Does Steam Work On Mac And Macbook? Play Any Steam Game On macOS

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Apple MacBook
Credit: Apple

If you are wondering if Steam works on Mac and Macbooks, you can find the answer here.

Steam has been available for some time through iOS, but for some reason, compatibility with Mac and MacBook computers was lacking. While Apple has never really pursued gaming as an angle for their computers with any great zeal, it still seems strange that this was the situation. Recently, even Chromebooks appear to be getting Steam access...

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With the arrival in recent months of even more powerful M1 processor Macs and MacBooks, they certainly have the capacity to play compatible Steam games. But has it been made possible yet? We have the answers, right here.

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Does Steam Work On Mac And MacBook?

Steam has been available on Mac and Macbooks for quite some time now. That being said, it was not without its limitations. A MacBook Air is certainly not capable of competing with a high-end gaming PC in terms of processing power, for example.

There is also a smaller selection of games available for Mac, in comparison to Windows. But, despite this, the platform is most definitely available on Mac and MacBooks.

To use it, complete the following steps:

  • Go to steampowered.com
  • Click on Install Steam in the top-right corner of the screen
  • Click on Install Steam - you should see an Apple logo next to this to denote the correct platform
  • Wait for the download to finish, then click on Steam.dmg
  • This will open a new window - drag Steam into Applications
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  • You can now open Steam

The client is no longer the only way to play Steam on your Apple device though. Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, it may now be possible to play an even wider assortment of games. This is down to something called Steam Link.

What Is Steam Link?

Previously only available on iPhone and iPad, Steam Link allows you to play your Steam games across all your computers on your network. So if you have a PC sitting at home, for example, you could connect to your MacBook Air, and use the PC to play games that might not be able to run natively on the MacBook.

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Because you are using the host device to run the game, you don't need to worry about your Apple device being underpowered for the demands of the game. Even better, Link doesn't require a separate Steam account login. As long as the host device is logged in, enter the PIN provided, and others can join your gaming session, with or without their own account.

The advantages are numerous, but primarily it allows you to play a wider assortment of games, and play games that might have greater system requirements than your Mac can support. Steam Link is now available on the Mac app store. Let's look at how you use it.

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How To Use Steam Link On MacOS

There are a few recommendations on how you set things up. You’ll need to be running macOS 10.13 or higher. Valve strongly advises that your devices are connected to your router via Ethernet, for the strongest possible connection. You also need to be mindful that to use Link, you may need a compatible Steam controller. The app will tell you if a game is compatible or not. Assuming you have the equipment you need, this is what you do:

  • Download Steam Link from the macOS App Store.
  • Open Steam on your PC.
  • Make sure your PC and Mac are connected to the same local network.
  • Open Link on your Mac and click Get Started.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to pair your controller, or click Skip if you’re using a different input device. It's worth noting that some games will work with a keyboard and mouse.
  • Link will search your network for your PC. Click the device’s name from the list once it appears.
  • A PIN will appear on the host PC’s screen. Enter that number on your Mac device when prompted, to link your devices.
  • Wait for them to connect. Steam will then test your connection (hence the recommendation for a wired connection). If your signal strength is sufficient, click Start Playing to open your PC’s game Library on your Mac.
  • Select a game from the list to start playing. You must have the game already installed on your PC, otherwise, it won't work.

This is a great way of having more flexibility in your gaming. For instance, you may want to lie in bed and work your way through your game library, rather than be sat at your PC. This enables you to do that.

Does Steam Work On Apple Silicon?

Over the last couple of years, Apple has been using its own M1 and M2 processors in its hardware, as opposed to the Intel processors that were found in previous generations.

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The good news is that Steam is still compatible with M1 and M2 Apple silicon Macs and Macbooks. And with the performance boosts from those chips, you might actually find that your Steam games perform better than they did on earlier Mac models.

Even if you don't have the option of using Steam Link, you can still play any Steam game that offers a version for macOS.

Best Mac Games On Steam

So now that you know that you can play Steam games on Mac, which ones should you be prioritising? After all, there is so much choice, it can be hard to know what's worth investing your time, energy and money into.

Here is a selection of our favourites, to make life a little easier for you.

Hades

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If you haven't already experienced the multiple award-winning delight that is Hades, then you're in for a real treat. a brilliant rogue-lite, which marries beautiful graphics, a great soundtrack, and addictive gameplay.

You'll have to play it over and over again before you complete it. But honestly? You won't mind.

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is actually very graphically intensive, but is still available on a Mac. Released in 2015, it's the 11th installment in the Tomb Raider franchise, as Lara travels to Siberia to search for the latest Maguffin.

A winner of multiple awards, it's a great way to explore the Tomb Raider universe.

Civilisation VI

If Tomb Raider is all-action, then Civilisation VI is perhaps a welcome change of pace. There probably isn't much we need to say about the Civilisation series; after all, it's been around for decades.

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Civilisation VI offers everything you'd expect - research technologies, build diplomatic relationships, and bring down competing governments. If you enjoy 4X games, this is one of the best.

Disco Elysium

Disco Elysium will appeal if you like the idea of playing as a drug and alcohol-fuelled detective who wakes up in a motel room, with no idea how you got there. The room is destroyed, and there's a dead guy hanging from a tree.

You have a mystery to solve. The beauty of this game is that you can choose how to investigate, whether by using persuasion, a gun (which admittedly, can be quite persuasive) or accepting bribes. Hero or villain? It's up to you.

Football Manager 2023

Football Manager is famous for being the most addictive database ever made. It has grown undeniably more complex over the years. But if you dream of seeing your beloved Chester F.C. from the National League North to winning the Champions League, you're much more likely to see it happen playing this, than in real life.

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These are just a handful of games we'd suggest you start with on your Mac. They'll certainly keep you occupied for a while!

How To Download a Steam Game on Mac

If any of those games (or any other, we won't feel rejected) takes your fancy, here's how to download a game from Steam onto your Mac:

  • Open Steam and login.
  • Go to the Steam store and find the game you want to download. Make sure it's available for macOS.
  • Click on Add to Cart, then in your shopping cart, click on Purchase for Myself.
  • Complete the payment details, agree to the terms, and click on Purchase.

Once you've completed the transaction, you can download the game. Once the download has finished, you can start playing.