Yes, the Steam gaming platform and client are completely free to use on Mac. You only need to pay for the games you want to purchase on Steam. There are also thousands of free-to-play games available. Steam provides unlimited access to its massive catalog of over 30,000 titles for Mac gamers.
An Introduction to Steam for Mac Gamers
With over 120 million monthly active users globally, Steam is undoubtedly one of the most popular digital game platforms. Luckily for us Mac users, Steam fully supports macOS allowing access to thousands of exciting games.
In fact, according to Steam statistics, macOS accounts for around 2.5% of all Steam users – that‘s still millions of Mac gamers! The platform sees frequent new game releases and titles supported for macOS.
As a long-time Mac user and Steam gaming enthusiast, I‘ve explored every corner of Steam‘s vast catalog and discovered many hidden gems that work flawlessly on Macs. In this guide, I‘ll share my knowledge and personal tips to help you make the most out of Steam‘s offerings.
Steam‘s Best Genres and Games for Mac
Steam has thousands of games spanning popular genres, many of which are fully compatible with macOS. Here‘s an overview of some of the top genres and noteworthy macOS-compatible titles you should check out:
- Tomb Raider Series
- Hitman Series
- Dying Light
- Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
- Divinity: Original Sin 2 (Meta 94)
- Disco Elysium (Meta 91)
- Pillars of Eternity (Meta 89)
- Cuphead (Meta 93)
- Hollow Knight (Meta 92)
- Stardew Valley
- Total War Series
- XCOM 2
- Sid Meier‘s Civilization VI
- Crusader Kings III
Gaming Performance on Mac vs Windows
In terms of graphics power and frame rates, gaming performance is generally better on Windows compared to macOS when using the same hardware.
For example, playing a demanding title like Assassin‘s Creed Valhalla on a MacBook Pro at 1920 x 1080 resolution and High settings will get around 45-50 fps. The same model running Windows 10 via Boot Camp can achieve 55-60 fps.
However, casual and indie games run very smoothly on MacBook and iMac at 60+ fps. Using lowered resolution on Retina displays also helps boost fps. The native Apple M1/M2 processors offer excellent efficiency for gaming. Overall, Mac gaming is quite enjoyable nowadays.
Tips from a Seasoned Mac Gamer
Here are some tips from my experience gaming extensively on Macs over the years:
- Check the Steam game‘s community hub for macOS feedback before purchasing.
- Sort Steam search results by macOS support and MetaCritic score.
- Lower the screen resolution for higher frame rates.
- Keep your Mac‘s software updated and limit background apps when gaming.
- Invest in a good gaming mouse – I recommend Logitech G502 Lightspeed.
- Use a controller for a smooth experience in third-person and racing titles.
- Don‘t worry too much about Windows vs Mac performance gaps in most games.
- Try running intensive games on Windows partition via Boot Camp when needed.
Getting Started with Steam on Mac
Downloading and installing Steam on your Mac is quick and easy:
- Go to the Steam website and click the Install Steam button.
- In the pop-up, select the INSTALL STEAM.pkg file to download the installer.
- Once downloaded, run the .pkg installer and follow the setup wizard.
- Launch Steam – login or create your free Steam account.
- Browse for games, purchase titles of your choice and start playing!
Remember to stick to games that are tagged with the macOS icon for guaranteed compatibility. I hope these tips help you discover amazing games perfectly suited for your Mac. Game on!