By Jason Parker
July 28, 2019
Article updated on 11/11/19 to reflect new techniques
For Magic: the Gathering Arena fans on Mac devices, there aren’t many options. Wine doesn’t seem to work anymore on macOS Catalina. If you upgraded, you won’t be able to use Wine anymore to play MTG Arena.
Thanks to Draftsim, we found a new solution. There are a few options, but we recommend Boot Camp Assistant.
You’ll have to find your own copy of Windows 10 (64-bit) and an activation key. Sorry, you’re on your own there! In order to install it though, you’ll need OS X El Capitan 10.11 or later. Windows 10 can also only be run on certain Mac models.
Make sure to have Windows 10 before you go any further. You can do this later, but it has been known to cause problems with the installation process.
Please remember to back up your data before doing any major partition work like this. Head to your Search Bar and type “Boot Camp”. Open the program, and read the prompt before hitting “Continue”. From there you will pick the size of the partition.
The minimum is 48GB, but you can make it as big as you have room for. Simply follow the instructions you’re given on the screen, and you will have a fresh new partition. From here, your Mac will reboot.
This is why you needed to have Windows already. Your Mac will let you select that Windows OS, and install it on the disc you wish. This can happen automatically. After following the on-screen instructions, you will have Windows on your Mac. The device will reboot one more time, but in Windows.
You will click through the options, and finish installing Boot Camp and Windows. Now that we have the difficult stuff out of the way, just download MTG Arena. It’s important to note that in order to play MTG Arena on your Mac, you will have to reboot.
When you want to swap to Windows or back to Mac, reboot your machine and hold the ‘option’ (alt) ⌥ key. You will then be prompted to pick a partition. You can now play card games to your heart’s content.
You can use Parallels or VirtualBox as alternates if you’d like. The upside to these is you do not have to reboot to swap to Windows. The negatives more than outweigh the positives though. Parallels isn’t free, and VirtualBox can be frustrating to install.
Windows will also be sharing both RAM and Hard Drive space with the Mac OS. This means it’s going to run slower, and that is not what you want when you’re trying to play a card game like MTG Arena. We can only hope that Wizards of the Coast will give Mac players a real solution soon Until then, we’ll keep an eye on what works and what doesn’t.
MTG Arena has been exploding lately, with thousands rushing to play Wizards of the Coast’s latest digital variant of the classic card game. As a result, there’s been plenty of demand for a proper MTG Arena Mac version.
While downloading the game on a PC is a pretty straightforward procedure (just go download it from their site), the lack of an official client to play MTG Arena on Mac has made it difficult for traditional Magic players on that platform to be able to play.
Thanks to Redditor /u/uhohohdear, an unofficial method allowing Mac users to play Arena has finally been made available, and we’ve got the details right below.
The first thing you’re going to want to do is install Wine onto your Mac. This allows you to run Windows-based programs on your Mac, something you’re going to need for this to work.
You’ll also want to grab the Magic Arena setup executable, as well as a wine wrap for the game, the first of which you can find from the site link near the top of the article and the second in the link above.
Unzip MTGArena.zip from the Wineskin into a folder besides the /Applications/ one.
Afterwards, drag the Wineskin into your /Applications/ folder. It is incredibly important that you do this after unzipping it; don’t unzip it into there straight away.
Right-click the Wineskin wrapper MTGArena.app and open it. If you’re on High Sierra or a higher OS, go into Screen Options and make sure Auto Detect GPU Info is not enabled.
Next, click Install Software, followed by Choose Setup Executable.
Once you’ve done that, got to and select MTGAInstaller.exe.
The next screen is going to be a bit weird because the text for the setup won’t show, so make sure to click the little rectangle in the bottom right corner of the setup client.
After you’ve gotten past that, click the big green button which should say Accept and Install.
Wait for the program to finish installing, though ignore the “Path not found” messages; they don’t actually do anything. After it’s done, click the Finish button. If it doesn’t close, force quit the program by right-clicking the Arena icon in the taskbar.
After you close it, a new window should appear that says Choose Executable. Select the one that says MTGA.exe. DO NOT click MtgaLauncher.exe.
Click Quit and open the Wineskin wrapper again.
You should now be able to run a MTG Arena Mac client. Congratulations! Enjoy the game and good luck climbing the ranked ladder. Just remember, though, that you’ll need to reinstall the client if you need to update it, as the update function doesn’t work with Wineskin currently.
For tips on getting started with MTG Arena Mac don’t forget to check out our top starter decks, our master list of all the free promo codes available in-game, and details on the next expansion Throne of Eldraine.