Although Square Enix provides Final Fantasy XIV for macOS through an official launcher, it is merely a wrapper and an out-of-date and poorly optimized one at that. A Swift-based open-source alternative from XIV on Mac is available, with significantly better gaming performance and compatibility for the Metal 2 API. It runs natively on Apple silicon Macs.
On the Mac, Final Fantasy has not fared well. Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) was the last version to be known to support Apple hardware, although the game’s 2015 Mac debut along with its first expansion pack drew harsh performance reviews. Square Enix was compelled to halt sales momentarily and offer refunds.
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Even while the published system requirements do not directly include M1/M2 support, later patches to the game, such as the endwalkers expansion and the switch from OpenGL to Metal API, made the game playable on Macs — both Intel and Apple silicon models via Rosetta 2.
The 2021 M1 Pro MacBook Pro 14 should be able to run Final Fantasy XIV at 45 to 60 frames per second at modest settings, according to MacGamerHQ. FFXIV has an official launcher from Square Enix, but a community has developed a more effective and effective alternative.
Final Fantasy XIV may be played on Macs thanks to “XIV for Mac,” which eliminates the need to purchase a CrossOver license or rely on Square Enix’s old and unreliable wrapper. Open source and developed in Swift, the XIV on Mac launcher supports well-known FFXIV mods like Dalamud, GShade, Anamnesis, and IINACT.
The creators assert that their launcher outperforms the official wrapper by a wide margin and provides native support for the most recent Apple hardware, macOS, and Metal 2 API in addition to day-one compatibility for significant macOS releases. A customized Wine distribution with enhanced DXVK/MoltenVK translation layers is also included with XIV for Mac.
Reddit users appear to back up the developer’s statements. Compared to Square Enix’s official wrapper, gamers claim that the XIV on Mac launcher offers up to two times the performance. Although no particular figures were given, one user claimed that the game plays flawlessly with good frame rates on the base M1 MacBook Air in mid settings even when the computer is powered only by battery.
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The native launcher should provide good frame rates, according to XIV on Mac. For instance, the Apple M1 Ultra, which has 64 GPU cores, should be able to support 75 frames per second at 5120 x 2880. While the M1 Pro only manages 75 frames per second at 1080p, the M1 Max is capable of up to 120 frames per second at 1440p. The most recent Macs with M2 Max architecture may also achieve 1440p frame rates of 90–120 fps.