Is the MacBook Pro 13 (2022) good for gaming?
Laptops like the new MacBook Pro 13 (2022) are not designed for gamers. While the Mac in general has been able to play games over the years, it hasn’t been one of the primary focuses of Apple. Nor a primary focus for folks buying any of today’s best Macs.
But none of this necessarily means that you can’t use a MacBook Pro for gaming. The move to Apple Silicon has complicated matters in some regards, though. How much mileage you get will also depend on where you get your games from. The M2 can do a lot but sometimes it’s just not enough.
Steam games on the MacBook Pro 13 (2022)
Steam is the biggest games store on the planet and does support Mac. There are also games within Steam that support ARM, though with the M2 you’re limited to 64-bit. Rosetta 2 also comes into play, allowing Steam games compiled for x86 to work on the Apple Silicon Macs.
What you won’t get is a 100% simple solution to playing all the Mac-compatible games. Some will work, some won’t. That’s where the community comes into play. There are compiled wikis and Steam curator pages that can help you figure out how well if at all, your favorite games will play. Definitely worth a bookmark.
Mac App Store games
The best bet for supported games is through the Mac App Store. Here you’ll find titles ready to go, as well as Apple Arcade, a subscription with a decent library. It’s also possible for iOS developers to port their games to Apple Silicon, so you’ll find some of these lighter titles here, too.
The Mac App Store is set to get some big hitters when macOS Ventura launches in the latter part of 2022. At WWDC, Apple revealed that titles such as No Man’s Sky, GRID Legends, and Resident Evil Village are heading to Mac. This is, in part, down to Metal 3, Apple’s latest graphics software, giving the Mac some added horsepower.
The beauty of cloud gaming is that the spec of your laptop doesn’t really matter. If it can decode the incoming stream, you can play games. The MacBook Pro 13 (2022) enjoys access to all the major cloud platforms and the stellar libraries they bring with them.
Nvidia GeForce Now has a native client for the Mac with support for Apple Silicon. For gamers with big Steam libraries, this might be the best way to play them on a Mac. With the added bonus of being able to access Windows-only games.
For others such as Google Stadia and Xbox Cloud Gaming, all you need is a browser. For Stadia, you’ll need to grab a Chromium-based browser, such as Google Chrome. But Xbox Cloud Gaming does support Safari on macOS.
Ultimately, if gaming is a high priority for you, a Mac probably isn’t your best bet. You should look for one of the best gaming laptops for there are fewer compromises.
However, if you’re looking for a Mac for professional or creative purposes and would like to do a spot of gaming on the side, the MacBook Pro 13 (2022) is a solid bet. You might encounter some frustrations with Steam, but the Mac App Store has some great titles with more on the way, and the cloud can certainly take care of the rest.