Can Overwatch Be Played on Mac?
Overwatch is a very popular team-based shooting game, which unfortunately has never been released for the Mac OS. However, this doesn’t stop people from trying to find ways around this limitation, but with admittedly mixed results. So, can Overwatch be played on a Mac? Sure, it can. And in this article, we’ll show you the ways to do so.
Overwatch and MacOS
Technically speaking, as Overwatch has never been released for MacOS, there really isn’t an official way to play the game on a Mac. Although there have been rumors that the developer was ‘open-minded’ to bringing the game to the platform, it’s been years since any update has been made.
With no further news forthcoming from Blizzard, and with Overwatch 2 now on the horizon, it’s probably safe to say that expecting a Mac Version is a lost cause. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t try and play the game on your Mac. There are always workarounds for those that are willing to try it. It may not be the most optimal of solutions, but it’s better than nothing.
Overwatch for Mac Workarounds
As Overwatch was built to run using the Windows OS, the solution for running the game on Mac would be to run or emulate a Windows operating system. There are already several ways to do this, and below, we’ll be detailing with some of the more common methods available.
The Boot Camp application is pretty much the easiest way to enable Windows for your Mac computer. It’s supported by Apple itself, so you’re sure that it won’t cause damage to your system, and it has a lot of users. This wide knowledge base ensures that if you ever experience problems, there should at least be someone out there who has experienced the same.
The best thing about Boot Camp is that the app itself is free and should be included by default with your Mac. You’ll still be required to buy an official copy of the Windows 10 OS, as Boot Camp allows your system to dual boot operating systems, not emulate them.
The downside to Boot Camp is that you’ll need to reboot your computer every time you wish to run Overwatch. Boot Camp isn’t designed to run both operating systems at the same time so you’ll have to restart and choose Windows at startup. From there, you can run Overwatch while in Windows mode. Game performance will largely depend on both your computer spec and your internet speed. Still, as Boot Camp is a readily available option, it’s one of the most popular choices for those who want to try out Overwatch on a Mac.
The Parallels app is another popular choice for those who wish to run a Windows OS on their Mac. The most obvious advantage that Parallels has, in comparison to Boot Camp, is that you don’t need to restart your computer to run Windows. All you need is to run the app, and it will open a self-contained OS screen where you can run Windows applications.
Although it’s rather convenient to not require a restart every time you feel like loading up Overwatch, it does come with a few drawbacks. Running two operating systems requires processing power that your Mac may not be able to spare. Add to this the requirements of running Overwatch, and it can slow gameplay down to a crawl.
Although the developers of Parallels have coordinated with Blizzard to ensure compatibility of their software with the game, the game can still be sluggish. Unless you’re running a high-end Mac model, the demands on the system may be a bit too much for it to handle.
Another disadvantage of using Parallels is that it isn’t free. You’ll need to pay both for this application and a Windows license to run the operating system. This is fine if you want to run other Windows programs while using Mac OS at the same time. If you only want to try out Overwatch for the Mac, then the expenses may be a bit steep.
Unlike the previous applications, Wine doesn’t require a copy of Windows to be able to run Overwatch. Instead of running a second operating system, Wine HQ converts the Windows program’s API commands into ones that the Mac itself can understand. This removes the problem of needing the processing power for an additional operating system, and the expense of buying a Windows license. The fact that Wine HQ is open software, and therefore is free, just adds to this advantage.
The drawback of using Wine HQ though is that it’s rather complicated to set up. The program itself needs to be run using the Mac Terminal, which is similar to the Command application for Windows. Installation and operation of Windows applications are done in a similar manner, using text commands to allow Wine to manage the application itself. There is an entire WIKI page for the available commands that can be used for Wine HQ. If you can get used to it though, it becomes a very versatile and powerful tool.
Relying on Workarounds
Despite being a few years old, Overwatch is still going strong as one of the top first-person team-based shooters out there. Although not releasing the game for the Mac platform was arguably a big oversight, it hasn’t affected its popularity all that much. With hopes for an official release all but moot at this point, Mac users can only rely on workarounds if they want to experience the game for themselves.
So, do you know if Overwatch can be played on Mac using other methods not mentioned here? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.