Those who are using Steam for playing games on their Mac might have already noticed the change in the library after upgrading to Catalina. Now you can’t download or play 32-bit Steam games on Catalina. Apple’s quick transition to 64-bit for Catalina made so many games and apps useless. I have games worth $100 in my Steam library, and I could have gone nuts If I didn’t find ways to run them using CrossOver and WineSkin. In this article, I explain how I use an unofficial build of WineSkin on macOS Catalina to download and access all the 32-bit games in my Steam Library.
Use WineSkin on Catalina to play 32-bit Steam games
WineSkin is a reliable tool for running Windows software on a Mac for free. One can use the WineSkin to convert Windows applications and games to work as native apps on Mac. WineSkine builds, and it’s engines use Wine source code, and as you know, Wine didn’t get any update to work with 32-bit apps on Catalina. That means you won’t be able to use the WineSkin on macOS Catalina for porting 32-bit Steam and other old Windows games.
Thankfully we have a fork of WineSkin, and unofficial one based on the latest Crossover 19.01. Codeweavers, the makers of CrossOver also contributes to Wine sources code, and it looks like someone has used the source code to build an unofficial build of WineSkin that is capable of running Steam 32-bit Games on Catalina. If you are new to CrossOver, check our article on playing 32-bit games on Catalina with this software. CrossOver is perfect for running 32-bit Steam games on Catalina, but it’s not a freeware like WineSkin.
WineSkin can run the Windows version of Steam on macOS Catalina for free. And that makes it possible for us to download a 32-bit game from Steam on Catalina. The advantage in the case it that, here, it gives us a feeling of playing the game on macOS Catalina itself.
Steps to play 32-bit Steam games on Mac Catalina with WineSkin
WineSkin is free to download and use, but it’s options are a bit confusing for novice users who usually prefers a good GUI. And this build of WineSkin for Catalina is unofficial, and is still in development– so expect bugs and kind of stuff. Yeah, it works for me, maybe for you too –be good at troubleshooting.
WineSkin may need SIP feature “off” on your Mac. Check the above video to see how you can turn-off SIP on your Mac, and use WineSkin to play 32-bit games on Catalina — textual instructions and download links are available below.
- Disable SIP and restart your Mac.
- Download WineSkine for Catalina (unofficial) from this link. Click the link Unofficial.Wineskin.Winery.zip.
- Extract WineSkin to your macOS desktop, and double-click on the app icon to launch GUI as shown above.
- Update the wrapper version, and click on the + button to install WS11WineCX64Bit19.0.1 engine.
- Create a new wrapper — I’m giving it the name “Steam.app.”
- Once the Wrapper is ready, select to open it on Finder.
- Then right-click on the Steam app to see the package content, and then double-click on open WineSkin.app.
- Time to download the Windows version of Steam here, and point the exe to the WineSkin app.
- Install Steam when you see the installer prompt, and do not choose open the client.
- Now on WineSkin, select the location of Steam.exe file as shown in the image.
- Tune the WineSkin before completing the full installation of the Steam client from the Internet. Check our video for some hints.
- Finally, open the Steam app from your macOS Catalina Launchpad to complete the installation.
Mac OS Catalina has security features like notarization, which blocks certain third-party apps. Check the solutions in our article if you get “can’t be opened” errors for WineSkin, Steam or other components on macOS Catalina.
How to install 32-bit Steam games with WineSkin when Catalina can’t run it
The above steps will help you run Steam for Windows on macOS Catalina using WineSkin. You may then sign-in to the Steam application to download and install all your 32-bit games. Open Steam in “small mode” if is not responding or showing a Black screen. Another option is to click on the Steam icon on macOS Catalina Menubar — you could directly download the games from there. It may take a few minutes to hours to download the games depending upon the size.
Sometimes, Steam may not show any progress once you start downloading the game, but the process might be running in the background. Just restart your system and re-launch the Steam app (WineSkin-made). Then click on the Library link in the Menu and take downloads. You can see the game listing, as shown above. The play button gets enabled when the download is complete — press on it to play the 32-bit game natively on macOS Catalina.