The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam

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Project aim

  • Offer a complete list of games available for purchase on Steam which have external DRM associated with them in addition to or in lieu of the various forms of Steam's native DRM.

Instructions

  • Refer to the How to contribute section for information on adding games to this article.
  • Included with the games are the DRM schemes involved, the issues and hindrances you might encounter due to this DRM, and what you can do to prevent DRM from interfering with your gaming experience.

Discussion

Other information

  • "Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM" Steam Users' Forums thread - Original thread on this topic, all discussion has henceforth been moved to this wiki article.
  • The Big List of DRM-Free Games on Steam - A comparable list of Steam games which do not feature any sort of DRM.
  • DISCLAIMER: There are many games that have their own in-game store. There are also many games with DLC managed not by Steam but by the publishers themselves. These are NOT included in this list because, as previously stated, the products on these lists are available for purchase on Steam. Using non-Steam products on Steam products must be done at your own risk.

Main contacts


How to contribute[edit]

Information This list covers many games already but it is still missing some games and may have outdated information.
Information Please reference your additions so others can easily verify their accuracy.
Information Games that never had third-party DRM are omitted from this list; this includes sequels to the games listed here.

Check the game's forums for DRM discussion[edit]

Fix Check forums for DRM detailsLink

  1. Check the game's Steam Community Discussions and Steam Users' Forums for details of its DRM.
  2. Add the game below with the relevant news post or forum topics as references.

Investigate DRM for your games[edit]

Information If you're unsure about the specific DRM used, ask on the forum topic or project talk page so others can help.

Fix Game prompts for making/logging into an account (Account-based DRM)Link

  1. Take note of the account type it asks to make.
  2. Add it to the appropriate Account-based DRM section. Common types have their own sections.
  3. If it isn't any of those add it to Other Account-based DRM.

Fix Game prompts for CD/product key but not an account (Hardware-based DRM)Link

  1. Take note of the DRM name on the prompt(s) and add it to the appropriate Hardware-based DRM section.
  2. If the prompt doesn't say what DRM is used you can scan the game with Protection ID to find out.
  3. Post the details in the Steam Users' Forums topic.
  4. Use a link to that post as a reference for its entry below.
Information Protection ID might not recognise the DRM used.

Account-based DRM[edit]

DRM associated with accounts is weaker than most but still present, requiring online activation via CD key to access online services such as multiplayer and profile stats. These games require you to activate the game through their servers and use their accounts to activate the game, and many require these accounts to access the game. For single-player games, account-based DRM often does not affect the game to any real degree, as you can play them with an offline profile without activation. Because of this, many consider single-player account-based DRM to not be DRM at all because it does not require any contact beyond having the packages installed; no Internet connection is required. Games falling into this “single-player only” category will be marked as such.

Codemasters RaceNet[edit]

Information Used for multiplayer and community features in newer Codemasters racing games after Codemasters switched from Games for Windows Live to Steamworks for DRM.
Advantage Completely optional; if you don't play online you can simply ignore it. More about it here.
Advantage Currently available for Family Sharing.
Name Link Notes
DiRT Showdown Store
F1 2012 Store
F1 2013 Store
F1 Race Stars Store
GRID 2 Store
GRID Autosport Store

EA Accounts[edit]

EA Accounts exist for two purposes:

To activate and run the game. This requires a constant Internet connection, even in single-player modes. The benefit to this, however, is that DLC, if it exists, is more easily managed than below.

To access online features, including DLC. In this case, the EA account is not required to access single-player (in some cases, it may be required to activate the game). For DLC, however, the game will require an account either way.

This list will be categorized as such, as well as games that use EA Classic accounts. Single-player games in the latter category will be specially marked, either as an option or exclusively single-player.

Constant Connection Required[edit]

Name Link Notes
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Store
Darkspore (store page unavailable) Hub Structured like an MMO despite having single-player. No longer sold or supported as of August 23, 2013.[1]

Activation, Online Services, DLC[edit]

Name Link Notes
Alice: Madness Returns Store
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Store Includes Vietnam expansion.
BattleForge (store page unavailable) Hub No longer playable as of October 31, 2013 due to servers being shut down.[2]
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box Store
Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars Store Includes Kane's Wrath expansion.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Store
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising Store
Dead Space 2 Store
Dragon Age: Origins Store Includes Awakening expansion. Single-player only.
Dragon Age II (store page unavailable) Hub Single-player only.
FIFA Manager 09 (store page unavailable) Hub
FIFA Manager 10 (store page unavailable) Hub
FIFA Manager 11 (store page unavailable) Hub
Gatling Gears Store 5 activation limit per 24 hours.
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Store Optional (both base game and DLC). Close login prompt(s) to skip EA Account.[3] Logging in unlocks promotional items.[4]
Mass Effect 2 Store Single-player only.
Medal of Honor Store
Medal of Honor: Airborne Store
Mirror's Edge Store Single-player only.
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Store
Need for Speed: Shift Store
Need for Speed: Undercover Store
Shift 2 Unleashed Store
The Sims 3 Store Includes all expansions (Most recent: Showtime).
SPORE Store Includes Creepy & Cute and Galactic Adventures expansions. Single-player only.
Warp Store

EA Classic Account[edit]

Name Link Notes
Battlefield 2 Store

GameSpy[edit]

Disadvantage GameSpy online services were shut down on May 31, 2014 (June 30, 2014 for EA titles).[5][6]
Information Most GameSpy games can be played online through alternate methods; see GameSpy for details.
Information GameSpy is not DRM; however, since multiplayer (matchmaking, servers, etc.) is dependent on GameSpy for these games, they are listed here.
Name Link Notes
Battlefield 2 Store
Borderlands Store Will migrate to Steamworks after GameSpy's closure (at least Steam version).[7]
Crysis Store
Crysis: Warhead Store
Dungeon Defenders Store You can choose Steam or GameSpy for multiplayer before launching game.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Store
FlatOut 2 Store
Hunted: The Demon's Forge Store
Legendary Store
Lost Planet 3 Store
Medieval II: Total War Store Includes Kingdoms expansion.
Men of War Store
Men of War: Assault Squad Store
Men of War: Condemned Heroes Store
Men of War: Vietnam Store
Rome: Total War: Gold Store Includes Alexander expansion.
Saints Row 2 Store
The Scourge Project: Episode 1 and 2 (store page unavailable) Hub
SpellForce – Platinum Edition Store
Star Wars: Battlefront II Store
Titan Quest Store Includes Immortal Throne expansion.
Unreal Tournament 3 Black Store
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Game of the Year Edition Store Includes Winter Assault, Dark Crusade and Soulstorm expansions.

Games for Windows Live[edit]

Disadvantage Excluded from Family Sharing (all GFWL types)
Information There are two kinds of GFWL activation, SSA and Legacy. See the sections below for further details.
Disadvantage Not supported worldwide; outside the Xbox LIVE Countries and Regions you can only use a local profile, meaning no multiplayer or achievements (see Steam support).

From GFWL to Steamworks[edit]

Information These games are confirmed be in the process of migrating to Steamworks or have already been migrated.
Name Link Notes
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition Store GFWL removed in April 1, 2014 update.[8]
BioShock 2 Link GFWL and SecuROM removed. Added “Protector Trials” DLC and all available MP DLCs free for all, Minerva's Den DLC free for the existing owners prior update and full controller support.[9]
Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Link GFWL and SecuROM removed.[10] Non-GOTY owners get GOTY upgrade for free.[11] Retail/GFWL keys added to Steam DB for activation.
Batman: Arkham City GOTY Store GFWL and SecuROM removed.[10] Non-GOTY owners get GOTY upgrade for free.[11] Retail/GFWL keys added to Steam DB for activation.
Dirt 3 Store Steamworks migration confirmed for the future (might not be ready until 2014).[12]
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Store Games for Windows Live replaced by Steamworks in update.[13]
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Store Game transitioned to Steamworks on May 30, 2014. GFWL saves can be optionally imported. All product keys activate on Steam.[14]
Toy Soldiers Store Can choose between GFWL and Steamworks. GFWL version is still included but can be completely ignored.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Store Steamworks to replace Games for Windows Live in a future update.[15]
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising Store Same as Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II [16]

SSA Titled (ZDPP specially marked)[edit]

Information Server-Side Activation (SSA) binds the product key permanently to your Microsoft account, similar to Steam. These games have no activation limits.
Information If you bind an SSA product key to an account that is not in a supported region you will lose the key (and, consequently, access to the game).
Information Some SSA games have Zero Day Piracy Protection (ZDPP), an extra DRM check to prevent playing pre-release games.
Name Link Notes
Age of Empires Online (store page unavailable) Hub No longer playable due to the servers being shut down on July 1, 2014.[17]
Batman: Arkham City (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Hub ZDPP Title. Non-GOTY owners get GOTY version for free[11] which has Steamworks DRM instead of SecuROM and GFWL.[10]
Blacklight: Tango Down Store
Bulletstorm Store ZDPP Title; does not support local profiles but can be played offline.
Colin McRae's DiRT 2 (store page unavailable) Hub
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Store
Dead Rising 2 Store ZDPP Title
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Store ZDPP Title
DiRT 3 Store
F1 2010 Store
F1 2011 Store
Fable III (store page unavailable) Hub
Gotham City Impostors (non-Free To Play) (store page unavailable) Hub
Iron Brigade Store
Lost Planet 2 Store ZDPP Title
Microsoft Flight (store page unavailable) Hub Steam version doesn't work; use Games for Windows Marketplace version with same Microsoft account in-game.[18]
Mortal Kombat Kollection Store
Operation Flashpoint: Red River Store
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Store
Section 8 Store
Section 8: Prejudice Store
Street Fighter X Tekken Store
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends Store
Toy Soldiers Store Can choose between GFWL and Steamworks. GFWL version is still included but can be completely ignored.
Virtua Tennis 4 Store

Legacy Titles[edit]

Information Simple product key check; requires internet access for online profile but does not attach the key to your Microsoft account.
Information Activation limit between 10-20 (usually 15) for online profiles; Microsoft support can help reset the limit but will not reset a second time; after that you will need to buy the game again.
Name Link Notes
Batman: Arkham Asylum (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Hub Single-player only; owners get free upgrade to the Game of the Year Edition which has Steamworks DRM instead of GFWL and SecuROM.[11]
Battlestations Pacific Store
The Club (store page unavailable) Hub
Fallout 3 Store Includes All Five DLC Packs. Single-player only, can be completely ignored (no profile/activation needed). Can be disabled with the mod Games for Windows LIVE Disabler or by running the game with the modding tool FOSE (you do not need to install a mod that actually uses it).
FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage Store
FUEL (store page unavailable) Hub
Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition Store Can be disabled with the mod XLiveLess.
Grand Theft Auto IV Store Can be disabled with the mod XLiveLess.
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Store Can be disabled with the mod XLiveLess.
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights (store page unavailable) Hub
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Store
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition Store A non-GFWL version is available (de facto Steamworks because of VAC protection) but note that it lacks the extra content of the Colonies Edition.
Quantum of Solace (store page unavailable) Hub
Red Faction Guerrilla Store Can be disabled with the mod XLiveLess.
Resident Evil 5 Store
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes Store
Stormrise (store page unavailable) Hub
Street Fighter IV Store
Universe at War: Earth Assault (store page unavailable) Hub
Vancouver 2010 (store page unavailable) Hub
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Store
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising Store

Kalypso Launcher[edit]

Advantage You can install and play these games without any kind of internet connection (see About Kalypso Launcher).[19]
Name Link Notes
Airline Tycoon 2 Store
Anna - Extended Edition Store Linux version does not require launcher and does not even require Steam to play
DARK Store
Demonicon Store Login prompts can be cancelled to play the game without an account.[20][21]
Disciples III: Resurrection Store
DUNGEONS - Steam Special Edition Store
Dungeons - The Dark Lord Store
The First Templar - Steam Special Edition Store
Omerta - City of Gangsters Store
Patrician 4 - Steam Special Edition Store
Pole Position 2012 Store
Rise of Venice Store
Tropico 4: Steam Special Edition Store

ManiaPlanet[edit]

Information Every new Nadeo game requires ManiaPlanet account. More about account can be read here.
Name Link Notes
ShootMania: Storm Store
TrackMania² Canyon Store
TrackMania² Stadium Store
TrackMania² Valley Store

Rockstar Social Club[edit]

Information About Rockstar Social Club.
Disadvantage Excluded from Family Sharing.
Name Link Notes
Grand Theft Auto IV Store Log-in is required only for multiplayer. Log-in not required for singleplayer.
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Store Log-in is required only for multiplayer. Log-in not required for singleplayer.
Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition Store Log-in is required only for multiplayer. Log-in not required for singleplayer.
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition Store Used for online/community features only.
Max Payne 3 Store Included CD-key must be linked to a Social Club account.

Stardock Account[edit]

Stardock distributed their games via Impulse. After they sold it to GameStop in March 2011, Stardock introduced account system for their games to distribute patches and for the official support on forums. Their older games are de facto DRM free after registration, and those games are noted. You can download them any time from your Stardock account. In 2012, Stardock switched to Steamworks because of multiplayer. Those games can't be downloaded from Stardock, only from Steam.

Name Link Notes
Demigod Store After registration, game is de facto DRM free.
Fallen Enchantress Store After registration, game is de facto DRM free.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes Store
Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition Store Only needed for Twilight of the Arnor [GC2TwilightOfTheArnor.exe] expansion pack. After registration, expansion is de facto DRM free. Base game (Dread Lords [GalCiv2.exe]) and Dark Avatar [GC2DarkAvatar.exe] expansion are DRM free (registration is not needed at all). If you register game, it can be only launched via GC2TwilightOfTheArnor.exe.
The Political Machine 2012 Store
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Store
Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity Store After registration, base game and both expansions (Entrenchment and Diplomacy) are de facto DRM free.

Uplay[edit]

Information Uplay is a digital distribution, DRM, multiplayer and communications service created by Ubisoft.
Information Unless otherwise noted, you should be able to access an offline mode after registering and updating the game. Without updating, the game may require a constant connection at all times.
Information Some of these games may have trouble with the Uplay launcher. Check here to make sure your game is updating properly.
Name Link Notes
Anno 2070 Store
Assassin's Creed Store
Assassin's Creed 2 Store
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Store Offline mode available without registering/updating the game. Use -playoffline parameter.
Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry Store
Assassin's Creed: Revelations Store
Assassin's Creed III Store
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Store
Assassin's Creed Liberation HD Store
Call of Juarez: The Cartel Store It's both Steamworks and Uplay title. Uplay requirement is not put in Store page, but you need it for launch and its achievements.
Child of Light Store
Driver: San Francisco Store
Far Cry 3 Store
Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon Store
Flashback Store
From Dust Store Once the game is installed from Steam, you can play in offline mode without ever having to log into Uplay: Before launching the game for the first time, run the UbisoftGameLauncherInstaller from your steamapps\common\From Dust\Support\Ubisoft folder, then create a new firewall rule to block the installed Ubisoft Launcher. If you run the game without doing this first, the launcher will update Uplay, and you will have to register the game and log in at least once before you can play offline.
Might & Magic Heroes VI Store Required for activation and online features.
Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness Store
Might & Magic X - Legacy Store
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Store
Rayman Legends Store
Rocksmith 2014 Store
R.U.S.E. Store When the game is first time launched, it is needed to be registered (Ubisoft account). Uplay is optional for Uplay achievements and gifts even store's page said "requires a Uplay account".
The Settlers 7 Store Can now be played in offline mode.[22]
Silent Hunter 5 Store
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Store
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 Store Can now be played in offline mode.[22]
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Store Requires Uplay in online mode for save and load features to function.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Store
Trials Evolution: Gold Edition Store
Trials Fusion Store
Valiant Hearts: The Great War Store
Watch Dogs Store

Other Account-based DRM[edit]

Information This list does not include Free to Play (F2P) games, which almost always require a separate account, and every one of them has in game store. F2P games are found here.
Name Link Notes
Age of Wonders III Store LAN and online modes require a Triumph Account.
AirBuccaneers Store You need AirBuccaneers account to play game. More info here.
Airline Tycoon 2 Store Account and log-in required to play (single-player included).
AI War: Fleet Command Store Base game and DLC require entering the included CD keys to leave trial mode.[23]
APOX Store Proprietary server connection. There is no authentication, but a constant Internet connection is required for anything other than campaign, skirmish and tutorial.
AudioSurf Store Account required for leaderboard feature.
Battle Worlds: Kronos Store Online play requires a King Art account.
Cargo Commander Store Must be connected to Steam to generate new levels.
Crysis 2 (store page unavailable) Hub Online play requires a MyCrysis account.
Crysis 2 - Maximum Edition Store Online play requires a MyCrysis account.
Darkfall Unholy Wars Store This game is MMO but AV account is optional and is for the support, official forums and for character deletion. If you do, then you should only register through the patcher which will link your Steam account with AV account.
Damned Store Must activate key with a 9heads Account and log in every time to play.[24][25]
Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdoms Wars Store This game is MMORTS so you need to open a separate account.
Delta Force: Xtreme 2 Store Must create an account and "activate"; through the game to play.
The Elder Scrolls Online Store Requires an Elder Scrolls Online account.
Final Fantasy VII Store Uses Square Enix online store for activation. You must create a Square Enix account and log in before you can play.
Final Fantasy VIII Store Uses Square Enix online store for activation. You must create a Square Enix account and log in before you can play.
Frozen Synapse Store Must create an account and "activate" through the game for online features.
Galaxy on Fire 2: Full HD Store Must be online via Steam when starting game. More here.
Galcon Fusion Store Requires a Galcom.com account; to register right-click on the game in the Steam client and choose Manage Game Account.[26]
Ironclad Tactics Store Tries to connect to a server even for single player; can be overridden by setting "force offline mode" in options.[27]
Interstellar Marines Store You can optionally open an account at interstellarmarines.com for connecting your Steam account and your Interstellar Marines website account.
Leviathan: Warships Store Multiplayer requires the creation of an account which is handled by Paradox servers.
Metal Drift Store Must create an account to play. There is no offline mode; you must log in to your account every time you start the game.
The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot Store Requires a Uplay account but does not use the Uplay client.[28]
Plain Sight Store Activation through Beatnik servers, requires log-in to play.
Planet Explorers Store Online play requires a Planet Explorers account (optional for single player).[29]
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 Store KONAMI ID is needed for online play. There are multiple reports like this one that you need to be online when starting game. It's not clear if you have to be online all the time.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2014 Store KONAMI ID is needed for online play.
Resident Evil 6 Store You can optionally open an account at Resident Evil.net for additional features.
Resident Evil: Revelations Store You can optionally open an account at Resident Evil.net for additional features.
Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition Store Must activate game by making a Rise of Flight account (internet connection required); see step-by-step instructions.[30]
Saints Row: The Third Store THQ account required for community features.
Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves Store Must be online via Steam when starting game. Developers claim it's bug, but it's not fixed. Discussion here.
Sky Nations Store Requires a Sky Nations Account.
Starlight Inception Store Must be online via Steam when starting the game. Developers say this will be removed in a future update.[31]
Stellar Impact Store You need an account to play game.
Torchlight II Store Runic account is needed for online play. More info here.
Trackmania Nations Forever Store Trackmania account required for online features.
Trackmania United Forever Store Trackmania account required for online features.
Turba Store Account required for leaderboards.
Victory: The Age of Racing Store Requires an account on the developer's site. Requires a constant internet connection for all game modes.[32]
Wargame: European Escalation Store When you start the game, you are asked to connect to Eugen.net game server. Eugen.net handles multiplayer system, as well as friend list.
Wargame: Airland Battle Store When you start the game, you are asked to connect to Eugen.net game server. Eugen.net handles multiplayer system, as well as friend list.
Wings of Prey Store Requires a YuPlay account for multiplayer.

Hardware-based DRM[edit]

Hardware-based DRM uses components of the PC such as the MAC address of network adapter(s) and serial number(s) of hard drive(s)to create a hash or signature which is used for identification of the PC in the DRM activation process. When a game which incorporates this type of DRM is run, it checks that the current components of the PC match the hash/signature which was created and stored during the previously completed activation. The tolerance for matching this hash varies by game, but in general if a significant component or components of the PC which comprise the hash have changed, the DRM will require a new activation to play the game. If an activation limit exists and is reached, the game will refuse to install or play. In most cases where this type of DRM is used, there will be methods to either revoke activations or reset the limit so a new activation is performed. These will be noted at the bottom of their respective sections below.

SecuROM[edit]

Information To revoke SecuROM activations, see popular titles; for EA games with SecuROM "released after May 2008" use the EA Game Authorization Management Tool.
Information Activations can usually be revoked by using the /revoke command-line switch when running the game's main executable or launcher. If that does not work, contact support.
Information Use the Removal Tool to remove SecuROM activation information (after revoking the activations, if applicable).
Name Link Notes
Age of Booty Store Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[33]
Alone in the Dark Store Activation limit is not known.[34]
Batman: Arkham Asylum (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Hub 4 activations per month. A revoke tool is available in your Steam Tools section. Non-GOTY owners get GOTY version for free[11] which has Steamworks DRM instead of SecuROM and GFWL.[10]
Batman: Arkham City (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Hub 5 machine limit, 10 activations per machine. Non-GOTY owners get GOTY version for free[11] which has Steamworks DRM instead of SecuROM and GFWL.[10]
Blood Bowl: Dark Elves Edition (store page unavailable) Hub 5 machine limit
Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition Store 5 machine limit
Borderlands DLC Pack (store page unavailable) Store Used for 2 of the 4 included DLC packs (shown below).
Borderlands: Game of the Year Store Used for 2 of the 4 included DLC packs (shown below).
Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned Store 5 machine limit
Borderlands: Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot Store 5 machine limit
Cities XL 2011 Store 5 machine limit
Colin McRae DiRT 2 Store Used for CD check only.
Crysis Store 50 machine limit
Crysis Warhead Store 50 machine limit
Dark Void Store Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[33]
Dark Void Zero Store Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[33] Store page has not been updated.
DiRT 3 Store Activation limit unknown
Fable III (store page unavailable) Hub 5 activations per month
Flock! Store Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[33]
FUEL Store Unlimited activations
Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition Store Used in GTA IV and its expansions as noted below.
Grand Theft Auto IV Store Unlimited activations
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Store 15 machine limit
Major League Baseball 2K9 Store Used for CD check only.
Mass Effect Store Found on the DLC installers only, SecuROM removable post-installation. 3 machine limit.
Medal of Honor Store Single-player portion only, 5 machine limit, 1 activation added every 60 days.
Neopets Puzzle Adventure (store page unavailable) Hub 5 machine limit
The Sims Medieval Store 5 machine limit using new "Content Protection" by "Sony DADC Austria AG".[35]
Test Drive Unlimited 2 Store 4 machine limit

StarForce/ACTControl[edit]

StarForce[edit]

Information StarForce ProActive is contained to the folder of the game using it. It does not make registry entries or install drivers. Activation/deactivation instructions
Name Link Notes
DCS A-10C Warthog Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Black Shark 2 Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Combined Arms Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Mi-8 MTV2 Magnificent Eight Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS P-51D Mustang Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS UH-1H Huey Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Flaming Cliffs 3 Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
A-10A DCS Flaming Cliffs Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
Su-25 DCS Flaming Cliffs Store 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS World Store F2P game but uses StarForce Proactive DRM for its DLCs (detailed above); also see info on lost activations.

ACTControl[edit]

Information ACTControl is a fork of StarForce AAA Protection. It is unknown if this is either a genuine fork or a replacement of StarForce.
Information Games can be activated/deactivated with ACPC.EXE in the installation folder or with the online activation page.
Name Link Notes
Disciples III - Reincarnation Store 5 machine limit
Postal 3 Store 2 machine limit
Pro Cycling Manager 2012 Store 5 machine limit
Pro Cycling Manager 2013 Store 5 machine limit

TAGES/SolidShield[edit]

TAGES[edit]

Information TAGES does not support revoking activations;[36] activations automatically regenerate on a timer, usually one every 30 days.
Information Use TagesSetup to remove the TAGES drivers from your computer.
Name Link Notes
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (store page unavailable) Hub 3 machine limit, 1 activation added back every 30 days.
nail'd Store 3 machine limit, 1 activation added back every 30 days. 5 revocations allowed per month.
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (store page unavailable) Hub 3 machine limit, 1 activation added back every 30 days.

SolidShield[edit]

Information SolidShield is TAGES’ new DRM technology. It is presumed that this is their replacement for TAGES.
Information To revoke activations for EA games with SolidShield "released after May 2008" use the EA Game Authorization Management Tool.
Information To revoke activations for other games use the executable in the game's folder (usually called activation.exe); see Activation and revocation client for further details.
Name Link Notes
A Game of Thrones – Genesis Store 5 machine limit
Anno 2070 Store 3 machine limit.[37][38]
Crysis 2 (store page unavailable) Hub 5 machine limit. Maximum Edition does not have SolidShield.
Dead Space 2 Store 5 machine limit
Shift 2 Unleashed Store 5 machine limit

Other Hardware-based DRM[edit]

Name Link Notes
3SwitcheD Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown. DRM has reportedly made the game unplayable for some players.[39]
ARMA III Store DEGRADE (ex-FADE) is an invisible, ingame, check of CD key. No activation limit.
Chicken Shoot Gold Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Doom Rails Store Themida. 5 machine limit.
Dream Pinball 3D Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Earth 2150 Trilogy Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Earth 2160 Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), 3 machine activation limit. To reset activations follow instructions here or use phone support (phone number in-game).
Football Manager 2009 (store page unavailable) Hub Uniloc, 5 machine limit
Gatling Gears Store EA Access. 5 activation limit per 24 hours.
Heli Heroes Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Iron Sky: Invasion Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
KnightShift Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition Store GameShield Ironwrap & Patcher. Machine limit explicitly not available per Rockstar policy, but is likely unlimited on Steam.[40]
Max Payne 3 Store GameShield Ironwrap & Patcher. Machine limit explicitly not available per Rockstar policy.
Monster Trucks Nitro Store Activated through RedLynx servers. Activation limit exists, but is unknown and can be reset.[41]
Spectromancer Store Proprietary activation method though CD key. 5 machine limit. To reset your activation limit, contact support here.
Two Worlds Epic Edition Store Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown. If limit is reached, contact support.
Two Worlds II Store Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 3 machine limit
Two Worlds II Castle Defense Store Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 3 machine limit
World War II: Panzer Claws Store Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 5 machine activation limit
World War III: Black Gold Store Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 5 machine activation limit
X-Blades Store Proprietary activation method through CD key. 3 machine limit. If limit is reached contact support.

Inert DRM[edit]

Some games on Steam contain remnants of DRM that has been removed (e.g. S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky or Dead Space) or DRM files which are not used unless you attach a DRM expansion pack or DLC to the game (e.g. Borderlands). The DRM files do nothing, install nothing and are completely inert unless otherwise noted.

SecuROM[edit]

Name Link Notes
Arcania: Gothic 4 Store SecuROM. Installs files that can be safely removed without the Removal Tool.[42]
Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition Store SecuROM patched out of main executable; SecuROM paul.dll remains but does nothing and the game still works if it is deleted.[43]
Borderlands Store It is activated upon installation of either The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned or Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot. Both The Secret Armory of General Knoxx and Claptrap's Robot Revolution are SecuROM free, and thus will not activate the inert files (assuming you did not buy/activate the first two expansions).
Cities XL 2012 (store page unavailable) Hub
Crysis Warhead Store Crysis Wars is inert. Crysis Warhead itself is still active.
Dead Space Store
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Store SecuROM 7 on single player executable.[44] Appears to be inactive.[45]
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga (store page unavailable) Hub SecuROM removed for 1.4.9.70 patch; owners got a free copy of Developer's Cut on October 29, 2012 which is DRM free.[46]
Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale Store
Far Cry 2: Fortune's Edition Store SecuROM removed in 1.03 update despite store page's notes, but some files still remain.
F.E.A.R. Store SecuROM is activated on launching (the now defunct) multiplayer. The singleplayer parts of the game contain no third party DRM.
Gothic II: Gold Edition Store
Hospital Tycoon Store
Kohan: Ahriman's Gift Store
Legendary Store SecuROM patched out of main executable; SecuROM paul.dll remains but does nothing and the game still works if it is deleted.
Men of War Store
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Store
Overlord Store
SpellForce – Platinum Edition Store
Star Wars Republic Commando Store
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Store SecuROM was removed via 1.1 patch for retail. Steam version has inert files. Game is DRM free and you can use CD key for the free DRM free backup on GOG.com and for the bonus content.

StarForce/ACTControl[edit]

Name Link Notes
Still Life Store StarForce
Syberia Store StarForce
Syberia 2 Store StarForce

TAGES/SolidShield[edit]

Name Link Notes
Gothic 3 Store SolidShield
Jack Keane Store SolidShield
Risen Store TAGES. Delete TAGES files in Redist and bin subfolders to prevent installation.[47] Use TagesSetup to remove if already installed.
Silverfall Complete Store TAGES
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky Store TAGES

Other Inert DRM[edit]

Name Link Notes
Alpha Protocol Store Uniloc removed in patch 1.1, but files remain.

Removed DRM[edit]

Advantage These games had DRM in retail form, or had it on digital storefronts in the past, but it has been entirely removed; these are listed below to help cautious shoppers.
Name Link Notes
All games from Telltale Games Link SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors. Exceptions are The Walking Dead and Poker Night series (Steamworks).
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition Store Games for Windows - LIVE removed in April 1, 2014 update.[8]
Angry Birds Space Store Proprietary activation system on the Angry Birds shop and retail.
Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery Store TAGES removed by applying latest retail patch. Steam version without TAGES as of April 24th 2014.
Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery: Venice Expansion Store TAGES removed by applying latest retail patch. Steam version without TAGES as of April 24th 2014.
Anomaly: Warzone Earth Store SecuROM removed via patch.
ARMA: Combat Operations Store SecuROM removed via patch. Game is DRM free.
ARMA II Store SecuROM and FADE removed via patch. Game is DRM free.
ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead Store SecuROM removed via patch. Game is DRM free.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Store SolidShield on other digital distributors.
Batman: Arkham City GOTY Store GFWL and SecuROM removed.[10] Non-GOTY owners get GOTY upgrade for free.[11] Retail/GFWL keys added to Steam DB for activation.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Store SecuROM or disc check on retail. SecuROM removed from Steam version in patch 522175.
Bionic Commando Store SecuROM on retail.
Bionic Commando: Rearmed Store SecuROM on retail.
BioShock Link SecuROM on retail and from other digital distributors. SecuROM removed from the Steam version of the game in an update after its initial release due to outcry from customers. It was replaced with Steam's "stub" form of DRM.
BioShock 2 Store SecuROM and GFWL removed on October 3, 2013.[9]
Blade Kitten Store SecuROM on retail.
Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 Store StarForce on retail.
Brothers In Arms: Earned in Blood Store StarForce on retail.
Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway Store SecuROM on retail.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Store SecuROM on retail, removed from the Steam version via patch.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising Store SecuROM on retail.
Company of Heroes Store There is no more Relic account from 7th May as CoH series completely moved to Steamworks because of SEGA's purchase of Relic.
Company of Heroes: Opposing Fronts Store There is no more Relic account from 7th May as CoH series completely moved to Steamworks because of SEGA's purchase of Relic.
Company of Heroes: Tales of Valor Store There is no more Relic account from 7th May as CoH series completely moved to Steamworks because of SEGA's purchase of Relic.
Confrontation Store ACTControl is removed. There is still key for online play.[48]
Crysis 2 - Maximum Edition Store SolidShield on original Crysis 2 release and on Origin.[49] The Steam version of the game contains Steam's "stub" form of DRM.
Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut Store SecuROM on GamersGate version; Steam version has only Steam DRM.[50]
Deus Ex: Invisible War Link SecuROM disc check on retail. SecuROM\Locale registry subfolder is a harmless error remnant; no SecuROM data is written.[51]
Dragon Age II (store page unavailable) Hub SecuROM on retail.
Divinity II: Developer's Cut Store Game is DRM free. Free upgrade for owners of Divinity II: Ego Draconis or Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.[46]
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Store StarForce removed via patch.
Game of Thrones Store ACTControl on other digital versions.[52][53]
Grand Theft Auto III Store SecuROM on other digital versions.[54]
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Store SecuROM on retail and other digital versions.[54]
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Store SecuROM on retail and other digital versions.[55]
Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes Store SecuROM on retail.
GT Legends Store StarForce on retail. Relaunched Simbin digital version (Steam exclusive) is DRM free.
GTR – FIA GT Racing Game Store StarForce on retail. Relaunched Simbin digital version (Steam exclusive) is DRM free.
GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game Store SecuROM on retail. Relaunched Simbin digital version (Steam exclusive) is DRM free.
Hamilton's Great Adventure Store SecuROM on GamersGate.
Heroes of Might & Magic V Store SecuROM on retail, but was removed with the last patch. TAGES on GamersGate.
Heroes of Might & Magic V: Hammers of Fate Store SecuROM on retail. TAGES on GamersGate.
Hitman: Blood Money Store SecuROM on retail and GamersGate.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover Store SolidShield removed via patch.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Store Games for Windows Live replaced by Steamworks in update.[13]
Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning Link All non-Steam versions require Origin; Steam version uses Steamworks instead. Prompts for EA Account; close prompt(s) to skip.[4]
King's Bounty: Armored Princess Store SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
King's Bounty: Crossworlds Store StarForce on retail and some other digital distributors.
King's Bounty: The Legend Store StarForce or SecuROM on retail (depends on market).
Medieval II: Total War Store Includes Kingdoms expansion. SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Men of War: Assault Squad Store SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Men of War: Condemned Heroes Store SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Men of War: Vietnam Store SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Manhunt Store SecuROM on retail and other digital distributors.
Miner Wars 2081 Store Always online requirement removed from single-player campaign.
Ms. Splosion Man Store Replaced Games for Windows - LIVE with Steamworks.[56] LIVE version is still available through the Betas tab.[57]
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Store SolidShield on retail and Origin.
Neverwinter Nights 2 Platinum (store page unavailable) Hub SecuROM removed in patch/hotfix 1.23.1765.
Of Orcs and Men Link ACTControl removed via patch.[58]
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Store StarForce on retail. TAGES on GamersGate.
Rise of the Triad Store Multiplayer requirement of creation of an account on the ROTT Multiplayer network was removed in the 1.2 patch.
Rayman Origins Store TAGES on other digital distributors. Steam and retail versions are DRM free.
Rig 'n' Roll Store StarForce on retail.
Rome: Total War: Gold Store Includes Alexander expansion. SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Sacred 2 Gold Store SecuROM on original Sacred 2. Gold version is DRM-free except on Steam where it contains Steam's "Stub" form of DRM.
Secret Files Tunguska Store TAGES on retail.
Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis Store TAGES removed via patch.
Shank Store SolidShield removed via patch.
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – Remastered Store SolidShield removed via patch.
Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper Store TAGES removed via patch.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV Store Includes Warlords and Beyond the Sword expansions. SecuROM removed via patch. Retail version is DRM free.
Silent Hunter III Store StarForce on retail. TAGES on GamersGate.
The Sims 3 Store Includes all expansions (most recent: Showtime). SecuROM, disc check only on retail, 5 machine limit on other digital distributions.
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Store Games for Windows - LIVE removed from Steam version on May 30, 2014.[14]
Thief: Deadly Shadows Store SecuROM disc check on retail. SecuROM\Locale registry subfolder is a harmless error remnant; no SecuROM data is written.[51]
Spore Store SecuROM on retail.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Store SecuROM on retail.
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Store ACTControl removed via patch.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Store StarForce on retail release, removed from the Steam version via patch. The Steam version of the game now uses Steam's "stub" form of DRM. It is not DRM-free.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent Store SecuROM removed in patch 1.02a.
Trackmania Nations Forever Store StarForce removed in the "Forever" update.[59]
Trackmania United Forever Store StarForce removed in the "Forever" update.[59]
Wargame: European Escalation Store ACTControl removed via patch.[60]
Wings of Prey Store StarForce on retail, removed from Steam version via patch.
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut Store TAGES removed in patch 1.5. Game is DRM free but you can use CD key for free DRM backup on GOG.com and for the bonus content.
X³: Terran Conflict Store TAGES removed from all versions in patch 2.5.[61][62]
Zeit² Store SolidShield removed via patch.

Miscellaneous (not DRM)[edit]

Information These games use no third-party DRM but have behaviour that can appear similar so are included here for completeness.
Name Link Notes
A Valley Without Wind Store Requires included key to leave trial mode. Unlock process is done completely offline and installs nothing.[63]
A Valley Without Wind 2 Store Requires included key to leave trial mode. Unlock process is done completely offline and installs nothing.[63]

References

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  2. EA Service Updates
  3. Does DLC need EA login? :: Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning™ General Discussions
  4. 4.0 4.1 EA account required, or not? - Steam Users' Forums
  5. http://www.poweredbygamespy.com/pricing/
  6. Update on EA Titles Hosted on GameSpy - EA News
  7. http://support.2k.com/hc/en-us/articles/201967707-2K-Online-Server-Migration-from-GameSpy-Technology/
  8. 8.0 8.1 Ace Combat Assault Horizon enhanced Edition title Update - Game for Windows Live functionalities replaced by Steamworks funtionalities.
  9. 9.0 9.1 News - BioShock 2 Updated
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 10.5 SECUROM AND GFWL IS NOW GONE!!! :: Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition General Discussions
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 Non-GOTY owners getting GOTY for FREE :: Batman: Arkham Asylum GOTY Edition General Discussions
  12. Twitter / Codemasters: @TweetingTommy32 We are working ...
  13. 13.0 13.1 GFWL Removed from Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet on Steam - NeoGAF
  14. 14.0 14.1 SSFIVAE GFWL to Steamworks Transition - ComboFiend > Manage Blog
  15. We are currently working on updating this title to be fully SteamWorks compatible - once complete this update will be made available, for free, to all owners
  16. We are currently working on updating this title to be fully SteamWorks compatible - once complete this update will be made available, for free, to all owners
  17. Blog | Age of Empires Online - The Rest of AOEO
  18. Marketplace close microsoft flight down? :: Microsoft Flight Support
  19. Kalypso Launcher: Information and FAQ (EN)
  20. When a fight starts the game hangs :: Demonicon General Discussions
  21. kalypso launcher? :: Demonicon General Discussions
  22. 22.0 22.1 Settlers 7 and Hawx 2 now playable in offline mode
  23. Arcen Games Store | Arcen Games
  24. PROBLEM? CRASH? SOLUTIONS HERE! :: Damned General Discussions
  25. What kind of DRM is "9heads"? :: Damned General Discussions
  26. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Galcon Registration can kiss my ♥♥♥
  27. Anyone been able to play it? :: Ironclad Tactics General Discussions
  28. Beware of Uplay :: The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot General Discussion
  29. Planet Explorers by Pathea Games — Kickstarter
  30. Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition on Steam - GUIDE :: Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition General Discussions
  31. Linux/Mac Support? :: Starlight Inception General Discussions
  32. Internet Required? :: Victory: The Age of Racing General Discussion
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 DRM! :: Dark Void Zero General Discussions
  34. which copy protection has this version ? :: Alone in the Dark General Discussions
  35. News - The Sims Medieval Update Released
  36. http://www.tagesprotection.com/activation.htm#revoke
  37. Twitter / UbisoftSupport: @LuckiestLion Yes, there is ...
  38. Solid Shield during Install + UPlay and Other Notes. :: Anno 2070 General Discussions
  39. 3SwitcheD won't start :: 3SwitcheD General Discussions
  40. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  41. Says I used my key on too many computers and will not work. - Steam Users' Forums
  42. Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM - Page 104 - Steam Users' Forums
  43. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  44. Why does steam not mention secuROM? :: Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Single Player General Discussions
  45. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  46. 46.0 46.1 Divinity 2: Developer's Cut and Anthology on Steam - Larian Studios forums
  47. Do this step before installing Risen :: Risen General Discussions
  48. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  49. Crysis 2 Maximum Edition for PC Download | Origin
  50. Securom? Seriously guys? :: Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut General Discussions
  51. 51.0 51.1 Help! Backing up my Steam backlog..., page 1 - Forum - GOG.com
  52. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Manual
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  58. 3rd Party DRM has been removed as of 7/2/13 :: Of Orcs And Men General Discussions
  59. 59.0 59.1 TrackMania#Copy protection system
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  63. 63.0 63.1 AVWW Buy