We examine ocean tides in the barotropic version of the Model for Prediction Across Scales (MPAS-Ocean), the ocean component of the Department of Energy Earth system model. We focus on four factors that affect tidal accuracy: self-attraction and loading (SAL), model resolution, details of the underlying bathymetry, and parameterized topographic wave drag. The SAL term accounts for the tidal loading of Earth's crust and the self-gravitation of the ocean and the load-deformed Earth. A common method for calculating SAL is to decompose mass anomalies into their spherical harmonic constituents. Here, we compare a scalar SAL approximation versus an inline SAL using a fast spherical harmonic transform package. Wave drag accounts for energy lost by breaking internal tides that are produced by barotropic tidal flow over topographic features. We compare a series of successively finer quasi-uniform resolution meshes (62.9, 31.5, 15.7, and 7.87 km) to a variable resolution (45 to 5 km) configuration. We ran MPAS-Ocean in a single-layer barotropic mode forced by five tidal constituents. The 45 to 5 km variable resolution mesh obtained the best total root-mean-square error (5.4 cm) for the deep ocean (1,000 m) tide compared to TPXO8 and ran twice as fast as the quasi-uniform 8 km mesh, which had an error of 5.8 cm. This error is comparable to those found in other forward (non-assimilative) ocean tide models. In future work, we plan to use MPAS-Ocean to study tidal interactions with other Earth system components, and the tidal response to climate change.