How to play Kenshi on Mac

Screenshot of Kenshi

Kenshi is a popular open world game developed by Lo-Fi Games. It was originally released for Windows on 6 Dec, 2018.

You still can't play Kenshi on Mac because a native Mac version was never released, but you can play Kenshi on Windows running inside Mac. Here's how.

What is Kenshi?

Here's a quick description:

A free-roaming squad based RPG. Focusing on open-ended sandbox gameplay features rather than a linear story. Be a trader, a thief, a rebel, a warlord, an adventurer, a farmer, a slave, or just food for the cannibals. Research new equipment and craft new gear.

How to play Kenshi using Parallels

Even if you don't have a PC, you can install Windows on your Mac using Parallels. Parallels is virtualization software with full support of DirectX and GPUs, which will give you a decent graphics performance. With a couple of clicks, you can install Windows 10 on Mac and ten switch between MacOS and Windows instantly. You can run Windows just like on a regular PC, install Steam and enjoy Kenshi game on Mac.

Even though the virtualization is relatively easy to set up, it requires you to buy both Parallels and Windows licenses. Since you'll be running two operating systems side by side, you'll need to dedicate at least 20-30GB of disk space for this setup and also a strong machine to run both operating systems at the same time.

If you have an older Mac or have a Mac with an M1 chip which doesn't fully support virtualization yet, you might want to try a virtual computer running in the cloud such as Second Computer.

How to play Kenshi using Second Computer

Alternatively, you can create a virtual computer in the cloud using Second Computer. Instead of license fee for Windows and Parallels, you pay by the hour (so it's much cheaper if you are using it infrequently) and you control the computer via a web browser. That means even if you have an older computer, you can run the latest games in the cloud without maxing out your processor or memory.

One added benfit is that since the computer is located in the cloud, you can access it from any device you own. So in theory you can play Kenshi not just from your Mac, but also from your iPhone and Android device (it's not going to be a very nice experience though on such a small screen size).

Either way, Second Computer provides a nice alternative for running non-native Mac apps on your Mac by connecting to a computer in the cloud.

Happy gaming!

Open WorldSandboxRPGSurvivalStrategy

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3 comments on this post


Jan 20, 2021

Just noticed I've got over 1000 hours in this game. Thanks COVID. I must like this game. Definitely got more than my money's worth. Oh, had Cyberpunk pre-ordered and downloaded the day before release, but still haven't played it because I'd rather play Kenshi. Hope that helps.


Aug 4, 2020

My first 5 playthroughs didn't last more than 10 minutes each, but when I got the hang of it, I was completely hooked. It's hard on the beginning, but worth the effort. If I hadn't got addicted to GTA 5 multiplayer some years ago, this would be the game I've played the most in my life.Anyway, I'll not make a lengthy review, just say that:1) try it for a little less than 2 hours (or whatever the refund period is), and ask for a refund if you "don't get it".2) maybe look online for "beginner's tips" if you feel like so, but I can lay it down quickly: mine copper for start money, hire people to avoid bleeding to death alone, don't feel bad running away from fights.3) yes, "there's nothing to do" because it's the first game I've ever played where you actually do what you want, no inane quests or filler content. Become rich, kill literally everyone, free slaves, build a city... you make your game.4) you'll probably want/need mods. I generally prefer vanilla games but you'll need at least one to avoid CPU spikes and performance problems. Only con of this one-of-a-kind game. A quick web search should guide you.5) Beep.


July 13, 2020

The best way I can describe this game (or at least how I felt about it) is that it's similar to having a bunch of action figures and making stories by playing with them. You all know what I mean, when you were a kid you would play with dolls or action figures and make little stories around it and you could get lost for hours with that. That's Kenshi for me. I started a few playthroughs but failed multiple times because I didn't know what I was doing until I actually read up a bit online and played for a good 50ish hours, then I started my main playthrough where I "finished" the game. The Monks of the FistHis name was Oji, he was part of an isolated village that practiced the ancient art of meditation and martial arts. However, one day the village was discovered and raided by the United Cities mistaking them for a far off Holy Nation farm. Oji was the only one who escaped and found refuge in the borderzone, well away from nobles eye's. He was devastated and felt survivors guilt. He would roam the Shek kingdoms with the voices of his village shouting at him. He worked for hours by mining iron to distract from the noise, walking with tons of iron on his back, it didn't help. One day he attacked a Shek guard and was beaten to a pulp and thrown in jail, he survived and stayed in that jail for weeks. He contemplated what had happened and remembered what his master taught. With much time and meditation he was able to calm himself and he realised what he had to do, get stronger and take revenge on the nobles who took away his family, his community, his master. He got out of jail and trained from there on, recruiting lost souls along the way, and soon the village that was destroyed was reborn in Shek lands. The Monks of the Fist came back. Soon Oji and his squad moved around looking for new foes to slay and bring to the Stone Golem, hoping one day to ally and bring down the United Cities. That day came. The Stone Golem, the leader of all the Shek, recognised the power of the monks and an alliance was made. War was declared once Oji and his squad kidnapped a noble and burned him in sight of the city, the noble's last sight being the city tearing itself apart. One by one the nobles fell, the slaves freed, the empire crumbled and shook in it's weakened state. The last target was the Emporer himself. Thought to be untouchable, now ashes. Oji couldn't save his village, but he avenged them and made the world a better place. He later on died from a creepy giraffe, but his legacy carries on in the village of Chi, the home of the monks.That is why I love Kenshi, it is so expansive and free where you can make your own story despite there being no voice actors, no real story and the lore is vague in many areas. You make your own story using the setting of Kenshi, which is beautiful and dangerous and cruel. Yeah it has it's issues like the game having to load in new areas, which can take anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. The outpost aspect isn't all that fun unless you're trying to make money and the fact that your characters get stuck on the terrain all the time. These are fairly minor issues which are easy to overcome. Honestly, if this game interests you in the slightest then get it, you won't regret it. Just be prepared for the beginning to be tough as nails, it doesn't pull its punches. Remember though, if it doesn't kill you it absolutely will make you stronger.