Windows-only games on Mac OS X

23 Oct 2015

Recently I had a craving to play some Windows-only games on my MacBook Pro. I achieved this with wine. None of the online tutorials were sufficient for Mac OS so I created this blog post.

The games I wanted to play were:

I contributed this install experience to the wine AppDB.

Tech specs

Hardware:

  • MacBook Pro Model A1398.
  • CPU: 2.3 GHz Intel Core i7.
  • RAM: 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3.
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M.
  • VRAM: 2048 MB.

Software:

  • OS X 10.9.5.
  • Xcode Version 6.0.1 (6A317) with the developer tools installed.
  • Homebrew 0.9.5.
  • I used homebrew to compile and install wine 1.7.53.

Notes about software:

  • Software progresses; at the time of this writing, the software used is the latest versions at the time. I recommend you make use of the latest software and versions when you go through this tutorial rather than attempt to use the specific versions outlined in this guide.

Install WINE on Mac OS X

After reading several tutorials, I instead opted to go a little more creative route by using homebrew, winetricks list-all, and winetricks dlls list. This allowed me to easily install all required prerequisites for the game with little effort.

One of the great things about the homebrew version of wine is that I can build the latest development branch from source. The development branch is usually pretty stable and you get the latest and greatest changes. I discovered that by doing homebrew info wine.

Warning: when installing via winetricks careful not to touch your keyboard until winetricks pauses with an installer dialog. I’ve accidentally closed installers.

brew install wine --HEAD
brew install winetricks
winetricks corefonts
winetricks dlls msasn1
for x in d3dx9_43 d3dx10 d3dx11_43; do winetricks $x; done
for x in vcrun6sp6 vcrun2003 vcrun2005 vcrun2008 vcrun2010 vcrun2012 vcrun2013; do winetricks $x; done
for x in dotnet30sp1 quartz msxml3 dxdiag physx; do winetricks $x; done

That installed the base prerequisites for Fallout (as well as a few other extras which are used by other games I play). Now to configure WINE.

winetricks winxp
winecfg

Once inside of winecfg, configure the Graphics tab and enable “Automatically capture the mouse in full-screen windows”.

Configure WINE with proper graphics

Once you have WINE setup, there’s a few additional WINE registry entries which need to be customized in order for the graphics to work well on Mac OS X. In order to properly force WINE to detect your graphics you must first look up your own hardware settings using the Mac utility “System Information.”

View Mac “System Information”
  1. Click on the Apple icon in the upper left of your screen.
  2. Select About this Mac.
  3. Select More Info… button.
  4. View the section under Hardware > Graphics/Displays.
  5. View information about the NVIDIA on-board graphics. For the MacBook Pro Model A1398 the settings are the following.
    • Vendor: NVIDIA (0x10de)
    • Device ID: 0x0fe9
    • VRAM (Total): 2048 MB

The hex values for Vendor and Device ID are important in the following section.

Update WINE registry with proper graphics
  1. Open the WINE registry with the command wine regedit.
  2. Create the registry key and values:
    • Create a key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Direct3D. Within this key create the following values.
    • Create a DWORD Value VideoPciDeviceID and set the value to 0x00000fe9.
    • Create a DWORD Value VideoPciVendorID and set the value to 0x000010de.
    • Create a String Value VideoMemorySize and set the value to 1024. This value is in megabytes.

Notes:

  • This should resolve a crash resulting from “fatal error C9008: out of memory - malloc failed; Cg compiler terminated due to fatal error”.
  • Even though the graphics card has 2048MB of video memory. Set the Direct3D video memory size far below to avoid over allocation. Over allocation occurs with fatal out of memory errors. Some games crash as a result of this issue.

Install Steam and Games

Now we’re ready to install Steam. Note: don’t automatically launch Steam when the install is finished.

winetricks steam

Start Steam and install Fallout 3 GOTY Edition and S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat. You can start Steam with the following command from the terminal.

wine 'C:\\Program Files\\Steam\\Steam.exe'

After Fallout is installed, don’t forget to enable all of the optional DLC (from the Fallout Launcher visit DATA FILES and enable them). Occasionally, there are a few graphics quirks, but overall the game performs well.

Since the Web renderer doesn’t work in Steam there’s no point in displaying the Store page or product updates. Here’s a list of settings I customized.

  • Settings > In-Game
    • Disable steam overlay while in-game
  • Settings > Interface
    • Favorite window set to the Library.
    • Disable Run steam when my computer starts (setting doesn’t really matter since it’s WINE).
    • Disable Notify me about additions or changes to my games, new releases, and upcoming releases.

Fallout 3 GOTY optimizations

Open Fallout once and then close it. This will create the game configuration files in ~/Documents/My Games/Fallout3.

Apply the FALLOUT.INI patch with the following commands.

cd "~/Documents/My Games/Fallout3"
curl -L "http://bit.ly/1WaaDQf" | patch
Known issues
  • Setting bMultiThreadAudio=1 in FALLOUT.INI will cause the game to hang on exit. If the audio becomes a performance issue then enable this setting. Otherwise, just leave it default (set to bMultiThreadAudio=0).
  • You may encounter an issue where graphics bug out when viewing your pip boy and other menus. It looks like assets fail to load. This may occur even with the FALLOUT.INI patch installed. I found the following corrects this issue.
    1. In FalloutLauncher, click on OPTIONS.
    2. Click the Advanced button.
    3. Click the Water tab.
    4. Disable Water Refractions and Water Reflections. All other water settings can be left the same.
Other graphics settings

Set all graphics to Ultra and enabled maximum viewing distances. This game can be played with the graphics turned up to maximum for available settings.

Tested screen resolutions

Well Performing configurations (very well):

  • 1280x800 windowed, WINE VRAM set to 1024 MB.
  • 1280x800 full screen, WINE VRAM set to 1024 MB.
  • 1440x900 full screen, WINE VRAM set to 1024 MB.

Tested, but with multiple issues:

  • 1280x800 windowed, WINE VRAM set to 2048 MB - performs well, but occasionally crashes with out of memory errors.
  • 1280x800 full screen, WINE VRAM set to 2048 MB - performs well, but occasionally crashes with out of memory errors.
  • 2880x800 full screen, WINE VRAM set to 2048 MB - Menus and load screens are smooth, but when loading the game it is unplayable.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat optimizations

No additional optimizations required. No known issues encountered that aren’t issues on Windows.

Other graphics settings

Set all graphics to highest settings and enabled maximum viewing distances. This game can be played with the graphics turned up to max settings.

Tested screen resolutions

Well Performing configurations (very well):

  • 1280x800 windowed, WINE VRAM set to 1024 MB.
  • 1280x800 full screen, WINE VRAM set to 1024 MB.
  • 2880x800 full screen, WINE VRAM set to 2048 MB.

Even at 2880x800 resolution with 2048 MB VRAM configured in WINE, the game performed well and didn’t crash with any out of memory issues.

Conclusion

My experience using WINE on Mac OS X to play graphics intensive games has been great on a MacBook Pro. Let me know in the comments, if you try out these instructions, how it went.

Posted in Gaming with tags: Gaming, Mac OS X, Mac OS X


Comments: