3 Ways To Play Stray On Mac – Our Experience
Stray is a game that we have been looking forward to playing ever since we saw the first trailer in 2020. The idea of exploring a dangerous city as a cat was too intriguing to pass up. However, as Mac users, we were disappointed to learn that the game was not available for macOS when it launched on PC and PlayStation in July 2022. We had to wait until December 5, 2023, to finally get our hands on the native macOS game version for Apple Silicon through the Mac App Store and Steam. But was it worth the wait? We decided to try out the game on our MacBook Air (M1, 2020), and compare the experience with the Boosteroid streaming service, which allows us to play the game on any device with a web browser. Not wanting to leave any Mac user behind, we also tested running Stray with Boot Camp on our Intel-based 2019 MacBook Pro and shared our insights below.
Stray Mac Methods and Instructions
If you’re ready to start gaming and want to know how to use each method, here are the instructions. If you’re curious about our own experiences, keep reading after the step-by-step guides.
Natively with Steam (Recommended)
Boosteroid Cloud Gaming
Boot Camp (For Intel Macs)
Can you play Stray on Mac natively?
Playing Stray on Mac natively is now possible but it depends heavily on the specific hardware of your Mac. This visually captivating game is compatible with Macs that are equipped with Apple Silicon chipsets, like the M1 or M2 series, which offer the necessary processing power and graphical capabilities to run the game smoothly.
For those with Intel-based Macs, however, native play is not an option due to compatibility and performance constraints. Fortunately, there is a workaround for Intel Mac users who still wish to enjoy the game. One viable option is the use of cloud gaming services like Boosteroid, which enables you to stream the game directly to your device through a web browser, bypassing the hardware limitations.
Another alternative is to use Boot Camp, a method that involves partitioning your Mac’s hard drive to install and run Windows, which can then allow you to play Stray as if you were using a Windows PC. While this approach can be more technically demanding and may not offer the same seamless experience as playing natively on a compatible Mac, it’s a feasible solution for those Intel Mac owners who prefer local gaming over cloud streaming.
Our Stray MacOS Experience
The Stray MacOS version was a delight to play on our 2020 MacBook Air M1. In terms of performance, the game ran smoothly, with no noticeable lag or stuttering, a resolution of 1440 x 900 and graphics set to High. Throughout the gameplay, we found that the frame rate averaged around 50 FPS, with occasional dips to 40 FPS and peaks to 60 FPS, but this dit not have significant impact on the gaming flow or the visuals.
Seeking the golden Stray Mac M1 balance, we toggled on and off the different resolutions and graphics quality settings, to see how they affected the performance and what we found was that, on higher settings, Stray looked stunning, but the frame rate dropped to around 30 FPS, which made the game less responsive and smooth while on lower settings the game was playable but the visuals were noticeably less detailed and sharp.
The controls, whether through the MacBook Air’s touchpad, keyboard, or external controllers, were intuitive and user-friendly, which allowed us to move, jump, climb, interact, and use items in the game with ease. So we felt like we were really in the shoes (or paws) of the cat protagonist, wandering around the mysterious and dangerous city.
We also monitored the battery life and the temperature of our MacBook Air while playing and we have to admit that the game consumed a lot of power, draining our battery, so we recommend playing with the power adapter plugged in, and using a cooling pad or a fan to prevent overheating.
Exploring Stray for Mac: Cloud vs Native Gaming
After enjoying the native Stray for Mac version, we moved on to trying out the Boosteroid streaming service, which claims to offer a better gaming experience on any device. We signed up with our account and launched the game on our Chrome web browser. What impressed us first was how fast the game loaded, and how responsive it was. Stray looked almost as good as the native version at a 1080p and every detail emerged in sharp clarity, treating our eyes to a visual feast.
We relied on our 25 Mbps internet connection for the streaming which was smooth at 60 FPS, and the game did not crash or freeze during our gaming session. Minor lag spikes occured occasionally, but they were mere blips, leaving our gaming flow unhampered. The latency was virtually negligible – a non-issue for casual gamers like us.
So, to sum it up, our Stray for Mac experience with Boosteroid closely rivaled the native version and provided us with a taste of gaming action without the usual hassle of downloading and physically installing a game.
What about Stray on Mac with BootCamp?
For Intel Mac enthusiasts seeking a local Stray game Mac experience, the avenue of choice is BootCamp, the Apple’s solution for dual-booting macOS with Windows. We decided to test this alternative method on our 2019 MacBook Pro with the idea to provide our fellow Mac gamers with a tangible glimpse into what to expect. Once we configured Windows with the assistance of BootCamp, we proceeded to download and successfully install the PC version of Stray, filled with high expectations.
Fortunately, the game’s performance didn’t disappoint us. We cranked up the settings to High, and the game delivered an average FPS of 50-60 that ensured a fluid and engaging gameplay experience. While playing at these settings, we did observe the MacBook heating up a bit, which is expected when Macs are tasked with running demanding applications and games. However, this didn’t detract from the consistent performance of the game and underscored BootCamp as a solid choice for Intel Mac users looking to enjoy Stray.
Comparison of the Stray Mac Methods And Their Performance
|Native MacOS Version
(Apple Sillicon only)
|1440 x 900
|50 (avg), 40-60 (dips and peaks)
|Smooth performance with occasional frame rate variations. Controls intuitive; consumes significant battery.
|Fast loading, responsive streaming with minor lag spikes. Visuals almost as good as native. Minimal latency.
|Consistent performance with MacBook heating up slightly. Fluid and engaging gameplay experience.
Based on our experience, the native Stray MacOS version demonstrated reliability and enjoyable gaming flow. Boosteroid impressed us with its seamless setup and smooth gameplay, which is perfect for Mac gamers who seek quick access to popular titles. BootCamp, on the other hand, offered a powerful local gaming experience for Intel Mac owners, and delivered high settings and a consistent frame rate, despite causing the MacBook to heat up slightly. So, whether you prioritize convenience, reliability, or local gaming performance, we hope this comparison assists you in choosing the solution that aligns best with your preferences.