The Age of Empires series is one of the most legendary gaming series ever created. So when the newest game in the series was announced, it was only natural for people to ask, “can you play Age of Empires 4 on Mac?”
Unfortunately, the answer to this question may not be what you’re looking for.
Is It Possible To Play Age Of Empires 4 On Mac?
The answer to this question is in three parts: No, Yes, and No.
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No, You Can Not Play Age Of Empires 4 Nativly On A Mac
Age of Empires 4 (or Age of Empires IV) is on both Steam and Xbox Game Pass. These two popular gaming platforms are available for the Mac, but Age Of Empires 4 is only available for the Windows PC version of Steam and Game Pass.
Age of Empires 4 uses Directx 12 exclusively. Which is only available on Windows computers.
So if you’re looking to download the game on your favorite gaming platform, you won’t be able to do it natively on macOS.
Yes, You Can Play Age Of Empires 4 On A Mac With BootCamp
If the only way you can play this game is with Windows, then that means you need to download Windows on your Mac. That’s where BootCamp comes in. More on this later.
No, You Can Not Play Age Of Empires 4 With A Silicon-Based Mac
BootCamp is only available with Intel-based Macs. If you have an M1 or M2 Mac, you won’t be able to use BootCamp. This means you won’t be able to play Age of Empires 4.
How Will I Know If I Have An Intel-based Mac Or A Silicon-Based Mac?
If you are not technologically savvy, you may have bought your Mac without knowing its type of chipset. Don’t worry. It’s easy to figure it out.
First, with your desktop open, click on the Apple Logo, and then System Settings.
Click on General, then click on About.
If you see M1 or M2 anywhere on the About window, then you have a Silicon-based machine. You have an Intel-based device if you don’t see M1 or M2 anywhere.
How To Play Age Of Empires 4 On Mac With Boot Camp
Step 1: Create A Windows Partition
In your Applications folder, open up the Utilities folder. If you have an Intel-based Mac, you will find the Boot Camp Assistant.
- Open the Boot Camp Assistant and follow the instructions that pop up on your screen.
- To create a bootable USB drive for Windows installation, insert your USB flash drive into your Mac and follow the on-screen instructions.
- When Boot Camp Assistant asks you to set the size of the Windows partition, remember to take into account the minimum storage space required to run Boot Camp. You will need at least 128GB of free storage on your system.
- Set a partition size that meets your needs. You can’t change its size later on down the road.
Step 2: Format Your New Boot Camp Partition And Install Windows
The process is nearly complete! All that is left to do now is format the Boot Camp partition for Windows. Usually, the installer takes care of this automatically; however, if it does not, simply select the BOOTCAMP partition and click Format.
To begin the installation, unplug any external devices that you don’t need. Then click Next and follow the onscreen instructions.
Step 3: Boot Into Windows And Download Updates
Restart your Mac and hold down the Option key as it’s booting up. This will boot you into Windows.
Once you’re in Windows, download any drivers, or updates that are necessary for your system if prompted.
Step 4: Download The Game
How Will The Game Run On An Intell-based Mac Using Windows 10?
The game’s performance will differ based on the type of CPU your Mac has. For example, the 2019 Intel MacBook Pro can run Age of Empires 4 at approximately 30 – 40 frames per second on very low settings and resolution.
If you own an older Intel Mac, you could get an external eGPU. Depending on your machine, you may get better performance.
The Age of Empires series is known for how many characters are on screen at once. With so many different animations happening simultaneously, you may want as much help as you can get to run the game with a good framerate.
So I Can’t Run Age Of Empires 4 On Parallels Desktop, Or Use A Virtual Machine?
Unfortunately, that is correct.
Usually, for any game that is exclusive to Windows, you could just download a virtual machine or Parallels to play it. Age of Empires 4 is a special case.
This game uses Directx 12, which Parallels does not support (as of the time of this writing). There is also no telling when Parallels or any virtual machine will support Directx 12 for M1 or M2 Macs.
Can I Play Other Age Of Empires On Mac, Like Age Of Empires 2?
Good news, yes, you can. Only the fourth game uses Directx 12, so you can still play the other three Age of Empire games on your Intel or Silicon-based Mac.
I hope you’re not too bummed about how tough (or impossible) it is to play Age Of Empires 4 on your Mac. Hopefully, one day a patch will come out to solve this problem.
If you’re reading this from the future and a patch did come out, please leave a comment and let me know. Also, please share this with any Age of Empires fan.