Most video game enthusiasts will tell you that they have never tried gaming on a MacBook. The first reason for that is that MacBooks are not that popular, particularly for a demographic that prefers custom-built PCs and gaming consoles.
The second reason is that MacBooks have a negative reputation for gaming—many dub Macs as computers for work, especially in specific industries, such as marketing and design.
It is necessary to mention that things have changed recently. Right now, MacBooks are not that bad when it comes to their hardware. Video game developers are also more common to optimize their IPs for multiple platforms, including macOS. After all, the goal is to attract as many players as possible.
But what if you have a relatively old Mac struggling a bit in its performance? Does that mean that you should give up on playing video games? Not necessarily.
There are multiple methods to improve the computer’s overall performance, and that should also positively affect the gaming aspect.
Scan for Malware
The first thing you should do is give the system a scan to determine whether there are any corrupted files. Even though macOS is a reliable operating system security-wise, you should not underestimate modern cybersecurity threats and how they can infect computers.
Even minor viruses can make a significant impact and reduce the device’s performance, which will make it harder for the MacBook to run applications, including video games.
Your best bet is to use reliable antivirus software that thoroughly scans the system and eliminates corrupted files.
Get External Accessories
Gaming accessories are a must-have if you are playing games on a laptop, including a MacBook. And it is not just to avoid potential issues. If you read a post about microphone issues on a MacBook, you would realize that fixing it is not too hard, but replacing the integrated mic with a third-party accessory is also an option.
No, the point is about improving the experience. There is hardly any fun playing a video game using a MacBook’s trackpad. Sure, there are some exceptions since some video games are designed to be played that way, but you are better off with a computer mouse.
Your MacBook’s keyboard might also feel too flat to play video games, and getting an external keyboard could be a good solution.
Then there is a cooling pad. Since video games consume a lot of system resources, it is common to notice overheating and loud noises—two issues a cooling pad can manage. Of course, these issues can also result from too much dust inside the MacBook.
As a rule of thumb, you need to clean the dust regularly. If you do not want to risk taking the MacBook apart yourself to clean it thoroughly, pay professional technicians to do the cleaning for you.
Research Potential Hardware Upgrades
MacBooks are the opposite of flexible when it comes to hardware upgrades. On the other hand, you might have a model compatible with hardware modifications, which means that you can upgrade the hardware and boost the device’s performance.
For instance, you could replace your MacBook’s old HDD with an SSD or connect an external graphics processing unit. Adding extra RAM is also common, mainly when RAM is considered one of the cheapest computer hardware upgrades available.
Disable Redundant Background Processes
Activity Monitor lets you check currently active macOS processes. The odds are that there might be some redundant background apps and other methods consuming system resources, which leaves fewer resources for video games.
Freeing up resources improves video game performance, and if you get rid of redundant background processes, you can expect to have a better overall experience.
There might be some exceptions, such as antivirus software, that you should not switch off as you need it running, but if a process is obsolete, do not hesitate and quit it.
Tinker With Game Settings
Most video games have the settings tab to let players modify graphics. The goal is to find a setup that works in performance and visuals.
As already mentioned, Macs are not significant in terms of available resources, meaning that you will need to sacrifice specific visuals to improve the performance. Playing a video game with higher FPS and lower graphics quality is better than sitting through constant frame drops and crashes.
As a side note, you should also try both full-screen and windowed game modes, as there are video games that get affected depending on which of the two you pick.