10 ways to stop games crashing on a Mac

Few things are more annoying than a game crashing on a Mac. If you're a keen OS X gamer with games that keep crashing, here are tips that will help you fix the problem.

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  • 1 Updates Updates
  • 2 steam always up to date Steam
  • 3 check requirements System Requirements
  • 4 update osx Update OS X
  • 5 game settings Adjust settings
  • 6 admin account Run as Admin
  • 7 reset nvram Reset your NVRAM
  • 8 update java Update Java
  • 9 clear caches Clear cache
  • 10 delete game Reinstall
  • More stories
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Update the game: make sure you're on the latest version

Mac OS X is a great platform for gaming (certainly better than many PC users give it credit for). Apple's new Mac range is fast enough to play all the latest games, and its top-end MacBook Pros and iMacs are amazing gaming machines.

Nothing is more frustrating than a Mac game that keeps crashing, though. You're just enjoying a good gaming session when it freezes, resets or boots you back out to OS X.

In this feature we're going to look at what to do if you've got a game that keeps crashing. The first piece of advice we've got is to update the game to the newest/latest available version.

If you picked up the game from the App Store, updating is simple. Open the Mac App Store app and click Updates in the top bar. If any of your games have uninstalled updates they will be shown here. Look for an option to Update next to the game. If all of your Mac App Store games are up to date, it will say No Updates Available.

Updating other games varies from title to title, but a quick check through the main menu should yield what you're looking for. And we'll deal with the updating process for Steam games in the next slide.

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Next Prev 1 Updates

Mac OS X is a great platform for gaming (certainly better than many PC users give it credit for). Apple's new Mac range is fast enough to play all the latest games, and its top-end MacBook Pros and iMacs are amazing gaming machines.

Nothing is more frustrating than a Mac game that keeps crashing, though. You're just enjoying a good gaming session when it freezes, resets or boots you back out to OS X.

In this feature we're going to look at what to do if you've got a game that keeps crashing. The first piece of advice we've got is to update the game to the newest/latest available version.

If you picked up the game from the App Store, updating is simple. Open the Mac App Store app and click Updates in the top bar. If any of your games have uninstalled updates they will be shown here. Look for an option to Update next to the game. If all of your Mac App Store games are up to date, it will say No Updates Available.

Updating other games varies from title to title, but a quick check through the main menu should yield what you're looking for. And we'll deal with the updating process for Steam games in the next slide.

 

Step 2 of 10: Keep Steam games up to date automatically

Steam is a popular source of games for many Mac gamers. Steam keeps games up to date, and if you're having a problem with a game crashing, you should ensure that Steam is getting the updates.

Open Steam for Mac and Control-Click on a game, choose Properties and click Updates. Set the Automatic Options update to High Priority - Always auto-update this game ASAP.

 

Step 3 of 10: Check the System Requirements before troubleshooting

Before spending time troubleshooting your Mac (or game), it's usually a good idea to check its System Requirements. This will let you know if it's a problem with the game, or if it simply requires a more powerful Mac than you've got.

If the game has higher system requirements than your Mac, there is little you can do but either get a better Mac or try to get a refund on the game. And, without wishing to compound your unhappiness, learn your lesson to check system requirements before purchasing in future.

 

Step 4 of 10: Update OS X (or get off the beta)

If you have trouble with any Mac software then updating OS X to the latest version is usually the best first step (open App Store and click Updates). This could help fix any problems with software incompatibility and help you down the line.

If you're in the Mac OS X Beta Seed programme you should go back to using the regular version of OS X and see if it that helps.

 

Step 5 of 10: Adjust the game settings

Most games feature graphical or other settings that can be turned down to enable faster performance, and higher compatibility with older computers. It may be that the game's settings are too high.

Turning them down - lessening the graphical razzle-dazzle in exchange for reducing the burden on your hardware - can solve some problems.

 

Step 6 of 10: Run the game from an Admin account

We often suggest that you don't use an Admin account to do your day-to-day stuff in OS X (although most of the time we do). But if you're running from a Standard account, and having problems, it's worth switching to an Admin account.

Click System Preferences > Users and the Lock icon. Pick your account and select Allow User to Administer This Computer.

This can be tricky if the game is being played by a child, because turning on Admin rights turns off parental controls. Maybe set up an account just for gaming and keep an eye on kids while they use it.

 

Step 7 of 10: Reset your NVRAM and restart the game

Resetting the NVRAM can help in some instances where games crash. This Apple Support document has more information on resetting the NVRAM in your Apple Mac computer.

 

Step 8 of 10: Update Java to make sure games work properly

If you're having trouble with a game crashing you should make sure you're running the latest version of Java. Click System Preferences > Java and click Update Now.

 

Step 9 of 10: Clear the game caches

Games, like many apps, have a cache of data that is used to speed up load times. Clearing the game's cache can help fix problems with the game.

These are typically found in the Caches folder inside your User/System folder. Find them by choosing Go > Go To Folder and entering ~/Library/Caches. Close the game, delete the caches for the game (this won't prevent it from running) and restart the game.

 

Step 10 of 10: Delete the game and reinstall

As a final option you can delete and reinstall the game.

When deleting the game we find it's best to use AppZapper, which clears out the main game file and also all of the supporting files. Be careful to check the game's support website for information about deleting and reinstalling the game, and in particular look for any information about transferring any game save data from one installation to the next.

Read more: How to fix a frozen Mac | How to fix a Mac that won't shut down | How to fix a Mac that won't start up

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