How to run Windows Games from Epic Games Store on macOS
Yes. Seriously. You can indeed play Windows Games from Epic Games Store on macOS! If you have been wanting to play games like Rocket League on macOS or perhaps have a whole library of free but mostly Windows-only games you’ve accumulated on the Epic Games Store that you wish you could run on your Mac? Here’s how you can do it!
Running Windows Games from Epic Games Store on macOS
- CrossOver translates Windows app (and games) instructions into macOS instructions in real-time
What’s the secret sauce? First and foremost, it’s the CodeWeavers CrossOver, specifically their latest version 21 release which supports DirectX 11 quite well. CrossOver is a pretty amazing piece of software and the team that developed Wine, which is the underlying open source software that CrossOver is based on, is nothing short of geniuses in my opinion. CrossOver basically translates Windows code or instructions into macOS instructions and thus, allowing Windows applications to basically run on your Mac. Since it’s not an emulator, the performance you get off CrossOver is pretty good. You can see how I’ve gotten Witcher 3 to run on my MacBook here.
- Heroic, a 3rd party open source Epic Games launcher, that supports running games over Wine (and CrossOver) on macOS
The second part of the equation here is the Heroic launcher. One thing that I hate about most game launchers today is that you need to use the launcher to install and run games that you purchase. The only exception is GOG.com, which is why I prefer to get my games from GOG. So with Epic Games, you will also need to have its launcher to work well with CrossOver. However, it does not. So in the past, I could only really play some of the games like Rocket League on my Mac using Parallels to run a Windows VM.
With Heroic, I can now install and launch these games and have it executed by CrossOver, effectively allowing me to run Windows Games from Epic Games Store on macOS.
Preparing CrossOver 21 for Heroic launcher
First of all, you of course need to have a copy of CrossOver 21. There’s no two ways around it. You can purchase it here from their site. Once you have it downloaded and installed, you will need to create a new Windows 7 64-bit Bottle. You need to name the bottle “Heroic” as it will be the bottle that the Heroic launcher will look for.
Next, you will need to enable DXVK Backend for D3D11 for the bottle.
After this, I would also recommend updating the DXVK drivers with the latest version you can find here. But one key thing to note, it seems that online multiplayer games will ban you if you use the async version of the driver. So unless you play mostly offline, standalone games, you might want to skip the async version of the driver. You can see how I’ve updated the drives here in my guide to install Witcher 3 on my Mac.
Installing and using Heroic Launcher
You can find the latest releases of Heroic here. Once you have it downloaded, install it as how you would usually do with any other Mac apps.
As Heroic is provided as an unsigned app, you will get the “cannot be opened because developer cannot be verified” error. Just click Cancel for now.
Next is to go to System Preference -> Security & Privacy -> General. Then click on Open Anyway and Heroic will automatically be launched again.
Now, you will again get asked if you want to override the security block. Click Open and Heroic will finally now launch.
Next up, you will be asked to login using your Epic Games account. With the latest version of Heroic, there’s two option to login. The first being the same usual way you login on Epic Games Store. Once logged in, you will see all the list of games that you have on your Epic Games Store library.
But as I’ve encountered myself, the login can fail as you can see from the screenshot below. I suspect it might have something to do with some conflicts between the login session on your browser and Heroic launcher. You can try to log out of Epic Games on the browser and then try to log in again.
If all fails, there is a second option which is to get the SID manually after logging in via a specific URL. This is what I’ve used to get it working on my end. To get the SID, click on the link provided. This would redirect you to the browser to log in as per usual.
But instead of the usual Epic Games Store site, you will get an JSON message as the response with the SID.
All you need to do then is to just copy the SID over to Heroic launcher and click Login.
Next thing is to check and make sure Heroic can find and detect CrossOver on your Mac. Also, make sure the bottle is also set to Heroic.
Installing and playing games on Heroic is pretty straightforward since it works just like any other game launcher. The only difference is of course that launching a Windows games on macOS automatically launches it through CrossOver.
Some of the games I’ve tried so far with Heroic and CrossOver is Rocket League, Darkest Dungeons and Galatic Civilisations III. All of them played really well. I do have to say that my MacBook is also powered with an eGPU enclosure with an AMD RX 580 GPU. With this setup, I can easily get 70+ fps on average running Rocket League at 1440p at the highest graphics settings.
Here’s a screenshot of Darkest Dungeons running on my Mac.
And finally, here’s Galactic Civilizations III also running via CrossOver 21. It’s hard to see on the screenshot but I get an average of 50+ fps at 1440p with the AMD RX 580 eGPU.
Let me know if this works as well for you too and feel free to share with me the list of games that works well using Heroic and CrossOver.
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