What is the best operating system for gaming in 2021?

The best operating system for gaming


In 2021 there are so many options you can choose from, which operating system you want to use for gaming, office work, productivity, or anything. Though in this article we focus on gaming and try to find out the best operating system for gaming.

In today’s market, there are mainly 3 operating systems you can have on a PC.

  1. Windows OS
  2. Linux
  3. Mac OS

All these OS has their pros and cons in different aspect such as gaming, usability, design, security, etc. But we want to know which is the best operating system for gaming? So we’ll see some key differences in these operating systems and figure out the best possible option.

The best operating system for gaming

As a gamer, your requirement will be performance, stability, better support, and large collections of games on the platform. Let’s talk about each OS one by one.


Best operating system for gaming

Since it came to the market in 1985 it dominates the market from windows 1.0 to windows 10. Statcounter Global states show us, in February 2021 windows capture 75.89% market share. Apple’s macOS has a 16.74% market share and 1.98% on Linux. I’m not going to tell you everything about windows except gaming, though if you are interested, check Windows Wikipedia.

Windows is by far the most popular operating system among gamers. It is the first choice of OS when talking about games and gaming PCs. The reason behind the windows being so popular among gamers is performance, game collections, and online platforms of games.

Windows has the support of way many games than Linux and Mac. And it’s not just any game most AAA title such as Cyberpunk 2077, Witcher 3, Red Dead Redemption 2, etc much more support on Windows. Excluding console exclusive games any other games that happened to be published will be on windows.

In terms of performance, the latest version of Windows 10 is highly optimized, reliable, delivers a better and consistent framerate in games. Moreover, API like DirectX 12 and Vulkan really enhanced the graphics quality of the games.

Talking about purchasing games, there’re so many platforms you can purchase from. Steam, Origin, Uplay, Epic, etc all are well supported on Windows.


What is the best operating system for gaming in 2021?

Though Linux has only 2% of the market share, it does not mean no one uses it. The interesting fact is that you do use Linux but you don’t know about it. Linux is in your phone, your camera, from the website you read this article is hosted on a Linux server. It runs most of the internet. Linux is also one of the safest Operating systems in terms of security.

Talking about gaming on Linux, there are so many improvements that have been done on Linux gaming over the last few years. With Ubuntu 20.4 or distro like POP OS and Linux Mint, we finally got a pickup and play like experience from Linux.

It is true that unlike Windows, not every game is support and runs on Linux. But significantly more games do support and run on Linux. Steam has a pretty big collection of games including titles like GTA 5, CS: GO, Shadow of the tomb raider works perfectly fine on Linux.

Games that are not natively supported on Linux can still be playing with the Proton compatibility layer and Steam play78% of the top thousand windows-only steam games playable with Proton.

Other than Steam, online platforms like Lutris and GOG offer a great number of games you can install and play from. Lutris even let you install Origin to play EA titles.

In terms of performance, just like Windows, Linux also provides better performance in gaming with minor framerates up and down depending on which game you’re playing. Framerate-stability wise different Linux distros may deliver different results but most of the distros are still pretty stable.

Mac OS

What is the best operating system for gaming in 2021?

So, what about Mac? Unlike Windows and Linux, Mac OS is only available on Apple’s computers. Mac OS has been in the market since the ’90s and is also the biggest competitor of Windows. Apple’s Mac is the best operating system in the market and is highly recommended to go with Apple products if you have the budget and focus more on productivity rather than gaming. 

As, Mac OS and Apple’s hardware both design by Apple, it is highly optimized and extremely efficient. On top of that Mac OS is highly secured and offers a great user-friendly UI for a better user experience.

Mac indeed is the best operating system in the market for casual and productivity purposes. But it is not recommended to buy an Apple computer if you only want to play games on that machine.

The best place to find games for Mac is Apple’s app store, Steam, Battle.Net, Epic Games, Origin, GOG, etc. In steam, you can find more than ten thousand games to play, but very few of them are recent AAA titles. There are some popular games you can find for Mac OS such as Fortnite, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, Bordanland, Rocket League, Rise of the Tomb Raider, etc. 

There is another option to play games is play games on Mac is using the could gaming service like Geforce Now. Cloud gaming is a better way to play games on Mac as long as you have a good internet connection. You can find the system requirement here.

Gaming performance on Mac depends on which MacBook you’re using. If the MacBook from the last 1 or 2 years and have a dedicated GPU, you can expect, though not Good but an OK performance. With the latest version of Metal and recent changes that have been made, the graphics performance is quite good on Mac.

Which one is the best operating system for gaming?


In terms of performance, Windows is a little bit better than Linux. But that’s doesn’t mean Linux would be a bad choice for you. With decent hardware and distros that are more focused on Linux gaming, Linux can deliver you an enjoyable gaming experience. Mac is way below in performance than Windows and Linux.

Game collection:

The most number of games available for any OS right now is Windows. More than 20,000+ games are available on Steam for Windows while the selection for games is quite limited for Linux and Mac OS at this moment.

Though with the rising popularity of Linux gaming in the community and technology like Proton, the availability of games for Linux will be increasing in upcoming years. Also, due to lack of better performance(60FPS on recent and most AAA titles) and lack of availability of Mac OS(Mac only on Apple’s product) to everyone, game developers are not launching AAA titles on Mac.

Online Platform:

The most popular platform you can install games from is Steam. Steam is supported for all three OSs. There are some alternatives to Steam such as OriginEpic GamesBattle.NetGOGUplay, etc.

Though all of these platforms are available for windows. For Linux Epic and Battle.Net are not supported. Another alternative for Linux is Lutris.

The best operating system for gaming: Conclusion:

So which one is the best operating system for gaming? Well, the answer is no doubt Windows. It offers a great gaming performance, has a huge collection of games to play, and a large number of available online platforms to install games.

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