Play games on your Mac
It’s easy to play single-player or multiplayer games on your Mac. When you sign in with your Apple ID, a Game Center account is created for you (if it didn’t exist already).
You can browse the Mac App Store to get the newest or most popular games that support Game Center. If you’re using a Mac with Apple silicon, many iPhone and iPad games work on your Mac (as indicated by the Designed for iPhone or Designed for iPad label in the App Store). See Use iPhone and iPad apps on Mac with Apple silicon.
You can also subscribe to Apple Arcade to download and play a collection of groundbreaking games, and enjoy unlimited play on all your supported devices.
Note: The Game Center service and Apple Arcade aren’t available in all countries or regions.
Customize your Game Center account
On your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Internet Accounts .
If a Game Center account isn’t shown in the sidebar, you can add it. At the bottom of the pane, click the Add button , click Add Other Account on the right, then scroll down and click “Game Center account” (you may need to sign in with your Apple ID).
In your Game Center account, do any of the following:
Change details of your Game Center account: Click Details, then change any of the following. When you’re done, click Save or OK.
Change your nickname: Enter a new nickname (it identifies you in games). To use a suggested nickname, click the Nickname field, then click a suggestion.
Change who can view your profile: Click the Profile Privacy pop-up menu, then choose who can view your profile in games (Everyone, Friends Only, or Only You). Your profile shows which games you’ve been playing and your achievements. Your Game Center nickname and avatar are always visible to all players.
Allow nearby players to invite you to a multiplayer game: Select Allow Nearby Multiplayer. If you don’t want to be found, deselect the checkbox. Nearby players are those on the same Wi-Fi network as you, or within Bluetooth range.
Connect with friends: Select “Allow connections with friends” to allow games you play to connect you to people in your friends list. If you don’t want games to connect you, deselect the checkbox to stop sharing your friends list with apps. To see a list of apps that have requested access to your Game Center friends, click Details.
Add friends: Click Add Friend, then, in Messages, address your request to a friend you want to play games with. Your friend requests are shown in your Game Center Profile.
Remove friends: Select a friend in the list, then click Remove. When you remove a player from your list, you’re also removed from their list. If you play them again, you’re added back to each other’s lists.
When you sign in with your Apple ID on all your Apple devices, your Game Center account is available on all the devices.
Use a Bluetooth game controller
You can connect a Bluetooth game controller with your Mac to play games. See the Apple Support article Connect a wireless game controller to your Apple device.
If your game controller supports it, you can specify actions to occur on your Mac—for example, open the Games folder in Launchpad, take a screenshot, or record a brief video of gameplay—when you press designated buttons on the game controller. To set these options when your game controller is connected with your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Bluetooth .
Open a game
Games you download from the App Store are added to the Games folder in Launchpad. To open a game and start playing on your Mac, do one of the following:
Click the Launchpad icon in the Dock, click the Games folder, then open the game you want to play.
If you’re using a Bluetooth game controller that supports it, press the designated button on the game controller to open the Games folder, then open the game you want to play.
If you don’t play a game anymore, you can easily remove it from Launchpad.
See your achievements
Most single-player and multiplayer games show achievements and leaderboards so you can track your scores and ranking. You can access your Game Center Profile to track your achievements and show which games your friends are playing.
Play multiplayer games
Note: Compatible hardware and software are required to play some games.
Let a game find other players: If the game provides Auto-match, click Play Now to let the game find other players for you.
Play nearby players: If the game detects nearby players who are on the same Wi-Fi network as you, or within Bluetooth range, it shows them. In the game, select a player.
Invite friends to play: In the game, click Invite Friends, then select people from your contacts, friends, or nearby players. Customize your invitation, if you want, then click Send. You can send your invitation as a message, or send it to a phone number using SMS.
Accept an invitation: In the notification or message, click Accept. The game opens (if you have it) so you can start playing. If you don’t have the game, the App Store opens so you can get the game.
Record a brief video or take a screenshot while playing: When you use a Bluetooth game controller that supports it, press and hold the game controller button you specified to use for recording or taking a screenshot. You can record up to 15 seconds of gameplay.
Make sure Game Center notifications are turned on in Notifications preferences, so you know when you’re invited to join a game or that it’s your turn to play. You can receive Game Center notifications even when you’re using a Focus. See Set up a Focus.
When you play games on a Mac connected to a display that supports adaptive sync, you can set an option that automatically adjusts the display’s refresh rate to match the frame rate output by the graphics processing unit (GPU), to minimize screen stutters, input lag, and screen tearing during gameplay. See Use Adaptive Sync with your Mac.
The administrator of a Mac can prevent other users of the Mac from joining multiplayer games or adding friends. See Change Content & Privacy preferences in Screen Time.