CrossOver runs Windows apps and games brilliantly on M1 Macs


CrossOver on M1 Mac
It's surprisingly snappy, even with all that emulation.
Photo: Codeweavers

It’s not possible to run Windows in Boot Camp on an M1 Mac, but that doesn’t mean you can’t run Windows apps. CrossOver allows Apple’s newest machines to run x86 software built for Microsoft’s platform.

And despite all the translation that’s required, it runs surprisingly well. So much so that you can use it to play action-packed online games on a MacBook Air that doesn’t even have a fan.

CrossOver, an app built by Codeweavers, has long been used to run Windows apps and games on macOS. Unlike an emulator, it translates Windows commands in real-time so that a Mac can understand them.

Codeweavers hasn’t yet optimized CrossOver for Apple Silicon, but it seems that doesn’t matter. The latest version of the app works “brilliantly” on an M1 Mac — even when it’s being emulated.

CrossOver runs great on M1 Macs

To prove this, Codeweavers release the video below, which shows Apple’s most affordable M1 MacBook Air running the online shooter Team Fortress 2. And it looks terrific!

No, it’s not entirely perfect. There are some hiccups here and there. But it’s still amazing when you consider the M1 MacBook has no fan, and has fewer GPU cores than the M1 Mac mini and MacBook Pro.

And again, CrossOver hasn’t been optimized for Apple Silicon yet. Once it has been updated to run natively on the M1 chip, it will be even faster, smoother, and more reliable.

“There is so much emulation going on under the covers … and it works!” notes Codeweavers’ Jeremy White. “This is just so cool.”

If this doesn’t make you even more excited for the future of Apple Silicon, we don’t know what will. Its power continues to amaze us, and it’s only going to get better from here.


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