macOS High Sierra

Play games on your Mac

It’s easy to play games on your Mac. When you sign in to iCloud, a Game Center account is created for you (if it didn’t exist already).

A Game Center account in Internet Accounts.

To play, open a game the same way you open any app on your Mac, then have fun. You can play alone in a single player game or play with others in a multiplayer game (real-time or turn-based). If a multiplayer game supports sessions, where the game data is stored in iCloud, you and your friends can come and go in the game whenever you want.

Tip: Browse the Mac App Store to get the newest or most popular games that support Game Center and sessions.

Customize your Game Center account

  • See your Game Center account: Choose Apple menu > System Preferences, then click Internet Accounts.

    Open Internet Accounts preferences for me

    If you don’t see your account, scroll to the bottom of the pane on the right, click Add Other Account, scroll down and click “Game Center account,” then sign in.

  • Change your gaming nickname: Click Edit, then change your nickname. Your nickname identifies you in games and is visible to other 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.

When you’re signed in to iCloud using the same Apple ID on all your Apple devices, your Game Center account is available on all the devices; any games you purchased using the same Apple ID are also available.

See game statistics and challenges

  • Most single player and multiplayer games show achievements and leaderboards so you can track your scores and ranking, and let you challenge other players to match or beat your statistics.

    In a game, look for buttons or menu items to view and share achievements, leaderboards, and challenges by email, messages, or social media.

Play multiplayer 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. Select a player

  • Invite friends to play: In the game, click Invite Friends, then select people from your contacts, recent games, or nearby players. Customize your invite, if you want, then click Send. You can send your invite as a message, or send it to a phone number using SMS.

    If you previously used the Game Center app, people from your Friends list are shown in Recent.

  • Accept an invite: 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.

Note: Invitations to join games or alerts that it’s your turn to play in a turn-based game may arrive as notifications on your Mac. Use Notifications preferences to ensure you receive the notifications or to stop or pause them. For more information, see Receive or stop notifications.

Host and play sessions

A session is an iCloud-based game where up to 100 people can play at the same time, even forming teams to compete against each other. Because the game data is stored in iCloud instead of on your Mac, you can come and go in the game whenever you want.

You must be signed in to iCloud to host and play sessions.

  • Host a session: When you invite friends to play a game that supports sessions, the session game data is stored using your iCloud storage.

  • Invite friends: Depending on the game, you can invite people in your contacts using different methods, such as message, email, Twitter, or Facebook.

  • Accept an invite: In the notification or message, click the session URL to accept the invite. 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.

  • End a session you’re hosting: You can end a session at any time; when you do, the game data is deleted from your iCloud storage.

    If a session is inactive for six months, it’s automatically ended and the game data is deleted.

The administrator of a Mac can prevent other users of the Mac from joining multiplayer games. For more information, see Set up parental controls.

The Game Center service may not be available in all areas.