How to Optimize Your Mac for Gaming? 6 Ideas to Consider

MacBooks, despite being one of the best and most reliable computers on the market, can still produce mediocre results when it comes to certain activities.

For example, you might be coding using high-end software but struggle because of the state the MacBook is in. Sure, figuring out how to make a safari page an app or carrying another relatively simple task should not be a problem, but exceptions should not be the deciding factor.

Video games are another good example. If you try to play a video game on a pretty old MacBook model, the odds are that you will have a lackluster experience.

Frame drops, crashes, and other issues lead one to question whether they need a new computer. The take is reasonable, but spending money on another device is not necessarily the best option.

Before you consider getting a new laptop or custom-built PC, try to optimize your current Mac for gaming first. This article will give you valuable ideas on how you can make the gaming experience on a MacBook better. And if the whole thing fails despite your best efforts, you can then consider getting a new computer.

Make Sure the Drive Has Enough Free Storage

How to Optimize Your Mac for Gaming 6 Ideas to Consider

Since hardware upgrades are not really an option with MacBooks, you will need to work with what you got. Sure, getting gaming accessories, such as a gaming mouse or a keyboard, is an option to replace the trackpad and the integrated keyboard. 

However, the important hardware is there, and very few exceptions to modify it exist when it comes to MacBooks.

A hard drive (or solid-state drive) should be the first piece of hardware on the list. As a rule of thumb, you want to make sure it has enough free space on it. Get rid of clutter regularly or transfer files to external storage if you must.

The goal is to have at least 20 percent of total disk space free, but even that is usually not enough, especially when we are talking about video games. 

Scan for Malware

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that MacBooks are immune to viruses. Sure, they are not as prone as other operating systems, but believing that you can avoid the issue altogether is foolish.

Make sure that you scan the system regularly and that any corrupted data gets removed right away. And use this piece of advice not just when you want to play video games. Keeping a computer malware-free is, in general, a good way to keep it from dysfunctioning.

Check Background Processes

Open Activity Monitor and spend a bit of time checking what processes are running in the background. You might be surprised by some of them. 

It is easy to forget about properly quitting an application after using it. Startup items can also be an issue that snowballs out of control.

If you want to play video games on an optimized computer, you need the MacBook to dedicate all the resources it can. When there are redundant background processes consuming those resources, it leaves not enough for video games.

Consider a Cooling Pad

As already mentioned, accessories can make for a better overall experience. Cooling pads are one of the best options.

Playing video games on a laptop causes the internal hardware to overheat, which leads to the internal fans trying to handle more than they can. Loud noises are not a fun experience, and there is that looming anxious feeling that something is wrong with the device and that you do not want to push further and risk damaging the internal hardware.

A cooling pad works as a means to provide fresh air. Keeping the internal part of the MacBook cool is a sure way to take the pressure off the internal fans. And if you clean the dust inside once in a while, you should not experience overheating and loud noises as much. 

Try Windowed Mode

It might seem counterintuitive, but the windowed mode rather than the full-screen mode could be another interesting idea to try. 

Some video games are developed in a way that they perform when you reduce the screen and have the desktop visible in the background around the edges.

If nothing else, you can try it as an option and see whether the performance improves. Keep in mind, though, that not all video games have this option.

Tinker With Game Settings

Speaking of video game options, the last bit of advice is to tinker with in-game settings. You might be reluctant to lower the graphics and disable certain effects, such as shadows if the video game is driven visually.

However, sacrificing some looks for better overall performance is worth it. Check what graphics settings you can modify and test different variations until you find one that works the best.