Strategy Tech

Starcraft 2 Mac Review: Can you run it?

Starcraft 2 Mac featured

Starcraft is extensively acknowledged as top-of-the-line real-time technique video games (RTS) of all time. So when Blizzard introduced a sequel, there was quite a bit to reside as much as, and amazingly sufficient, Starcraft 2 succeeded.

By preserving what made the unique nice, benefiting from improved know-how, and making gameplay additions and modifications that largely work, Starcraft 2 constructed on its predecessor’s legacy to develop into a basic in its personal proper. And in November 2017, Starcraft 2 turned even higher when it went free-to-play.

So a sequel to a basic, thought-about probably the greatest technique video games for Mac, now free, I’m guessing you’re hooked by now. And that leads us to our massive query: Can your Mac run it?

Despite the fact that it’s eight years previous, RTS video games are recognized for having some hefty system necessities; there is usually a lot happening at one time. So we examined Starcraft 2 on 6 totally different Macs to provide you a good suggestion of the place your Mac will stand.

What occurs once you take probably the most critically-acclaimed technique video games obtainable and make it free? You get Starcraft 2.

Our rating: ★★★★★


First issues first, is the sport any good?

As in any RTS, you spend a lot of your time gathering assets and constructing and upgrading your base and your military earlier than going out to perform the objective of your specific mission. One of many robust factors of the unique was its partaking story advised briefly cutscenes, and that continues within the sequel with much more element and interactivity.

Starcraft 2 Mac featured

In the event you’ve already gotten the impression that Starcraft 2 is a reasonably nice recreation, you’d be right. Regardless of some objections to Blizzard’s unique pricing construction and complaints concerning the lack of LAN multiplayer, Starcraft 2 was an enormous hit when it got here out.

Critics gave it an 88/100 Metascore:

Starcraft 2 Mac Metacritic

Starcraft 2 Mac Metacritic

And that was earlier than Starcraft 2 turned a free-to-play recreation, together with the single- participant human marketing campaign, skirmish mode, and multiplayer modes. Technique video games akin to Civilization 6 or Complete Warfare: Three Kingdoms are arguably simply nearly as good, and even higher, however these are $60 video games.  

Echoing my emotions precisely, Destructoid stated:

By some means, Blizzard has managed to make Starcraft 2 really feel immediately acquainted, whereas nonetheless protecting the whole recreation feeling recent and new. The only-player is ridiculously enjoyable, the multiplayer is as addictive as hell, and nearly each new mechanic Blizzard has launched has helped to enhance the sport.

Assuming you haven’t already stopped studying and gone to play, learn on to see what our exams revealed concerning the MacOS model of the sport.

Starcraft 2 Mac necessities

It’s all the time higher to satisfy the minimal system necessities, simply to be protected, however on this case, that shouldn’t be a problem…

StarCraft 2 Mac release

StarCraft 2 Mac release

These are the official StarCraft 2 system necessities:

  • OS 10.11
  • Processor Intel Core 2 Duo
  • Reminiscence 4GB RAM
  • Video Reminiscence 1GB Video RAM
  • Arduous Drive 30GB of Arduous Drive area

It’s unlucky that Blizzard doesn’t specify the minimal required built-in graphics card, however evaluating these with Intel’s options, we will conclude you want at the least an Intel HD Graphics 4000.

The Check: Are you able to run Starcraft 2 on Mac?

StarCraft 2 is a recreation that must be performed quick. A mean or mediocre efficiency will break this recreation and that makes these checks notably necessary.

To see how StarCraft 2 performs on Mac, we carried out exams on these 6 machines:

  • iMac 27-Inch (5K, Late 2014): three.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, AMD Radeon R9 M290X (2GB)
  • MacBook Professional (13-inch, Late 2016): GHz Intel Core i5, eight GB RAM, Intel Iris Graphics 540 (1.5GB)
  • Mac Mini (Late 2014): 2.6 GHz Intel Core i5, eight GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 (1.5GB)
  • MacBook Professional (13-inch, Late 2013): 2.four GHz Intel Core i5, four GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 (1.5GB)
  • MacBook Professional (15-inch, Mid 2012): 2.6 GHz Intel Core i7, eight GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M (1GB)
  • MacBook Professional (13-inch, Mid 2012): 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5, eight GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 400 (zero.5GB)

Discover the 2012 13-inch MacBook Professional simply barely meets the minimal system necessities.

Understand that the aim of those Efficiency Critiques is to point out you ways video games run on fashionable Macs, those most customers have, starting from the high-end fashions to the older however nonetheless widespread MacBook Execs and Mac Minis.

All in all, these are the classes we cowl:

  • Excessive-end Macs
  • Current entry-level Macs
  • Older Macs

And even when your actual Mac wasn’t examined, you’ll be able to all the time use certainly one of these fashions (the one which resembles yours probably the most) and estimate the efficiency ranges you’ll be able to anticipate whereas enjoying this recreation.

Utilizing Rely It, our in-house FPS counter, we examined all machines whereas enjoying an AI Versus match for about 5 minutes utilizing the next settings:

  • 1280×800 or equal decision
  • Graphics High quality: Medium
  • V-Sync and Anti-Aliasing: Off
  • OpenGL 2.1 render API

Metallic VS OpenGL renderer

A recreation that correctly helps Apple’s Metallic graphics API ought to destroy the identical recreation utilizing the older OpenGL graphics API when it comes to efficiency. On this case, although, Metallic help is formally in Beta and clearly not fairly prepared for prime time.

On the 2016 MBP, exams utilizing the Metallic render are barely higher than utilizing OpenGL. On the iMac, outcomes are almost equivalent. However on our 2013 MBP, the Metallic render shows terrible glitches and artifacts. That is why all our ultimate exams use OpenGL. Metallic could possibly be quicker, however Blizzard’s implementation isn’t secure sufficient proper now.

And for the report, Medium settings and 1280×800 decision could seem low however it’s one of the best compromise when testing each high-end and low-end fashions.

The Outcomes: A particularly well-ported recreation!

Regardless of not with the ability to use the Metallic render, StarCraft 2 is a well-optimized recreation with good body charges all-around. Blizzard’s expertise supporting MacOS is obvious.

Right here you possibly can see how our check machines carried out in Frames per Second (FPS):

StarCraft 2 results

StarCraft 2 results

That is how we describe the totally different ranges of efficiency:

  • Under 20 FPS: Unplayable: Laggy gameplay, filled with stutters and slowdowns.
  • 20-30 FPS: Borderline: May be Okay in sluggish paced video games. Nonetheless, not optimum.
  • 30-45 FPS: Playable: Acceptable for many (most gaming consoles do that).
  • 45-60 FPS: Clean: Fluid gameplay, with no perceivable stutters.
  • 60+ FPS: Very Clean: For hardcore and professional gamers, a luxurious for many.

Can my Mac run Starcraft 2?

For sure, a high-end Mac will have the ability to run this recreation and not using a sweat. Our 2014 iMac can run the sport at Very Clean 115.9 FPS. Clearly, the query isn’t, Can my Mac run it?, however, How excessive can I bump the settings whereas preserving a fluid expertise?

On the utmost settings, the sport nonetheless runs at a Very Clean 62.9 FPS. The visible enchancment going from Medium to Most settings is slight however keep in mind that the most important variations are higher physics (which, alas, can solely be seen throughout precise gameplay under):

Are you able to play it in 4K?

That is the place issues get fascinating. Often, going from Medium to Most settings is good, but when the decision of the sport stays the identical, the enhancements gained’t impress anybody.

If you need crisp, detailed and downright badass graphics, you’ll should bump up the sport’s decision, and right now, the holy grail of high-end gaming is 4K (or 2160p).

Operating at 4096×2304 decision and Max settings (barely larger than 4K), our 2014 iMac runs at Borderline 26.four FPS. However on the similar decision and Medium settings, the sport runs at Playable 40.1 FPS. That proper there can be the candy spot for many.

When you’ve got a high-end Mac that does 100 or extra FPS on medium settings and determination, I might give 4K gaming a attempt 😉

Are you able to play Starcraft 2 on a MacBook Professional?

A brand new 13-inch MBP can value some huge cash, however the reality it solely options built-in graphics explains why they’ll by no means be gaming beasts…

That stated, most up-to-date built-in graphics can get the job accomplished, offered you’re enjoying a well-optimized recreation that isn’t notably demanding. Seems StarCraft 2 is a well-optimized recreation and runs at Very Clean 70.1 FPS.

We often check video games on greater settings to match efficiency ranges however Starcraft 2 will restrict sure graphics choices if it decides your Mac is just not highly effective sufficient.

Starcraft 2 Mac

Starcraft 2 Mac

However what when you have an older Mac?

Each our Mac Mini and 2013 13-inch MBP run at Playable, 36.5 FPS and 33.eight FPS respectively. Each good outcomes that ought to guarantee respectable efficiency ranges for a fast-game reminiscent of SC2. Our 2012 15-inch MBP, with its devoted graphics card, runs in fact a lot quicker at a Clean 57.7 FPS.

However outcomes on the 2012 13-inch MBP are considerably inconclusive and shocking. The sport runs at a technically unplayable 19.three FPS. A lot decrease than our 2013 13-inch MBP which ought to solely be barely quicker.

Maybe the Intel HD 4000 Graphics is especially not fitted to this recreation…

You’ll be able to all the time play the sport at minimal settings and have a way more fluid expertise. That stated, on this case, Minimal settings are noticeably uglier…

On Minimal settings, our 2012 13-inch MBP runs the sport at Playable 33.58 FPS.

Obtain Starcraft 2 for Mac

Starcraft 2 is out there for obtain from all the most important digital shops together with Steam and Humble Bundle:

What occurs whenever you take some of the critically-acclaimed technique video games out there and make it free? You get Starcraft 2.

Our rating: ★★★★★


Our Verdict

Assessment Starcraft 2 on Mac
Abstract Whereas disenchanted that the Metallic render continues to be in beta, Starcraft 2 stays an excellent Mac port. The sport runs nice on most Macs from 2012 on and appears excellent on Medium settings.
Writer Ric Molina
Score (out of 5)

Low demand level

Low demand level

Demand degree: Low

Disclaimer: A number of the hyperlinks above are affiliate hyperlinks, which signifies that when you select to make a purchase order, I’ll earn a fee (that is how we pay the payments). This fee comes at no further value to you. 

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