How to Install & Play Warcraft 3 on Mac (macOS Sierra, OS X El Capitan, etc)

Sep 3, 2016 - 20 Comments

Install and play Warcraft 3 on Mac

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.


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 account which gives access to the Warcraft 3 and Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne downloads:

Download warcraft 3 for Mac

Once you have the 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.

Install Warcraft 3 on Mac

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.

Warcraft 3 installed on Mac

Launch the game and play some Warcraft 3 or Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne, that’s it!

Play warcraft 3 on Mac games work fine too so you can play multiplayer matches or the single player campaign, whatever you’re into.

Warcraft 3 playing on Mac

Anyway, have fun with this blast from the past.

Warcraft 3 on Mac

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!

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Games, Mac OS X


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  1. pingdrop says:

    I always liked WC3 more than the Starcraft series and the WOW series.

  2. Wharf Xanadu says:

    Wow, some of you readers are really good. I’m still trying to get past level 1 of Leisure Suit Larry.

  3. Andrew says:

    I wish they would do the same for Warcraft II

  4. John says:

    Is there any way to easily play Warcraft 1?
    I have to use Dosbox and a CD at present.

    • Christopher says:

      DOSBOX is probably the best way to play Warcraft 1 or Warcraft 2, maybe a Virtual Machine with Windows 95 would work too. I thought there was an OpenWC game but I can’t locate it, sorry.

      But for retro RTS gamers there is also OpenRA which is Command & Conquer: Red Alert that runs native on Mac and Windows and even has online play.

  5. wnnaNMBP says:

    ha ha ha,,,i preferred UD too,,nonetheless monks were always easily to be scratched,ha ha……

  6. Ikomrad says:

    Does this have play well with a magic trackpad? Or should I buy a magic mouse?

    Since my Macbook can dual boot into Windows this story isn’t that big of a deal, but it’s nice to play without leaving os x.

    • Gregory says:

      I use a $7 USB mouse from Amazon and it works great.

      You can certainly use a trackpad for games but I think it is harder to control units, though a trackpad works great with something like Civilization that is turn based.

      Kind of fun to see appreciation for Warcraft! Personally I am hoping for Warcraft 4….

  7. Bobby says:

    I REALLY REALLY hope they do this for StarCraft 1 too. I was so bummed out when I realized SC1 wasn’t working anymore.

    • Stephen says:

      Tale a look at MASS RECALL, the recreation of the original campaign. You have to launch it from the StarCraft II Editor. It works great!

  8. Anthony says:

    If you install Warcraft 3, how do I install the Frozen Throne Expansion?

    • putl says:

      The same way, use a CD Key and download Frozen Throne from the same Blizzard site is what I did, it comes as an installer and works great. Still a fair amount of users play battlenet games too, which is fun.

  9. Faast says:

    Warcraft® III: Reign of chaos – download link is gone from what you have in the screenshot.

    Only the Warcraft® III: Frozen Throne is there.

    But Frozen Throne wont install without Reign of Chaos.
    I have legacy CD (keys for both) but of course they wont install.

    Anyone have a solution?

  10. John says:

    I’ve been running this game and although it plays, most of the screen remains black and the minimap doesn’t work. Which, of course makes the game pretty difficult to play. Do you have any suggestions on how to fix that? I have all the video settings up as high as they can go, but it seems to be a bug or glitch of some sort. Occasionally the mini map will work, but it is very spotty. Any help is appreciated!

  11. gian says:

    Warcraft® III: Reign of chaos – download link is gone from what you have in the screenshot, and also the Warcraft® III: Frozen Throne isn’t there.
    can you help me in some way?

  12. Jon says:

    It askes for a CD-Key, what to do???

    • Peter O. says:

      Enter it. You do have your original CD, don’t you? There should be a manual included, where the serial/CD-key is located.

      Or there is somewhere a sticker with the key on it.

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