PlayCover on Mac

PlayCover is an emulator app that lets you play mobile games on your Mac. With its help, you can download many mobile games that are available for iOS and run them on your M1 or M2 Mac computer. It’s a great alternative for playing games, such as Genshin Impact or PUBG, that don’t have a native macOS version but are available for iPhone and iPad.

In this guide article, we’ll show you exactly how to set up PlayCover on your Mac and how to use it for playing iOS games. Note that the process is rather lengthy and has a lot of steps, but the end result is worth it as PlayCover works very well and offers a lot of customization options to fine-tune everything according to your preferences.

Important: PlayCover is compatible only with Apple Silicon Macs (M1/M2) and doesn’t work on Intel-based machines. If you own an Intel Mac and want to play a certain mobile game on it, we recommend using BlueStacks.

Note: Since the iOS versions of games use touch controls with schemes similar to those of console controllers, it’s best if you use a controller to play games with PlayCover. There are custom keymap files for certain games that can be downloaded from GitHub and imported into PlayCover, but for other games, you’ll either need to manually customize your keybindings so that you can use your keyboard and mouse or simply use a controller if you have one.

And if you’d like to try an entirely different method of gaming on a Mac, we recommend using a cloud gaming service such as Boosteroid or GeForce Now, both of which are very easy to set up and give you the option to play hundreds of Windows games on your Mac.

How to play mobile games on Mac with PlayCover (Guide)

  1. Go to this GitHub page, look at the latest version of PlayCover, and scroll to its Assets section. There, click the PlayCover.dmg file and download it on your Mac.
    playcover github
    playcover download
  2. Open the .dmg file and drag the PlayCover icon to the Applications folder icon in order to install PlayCover.
  3. Navigate to the Applications folder, find PlayCover and double-click it, and then select Open when (if) your macOS warns you that the app is from the Internet.
  4. If asked about the app’s update checks, we recommend clicking the Check Automatically option.
  5. Next, when notified that you’ll need to install the Xcode Command Line Tools, click Install and enter your Admin password to perform the installation.
  6. With PlayCover installed, you’ll now need to download the decrypted iOS version of the game you want to play, which can be done from this site. Search for the the game in the search bar and choose the version of the game you want to play (we recommend the “Tencent Mobile International” version).
  7. Then click on the latest update of the game and download it. To download the game, you’ll first need to create an account on the site, which is done for free.
    PUBG iOS search
    PUBG iOS download
  8. Next, open return to PlayCover, click App Library from the sidebar, and select the Plus (+) button. Now go to the folder where you downloaded the iOS version of the game, click on the file, and click Open. The game will be installed in PlayCover, but not everything is ready yet.
  9. Now you must shut down your Mac, then press and hold the Power Button, and keep holdning it until the “Loading Power Options” message apppears on your screen.
  10. Next, click on the Options icon, and then select Continue.
  11. Select your Mac’s main volume, which is Macintosh HD on most Macs, and then select Next.
  12. Now click on your Administrator account, click Next, and type in your password to continue.
  13. In the Recovery Menu, selet the Utilities menu from the top, and then click on Terminal.
  14. In the Terminal window, type in the next command and press the Enter/Return key.
    • csrutil disable
  15. To perform the comman, type Y and press Enter again.
    • Disclaimer: Once you perform this action, your Mac’s System Integrity Protection will be disabled, and this could potentially leave the machine more vulnerable to malware attacks. However, this shouldn’t be a problem if you strictly follow the next steps, as this is only a temporary measure.
  16. Next, type your Admin account’s name in the Terminal, press Enter, type in your password, and press Enter once more. Note that, while typing the password, no symbols will appear, but your keyboard inputs will still be registered, so if you type the password correctly, the command will be performed.
  17. After the command is executed, click on the Apple Logo icon in the top-left, and select Restart.
  18. When your Mac boots back up, press together the Command and Space keys, type Terminal, and press Enter.
  19. Copy the following command, paste it in the Terminal window, press Enter, type your password, and press Enter again.
    • sudo nvram boot-args=”amfi_get_out_of_my_way=0x1 ipc_control_port_options=0″
      playcover terminal command
  20. Next, launch PlayCover again, but once the game starts, don’t log in and instead press Command + Q to quit it.
  21. After that, perform steps 9 through 17, but this tie use the command “csrutil enable” to turn back on the System Integrity Protection of your Mac.
  22. Finally, launch PlayCover again, start the game, and log in to begin playing.

Key Bindings

As mentioned at the start, there are custom keymap files for certain games that can be downloaded and imported into PlayCover. Here are instructions on how to do this:

  1. Go to this GitHub page, open the keymapping folder, and the open the folder of the game you want to play (if you see it there). Then choose a keymap file and click it.
  2. Next, click on the Raw option (above the keymap), Command/right-click somewhere on the page that opens, and select Save As. When saving the file, delete the “.txt” extension from its file name and click OK when asked whether you are sure you want to save the file like that.
  3. Start PlayCover, right-click the icon of the game you want to play, and click Import Keymapping.
  4. Find and select the keymapping file you just downloaded, and select Open.
  5. After this, launch the game, and you should now be able to use your keyboard and mouse to play it.