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It’s not as easy as it might seem.
Gaming on a Mac computer is almost always a tricky time, due to the lack of support for many games and different hardware requirements. Thankfully, the cultural phenomenon known as Fortnite is on darn near every bit of gaming hardware, including the Mac, and it’s entirely possible to have a good time with it. Here’s everything you need to consider before playing Fortnite on Mac.
Is Fortnite compatible with Mac?
The good news is that Fortnite has been compatible with MacOS Sierra, which arrived about two years ago, and there have been some improvements on performance, but you’ll still need to play around with your settings most likely.
How to play Fortnite on Mac
First things first, you’ll need to download the Mac version of the Epic Games Launcher/Store. Once you’ve downloaded the launcher, find Fortnite in the store tab and click “Play Free.” If prompted, choose the PC/Mac version, of course.
Epic will ask for you to login with or register an account. Do so, and then click “install.” It’s usually best to download game files into your program files folder. Also, it should be on by default, but make sure you opt into auto-updates so you’re not waiting for the latest patch to finish downloading. When it’s finished, simply press launch and you’ll open up Fortnite.
Mac requirements for Fortnite
How well your game of Fortnite will run depends on what generation of Mac you’re using and the OS. Thankfully, the minimum requirements needed to run Fortnite aren’t extravagant, so those of you with budget Macs will most likely be OK.
- Intel Iris Pro 5200 on Mac
- Core i3 2.4 Ghz
- 4 GByte RAM
- Windows 7/8/10 64-bit + Mac OSX Sierra (10.12.6+)
- Mac computers must support Metal API. Check if your Mac supports Metal here. (Note: If you’ve updated your Mac at all in the past year or two, you should most likely already have Metal on it.)
That’s what will get you up and running, even though your game might be at the lowest graphical settings possible. If you want to have the ideal Fortnite experience, you’ll want to aim for these recommended specs below.
- AMD Radeon HD 7870 DX11 GPU also works)
- 2GB VRAM
- Core i5 2.8GHz processor
- 8GB of RAM
- MacOS Sierra 10.13.6
Macbook vs. iMac
No surprises here. If you’re going to play Fortnite on a Mac computer, you’re better off using an iMac, the desktop version. If you only have a MacBook, it needs to be a relatively recent model to keep up with the needs of Fortnite. Stick to any MacBook model made after 2016, and if you can help it, try to make it more recent than that. The last couple iterations have admittedly improved their performance when it comes to games.
If you’re an iMac user, you should be just fine, so long as your iMac has a discrete graphics option, If it’s just running your run-of-the-mill Intel graphics that come bundled, you may be out of luck, as they just don’t handle games well.
Ways to improve your Mac’s performance in Fortnite
The three big things to think about here are display resolution, V-sync, and what graphics presets your Mac might default to.
Vysnc’s big draw is that it helps reduce screen tearing, so it’s something you’ll definitely want on at all times, unless it begins to slow down the game’s overall performance. Your call, ultimately.
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When it comes to graphics settings, do what most hardware enthusiasts do and start your game on the lowest settings possible. That sounds counter-intuitive, but this will dramatically improve your framerate. Obviously, the game may look like warmed over dirt to start with. If your Mac is handling everything fine, slowly advance your way up the ladder from low to medium to high, then ultra until you notice your Mac’s performance is starting to even slightly suffer. Better to have a 100-percent guarantee of smoothness then leave that battle royale championship to chance.
Most Macs have a display resolution way higher than 1080p, but you’ll probably want to keep that resolution right at 1080p simply because it can mess with your frames per second. You’ll want a minimum of 30 FPS, but ideally, you’ll want around 60 FPS.
If these options for Fortnite on Mac don’t work out for you, remember you can play Fortnite on literally every other platform, including iOS and Android.
Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.