Elder Scrolls Online won’t directly support play on the new ARM-based Macs

But there are some workarounds

    
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dot horse

Bleeding-edge, early-adopting Mac gamers who happen to play Elder Scrolls Online definitely need to point their eyeballs at Bethsoft’s latest missive to players, as the studio has announced it won’t be able to directly support the new Macs, which will use custom ARM CPUs. The use of these CPUs, Bethsoft says, requires software rewrites or emulation, which isn’t going to be viable for ESO.

“It is a huge undertaking to port a product as old, large, and complex as ESO to a new CPU, with no certain outcome of success,” ESO’s Matt Firor explains. “Because of these factors, we will not be porting ESO to run on the new ARM-based Macs. ESO will continue to run on Intel-based Macs, and we will support it as long as there is a large enough Mac user base to warrant it. While it will be technically possible to run ESO via x86 emulation on the new Macs, expect a subpar gaming experience that we will not officially support.”

Firor also notes that Mac players can play through Stadia or on PC using their existing accounts, so you’re not actually in danger of losing your accounts – just your access if you upgrade to a new Mac.

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Bruno Brito

This game has several performance issues on actual compatible systems. Making ESO run on things that aren’t optimal is just a nightmare.

It’s amazing how such a game can be great in some areas and completely riddled with incompetence in others.

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Robert Mann

Not to worry, anyone buying that over the equivalent non-Mac… is buying it because they want a Mac with all the potential issues of a Mac.

Beating their old stuff isn’t even very impressive, given how poorly anything else performs in their “We don’t care if it needs cooled, this design has to be THIN and have next to no air flow” focus. Benchmarks are also only via ones that give ARM huge advantages so far.

The M1 is likely a small upgrade overall for a Mac, but compared to anything else it’ll remain what is has been. It’s an expensive version of the $200-400 system for things that aren’t that intensive. You are paying for Apple, not for performance.

There is a reason many games already said “Eh, nope” to Mac, and chose anything else first as a second platform… despite minimal coding needs. Anyone buying a Mac to game on is throwing good money down a rabbit hole hoping for a genie to pop out of the well.

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Rndomuser

Heh, I remember actually playing WoW on my old MacBook Pro, back then it had Nvidia’s dedicated GPU so I could do stuff like using BootCamp to install Windows and run all games natively under Windows, using generic driver updates from Nvidia, so all games were supported and it was just a matter of performance. And performance was much better when running games under Windows on the MacBook compared to running them in OSX (for games which supported both), for obvious reasons. It was a time when MacBooks still had upgradeable storage and stuff like removable RAM.

Then Apple got progressively more greedy while taking away more choices from everyone (including users and people who repaired or upgraded their MacBooks) and the result is what you see now.

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Paul

I know, I’ll buy a mac for gaming (said no gamer ever) :-P

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Vanquesse V

If there’s two points that apple likes to prove over and over and over again it’s
They do not care about backwards compatibility in any way shape or form and
They either lack the ability to comprehend gaming, or just aggressively don’t care.

And if anyone needed more convincing. Consider how wild it is that gaming on linux is better than on mac despite a much smaller install base, much bigger fragmentation and almost everything being done on a volunteer basis

Leo
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Leo

I would expect the game to run just fine under the rosetta emulation. Early benchmarks for the new processors show them to be quite powerful

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Vanquesse V

but for how long is the question. They didn’t keep updating the rosetta features forever with the switch from powerpc to intel, and stuff has been routinely breaking from just OS updates.

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Robert Mann

Sadly, those benchmarks are all from Geekbench CPU side. It’s hard to tell where it falls in reality, since Geekbench has an insane amount of ARM bias, putting far more performance down for such chips than actually exists. There’s a multitude of testing and data on the bench generation shifts showing this.

Now, in Macs themselves the M1 is likely a small upgrade compared to the old Intel line. This is entirely due to thermal throttling a part aimed at higher performance. As performance within a generation increases (drawing more power) efficiency decreases. Thermal throttle your performance part, and it still remains highly inefficient. Performance tanks.

The M1 likely will be able to run it with Rosetta emulation, much like last-gen consoles did. At which point it’ll look like playing old Daggerfall, but to each their own.

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Darthbawl

I heard they cost an ARM and a LEG. 🤣(I’ll see myself out the door)

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Sleepy

I’ve had to use a Mac in work for the past six months, and I’ve grown to hate it with a passion. Everything is just that bit less intuitive and more fiddly. Including, it seems, playing ESO.

Swifty
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Swifty

Just one more reason to never by Apple.

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Greaterdivinity

That Mac tax can be rough sometimes : (