What CrossOver’s DirectX 12 support means for the future of Mac gaming

Although Apple’s transition from Intel to Apple silicon is nearly complete, we haven’t seen any real impact on Mac gaming yet.

So it’s no surprise that Mac users rely on virtual machines and compatibility layers to play their favorite Windows games on their machines.

So if you are someone who uses CrossOver to play Windows games on your Mac, the developers have great news for you.

CrossOver will bring DirectX 12 support to macOS

Codeweavers screenshot of CrossOver 23 running Diabolo II
Image Credit: CodeWeavers

On June 1, 2023, CodeWeavers (the developers of CrossOver) announced that CrossOver 23 for Mac would ship with DirectX 12. The company has been working to bring DirectX 12 support to macOS for almost two years and is expected to finally be here. available. in the summer of 2023.

Game enthusiasts who use CrossOver to run Windows games on a Mac will benefit from DirectX 12, which offers better performance and speed. The current version of CrossOver uses DirectX 11, which Microsoft introduced in 2009.

For those who don’t know, DirectX is a collection of APIs that deal with game programming and graphics on Microsoft platforms, including Windows and Xbox. And the latest version, DirectX 12, was initially released alongside Windows 10 in 2015.

How CrossOver’s DirectX 12 support will affect games on Mac

As we mentioned, the native gaming options for Mac are not in the best condition. Although some believe Apple’s silicon is the future of Mac gaming, macOS still isn’t the go-to option when you need a variety of titles to play. However, the introduction of CrossOver from DirectX 12 to macOS may create a worthwhile middle ground here.

Noticeable improvement in speed and stability

As you may have noticed, DirectX 12 is a substantial improvement over the previous version, DirectX 11. According to many tests, DirectX 12 is 50-70% more efficient in terms of rendering speed and power consumption.

So these improvements would be beneficial when you want to play a heavy Windows game on your Mac using CrossOver 23.

Native support for Apple Silicon Mac

Apple Silicon M2 Chip
Image Credit: Apple

CrossOver for Mac has been supported by Apple’s silicon for quite some time. In fact, the screenshot CodeWeavers posted on their DirectX 12 update blog post is of a Mac with M2 running Diablo II: Resurrected.

Therefore, you can expect the games you run with CrossOver 23 to take full advantage of CPU and GPU resources. And the best part? Running games using a compatibility layer like CrossOver is much more resource efficient than virtual machine software like VMWare and Parallels Desktop.

So instead of waiting for game developers to release Apple’s silicon-optimized version, you can use the CrossOver 23 compatibility layer to play the Windows version of the game on your MacBook Pro, Mac Studio, Mac mini, or iMac.

potential limitations

It’s worth noting that CrossOver 23 won’t enable DirectX 12 support for all Windows games out of the box. Instead, the developer has said, a per-title method will be used. The first game to run on Mac with DirectX 12 support will be Diablo II: Resurrected. The company will continue to add DirectX support to more games over time, and you can keep track of updates via the CodeWeavers blog.

So while the news is exciting, you need to be very patient before playing your favorite AAA games on a Mac using CrossOver. But if you love Diablo II: Resurrected, you can check it out when CodeWeavers releases the first beta version of CrossOver 23 in summer 2023. But we expect the developers to release a more stable version later this year.

The future of Mac gaming looks bright

At this point, we’re impressed by the fact that it has multiple options for playing games on a Mac. While we look forward to the next Mac-optimized games, it’s great that you don’t have to wait for them.

However, you need to decide how best to run Windows games on your Mac. For example, if you also want to run Windows apps on your Mac, you might choose Parallels Desktop instead of CrossOver.