MacOS 14.1.1 / Vassal 3.3.2 - games run Herky jerky - any suggestions when buying new Mac? Other than dont?

Keep buying Mac books and none have run Vassal games well: very slow and jerky. Have a Desktop but it’s getting old and I only use it for these games. So, when traveling and want a distraction…
Can anyone tell me if there is a way to run Vassal on OS? Going to buy a new Mac lap and in the past I’ve bumped up speed and memory to no avail.
Thank you for any help you can suggest,
Bob F.

VASSAL runs just fine on MacOS. There might be other reasons you have for wanting to get a MacBook with a higher level processor or additional RAM, but VASSAL resource consumption/performance needn’t factor into that one bit.

VASSAL 3.3.2 is incredibly old. I would strongly urge you to use the latest release (3.7.5 as of this writing).

If you get a MacBook with an Apple Silicon CPU (a certainty if you get a brand new one, as they don’t come with Intel CPUs anymore), there is a VASSAL setting that can impact map drawing performance called “Disable OpenGL FBOs”–but you would almost certainly not need to do anything or even know it exists, because it defaults to enabled in the builds for Apple Silicon-based MacOS.


My M1 based MacMini has no problems. I think any of the new MacBooks will run VASSAL just fine.


I test my C&C Napoleonics module developments on a 2016 MacBook Pro; it does run with more noticeable delays than my 2022 iMac but that module is relatively demanding. Even then it is still usable.

If you are on MacOS 14 already, then your Mac must be newer than my MacBook, which is limited to MacOS 12.

“Herky-jerky” issues can be down to module specific things - so it’s appropriate to ask what module(s) you experience the issue with? Also, is it an issue both for offline and online games?

Finally, upgrading Vassal is sound advice - many, many bugs have been fixed since since v3.3.2, including I recall at least one that boosted performance complex* modules. One caveat - it goes back to the modules that you are using; some of the older ones may need well-known tweaks to work properly in later versions of Vassal.

*Specifically, ones with pieces that have long lists of Trigger / Restrict Command traits.