Currently, I have purchased all of my Sims 3 expansions on a disc. However, due to moving several times, I have lost some of the games in the unpacked stuff in the garage. Through the magic of game key retrieval on my old computer, I have registered the missing expansions on my Origin account but there is one left - University Life. It is £10 cheaper on Steam than origin, so I naturally want to buy it at the cheaper price point.

However, I don't own the sims 3 on steam and don't want to negate the cheaper price by having to purchase the base game. If I purchase the DLC as a gift for a friend (my partner) can I simply get the game key off of them and register it myself on Origin? Or can I register my base sims 3 on steam to enable myself to register it on origin?

Honestly I'm so confused by this system, which is why I have stuck to discs all these years. Let's go back to the olden days of DLC on a disc, please...

  • I'd just like to add, I read the related questions on the site, but the other questions involved just buying the base game on steam, which I want to avoid Jul 18, 2017 at 18:37
  • 3
    Can you even buy it? Afaik, Steam won't let you buy DLCs which you don't have the base game to. Jul 19, 2017 at 10:11
  • @Crowley Astray I can't, but if I buy it as a gift I can, so I figured if I gift it to my partner and it has a CD key I can use it Jul 19, 2017 at 10:57
  • @S.Horgan ah, that's what you meant. In that case: no. the Key you'd send your friend will be the Steam key which is only redeemable on Steam. You would somehow need to activate the DLC on an account that has the base game but not that DLC and somehow get the key before it is linked to the origin account - which might be impossible as MadMAxJr pointed out. Jul 19, 2017 at 11:02
  • Origin and Steam versions of The Sims 3 are not compatible
    – Ramhound
    Jul 20, 2017 at 2:52

1 Answer 1


I have bought several Sims games and expansions recently on Origin, Disks, and Steam. At this point I've purchased about 10 Steam versions of the Sims games and expansions (since I'm buying for 2 players), and FYI: all Steam Sims games and expansions/Stuff packs come with their own CD Key which can be used to register the steam-purchased copies on Origin, and allow you to download the Origin version as well. Thus the key is not "only redeemable" on steam.

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