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Instructions on how to install Magic the Gathering Arena on macOS with Retina support.

Installing MTGA on macOS using Wine, and making it look pretty!

The following instructions are heavily inspired by /u/uhohohdear. I modified uhohohdear's instructions and then added support for Retina/HiDPI displays and instructions about how to update MTGA.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: This will no longer work if you upgrade to macOS Catalina, as Wine and Wineskin are 32-bit. I'll update this Gist with 64-bit versions when they become available.

We're back in business!

It appears that the workarounds no longer work. A few people with Macs using Nvidia graphics cards are having success, but Macs with Intel and AMD GPUs crash regularly. At this time, the best way to play Arena on Mac is via Boot Camp or GeForce Now.

WOTC just released a new executable that should work with these original directions. I updated the download link below. I haven't tested this yet, so let me know how it goes!

As of July 25, 2019, this method no longer works. I have a workaround posted here.

Dependencies

  1. Your macOS/OS X version must be 10.8 or greater
  2. Your Mac must support OpenGL 4.0 or greater (you can find out whether it does here)
  3. You must download the Magic the Gathering Arena Windows executable
  4. You must download a custom Wineskin wrapper [mirror]

Note: If you're like me, you may not trust unofficial Wineskin wrappers. Unfortunately, the Wineskin project is way behind and only supports Wine 2.x. We need at least Wine 3.0 to run MTGA. If Wineskin ever gets around to updating, you can get the official download here.

Installing MTGA

  1. Drag the custom Wineskin wrapper to your /Applications/ folder.
  2. Right click/Control click the Wineskin wrapper (MTGArena.app) and select "Open"

Note: If you have a newer Mac, you may need to click "Screen Options" and then uncheck "Auto Detect GPU Info for Direct3D" and check "Use Mac Driver instead of X11". If you complete installation of MTGA and are getting DirectX 11 errors, come back to this step and give these toggles a try.

  1. Click "Install Software"
  2. Click "Choose Setup Executable"
  3. Navigate to and select the Magic the Gathering Arena Windows executable you previously downloaded
  4. For some reason, the text is broken for the installation prompts (it's fine in game!). To install, click the lower right rectangle and, on the next screen, click the "Accept and Install" button. (You can actually read the text with the new installer!)
  5. Wait for MTGA to install and ignore any warnings (hopefully you won't have any!). When complete, click "Finish"

Note: The installer never successfully closes for me. So, either manually close Wine in the macOS menu bar or force quit Wine.

  1. Back in Wineskin, a "Choose Executable" window should be available. Select "MTGA.exe" and not the "MTGAInstaller" msi file.

You can now click "Quit" and start playing MTGA! If you'd like to add Retina support, carry on.

Adding Retina/HiDPI Support

  1. In Wineskin, click "Advanced" and then select "Tools"
  2. Click "Registry Editor (regedit)"
  3. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Wine -> Mac Driver (if Mac Driver doesn't exist, navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER -> Software -> Wine and then use Edit -> New -> Key to create a new key named Mac Driver)
  4. Select Edit -> New -> String Value from the menu and name it RetinaMode
  5. Double click RetinaMode, set its value to y, and click "OK"
  6. Close the Registry Editor and then click "Config Utility (winecfg)" in Wineskin's Advanced -> Tools menu
  7. Click on the "Graphics" tab, enter the correct dpi under "Screen resoution", and click "OK".

Note: You can find your screen's dpi on Apple Support or via DPI Love.

You can now close Wineskin and start playing MTGA in high resolution!

FAQS

I'm getting a DirectX 11 error and it's making me sad.

Repeat steps 0 and 1 under "Installing MTGA" and trying unchecking "Auto Detect GPU Info for Direct3D" and checking "Use Mac Driver instead of X11". If you're still having problems, use TextEdit to create a plaintext file (use shift+command+T to toggle between rich text and plaintext) with the following information:

REGEDIT4
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Direct3D]
"DirectDrawRenderer"="opengl"
"UseGLSL"="enabled"
"MaxVersionGL"=dword:00030003

Save this file as d3d.reg. Go to /Applications/ then right click/control click the Wineskin wrapper (MTGArena.app) and select "Show Package Contents". Open "Wineskin.app". In Wineskin, click "Advanced", select "Tools", and then click "Registry Editor (regedit)". From the "Registry" menu, choose "Import Registry File..." and select the d3d.reg file you just created. Close regedit, exit Wineskin, and try running MTGArena again.

I'm playing MTGA in windowed mode and, after switching to another program, it stops responding.

Everything is fine. Just grab the MTGA window and wiggle it a little bit. Everything should be back to normal.

I tried to launch MTGA and I get some error that crashes the program!

This is a common issue with running MTGA in Wine. Close the program and wait a few seconds. It should work fine on the second attempt. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

If this really bugs you, here's a fix so that MTGA will launch perfectly every time:

  1. Right/control-click the Wineskin wrapper (MTGArena.app) and select "Show Package Contents"
  2. Navigate to Contents/MacOS
  3. Rename "WineskinLauncer" to "WineskinLauncher.bin"
  4. Create a new plaintext file in Content/MacOS and save it as "WineskinLauncher"

Note: If you're using TextEdit, make sure you've turned off the option to add a .txt file extension.

  1. Paste the following inside of the new WineskinLauncher file:
#!/bin/sh

dir=$(dirname "$(dirname "$0")")
rm -f "$dir/Resources/drive_c/Program Files/Wizards of the Coast/MTGA/MTGA_Data/Logs/PerfLogRecord.dat" >/dev/null 2>&1
exec "$dir"/MacOS/WineskinLauncher.bin $@
  1. In Terminal, run chmod 755 /Applications/MTGArena.app/Contents/MacOS/WineskinLauncher

Thanks to abcbarryn for pointing me toward this fix.

There's an Arena update and nothing works anymore!

Yeah. It's annoying. This appears to work:

  1. Right/control-click the Wineskin wrapper (MTGArena.app) and select "Show Package Contents"
  2. Double click "Wineskin"
  3. Click "Advanced"
  4. Click "Tools"
  5. Click "Rebuild Wrapper"
  6. Wait
  7. Click "Install Software"
  8. Click "Choose Setup Executable"
  9. Navigate to and select the Magic the Gathering Arena Windows executable you previously downloaded
  10. Install as normal.

Note: You will need to follow the directions to re-enable retina mode and, probably, change the Screen Options.

@benjikat
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benjikat commented Dec 20, 2019

@craiglondon
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craiglondon commented Dec 20, 2019

And get access to GeForceNow. I applied like two months ago and still haven’t gotten access.

@MoreiraFC
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MoreiraFC commented Jan 17, 2020

Is anyone having crash/freeze problems? My Arena client crash/freeze every 2-3 games... Sometimes less than that. Is there anything I can do to make it more stable (already re-installed it). Thanks in advance.

@Ahrimourn
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Ahrimourn commented Jan 19, 2020

I don't think there is anything we can do on the Wineskin side. I think in the last few days the issues have been on the game side, not Wine as much. I just requested access to GeForce Now as a backup plan.

Also, if I interpret the 'In Development' slide here correctly, we might be getting the real Mac client before the next expansion https://mtgazone.com/mtg-arena-state-of-the-game-january-2020/

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Jan 19, 2020

The vast majority of the issues have always been on the games side mostly due to using an old buggy version of mono.

I haven’t really tested it in CrossOver19.0.1 or my WS11WineCX19.0.1 Engine as in prioritizing testing other games in macOS Catalina above this

@IgnasMas
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IgnasMas commented Jan 20, 2020

On Mojave, crashing almost every game usually at the start or end of game, sometimes during some large like wrath effect. Also game seems to be running a lot slower than before (pre ELD).

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Jan 20, 2020

You might need to use a newer version of wine, I’ve posted about my Wineskin fork that supports current wine releases that are sourced directly from winehq.

Currently offering Wine-2.0 > Wine-4.20 as Wine-4.21 was basically broken and skipping Wine-5.0-rc builds as giving each release candidate last year just caused me a headache.

Also providing WineCX19.0.1 builds(basically CrossOver-wine built from source)

It now even works on macOS Catalina if SIP is disabled, Apple requires wine32on64 to be signed and notarized to set the required bit to allow 32Bit processes to run....

@ikroni
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ikroni commented Jan 22, 2020

It now even works on macOS Catalina if SIP is disabled, Apple requires wine32on64 to be signed and notarized to set the required bit to allow 32Bit processes to run....

I tried it with CrossOver19, but after installation it freezing every time on "Preparing Assets", so, seems like MTGA still didn't work on Mac OS Catalina.

@IgnasMas
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IgnasMas commented Jan 22, 2020

@Gcenx do you have a guide how to use your fork with newer wine versions?

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Jan 22, 2020

@IgnasMas you use it like the official Wineskin from doh123, I provide a custom version of Winery that grabs winehq releases and repackages them into Engines (it takes a while) or use the Winery version that skips compression to speed this up.

Currently max version available is Wine-4.20 due to a wineboot bug, I’ll add Wine-5.0 builds once available, I’d skipped the release candidates as they were a headache last year.

I’m in the processes of rebuilding my runtime and will lightly replace WineCX19.0.1 Engines with rebuilt versions. (Might not be relevant for MTGA)

@IgnasMas
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IgnasMas commented Jan 23, 2020

@Gcenx tried using your engine builder but when added to winery and trying to build blank wrapper getting this error:
The engine wswine-devel-4.20-osx is corrupted or opened incorrectly. If this error continues next time you try, reinstall the selected engine

Works with the one downloaded through winery though, I think v2.22

Both are left as .tar.7z

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Jan 23, 2020

@IgnasMas

You should be using Unofficial Wineskin Winery

The repacking can take a while or you can skip the 7z compression by using the “no compression” version under assets.

You mentioned “Engine builder” did you grab that thing I’d forked from gist?

@verespej
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verespej commented Feb 7, 2020

I've been using macOS Catalina for a while and went through the painful process of figuring out how to get this to work. I ended up partitioning my hard drive and running macOS Mojave on the separate partition. I was able to get things to work there.

For anyone else who's already on Catalina and want to try what I did, I wrote up how I installed the old OS version here: https://www.verespej.com/2020/02/how-to-run-old-version-of-macos-after.html.

After you do that and boot into macOS Mojave, you can just follow the instructions in this gist to play.

@TheRojam
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TheRojam commented Feb 7, 2020

Installing Mojave is no Option!

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Feb 7, 2020

@TheRojam while that’s true for newer MacBook/Mac Pro systems it can be “viable” for some people.

Some comments here said MTGA didn’t work from then using CrossOver19 so the only other alternative is using a VM/Bootcamp

@Ahrimourn
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Ahrimourn commented Feb 12, 2020

GeForce Now is out of beta now. I tried it and was really impressed (I know not everyone here loves it). It runs smoothly and for the first time I was able to set the graphics detail on high and see too many animations I was missing before. For example seeing the full Questing Beast animation - awesome.

Now that it is out of beta, full access costs money - however the free version lets you play for an hour (assume that is per day). Hopefully the real Mac client will be out before long, but according to the AMA (it was a popular question) the devs said it is taking awhile because it has to be 64-bit for Catalina.

@wadijm
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wadijm commented Mar 1, 2020

Hi, im getting

/Applications/MTGArena.app/Contents/Frameworks/wswine.bundle/bin/wine: line 2: /Applications/MTGArena.app/Contents/Frameworks/wswine.bundle/bin/MTGArena289047192Wine: Bad CPU type in executable

@abcbarryn
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abcbarryn commented Mar 1, 2020

I am guessing that is what happens on Mac OS 10.15 thanks to Apple dropping support for 32 bit executables. Thanks Apple. Not.

@TheRojam
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TheRojam commented Mar 8, 2020

Some comments here said MTGA didn’t work from then using CrossOver19 so the only other alternative is using a VM/Bootcamp

@Gcene you're fully right, i used CrossOver for MtG Arena. But didn't work anymore now. Thats said.


I am guessing that is what happens on Mac OS 10.15 thanks to Apple dropping support for 32 bit executables. Thanks Apple. Not.

@abcbarryn that it is whats happend. but think about it. 32bit is a bad manner to compile, run/execute things. in my opionion this also means putting an end to obsolete practices. apple did this. even its hard to not use those things anymore, i think it was right.

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Mar 8, 2020

If enough people request MTGA support in CrossOver CodeWeavers will try to get it working.

That or everyone bombard asking for a clean wine32on64 patch set, then other wine versions can be built to work on Catalina.

Currently digging through 1052 commit differences between Wine-4.12.1 > CrossOver-19 is not fun (minis the easy 90)

I think 32Bit support should have been dropped long ago, having it remain has kept developers lazy it’s been 10 years since 64Bit became standard.

Most of the developers dropping macOS is due to this laziness, the majority of commercial game engines already support macOS with OpenGL or Metal rendering.

@Skbbbarababoom
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Skbbbarababoom commented Mar 31, 2020

Unfortunately, I just got info that CrossOver may still not have the fix for version 20 :(

Thank you for writing us. As it turns out MTGA does not install or run in crossover presently.
https://www.codeweavers.com/compatibility/crossover/magic-the-gathering-arena
This is a known issue on the mac platform to which we have not been able to resolve as of yet. I cannot promise that this will be resolved in crossover 20, as a patches to address the problem did not work. As of now the bug is still being worked on.

@xialouis
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xialouis commented Apr 21, 2020

Hi guys, I'm on mojave and followed all the instructions + the d3d.reg + the retina registry stuff. Things work for me, in terms of collection page, opening packs, even drafting but I crash whenever I try to enter a battle. Getting that unity error pop up page.

From the other comments, it seems like using a newer version of wine might be the answer but how do I do that exactly? Also does that mean I have to completely reinstall/redownload mtga?

Also when I try to update wrapper in "Advanced -> Tools", I get this error: There is an error with the installation of your Master Wrapper. Please update your Wrapper in Wineskin Winery (a manual install of a wrapper for Wineskin Winery will work too)

@abcbarryn
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abcbarryn commented Apr 21, 2020

I have been having some problems with it crashing some times when entering a battle. If I immediately relaunch the game, it reconnects and continues into the battle though. This has been occurring since the most recent update.

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Apr 21, 2020

Wineskin (by doh123) is no longer updated, I’ve posted this numerous times now.

To use a newer wine version, you could repackaged a winehq release, modify the Engine Build Script and install a newer version of bison and mingw.
Then compile one from source.

I’ve posted multiple times I run an updated project that provides Wine-2.0 to the current Wine-5.x releases.\

That or just directly use a winehq release via terminal

@letterioM
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letterioM commented May 6, 2020

Wineskin (by doh123) is no longer updated, I’ve posted this numerous times now.

To use a newer wine version, you could repackaged a winehq release, modify the Engine Build Script and install a newer version of bison and mingw.
Then compile one from source.

I’ve posted multiple times I run an updated project that provides Wine-2.0 to the current Wine-5.x releases.\

That or just directly use a winehq release via terminal

Hi Gcenx,
can you explain us what are steps to "repackage" , "modify the Engine Build Script" etc?
Thanks in advance.

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented May 6, 2020

I haven’t done that manually in over 2 years, there’s a gist I forked that does the engine repacking but I don’t use that anyway as I built that functionality directly into my own project “Unofficial Wineskin” and PortingKit also shares that same code.

There’s no point explaining how to edit EngineBase when it really needs an entire overhaul to be viable.

@TuomoSalo
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TuomoSalo commented Jun 5, 2020

Looks like the "always crash when heading into a game, but maybe not on the first game" problems might be related to pets. Judging by the comments here, the constant crashing started when pets were introduced, the crash timing (and the possibility of not crashing; maybe neither player has a pet?) seems to match pet data getting loaded, and after I got a pet of my own (using Geforce Now), not a single game has successfully started without a crash. Also, after getting into the game through reconnecting, all pets are invisible (their sound can be heard though, and if they have some kind of flair around them, that's visible). You can't see the pets in the store or in the profile either. ( https://imgur.com/a/tsclUoA )

So I'm about 95% convinced that the crashing must be caused by the pets, but I'm completely at a loss about what could be done to fix it.

@andreabar
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andreabar commented Jun 26, 2020

Well, yesterday the official client was released for macOS. So the days of emulating and going crazy are finally over, happy gaming to every mac MTGA players!

@Gcenx
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Gcenx commented Jun 27, 2020

An official client is always preferred but this gist might still be useful for some people who own Mac systems that can’t use the latest OS.

@abcbarryn
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abcbarryn commented Jun 29, 2020

At this point, if you are running Mac OS X 10.9 or later you probably should download the official client from:

https://www.epicgames.com/store/en-US/product/mtg-arena/home

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