If you’re planning on using your Mac computer, there’s no better place to get games than from the Steam store. Steam has dominated the digital distribution of PC games for many years and is host to over 50,000 games for you to download and install – playing games has never been easier!
For the longest time, the Steam app was a Windows exclusive and every gamer that had a device with the Apple logo wouldn’t be able to access this massive library. While the solution back then was to buy a new laptop to access Steam, times have changed!
We’ll be taking a look at the specifics of how Steam works on an iMac or Macbook, how to set up an account and download Steam, and finally how you can navigate its UI and enjoy its massive library of games. Make sure your device is fully charged because you’re going to want to stick around for this!
How Steam Integrates with Mac
Before we tackle how to install Steam on your device, you should know that Steam wasn’t always available on Mac devices. Mac computers weren’t intended to be used for gaming and their primary target market was consumers who wanted a portable and sleek device that aided them in creative productivity.
As soon as Apple shifted away from their hardware to X86 platforms and offered support for Intel chips and dominant GPU brands like Nvidia and AMD, Steam saw their opportunity to pounce. Enough about history though, let’s tackle how you can install steam onto your Mac!
Set Up a Steam Account
Before we install Steam, it’s best to make a Steam account. With a Steam account, you can have a library of games and access them from any other laptop or PC (as long as you’re in the same country).
Go to Steam’s join page and make an account. You’ll be prompted to create an account name, add your email, and create a password. It’s important to choose the correct country of residence as this will determine the prices your pay for games and your ability to play Steam games.
How to Install Steam on Mac
Thankfully you don’t need any special software or programs to install Steam on your Mac after you’ve created a new account.
You won’t be able to download Steam from the Mac app store, but that’s okay! Simply navigate to Steam’s page online. At the top right of the page, you should see a green “Install Steam” button, click Install Steam.
The Steam website should automatically detect that you’re on a Mac device, but if you don’t see an Apple logo next to the big “Install Steam” button, try reloading the page. From there you should be able to set up, follow the on-screen instructions, and install Steam onto your device.
The Steam.dmg file should be openable from there, but ensure that you’ve placed it into your Applications folder or Dock for quick and easy access, just drag Steam there. From there, it should be easy to open Steam from Docks and begin navigating the UI.
How to Download Steam Games
Now that you’ve installed Steam onto your Mac, it’s time to download some games! Keep in mind that the games that you’re looking for may not be on the Steam store due to some of the hardware limitations of Mac devices.
Game developers sometimes don’t create support Mac computers due to the limited capabilities of Macbooks and other iMacs. Even with their broadened specs, Macs are still primarily used for creative endeavors like photo editing.
Nevertheless, here’s how you can easily download games and play them:
Browse Steam Games
Once you’ve opened Steam from your Dock, you should see the front page of Steam – which has all the Apple-compatible Steam for you to choose from. From here you can easily browse and choose any of the available Steam games that you like. Most games will cost you money to play, but there are a wide variety of free games to choose from too.
If you’re looking at the best Mac games, we highly recommend popular games like Stardew Valley, Hades, Dota 2, and Portal 2. Open up the game page. Simply add to your cart and purchase the game, after which you should be able to install and download games.
After you install it, you can easily play the Steam game that you downloaded. Just make sure that your screen resolution and settings are set properly before you play – you may need to turn down the graphics to play more smoothly.
Navigate your Steam Library Tab
After you’ve had a gaming session or installed a game, make sure to check out the Steam library to access the games that you’ve bought easily. This acts as your Downloads folder, where you can sort your downloaded games alphabetically, by newest to oldest, and many other tools if you’re finding yourself growing quite a collection.
There’s also a great tool within the page known as the Steam community, where certain games can be altered with mods. Stardew Valley for example can change to expand the content that it offers.
How to Uninstall Steam from Mac
If you’re planning to uninstall Steampn Mac, then it’s fairly simple to do. You could uninstall Steam for a variety of reasons, such as trying to free up space on your computer or uninstalling certain Mac games from your Steam collection.
If you’re planning to uninstall games to make some space, here’s how you do it! Navigate to your Steam Library and right-click the game that you’re planning to uninstall. You should see a dropdown menu pop up that has to uninstall the list. When prompted, you can click uninstall and it should be removed.
Should you wish to remove Steam itself, it’s always best to uninstall all your games so there aren’t any program files left over. If you’re planning to upgrade the visual of your Macbook, then the extra space is a great choice. Once you’ve removed all the games, you can uninstall Steam with a specific program or simply drag it to Trash.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often see some frequently asked questions pop up again and again when it comes to installing Steam on Mac, and we’ve compiled the ones we see the most in a useful list for you. Read on to discover the answers to some of the questions you may have been having:
Got all the answers already? You can learn how to remove stickers from your laptop or how to connect your Nintendo Switch to your laptop.
Do Steam games run well on Mac?
That depends on the game. you can optimize your Macbook to be more suited for gaming but there are certain hardware and software limitations that Macbooks and iMacs have that make them poor for gaming.
As long as the game doesn’t require intensive graphical or hardware requirements, your Mac should be able to run it fairly well.
How to run 32-bit games on Mac?
If you’re planning to run 32-bit games on your Mac, it’ll be best to download a Windows emulate or virtual machine on your Mac. This will allow you to run 32-bit games easily and install them without issue.
Make sure to keep track of your GPU temperature while you’re running intensive games to ensure that your GPU isn’t damaged over the long term.
Is Mac OK for gaming?
Absolutely! Modern game Macbooks and iMacs come with fairly powerful hardware and software that allow you to game without issue in most cases. Of course, a Macbook isn’t a dedicated gaming laptop like an Alienware laptop but you shouldn’t have any trouble with most games.
And there you have it folks! There’s an entire library of games for you to see on the Steam store, yours for the picking. Mac users have never had this much variety so try to get steam work as soon as possible the next time you’re planning on gaming.
If you’re interested in reading our other articles, like how to use a tablet as a monitor or how to use a tablet for business – you won’t be disappointed.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.