Photo: Jake Peterson
Apple’s M1 Macs are fast. It’s not just hardware that is responsible for this performance, though – some of that speed comes about when apps are properly optimized for Apple silicon. If you want the best gaming experience on your M1 iMac, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, or Mac mini, you need to know which titles are designed to take full advantage of the technology.
We got covered How to check if the apps are M1 optimized on your Mac. We also got covered How to check if popular apps are designed for Apple silicon. This time around, the focus is really on gaming. The Mac isn’t really known for that, but if Apple’s computer is the only piece of hardware you have, you probably want to know how best to play on it.
Here’s how to find out which games are M1 native
Enter AppleGamingWiki. This handy wiki gathers together all of the games that can currently be played on your Mac. It lists titles from The Sims 3 to The Witcher 3 and from Tomb Raider to Terraria. As of this writing, 792 games are listed, 678 of which are at least playable on your M1 Mac.
But AppleGamingWiki is not only “playable”, it also shows how well each title performs on M1. The categories range from “Perfect”, “Playable”, “Running”, “Menu” (in which only the menu can be executed) and “Unplayable”. Of course, “Perfect” is ideal, while “Playable” should give you enough power to enjoy the game.
More than just M1 titles are listed here as only 32 games are M1 native. If that doesn’t sound like a lot, it isn’t. As I said, the Mac is really not a gaming platform. Hopefully that will change as Apple continues to develop Apple silicon, but for now the titles that are native to M1 remain rare animals.
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Meanwhile, AppleGamingWiki’s list lists the performance of games designed for Intel chips that must run over the Mac’s Rosetta 2 emulation. You’ll also see iOS and iPadOS games that can be played through macOS Big Sur, as well as all Windows titles that run through CrossOver or Parallels software. You should find almost every game you could theoretically play on your M1 Mac along with information on how playable it is.
By default, the website will show you the main list of games that are running on M1, but you can filter this list based on your preference. Under “All Lists”, select one of the categories provided to only display these games. For example, you can click Apple Arcade Games List to see all six Apple Arcade titles that your M1 machine can play.