So you’re wondering if you can play Genshin Impact on your Mac. Currently, the Genshin Impact is only available on Playstation, Windows, App Store, and Google Play.
How do you get it to run on a Mac? Is Genshin Impact compatible with Apple Silicon and M1/M2? What kind of performance can you expect? I’ll answer those questions and more in this article.
Can You Play Genshin Impact on a M1/M2 Mac?
Yes. You can play Genshin Impact on a Mac by using PlayCover to sideload an IOS edition, install it on Parallels Desktop Virtual Machine, or screen-mirror to your Mac from your phone via AirPlay.
Currently, Genshin Impact does not natively run on Macs but there are some workarounds. I was able to get Genshin Impact running at a smooth 60 frames a second on my M2 MacBook Air.
Bear in mind, on Intel Macs, you can play Genshin Impact using Bootcamp which lets you open Microsoft Windows applications. However, Boot Camp is not available on Macs running Apple Silicon.
How to Play Genshin Impact on Mac (Without Bootcamp)
Unfortunately, all of the methods to play Genshin Impact on a Mac require quite a lot of initial work.
If Genshin Impact comes to Mac OS, I will update this article as needed. There are also rumours that Genshin Impact will come to various cloud gaming services but there’s no concrete information at this time.
At the moment, these are the only options to play Genshin Impact on Mac…
1 – SideLoad Genshin Impact IOS App using PlayCover
PlayCover is an open-source application that lets you sideload IOS apps on macOS with full mouse, keyboard, and controller support.
To be clear, using this method will involve the mobile version of Genshin Impact, the version designed for phones. It has some limitations when compared to the Windows version, the graphics and resolution, for example, being noticeably downgraded.
Another quick reminder is this method requires you to disable some security features on your MacBook, for instance, System Integrity Protection (SIP). SIP protects your Mac against malware by verifying all the system files.
If you’re not comfortable with disabling that security feature, you might need to wait for an official macOS edition of Genshin Impact.
The good news is the latest version of PlayCover only requires you to disable SIP once when you log in to Genshin Impact.
How to Play Genshin Impact with PlayCover:
- Download PlayCover (free)
- Extract the Zip and drag the file to your applications folder
- Open PlayCover from applications (force open)
- Get the latest decrypted version of Genshin Impact from the PlayCover Discord
- In Discord, locate decrypted IPAS, and select the latest version of Genshin Impact
- Open PlayCover, click Add APP and select the IPA file
- Follow the on-screen instructions to disable System Integrity Protection
- Restart your Mac and re-open PlayCover
- Open Genshin Impact and login into your account
- Remap all your controls or use a controller
You should be able to get Genshin Impact running using PlayCover but you won’t get full resolution or graphics settings.
I recommend using a controller because it automatically rebinds to the controller buttons, so you won’t have to bind each key on your keyboard.
2- Use Parallels Desktop
Parallels Desktop is a third-party tool that allows you to create a virtual machine on your Mac and install Windows on it. It takes a bit of time to set up and you need to buy a Windows key too.
Parallels Desktop will let you install a wide variety of Windows apps and games on your Mac. Essentially Parallels tricks the game into thinking it is running on a Windows machine.
Once you have installed Windows on Parallels Desktop (follow these instructions) simply download Genshin Impact for Windows.
Here’s the thing:
There have been reports of Genshin Impact not working on Parallels Desktop and other virtual machines due to anti-cheat and DRM issues.
If it does not work (it may not, depending on your Mac and the current build of the game) you can try one of our other methods.
Fix for Genshin Impact not working on Parallels Desktop:
- Close the Parallels Image
- Open Control Center
- Select Options (Gear Icon)
- CPU & Memory
- Enable Nested Virtualization
- Next, allocate 2 GB of VRAM to Parallels
- Open Genshin Impact
The good news is Parallels Desktop has a free trial, so you can quickly do a test to see if your favourite game can run without having to commit to a paid subscription.
AirPlay from IOS to Mac or TV
Another option, although not the best, is to AirPlay Genshin Impact from your phone to your Mac or TV that supports AirPlay.
Essentially with AirPlay, your iPhone screen will be mirrored to the other screen.
From there, you can pair a controller to your iPhone and you can play Genshin Impact on your TV or Mac (or any other device that supports AirPlay).
However, this method usually involves very noticeable input lag and framerate issues, due to the data being sent over the Wifi network.
To summarize, you can play Genshin Impact on Mac but it’s not very easy and straightforward. The method I recommend is sideloading the IOS edition of Genshin Impact to your Mac using PlayCover because it’s easier than installing Windows on a virtual machine.
If neither of these options appeals to you, you’ll have to wait until Genshin Impact comes to macOS or a cloud gaming service.