My goal is to create a physical game library where I can showcase my favorite games but I also want it to be functional. I want to be able to pop a disk in and play a game without worrying about hard drive space or download speeds or plugging in external drives. I realize this may not be possible with larger games but that's not a huge issue for me as most of the games I like are indie games that are only a couple of gigs at most.

I've been able to get this to work reasonably well for a few games so far by simply copying the game directory onto a disk and creating an autorun.inf for the exe. The load times are a little slow but i'm fine with that.

Some games however wont play and will instead open the steam install game prompt.

Is there a reasonably simple way to play any steam game straight from a dvd? I'm open to using something like a game crack because i'm not planing on doing this for games I didn't pay for.

  • 2
    The fact you're not "planing" to do this for games you didn't pay for doesn't mean you won't do it, or that no one ever will. The only word "game crack" doesn't belong here, for the sole reason that someone may use it in an illegal way. No offense intended btw. May 24, 2017 at 9:59
  • I wasn't aware of any rules on this site regarding the use of tools or methods that have the potential to be used illegally.
    – kendalf
    May 25, 2017 at 6:33
  • then you should take a look at this page: gaming.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic in particular the section about which subjects are prohibited by this site policy... May 27, 2017 at 21:48
  • You will find that optical drives are not fast enough for a good experience on many games. There is a reason that installation was still a thing when most games were distributed physically.
    – OrangeDog
    Feb 12, 2021 at 22:48

3 Answers 3


You should be able to create a Steam library folder on the disc like you would on a regular hard drive. You'll need Steam installed on the computer you're running the game on and you may need to add the library in Steam's download options every time it's inserted, manually, but it should be able to run the games.

See here for managing Steam library folders.

The problem is some games check with Steam that the currently signed in user has bought the game. DRM biting you in the backside.

  • you could also add an autorun.inf, and the shortcut to the game to fire the game on insert...
    – Stese
    May 24, 2017 at 9:47
  • How does one do this? When I go to make a new steam library my DVD drive doesn't show up on the list.
    – kendalf
    May 25, 2017 at 1:27
  • 1
    @user2225452 you need a DVD RW drive and appropriate disks.
    – OrangeDog
    Feb 12, 2021 at 22:50

I would not recommend moving a library folder onto a disk. Some games were meant to be played on disks and some are not. The problem is you typically can only write once to a disk. If a game constantly changes files, you may have very unexpected results. A solution would be to use USB drives, but that is also not recommended.

  • Most games never write to their installation directories. The much bigger problem is that optical media are much slower for random access reads than even hard disks, let alone SSDs.
    – OrangeDog
    Feb 12, 2021 at 22:46

So I've tried this over a year ago with some games. My answer it's totally possible to run games straight from a DVD but it has some issues, first, you need a game that is very light that doesn't rely on data streaming from the HDD, second the game can't have config or save games on the install directory, and thirdly, the game needs to be DRM-Free. The best game to play off a DVD for some reason is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, you can get the game DRM free on GOG and does all the above. It works really well, but the problem and redundant issue are that there's no reason to play games off a DVD. Windows for some reason loves to store data in Temporary files to ease up load times if Windows knows you're actively loading shit. So by the time Windows is reading off the disc, it's just gonna store on your HDD temporary and you'll start to notice load times are 200% faster.

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