I have a game added to my steam library a long time ago (I redeemed it with a physical retail CD-key, let's call "XXXX") and then I would know what happens with this retail cd-key if I buy a steam key ("YYYY") of a pack collection of various games that includes this same game that I had redeem with a retail CD-Key, so then after activating this pack will I have the same retail CD-Key still for this specific game (the "XXXX"), or it will be changed for other different key ("ZZZZ")?

  • 2
    Are you buying the pack through Steam itself or a service such as Humble Bundle? Or is it a physical CD for a bundle?
    – user114997
    Sep 1, 2015 at 10:56
  • A steam key of a pack bought of others store differents of steam (for example humble, amazon, gmg), I know that the games that I owned in my library won't be added/duplicated nor give me extra copies, but I have the doubt of if the retail cd-keys of these owned games will change for new keys or remain with the same original retail cd-key.
    – Tino
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:02
  • 1
    And you're asking whether or not you'll be given the exact same key you used for a game, correct?
    – user114997
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:03
  • As far as I know: once redeemed: forever locked to that account. Retail or not doesn't matter. You can't sell that retail game anyway. because that key is locked to your account.
    – Arperum
    Sep 1, 2015 at 11:04

1 Answer 1


As you know, CD keys can only be used once (or deactivated before it is used, from the developer's side). Once used, they'll go into a list of used keys, where it'll be eventually (after a very long time^) be reused.

If you apply a new CD key containing a subset of games and you own copies of one (or more) of the games you have already owned is in that bundle, you do not get a second copy, or a new CD key in replacement to the old one.
All you get is the remaining games (and DLC's) in the bundle that you do not already own that the key grants.

However, there are exceptions to the rule but only apply to games purchased from the Steam Store, and are granted as a Steam Gift (item).

^Open to speculation

  • "where it'll be eventually (after a very long time^) be reused." Source?
    – Powerlord
    Sep 1, 2015 at 17:11
  • "Open to speculation"
    – aytimothy
    Sep 1, 2015 at 22:44

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