Elder Scrolls Online: Steam and Mac

July 19, 2014 at 9:01 am (Elder Scrolls, Games, Mac, Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Hello there!  If you’ve stumbled across this, it’s likely because you have downloaded Elder Scrolls Online via Steam, even though it SAYS it’s for windows only, and you have a Mac.  I was ballsy enough to do so, and I was rewarded!

Elder Scrolls Online is normally 50 bucks, but right now it’s on sale on Steam for half that.  But you might say to yourself, there is no way to download it to my Mac once I buy it on Steam!  WRONG!

So, you can purchase the game on a Mac, and the download option will not tell you it’s not supported on your system.  It just takes a bit of finagling to figure out.  It’s very absurd the hoops you need to jump through to do it, but it’s doable.


Download the game on Steam.

Step 2:

Browse Local Files. 

Inside of the Steam folder for ESO, you will find a couple of EXE files, and then, what ho!  A file called “zosSteamStarterMac.”  Double clicking this will launch Java, and consequently the Elder Scrolls Online Launcher.  Now, for me the whole thing was wonky.  I hit the install button, and everything disappeared.  I got a message asking yes or no with no Yes or No options.  But it all worked out, I hit enter, and it kept going.  Everything disappeared for about 3 minutes, but on the Dock it still had the launcher running.  Eventually the installing screen came up, and it began to install the game!  Oh joy!  

Step 3:

After the game has installed all 60 gb or whatever the absurdly large game file is, you may try and run the game!  This is your first mistake.  First, we need a game code from Steam.  A “CD Key” if you will.  Now, for ME, Steam didn’t allow me to do this.  There’s normally an option for it on the right side, near the links for “Store Page” “DLC” etc. when you go to Library>Elder Scrolls Online.  My steam didn’t have that.  Weird.  

But we are smarter than Steam, right?  We use Macs!  We have to be!

So I logged onto steam on my roommate’s PC, wherein the link for “CD Key” was available!  I copied the key, went to the ESO Website, and under my account hit “Redeem Code.”  Form there it’s all pretty straight forward, and the game works!


Step 4:

You will not be able to launch the game from Steam.  It will tell you it’s missing an Executable file.  Oh shit, did this not work!?  Was everything for Naught!? Well, not really.  Just because Steam doesn’t launch it doesn’t mean it won’t launch.  Do you still have the launcher open?  Good.  Just “Keep In Dock” that launcher, and you’ll be able to launch ESO whenever you want, hell you can even do it without opening Steam!  

Step 5:

Now, this complicated process could actually probably be cut down a couple of steps by simply Purchase game on steam, copy CD code, then download the mac client from the account page on the ESO website. I haven’t tried it, but it seems like exactly what I did above but less confusing. But it should be noted that Step 4 here is important to steam users, and I don’t think can be avoided.

You should have all of the advantages of owning the game on Steam, and the 50% off discount for however long that lasts.  You just have to live with not launching it VIA steam.  A small price to pay, and a very complicated process, but hell.  I found that it was worth it!

I hope this little blog post helps at least some of you frustrated Mac users out there.  I resurrected my blog here after a couple of years specifically to post this very post in hopes of helping you!  I might go post this on Elder Scrolls Online’s forums, or someone else can link to this blog because I’m lazy, and it’s 5AM and I want to go to bed.  

Happy gaming!


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