Apple Game Porting Toolkit gets surprising low-key upgrade

Joel Loynds
game porting toolkit logo

Apple’s development software to help studios bring their games from PC to macOS got a very low-key update that fixes a tonne of games.

The gaming market has often gone ignored by Apple. Small investments of time and money have happened, but never anything completely solid. That appears to be glacially changing as the Cupertino company has released the second version of its Game Porting Toolkit.

The software acts similarly to Wine or Proton on Linux, providing a translation layer for the unique Apple-only architecture, Metal. While it’s intended for game developers, the software is quite easy to grab and follow along to install.

However, interested parties weren’t expecting an update so soon after it launched. Apple will quite often update its development tools, but with its track record in gaming being less than stellar, this has come as a surprise.

What’s more surprising is the fact it brings some big fixes and paves the way for a future of gaming on macOS.

Titles like Elden Ring are now surpassing 30FPS on M1 Max chips, and there are significant improvements in games like Horizon. The Sony PC port on macOS had some severe graphical glitches and ran poorly. Now, it appears to be holding a steady 45FPS.

However, as pointed out by Andrew Tsai on YouTube, the M2 Ultra is struggling to cope with the gaming scene. It’s suspected that the way the chip is made with Apple’s manufacturing process “UltraFusion”, where two M2 Max chips are combined together is causing a threading issue.

Max chips can output a solid 30FPS in Cyberpunk 2077, while Apple’s Ultra chips still can’t get higher than 20FPS. This has improved though, with more than double the FPS since the update.

How to update Game Porting Toolkit

Boltgun with Apple Game Porting Toolkit v2

If you haven’t already installed Game Porting Toolkit, you can follow our guide on how to do so.

First, ensure you’ve put yourself in the correct terminal environment. To do so, type arch -x86_64 zsh.

After, use brew update to find all the files that need upgrading. Once it’s finished, use the command brew upgrade and let it download all the required files.

While it downloads, you can grab the latest .dmg file from Apple’s developer site. Mount it and head back to the terminal once your files are finished downloading.

Next, use these lines of code separately:

ditto /Volumes/Game\ Porting\ Toolkit-1.0/lib/ `brew –prefix game-porting-toolkit`/lib/

cp /Volumes/Game\ Porting\ Toolkit*/gameportingtoolkit* /usr/local/bin

This will copy all the necessary files into the right locations from the updated .dmg file we’ve just mounted.

Upon loading a game, you’ll notice that games will list version 0.2 and you’re set to game on your macOS device.