As dedicated successors to the groundbreaking Doom series, the Quake games have etched their name in the annals of first-person shooter glory since their debut in 1996. Known for their pulse-pounding action, eye-popping 3D graphics, and online multiplayer capabilities, the first four entries in the series are still worth exploring today. With Quake’s modern virtualization engine ports, you can experience these adrenaline-fueled adventures right on your brand new Apple Silicon Mac. Learn how in this detailed guide.
advice: Hungry for more retro FPS action? Check out how to play Doom 1, 2 and 3 on Mac with Apple Silicon.
How to run Quake 1 on Apple Silicon Macs
The original Mac version of Quake 1 no longer works on Apple Silicon computers, even if you have Rosetta 2 installed. Fortunately, you can experience the unique medieval atmosphere of Quake 1 on your Apple Silicon Mac using vkQuake, a modern port of the original game engine that offers improved compatibility, better graphics and other improvements. Follow these steps to get started:
- Download the Signed and notarized build of vkQuake. You can also build vkQuake yourself from scratch by following the instructions on it GitHub page.
- Open the “vkQuake.dmg” file you downloaded, then drag the app into your “Applications” folder.
- Buy Quake 1 from GOG.com, and download the Extractor tool. Use it to extract the game data files from the installer you purchased. Specify the Quake 1 game file as your “input file” and your “downloads” folder as your output directory.
- Locate the “id1” folder in the output folder, and place it right next to vkQuake.app in your “Applications” folder.
- Run “vkQuake” and enjoy on your Apple Silicon Mac!
advice: Are you a dedicated gamer with a subscription to Apple Arcade? Check out the best Apple Arcade games for Mac.
How to run Quake 2 on Apple Silicon Mac computers
To bring Quake 2 and its sci-fi setting back to life on an Apple Silicon Mac, use Yamagi Quake II. Follow these steps to get started:
- Visit MacSourcePorts.com, and grab the signed and notarized build of Yamagi Quake II. If you’re feeling adventurous, also assemble the port from the source code.
- Once downloaded, open the “yquake.dmg” file, then drag the app into your “Applications” folder.
- Buy Quake 2 from GOG.com, then download the Extractor tool. Use it to extract the Quake 2 installer.
- Launch Finder, navigate to your home folder, and click command + shift + . (dot/dot) to show hidden files. Create a new folder called “~/.yq2/”.
- Locate the “baseq2” folder in the output location of the Extractor tool, and copy it to your new “~/.yq2/” folder.
- Fire up Yamagi Quake II, and get ready to save Earth from the Strogg invasion.
advice: Quake II RTX Does not work on Apple silicon computers. It relies on NVIDIA’s raytracing technology, which is not supported on Apple’s silicon hardware.
How to run Quake 3 on Apple Silicon Mac computers
If you feel like revisiting the multiplayer action of Quake 3 on your Apple Silicon Mac, then ioquake3A modern port of the original engine designed to optimize compatibility and performance, is just what you need.
- Download the signed and notarized build of ioquake3 From MacSourcePorts.com. You can also build ioquake3 from the source code on it GitHub page.
- Open the “ioquake3.dmg” file you downloaded and move the app to the “Applications” folder.
- purchase Earthquake 3 From GOG.com. Without a valid copy, you will not be able to extract the necessary game files. grab the corkscrew online tool, and use it to extract the game data files from the Quake 3 installer.
- Launch Finder and create a folder called “Quake3” in “~/Library/Application Support/.” Copy the “baseq3” directory from the Extract tool’s output folder and paste it into the “Quake3” folder you just created.
- Run “ioquake3” and see if you have what it takes to survive a deadmatch.
good to know: Gear up your Mac for even more gaming adventures by learning how to install Unreal Engine.
How to run Quake 4 on Apple Silicon Mac computers
Unlike its predecessors, there are no Quake 4 ports that run natively on Apple’s silicon computers. However, the game can run at 60 FPS with ultra settings and a resolution of 1440×900 from within a virtual Windows machine, using an app called “Parallels”. Follow these steps:
- Download and install the free trial version, Parallels Desktopon your Apple Silicon Mac.
- Buy Quake 4 from GOG.com or steam, and run Parallels. Install the game in the virtual version of Windows, just as you would on a Windows PC.
- Select “View -> Enter Full Screen”, or click the full screen icon (green) to enter full screen view. Launch Quake 4, and start playing!
Do I need to own original copies of Quake games to legally play them on my Apple Silicon Mac?
Yes. You need to own the original copies of Quake games to play them legally on your Apple Silicon Mac. Buy these games from online platforms like GOG.com.
Are Apple Silicon Macs powerful enough to run Quake 1, 2, 3 and 4 at 60 FPS?
Yes. In fact, the first three games can run at full 4K resolution.
Can I play Quake multiplayer on Apple Silicon PCs?
Yes! There’s nothing stopping you from enjoying exciting multiplayer modes of Quake games on your Apple Silicon Mac (player 2 not included).
Can I play Quake 1 Remastered 2021 on my Apple Silicon Mac?
Yes. You can download Quake 1 Remastered from Steam to access enhanced graphics. “vkQuake” fully supports it, but note that you won’t be able to use the Extractor tool to get the “id1” folder. However, a workaround involves installing Quake 1 in a Windows or Linux virtual machine created using Parallels, then copying the necessary files to your Mac.
Image credit: Paxels. All screenshots by David Morello.
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