Arqade is a question and answer site for passionate videogamers on all platforms. It's 100% free, no registration required.

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

As the title states, what are the advantages to having a game on your Steam account versus having the game outside of Steam (especially for MMORPG games)?

Take Rift for example. Rift recently became available on Steam again and I've considered the possibility of re-installing the game just to have it on my Steam account, however at the same time I don't see any advantages to doing this (aside from getting to see the total number of hours I've played the game). Is there something that I'm missing?

For those that aren't aware, Rift as an MMORPG could be installed on any computer out there, signed in with an account, and all of characters on that account would be where they were last left off at. Cloud servers don't apply to a game such as this.

share|improve this question
Related, probably not duplicate:… – Frank Oct 30 '13 at 14:12
Within the context of the game Rift, there are essentially no advantages aside from the chat/friend system and showing people your in a game. Personally with 2 monitors, the in-game overlay is also useless as I just play fullscreen windowed and can see/access anything I want on the second monitor. – Enigma Oct 30 '13 at 14:50
possible duplicate – WizLiz Oct 30 '13 at 16:39

Other than the social features of Steam, nothing really.

Some games will have Steam achievements, collectible trading cards, and statistics (I think it'll track hours played for almost every game) -- if these things are interesting to you, then you may want to use Steam for those games.

Steam allows you to chat with people and show them what you're doing at any given moment in the game. If you like notifications popping up saying that so-and-so you knew in college has started playing Dota 2, then you may want to use Steam over not using it.

Steam will base "recommendations" on the games you purchase and play on the platform. If you don't know what you want to buy, or like having suggestions for such things, then you may want to use Steam for all your personal computer entertainment needs.

share|improve this answer
There are also features like cloud saving, a convenience factor involved with being able to install a large portion of the games you own from a centralized service, and possibly a reduced cost of ownership (Say you bought the game during a sale) for the game itself. Of course, for Rift specifically, most of this is pointless. – dotVezz Oct 30 '13 at 16:47
As well as automatic updating, downloading/reinstalling from the cloud (no scratched/lost disks to worry about), the overlay which provides links to guides as well as a web browser so you don't need to alt-tab out of the app (which isn't so much a problem with Rift, but some games like Fallout/Skyrim don't handle being alt-tabbed too well. – Robotnik Oct 31 '13 at 0:50
Also Steam has the ability to check and repair broken files and you can toggle on/off your DLC packs. You could probably earn money by selling items, but at it's least, when you make badges out of the trading cards, you get discount coupons. – altac bori Apr 14 '15 at 5:49

In addition to the other answers, I find it extremely helpful to use the Steam Overlay to easily get a web browser.

When playing Star Wars: The Old Republic (added as non-steam game) I often find myself wanting to get into a web-browser to research something or find hidden items. You can also browse the web while waiting for something.

I also like that I can share screenshots easily with Steam, even for The Old Republic.

Note that these features may not be compatible with all non-steam games, but it is always worth a try.

share|improve this answer

Well, for starters:

  • All games you own are on the steam servers. You can install them on every computer, at any time you want. Some games even on multiple pc.

  • Some games, those that got full Steam support, have their save games in the cloud. So when you play a game on your desktop for 2 days straight. And you want to pick it up on your laptop when going mobile, your latest save file gets downloade from the server, and you can continue from where you left off.

  • Since everyting is on the servers, you don't have to keep dozens of cases everywhere in your room. So more space for other stuff.

And steam itself has A LOT of sales.

  • Daily Sales
  • Weekend Sales
  • Weekly Sales
  • Summer Sales
  • Winter Sales
  • If you read this before the first of november: Halloween Sales
share|improve this answer
He is talking about adding a none steam version of a game since he already had Rift before it went on steam. Considering this your first 3 advantages will not be granted unless you buy a real steam version. – Menno Gouw Oct 30 '13 at 15:16
@MennoGouw It's free to play on Steam, he wouldn't need to buy anything, just download it from within the Steam client (and thus link it to his Steam account). – TZHX Oct 30 '13 at 15:38
@MennoGouw It's not that unclear, if you read it. It was originally a bit less focussed on Rift, so Vascovd and myself have tried to give generic answers. I don't understand what you mean here though -- does Rift already notify you when your friends outside of Rift are playing different games? – TZHX Oct 30 '13 at 15:58
@TZHX otherwise it pretty much depends on what he is asking. He mentioned Rift as an example, that is made clear by not having the tag. So i would guess this question is globally about the advantages of adding none steam games to the library. This understates my first comment under this answer. – Menno Gouw Oct 30 '13 at 16:43
@VascovdEng It's also pretty lame to downvote ones answer because that person questions your answer. Therefor, an eye for an eye. Which might be more lamer but i guess that is how we roll. – Menno Gouw Oct 30 '13 at 16:48

There are no real advantages to add a custom game to steam other then some social and statistical aspects. Your friends can see what you play and how often you play it, the game gets added to the "games you own" list as well.

It does not make it possible to play the game anywhere you are as long as you can log in to steam. Unlike you buy the game on steam.

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.