Steam games vs CD Keys games, what's the difference?

8
Found 5th Oct 2015
I'm making the move from console to PC soon and after checking out the games catalogues online I noticed that CD keys sell games much cheaper than Steam but what is the difference between buying from either site (South Park: SoT without DLC is £9.99 on CD Keys and £23.99 on Steam) ? I've noticed the games on CD keys show Steam as one of their platforms so I'm assuming they can be loaded through Steam?
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8 Comments
If you buy a game through steam you can get the steam refunds.
tbh as long as your buying from a trust worthy site just go with the cheapest.

If your just getting into PC gaming look at HumbleBundle ad the indie bundles. You'll get more games then you'll ever play to completion for peanuts.
Original Poster
joedastudd

If you buy a game through steam you can get the steam refunds.tbh as long … If you buy a game through steam you can get the steam refunds.tbh as long as your buying from a trust worthy site just go with the cheapest.If your just getting into PC gaming look at HumbleBundle ad the indie bundles. You'll get more games then you'll ever play to completion for peanuts.



Thanks, is that all it I then, refunds? I though it might be something to do with the game being optimised by Steam or something? I'm planning on getting titles like GTAV, Fallout 3/ New Vegas, Skyrim etc... Basically, all the console games I have that I can sell to get the PC versions.
Basically, Steam is an account through which you can buy and download your games. There are other benefits too, such as cloud saving and whatnot, but that's another topic. Usually when you buy games from other sources, such as through CDKeys, what you are purchasing is a 15-digit Steam key, which you will then 'activate' in Steam to access your game, and add it to your account. You then download and play it through Steam. Sometimes the game is not for Steam, but most retailers have pretty clear notes on when a game is and isn't for Steam.:)
Steve Mac

Thanks, is that all it I then, refunds? I though it might be something to … Thanks, is that all it I then, refunds? I though it might be something to do with the game being optimised by Steam or something? I'm planning on getting titles like GTAV, Fallout 3/ New Vegas, Skyrim etc... Basically, all the console games I have that I can sell to get the PC versions.


If it says Steam key then its pretty much the same as buying it via Steam, the only thing you lose is the refund option.
DRM free means its not linked to a platform.
Origin and uPlay are similar DRM platforms to Steam, its down to personal preference on if you stick to one or just have them all.
Original Poster
Quietus

Basically, Steam is an account through which you can buy and download … Basically, Steam is an account through which you can buy and download your games. There are other benefits too, such as cloud saving and whatnot, but that's another topic. Usually when you buy games from other sources, such as through CDKeys, what you are purchasing is a 15-digit Steam key, which you will then 'activate' in Steam to access your game, and add it to your account. You then download and play it through Steam. Sometimes the game is not for Steam, but most retailers have pretty clear notes on when a game is and isn't for Steam.:)



Thanks, makes sense but wasn't sure why CD keys were offering cheaper games that could be used in Steam
Original Poster
joedastudd

If it says Steam key then its pretty much the same as buying it via … If it says Steam key then its pretty much the same as buying it via Steam, the only thing you lose is the refund option.DRM free means its not linked to a platform.Origin and uPlay are similar DRM platforms to Steam, its down to personal preference on if you stick to one or just have them all.



Thanks, I was planning on getting a few games from CD Keys anyway and if I can activate them through Steam then that's a bonus as I like the achievements.
Original Poster
Thanks for the help both.
Steve Mac

Thanks, is that all it I then, refunds? I though it might be something to … Thanks, is that all it I then, refunds? I though it might be something to do with the game being optimised by Steam or something? I'm planning on getting titles like GTAV, Fallout 3/ New Vegas, Skyrim etc... Basically, all the console games I have that I can sell to get the PC versions.



Sadly not. Back in the early days of digital distribution different stores offered products so you could buy the one that suited you. As it went mass market valve came up with the nasty idea of developing a DRM solution for developers that required players of the game to install their storefront. Unfortunately it because so popular with developers that with a couple of minor exceptions most online game stores these days have either shut down or just become steam key resellers.

Rockstar, the company behind GTA, are one of the rare exceptions in that they still make their games available without steam so if you want the steam version of that then you'll want to double check.

Bethesda are the opposite and were one of the very first companies to require users to install the steam storefront to play the game whether they bought from steam or a competing store. As far as I know Fallout New Vegas and Skyrim have never been available in another version.
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