Is Valorant on Mac?
It’s quite baffling that we still need to apply workaround methods to play Valorant on Mac, despite the game’s enormous popularity and relatively modest system requirements. This omission feels even stranger considering how other multiplayer giants, like CS:GO and League of Legends, have comfortably found a home on Apple computers. Sadly, it doesn’t appear like we’ll be welcoming Valorant on Mac in the near future, either. But don’t lose heart! If you’re resolute on experiencing this game’s first-person shooter action on your MacBook or desktop Mac, there might still be a possible workaround for you.
Can you play Valorant on Mac?
The answer to the question of “Can you play Valorant on Mac?” is not a straightforward one. On the one hand, yes, by leveraging Apple’s proprietary tool known as Boot Camp Assistant, you can easily set up Windows 10 on your Mac, opening the gates to all Windows-compatible applications, Valorant included. On the other hand, however, this workaround has its limitations – it’s not applicable to Apple Silicon Macs with M1 or M2 chips. In other words, Intel Mac owners can smoothly transition into a pseudo-PC environment, meaning they can play Valorant on Mac, but if you own an M1 or M2 Mac, then this option isn’t available to you.
What about Valorant on Mac M1 and M2?
If you’re wondering whether you can experience the thrill of Valorant on Mac M1 or M2, unfortunately, the answer isn’t encouraging. Due to the ARM architecture utilized by the chips of these Macs, playing Valorant through Boot Camp is not an option. The crux of the problem lies in the incompatibility between the x86 Windows architecture that Boot Camp is predicated on and the ARM infrastructure of M1/M2 Macs. This significant divide explains why Apple doesn’t back Boot Camp for Apple Silicon machine and why you cannot play Valorant on Mac M1 and M2 machines through the use of this method.
Playing Valorant without Bootcamp – is it possible?
Seeking a viable way to play Valorant without Bootcamp on a Mac, we took a look at other popular Mac-gaming alternative, including Windows virtualization techniques, like Parallels Desktop, and cloud gaming services. Yet, regrettably, Valorant resists these attempts on all MacBooks, inclusive of the M1/M2 models. Parallels stumbles due to the anti-cheat mechanism employed by Valorant that refuses virtual machines and compatibility layers like CrossOver. Cloud gaming platforms, at this point, do not list Valorant. So, currently, it’s a hard no for playing Valorant without Bootcamp on a Mac. Our hopes are that this will one day change when the game gets added to a cloud gaming platform, in which case we’ll make sure to update this article.
Valorant MacBook performance tips
Interested in getting better Valorant MacBook performance on your machine? Then check out the tips we’ve provided below that should allow you to improve your FPS rate and reduce any annoying stuttering that may be degrading your gameplay experience. The nice thing about Valorant is that it’s a very well-optimized game with low requirements, so that even older Macs from 7 or eight years ago can still run it through Boot Camp. That said, there are some methods you can try to bump up your Valorant MacBook performance, and we recommend giving them a try if you want smoother gameplay:
- Allocate as much storage to the Windows partition as possible – It’s important to have enough free space on the Windows partition to keep everything, including Valorant, running smoothly and without performance hiccups. For best experience with Valorant on Mac, we recommend no less than 100 gigs for the Windows partition.
- Use High-Performance graphics settings – Go to the Start Menu, type Graphics Settings, open the first result, and click on Browse. Find the icon for Valorant, open it, and then click Options under it when it appears in the list. Now select High Performance and click OK. This will ensure that the game is always using the maximum amount of power your Mac can provide.
- Lower the in-game settings – One of the most effective ways to improve your Valorant on Mac performance is to go into the game’s graphical settings and lower them. This will diminish the visual quality, but make the performance significantly smoother and faster.
- Connect your Mac to a power source – Gaming requires a lot of energy, so, to comfortably play Valorant on Mac, it’s best to keep your machine plugged in while playing Valorant, as its battery won’t last long. Also, this may potentially improve performance, as the machine won’t be trying to save energy in order to extend your battery life.
- Install the latest drivers and Windows updates – You need to have the latest Apple drivers for Windows as well as the latest Windows updates installed on your machine to ensure that the computer’s hardware is used as efficiently as possible, ensuring optimal Valorant on Mac experience. Your machine will automatically ask you to install the needed drivers when you first boot into the Windows partition. As for the Windows updates, they should install automatically, but it’s still a good idea to type Update in the Start Menu and open the first result to see if there are any pending updates and to manually start their installation to speed up the process.
Will there be Valorant for Mac?
The possibility of seeing Valorant for Mac seems distant. The creators, Riot Games, have successfully released League of Legends, another high-profile multiplayer game, for macOS. Still, we’ve seen no signs of Valorant for Mac in the pipeline. A top engineer at Riot confirmed this back in 2021 during a Reddit thread, stating there were “no current plans for Valorant to support Mac OSX.” It seems the effort required to port the game is a hurdle too steep for Riot. However, considering the emergence of the powerful M1/M2 Macs, we may hold onto a sliver of hope that these platforms’ gaming potential could change Riot’s standpoint.
How to play Valorant on Mac
To learn exactly how to play Valorant on Mac, we recommend checking out our detailed guide for Boot Camp, where we’ve explained all the steps needed to get everything ready. Since this is a rather lengthy process that requires partitioning your hard drive and setting up an entire new operating system (Windows 10), we recommend closely sticking to our “How to play Valorant on Mac” instructions to ensure that everything is done correctly. Unfortunately, as mentioned, there’s currently no way to run this game on an Apple Silicon Mac. Still, we’ll keep looking for potential workarounds and if we come across anything, we’ll make sure to update this post! As for right now, here is an overview of the steps required to set up a Boot Camp Windows partition:
- Go to Microsoft’s site and download from there a Windows 10 ISO file (64-bit version)
- Access the Boot Camp app, load the ISO file in it, and proceed by clicking Install.
- Your Mac will restart, and then you’ll need to follow the prompts and start the installation.
- Finally, once Windows 10 installs, customize the new OS, install any missing updates and drivers, and download Valorant from its official site.
Valorant Mac download instructions
To initiate a Valorant Mac download, one must first install Windows on a Mac machine using Boot Camp. Following this, navigate to the official website of the game and select the “Play for Free” option. Subsequently, a Riot Games account needs to be created. As part of the process, the Riot client will be installed in the Windows partition of your Mac. This is a crucial step for a successful Valorant Mac download. Once installed, Valorant can be run on your Mac just like it would on a Windows PC. It is advisable to update Windows and the relevant drivers to optimize the gaming performance.
Valorant Mac requirements
In a perfect world, we’d have a set of official Valorant Mac requirements to guide us. But alas, due to the lack of macOS support for the game, we’re navigating through uncharted waters. Nevertheless, we’ve compiled a rough guide, extrapolating from the game’s minimum specs on Windows, to give you an idea of the potential requirements for an Apple computer. Keep in mind, these are just approximations since Macs aren’t fundamentally built with gaming in mind. So, while your Mac may theoretically meet these Valorant Mac requirements, for optimal gameplay and performance, a machine that goes above and beyond these requirements would be ideal.
- CPU: 2 Duo E8400 CPU / AMD Athlon 200GE
In terms of performance, the closest match for these two CPUs among Macs with Intel chips would be the MacBook Pro models released in 2010 and 2011, which featured Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors from the Sandy Bridge architecture.
- RAM: 4 GB
This is a very low system requirement that any Mac released in the past 10 (or even more!) years should cover, so may be able to play Valorant on Mac models that are quite outdated.
- GPU: Intel HD 4000 / Radeon R5 200
Performance-wise, the Macs with GPU’s that come closest to these two graphics cards are MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015) and MacBook (12-inch, Early 2015 and 2016) if we are talking about Macs with integrated GPUs. If we also look at Macs with dedicated graphics cards, you can go as far back as MacBook Pro (13-inch, Mid 2012):
- HDD: 20 GB (+ space for Boot Camp)
The game itself doesn’t take too much space, but the issue here is that, since you’d first be installing Windows through Boot Camp, your machine must have enough storage to accommodate the new OS in order for you to play Valorant on Mac. A general rule of thumb is to allocate at least 64 gigs to the Windows partition, but since you’d also need space for the game, we recommend playing it safe and giving at least 100 gigabytes to Windows. Also, we advise you to leave some 20 gigs of free space to your macOS in order to prevent any slow-downs due to a lack of storage.
Games like Valorant to try on your Mac
The options to play Valorant on Mac are indeed very limited, but if you are open to alternative suggestions, below we’ve listed a couple of other popular FPS titles that are either supported for macOS or that are much easier to play on a Mac thanks to cloud gaming and Windows virtualization with Parallels.
CS:GO (supported for macOS)
CS:GO has been around for a long time, but it’s still one of the best and most popular multiplayer FPS games out there. Furthermore, its gameplay is very similar to that of Valorant, and it’s even safe to say that Valorant’s devs have drawn a lot of inspiration from it. The maps, the gameplay modes, the weapons, and the tactics are all aspects of CS:GO that will feel familiar to a Valorant player (and vice versa). The major difference is that, in Counter Strike, you don’t play as different agents with unique abilities and playstyles, but every player character is effectively the same. Nonetheless, it’s still a highly competitive and balanced game, perfect for a fan of Valorant.
Apex Legends (available through cloud gaming)
Another Valorant Mac alternative is Apex Legends, which is one of the biggest Battle Royale FPS games out there. The game isn’t native to Mac, but can easily be played through cloud gaming services like Boosteroid and GeForce Now. It’s similar to Valorant in that you can choose from a pool of different characters to play as, where each one has a unique playstyle, abilities, and perks. The obvious difference is that this is a battle royale, so you are dropped onto a huge map that gradually shrinks, and your goal is to be the last man or last team standing. Apex Legends is definitely one of the best games in both the multiplayer FPS and Battle Royale genre at the moment, so it’s definitely worth the shot!
Overwatch 2 (available through cloud gaming)
Overwatch 2 is another game that has a lot of similarities with Valorant. It’s a multiplayer hero shooter, so you get to play as different characters, master their unique abilities and roles, and work as a team to complete a specific objective and/or eliminate the entire enemy team. The difference here is that Overwatch 2 is more fast-paced and chaotic, whereas Valorant’s gameplay feels more deliberate and requires greater precision and tactical foresight. Also, in Overwatch 2, there’s more variety in the gameplay modes and a greater focus on each character’s unique abilities, while in Valorant, the main method of winning a game remains having a very precise aim with your weapon of choice. Like Apex Legends, this Valorant Mac alternative isn’t native to Mac, but is available on Boosteroid cloud gaming, giving you an easy way to play it on your Mac.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (supported for macOS)
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 excels in delivering high-octane, fast-paced first-person shooter gameplay. Unlike Valorant, which leans towards careful strategy and round-based tactics, Black Ops 3 immerses players in a diverse range of adrenaline-pumping missions. With its intense multiplayer battles and an engaging story mode, it focuses more on action and less on tactical foresight. The inclusion of a Zombies mode for cooperative gameplay is a standout, offering a unique challenge. While it doesn’t share Valorant’s tactical emphasis, fans of dynamic shooting action will find plenty to love in Black Ops 3.
Paladins (supported for macOS)
The final Valorant Mac alternative we want to talk about is Paladins, which may seem like a familiar hero shooter at first, but it differentiates itself with a unique blend of fast-paced action and strategic elements. Similar to Valorant, it relies heavily on character abilities, but it offers more chaos and speed. The character customization, with the option to tailor abilities, injects an extra strategic layer. It may not require Valorant’s precision shooting, but Paladins demands sharp tactics and a deep understanding of your chosen hero’s capabilities. Its lively, cartoonish aesthetics and unique mount system add a fun twist, making it an entertaining alternative to the more tactical Valorant.
Even though playing Valorant on Mac is not an easy or straightforward task, we did give it a go on our old 2016 Intel MacBook Pro (using Boot Camp), and now we are ready to talk about our experience with and opinion of the game.
In a world bursting with multiplayer online shooters, Riot Games’ Valorant manages to make a distinctive mark. The game, a five-on-five tactical shooter, cleverly fuses elements from other genre staples, resulting in an experience that’s familiar yet uniquely fresh.
First off, let’s talk about Valorant’s character roster, or ‘Agents’ as they’re known in the game. The diversity and range are exceptional, with each Agent bringing a unique skill set to the battlefield. These skills aren’t merely cosmetic; they shape your tactical approach, making the selection process an essential part of your strategy. There’s Phoenix, whose fire abilities let him heal and hurl fireballs, and Cypher, who can place invisible tripwires. A conversation about characters isn’t complete without mentioning Sage, the de facto healer who also wields the power to resurrect teammates. There’s something for everyone’s playstyle here.
The combat mechanics in Valorant are on par with the best in the genre. It’s a rewarding system that demands precision and planning. This isn’t a game where mindless run-and-gun tactics will pay off. Instead, you’re encouraged to communicate with your team, strategize, and execute each move with deliberation. Shots need to be aimed accurately, gun recoil needs to be managed, and the right weapon should be chosen for the right situation. It’s a steep learning curve, but one that feels satisfying to conquer.
A noteworthy aspect of Valorant is the emphasis on the audio-visual experience. The game’s crisp graphics and solid audio cues aid the strategic depth. The audio is especially instrumental, with footsteps, gunshots, and ability sounds revealing pivotal information about enemy positions and actions. It’s a real testament to Riot’s attention to detail.
As for the maps, they’re designed to enhance the tactical aspect of gameplay. With multiple entry and exit points, hidden corners, and elevation changes, each map requires players to be aware of their surroundings and anticipate enemy movements. It’s not just about shooting fast, it’s about thinking faster.
The game’s progression and economy systems deserve a mention too. The in-game currency, earned during matches, is used to purchase weapons and ability charges. This injects an additional layer of strategy into the game as players must decide when to save or spend their resources. The experience-based progression system, on the other hand, unlocks new agents and aesthetic items, encouraging players to keep coming back for more.
Valorant isn’t without its issues, however. The game’s anticheat system has been a point of controversy, and there’s a distinct lack of map variety at launch. It’s also worth noting that the game has a competitive edge that may not appeal to casual players.
But all said, Valorant is an engaging, complex, and highly strategic shooter. It’s clear Riot has learned from its peers and isn’t afraid to add its own spin. Valorant might not be the game for everyone, but for those who relish a challenging, team-based tactical shooter, it’s an absolute blast.
In summary, Valorant is a well-polished, tactically deep shooter with a diverse character roster. If you’re willing to climb the steep learning curve, you’ll find a rewarding and immersive experience waiting for you. Just remember, communication is key, and the right strategy can often overpower the fastest trigger finger.