Play games on your Mac
You can 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 Settings, then click Game Center in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
Do any of the following:
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 pop-up menu next to Profile Privacy, 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 friends to find you: Turn on “Allow finding by friends” so your friends can find you based on the name they have for you in their contacts list in the Contacts app.
Allow requests from contacts only: Turn on “Requests from contacts only” so the only friend requests you receive are from your contacts.
Allow nearby players to invite you to a multiplayer game: Turn on “Nearby players.” If you don’t want to be found, turn it off. Nearby players are those on the same Wi-Fi network as you, or within Bluetooth range.
Connect with friends: Turn on “Connect 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, turn it off to stop sharing your friends list with apps.
Add or remove friends: Click Show Profile to open your Game Center profile in the App Store.
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 game controller
You can connect a 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 to your Mac, choose Apple menu > System Settings, then click Game Controller in the sidebar. (You may need to scroll down.)
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 settings, 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.
The administrator of a Mac can prevent other users of the Mac from joining multiplayer games or adding friends. See Change Content Restrictions settings in Screen Time.