Apple M1 support please

Apple M1 MacBooks are here. AoE series would play brilliantly on these devices!
Please Microsoft, make them native on ARM M1. You will sell hundreds of thousands for MacOS Big Sur. I have been using Intel x86 CPUs since their 286 line but M1 is a refreshing revolution for laptops.



The Devs would have to make the code for the game almost from scratch to make it native for the ARM architecture. They have been working on the x86 version of the game for more then 20 years and it still has bugs :sweat_smile:.

Besides it’s not even supported on Mac OS because Microsoft wants people to use the windows store…

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Isn’t Steam on Mac though?

Yes, but there is no official support for MacOS for the DE Version of the game.

Oh, well

It’s a Windows exclusive game then I’d guess

Personally never understood the purpose of exclusive titles

If it can be on all platforms, more money will be made, isn’t that true?

yes and no.
how much would it cost to code it for MAC OS? how many people legitimately play video games on a MAC OS?

is it going to be worth it to code it?

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Exclusive games as for PS4-PS5 and XBOX exclusives

That’s what I meant

I’d also love to see that. I think ARM CPUs like Apple’s M1 have a huge potential and already show great performance.
ARM CPUs may become more important in the next years, so developers will be “forced” to bring their games to the ARM plattform, too.
However, I’m not sure if Microsoft is wise enough to see that right in the beginning of this trend. :wink:

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Yes Megaguller I guess that they do not see the tides shifting!
Exclusive titles are so 20th century…
I love good Intel system but if they cannot produce good laptops I am glad to embark on ARM laptops. Believe me millions will do the same!

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Most sales are on Steam though …

You guys are seriously overestimating the power of M1 chip. I’d say don’t believe anything Apple says in their marketing material. Marketing is just a legal way to spread lies.

Besides that, Apple and Microsoft are still sort of rivals so porting games to a competing platform might not happen, at least without serious incentives. It’d be cool to have AOE2 DE on a Mac but we wont have Windows support on M1 chip anytime soon even with virtualisation. I personally have a very hard time seeing why Microsoft would consider porting this title to Mac as a native game.

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I guess it’s not only a thing between Microsoft and Apple.
ARM chips - besides Apple’s - are kind of evolving very fast, so I assume there might be several other manufacturers developing ARM systems (Notebooks / PCs). Indeed, I think there will be more and more pressure for Microsoft to release a real Windows for ARM in some years. Then, there would be a chance that future games will be brought to ARM, too. And then, the step to bring games to Apples M1 would be much smaller than today.
But that’s just speculations, I know. :stuck_out_tongue:

Of course, you’re right. There’s not enough experience for the actual performance of Apple’s M1 chip, but I think they know what they’re doing. Also, Apple’s A14 e.g. is one of the most powerful Smartphone Chips.

Yes, but they were initially planning to release it only in the Windows Store. However, they later decided to release it on both platforms…

The original game was also available on macOS, but that’s a long time ago. First for classic Mac OS, and if I remember correctly also on Mac OS X later on. In theory, they could take that code, make it 64-bit, port it from PowerPC to Apple Silicon and then add everything from Definitive Edition. Not sure how easy that would be though!

I think we might see some kind of solution in the future, but it most likely will not be a macOS app. They never ported AOE2DE to Intel Mac after all, so why would they do that now?

More realistically, we can hope Microsoft will eventually make ARM Windows available for M1 Macs via Boot Camp. Once Microsoft has finally added support for Intel 64-bit apps to ARM Windows, you should be able to run AOE2DE on your Mac. But: that would be with emulation, so decent performance isn’t guaranteed.

Of course, Microsoft could also make an ARM version of AOE2DE for ARM Windows. This would be great for ARM Windows users too — including users of Microsoft’s own Surface Pro X. And if Microsoft allows to use ARM Windows with Boot Camp, this would also solve the problem for us. Native ARM performance, albeit after first booting in Windows.

Another option would be CrossOver, but apparently AOE2DE doesn’t work with that method right now. AOE2HD does work though, so in theory that might be possible in the future. But then again, performance won’t be great. AOE2DE is a pretty CPU and memory intensive game after all, and while the M1 Macs are powerful, they do have their limits as well.


That’s amazing! It would be great if people here could try this out, and post their performance benchmark here. I also would be curious to see how big the difference between 8GB and 16GB RAM is.

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OK apparently he got a benchmark of 1233 with “default settings” (I guess he means “Low”) on a 8GB MacBook Air using 1440x900 resolution. Multiplayer doesn’t seem to be a problem either.

If anyone could test this out with 16GB RAM, that would be cool. Regardless, it seems that we might have a path forward here to play AOE2DE on the Mac. That’s pretty exciting.

The downside is that CrossOver isn’t free and also relies on Rosetta, which might be dropped in a few years.


Not “might” but “will”, in 2-3 years. This is Apple we are talking about who is extremely aggressive towards abandoning anything remotely related to legacy technology.

I had the opportunity to try out CrossOver on an 8GB M1 Mac and it works pretty well. I got 1230 benchmark on a MacBook Air, 1130 on an 1080p external monitor. Ultra settings, with enhanced graphics, so that’s not too bad. I don’t have a 4K monitor to try that, unfortunately.

Getting it to work isn’t that hard for single player. Multiplayer is a bit more complicated, I didn’t try that out yet. Of course, after 14 days you will have to pay for CrossOver, unfortunately.

The overall experience is quite smooth, even on big maps like York. However, there are some issues. Text and the UHD don’t seem as sharp as they should, mainly when you use the MacBook Air screen instead of an external screen, and especially when using a small UHD option. There is also a little bit of stutter, especially when scrolling, which is especially noticeable if you pay attention to it.

8GB RAM seems to be enough when not running other apps: memory usage remains green in Activity Monitor. However, if you run a few other apps at the same time, memory usage will be yellow. So it might run better with 16GB RAM. Would be curious to see if 8GB is enough for 4K.

Also, the MacBook Air became quite warm, and it doesn’t have a fan. So this game might work a bit better on a Mac mini or a MacBook Pro, which have a fan.

Conclusion: very promising, overall experience is already very good. Main drawback right now is: you have to pay for it. But I think that will be worth it for many people. I didn’t try out multiplayer yet though.


Super helpful thanks!