Steam is the place for PC games, but some publishers don't quite understand it. Between the Epic Games Store, DRM-free games, Uplay, Origin and countless others, you need at least half a dozen apps to play the PC games you want. However, there is a reason why Steam is the platform for PC gamers and that is its openness. Even if the game isn't available on Steam, you can add it to your library and launch it from the same interface – especially useful if you're using Steam Big Picture. In this guide, we'll show you how to add external games to your Steam library.
Add games with a code
If you buy games in third-party stores and services such as Amazon, these games are often Steam games and you can redeem them through Steam using a code provided by the seller. Codes are 12 characters long and fairly easy to use.
Start Steam and find the option to redeem a code
If you're in Steam, go to the top of the client and look for the "Games" menu at the top. Click Activate Product on Steam. This opens a new window. Click Next and agree to the Steam Subscriber Agreement. Then you will finally get to the window where you can enter your Steam key. Click Next again to confirm this.
In the next window you can immediately install the game on your computer. You can also cancel at this step, which will add the game to your account but not install it immediately.
Add games from the Humble Bundle
For years, Humble Bundle has given players the ability to get whole games at a fairly low price. Almost all games that you buy in the Humble Store or through a Humble Bundle are offered in the form of Steam Codes. This gives you two ways to get these games into your Steam accounts: Steam codes or linking your account. If you ever need to search for codes at a later date, log on to the Humble website and click Library to see all the games you purchased and their Steam codes.
Linking your Steam account will automatically send games from Humble to Steam when you purchase, so you can skip the code entry step.
Link your Steam account to Humble
To link your Steam account, you must create or log in to the Humble service. This is feasible at modest Bundle.com. Once you've set up and signed in to your account, your sign-in email address will appear in the top right corner of the Humble website. Click on it and go to Settings in the drop-down menu.
Sign in to Steam
Scroll down on the Settings page and look for a menu option that says Steam Link. Click on the very obvious click here and Humble will take you to a Steam login page. Enter your credentials and Humble will automatically assign the two accounts so that you can send the games purchased on Humble directly to Steam.
Add non-Steam games from other services (e.g. GOG.com).
If you buy a game through a service other than Steam, such as GOG.com and Electronic Arts' Origin platform, you will get it from a different location, so you will not get things like the Steam overlay added to the game. or the ability to click on this game and see what other products such as B. downloadable content available on Steam.
However, there is a workaround that allows you to at least superficially integrate your non-Steam games into the Steam ecosystem. With Steam, you can add games purchased elsewhere to your Steam library so you can use Steam to launch those games and access things like your Steam friends list while playing. You still won't get Steam features for the game, but it can make finding and playing games easier.
To add a non-Steam game to Steam:
First find the game on your computer
Before you begin, save time by figuring out where you installed the game you're looking for on your computer. You need the file path so that you can tell Steam to find the game's files.
Start Steam and find the "Games" menu
At the top of the Steam interface you will find a number of pulldown menus with different options. You're looking for the Games menu. Click on it and look for the bottom menu option labeled "Add Non-Steam Game" to my library.
A separate window will open where you can find the program you want to add.
Select or search for the program
Steam recognizes programs installed on your system very well. So if you have already installed the game, there is a high possibility that it will be listed in a separate window. If it's there, just click the box next to the game you'd like to add, and then click the "Add Selected Programs" button.
If the game isn't listed, you'll need the game file path that you should already have if you tracked it down earlier. Click the "Browse" button at the bottom of the window and navigate to the location of the game on your computer. Find the executable and select it. That should add the game to the original window, and you can now click the Add Selected Programs button in your Steam window.
Add a ROM
Digital Trends doesn't encourage piracy, but that doesn't prevent many players on the Internet from using software emulators and ROMs to play old games – and there's a legal case for making ROM copies of your own games or downloading ROM copies from Games that you have legally bought and that you do not distribute to others. Regardless of whether it's legal or not, users play ROMs and sometimes want to add them to their Steam libraries.
There are actually some ways to do this, and even some tools to make the process easier. Adding ROMs to Steam is more difficult because, in addition to creating a shortcut to the ROM itself like any other game, you also need to instruct Steam to access the emulator required to play. You can speed up the process with tools like Ice or Steam ROM Manager to add your ROMs to Steam.
You can also create your own shortcuts in Steam that work with your ROMs, much like adding non-Steam games to your Steam library.
Create a link to any EXE file
First, do the same steps you would add a game to Steam, but choose an executable program file. All you do here is create a shortcut that you will edit later. So it doesn't matter which program you use – you will change it.
Find the folder where your emulator and ROMs are installed
Take a second as above and find the file path to the emulator and ROMs you want to use. You'll need it in a moment, and if you write down or copy the file path in advance, you'll save a little later.
Edit the shortcut
Find the program you just added from your library on Steam. Select the game or right-click on it and navigate to Properties via the menu that opens. This will open a screen where you can edit the shortcut you have created, including changing the name and icon that goes with it, and the file path for the shortcut. Here, simply enter the information for your emulator and ROM to add to Steam.
Change the name of the shortcut to the title of your ROM and highlight the text in the Target field. Replace it with the emulator file path and make sure there are quotes. After the end of the file path, add a space in the emulator and add the file path to the ROM you want to use. Put quotes around it again.
Your finished field should look something like this: "C: YourEmulatorEmulator Folderemulator.exe" "C: YourEmulatorEmulator FolderYour ROM Game.n64"
You either want to delete the text in the "Start in" field or insert the file path in your emulator folder in this field. In most cases this should be the case. The link now looks for the emulator and executes it, then the ROM and executes it as well.
Add command line arguments
For some emulators, you need additional commands in your target field to tell the emulator what to do. There are a variety of potential commands that are different for different emulators. A large, useful list of command arguments can be found at LaunchBox.com. Steam user cunningmunki has created a handy tutorial on how to add ROMs to Steam, which also lists some of the most common emulators and their command arguments.
If you know what command arguments you need, generally add them to the Destination field after the file paths for your emulator, but before the file path for your ROM.
Add Windows games and apps
Windows is fairly open when it comes to third-party apps (after all, you can just drop any old EXE file on Steam and it will work). However, it is not open with your own apps. Windows apps don't appear in File Explorer, so you can't just add them to Steam by searching. Fortunately, there is an open source tool that does the work for you. This is especially useful if you want to add games from Xbox Game Pass to Steam.
First you need a tool called UWPHook. Developer Brian Lima is responsible for this and they have a lot of projects in their pockets (including a nifty user interface for playing itch.io games). A SmartScreen notification may appear when you run the installer, but nothing malicious has occurred in the app (you can always use a free antivirus if you are really concerned).
Export UWP apps to Steam
After downloading, open UWPHook and click the Load installed UWP apps button (the circular arrow in the top right corner). It will take a few minutes, but Hook will find every Windows app on your computer. After loading, go through the list and check the apps you want to add Steam to. Do not export them yet. Regardless of what name appears in UWPHook, that name will appear in Steam. It is therefore advisable to rename your apps before exporting.
When everything is renamed, click Export selected apps to Steam. UWPHook does the rest.
Of course, you'll need to restart Steam before your games appear, but once you do, everything should be there. However, as you can see in the screenshot above, this was not the case with us. If you encounter similar problems, restart the app and Steam and try again. You can also manually enter the AUMID for the app you want to add. That worked for us. If you have further problems, there is the UWPHook subreddit with a strength of approx. 220. In addition, some other users have put together box graphics so that you can keep everything in your library clean.