I own Mass Effect 3 on Origin, but I very much prefer launching games from Steam (largely for the overlay, since I've got hundreds of Steam friends). I know that non-steam applications can be launched from Steam by mapping their executables, but I'm not sure how the interaction with Origin works. Is it possible to use Steam to launch Mass Effect 3? If so, are there any adverse symptoms to be aware of? Will doing so enable the Steam overlay?

  • "Is it possilbe" is a yes or no. You might want to phrase it "Are there any issues" since that will cover your question plus a little more (like if they play well for a little while, but then freak out) Mar 6, 2012 at 23:03
  • @Ktash Good call, I added a bit of clarification at the end Mar 6, 2012 at 23:05

2 Answers 2


It is possible to launch Mass Effect 3 through Steam, but you still need Origin to load the game. I just tested this myself by:

  1. Clicking Add A Game in the bottom left of the library tab
  2. Add a Non-Steam Game
  3. Browse...
  4. Local Disk --> Program Files (x86) --> Origin Games --> Mass Effect 3 --> Binaries --> Win32 --> MassEffect3.exe

Now when I launch the application from Steam, it launches Origin which then launches Mass Effect 3. Launchception.

Note that I am playing from a Windows Computer running Windows 7 64-bit, so the names of your exact directories will differ by OS/depending on how you set up your Origin installation.

If you were hoping to access your Steam Overlay within the game, this will require a bit of a workaround.

Instead of having a direct shortcut to ME3, you will have to create a shortcut to Origin:

  1. Clicking Add A Game in the bottom left of the library tab
  2. Add a Non-Steam Game
  3. Browse...
  4. Local Disk --> Program Files (x86) --> Origin --> Origin.exe

Make sure Origin isn't currently running, then launch it from Steam. Now, when you launch any game from this instance of Origin, you will be able to access the Steam overlay. Screenshot of my ME3 with the Steam Overlay here.

If you want to get fancy, you can also rename the shortcut (to Mass Effect 3) as well as change the icon to ME3's to replace the default Origin one:

enter image description here

enter image description here

Both overlays will be available (assuming they are on different key bindings). Be aware, however: opening the Origin overlay will pause the game, but opening the Steam overlay will not. Further, when both overlays are opened at the same time, the steam overlay cannot be interacted with (the origin overlay pops up on top of it).

  • I just tried the same experiment with the same results. The steam overlay seems to not work, though. Are you aware of any ways around this? Mar 6, 2012 at 23:10
  • @DaveMcClelland I am going to look into it further, but from what I'm seeing so far chances don't look good.
    – Kotsu
    Mar 6, 2012 at 23:11
  • And given that the overlay doesn't work, the result is that I wonder what exactly the point is. :/ Mar 6, 2012 at 23:13
  • Good news. I have figured out a workaround. Will edit my answer.
    – Kotsu
    Mar 6, 2012 at 23:29
  • This is the same work around for bf3 ;)
    – IAmGroot
    Mar 7, 2012 at 17:00

Well, you don't need to do all of that.

At least now, with the latest Steam & Origin installed. Mass Effect 3 is already available under the Add a non-Steam game option

enter image description here

Just select it & click on Add Selected game.

Click on play to launch it. Works with or without Origin running before launching Mass Effect 3. Note that your Steam status will mention you're playing Mass Effect if you don't exit Origin after exiting Mass Effect - shouldn't make much of a difference though.

enter image description here

  • Mass Effect 3 didn't show up on the initial list, so I wasn't able to do this (didn't show up for Dave either, it seems). Are you using a different OS than me?
    – Kotsu
    Mar 7, 2012 at 16:26
  • I'm on Windows 7, 64-bit. @Kotsu.Try logging out, exiting & logging back into Steam Mar 7, 2012 at 16:53
  • After restarting Steam, I still do not get that option in the menu. I'm going to leave my answer as is since it seems to be the one that's most effective for people, although it is good to know that the work around I described isn't needed for all systems.
    – Kotsu
    Mar 7, 2012 at 22:13
  • @Kotsu yeah, having an alternative's always good, hence I posted this. Mar 9, 2012 at 9:34
  • On Windows 7 x64 I added via the menu as shown and rebooted Steam and Origin. It works now, but did not work before rebooting. Thanks for the tip!
    – jocull
    Mar 12, 2012 at 1:18

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