I just purchased a turn-based game which is only supported on Windows (it’s Cogmind, if relevant). Since I’m on macOS, the game won’t download when I click “Install Game...”:

An error occurred while updating Cogmind: Invalid platform

While this game doesn’t officially support my operating system, its community has figured out a way to run it through Wine. Also, it’s worth-noting that running the game this way is actually encouraged by the developer.

Is it possible to download the non-DRM version of the game with the Steam client?

  • 8
    If the developer encourages it, then the developer should also know how to achieve it. Makes logical sense to ask them.
    – Flater
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 13:51
  • @Flater The developer also sales a DRM-free version of this game on their own website, and I guess this is how the community get it run on Linux/macOS.
    – nalzok
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 13:58
  • 11
    You should still contact the developer. Your Steam version still has a license key (and code) attached to it, which means that the developer may be able to give you access to the DRM-free version on his website based on that key. Rimworld (early access) took a similar approach to making both versions accessible for everyone.
    – Flater
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 14:00
  • 2
    Also, I believe GOG had a program earlier this year where you could link it to your Steam account, and if you'd purchased anything on Steam that a) also existed on GOG and b) was part of this program, you'd get the DRM-free GOG version added to your account for free. I believe I used this to get FTL: Faster Than Light on GOG after I'd already purchased it on Steam
    – Adam V
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 18:16
  • 1
    This is also a candidate for 'ethical' cracking whereby you're gaining access to a game you already own.
    – bp.
    Commented Nov 18, 2017 at 4:32

3 Answers 3


No, you cannot.

Steam is a DRM enforcing client. It doesn't provide a version of software that is not DRM restricted.

However, you can install Steam on WINE itself. It will then detect it is on a "Windows platform" and install the game.

  • 43
    You're fully correct, but do note that some Steam games have no inherent DRM (in the sense that you can copy the files and run them in a separate instance, away from the Steam install directory). This is (or at least used to be) the case for Kerbal Space Program, Rimworld and Factorio.
    – Flater
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 13:53
  • 12
    @Flater here's a list of them
    – ave
    Commented Nov 17, 2017 at 19:33

For some games you can just copy files, but some require Steam for at least some functionality (friend list, server list etc.)

Cogmind uses SteamCloud to backup your saved games and for global High Scores list.

Also, Steam detects WINE as WINE, not as Windows. They specifically made it to also count users on MacOS/Linux who use WINE.

You should run Steam on WINE instead. That way there are less things that can go wrong, and better chances that everything works as intended.


Is it possible to download the non-DRM version of the game with the Steam client?

Define what you understand by "non-DRM'. If a game is inherently DRM-free (see here), you can download the DRM-free version from Steam; it will be put into your steamapps/common dir - you can copy/move it out of there if you wish (note the possible caveats).

If the game is DRM-protected and the license allows for DRM-free use of the game or you don't care about fine legal aspects of the situation and just want to play the game you already bought (again, caveats), you may (with very high likelihood) succeed by using a cracked steam_api.dll or its derivatives/substitutes. I won't provide the exact links for the obvious reasons (a quick Google search for e.g. "how to crack steam MPGH" or "steam emulator" can lead your way), but the generic steam_api crack allows to use many (if not most) games in a DRM-free way. Note that you will have the exact Steam version of the game (updates, virus-free etc.), but you won't have access to Steam-related features (friends, achievements etc.); it's arguable whether this can be called "DRM-free version", but it most certainly will be downloaded from Steam.

Alternatively, just use your Steam on WINE. (caveats, yet again!)

NOTE: I don't condone piracy (copyright abuse/software theft) in any way. I, however, argue that a user has the right to break licensing terms (EULA) of the software he can legally use (bought/paid for or received free of charge) if they are exceedingly prohibitive (because that is the usual court ruling in such cases, both in EU and some US states) - the worst legal implication here is that the license may get revoked by the issuer (in this case, you may legally get banned from Steam for circumventing its protection). I assume that's a call everyone should consider by themselves.

  • 1
    We don't support piracy in any sense. Please don't answer with solutions that advocate such.
    – Frank
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 0:52
  • 1
    @Frank are you aware of the distinction between piracy and cracking? From your statement, I assume you don't. I never mentioned pirating software; to download it from Steam you essentially have to have it bought already. How is downloading a game you already own "piracy"? Also, quote from Wikipedia: "It might be legal to use cracked software in certain circumstances.". I never said it is legal.
    – user66556
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 1:11
  • Yes, cracking is legal in some cases. In the absolute vast majority, it most definitely is not. Especially when it comes to fooling Steam, which is illegal. Bypassing DRM is explicitly forbidden in the DMCA, so for Arqade, we provide zero support for piracy, or allow answers that support doing so.
    – Frank
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 1:21
  • 1
    @Frank IMVHO you're wrong as to DMCA: arstechnica.com/information-technology/2010/07/… ; it was and is controversial as whether personal removal of DRM that's been placed in a way that restricts en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Implied_warranty of fitness for an explicit purpose of the merchandise is legal or not. DMCA only holds as long as it breaks no other law; if it makes the product impossible to use in a normal way, it's the seller who's doing so behaving illegally, not the buyer who tries to get what he paid for.
    – user66556
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 1:53
  • 3
    I want to point out that the point about DMCA is very US-centric. EU courts have been generally much more forgiving against circumventing DRM when it is used to limit what the user can do. It's not because US laws sucks that you have to force everyone into following them.
    – meneldal
    Commented Nov 20, 2017 at 4:54

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