While Steam is one of the largest digital game distributors on the market, other platforms have managed to take a piece of the pie. With platform exclusives, Origin, Epic Games, EA Play, and Blizzard have carved out a substantial market share. Since these games are not normally found on Steam, players may need to jump through some hoops unless they want to keep multiple client servers open to access their full library.
Luckily, adding non-Steam games is straightforward, and we’ll show you how to do it in this article.
How to Add Origin Games to Steam
In 2020, Origin announced that their gaming library will be transferable to Steam. This benefits both gamers and the respective companies by allowing Origin games to market themselves through the Steam store, which is one of the most popular ways players find new games to enjoy.
Unfortunately, the process might sound simple in theory, but there are some caveats that you need to be aware of. Origin games you’ve purchased on the native client platform can’t be ported over to Steam directly. The easiest way to get full functionality out of an Origin game on Steam is to purchase it through the Steam store.
When you purchase a game this way, Steam will install it as if it’s a local game, but you’ll still need an Origin account to log into the game itself and save your progress.
However, since you’re basically paying for the game twice at that point, there is little reason to do that. We’d recommend sticking to Origin as the base platform for its games and use Steam where appropriate. You can download free-to-play Origin titles in this manner and get the benefit of both Origin and Steam at the same time.
How to Add Non-Steam Games to Steam
There is another method that will enable gamers to play their favorite titles through Steam. Steam allows any game, regardless of its publisher or presence on the Steam store, to load from the platform as a non-native game. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open your Steam Library.
- Click on the plus icon (“Add a game”) on the bottom left.
- Select “Add a Non-Steam Game” from the list.
- Steam will generate a list of all available programs and executables found on your PC. Select your game’s name to add it as a non-Steam game. If your game isn’t on the list, use the “Browse” button to open the location manager and find the game’s .exe file manually.
- Select “Add Selected Programs” to finish the process.
- Once you add a non-Steam game this way, you can open it directly from the Library menu or the toolbar shortcut.
You have to keep in mind that adding a non-Steam game in this manner doesn’t allow Steam to update the game in the future. You’ll still have to access the native client(s) to download updates.
If you’re using a different platform to purchase Steam games, such as GOG or Humble Bundle, you’ll usually get a Steam game key once you complete the purchase. To add the game to Steam and unlock all of Steam’s perks, here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Steam Library.
- Click on the “Add a game” icon (plus icon) on the bottom left.
- Select “Activate a product on Steam.”
- Click “Next” and accept the user agreement.
- Enter the Steam key you received from the seller.
- Click “Next” and follow the prompts to complete the setup process.
- Steam will now download and install the game.
How to Play Blizzard Games on Steam
If you want to play Blizzard titles (such as Overwatch, World of Warcraft, or Diablo III) on Steam, you’ll need to go through a somewhat lengthy configuration process to bypass the Battle.net client and load the games through Steam alone. Here’s what you need to do:
- Open the Battle.net app.
- Click on the “Blizzard” icon on the top left corner, then select “Settings”.
- In the General tab, uncheck the item named “Launch Blizzard App when you start your computer.”
- In the “When I launch the game” setting, select “Exit Battle.net completely.”
- Uncheck the “show a brief countdown” setting as well.
- Click “Done” to save changes and exit the Battle.net app.
- Add the Battle.net program (not the “Battle.net Launcher”) as a non-Steam game following the process noted above. You’ll probably need to find the app on your drive using the Browse button. The OS usually puts it in the “Program Files” or “Program Files (x86)” folder depending on your system configuration.
- Locate the newly-added Battle.net program in your Steam Library.
- Right-click on its name, then select “Properties” from the menu.
- Change the game title to the title of the game you’re trying to add to Steam.
- In the Target field, add a space after the final quotation mark, then paste in the text corresponding to the game from this table:
|Heroes of the Storm||battlenet://Hero|
|Warcraft III: Reforged||battlenet://W3|
|World of Warcraft||battlenet://WoW|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops 4||battlenet://VIPR|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War||battlenet://Zeus|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops Modern Warfare||battlenet://Odin|
- Click “Close” to save changes. Open the game to test it out.
- You’ll need to repeat this process for every game you’re trying to add.
If you followed these steps correctly, the game should load normally through Steam, closing down the Battle.net client automatically, and allowing you to access the Steam overlay and streaming options as usual. Steam will also download updates for the game, but you might need to manually update the Battle.net app itself every once in a while.
If you just want to play these titles using Steam without using the Steam link, overlay, or in-home streaming, you can skip these steps and add the games directly as non-Steam games, but you will likely not have these options.
How to Play Uplay Games on Steam
Luckily, most Ubisoft (or Uplay) titles are available on the Steam store directly, so you won’t need to add them as non-Steam games to work. When you purchase a title that requires Uplay to operate, your game will automatically prompt you to log in to your Ubisoft account the first time you open it. When you do, your Ubisoft account will link to your Steam account, and you can continue playing the game.
Unfortunately, any games you’ve purchased through Uplay’s platform previously will need to be added as non-Steam games if you want to avoid paying for them again.
Can You Move Origin Games to Steam?
Unfortunately, once you purchase the game on Origin, you can’t move it to the Steam library and get all the benefits of Steam overlay and functionality. You’ll have to either purchase the game on the Steam store or add it as a non-Steam game. If you choose the latter option, Steam won’t be able to download the games’ updates. You will not be able to play an online game on Steam if it’s not up-to-date.
How Do You Link Your Steam Account to Apex Legends?
Fortunately, Apex Legends is a free-to-play Origin title, so you can download it for free on the Steam store. Once Steam installs the game, launching it for the first time will prompt you to log into your Origin account. When you do, the two accounts will link up. This allows you to save your progress, skins, and friends list across both platforms. You’ll be able to play with friends using either platform (or a console, with the newly-added cross-play feature).
As a bonus tip, try stopping the download as soon as Steam creates the game directory on your hard drive (usually under “Steam” or “SteamLibrary” on your drives). If you copy Apex’s file directory from Origin’s drive, you can save yourself the hassle of redownloading the game all over again. Steam will just move through the validation and add only a small number of additional files to set up the game.
How Do I Disconnect My Origin Account From Steam?
If you’ve logged into the wrong Origin account by accident and wish to unlink it from Steam and add another one, the process will be a bit challenging. Here’s what you need to do:
• Contact EA support through its website.
• Select the game title you wish to unlink.
• Go to “Manage my Account” then “Transfer Between Accounts.”
• Use the “Select contact option.”
• Fill out the details, then send it to EA support to unlink your Steam account.
• Once EA notifies you that the accounts have been unlinked, open the game again from Steam and log into a different account.
What Do I Get if I Play Apex Legends on Steam?
Apex players who switch to Steam will receive three exclusive cosmetic items (gun charms). They can play the game with their Steam friends and access the Steam overlay and options in-game.
New Way to Play
While it’s possible to play Origin, Uplay, or Blizzard games on Steam, configuring them to work correctly with the Steam overlay might not always be feasible. Until other gaming platforms add more options to allow Steam players to play their games directly and move entire game libraries over to Steam, it might be easier to stick with the native platforms. Apex Legends players are a lucky bunch since their free-to-play title is the most straightforward to link and doesn’t require purchasing the game twice for best effect.
What non-Steam games have you added to Steam? Do you prefer its client over other ones? Let us know in the comment section below.