Want to Play Age of Empires for Mac? Try 0 A.D. Instead, & It’s Free

Jun 16, 2018 - 10 Comments

0 AD game is like Age of Empires but free

Age Of Empires was a classic real time strategy game set in ancient history, where players would build villages that blossomed into cities, all while amassing resources, managing a functioning economy, and building an army to defend your territory, explore, or take-over new lands. Once upon a time Age of Empires used to exist for the Mac as well as the PC, but nowadays that is no longer the case.

If you’re a Mac user who longs for Age of Empires style of gameplay on a modern Mac, then you’re not completely out of luck, because you can play a game called 0 A.D. instead and it’s a pretty great RTS, sort of like a modern Age of Empires clone.

0 A.D. is a historical war and economy game that is quite similar to Age of Empires and is clearly influenced by classic RTS games like Age of Empires, and not only does it work great on the Mac, but it also plays fine on Windows and Linux too. You’ll have all the familiar RTS capabilities like town building, unit development, resource gathering, technology research, upgrades, army building, exploration, warfare with offense and defense, and much more.

Oh and perhaps best of all, not only is 0 A.D. cross platform compatible but it’s also totally free. Yes really, free, good old open-source software!

System requirements for 0 A.D. are very light, though obviously the newer better computers will perform best. For Mac, you’ll need Mac OS X 10.8 or later, a 1024 x 768 or greater display, and an Intel Mac – that’s the barebones requirements to get 0 A.D. running on a Mac, but requirements on a Windows or Linux PC are not much different.

On the Mac, you can install 0 A.D. by dragging it into your /Applications folder, then open it like any other app and you can start playing as usual.

0 a.d. age of empires like game for Mac and  Windows and Linux

0 A.D. has a lot of similarities to Age of Empires and other Real-Time Strategy games in gameplay, graphics, and mechanics, and if you’re a fan of the RTS genre you’ll almost certainly enjoy 0 A.D. even if it’s not exactly Age of Empires you may have been looking for.

0 a.d. screen shot on Mac

Check out a screen shots gallery and some of the videos below, or just download the game and install it to check it out directly yourself.

Some of the various 0 A.D. gameplay videos, 1:



0 A.D. is under active development and is continuously being updated with new features, capabilities, gameplay options, and more, so if you get into the game you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the evolving nature. The game also has a built-in feedback tool so you can submit ideas, bug reports, feature requests, or whatever else directly to the game developers.

0 a.d. screenshots on Mac

If you’re into the RTS genre and enjoy games like Age of Empires, you might also appreciate downloading Starcraft for free for Mac and Windows which is another free blast from the past, and if you’re a Blizzard fan you might also like installing Warcraft 3 on the Mac which still works great if you download the latest version from Blizzard. More modern RTS style games for Mac include Starcraft 2, Civilization 5, and Civilization 6, amongst other smaller releases out there.

Happy gaming!


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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Fun, Games, Mac OS


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  1. fpre says:

    For Lobby Multiplayer Game At The Moment you need a fix.
    It’s included in fgod mod.

    Forum Thread:




  2. Christian says:

    You can also install it with homebrew cask via „brew cask install 0-ad“

    Since you compared it as an AoE II alternative you should have had mentioned that the Steam Version just runs fine with wine: https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=28008

  3. Dave says:

    If you look closely, that link under the download is a
    …dmg.torrent file, not a dmg

  4. Stan says:

    There is a direct download link (Dev here)

  5. Dave says:

    sorry, this requires a bit torrent client and looks quite a bit henky.

    looks like a bunch of risky links.

    • Squirrel says:

      This is a fun game, thanks for the heads up.

      BTW you do not need to use torrents to download the game at all, you can get a DMG file directly on the download page:


      Look under the initial link and it offers a ‘direct download’ link to the DMG file


      I don’t have a torrent client installed either, but it’s not shady to use torrent to disperse downloads, it is actually quite common in open source / linux world, as 0 AD is part of that tradition.

    • Bill says:

      There is a link for directly downloading the file in the sentence beneath the torrent download option. I haven’t tried it.

  6. Stan says:

    Dev here, thanks for the featuring. Worth noting we are currently in a rerelease process because we have fixed a crash that affects poor Mac users. Hopefully it shouldn’t take too long. The crash is preventing Mac users from playing multiplayer. We have currently a workaround mod you can find on the forums to keep you waiting.

    Sorry for the inconvenience and hope you’ll enjoy the game :)

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