A Mac user’s quest to play Diablo 4

I am not one of those delusional Apple fanatics who will insist that the Mac is the ultimate machine and is great for everything, including gaming. Yes, Macs are great, but they are no gaming computers and I have to accept that. And even if I refuse to accept it, the fact that Diablo 4, a game I’ve waited for a very long time, isn’t supported for macOS, forces me to come to terms with the truth.

However, as someone who isn’t a hardcore gamer but rather an individual who may or may not find a couple of spare hours in a Saturday afternoon, I find it pointless to buy a souped-up gaming PC. At best, I am barely going to use it and, at worst, I am going to get caught up in a downwards spiral of procrastinating my work in favor of another 5-hour gaming sesh.

But I still really wanted to play Diablo 4, hoping that Blizzard has actually done a good job this time, so I started exploring my options. As it turns out, there were many others like myself, who love their trusty Macs, but also want to engage in some gaming fun with titles that aren’t supported for Apple computers. Many of those hidden gamers had various suggestions for possible workarounds. There was the obvious Boot Camp method, the Parallels Desktop option, and also a workaround called Boosteroid Clotud Gaming, about which I was initially a bit skeptical. Naturally, I got busy researching each method and completing each Diablo 4 Mac guide I could find until I finally came across some viable options.

Naturally, one of the most common suggested methods was to use Apple’s own Boot Camp app – a software that lets you install Windows 10 on an Intel Mac, which pretty much allows you to turn the machine into a Windows laptop and thus play all those previously unrunnable games. So problem solved, right? It would have been but, alas, the Boot Camp method doesn’t work on M1 and M2 models, and my Mac is powered by one such M1 chip.

Thus the search continued and the second popular method I came across was using Parallels. Like Boot Camp, it allows you to install Windows on your Mac, but there are some notable differences. First, this one actually works pretty well on M1 and M2 models and, secondly, it creates a virtual machine for the Windows directly inside your macOS, whereas Boot Camp requires you to partition your drive and dedicate an entire partition to the new OS. Parallels sounded like exactly what I’ve been looking for, but right as I was about to purchase a year-long subscription, a comment on Reddit clarified that this app won’t let you run games that require DirectX 12. And would you know it, Diablo 4 seems to have this requirement.

At this point, I was on the verge of calling it quits and accepting that my Mac, as much as I love it, isn’t meant to be used for gaming. However, right as I was about to conclude my search, I stumbled upon a service called Boosteroid, which could, apparently, grant me that what I wanted. Boosteroid is a cloud gaming service that lets you stream various games over the Internet and play them on your device without needing the game to be installed on it. 

I have heard about cloud gaming before, but have always thought it was something unreliable and gimmicky that won’t really let you properly enjoy the games you want to play. However, a lot of people suggested Boosteroid as the best available option to enjoy Diablo 4 on an Apple machine and this sparked my curiosity. I saw that the platform offers a no-strings-attached, single-month subscription plan, and so, as skeptical as I was, I decided to give it a go and see what all that fuss was about. I signed up, got my one-month subscription, found the game, clicked the Play button, and Diablo 4 started on my Mac… within my browser. 

Now, to be fair, even though this isn’t the same as gaming on an actual PC, I was genuinely surprised that I was able to run a 2023 game, that required some decent hardware, inside my Google Chrome browser. Sure, you could tell this isn’t the native experience – occasional stuttering and drops in the image quality when your Internet misbehaves will remind you that you aren’t actually running the game on your Mac, but other than that, I found this to mostly be a pleasant experience. And yes, it’s a compromise and not at all what a hardcore gamer would expect, but as I said, I am no hardcore gamer. I am just someone who wants to get in an hour or two of relaxing monster-slaughtering in some gloomy dungeon before I go back to my work. And, for my needs, using cloud gaming to play Diablo 4 seems like the perfect middle ground between not gaming at all and getting that gaming machine, which will likely cause me more harm than good.