8 Ways to Improve Your Mac’s Gaming Performance

If you like using your Mac for gaming and want to get the most out of it, this article is for you. We’re going to explore eight quick tips that will improve your Mac’s performance to give you a better gaming experience. 

Add more RAM

RAM or ‘Random-access memory’ is responsible for the system’s ability to perform tasks. Basically, you start Task 1, say browsing the internet, and then decide to begin Task 2, opening a new app. When you switch from Task 2 to Task 1, RAM allows you to quickly toggle between them and remember the last action you performed. 

Naturally, a higher RAM means better performance overall. When it comes to gaming, RAM also holds the core settings of the game. You need at least 2-4GB of RAM for optimal performance. So if you notice any lags, you should consider upgrading your memory. 

Check your game’s settings

Some game settings allow you to run the games on a lower definition or reduced capacity. The graphics won’t be all that great, but the performance might improve. You can play around with the individual game’s settings to find the balance between graphics and performance. 

On Retina Macs, you can ‘force-launch’ the game in a lower resolution to potentially improve the gaming performance.

Close unwanted apps and processes

Close unwanted app to clean memory

Suppose you want your system to perform better while gaming. You should ideally shut down all other apps and processes that aren’t necessary. To do so, you need to visit the Activity Monitor, find out what is hogging your CPU and Memory, and shut down those apps and processes.

Remove unnecessary apps 

Another hack to reclaim necessary disk space is to offload unused apps. It’s relatively simple to execute this. Open up Launchpad and click on the app you want to delete. All the apps will start squiggling. Click on the X on the top right of the app icon to delete it. 

Remember that many installation files are still left on your disk, so be sure to delete those from ‘Applications.’ You can also find more ways to look up unused ways and delete them using Trash. 

Some pre-installed apps may be stubborn and won’t get deleted despite your best efforts. In these cases, you should think about using a native uninstaller.

Use Windows OS on Mac

Most games were created for Windows, not Mac which is why there is a disparity in performance. To get around this, you can install Windows on Mac via the Boot Camp Assistant and play games on Windows OS instead. 

You need to make sure your Mac meets the correct prerequisites and you have a licensed Windows version. 

Gamers do report an improved performance when playing games via Boot Camp instead of OS X. 

Modify Mac’s settings

Modify Mac settings to run mac faster

Apart from killing apps and processes, you can also disable notifications and the dashboard. This usually takes away processing power from your gaming experience.

To disable the dashboard, go to System Preferences -> Mission Control. Click on the ‘Dashboard’ option from the dropdown menu and choose ‘Off.’

To disable notifications, stay in the System Preferences menu. Choose ‘Notifications’ and then ‘Notifications Preferences.’ Now you can select an app that you don’t want to receive notifications for. 

Clean up your Mac

Killing apps and processes isn’t enough. There are a lot of unnecessary files that can clog up your storage. First, start by following Apple’s recommendations to optimize your storage.

Sync everything to iCloud, delete watched TV shows and movies from iTunes and empty your Trash (You can also set it to empty automatically every 30 days). Next, you want to get rid of cache and temporary files that have been created by apps and browsers, which are entirely unnecessary.

Once you’re done with that, you can also sort through files that are very large in size and move them to a storage device, iCloud, or delete them if you no longer need them. 

If you want to keep it on your Mac, compress it with the help of Mac’s in-built compressor. 

Lastly, keep tabs on malware and other cybersecurity threats to make sure that they are not hindering the overall MacBook performance.

Upgrade to a better Mac

Update your mac to latest version

Maybe you’re using an older version of Mac that is not optimized for gaming at all. To get the best out of your Mac, you need two things – a good processor and a video card.

For video cards, any Mac that has one of these is a good fit:

  • Intel Iris Pro Graphics
  • Intel HD Graphics 5000
  • Intel Iris Graphics

For a better CPU, avoid the 13 inch MacBooks and go for these instead:

  • MacBook Pro (15”)
  • iMac (21.5” or 27.5”)

Final word

Before you try any of these, you can also try a simple reboot to kill all background processes. You might notice a performance improvement.

You can try the eight tips above for a more noticeable difference and possibly improve the gaming experience.