I have the Steam version of Kingdom of Amalur, and when I opened up the game for the first time, Steam gave me a game key and told me that I'd need to enter it -- except it didn't tell me where, or how, or even why.

What does the steam key actually do? Where do I enter it? Is there any reason I'd not want to use it?

  • 11
    One day, sometime in the future, a man will come to your door and ask for the key. If you cannot provide it, you will be shot on site. I hope you saved it Feb 7, 2012 at 23:12
  • 1
    Maybe to register the game on EA.com?
    – JohnoBoy
    Feb 7, 2012 at 23:19
  • 1
    This happens to me with just about every steam game, and I've never needed to use a key.
    – victoriah
    Feb 7, 2012 at 23:37
  • I get the same error for other steam games (but not all) once I moved Steam from my C drive to an external HD. I think it has something to do with the game having a Key and being launched from a drive other than the one it was initially installed on, but I'm not sure.
    – Rachel
    Feb 12, 2012 at 15:09

4 Answers 4


Steam provides you with the cd key for games you have just bought from it - most notably for those that are neither created by valve nor published exclusively on steam. This is in case you ever want to register it on a secondary digital distribution platform (This is sometimes required for the game to launch as in the case of Games for Windows Live). You may never need the key, but it's useful to have for reference. It's the proof that you have bought a unique copy of the game. No need to worry though, Steam will keep the information for you.

Edit - I might add that you can still access your CD Key for those games that ARE developed by Valve or published on exclusively on Steam - it just doesn't pop up every time to launch the game.


You can enter the key into EA Origin and it will be registered to their download service :)


I guess this is one of your first steam games. Because you get a key with every game. Some games require you to enter it others do not. For instance game for windows games doe like gta 4 and such.

  • 1
    Not every Steam game pops up a key saying "You're going to need this later!" and then doesn't ask for it.
    – Sterno
    Feb 8, 2012 at 21:33

It's in case you want to use the game digitally, but seeing as you have the discs, you don't need it.

  • 2
    That doesn't make sense. He does have the game "digitally" (on Steam), and to me "Steam version" doesn't mean retail discs.
    – a cat
    Feb 8, 2012 at 14:51
  • @Lunboks is correct - I do not have a physical copy of the game, just Steam's digital version. Feb 8, 2012 at 14:59

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