How to Optimize MacBook for Gaming: 10 Valuable Tips

Adjust the best settings to get better gaming performance on your MacBook.

By GamesRecon

Some people believe that the MacBook is meant for gaming. However, the terms “MacBook” and “gaming” are not necessarily compatible. You may find many games that are not developed to work perfectly on Mac computers. But it does not mean you can’t play games on a MacBook.

Gaming on a MacBook can pose challenges compared to gaming on a purpose-built gaming PC. However, there are several ways to optimize your MacBook for better gaming sessions. It’s important to note that not all MacBooks have the same hardware capabilities so certain adjustments may yield better results on some machines than others. By effectively optimizing your MacBook, you can create an excellent gaming environment without extra costs. This article will guide you on how to optimize your MacBook for gaming.

How to Optimize MacBook for Gaming

Below are a few tips you should need to consider if you want to make your Mac performance better to play video games.

1. Upgrade Your RAM

RAM plays a crucial role in having the best gaming experience. The base 13-inch MacBook Pro model now features 8GB of RAM. This is sufficient if you are playing online and light games. However, you need more RAM to enjoy resource-consuming games while other heavy apps are also running in the background. Upgrade your RAM to 16GB or more as per your requirement and quit unwanted apps to save memory.

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2. Ensure Proper Cooling

Sufficient cooling is necessary to ensure effective gaming performance. Overheating could lead to system slowdown when running highly-intensive or power-consuming games. You must examine your fan regularly, or you can experience device overheating.

Consider getting an external monitor or a cooling pad to enjoy gaming for a long time. Test the temperature of several components and ensure your processor runs at a lower clock speed.

3. Configure Game Settings

Another trick to better optimize MacBook for gaming is to configure the in-built settings of the game. These settings may vary based on the game type. However, you can generally configure the options by accessing Graphics Settings from the options. Even you can get help from Macbook user manuals to avoid any mistakes.

Choose between Low, Medium, and High to ensure better compatibility with the graphics card. Alternatively, go to the Game Settings. Adjust the screen resolution as per the game.

4. Upgrade from HDD to SDD

Gaming not only requires hard drives but a faster drive such as SSD as well. Upgrading to a fast SSD with enhanced capacity to access and load heavy games improves booting time. The new Mac models are packed with an SSD.

If you are running an older version, buy external SSDs. For example, the SanDisk Extreme and the Samsung T5 support up to 1,000mbps read and write speeds.

5. Download gfxCardStatus

You may need to execute this tip if you have a discrete GPU in your Mac. If you don’t have this, you can ignore this step. Download and install this app for free on your system. It will help with some basic GPU monitoring with discrete and separate graphic cards.

Once you launch this app, you will be notified about GPU, apps you use, and more things. Manually change the mode to Discrete Only.

6. Use a Secure VPN App

When discussing how to optimize MacBook Pro for gaming, we recommend you use a VPN for secure gaming. You will easily find a secure, multi-featured VPN app that analyzes the current network status. Some of these apps connect automatically to the most appropriate server.

Most VPN apps are extremely helpful in ensuring you can rely on a low-ping server connection. The industry-standard encryption ensures 100% secure gaming.

7. Disable Login/Startup Items

Running too many startup or login items may affect the MacBook’s performance. So, to optimize Mac for gaming, disable these items. If so many apps are automatically running every time you turn on your Mac, manage them quickly.

Go to the Apple menu and tap System Preferences, then Users & Accounts. Choose the Login Items option and then select your account. Tap the lock icon and press ‘-’ to delete the apps.

8. Use the Built-in Optimization Tool

When it comes to optimizing MacBooks for gaming, Apple offers several built-in optimization tools. They provide basic suggestions to boost the Mac performance via Storage Control. Using such tools, you can delete some of the space for games.

To use this method:

  1. Choose the Apple Menu and then access About This Mac.
  2. Select Storage and click the Manage button.
  3. Choose Recommendations.

9. Buy a Gaming Keyboard

Keyboards are meant to make your work easier. You can use a combination of keys to quickly access features that otherwise demand a couple of clicks which is sometimes time-consuming. The gaming keyboard market is huge, and you can easily get your preferred brand and model online.

You can even buy mechanical keyboards for a better gaming experience. If you buy a keyboard online, don’t forget to read the reviews and ratings to make the right purchase.

10. Enable Windowed/Viewed Mode

The last option for MacBook optimization includes playing in different modes such as Windowed or Viewed (full-screen) mode. It will help in identifying the game’s graphics and speed variation. Try any or both of these options one by one.

You can try switching these modes by accessing the Video or Graphics settings of the game. Choose the suitable option according to text display, transient graphics, and speed.

System Settings:

  1. Software Updates: Keep macOS and your drivers up to date. Sometimes, performance improvements and bug fixes are released in software updates.
  2. Energy Settings: Go to System Preferences > Energy Saver and set the computer and display to never sleep while plugged in. This ensures that your system won’t slow down due to energy-saving features while gaming.
  3. Disk Space: Be sure there is adequate space on your Mac’s hard drive. Poor performance is one of the side effects of insufficient disk space.

Game Settings:

  1. Resolution: Lower the game’s resolution. Most games allow you to select a resolution that is less demanding on your hardware.
  2. Graphics Quality: Reduce the graphics settings like texture quality, shadows, and anti-aliasing within the game. This will improve frame rates at the cost of visual quality.

Other Tips:

  1. Close Background Applications: Before launching the game, quit all non-essential applications to free up system resources.
  2. Optimization Software: Use software like Macs Fan Control to better control your MacBook’s cooling system.
  3. Wired Connection: Use a wired Ethernet connection for online gaming to reduce latency and improve connection quality.
  4. Game Mode: Some third-party applications offer a “game mode” that can optimize system resources for gaming.
  5. Boot Camp: Some games perform better on Windows. You can install Windows on your Mac using Boot Camp and play games from there for better performance.

Remember, even after all these optimizations, a MacBook may not perform as well as a dedicated gaming PC due to hardware limitations. Always check game system requirements and read reviews to see how well a game performs on a Mac before installing it.