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Is there a point in adding a non-Steam game to Steam?

Are there any advantages besides being able to launch the game from within Steam?

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I like having a browser ingame. –  Assylum Feb 21 at 23:53

5 Answers 5

up vote 43 down vote accepted

Having everything in one launcher is nice, but the big advantage is that it will try to enable the steam in-game interface. This isn't always a good thing - you may want to disable it for some games if it makes them unstable.

Launching non-steam games from steam will also display to your friends that you are playing that game. For me, this is a critical feature. It will not track your play time on that game, however.

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It's also fun for confusing your friends, by appearing to play a game which isn't on Steam, isn't out yet, or doesn't exist. –  Jonathan Drain Oct 25 '10 at 15:07
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badp is now playing Microsoft Word –  badp Oct 25 '10 at 16:43
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@badp using that program is certainly a game! –  alexanderpas Oct 25 '10 at 17:31
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@badp My friends and I are also fond of renaming the EXE for those sorts of things so they can see, for example, that I'm playing "Minecrack" or "MotherF'in" Minesweeper". –  CodexArcanum Oct 25 '10 at 18:23
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@Codex no need to rename the exe, renaming the shortcut from inside Steam works too :) –  badp Oct 25 '10 at 20:04

The advantages (already mentioned) are that you can have all game shortcuts in one place, other people can see you playing that game and you have Steam overlay in-game.

There are also some disadvantages. If you are downloading or updating a game on Steam launching the non-Steam game stops the download/update; this is the default behavior of Steam. Useful if you are playing a multiplayer game, but annoying if you are playing a single player game.

But the main disadvantage is that not all games are compatible with Steam overlay. Just as example I can cite League Of Legends. If you try to chat during game the chat stoles the focus and you game does not get anymore key inputs; the only workaround in this case is Alt+Tab to desktop and than return to the game.

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Having all your game library all in one place has the advantages of having only one launcher which can lead to a cleaner desktop. It allows you to remember those older or indie games you don't play as often anymore.

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Non-Steam games added to Steam can be streamed with In-Home Streaming.

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Do you have any source or at least a first hand experience with that? –  Fredy31 Feb 21 at 23:38
    
I've done it myself and lots of other people have too (you can read about it on the associated Steam group). –  Ben Jackson Feb 22 at 0:45

This way you can let your ever eager to play friends know what you're busy doing besides games. Sometimes I'm playing Microsoft Visual Studio 2010, so everyone knows I'm not really up to much else at the moment.

Also, it's fun to be playing ridiculous non-game stuff. And games are about fun, so it's a nice feature.

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