I'm on a distribution that doesn't support steam - at least not without a lot of complex and incredibly repetitious workarounds. I only purchase DRM-free games, and they work out-of-the-box here - I've tested by downloading and copying them over from a virtual machine via steam.

In other words, steam is a completely unnecessary, tedious, and painful version-control middleman.

Can I get the latest versions of my purchased games without having steam installed?

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    "In other words, steam is a completely unnecessary, tedious, and painful version-control middleman." That's both subjective and partially irrelivant to the question.
    – Pharap
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 14:00
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    @Pharap It's not necessarily irrelevant, since it is "unnecessary, tedious and painful" in the poster's distribution (e.g. a work or limited privilege system, or a not so popular Linux distribution with poor support), and not just plain opinion (which is indeed subjective)
    – Kroltan
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 14:51
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    Maybe buy your games from gog instead?
    – Zach
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 16:27
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    May we ask what the distribution is? Maybe someone here may be able to assist with the "complex and repetitious workarounds". If it is indeed an ubuntu based derivative of linux, then there is support. I also believe Fedora is officially support now also, which means redhat by proxy and any Fedora derivatives.
    – Cole Busby
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 17:23
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    Could you add "Linux", or whatever OS, to the start of your sentence. Many non-technical people will read your question and ask "Dafuq is a distribution?" and then move along. I would edit it for you but I am not 100% certain that you are on Linux.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 17:32

3 Answers 3


You can try to download them with SteamCMD, if they are DRM-Free.

When you run it, you can login with,

login (username)

Then set the download path with,

force_install_dir (path)

Then, you can install the game with this:

app_update (gamesteamid) validate

You can replace the (gamesteamid) part with the game's steam id, which you can find by opening the game's link.

You can download it for Windows here, the instructions for Linux and Mac is available on the SteamCMD's wiki page.

  • 1
    Steam developer's wiki site on SteamCMD: developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SteamCMD
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 11:06
  • Awesome. And with linux containers (systemd-nspawn), I don't even have to install multilib (i686 on x86_64) packages on my system. Totally accepted.
    – user19087
    Commented Jan 14, 2016 at 7:44
  • For the record: Nowadays, docker hub has several steamCMD images. Linux containerization has become much more popular. Depending on your needs, it might be more appropriate to use FlatPak instead of docker or rkt. I should also mention a FlatPak alternative, AppImage+FireJail (only together are they equivalent).
    – user19087
    Commented Dec 18, 2016 at 19:31

Most games aren't available from non-steam platforms if you bought it from Steam, but these are:

Most DRM-Free games can be copied once downloaded from Steam.

These games give out a key that can be used on non-steam versions:

Don't Starve, add your CD key from steam to the end of the link.

Evochron Mercenary, when you download and launch it, it'll ask for your key, which you can find from steam's CD Key feature.

SpaceChem, once you download it, you can activate it with the activation code you can find in the activation.key file in the one you downloaded from steam (you need to first download the game from steam)

The Witcher Series, just input the key from Steam, and GoG will provide you a DRM-Free copy.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R Series, just put your key from steam, and it'll give you a DRM-free version of it. Be aware that not all keys work.

YNAB/You Need A Budget, you can download it, and activate it with the key from steam.

  • You seem to be missing the main problem in the question in the focus of your answer. It isn't so much activation of the games bought/downloaded from Steam, but downloading/updating them without use of Steam.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 11:04
  • @DJPirtu Just needs a fix in intro, saying that only these games allow downloading them without steam, if you bought them from steam.
    – ave
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 11:05

Unfortunately Steam does not offer any downloads outside its client. (Even though the content itself may be DRM-free.) I believe you are out of luck, unless the game you have purchased offers alternative methods of download.

While I'm aware of a few sites that offer both downloads and keys to be activated on Steam (such as Humble Store), I do not know if any of them offer the same service in reverse (allowing downloads on games purchased on Steam).

If a game is available somewhere outside of Steam, you may also try contacting developers themselves, if they would be willing to "duplicate" your ownership of the game to another platform that doesn't have a download client. Some indie devs have been known to do at least the reverse.

  • You can get some games elsewhere you bought on steam: YNAB, Don't Starve, The Witcher series.
    – ave
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 8:47
  • @ardaozkal Describing one or two processes of getting one of those games (or YNAB) from another source would make a good alternative answer.
    – DJ Pirtu
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 9:37
  • Yeah, planning to.
    – ave
    Commented Jan 13, 2016 at 10:30

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