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How to play Genshin Impact on Mac

A rock-solid internet connection may come to your rescue.
By

Published onSeptember 6, 2023

As popular as Genshin Impact might be around the world, popularity is no guarantee of something being natively available on Macs. Apple considers games a secondary priority, even on its mobile devices. So if you want to try miHoYo’s online action-RPG, what are your options?

QUICK ANSWER

To play Genshin Impact on a Mac, you'll need an Intel-based model running Boot Camp, or else a cloud gaming service such as GeForce Now.


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Can you play Genshin Impact on Mac?

open genshin impact on pc 1

Yes, but there’s no native version of the game. That’s pretty common with triple-A titles unfortunately, since until recently, porting to a Mac required significant time and resources. That’s made it a tough sell for developers, given the relatively small Mac gaming audience. It’s a Catch-22 — the audience can’t grow if there aren’t games to play.

Apple is taking steps to improve support, mainly with its new Game Porting Toolkit, but it remains to be seen if developers like miHoYo will latch on.

How to play Genshin Impact on an Intel-based Mac

If you still have an Intel-based Mac, you can run Genshin Impact using Boot Camp. Bear in mind that Boot Camp is no longer included with macOS as of Big Sur (11), that you’ll need your own copy of Windows, and that you’ll have to meet the game’s minimum PC requirements. Those include an Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 30GB of storage, and the equivalent of an NVIDIA GeForce GT 1030 or better for your graphics card.

If it’s not already in place, here’s how to install Windows on a Mac using Boot Camp:

  1. On your Mac, log in as an administrator, close all apps, and log out any other users.
  2. Update your Mac as much as you can without breaking Boot Camp. Click on the Apple menu, then go to System Settings > General > Software Update. The system will tell you if there are available updates. Follow instructions to install them.
  3. With that done, go to Applications > Utilities, and launch the Boot Camp Assistant.
  4. Hit Continue, and the tool will check for available disk space, remove old Time Machine snapshots, and more. This process can take a while, so be patient.
  5. You’ll get instructions to partition disk space for Windows. Make your selections, choose your Windows ISO image, then click on Install.
  6. The Windows installer will launch. Follow instructions to set up the OS.
  7. Your Mac will restart when finished. Set up Windows, and drivers should start installing automatically. Continue following onscreen instructions.

Once you’re settled at the Windows desktop, download and install the Epic Games Launcher and search for Genshin Impact. The game is a free download, since it’s supported entirely by in-app transactions.

How to play Genshin Impact on an M-series Mac

If you’re using a Mac with one of Apple’s M-series processors, you’ll have to turn to cloud gaming services, which get around compatibility issues by streaming from a remote PC. If it’s available in your country, we’d strongly suggest using NVIDIA’s GeForce Now. You can get basic access for free. You’ll need to pay for a Priority or Ultimate subscription to avoid wait times, play for more than an hour, and access higher graphics settings.

Once you’ve installed and launched the GeForce Now Mac client, search for Genshin Impact and click Play. You’ll be prompted to create both NVIDIA and HoYoVerse accounts along the way if you don’t already have them.

Be warned that cloud gaming requires a strong internet connection to avoid lag. For GeForce Now you need at least 15Mbps at 720p resolution, 25Mbps at 1080p, and 45Mbps at 4K. Any slowdowns or interruptions on your ISP’s end will affect input, as will any problems on your home network. If you can, you should connect your Mac directly to your router via Ethernet instead of using Wi-Fi.

How do I know if my Mac is Intel or M-series?

apple macbook air 15 inch closed

If your Mac was marketed as using “Apple Silicon,” that’s an M-series Mac. The M refers to Apple’s custom-designed chips, such as the M1, M2, and upcoming M3.

The following Macs are all M-series models:

  • MacBook Pro (2021 or later, plus 2020’s 13-inch M1 model)
  • MacBook Air (2022 or later, plus 2020’s M1 model)
  • iMac (2021 or later)
  • Mac mini (2020 or later)
  • Mac Studio
  • Mac Pro (2023 or later)

FAQs

While it’s not impossible, no plans have been announced, and we wouldn’t expect that to change given the success of the game on existing platforms.

The game itself is free, but you may need to buy a copy of Windows if you’re playing on an Intel Mac, or a cloud gaming subscription on Apple Silicon.

Possibly, but you’ll likely need to play through a cloud gaming service like GeForce Now.