Returnal on Mac

Returnal is a third-person action-adventure video game developed by Housemarque and published by Sony Interactive Entertainment. In the game, players control Selene, an astronaut who crash-lands on an alien planet called Atropos. The planet is filled with dangerous creatures and other obstacles, and Selene must navigate her way through its treacherous environments to uncover the mysteries of what happened to her and the previous explorers who have landed there.

Unfortunately, Returnal does not have an official support for macOS, therefore, Mac players will need to find alternative methods to play the game. The good news is that it is not difficult to play a game that isn’t native to macOS on a Mac. Applications like Parallels and Boot Camp Assistant (only for Intel Macs) make it possible to play Windows games on a Mac quickly and easily, and they require only a few clicks to set up. Cloud gaming makes things even easier and lets you stream the game in your browser without the need to install anything.


The setting of the game is a hostile, ever-changing environment filled with dangerous creatures, ancient ruins, and other mysterious structures. The planet Atropos is home to several biomes, including dark forests, barren deserts, and treacherous caves, each with its own unique set of dangers.

Selene must fight for survival after her ship, the Helios, encounters an unknown signal and crash-lands on the planet. As she explores the hostile environment, the astronaut encounters various alien species and technologies, including strange machines that seem to have been created by a long-extinct civilization.


In terms of the story, Returnal is shrouded in mystery. Players have to piece together the events of what has happened and must make choices that affect the outcome of the story and determine the character’s ultimate fate.

As Selene begins to uncover the truth about the planet and her own past, she realizes that she is trapped in a time loop, constantly reliving the same events over and over again. Selene must use her skills and weapons to survive and unravel the secrets of the planet in order to escape the time loop and return to reality.


Returnal is an action-packed shooter with roguelike elements where each run through the game is procedurally generated, meaning that the layout and enemies are randomly selected each time the player dies and restarts the loop. This gives the game a high level of replayability, as players have to adapt to different challenges each time they play.

The gameplay revolves around Selene, the player-controlled protagonist, exploring the mysterious and ever-changing environment of an alien planet. The planet is split into different biomes, each with its own unique set of hazards, enemies, and environmental challenges. The player must fight their way through these biomes, using a variety of weapons, to uncover the truth about the planet and escape the time loop.

The weapons in Returnal have different firing modes, reload speeds, and accuracy, allowing players to customize their playstyle. Additionally, Selene has a variety of skills, including a grappling hook and a dash, that can be used to traverse the environment and overcome obstacles.

As the player progresses through the game, they encounter and collect various items, such as weapons, ammunition, and artifacts, which can be used to upgrade Selene’s abilities.

Players can also collect “Echoes” (ghostly remnants of previous explorers) which can be used to unlock new abilities and upgrades.

Co-op Mode

The game features a Co-op Mode where you and another PC player can explore the ever-changing world of Atropos together. A special Chronosis device can be found in each biome, which allow the host player to either invite a buddy or be paired with a random online player. Once the second player joins, they control a separate version of Selene.

As in the single-player campaign, the gameplay in co-op is designed to be a challenging, atmospheric experience that is focused on the players’ journey through the alien planet and their interactions with the environment and the various creatures and relics that are found on it.

Visuals and sound

Returnal shines with impressive visuals and immersive sound design. The game utilizes cinematic effects, shadows and lighting to create a highly detailed and atmospheric environment.

The alien planet that Selene explores is a living and breathing world, filled with detailed character models, highly textured environments and vivid colors. The graphics are designed to be highly immersive, creating a sense of tension as the player progresses through the game.

The sound design in Returnal is equally impressive, with immersive sound effects and a haunting soundtrack that add to the atmosphere of the game. The sound effects are carefully crafted to complement the action and enhance the player’s experience, from the sharp crack of Selene’s weapons to the eerie ambient sounds of the alien planet.


Returnal is a game that impresses with its fast-paced action, atmospheric environments, and challenging gameplay. If you’re a fan of action games and are looking for a new and challenging experience, this title is definitely worth checking out.

Can you play Returnal on Mac?

Unfortunately, Returnal cannot be played on macOS in its native version. The good news is that, with a little of effort, you can play this and other Windows games on a Mac. In order to play Windows games on a Mac, for instance, a virtual machine could be used. Returnal can be played on a Mac by installing Windows OS on your macOS with the help of a Windows emulation tool like Parallels or a Windows partitioning tool like Boot Camp Assistant. Alternatively, you can turn to a cloud gaming service and enjoy the game directly in your browser.

How to download Returnal on Mac

Installing Microsoft Windows on a MacOS will allow Mac players to download Returnal. So, if you have a Mac and want to use Windows environment to play games, you can either create a Windows disk partition using Boot Camp Assistant or use a Windows emulation application like Parallels to run Windows in a virtual machine. With one of these solutions, you can run Windows on a Mac, allowing you to download Windows games like Returnal on your Mac just as if you were downloading them on a Windows PC.

How to Play Returnal on Mac

To play Returnal on Mac you need to join a cloud gaming service or install a Windows OS on it. This can happen with the help of the instructions below.

First, however, you will need to get the game.

Next, you need to choose a method to play:

MethodsWho is it for?
Cloud Gaming
For those who want smooth performance with the ability to casually play all games with the highest visual quality in a matter of minutes.
BootCampFor those who don’t mind sacrificing visual fidelity and performance to get a native experience.

Parallels Virtual MachineFor those willing to let their mac run hot in order to get adequate performance in a native experience

How to play Returnal on Mac M1

While there is no official version of Returnal that you can play on a Mac M1 computer, it is possible to do so with a workaround. What we have in mind here is that you can use a Windows emulator, like Parallels, to install Windows on your MacOS and then run Windows-supported games on it. Setting up a Windows emulated environment with Parallels is easy and once you do it, Returnal can be installed and played just as it would do on a Windows PC. Another option that is even easier is to subscribe to a cloud gaming service like the one below.

Play Returnal on Mac with Boosteroid

Boosteroid is a cloud gaming service that eliminates the need to download and install software on your end in order to play games like Returnal. Because there is no local installation required, you also won’t have to worry about whether or not your Mac has the minimum system requirements or enough free space to run the game. If you have a Mac and a Boosteroid subscription, all you need to play Returnal online is an internet connection. These are the instructions on how to play the game live.

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  • As a first step, you need to click on the button below and go to Boosteroid to create an account:

  • Next, click on your Profile details (top right) and select My account.
  • Navigate toMy subscription, choose a plan that fits you best and follow the steps to activate it.
  • When you have an activated Boosteroid subscription, search for the game in the search bar as shown below.
  • Click on the Install&Play button and follow the steps from the screen.
  • You will be required to connect your Steam account to Boosteroid. Once you’ve done that, click on the game in the Steam library and it should start in your browser.

Play Returnal on Mac with Parallels

You can play Returnal on Mac (M1 and Intel models) by installing Windows on your Mac with Parallels. Read our detailed guide.

Returnal on Mac with Boot Camp Assistant

You can play Returnal on Mac (Intel models only) by installing Windows on your Mac with Boot Camp Assistant. Read our detailed guide.