Gaming

How do I play Rocket League on a Mac or Linux?

Rocket League on a Mac
Rocks off: Rocket League is being pulled on macOS and Linux

Right now, you can simply download Rocket League from Steam and be up and running in minutes, but not for much longer. New owner Epic has announced that it won’t update Rocket League for the Mac or Linux, and as of March 2020 they will remove the option to play online, which basically kills the game.

As you can imagine, this decision has gone down like a bucket of snails within the Rocket League community.

“If I wasn’t on Windows, I would be livid right now,” writes the brilliantly named AttaBoyPhiL on Reddit. “Why on earth would anyone think this is a good idea? So that means people who actually PAID MONEY and bought the game in the hopes to play multiplayer for the foreseeable future on Mac or Linux just can’t anymore ever…that’s some scummy s*** right there.”

So, if you’re a Rocket League player on Mac and Linux and are still keen to mix it online, what can you do?

What exactly is happening to Rocket League on Mac and Linux?

First, let’s be absolutely clear about what’s happening to Rocket League. The Windows and console versions will continue working exactly as before.

However, in March the developers will deliver a “final patch for the macOS and Linux versions of the game” that will “disable online functionality” such as online matches and in-game purchases on those two platforms. You’ll still be able to play local single-player games, but the whole essence of Rocket League is the online mode. They are effectively killing the game on Mac and Linux.

How do I keep playing Rocket League on a Mac?

If you’re a Mac owner and are still dying to get your Rocket League fix, then you have a few options.

You can install Windows on your Mac, either via Apple’s Boot Camp or (as I’d recommend) virtualisation software such as Parallels Desktop. Neither of these options are free or even cheap. The Boot Camp route means buying a Windows 10 licence (around £80 for the Home version) and Parallels will require you to subscribe to its software ($79.99 per year) and pay for the Windows licence.

Alternatively, you could look to run one of the new games-streaming services on your Mac. The cheapest option is Nvidia GeForce Now, which is in a beta phase and is currently free. You can simply install the game from your Steam Library or using your Rocket League credentials and stream the game.

You’ll need a fast fibre connection, although we have experienced lag on GeForce Now when playing over Wi-Fi, which isn’t great in a fast-moving game such as Rocket League. If you can, connect your Mac to your router via Ethernet cable for a smoother experience.

Another streaming alternative is Shadow. This effectively gives you a remote Windows 10 desktop that you can access on your Mac, once again installing Rocket League from your Steam library. Shadow starts at £12.99 per month if you’re willing to commit for a year – that base spec subscription will be fine for playing Rocket League.

How do I keep playing Rocket League on Linux?

The Shadow streaming service mentioned above for Mac owners also works on some Linux distros, so that’s one option for Linux lovers.

The Rocket League developers also suggest two emulators that allow you to run Windows games on Linux platforms. These are Steam Play and Wine. I’ve never used either of them, I’m afraid, so can’t vouch for how well they might work with Rocket League, but both are free so there’s nothing to lose but time in giving them a go.

NOW READ THIS: Where are Rocket League replays saved?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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