Genshin Impact has taken the gaming world by storm with its captivating open-world gameplay, stunning visuals, and rich storyline. As the popularity of the game continues to soar, more and more players are seeking ways to enjoy the experience on their Mac devices. While Genshin Impact is readily available on platforms like Windows, iOS, Android, and PlayStation, the absence of a native Mac version has left Mac users wondering how they can join in on the adventure.
Gaming and the Mac were not associated until WWDC 2023, when macOS Sonoma introduced the much-anticipated Game Mode. Developers may now easily adapt their existing games from other platforms to macOS, owing to Metal 3’s new game porting toolkit. With the porting process being much more streamlined, we can expect a slew of titles to emerge soon with macOS Sonoma stable releases.
However, because good things take time, playing famous titles like Genshin Impact on Mac is still far from ideal, as the game does not yet have native support. But don’t worry; there are a few hacks that will allow you to play Genshin Impact on Mac. So, whether you have an Intel-based Mac or an Apple silicon-based Mac, keep reading to learn more.
In this article, we’ll explore five different methods that allow you to play Genshin Impact on your Mac.
Why Can’t Macs Run Genshin Impact Natively?
Like many other successful titles, games like Genshin Impact are unlikely to see the light of day, owing to the fact that Macs aren’t popular among gamers. Furthermore, because most Macs lack a dedicated graphics processing unit, it makes little sense for developers to devote time and effort to making their games compatible with macOS.
Previously, it was possible to run games on Mac using Windows emulators, but support gradually decreased after Apple unveiled silicon-based Macs. Not only that, but Genshin Impact’s strong anti-cheat laws restrict it from being played on Windows emulators. Furthermore, Apple did not appear to be interested for a long time.
How to Play Genshin Impact on Mac
The answer is straightforward: cloud gaming. Cloud gaming, which gained popularity during the epidemic era, allows users to play games on the cloud, removing the need for cutting-edge gear and storage space. Anyone with a reliable internet connection can sign up for one of the numerous cloud gaming platforms and begin playing right away.
It may appear mystical at first glance, but the principle is quite simple. You’re simply wasting network bandwidth by playing games on someone else’s servers, which happen to be in the cloud. This directly removes hardware constraints. While there are other cloud gaming services available on the internet, we recommend GeForce Now and Boosteroid.
1. Official Native Mac Version
The much-awaited solution for Mac users arrived with the official release of the native Genshin Impact Mac version. MiHoYo, the developer of the game, recognized the demand from Mac users and delivered a client that is optimized for macOS. To get started, visit the official Genshin Impact website and locate the Mac client download link. After downloading the installer, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
One of the key advantages of using the official Mac version is that it’s tailored to the macOS environment, providing optimized performance and stability. Players can expect smoother gameplay and fewer compatibility issues. Additionally, the native version often receives prompt updates and bug fixes to ensure a seamless experience.
However, it’s important to note that the official Mac version might have certain system requirements. Before downloading, ensure that your Mac meets these requirements to avoid any potential issues.
2. Using Boot Camp
For Mac users who are open to running Windows on their devices, Apple’s Boot Camp offers a viable solution. Boot Camp allows you to partition your Mac’s hard drive and install Windows alongside macOS. This effectively turns your Mac into a dual-boot system, allowing you to switch between macOS and Windows as needed.
To set up Boot Camp, follow these steps:
- Prepare for Installation: Make sure you have a Windows installation ISO and enough free disk space to allocate to the Windows partition.
- Open Boot Camp Assistant: This utility is pre-installed on macOS. You can find it in the “Utilities” folder within the “Applications” folder.
- Partition Your Disk: Boot Camp Assistant will guide you through the process of partitioning your disk. Allocate enough space for Windows while leaving sufficient room for macOS.
- Install Windows: Insert your Windows installation media (USB or DVD) and proceed with the installation process as guided by Boot Camp Assistant.
- Download Genshin Impact: Once Windows is installed, you can install the Genshin Impact Windows version on your Windows partition.
Using Boot Camp provides a dedicated environment for Windows gaming, potentially offering better performance compared to virtualization methods. However, keep in mind that switching between macOS and Windows requires a system reboot, which might be less convenient for some users.
3. Utilizing Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop is a virtualization software that allows you to run Windows within a virtual machine on your Mac. This means you can use Windows applications seamlessly alongside your macOS apps. Parallels Desktop offers a user-friendly interface and integration features that make the Windows experience feel native.
Here’s how to play Genshin Impact using Parallels Desktop:
- Install Parallels Desktop: Purchase and install Parallels Desktop on your Mac.
- Create a Virtual Machine: Launch Parallels Desktop and create a Windows virtual machine.
- Install Windows: Install Windows within the virtual machine using an ISO or setup file.
- Install Genshin Impact: Once Windows is set up, download and install Genshin Impact as you would on a regular Windows PC.
Parallels Desktop is a convenient option for running Windows applications without leaving macOS. However, virtualization might introduce a slight performance overhead compared to running Windows natively.
4. Wine and CrossOver
Wine and CrossOver are compatibility layers that allow you to run Windows software on macOS without the need for a full Windows installation. While these methods can be trickier to set up, they offer an alternative for those who want to avoid using Boot Camp or virtual machines.
Follow these steps to play Genshin Impact using Wine or CrossOver:
- Install Wine or CrossOver: Start by installing either Wine or CrossOver on your Mac. CrossOver is a commercial version of Wine that offers enhanced compatibility and support.
- Download Genshin Impact Installer: Obtain the Genshin Impact Windows installer.
- Run Genshin Impact: Use Wine or CrossOver to run the Windows installer. The software will create a virtual environment for Genshin Impact to run in.
- Play the Game: Once the installation is complete, launch Genshin Impact and start playing.
While Wine and CrossOver provide a way to play Genshin Impact on macOS without a Windows installation, they might not provide the same level of performance and stability as native methods.
5. Cloud Gaming Services
Cloud gaming has emerged as a promising solution for playing resource-intensive games on devices with limited hardware capabilities. Services like NVIDIA GeForce Now and Google Stadia allow you to stream games from powerful servers to your Mac, eliminating the need for high-end hardware.
To play Genshin Impact using cloud gaming services:
- Sign Up for a Cloud Gaming Service: Register for a cloud gaming service like NVIDIA GeForce Now or Google Stadia.
- Access the Game: Launch the service’s app or use a web browser to access Genshin Impact’s cloud version.
- Start Playing: Connect to the server and start playing the game. Your inputs are transmitted to the server, and the video feed is streamed back to your device.
Keep in mind that cloud gaming requires a stable and fast internet connection to ensure a smooth experience. While this method doesn’t require you to install the game locally, it heavily relies on the quality of your internet connection.
Mac users no longer need to feel left out of the Genshin Impact phenomenon. With a variety of methods available, each catering to different preferences and hardware capabilities, playing Genshin Impact on your Mac is entirely possible. Whether you opt for the official native Mac version, use Boot Camp to run Windows, embrace virtualization with Parallels Desktop, employ compatibility layers like Wine and CrossOver, or explore cloud gaming services, there’s a solution that suits your needs.
Before choosing a method, consider factors such as performance, convenience, and the technical expertise required. With the gaming landscape constantly evolving, Mac users now have more ways than ever to immerse themselves in the breathtaking world of Genshin Impact. So go ahead, choose your preferred method, and embark on your epic journey through Teyvat.