Starcraft 2 Mac Review: Can you run it?

Starcraft is extensively acknowledged as among the best real-time strategy games (RTS) of all time. So when Blizzard announced a sequel, there was so much to stay up to, and amazingly sufficient, Starcraft 2 succeeded.

By maintaining what made the unique nice, profiting from improved know-how, and making gameplay additions and modifications that largely work, Starcraft 2 constructed on its predecessor’s legacy to grow to be a basic in its personal right. 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 strategy 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?

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

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

Our rating: ★★★★★


First things first, is the sport any good?

As in any RTS, you spend a lot of your time gathering assets and building and upgrading your base and your army earlier than going out to accomplish the objective of your specific mission. One of the robust points of the unique was its partaking story informed briefly cutscenes, and that continues in the sequel with much more element and interactivity.

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

Critics gave it an 88/100 Metascore:

Starcraft 2 Mac Metacritic

And that was before Starcraft 2 turned a free-to-play recreation, including the single- player human marketing campaign, skirmish mode, and multiplayer modes. Strategy games similar to Civilization 6 or Complete Struggle: Three Kingdoms are arguably simply nearly as good, or even higher, however these are $60 video games.

Echoing my emotions precisely, Destructoid stated:

One way or the other, Blizzard has managed to make Starcraft 2 really feel instantly acquainted, whereas still protecting your complete recreation feeling recent and new. The only-player is ridiculously enjoyable, the multiplayer is as addictive as hell, and nearly every new mechanic Blizzard has launched has helped to enhance the game.

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

Starcraft 2 Mac requirements

It’s all the time better to satisfy the minimum system necessities, just to be protected, but in this case, that shouldn’t be a problem…

StarCraft 2 Mac release

These are the official StarCraft 2 system requirements:

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

It’s unlucky that Blizzard doesn’t specify the minimum required integrated graphics card, however comparing these with Intel’s options, we will conclude you want a minimum of an Intel HD Graphics 4000.

The Check: Can you run Starcraft 2 on Mac?

StarCraft 2 is a recreation that needs to be performed fast. A mean or mediocre efficiency will break this recreation and that makes these checks notably essential.

To see how StarCraft 2 performs on Mac, we performed checks 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, 8 GB RAM, Intel Iris 5100 (1.5GB)
  • MacBook Professional (13-inch, Late 2013): 2.4 GHz Intel Core i5, 4 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, 8 GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 400 (0.5GB)

Notice the 2012 13-inch MacBook Pro just barely meets the minimal system necessities.

Remember that the purpose of these Efficiency Critiques is to point out you how games run on well-liked Macs, those most users have, starting from the high-end models to the older however nonetheless in style MacBook Execs and Mac Minis.

All in all, these are the classes we cowl:

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

And even if your actual Mac wasn’t tested, you can all the time use one among these models (the one which resembles yours probably the most) and estimate the performance ranges you can anticipate whereas enjoying this recreation.

Using Rely It, our in-house FPS counter, we tested all machines whereas enjoying an AI Versus match for about 5 minutes using the following settings:

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

Metallic VS OpenGL renderer

A recreation that correctly supports Apple’s Metallic graphics API ought to destroy the identical recreation using the older OpenGL graphics API when it comes to efficiency. In this case, though, Metallic help is formally in Beta and clearly not quite prepared for prime time.

On the 2016 MBP, exams utilizing the Metallic render are slightly better than utilizing OpenGL. On the iMac, outcomes are almost similar. But on our 2013 MBP, the Metallic render displays terrible glitches and artifacts. That is why all our ultimate exams use OpenGL. Metallic could possibly be quicker, however Blizzard’s implementation is just not secure sufficient proper now.

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

The Results: 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 rates all-around. Blizzard’s expertise supporting MacOS is obvious.

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

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: Can be Okay in sluggish paced video games. Still, not optimal.
  • 30-45 FPS: Playable: Acceptable for many (most gaming consoles do this).
  • 45-60 FPS: Clean: Fluid gameplay, with no perceivable stutters.
  • 60+ FPS: Very Clean: For hardcore and professional gamers, a luxury for many.

Can my Mac run Starcraft 2?

For sure, a high-end Mac will be capable of run this recreation with no 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 high can I bump the settings whereas retaining a fluid expertise?

On the maximum settings, the sport still runs at a Very Clean 62.9 FPS. The visual improvement going from Medium to Most settings is slight however keep in mind that the most important variations are better physics (which, alas, can solely be seen during precise gameplay under):

Can you play it in 4K?

That is the place things get fascinating. Often, going from Medium to Maximum settings is good, but when the resolution of the game remains the same, the improvements gained’t impress anyone.

If you need crisp, detailed and downright badass graphics, you’ll need to bump up the game’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 26.4 FPS. But on the similar decision and Medium settings, the sport runs at Playable 40.1 FPS. That proper there can be the candy spot for most.

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

Can you play Starcraft 2 on a MacBook Professional?

A new 13-inch MBP can value a lot of money, however the reality it solely features built-in graphics explains why they’ll never be gaming beasts…

That stated, most recent built-in graphics can get the job completed, offered you’re enjoying a well-optimized recreation that isn’t notably demanding. Turns out 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 but Starcraft 2 will restrict certain graphics options if it decides your Mac isn’t highly effective sufficient.

Starcraft 2 Mac

However what if 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 should ensure respectable efficiency levels for a fast-game reminiscent of SC2. Our 2012 15-inch MBP, with its dedicated graphics card, runs in fact much quicker at a Clean 57.7 FPS.

But outcomes on the 2012 13-inch MBP are somewhat inconclusive and shocking. The game runs at a technically unplayable 19.3 FPS. A lot decrease than our 2013 13-inch MBP which should only be slightly quicker.

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

You possibly can all the time play the game at minimum settings and have a much more fluid expertise. That stated, on this case, Minimum settings are noticeably uglier…

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

Download Starcraft 2 for Mac

Starcraft 2 is accessible for obtain from all the key digital shops together with Steam and Humble Bundle:

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

Our score: ★★★★★


Our Verdict

AssessmentStarcraft 2 on MacSummaryWhile disillusioned that the Metallic render continues to be in beta, Starcraft 2 remains an excellent Mac port. The game runs nice on most Macs from 2012 on and looks excellent on Medium settings.WriterRic (out of 5)

Low demand level

Demand degree: Low

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