How it feels to play Hogwarts Legacy on Mac

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Appleosophy | How it feels to play Hogwarts Legacy on Mac
Hogwarts Legacy on a Mac

It’s sort of weird, probably because I’m not really playing Hogwarts Legacy on a Mac. Rather, some far-off Windows PC in Italy in my case, is doing the actual rendering, and I’m just getting the image and using mouse and keyboard to move.  

I’m talking about Boosteroid, a game cloud-streaming service I was pretty skeptical about at first. But let me start over. 

I thought I’d have a crack at playing an actual modern-looking game on my M2 mac, aside from Resident Evil Village. Everybody seemed to be impressed by Hogwarts Legacy, and to be fair, I am a minor Harry Potter fan, so I thought I’d give it a try. Normally I’d play through Crossover or Parallels, because I really don’t like the whole internet-only thing, but this game isn’t supported by either. Problem is, I already bought the game by the time I realized this. I started reading on r/macgaming and everybody said the same thing some guide sites said: Boosteroid is the only way to play Hogwarts Legacy on mac. I am in no way a Boosteroid spokesperson. In fact, in some ways I was impressed by this streamer, while in others not so much. So let’s go over both while we’re at it.

Colorful flat lay workspace with wireless headphones, iPhone, MacBook and a plant
Colorful flat lay workspace with wireless headphones, iPhone, MacBook and a plant

When did this Netflix for gaming happen? 

Like most people I can’t say I’ve been even remotely interested in such services; I rarely want to watch streaming Apps anyway except for an evening with my girlfriend. My eyes are bleeding from too much work staring at screens so I just feel like a dog unleashed any time I clock out. I either hit the gym or get out to, you know, talk to an actual human being for once rather than a phone. That being said, I have been vaguely aware that Nvidia has a streaming service called Geforce Now, and that one seems to be doing pretty OK unlike Google Stadia which shut down a few months ago. But I’ve just never been interested. The reason for that is simple. Unlike watching movies, games require real-time rendering because of your own input. I tried GeForce Now a long time ago, and honestly, I could feel the added latency too much to enjoy it.  

But that seems to have changed. I wasn’t even going to try Boosteroid. I only decided to do it once I saw it has a native mac App, and I was pretty impressed. And as I said, it’s the only one that runs Hogwarts Legacy. So, I tried a few other games supported on Boosteroid and GeForce Now to kind of get a feel for what’s going on. I tried Bioshock Infinite Remastered. I certainly noticed more image compression smudginess than when I ran the game natively through Parallels, but at the same time I thought it would be so much worse. There was added latency for sure. I got dropped once, but to be honest, that one happened because my girlfriend throttled the internet connection a bit too much. 

Where there are big gains, though, is in the smoothness department. From  what I saw, both Geforce Now and Boosteroid offer constant 60fps at 1080p, which to be honest is more than what you can get through Parallels on most games.  

But let’s get back to Hogwarts Legacy. I noticed I am locked to the High preset of the game and I can’t really move settings too much. While there was latency, once I turned off v-sync in-game that suddenly improved, which is weird, and it didn’t change anything else. Unless you have a weak connection I can honestly recommend Boosteroid. It certainly is better than I hoped and It’s cheap enough that I’d use it again if there ever is a game I really want to play without buying new hardware. In a way that’s what this new age is all about – less ownership and more renting.  

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