I recently activated my 2007 physical copy of Supreme Commander on Steam that has been installed via disk since that time. It gave me access to Supreme Commander AND Forged Alliance (yay free game! :D) but according to Steam I have to re-download and re-install SupCom, even though it is already installed.

Is there a way to move the original game files around such that Steam knows it's installed? Yes, I know I can uninstall the already installed copy and re-download it but I'd like to avoid that if I can.


To give a simple answer, you have to redownload it. It's possible for some games that the files could be the same, and in that case, you may be able to start it downloading, then exit Steam during the download, move your files in, then reopen Steam and resume your download. It's possible it may notice new files. However, it's most likely that won't work, and to keep things simple and your game files non-corrupted, I highly recommend you avoid the hassle and just redownload the game.

| improve this answer | |
  • Conveniently I can play the original non-steam version while the steam version downloads. :D – Casey Mar 19 '15 at 18:31

Try moving the entire Supreme Commander folder to steam/steamapps/common/ then installing the game through steam. On the install page with the progress bar (that usually says e.g. Allocating disk space), it should say at some point something like 'checking existing installation'. This can take a while.

The game will then be added to the download queue, but it will only download updates, even though the displayed size will be that of the whole install.

I've done this with several games I own physically, and its always worked.

| improve this answer | |
  • Bit the bullet and just re-downloaded it. – Casey Mar 19 '15 at 18:30
  • I believe this only happens when Steam finds its own Steam-specific files and probably wouldn't work for general game files. Generally this may work if you have the game already downloaded through Steam and you intend to move it to another directory or transfer it to another computer, but I do not believe this would work normally. However, what I said also probably applies in most cases to my own answer as well, which is why it's best to just redownload it. – Keavon Mar 19 '15 at 23:16

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.