Long ago, I bought a copy of MW2. As I run it, it requests me to make a Steam account and assign the game to it — otherwise, it doesn't let me do anything at all. Not even single player. :(

On Google, I searched for "MW2 no Steam". Google came up with 2 things: Some illegal "no Steam" crack and "AlterIW".

I'm almost sure that applying that crack is illegal, but what about playing through AlterIW?

Here is AlterIW.net.

I read some article about it, and what it said was: "AlterIW net is an alternative to steam which also has much servers..."

What do you think about it? Legal/illegal?

What makes things even more complicated is that I'm playing this on a Mac - with Wine.

  • I've locked this question since AlterIW is no longer playable, and based on my reading will never be a thing again, so this question no longer serves a purpose aside from a general "Can I play on private servers?" reference for MW2.
    – Wipqozn
    Jul 4, 2018 at 10:06

2 Answers 2


This is what the lead developer has to say on the subject:

None of the basic game files are modified, most of them are replaced with custom versions or specific versions shipped by IW in patches. Also, reverse-engineering claims are invalid in Europe to my knowledge, which is where I am located.

I'm afraid replacing files does counts as modifying, and thus breaks the EULA you agreed to when you ran the installer. Then again I cannot be sure, because I couldn't locate a copy of the EULA anywhere online.

  • interesting... So what should i do now? Steam or not to Steam - this is the question. I personlay HATE Steam because it takes MY games away and doesen't let me play them without it :(
    – JJgendarme
    Jun 8, 2011 at 20:48
  • 4
    @DailyDoggy: You can play games you bought on Steam offline...you can even play them without Steam. That depends on the game, not Steam as far as I know.
    – Bobby
    Jun 8, 2011 at 21:04
  • I didnt buy it ony steam. I't the cd itself wich requires me to install it.
    – JJgendarme
    Jun 9, 2011 at 16:27
  • 3
    EULAs - especially if you read them after un-sealing the package - are usually invalid. At least in Germany. Oct 3, 2011 at 16:43

Since you said that you bought this game, and it's the CD itself. you should be able to play the game. Just go create a Steam account (it's free), then from Steam, you can add a game to your Steam library. Select MW2 and add it to your library. I believe it will ask for your CD key if you want to play online.

  • I'm almost certain that's not how it works.
    – kotekzot
    Apr 20, 2012 at 13:23
  • 1
    Actually, that's exactly how a user is supposed to do it. Steam account is free, and you register add the game to steam using the key provided in the CD. It doesn't answer the question though because the user appears to have some personal reasons to want to avoid steam in particular. A good general approach in this case is - don't buy PC games that require steam.
    – Alain
    Apr 20, 2012 at 13:39

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