Steam to End Support for macOS Mojave and 32-Bit Games

Valve's Steam gaming store will drop support for macOS High Sierra and macOS Mojave early next year, effectively ending support for the last versions of macOS that could run 32-bit games.

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After the change comes into effect on February 15, 2024, Valve said existing Steam Client installations on these operating systems will no longer receive updates of any kind from Steam, including security updates, and technical support for issues related to macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) and 10.14 (Mojave) will not be offered.

Valve announced the change in a Steam support post:

Unfortunately, macOS 10.14 was the last version to support running 32-bit games on macOS. Apple chose to drop support for 32-bit applications in macOS 10.15 (released 2019), and since many developers have not updated their games to support 64-bit executables, some games will effectively stop functioning on macOS.

As a result, Valve said the Steam store will stop considering games that offer only 32-bit macOS binaries to be Mac compatible at the end of 2023.

On the plus side, the change won't affect the majority of Mac users, since 98%+ of Steam customers on Mac are already running macOS 10.15 or newer. As Valve points out, "this means 32-bit only games and applications no longer run on your current operating system."

Valve's decision to end support was not independent. As ArsTechnica notes, it is in fact related to Google's ending of macOS 10.13 and 10.14 support in Chrome, several parts of which the Steam UI relies on.

Apple ended security updates and technical support for macOS 10.13 in December 2020 and for macOS 10.14 in October 2021. Future versions of Steam will require macOS features and security updates only present in macOS 10.15 and above. Despite this, however, Valve says it says it still expects "the Steam client and games on these older operating systems to continue running for some time."

Tags: Steam, Valve

Top Rated Comments

Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
12 weeks ago

Love that Steam is effectively trying to blame Apple for their decision ?
I mean it is Apple's fault. Apple forcing app notarization on every compile even small bugfix updates, forcing everyone to use 64 bit only offering no compatibility modes for legacy software like Windows 11 does, and axing all open source APIs forcing everyone on Metal. Mojave and Catalina did longterm damage to Mac gaming, damage that may never be recovered from. Even with the Game Porting Toolkit for many developers it's too little too late as many still are choosing to boycott Apple.

Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
12 weeks ago

I don't have a Steam account, so I can't check, but aren't most of their macOS library still 32-bit? Why don't they update them for 64-bit?
Because either those developers are long gone, or in their eyes it's not worth it due to how little people play on macOS versus Linux and Windows, or they literally can't due to a technical issue. Valve's old Source games for example are all 32 bit due to how old the Source Engine is. They tried to update Half Life 2 to 64 bit, but it did not work right at all. It crashed constantly and had horrible framerate that the 64 bit update was scrapped entirely. It's why CSGO ran so poor on macOS nowadays since Catalina forced them to haphazardly update the game to 64 bit, on an engine never meant to run 64 bit binaries to begin with

This sucks for people that still want their library of games.
Fortunately there's a solution for Mac users who want their library of games: The Valve Steam Deck, which just got refreshed to have 1TB configurations and a new OLED model with longer battery life. Combined with a price drop for higher configs it's never been a better time to hop on the handheld Linux PC that could.

Or just check Apple Gaming Wiki and see if your game works through GPTK.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
12 weeks ago
Crikey. Was 32 more bits really worth losing all these classic games? Too many bits, I say.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Sorinut Avatar
12 weeks ago
I don't have a Steam account so I can't check, but aren't most of their macOS library still 32-bit? Why don't they update them for 64-bit?

This sucks for people that still want their library of games.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spaceboi Scaphandre Avatar
12 weeks ago

Rosetta 2 will eventually go away so Steam will need to make a Universal/Native version at some point anyway.
There is no evidence that Rosetta 2 will be cut. That's speculation from people who's source is they made it up, or it was told to them in a dream. There is no evidence that Apple will end Rosetta 2. Why would they end Rosetta 2 when the majority of Mac software is x86 and since Apple is allowing Linux distros to run Rosetta 2?

This thought process comes from the fact Rosetta 1 was discontinued, but that was different circumstances. Rosetta 1 was a compatibility layer for PowerPC to x86. PowerPC was on the decline as the only organizations using it was Apple with the Mac, and the 7th gen game consoles the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii (and later the Wii U becoming the last PowerPC device ever.) When Rosetta 1 was officially axed, PowerPC was a dead architecture. IBM announced all development for PowerPC was over, and no software was being developed for it anymore. There was no reason to keep Rosetta 1 anymore since the majority of Mac software moved to x86, so there was no reason for Apple to keep supporting a compatibility layer for an architecture that was dead

x86 ain't dead. Not even close. x86 is still the standard for the majority of developers since the PC still uses it with the Mac being realistically the only consumer ARM computer worth a damn. A lot of software critical on Mac are x86 and will most likely be x86 for the forseeable future. Not to mention unlike Rosetta 1, Rosetta 2 actually works. People forget Rosetta 1 ran like ass and half the time didn't even work, so PPC programs ran worse through Rosetta than on a PowerMac. Rosetta 2 on the other hand there's practically no loss in performance whatsoever, and in many cases x86 applications run better on the M Series Macs through Rosetta than they do on a 2019 Mac Pro natively. And Rosetta 2 doesn't even need any changes, and isn't even preloaded on Macs like Rosetta 1 was. You can just download it with the push of a button through a macOS prompt or from Apple's download repository.

Now you may say "so developers are using it as a crutch and Apple should get rid of Rosetta 2 to force developers to make native ARM applications." Yeah good luck with that. Apple does that, and it's corporate suicide. The professionals who use macOS and find out their software that's x86 no longer works because Apple cut Rosetta 2, they're gonna move to Windows. There would be a mass developer exodus bigger than the macOS Mojave and Catalina exodus when OpenGL and 32 bit app support got axed. You can tell developers where and when, but you can't tell them how. You tell them to take your way or the highway, they'll take the highway.

tl;dr: It's highly unlikely Rosetta 2 is gonna get cut, because there's realistically no reason to cut it since x86 is still widely used. Rosetta 1 got cut because PowerPC was a dead architecture.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
CarAnalogy Avatar
12 weeks ago

I don't have a Steam account so I can't check, but aren't most of their macOS library still 32-bit? Why don't they update them for 64-bit?

This sucks for people that still want their library of games.

Bummed about this. I still play games on my 5,1 running mojave. I just wish they would update their games to 64 bit. Is it really that hard? (forgive my ignorance). Biggest bummer is For the King II not coming to macOS.
Game companies won't even touch a game anymore unless it's going to make them millions in IAP. There's no financial incentive to update the vast majority of these games. There are libraries and all kinds of technical details that make it difficult to make them 64 bit. I'm not a programmer but I know it's not as simple as checking a box and recompiling. But again, no one is motivated to do even that much. If anyone even still has the source code.

Also as the article points out, unless you're actually running Mojave, this ship has already sailed. They are ending Steam client support because Google ended Chrome support and Steam is basically just a Chrome web view.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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