Video games and MacBooks might not go together as well as video games and gaming laptops, desktop computers, or consoles, but it does not mean that you should not try enjoying some gaming time on your Mac.
Sure, MacBooks have somewhat lackluster hardware, and running AAA video games is a challenge, especially if a video game is driven by its visuals and requires high graphic settings for an optimal experience.
At the same time, there are plenty of titles that are not as resource-heavy. In fact, some of the best video games in recent times have low system requirements. Hades, Cuphead, Hollow Knight, Ori and the Blind Forest, and Stardew Valley are some of the best examples of such video games.
It also does not help if a MacBook owner fails to maintain their computer in good condition and does not know how to use the computer. Thankfully, there are a few methods to improve the overall gaming experience on your MacBook, especially if you have been using the same computer for a while.
Constantly Scan for Malware
The first suggestion on the list is pretty simple—scan the system for potential malware. The odds of cybersecurity threats on a Mac are not that high, particularly if you are careful about opening shady links and avoiding other dangerous sources.
Nevertheless, you cannot be certain before you scan the system. Use reliable antivirus and see whether it detects any threats. Keep in mind that even minor viruses can snowball and cause significant performance issues.
Avoid Cluttering the MacBook’s Desktop
It is no secret that many people like to keep documents, shortcuts, and other files on a computer desktop. Accessing files is more convenient this way. However, the convenience comes at the price of the computer’s performance.
In other words, the more cluttered a MacBook’s desktop is, the slower it will run, and it should not come as a surprise that desktop clutter also affects video games.
Limit Background Apps and Visuals Effects
Activity Monitor allows you to keep track of background processes. There are bound to be some background apps that consume system resources without offering any value. For instance, your MacBook’s startup item list might be pretty large and make you forget to quit some of the applications. If you have no use for an app, there is no reason to keep it open, right?
Other than closing redundant background processes, you should also keep tabs on visual effects that are another source of computer resource consumption.
Make Sure the Drive Has Enough Free Storage
Having only a few free gigabytes of storage on a MacBook’s drive is common, especially if you download and install multiple games. After all, modern video games require quite a lot of storage.
As a rule of thumb, roughly 15 percent of total disk storage should be free. Less than that, and the computer will start to underperform noticeably.
To clean up MacBook’s junk, be sure to review these tips and create a solid disk maintenance routine that you can follow. Aim to have at least 15 percent of total disk storage free and, if possible, increase the percentage even more.
Lower the Laptop’s Temperature
You should not be too surprised if you notice that the MacBook is overheating while you are running high-end video games. After all, the hardware will likely struggle to keep up with the video game demands.
There are a few things to do to troubleshoot this particular issue. For starters, clean the dust that accumulated inside the laptop over time. If you are reluctant to take the MacBook apart for a thorough cleaning, leave the task to someone with experience, even if it means paying money.
Other than removing the dust inside, you should also ventilate your room better. Investing in a cooling pad is worth a shout as well.
Consider Investing in New Hardware
Many gamers would tell you that they get to enjoy video games because of the hardware they have. Well, as someone who owns a MacBook, you have limited options. Integrated hardware makes it pretty difficult to make any changes. In fact, some Mac models are incompatible with hardware upgrades, period.
On the other hand, you might have a MacBook model that has room for better hardware. If so, you could see whether it is possible to add extra memory, replace your old hard drive with a new solid-state drive, or even connect an external GPU.
Change Various Game Settings
It is also worth trying to tinker with various game settings. If there are options to reduce graphics quality, disable visual effects, lock FPS, switch to a windowed mode, etc., try and see whether changing these settings will improve the overall gaming experience.
Finally, keep an eye on game updates. Developers release new versions that introduce not just new features but also various quality-of-life improvements, including better performance.