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I have an adult game in my steam account that's riddled with annoying censors. There are unofficial uncensored patches available which require modifying my game's installation files. Those patches are promoted in the Game's discussion panel on steam.

My question is, is it safe to add such unofficial patches to your steam games? Of course when in doubt, not doing it is the best course but I am just curious.

Disclaimer: Throwaway anon account. Definitely won't use my main account to upvote this.

closed as too broad by arghtype, Schism, Timmy Jim, Wondercricket, Virusbomb Jan 2 at 14:56

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    You might as well cop to the name of the game and link to the patch - without knowing that, it's hard to tell. Some patches replace the entire .exe or script files, which is somewhat risky, some just contain bitmap assets, and some are a simple text file that the game looks for to decide whether to show you the goods or not. – Maciej Stachowski Jan 1 at 14:47
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It's impossible to be certain that any given file is safe. But here are some rules of thumb:

  • Prefer official files if available. Some developers of this sort of game release official un-censor patches on their websites, which are usually just as safe as the original game.
  • If you can't get an official patch, prefer downloading from large-scale and well-known modding sites like Nexus Mods, instead of generic hosting services like Mega.
  • Upload suspicious files to a service such as https://www.virustotal.com before running or copying them into your installation folder. This is not guaranteed to catch every virus, but if the file is more than a few months old, you have a fairly good chance of catching most viruses in most circumstances.
  • Executable content (.exe or .dll) is more likely to be dangerous than assets (.png, .ogg, .mp3, .ini etc.). But any file could potentially be harmful, if there's a vulnerability in the program that uses it or in the operating system.
  • Be skeptical of installation instructions that seem "unnecessarily broad" such as placing files into C:\Windows and its subdirectories. This is only very rarely necessary (e.g. for spoofing the locale so the game thinks you are in a different region) and is a common target of malware. Most of the time, installation should not need to touch anything outside of the game's subdirectory in Program Files (or wherever your Steam library lives), the game's AppData subdirectory, and (rarely) the game's subdirectory in My Documents.

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