As a long-time Apple aficionado keenly interested in gaming, I am often asked whether being a gamer is more important than allegiance to the tech company. The question is based on the dichotomous either/or thinking, the conviction that one can either have a Mac or be a gamer. My answer to the question is that when it comes to Mac gaming, it is more reasonable to think in terms of compatibility rather than dissimilarity. In fact, it is not difficult to dispel the false belief that a Mac is a machine that is not suitable for “real” gaming. After all, Macs are made of the same basic discrete electronic components as any Windows-based computer. It follows that there’s no inherent hardware barrier to running top video games on a Mac. “What about software impediments?”, you ask. There are, indeed, software hurdles to gaming on Apple computers. Fortunately, they can be easily overcome with the help of an app called Wineskin Winery. The app has been developed to serve as a translator for Windows and macOS machines. Remember, the Babel fish from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy? Basically, that’s what Wineskin Winery is to a Mac. You install the app on your computer, and it functions as a translator for two systems, thereby allowing you to seamlessly run Windows games.
What is Wineskin and How It Works on Mac?
Let’s consider closely what is Wineskin and how it can be used to run your favorite games such as The Sims 4, FIFA 14, and even Skyrim. Basically, Wineskin Winery is an open-source software designed to port Windows programs to macOS. Although it is not a rock-solid option for running Windows games on a Mac, it doesn’t require a Windows installation, which makes it cheaper. Wineskin Winery creates an illusion of Windows environment on macOS, thereby allowing PC games to run a Mac. Even though it is not a perfect solution, Wineskin works just fine to prevent the Mac-gaming schism from undermining people’s love of Apple ecosystem and the question of compatibility from being nudged into a technically grey area.
Wineskin Download on Mac
No matter how complicated the app installation and usage might seem or be, it always starts with a simple downloading. Wineskin Winery is an open-source app; therefore, every Mac user can download it for free to play Windows and even PlayStation 2 games. The latter requires a PCSX2 emulator, which is also free. The program is perfectly suitable for older versions of Mac OS X such as El Capitan; however, the information on the developer’s website suggests that there might be some difficulties when trying to create a wrapper on High Sierra.
How to Install Wineskin on Mac
Once downloaded, the app has to be installed on a Mac to create a wrapper and make use of engines. There’s nothing difficult about installing Wineskin. However, less experienced Apple users might benefit from a little tutorial. Here it is:
- Locate the downloaded DMG file;
- Double-click on the file to open it;
- In a window that opens, use the shortcut to drag Wineskin to the Application folder;
- Drop the app into the folder;
- Unmount the DMG file in the Finder by clicking the Eject arrow;
- Close the Finder.
How to Create Wineskin Wrappers?
Now that you’ve installed the app on your Mac, it’s time to create wrappers and play some games. Here’s how it can be done:
- Launch Wineskin;
- Click the + sign in the Installed Engines window;
- In the Add Engine window that opens, select the latest engine;
- Click the Download and Install button;
- Click the OK button;
- Click the Create New Blank Wrapper button;
- Name the wrapper and click the OK button;
- In a window that opens, click the Install button to get Wine Mono installer;
- Repeat the previous step for Wine Gecko installer (the two installers will enable you to run .Net applications and HTML-based content);
- After the installation process is finished, click the View Wrapper in Finder button to find the newly-created wrapper.
- In the Applications folder, right-click on the wrapper and select the Show Package Contents option;
- Open the Wineskin app;
- Select the Install Software option;
- Click the Choose Setup Executable button;
- In the Finder’s window select the .exe file you would like to install;
- Click the OK button;
- From the list of executable files, select the one that launches the game and double-click on it.
And there is a second method (with Steam):
- Launch Wineskin, then click on the “+” button under the Installed Engines section to install Wine. Next, select the latest Wine version from the drop-down list of available options.
- Proceed to update the app Wrapper. Click Build new blank wrapper, name it Steam, and it finishes building.
- Decline Gecko and Mono installation prompt. When Wineskin Winery installation is over, view the newly-created wrapper. Copy it to the desktop.
- To install Steam, double-click the Wineskin icon, then click Advanced. Proceed to the Tools tab and click Winetricks in Utilities
- Click the Update button in the bottom-left corner to update Winetricks.
- Wait until the update is over. Next, expand the Apps tree, select Steam -> click the Run
- After the Steam installer opens, follow the on-screen instructions. Wait a few minutes until Steam update is finished.
- When Steam installation and update is over, close the window and proceed to the Configuration tab.
- Navigate to the location of the Steam.exe file in the wrapper. After that, close the window, then double-click the Steam.app
Note: updating Winetricks is crucial to avoid the dwrite bug during Steam installation.
If there is no text showing when you’re installing Steam, start over and update Winetricks. If Steam update fails and you get the No Steam Config Servers online error, this is also a bug that needs fixing.
If you have eliminated the dwrite bug, go to the Steam website and download the Windows install package. After that, right-click the wrapper -> choose Show Contents -> double-click the Wineskin app inside. Next, click Install Software and point it to the newly-downloaded SteamSetup.exe file. Following this troubleshooting instruction should fix the problem. You will be able to reinstall Steam in the same directory, update the wrapper, and then open the Steam Client window.
After completing the steps above, take the game you’ve just installed for a test ride. Maybe winter and summer are not meant to be together, but some PC games do belong on a Mac. Therefore, do not listen to detractors who unknowingly spread a truly pernicious oral flu that makes gamers wary of Macs and try Wineskin instead.