No Man’s Sky launches on macOS today — this is huge for Mac gaming

A screenshot of No Man's Sky on macOS
(Image credit: Hello Games)

Teased last year, cult hit sci-fi game No Man’s Sky has finally launched on Mac, bringing the vast space exploration experience to a range of macOS machines. And I’m excited. 

Developer Hello Games noted how No Man’s Sky has been reworked to take advantage of Apple Silicon, meaning it’ll tap into the power found in the M1 and M2 series of chips, as well as tap into Apple’s Metal graphics API. That means the game can run on anything from an old Intel-based MacBook to the likes of the MacBook Air M2, MacBook Pro 16-inch, Mac mini M2 and Mac Studio

What’s more No Man’s Sky will offer cross-play gaming. That Mac gamers can play with those on the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X and Series S, Xbox One, Windows PCs and even those playing using VR. 

I think this could be a quiet coup for No Man’s Sky and Mac gaming, as it means those deciding to check out how the likes of the MacBook Air M2 can handle gaming won’t be left to explore a procedurally generated galaxy nearly barren of other players, given Mac gaming hasn’t really bloomed into it own thing yet. 

As an added bonus, if you already own No Man’s Sky on Steam you’ll be able to access it on Mac for free. And even better cross-saving is supported as well. No Man’s Sky will launch on Steam for macOS first and then be followed by an App Store launch. 

Now I’ve already taken advantage of Steam on macOS and how cross-saving lets me take a game of Disco Elysium from my MacBook Air to my Steam Deck, But broadening the games that allow this on Macs can only be a good thing for proper Mac gaming. 

Hello Games also touted how the Metal 3 API and MetalFX Upscaling can deliver console-quality graphics on Macs, while also tapping into speed SSD loading times and helping reduce battery consumption on less powerful MacBooks. 

A new frontier for Mac gaming

Now I’d need to try No Man’s Sky out for myself on macOS to see how it stands up to the experience I get on PS5. But this is all a positive sign towards actual wide-scale gaming being a realistic proposition for Macs. 

If you check out our best Mac games list, you’ll see there are a surprising amount of games that run on macOS. But it’s still a far cry from the gaming potential WIndows 11 supports.

The power and potential of the Apple Silicon chips means this is a tad disappointing, as I feel there has been a lot of untapped potential for gaming on these slices of silicon. But with No Man’s Sky on macOS, and other games like Resident Evil Village running well on Macs, I’m getting increasingly excited about Mac gaming.

If other developers can dig into the Metal API and the power the M1 and M2 chips offer then we could see better optimized games as well as games built for Macs from the ground up. Combined with the bounty of creative games on Apple Arcade and the future looks increasingly bright for Mac gaming.

Expect to hear more about all of this at WWDC 2023 on June 5, as well as new Macs like the MacBook Air 15-inch and likely the much-anticipated reveal of the Apple VR/AR headset

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Roland Moore-Colyer

Roland Moore-Colyer a Managing Editor at Tom’s Guide with a focus on news, features and opinion articles. He often writes about gaming, phones, laptops and other bits of hardware; he’s also got an interest in cars. When not at his desk Roland can be found wandering around London, often with a look of curiosity on his face.