How to play Half-Life on Mac

Screenshot of Half-Life

Half-Life is a popular fps game developed by Valve. It was originally released for Windows, Mac, and Linux on 8 Nov, 1998.

What is Half-Life?

Here's a quick description:

Named Game of the Year by over 50 publications, Valve's debut title blends action and adventure with award-winning technology to create a frighteningly realistic world where players must think to survive. Also includes an exciting multiplayer mode that allows you to play against friends and enemies around the world.

How to play Half-Life 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 Half-Life 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 Half-Life 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 Half-Life 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!


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3 comments on this post


Jan 20, 2021

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Aug 4, 2020

so, I've finally finished it, I wasn't sure if i am ever going to play it but thank god i did, this masterpiece from the year i was born in struck me with it's cool ideas and creative situations placement, see, the gameplay is fun but isn’t that sharp the mechanics are some kind wacky but this is a good thing because it forces you to think out of the box, sometimes literally, valve wasn’t always the masters of game-play but rather the master of the game, it feels like there is a hidden directory to guide the situation you face in the game so it is always a blast to find the solution by yourself, they don’t tell they show, and this is a key factor for the end i highly recommend this game because of the story and the creativity that represents valve to its bone.


July 13, 2020