commands, which not many regular users are comfortable with. It also encounters numerous bugs and issues with different games and game launchers. On the other hand, CrossOver alone cannot run DirectX 12 games, but with the Toolkit’s integration, these games now become playable and the performance of most games becomes enhanced. All of this is possible thanks to the CXPatcher app which can be downloaded for free from GitHub, as it is an open-source software, which is primarily supported by donations.
In our guide, we’ll first show you how to set up CrossOver itself, and then we’ll provide instructions on how to integrate with it the Game Porting Toolkit, so that DirectX 12 games become playable through it.
CrossOver Steam compatibility
There is pretty much flawless CrossOver Steam compatibility as the Windows version of the Steam client runs without any issues through this compatibility layer. This means you can easily install a wide variety of Steam games on your Mac and run them through CrossOver (including DirectX 12 games if you have integrated the Game Porting Toolkit). Similarly to the CrossOver Steam compatibility, it’s possible to run games from other stores, such as Epic or GOG, but you’ll need to perform one or two extra steps to get everything up and running. For your Epic Games Store and GOG games, you’ll need to employ the Heroic Games Launcher, and for Battle.net and EA, you’ll also need to apply slight workarounds, which will be shown below.
How to use CrossOver
To use CrossOver to play Mac games, you need to first install the program on your Mac, create a new bottle, and install the game launcher you want to use. As we mentioned, Steam installs and runs without any issues, but if you want to access your Epic, GOG, Battle.net, or EA libraries, there are several additional steps to perform that have been detailed after the main guide. Once you’ve set everything up, it’s really easy to use CrossOver – you just open the app, open the bottle where you’ve installed your game, and double-click the game or the game launcher to start playing.
IMPORTANT: If you want to run DirectX 12 games in CrossOver by integrating the Game Porting Toolkit, you must first install macOS Sonoma on your Mac:
Install macOS Sonoma
macOS Sonoma is Apple’s upcoming latest major macOS release, and it’s required to use the Game Porting Toolkit. macOS Sonoma’s beta version is already publicly available, so you can download it right now from Apple’s site and install it as shown below:
- Ensure your Mac is running on macOS Ventura 13.4 or later. Confirm this by navigating to System Settings > General > Software Update. Update your system to macOS Ventura 13.4 if necessary.
- Go to developer.apple.com and click on the ‘Account’ tab at the top of the page.
- Sign in using your Apple ID. Complete two-factor authentication if required.
- Agree to the terms of the Apple Developer Agreement. Check the provided box and click ‘Submit’.
- Restart your Mac to ensure optimal performance, especially if you’ve just set up a developer account or updated your operating system.
- After restarting, navigate back to System Settings and select General > Software Update.
- Locate an ‘info’ icon next to Beta updates and click on it.
- In the Beta Updates window, switch ‘Off’ to ‘macOS Sonoma Developer Beta’, then click ‘Done’. This step enables your system for a Sonoma upgrade and prepares it for the Game Porting Toolkit.
- When macOS 14 Beta appears in the Software Update panel, click on ‘Upgrade Now’.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finalize the upgrade, thus making your system ready for the Game Porting Toolkit installation.
Click the button below and download CrossOver on your Mac.
Open the downloaded DMG file, drag the CrossOver icon to your Applications folder icon to install the app, and open CrossOver.
When first opening the app, you’ll be asked if you want to unlock the app or try its free trial version. If you’ve already bought CrossOver, click on Unlock with Purchase info and enter your details, but if you want to use the free trial, simply click on the Try Now option, and the app will open.
If you want to make DirectX 12 games playable in CrossOver and enhance the performance of DirectX 11 games, you can do that by adding the Game Porting Toolkit to CrossOver. Click the button below to learn how to do it.
Game Porting Toolkit Integration steps
- Visit this Apple page and sign up with your Apple ID – you don’t need a developer’s account to do this.
- Search for the Game Porting Toolkit and when you find it, click View Details, and then click the Game Porting Toolkit DMG file to download it. Note that the tool is still in a beta state, so that is the version you need to download.
- Once the Game Porting Toolkit DMG downloads, double-click it to mount it and then minimize the folder that opens.
- Next, go to here and download the latest CXPatcher release by clicking its ZIP file in the Assets section.
- Double-click the downloaded ZIP file to extract its contents and then drag-and-drop/relocate the CXPatcher app that gets extracted into your Applications folder.
- Go to the Applications folder and double-click the CXPatcher app.
- If you aren’t allowed to open it, then go to the Utilities folder, start the Terminal, and copy-paste this command in it: “xattr -cr “. Then return to the Applications folder, drag-and-drop the CXPatcher icon into the Terminal, and execute the command once the patcher’s path gets added. Now you should be able to start the CXPatcher without a problem, so go ahead and do that.
- Once the patcher opens, click Agree and Proceed, and then enable both the Enable External Resources and the Allow repatch / upgrade settings.
- Click on the Locate External Resources button, look for Game Porting Toolkit under the Locations section in the left panel, select it, and click Open.
- If for some reason that doesn’t work, then try selecting the “Lib” folder in the Game Porting Toolkit folder to specify that you want to use that as an external resource.
- Next, go back to the Applications folder and drag-and-drop the CrossOver app into the patcher window. If you see the “CrossOver.app has been successfully patched“, this means the Game Porting Toolkit is now integrated with the app, and you can proceed with downloading and playing your favourite DirectX 12 games.
Once in CrossOver, click Bottle from the menu bar, and select New Bottle. Enter a bottle name, set the Type to Windows 10 64-bit, and click Create.
Select the new bottle that appears in the left panel, then click the Install button from the bottom-left corner, type Steam in the search bar, and click on the Steam app.
Select Install, and follow the prompts to install the app. While Steam is installing, pay attention to your Dock, as there will probably be installation wizards that open in the background and that require your permission to perform their installations.
Next, go to this page and download the latest up-to-date DXVK version, by clicking the first .zip file shown in the Assets section. Once it downloads, open the ZIP file and go to the x64 folder located in it.
Then in Crossover, click on Open C: Drive, and go to windows > system32.
Now go back to the x64 folder in the downloaded DXVK ZIP file, copy its contents, and paste them in the system32 folder. When asked if you want to replace the existing files with the same name, click Replace on everything.
- Depending on what game you want to play, either disable or enable the DXVK option in the right panel of CrossOver before starting Steam. For DirectX 11 and DirectX 12 games, it should be turned off. For games that use a different API, you should keep the DXVK feature enabled.
You are now finally ready to start the game you want to play. Find it in your Steam library, click Install and then click Next to install the game. Once it’s ready, click Play in the Steam client, and the game will start through CrossOver.
In this section, we’ll give you several important fixes for CrossOver that you’ll need to apply to start certain games. We are mainly referring to fixes that help you start certain game launchers, such as Epic, GOG, Battle.net and the EA app, which here needs to be replaced with Origin.
Installing Battle.net in CrossOver
If you want to play Diablo 4, Overwatch 2, or any other Blizzard game on your Mac, you’ll need to install the Battle.net launcher in CrossOver, but this requires a couple of extra steps to ensure everything is working as intended:
- Create a new CrossOver bottle for Battle.net.
- Search for the Battle.net in CrossOver and install the regular version of the app. Again, pay attention to any background apps that may show up in the Dock in order to provide your permissions for their installation.
- Once Battle.net is installed, log in to your account and then close the launcher (click the X and choose the Exit Application option).
- Next, click the Run Command button in the right CrossOver panel, choose the Battle.net bottle, type regedit in the Running text field, and click Run.
- In the Registry Editor window that opens, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion, double-click on the CurrentBuild item, and change its value data to 19042. Also change the value data of the CurrentBuildNumber item to 19042.
- Now start the Battle.net launcher again in CrossOver, and you’ll be able to run Diablo 4 and other games that you own there.
Playing Overwatch 2 with CrossOver
If you specifically want to play Overwatch through CrossOver, there’s one more thing you need to do:
- First, create a copy of CrossOver in your Applications folder and use that copy for the next steps.
- Right-click the CrossOver copy, click Show Package Contents, and go to Contents > Shared Support > CrossOver > lib > wine > x86_64-windows.
- Scroll down and find two files named dxgi.dll and dxgi.dll_orig. Here, you must rename the dxgi.dll file to dxgi.dll.gptk and the dxgi.dll_orig file to dxgi.dll.
- Next, enable the DXVK feature in CrossOver and start the Battle.net launcher.
- Now you’ll be able to download and install Overwatch 2 in this specially modified copy of CrossOver, and the game will run without a problem there.
Playing EA games through with CrossOver
The current EA App launcher doesn’t work in CrossOver and so, to start an EA game that you own through the CrossOver compatibility layer, you’ll have to use the now discontinued Windows version of EA Origin (the previous launcher for EA games). However, if you install Origin in CrossOver and log in, you’ll encounter a prompt to upgrade to the EA App, which will block you from using Origin. After extensive research, we’ve found a way to circumvent this issue and let you run EA games through Origin, and now we’ll show you how to do this in CrossOver.
- This fix also takes care of the problem where EA games you own on Steam attempt to get launched through the EA App. Now these games will launch through Origin, allowing you to play them in CrossOver.
- Even though this method lets you play EA games in CrossOver, it doesn’t take care of any game-specific issues that may prevent a particular game from running through the compatibility layer.
- Create a new Windows 10 (64-bit) CrossOver bottle.
- Right-click the bottle, select Install Software into <Bottle name> and search for Origin.
- Click on the Origin icon, then click Install, and then click Install Origin in the window that opens.
- Once you get to the pre-installation settings, disable the Keep Origin and my games up to date option, so that the app doesn’t try to update automatically, and then start the installation. We also recommend disabling the Run Origin when Windows starts option.
- After Origin installs, and you get to the login screen, do not log in. Instead, close the login window and move on to the next step.
- Next, click here to download a patcher that will let you use Origin instead of the EA App and save the file on your Desktop.
- In CrossOver, open the bottle where you installed Origin and click on Open C: Drive in the right panel.
- Drag-and-drop the patcher you just downloaded in the bottle’s drive, and then double-click it.
- Once the patch installer opens, check the Pretend EA App is installed option, and then click Install.
- Next, select the Wine Configuration option in the lower-right corner, go to Libraries, and select the downwards arrow in the New override for library text field. Then search for an entry labelled Version, select it, and click Add.
- Now find the “Version” entry in the Existing overrides list and make sure that what’s written in the brackets after it is native, builtin. If something else is written there, select the Version entry, click Edit, and change its Load order to Native then Builtin.
- Click Apply and then Ok to close the Wine Configuration window and finally double-click the Origin app to launch it.
- Log in with your EA account, and now you should be allowed to use Origin without getting the prompt to upgrade to the EA App. From here on, you can go into your library, download the games that you want, and launch them through Origin.
Playing Epic and GOG games in CrossOver (through the Heroic Games Launcher)
The Epic Games launcher doesn’t work well in CrossOver and the GOG launcher (GOG Galaxy) can’t even be installed there, so the way to play games from these two stores within the CrossOver compatibility layer is to use the Heroic Games Launcher – an open source app that serves as an alternative launcher for Epic and GOG. Here’s how to set it up and use it:
- In CrossOver, create a new Windows 7 (64-bit) or Windows 10 (64-bit) bottle and name it Heroic.
- Next, go to here click on the macOS section and download the Mac version of the Heroic Games Launcher specific to your Mac’s chip (Intel or M1/M2).
- Open the downloaded Heroic DMG file and drag the icon of the launcher to the ion of your Applications folder.
- Go to the Applications folder and double-click the Heroic Games Launcher. If you aren’t allowed to start the app, right-click it, select Open, and then click Open again to start the launcher.
- Once Heroic opens, click on the Epic or the GOG login icon and login to the respective store. This will automatically import your gaming library from that store into the Heroic launcher.
- Next, click Library in the top-left, then search for the game you want to play, click on it, click Install, and install the game without changing its installation path.
- After that, go to Settings (left panel), select CrossOver, and then make sure that the name written in the CrossOver Bottle section is Heroic (or another name if you gave your CrossOver bottle a different name).
- Next, open CrossOver, go to your Heroic bottle, choose whether to use the DXVK setting, and double-click the game to launch it.
Playing Ubisoft in CrossOver
Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to find a working way to play games through the Ubisoft Game Launcher in CrossOver. Some user report that they have been able to install and use the launcher in CrossOver, but we are yet to figure out a way to do that. You can also try to install the Ubisoft launcher in a new bottle and see if it works for you, but for the time being, we don’t know of a working fix that can let you use the app. We will keep looking for a way to play Ubisoft games in CrossOver and if we find one, we’ll make sure to add it to this article.