Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm trying to get Borderlands 2 on Mac, the Steam version, to run at full resolution (2880x1800) on my rMBP.

In-game, the max resolution for some reason is set at 1440x900, half of the full resolution.

I've tried these launch options in Steam:

-w 2880 -h 1800 -width 2880 -h 1800

but neither set the game resolution.

I manually went into the .ini file and set the resolution, but when the game starts up it sets it right back to 1440x900!

What else can I try?


I can use SwitchResX to run the entire OS in non-retina mode, so its resolution would be 2880x1800, but without retina, and I can then set the game resolution that high and it looks BEAUTIFUL, but I'd rather not use this app. Is there any way to bypass the game's limit?

share|improve this question
Do other 3D applications use full resolution? I know Apple's Retina devices use resolution doubling to allow older windowed applications to run... – Orc JMR Nov 27 '12 at 7:59
Yeah I can get other games running 2880x1800, it's a limitation of the game's settings, I'm trying to bypass them. According to Aspyre's knowledgeable, Borderlands 2 SHOULD be allowed to go up that high on retina macbooks, but it must be a bug, I can't increase it past 1440x900. – alt Nov 27 '12 at 8:03

It appears that Borderlands 2 can see only up to the current resolution. So if you have it set to the default, it can see up to 1440x900. If you go to the display preferences and set the resolution to "More space", it can see 2048/1280 (which is pretty close to full retina, and is easy to do).

To run at full resolution, download the Change Resolution app mentioned in Bora's answer. Then, change the resolution to 2800x1800. Then, start Borderlands 2. You will be able to set it to this resolution in the options.

Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to remember the setting. Furthermore, unless you have eagle eyes, you're probably going to want to move the resolution back down again when you are done. But changing the resolution tends to mess up your window sizes. There are tools that can help you with that, though, if it comes to be an issue.

A few caveats on running at full retina:

  • The game will be a bit choppy. You may need to actually pick one of the options below 2880x1800, just so it runs smoothly enough. Quitting all other programs and unplugging any external displays first can help. Also try adjusting some of the other video options. It will be even slower if you run multiplayer. Also, make sure your computer is plugged in, or else the video card and CPU will run at reduced capacity to try to save power. I personally just run at the default 1440x900 when playing multiplayer, as it's otherwise unplayable, but run retina when playing by myself, as it works reasonably well then.

  • The game literally thinks that you have a giant 2800x1800 monitor. So some things are going to be really small. In particular, the mouse and any caption text will be a quarter their usual size. This was also the case in Borderlands 1.

  • Certain game elements will not be retina. This applies in particular to the loading screens. It's not going to kill your game experience, but if you're going to show off the retina to your friends, do it with actual gameplay.

  • Like I said, it won't remember these settings. You have to change the resolution before you start Borderland 2 each time, and then go in and change the resolution.

share|improve this answer

Well, officially, you can't. Because, sorry to break the news, your rMPB is not running at that resolution.

It physically has 2880x1800 pixels but the resolution is "scaled" down to lower resolutions such 1440x900.

To change that, you will have to use an external tool.

  • SwitchResX: Can set custom resolutions and do some further cool stuff, has a nice GUI, but costs $$$. There is a free 10-day trial version, though.
  • Change Res app, free, and tested successfully.

There is a background story to this on MacWorld.

share|improve this answer
According to Aspyre, Borderlands 2 SHOULD be retina supported. – alt Nov 27 '12 at 8:06
Retina supported doesn't have to mean it is guaranteed to run at full retina resolution, though. Do you have a link to that? – DrFish Nov 27 '12 at 8:09
I don't think your answer is really correct. This is how the operating system treats the resolution, but games are perfectly capable of seeing the full resolutions. Borderlands 1 in particular ran at full retina resolution just fine (except that the mouse and text was too small). – asmeurer Dec 1 '12 at 4:48
Other games will run at 2880x1800 so your answer is not correct. – Jack Mar 25 '13 at 10:29

It's not supported. Bear in mind that to run the game at such a high resolution, the graphics quality would have to be reduced. As it is, the game will only run well at 1440x900 with low-quality settings.

If you want to run it at high resolution, run it from Boot Camp.

Borderlands (1) will run at retina reslution.

share|improve this answer

Can't get it to full resolution, but can get it to 1920x1200.

Go to Settings -> Displays and select "More Space" - The resolution will then go up to 1920x1200.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.