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Can I register a retail boxed copy of a game with Steam?

With the addition of Greenlight to Steam a decent amount of games that were normally purchased elsewhere can now be purchased through Steam. I noticed Project Zomboid was among the titles to be added to Steam. I have already purchased Project Zomboid from Desura, and whenever the game is added to Steam I would like to put it on my Steam account.

Is this possible and how do I do it?

  • 1
    This depends on a case by case basis, for example if a Steam compatible key isn't provided then, not but if a Steam compatible key is provided then you can add the game by clicking on 'Add A Game...' in the bottom left corner of the main Steam window - best way to check is to ask where you purchased your game from if the key is compatible, you could also just try adding it (the worst that will happen is you'll get an error). You could of course just add a non-steam game to your library, but this game will not be maintained by Steam, it will just appear in the list.
    – kalina
    Dec 19, 2012 at 19:56
  • related but exact duplicate? it doesnt ask how to add a game.
    – Paralytic
    Dec 19, 2012 at 21:02
  • @Paralytic But one of the answers covers it anyway.
    – Niro
    Dec 19, 2012 at 21:02
  • meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/951/… @Fluttershy
    – Paralytic
    Dec 19, 2012 at 21:08

2 Answers 2


Sadly there's not really a universal way to transfer games purchased elsewhere to Steam. Some games will provide Steam keys when purchased elsewhere, but for the most part you're out of luck.

What you can do is to add a shortcut to the game to your Steam library. This Steam article describes how to add a non-Steam game to your library. This will let your friends know what game you're playing, but you won't have Steam integration.

  • thats disappointing...o well probably just rebuy the game.
    – Paralytic
    Dec 19, 2012 at 19:55

It is possible to do this.

  1. Open up and log into Steam.
  2. Look at the menu bar at the top of the window and click on "Games".
  3. The last option under "Games" is "Add a Non-Steam Game to My Library".
  4. Click on this option.
  5. A window will open up, and Steam will scan your hard drive for installed programs.
  6. Select the game you want to add.
  7. Click on the "Add Selected Programs" button.
  • hmm, needs testing.
    – Paralytic
    Dec 19, 2012 at 19:56
  • 2
    This will add the game to Steam in the sense that your Steam library will contain a shortcut to the game executable, but it will not gain any Steam features like achievements or Steam Cloud support. Dec 19, 2012 at 20:16

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