Are you wondering if you can play Valorant on a Mac? Valorant is a free competitive first-person shooter designed by Riot Games. Learn how to get the game running on your Mac below.
Can You Play Valorant on a Mac?
You can only play Valorant if you have a Intel CPU Mac and Bootcamp. Unfortunately, the Bootcamp utility is not available on the new M1 or M2 Macs.
How to Install Valorant on Mac using Bootcamp
Now if you have an Intel Mac, here’s how you can use Bootcamp Assistant to install Windows 10:
- Download a Windows 10 ISO (64-bit)
- Under Applications, Utilities, open Bootcamp Assistant (it’s a system application)
- Choose the Windows ISO you downloaded and click open
- Adjust the macOS and Windows 10 partition sizes and click install
- The application will download necessary Windows files (it might take a while)
- Your macOS will restart and you’ll be booted into the Windows 10 installation setup
- Once in Windows, complete the Bootcamp installer to install the necessary drivers
- Connect your Mac to Wifi and run the Apple Software Updater tool as well as Windows Updates
- Now head over to Valorant’s website and download it
- Launch Valorant
- Lower the graphics settings and resolution to squeeze out more performance
While you can get Valorant to run on old Macs, the performance is not the best, and frame drops and stutters are common. Older Macs (2016 and earlier) with slow CPUs will struggle the most.
The last Intel Mac, the 2020 i5 MacBook Pro, can run Valorant with Bootcamp relatively well, with 100+ FPS at low graphics.
So if you still have an Intel Mac lying around, it’s worth giving Crossover a shot.
Tip: Don’t use the native resolution for games. For the best performance, lower it to 1920 x 1080, or even lower.
Can You Play Valorant on M1 Macs?
No. You can’t play Valorant on an M1 Mac because Vanguard, the anti-cheat service, is not compatible with the macOS. Vanguard also will not run on virtual machines or emulators, such as Parallels or Crossover. You need a legitimate installation of Windows for Valorant to work.
While you can download Valorant with those tools, it won’t open because it requires the anti-cheat service. Valorant also needs a constant internet connection. You can’t play Valorant offline.
Unfortunately, there are no plans for a Mac edition of Valorant. It’s not good news for people who bought the new Macs.
Certainly, the M1 chips are powerful enough to run a game like Valorant but the services are just not compatible at the moment. It’s unlikely that Valorant will come to macOS. I will update this article whenever new information is available.
What About Cloud Gaming?
Valorant is not on any cloud gaming services such as Geforce Now or Stadia. Parsec is not compatible with Valorant.
The only cloud gaming service that works with Valorant’s anti-cheat is Moonlight Stream. The good news is Moonlight is fully compatible with Apple Silicon.
However, Moonlight requires the host PC to have an Nvidia graphics card and it only works over a local area network. Essentially, it streams the game from your PC to your Mac.
Moonlight works with two services; a host and a client. The host must be a Windows PC and the client can be almost any platform; Mac, Chrome OS, Android, etc. In other words, you have to install it on your PC first.
With this method, your Mac doesn’t need to install any of the games because the PC is just sending over the visuals, while your Mac sends back the control commands.
Using Moonlight to stream Valorant to your Mac is not very practical. You could simply play Valorant on your PC instead of streaming it to a smaller laptop screen. Not to mention there can be a lot of input lag when playing over Moonlight.
Moonlight Game Stream is a cool service, but I wouldn’t recommend it for competitive shooters. It’s best for casual games where you can sit on a couch or in bed with a controller.
Yes, Macs are compatible with Xbox controllers, and you can pair them over Bluetooth.
The Bottom Line
To summarize, Valorant will only run on Intel Macs using Bootcamp. Valorant will not run on Apple Silicone chips at the moment. Virtual machines and emulators won’t get Valorant to run either.