I’m a long time MMO gamer. Since I now primarily use a Mac, my gaming choices are limited. I can play in virtual machines on an Intel-based Mac, but with the introduction of M1 Macs, Intel virtualization of games is no longer an option on the M1s. There are a few M1 based games but the choices are limited.
In October of 2021 CCP announced the release of EVE Online for M1 Macs. EVE Online is a space-based MMORPG. Within the game you have an avatar which is a spaceship and can participate in many different activities such as exploration, combat, trading, and building up your ship over time to be more powerful. I’ve often read that EVE Online is one of the largest games to explore because there are thousands of star systems that can be explored.
I was recently invited to test EVE Online on a M1 Mac. This is not an EVE Online review, but simply my first impressions of how it plays on an M1 Mac. The test system I used is a 2020 M1 Mac Mini with 16 GB ram and 2 TB of storage connected to a 24” 4K monitor.
When I first load a game, I always max out all the graphic settings and then back them down to where it’s playable without any stutter or lag. I did the same with EVE online, but, unlike other games, I never had to back down any settings. Even at maximum settings, the game ran very smooth and was stunning to look at graphically. I was truly taken aback at how great the game not only looked but ran. There was no stuttering or lag whatsoever. Game play was fluid and very pleasant to look at.
I called my wife in to take a look at the game, who is also a long time MMO player. When she first saw the game, she said, “Wow, that’s beautiful.”
The EVE Online client is native M1, and with all settings maxed, I was using 3.5GB of ram (out of 16GB). The CPU usage was 57% and GPU usage was 63%. This is very low compared to other games and applications I’ve run on the M1.
I can’t give a review of EVE Online, as I didn’t get too far into game play. I can wholeheartedly recommend EVE Online if you want to game on an M1 Mac. It plays wonderfully, and there are a lot of people to play with. At the time I logged on, there were about 26,000 others on-line. Unlike some MMOs, EVE Online has one large server, so there is always something to do and others around.
EVE Online is free to play, but you can pay for the Omega package which offers many perks. You can earn the items with in-game currency, and never have to pay.
The M1 Macs are powerhouses, and I hope other developers will follow the lead of CCP with EVE Online and introduce more M1 native games. I’m grateful that game developers such as the publishers of EVE Online are producing M1 native games. It showcases their games and what a great gaming platform the M1 can be.
If you have an M1 Mac and want to try some very exciting and smooth gaming, download EVE Online. It really showcases the power of the M1 Mac.
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