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GeForce Now Review: Why It’s A Game Changer

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GeForce Now for Mac could revolutionize gaming on macOS. Macs have already come a long way when it comes to gaming but GeForce Now promises to take it to another level blurring the line between gaming and Mac on PC like never before. The only concern is how it will be priced. It's hard to see a pay-as-you-go model being successful but if NVIDIA choose a subscription model, it's sure to be a runaway success.
Flawless gaming on Mac at the highest resolution and frame rates
Incredibly easy to setup and use
Much better than using Boot Camp or Virtual Machines for gaming
Allows you to play Windows games that aren't always available on Mac
Games available are limited
Not all games are optimized yet
Subscriptions have playing session limits

It’s not often that an app is released that completely blows you away but as we found in our GeForce Now review, it’s no exaggeration to say that GeForce Now is a potential game changer on Mac – quite literally.

In one stroke, GeForce Now turns Macs into gaming machines that are finally on a level with high-end PCs that can play Windows only games such as Fortnite on a Mac, Valheim on Mac, Counter Strike 2 on Mac, and Genshin Impact on a Mac.

Yes, that’s a pretty big claim but compared to other ways of playing PC only games on a Mac, or more recently, connecting an eGPU unit to your Mac, it’s an incredibly easy and economical way of bringing Windows only gaming to Mac.

Even better, GeForce Now works on any Mac from 2009 onwards which means both Intel Macs and the latest Apple Silicon M1 & M2 Macs such as the M2 MacBook Pro and Mac Studio.

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Why GeForce Now Can Revolutionize Mac Gaming

If you’re a long time Mac user, you’ll know that Mac users are always back of the queue when it comes to games releases.

For obvious reason, most developers concentrate on the PC and gaming console markets and big games are always released later – and in many cases never – on Mac.

GeForce Now changes all of that because by hosting games in the Cloud, it allows Mac users to play many PC only games as soon as they’re released at the same frame rate and resolution as high-end gaming PCs with absolute ease.

This includes PC only games that are released on Steam or Blizzard as you can link Steam games to GeForce Now and play them on your Mac – even if they’ve only been released for PCs.

Even more impressive, you don’t even need a new or high-end Mac to do so.

We tried it on a 10-year-old MacBook Pro and there was absolutely no difference between playing games on it compared to a state of the art gaming PC, even at 60 fps and ultra high-resolution settings.

If you’re in a hurry, you can watch a good overview of how GeForce Now performs on a Mac below.

As you can see, it’s incredibly easy to use and performs flawlessly even when playing demanding games such as Doom and Overwatch.

GeForce Now For Mac Pricing

You can try a one hour session of GeForce Now for free and try as many sessions as you like.

Be aware though that you may to wait in a queue for a free session slot.

For unlimited gaming you need to subscribe to either a Priority plan for $9.99 per month or RTX 3080 plan with faster servers and 4K resolution for $19.99 per month.

Priority plans are limited to 60 Frame Per Second (FPS) and 6 hours of gaming per session.

RTX 3080 plans are limited to 8 hours of gaming per session but support an impressive 120 FPS at 4K resolution.

These plans replace the original Founders Membership which cost $4.99 per month or $24.95 for six months.

When the service was originally premiered at CES 2017, NVIDIA said that gamers would get 8 hours for free and then it would cost $25 for every 20 hours of gaming on a GTX1060 Cloud setup and $50 for 20 hours on a GTX1080 setup.

However, this never actually happened in the end and it seems that NVIDIA have settled on the Priority and RTX 3080 plans.

geforce now pricing

If there’s any drawback to the service, then it will be the pay-as-you-go pricing structure because as any gamer knows, it’s very easy to get lost spending hours gaming which is going to seriously add-up with a pay-as-you-go structure.

It would be much better if pricing were on an unlimited session basis that gamers don’t feel restricted by how much they can play.

Is GeForce Now Still in Beta?

GeForce Now for both Mac and Windows initially released in beta in February 2020 although later that year NVIDIA announced it was finally available to everyone although not in all regions.

At the moment, the GeForce Now website is still saying that the service is in Beta with a wait list so you need to sign-up to receive an invitation although depending on your region, invites are almost instantaneous.

Whether or not you have an invite however, you can still download the GeForce Now Mac desktop client.

The GeForce Now desktop app also works natively on both Intel and Apple Silicon M1 & M2 Macs so there’s no Rosetta emulation to slow it down.

How Does It Work?

Currently, the most common ways of playing PC games on Mac is by installing Windows on Mac via Boot Camp, using a virtual machine such as Parallels or by connecting an eGPU unit.

All however have their limitations especially when it comes to frame rates, resolution and stability GeForce Now is a far superior solution because it works by running a powerful GeForce GPX CPU in the Cloud.

The GeForce Now client for Mac simply connects you to this and hosts games remotely but there’s absolutely no lag as the GeForce Cloud Servers take the heavy load off your Mac so that you can enjoy the game at its maximum settings.

The only thing you really need is a decent internet connection (see system requirements below).

System Requirements

One of the most remarkable things about GeForce now is that it works perfectly on older MacBooks (both Pro and Air) and iMacs.

In fact NVIDIA claims it works on any Mac from 2009 onwards.

We tried it on a 5-year-old MacBook Pro from 2012 and it worked flawlessly even at 60Fps but according to the GeForce Now system requirements, it even works on MacBook Airs built back in 2009 and MacBooks built-in late 2008 – that’s almost 10 years old!

The most important system requirement is the speed of your internet connection so bear this in mind:

  • You will need a minimum of 25Mbps download speed but 50Mbps is recommended. You can test your internet speed connection at speedtest.net. or GeForce Now will automatically detect your network settings and indicate whether you suffer from stutter or latency issues.

geforce now network speed test

  • There’s a pretty impressive example of one user playing Just Cause 3 on a 27Mbps connection at 1080p. There is also an insane example below of a MacBook tethered by mobile phone in the middle of nowhere using GeForce Now almost seamlessly. It’s clear the service is clearly incredibly flexible even when performing on slower internet connections.

  • You’ll need a 5Ghz wireless router or preferably an ethernet connection. The problem with the latter is that new Macs don’t have an ethernet port but you can use one of these supported ethernet adapters.
  • You will need to be running macOS 10.10 or higher.
  • If you want to play at 4K and 120 FPS, you can do this easily on the latest M1 MacBook Pro but you may also want to consider getting an external monitor for your MacBook Pro for best results.

Does GeForce Now Work On M1 Macs?

In April 2022 NVIDIA added native support for the M1 chip to GeForce Now For Mac.

Previously, GeForce Now only worked on M1 Macs via Rosetta but is now optimized to take full advantage of the M1 and M2 chip in the latest Macs including the M2 MacBook Pro.

According to NVIDIA, GeForce Now consumes less power on Apple Silicon Macs and launches games and apps faster than using Rosetta.

Which Games Work With It?

geforce now mac review - games

At the moment, there are over 1,500 games on GeForce Now and you can see which games are currently on GeForce Now here.

Games supported on GeForce Now include added Witcher III, Destiny 2, Batman Arkham Asylum, World of Tanks, Cyberpunk, Far Cry 6, Tropico 6, Fortnite, Valheim and Genshin Impact.

You can also request for new games to be added to the supported list so that they’re fully optimized for GeForce Now.

NVIDIA are constantly adding new optimized games to the catalog and you can find out the latest ones that have just been added on the NVIDIA GeForce Now forum.

Note that there is no limit to storage space on GeForce Now servers – you can install as many games as you like.

Playing PC Only Steam Games on GeForce Now

However, if a game isn’t on GeForce Now and it’s Windows only, you can also link GeForce Now to work with games on Steam or the Epic gaming platform even if it’s only available for PC:

These include major titles such as Fallout 4, Resident Evil 7, Civ VI, League of Legends, NBA 2K18 and it allows you to play Cuphead on Mac.

It also means that you can use the Steam Windows version of VRChat on Mac.

Once you launch GeForce Now, you’ll need to link it to your Steam account in order to play games and you’ll need to have already purchased the games on Steam to play in GeForce Now.


Playing Xbox Games On GeForce Now

More recently, you can now play Xbox only games on a Mac thanks to a deal Microsoft has done with NVIDIA and GeForce Now.

In June 2023, Microsoft announced that it is planning to bring its Game Pass service to GeForce Now.

GeForce Now has now become one of the easiest and best ways to play Xbox and Windows only titles that aren’t available on Mac.

At the moment, Mac users can play some Xbox games using an Xbox Cloud Ultimate pass but the new deal will bring Windows only games that are normally only on the PC Game Pass Service to Mac via NVIDIA GeForce Now For Mac.

Note that not all PC Game Pass games will be available on GeForce Now.

Microsoft has confirmed that “select PC games from the library” will be available via GeForce Now For Mac but not all of them.

At the moment, the deal is being reviewed by regulators but tantalizingly for Mac users, if the deal went through then it would mean massive Blizzard games like Diablo 4 could be playable on a Mac via GeForce Now.

It could also mean that Mac users can play the PC version of Starfield on a Mac which has a higher frame rate than the Xbox Cloud version.


There are some restrictions to GeForce Now you should be aware of:

  • It’s currently limited to certain regions but a full worldwide roll-out expected soon. You may be able to get round restrictions in your area with a fast VPN on your Mac although the latency will probably make it too slow for the service to work properly.
  • It only currently works with games on the Steam and Epic platform but this will surely be expanded if the service takes off.
  • There are some glitches and bugs with certain games which you can report or read about on the GeForce Now Mac forum.
  • You will find that games take a while to boot – sometimes as long as 3 minutes or so but usually a lot less. This will improve as the product develops out of beta but the gaming experience is worth the wait.
  • There’s no GeForce Now app available for Apple TV although in theory, it should be possible in the future because the main requirement is a fast internet connection since everything is hosted in the Cloud.
  • There are some major publishers that don’t have agreements with GeForce Now including Electronic Arts (which means you can’t play FIFA on a Mac in GeForce Now), Activision/Blizzard, Bandai Namco and Rockstar Games (so GTA is not available on GeForce Now either).

Gamepads & GeForce Now

NVIDIA actually recommend using a USB gaming mouse or gamepad as the Apple Magic Mouse does not have dedicated left and right scroll buttons needed for games.

Currently, the following Gamepads are supported by GeForce Now on Mac. Note that Logitech Gamepads only work in DirectInput Mode.

  • Sony DualShock 4 for PlayStation 4 (USB wired and Bluetooth)
  • Logitech Gamepad F310
  • Logitech Gamepad F510
  • Logitech Gamepad F710

You can use an XBox controller with GeForce Now but it’s complicated to setup. You can find instructions here or you may be able to use an app like Joystick Mapper which makes it much easier.

SteamVR & GeForce Now

Unfortunately SteamVR has been dropped on Mac due to the lack of developers that were making games for it.

It’s not clear whether Steam will once again support VR on Mac in the future but for now, you won’t be able to use a VR headset with it.

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