How to play Minecraft on a Mac

Minecraft is this gaming generation’s Tetris.  

It’s simple in design philosophy and art style—albeit with an incredible and nearly limitless well of depth.  

It’s the top-selling game of all time, with over 300 million sales. An insane 140 million users are active monthly. 

Despite expanding to consoles and mobile devices, many Mac gamers have felt left behind.  

However, with Parallels Desktop Pro, you can experience the entire Minecraft game on Mac in all its glory.  

Here’s how you can make it happen and live through your first treacherous night.  

Mac owners with Apple’s recent and hyper-powerful processors—M1, M2, and M3—will likely get seamless performance out of this Minecraft on their Mac.  

Other requirements include: 

Compatible Versions of Mac OS  

Processor Type 

Recommended Memory Capacity 

Storage Space 

Graphics Chips 

Download Parallels Desktop Pro to play Minecraft on your Mac 

First, download Parallels Desktop for Mac. (There’s a free 14-day trial for uncertain gamers.)  

I recommend the Pro Edition for the best gaming performance.  

After providing your email, you’ll arrive at a download page. Click Download Parallels Desktop, then the link that was just sent to your address.  

1. Install Parallels Desktop on your Mac’s hard drive 

Double-click your newly downloaded .dmg executable. A pop-up window with the Parallels icon will appear. Double-click it or click Open if you’re first presented with a confirmation window.  

Click through the user agreement, and watch Parallels Desktop download and install itself. 

2. Download and install Windows 11 with Parallels Desktop 

While Parallels Desktop allows you to play PC games on your Mac, you still need Windows to do so. Thankfully, the installer makes it quick and painless. *  

Choose Windows 11 on the operating system selection screen. Parallels Desktop will automatically download and install the operating system.  

Once done, you’ll see a finder window containing a complete installation of Windows 11.  

3. Adjust virtual machine settings on Pro 

Access the Parallels Desktop Control Center and navigate to the “Hardware” section.   

If you are using Parallels Desktop Pro editions, you can adjust the virtual machine settings by allocating an adequate amount of RAM, CPU, and GPU resources to ensure an efficient gaming experience.  

You can accomplish this by enabling the Gaming Profile.   

When it is enabled, Parallels Desktop provides more RAM and CPU to Windows, enters full-screen view for greater immersion, and toggles the mouse mode for better compatibility with games.   

To enable the Gaming Profile:  

1. Shut down Windows via the Start menu and open its configuration  

2. Click “Change” and select “Games only”.   

3. Now close the configuration menu and start Windows.  

4. Optimize Parallels Desktop for gaming    

By enabling “Optimize for games” in your virtual machine profile, you can further enhance your gaming experience and ensure smoother gameplay within the virtual machine.   

Note that if you’re using Parallels Desktop Standard Edition, you can choose from Productivity mode or “Games only” mode.   

With the Pro version of Parallels Desktop, you have more options.   

5. Sign up for a Microsoft account to play Minecraft on your Mac 

Minecraft, like other hugely popular live-service games—Valiant, Diablo 4, and Fortnite—requires a separate launcher. 

Visit Minecraft’s login page to begin signup. Unless you already have a Microsoft account, click Create Profile.  

Enter your location, email, and birthdate. Check your email for the confirmation code. 

You’ll now need a Gamertag. If you can’t think of one, choose one of the four automatically generated names. 

Click Let’s Go, and you’ll be logged in!  

6. Purchase Minecraft and download the launcher 

You can either purchase Minecraft through Minecraft’s official site or through Microsoft’s digital storefront. It costs $29.99 either way. 

Click Buy on the Microsoft store or Checkout on the official site. Complete the purchase and download Minecraft’s launcher. 

7. Decide — Minecraft Java or Minecraft Bedrock Edition? 

After your launcher pops up, you’ll be prompted to choose between installing Minecraft Java Edition and Minecraft Bedrock Edition.  

Which one should you choose? 

The two versions have hundreds of differences, most of which are technical and relatively small. A few are worth considering before making your choice: 

Minecraft: Bedrock Edition 

Minecraft Java Edition 

While many hardcore Minecrafters stake their lives on one version’s superiority, you’ll have a great experience either way. 

8. Download your chosen version and begin your journey with Minecraft on your Mac 

Press play after downloading your chosen version.  

Next, choose between an offline solo journey or mixing it up on a multiplayer server.  

While multiplayer is worthwhile, its complexity can be overwhelming, especially if you’re learning the game’s rules.  

Pick offline unless you’re ready for the deep end. 

How to play your newly Mac-compatible Minecraft 

Minecraft is known most for its sense of freedom as a childhood Lego play session coming to life.  

Minecraft is not just a cute crafting game, though. At its core, Minecraft is a survival game. Like the Australian outback, there’s an endless array of creatures and environments out to kill you/rain on your parade. Survival becomes far easier.  

The penalty for death is pretty light. You’ll drop all your items on the ground, which you can pick up again after a respawn (So long as you do so within five minutes).  

Here’s how you tackle the game without getting bodychecked by things that go bump in the night.  

In Minecraft, you’ll have to fight (and build) to survive 

Light is a precious resource in Minecraft. A day passes in ten minutes, after which virtual mobs of nasty enemies will spawn around you. You’ll have to avoid, battle, or trap them to survive. 

On your first day, you should get the following done: 

  1. Chop down trees for survival resources 
  1. Create a crafting table with dismembered trees 
  1. Make a pickaxe and scout for rocks 
  1. Find a hillside for your first shelter 
  1. Protect your shelter from monsters by crafting torches 

Let’s go through each of these in more detail.

1. Chop down trees for survival resources 

Find your nearest tree and begin assaulting it with your fists. Because your fists lack fury, it’ll take 15 strikes for one block.  

You’ll need at least ten for your first day, more if you plan to build your initial structure with wood. 

Pick the wood blocks off the ground and destroy leaf blocks for a chance to get apples (Every action consumes hunger, and you’ll die if you starve). 

2. Create a crafting table with dismembered trees 

Go into your crafting menu and place one log in the center of your 3×3 crafting grid.  

You’ll get four wooden planks, a resource you’ll need extensively, especially in the early game. Place four blocks in the lower left-hand corner of your crafting grid to create a crafting table.  

3. Make a pickaxe and scout for rocks 

With a crafting block, we can build tools we’ll need to extract resources. We’ll need a pickaxe to mine a few stones. 

Set the crafting table on the ground and right-click. Place two wooden planks in the grid’s center and one below. You’ll get four sticks. Get four more. 

We’re done crafting for now. Scout out your environment to find a rock outcropping or mountain. Take out your axe and pick off eight cobblestones (or blackstones).  

4. Find a hillside for your first official Minecraft shelter 

Finally, you’ll need a structure to keep you safe. Rather than building your own, it’s easiest to carve out a little space on the side of a hill or mountain.  

Once you find the right spot, dig into it. Carve out a hole at least two blocks tall, three blocks wide, and three blocks deep.  

5. Gain monster protection and craft a furnace, torches and a door 

Finishing your humble home means employing torches and a door to ward off monsters.  

Place your crafting table on the ground and use it to create a furnace. Fill every square with rock blocks except the center. Set your furnace on the ground next to your crafting table.  

Right-click the furnace and smelt one wood block. You’ll now have one charcoal block. Open the crafting table again, place charcoal in the center and a stick below it. Now you’ve created your first light source!  

Finally, craft a door. Arrange six wood planks on the leftmost two columns using the crafting block. Place your door and torches and breathe a sigh of relief. Now, you can wait for your second morning in peace.  

Once morning comes, you’re free to begin your journey in full. Find further guidance with Minecraft’s excellent tutorials (keep this crafting guide handy, too).  

There are thousands of ways to enjoy Minecraft on your Mac 

It’s hard to understate just how much one can do, or participate in, with Minecraft. Unlimited offline inventions and adventures, limitless ways to thrive and play alongside others; all rising in quantity day after day, as hundreds of millions shape a universe of hand-sculpted worlds. 

Go ahead, make Minecraft your own. Start your adventure with Parallels Desktop Pro! 

*Note that you’ll need to purchase a Windows license if you don’t already have one.