Tips for using Game Centre in Mac OS X

Game Center was introduced to OS X with the release of Mountain Lion back in 2012. Designed, obviously, as a hub for all your games, it's cross platform - allowing you to play with people using other Apple devices. It synchronises with your iOS Game Center Account, retaining information such as your achievements and friends. At the moment it doesn't seem to have had as much support as the iOS version, though more and more OS X game developers are including Game Center compatibility, so we're hoping to see this change in future. Note: You can use the ‘back’ and ‘forward’ arrows at the top left hand corner to navigate in much the same way you would with any browser Now we're going to talk you through creating an account and downloading a free game. We’ll also address some common questions.

By

Update: As of 13 June 2016, Apple has confirmed that Game Center will be scrapped for iOS 10. Therefore, it will likely be missing from macOS Sierra. So, be aware that if you’re here to find out more about it and continue to use it, you’ll want to stick with the version of iOS 9 you’re using, or an earlier version of OS X rather than the Sierra upgrade.

  • game center account Create an account
  • change ID Privacy and your Apple ID
  • me tab 002 Me tab
  • friends tab Friend tab
  • games tab 002 Games tab
  • games tab 003 Tracking achievements
  • Challenge Game Centre Challenges tab
  • requests tab Requests tab
  • Mavericks vs Yosemite Game Centre Yosemite Game Centre
  • More stories
Next Prev

Getting started: Create a Game Centre Account

If you don't already have a Game Center account, you'll need to make one. Game Center gives you a 'nickname' by which is what you're known on the platform – it connects to your Apple ID, but unlike your Apple ID, can be changed at any time (we’ll cover this later)

One you open Game Center, a dialogue box should open, asking you to connect your Apple ID with your Game Center account.  If you don’t have an existing account, you’ll be prompted to create one. Read about iOS Game Center.

Note: If at any point ‘Account’ says ‘(null)’, it means your Apple ID is not connected to your Game Center account. You’ll need to sign in again – click it and a screen like below appears.

Next »

Next Prev game center account

If you don't already have a Game Center account, you'll need to make one. Game Center gives you a 'nickname' by which is what you're known on the platform – it connects to your Apple ID, but unlike your Apple ID, can be changed at any time (we’ll cover this later)

One you open Game Center, a dialogue box should open, asking you to connect your Apple ID with your Game Center account.  If you don’t have an existing account, you’ll be prompted to create one. Read about iOS Game Center.

Note: If at any point ‘Account’ says ‘(null)’, it means your Apple ID is not connected to your Game Center account. You’ll need to sign in again – click it and a screen like below appears.

 

Step 2 of 9: Setting privacy options, changing your nickname and managing your Apple ID

You can change your nickname at any time by clicking ‘Account’ on the Me Tab.

From here you can also choose whether your profile is ‘public’ or not. A public profile means that your nickname and real name are visible to other players, and it allows other players to search for you. It also generates ‘friend recommendations‘ in the Friends Tab.

Private profiles limit your interaction and the multiplayer aspect of Game Center quite severely, but are obviously for preserving your privacy.  If you only play single player games and don’t much care for interacting with others, this might be a better option.

If you scroll down you can also click a link that will send you to the ‘My Apple ID’ page on apple.com. Read about How to find, change or delete your Apple ID here.

 

Step 3 of 9: The Tabs: Me Tab

Now that you’re (hopefully) up and running, we’re going to give you a little overview of each of the Game Center’s 5 tabs.

The Me Tab keeps track of your profile and achievements and also a place to discover new games.

You can click on any of the icons to be brought to the app store page for that game. E.g. clicking the square with the Minesweeper icon (does anyone remember Minesweeper?) will take you to the app store page for ‘Minesweeper Deluxe’, which you can download from there.

Over time the ‘Top Game Center’ games should change, so you’ll see different game icons appearing here.

Signing Out

If you’re signed in, you can also click ‘Account’ to sign out.

 

Step 4 of 9: The Tabs: The Friends Tab

The friends tab allows you to see your current list of friends, plus suggestions based on your existing iCloud contacts and what games you play.

You can send friend requests from here by clicking one of the recommendations and then ‘send friend request’.

Another thing to remember with Game Center is that you can't use it to message people, even Game Center friends. However, if you added an existing connection (i.e someone you already knew) you could message them outside of the Game Center using iMessage.

The more friends you have, the more opportunities there are to take advantage of Game Center’s multiplayer features, such as issuing ‘challenges’ and playing with/against others.

 

Step 5 of 9: The Tabs: The Games Tab

The games tab organises all the games you have installed. As you can see, having downloaded Minesweeper Deluxe from the app store, it now shows up here.

Click ‘show all’ to see more game recommendations – though at this point there’s no way to sort the results.

Clicking ‘Find Game Center Games’ will launch the App Store app on OS X, where you can browse the games section directly.  Read about the best way to find apps on the App Store.

 

Step 6 of 9: Ratings, achievements and leaderboards

If you click on a game’s icon you’re taken to an area where you can rate the game, see your achievements and view the leaderboards, if it has any.

Achievements are awards that you unlock by doing certain things or completing certain tasks within a game. Achievements award points, which count towards your total points score. We run through the best Mac games in this feature.

You can click ‘Players’ to see which of your friends are playing the game.

 

Step 7 of 9: The Tabs: The Challenges Tab

The challenges tab lists all the outstanding ‘challenges’ that other players have issued to you.

Accepting or declining challenges

Answering challenges sent by your friends can earn you additional achievements.

However, if you want to decline a challenge, select the friend who challenged you – which will reveal a speech bubble, which contains the challenge – click ‘decline’.

Issuing challenges to other players

To issue a challenge to another player, go to the Friends tab in Game Center, click through to a friend's profile to see what games they have in common with you.

Then, once you've found one that appeals, select it. This will take you to the Leaderboards for the game. Click on the Achievements tab and you'll see a list of achievements that you can challenge them to. Click 'Send Challenge' within the speech bubble, and then if you want, add an optional message to go with your challenge. The challenge will also be sent to your friend via email.

Challenging people you don’t know

You can also challenge people you don’t know if you fancy your chances against someone who appears in the leaderboards for a particular game.

 

Step 8 of 9: The Tabs: The Requests Tab

Pending friend requests from other users will appear here. As you can see, I’m not very popular, so nobody’s added me ;)

However, clicking add ‘Add Friends’ in the Requests Tab allows you to add someone based on their email address.

 

Step 9 of 9: The Game Centre In Yosemite

We know that Game Center will be part of Yosemite, where the icon is changing from the ‘checkerboard‘ to the ‘bubbly’ icon used for Game Centre in iOS 7.

It’s also getting an UI overhaul – going from the current, perhaps outdated ‘gaming table’ look to the more modern looking interface that you see in iOS7’s Game Center.

Find out which Mac is best for gaming: Best Mac for gaming: which Apple Mac computer has the best graphics for games.

Read: The 10 best shooting games for iPhone and iPad

Elsewhere on IDG sites
Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

Galaxy Note 8 vs iPhone X

This is what design agencies will look like in 2032

This is what design agencies will look like in 2032

How to update iOS on iPhone or iPad

How to update iOS on iPhone or iPad

WhatsApp : comment lire vos messages sans que l’expéditeur le sache

WhatsApp : comment lire vos messages sans que l’expéditeur le sache