How to Install & Play Warcraft 3 on Mac (macOS Sierra, OS X El Capitan, etc)
Warcraft 3 was (is?) a popular strategy game which was released in 2002 for Mac and Windows. It’s obviously not exactly a new game, so why bother discussing it now? Well in short, because Mac users can install and play Warcraft 3 for Mac again, without having to use Wine, Boot Camp, emulators, or virtual machines. Yup, a 14 year old video game was actually updated to work on modern MacOS and Mac OS X releases, hooray!
For some quick background, there was an extended gap where Warcraft 3 and Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne were unplayable in Mac OS X and macOS beyond Snow Leopard because Blizzard hadn’t updated the app to be compatible with modern releases. Then out of the blue this year for whatever reason, Blizzard quietly released a patched version of Warcraft 3 and Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne for the Mac, so that it’s playable natively in all modern versions of Mac OS X, including macOS Sierra, OS X El Capitan, Mavericks, and OS X Yosemite. Old school game fans rejoice.
Obviously if you don’t care about Warcraft 3 and one of the greatest real-time strategy games of all time, then who cares right? But some of us do, whether it’s the nostalgia factor or whatever else.
Anyway, here’s how you can easily install Warcraft 3 patch 1.27a on a modern Mac so that you can play both WC3 and WC3 Frozen Throne expansion on any modern Mac OS release.
- Warcraft 3 (and optionally the expansion Frozen Throne) either downloaded ($10) or an old CD with CD-key laying around the house (if you have a CD key you can claim it at the battle.net account manager here)
- A battle.net account
- A modern Mac with about 2GB of disk space
Personally I had the ancient dusty Warcraft 3 CD still laying around, so I just dug that up and used the CD Key to claim it to a modern Battle.net account which gives access to the Warcraft 3 and Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne downloads:
Once you have the Battle.net installers downloaded, you’ll likely need to right-click and choose “Open” or launch it through System Preferences to bypass Gatekeeper on the Mac to actually download and install the game – note you only need to do this with the downloader and installer, it is not necessary for the game itself.
When finished downloading and installing, you’ll have Warcraft 3 on the Mac, and it actually runs. It’s in the /Applications/ folder by default unless you moved it somewhere else.
Launch the game and play some Warcraft 3 or Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne, that’s it!
Battle.net games work fine too so you can play multiplayer matches or the single player campaign, whatever you’re into.
Anyway, have fun with this blast from the past.
I suppose Warcraft 3 is now in the pantheon of retro games now that it’s nearly a decade and a half old, but it holds up quite well, the performance is great, and it’s still a lot of fun. Enjoy!