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Information This list covers many games already but it is still missing some games and may have outdated information.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 Store Page Notes
DiRT Showdown Link
F1 2012 Link
F1 2013 Link
F1 Race Stars Link
GRID 2 Link

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

EA Classic Account[edit]

Name Store Page Notes
Battlefield 2 Link

GameSpy[edit]

Disadvantage WARNING: GameSpy online services will be shut down on May 31, 2014.[5]
Information GameSpy is not DRM; however, since multiplayer (matchmaking, servers, etc.) is dependent on GameSpy for these games, they are listed here.
Name Store Page Notes
Battlefield 2 Link Will survive GameSpy's closure.[6]
Borderlands Link Will migrate to Steamworks after GameSpy's closure (at least Steam version).[7]
Crysis Link
Crysis: Warhead Link
Dungeon Defenders Link You can choose Steam or GameSpy for multiplayer before launching game.
F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin Link
FlatOut 2 Link
Hunted: The Demon's Forge Link
Legendary Link
Lost Planet 3 Link
Medieval II: Total War Link Includes Kingdoms expansion.
Men of War Link
Men of War: Assault Squad Link
Men of War: Condemned Heroes Link
Men of War: Vietnam Link
Rome: Total War: Gold Link Includes Alexander expansion.
Saints Row 2 Link
The Scourge Project: Episode 1 and 2 (store page unavailable) Link
Sid Meier's Civilization IV Link Includes Warlords and Beyond the Sword expansions. Will migrate to Steamworks after GameSpy's closure (also applies to all expansions) (at least Steam version).[7]
Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization Link
SpellForce – Platinum Edition Link
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat Link
Star Wars: Battlefront II Link
Titan Quest Link Includes Immortal Throne expansion.
Unreal Tournament 3 Black Link
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War - Game of the Year Edition Link 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).
Disadvantage WARNING: Games for Windows - LIVE is rumored to be shutting down on July 1, 2014. If this occurs, some games might be unplayable.

From GFWL to Steamworks[edit]

Information These games are confirmed be in the process of migrating to Steamworks or have already been migrated.
Name Store Page Notes
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition Link 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 Link 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 Link Steamworks migration confirmed for the future (might not be ready until 2014).[12]
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Link Games for Windows Live replaced by Steamworks in update.[13]
Toy Soldiers Link Can choose between GFWL and Steamworks. GFWL version is still included but can be completely ignored.

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 Store Page Notes
Age of Empires Online (store page unavailable) Link Requires constant connection. Does not support local profiles. The game will become unplayable on July 1, 2014.[14]
Batman: Arkham City (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Link ZDPP Title. Non-GOTY owners get GOTY version for free[11] which has Steamworks DRM instead of SecuROM and GFWL.[10]
Blacklight: Tango Down Link
Bulletstorm (store page unavailable) Link ZDPP Title; does not support local profiles but can be played offline.
Colin McRae's DiRT 2 (store page unavailable) Link
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Link
Dead Rising 2 Link ZDPP Title
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Link ZDPP Title
DiRT 3 Link
F1 2010 Link
F1 2011 Link
Fable III (store page unavailable) Link
Gotham City Impostors (non-Free To Play) (store page unavailable) Link
Iron Brigade Link
Lost Planet 2 Link ZDPP Title
Microsoft Flight (store page unavailable) Link Steam version doesn't work; use Games for Windows Marketplace version with same Microsoft account in-game.[15]
Mortal Kombat Kollection Link
Ms. Splosion Man Link
Operation Flashpoint: Red River Link
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Link
Section 8 Link
Section 8: Prejudice Link
Street Fighter X Tekken Link
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Link Ultra Street Fighter IV uses Steamworks but it is not known whether the Windows Arcade Edition can be upgraded.
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends Link
Toy Soldiers Link Can choose between GFWL and Steamworks. GFWL version is still included but can be completely ignored.
Virtua Tennis 4 Link

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 Store Page Notes
Batman: Arkham Asylum (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Link 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 Link
The Club (store page unavailable) Link
Fallout 3 Link Includes All Five DLC Packs. Single-player only, can be completely ignored (no profile/activation needed). Can be disabled by running the game with the modding tool FOSE (you do not need to install a mod that actually uses it).
FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage Link
FUEL (store page unavailable) Link
Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition Link
Grand Theft Auto IV Link
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Link
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights (store page unavailable) Link
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men Link
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition Link 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) Link
Red Faction Guerrilla Link
Resident Evil 5 Link
Star Wars: The Clone Wars – Republic Heroes Link
Stormrise (store page unavailable) Link
Street Fighter IV Link
Universe at War: Earth Assault (store page unavailable) Link
Vancouver 2010 (store page unavailable) Link
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II Link
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising Link

Kalypso Launcher[edit]

Advantage You can install and play these games without any kind of internet connection (see About Kalypso Launcher).[16]
Name Store Page Notes
Airline Tycoon 2 Link
Anna - Extended Edition Link
DARK Link
Demonicon Link Login prompts can be cancelled to play the game without an account.[17][18]
Disciples III: Resurrection Link
DUNGEONS - Steam Special Edition Link
Dungeons - The Dark Lord Link
The First Templar - Steam Special Edition Link
Omerta - City of Gangsters Link
Patrician 4 - Steam Special Edition Link
Pole Position 2012 Link
Rise of Venice Link
Tropico 4: Steam Special Edition Link

ManiaPlanet[edit]

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

Rockstar Social Club[edit]

Information About Rockstar Social Club.
Disadvantage Excluded from Family Sharing.
Name Store Page Notes
Grand Theft Auto IV Link
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Link
Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition Link
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition Link Used for online/community features only.
Max Payne 3 Link

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 Store Page Notes
Demigod Link After registration, game is de facto DRM free.
Fallen Enchantress Link After registration, game is de facto DRM free.
Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes Link
Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition Link 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 Link
Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion Link
Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity Link 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 Store Page Notes
Anno 2070 Link
Assassin's Creed 2 Link
Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood Link Offline mode available without registering/updating the game. Use parameter -playoffline.
Assassin's Creed: Revelations Link
Assassin's Creed III Link
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Link
Assassin's Creed Liberation HD Link
Call of Juarez: The Cartel Link It's both Steamworks and Uplay title. Uplay requirement is not put in Store page, but you need it for launch and its achievements.
Driver: San Francisco Link
Far Cry 3 Link
Far Cry 3 - Blood Dragon Link
Flashback Link
From Dust Link 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 Link Required for activation and online features.

Includes Pirates of the Savage Sea Adventure Pack and Danse Macabre Adventure Pack expansions.

Might & Magic Heroes VI: Shades of Darkness Link
Might & Magic X - Legacy Link
Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands Link
Rayman Legends Link
Rocksmith 2014 Link
R.U.S.E. Link 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 Link Can now be played in offline mode.[19]
Silent Hunter 5 Link
Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier Link
Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. 2 Link Can now be played in offline mode.[19]
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist Link Requires Uplay in online mode for save and load features to function.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Conviction Link
Trials Evolution: Gold Edition Link
Watch Dogs Link

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 Store Page Notes
AirBuccaneers Link You need AirBuccaneers account to play game. More info here.
Airline Tycoon 2 Link Account and log-in required to play (single-player included).
APOX Link Proprietary server connection. There is no authentication, but a constant Internet connection is required for anything other than campaign, skirmish and tutorial.
AudioSurf Link Account required for leaderboard feature.
Battle Worlds: Kronos Link Online play requires a King Art account.
Crysis 2 (store page unavailable) Link Online play requires a MyCrysis account.
Crysis 2 - Maximum Edition Link Online play requires a MyCrysis account.
Darkfall Unholy Wars Link 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 Link Must activate key with a 9heads Account and log in every time to play.[20][21]
Dawn of Fantasy: Kingdoms Wars Link This game is MMORTS so you need to open a separate account.
Defiance Link This game is MMO and you need to open Trion Worlds account.
Delta Force: Xtreme 2 Link Must create an account and "activate"; through the game to play.
Final Fantasy VII Link Uses Square Enix online store for activation. You must create a Square Enix account and log in before you can play.
Final Fantasy VIII Link Uses Square Enix online store for activation. You must create a Square Enix account and log in before you can play.
Frozen Synapse Link Must create an account and "activate" through the game for online features.
Galaxy on Fire 2: Full HD Link Must be online via Steam when starting game. More here.
Ironclad Tactics Link Tries to connect to a server even for single player; can be overridden by setting "force offline mode" in options.[22]
Interstellar Marines Link You can optionally open an account at interstellarmarines.com for connecting your Steam account and your Interstellar Marines website account.
Leviathan: Warships Link Multiplayer requires the creation of an account which is handled by Paradox servers.
Metal Drift Link 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 Link Requires a Uplay account but does not use the Uplay client.[23]
Plain Sight Link Activation through Beatnik servers, requires log-in to play.
Pro Evolution Soccer 2013 Link 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.
Resident Evil 6 Link You can optionally open an account at Resident Evil.net for additional features.
Resident Evil: Revelations Link You can optionally open an account at Resident Evil.net for additional features.
Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition Link Must activate game by making a Rise of Flight account (internet connection required); see step-by-step instructions.[24]
Rise of the Triad Link Multiplayer requires the creation of an account on the ROTT Multiplayer network.
Saints Row: The Third Link THQ account required for community features.
Sang-Froid - Tales of Werewolves Link Must be online via Steam when starting game. Developers claim it's bug, but it's not fixed. Discussion here.
Starlight Inception Link Must be online via Steam when starting the game. Developers say this will be removed in a future update.[25]
Stellar Impact Link You need an account to play game.
Torchlight II Link Runic account is needed for online play. More info here.
Trackmania Nations Forever Link Trackmania account required for online features.
Trackmania United Forever Link Trackmania account required for online features.
Turba Link Account required for leaderboards.
Victory: The Age of Racing Link Requires an account on the developer's site. Requires a constant internet connection for all game modes.[26]
Wargame: European Escalation Link 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 Link 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 Link 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 Store Page Notes
Age of Booty Link Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[27]
Alone in the Dark Link Activation limit is not known.[28]
Batman: Arkham Asylum (non-GOTY) (store page unavailable) Link 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) Link 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) Link 5 machine limit
Blood Bowl: Legendary Edition Link 5 machine limit
Borderlands DLC Pack (store page unavailable) Link Used for 2 of the 4 included DLC packs (shown below).
Borderlands: Game of the Year Link Used for 2 of the 4 included DLC packs (shown below).
Borderlands: The Zombie Island of Dr. Ned Link 5 machine limit
Borderlands: Mad Moxxi's Underdome Riot Link 5 machine limit
Cities XL 2011 Link 5 machine limit
Colin McRae DiRT 2 Link Used for CD check only.
Crysis Link 50 machine limit
Crysis Warhead Link 50 machine limit
Dark Void Link Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[27]
Dark Void Zero Link Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[27] Store page has not been updated.
DiRT 3 Link Activation limit unknown
Fable III (store page unavailable) Link 5 activations per month
Flock! Link Machine limit is raised from 5 to 20 according to the developer.[27]
FUEL Link Unlimited activations
Grand Theft Auto IV: Complete Edition Link Used in GTA IV and its expansions as noted below.
Grand Theft Auto IV Link Unlimited activations
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Link 15 machine limit
Major League Baseball 2K9 Link Used for CD check only.
Mass Effect Link Found on the DLC installers only, SecuROM removable post-installation. 3 machine limit.
Medal of Honor Link Single-player portion only, 5 machine limit, 1 activation added every 60 days.
Neopets Puzzle Adventure (store page unavailable) Link 5 machine limit
The Sims Medieval Link 5 machine limit using new "Content Protection" by "Sony DADC Austria AG".[29]
Test Drive Unlimited 2 Link 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 Store Page Notes
DCS A-10C Warthog Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Black Shark 2 Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Combined Arms Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Mi-8 MTV2 Magnificent Eight Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS P-51D Mustang Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS UH-1H Huey Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS Flaming Cliffs 3 Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
A-10A DCS Flaming Cliffs Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
Su-25 DCS Flaming Cliffs Link 10 machine activation limit. 10 deactivations. After no activations remain, 1 more is generated in a month.
DCS World Link 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 Store Page Notes
Disciples III - Reincarnation Link 5 machine limit
Postal 3 Link 2 machine limit
Pro Cycling Manager 2012 Link 5 machine limit
Pro Cycling Manager 2013 Link 5 machine limit

TAGES/SolidShield[edit]

TAGES[edit]

Information TAGES does not support revoking activations;[30] activations automatically regenerate on a timer, usually one every 30 days.
Information Use TagesSetup to remove the TAGES drivers from your computer.
Name Store Page Notes
Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery (not available for purchase) Link 3 machine limit. Activation removed in patch 1.1 for retail.
Anno 1404/Dawn of Discovery: Venice Expansion (not available for purchase) Link 3 machine limit
The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena (store page unavailable) Link 3 machine limit, 1 activation added back every 30 days.
nail'd Link 3 machine limit, 1 activation added back every 30 days. 5 revocations allowed per month.
James Cameron's Avatar: The Game (store page unavailable) Link 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 Store Page Notes
A Game of Thrones – Genesis Link 5 machine limit
Anno 2070 Link 3 machine limit.[31][32]
Crysis 2 (store page unavailable) Link 5 machine limit. Maximum Edition does not have SolidShield.
Dead Space 2 Link 5 machine limit
Shift 2 Unleashed Link 5 machine limit

Other Hardware-based DRM[edit]

Name Store Page Notes
3SwitcheD Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown. DRM has reportedly made the game unplayable for some players.[33]
ARMA III Link DEGRADE (ex-FADE) is an invisible, ingame, check of CD key. No activation limit.
Chicken Shoot Gold Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Doom Rails Link Themida. 5 machine limit.
Dream Pinball 3D Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Earth 2150 Trilogy Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Earth 2160 Link 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) Link Uniloc, 5 machine limit
Gatling Gears Link EA Access. 5 activation limit per 24 hours.
Heli Heroes Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
Iron Sky: Invasion Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
KnightShift Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown.
L.A. Noire: The Complete Edition Link GameShield Ironwrap & Patcher. Machine limit explicitly not available per Rockstar policy, but is likely unlimited on Steam.[34]
Max Payne 3 Link GameShield Ironwrap & Patcher. Machine limit explicitly not available per Rockstar policy.
Monster Trucks Nitro Link Activated through RedLynx servers. Activation limit exists, but is unknown and can be reset.[35]
Spectromancer Link Proprietary activation method though CD key. 5 machine limit. To reset your activation limit, contact support here.
Two Worlds Epic Edition Link Proprietary activation limit (Reality Pump), limit unknown. If limit is reached, contact support.
Two Worlds II Link Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 3 machine limit
Two Worlds II Castle Defense Link Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 3 machine limit
World War II: Panzer Claws Link Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 5 machine activation limit
World War III: Black Gold Link Proprietary "Aktivierung" system (Reality Pump), 5 machine activation limit
X-Blades Link 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 Store Page Notes
Arcania: Gothic 4 Link SecuROM. Installs files that can be safely removed without the Removal Tool.[36]
Batman: Arkham Asylum Game of the Year Edition Link SecuROM patched out of main executable; SecuROM paul.dll remains but does nothing and the game still works if it is deleted.[37]
Borderlands Link 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) Link
Crysis Warhead Link Crysis Wars is inert. Crysis Warhead itself is still active.
Dead Space Link
Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Link SecuROM 7 on single player executable.[38] Appears to be inactive.[39]
Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga (store page unavailable) Link 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.[40]
Dungeons and Dragons: Daggerdale Link
Far Cry 2: Fortune's Edition Link SecuROM removed in 1.03 update despite store page's notes, but some files still remain.
F.E.A.R. Link SecuROM is activated on launching (the now defunct) multiplayer. The singleplayer parts of the game contain no third party DRM.
Gothic II: Gold Edition Link
Hospital Tycoon Link
Kohan: Ahriman's Gift Link
Legendary Link 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 Link
The Misadventures of P.B. Winterbottom Link
Overlord Link
SpellForce – Platinum Edition Link
Star Wars Republic Commando Link
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings Link 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 Store Page Notes
Still Life Link StarForce
Syberia Link StarForce
Syberia 2 Link StarForce

TAGES/SolidShield[edit]

Name Store Page Notes
Gothic 3 Link SolidShield
Jack Keane Link SolidShield
Risen Link TAGES. Delete TAGES files in Redist and bin subfolders to prevent installation.[41] Use TagesSetup to remove if already installed.
Silverfall Complete Link TAGES
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Clear Sky Link TAGES

Other Inert DRM[edit]

Name Store Page Notes
Alpha Protocol Link 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 Store Page 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 Link Games for Windows - LIVE removed in April 1, 2014 update.[8]
Angry Birds Space Link Proprietary activation system on the Angry Birds shop and retail.
Anomaly: Warzone Earth Link SecuROM on GamersGate.
ARMA: Combat Operations Link SecuROM removed via patch. Game is DRM free.
ARMA II Link SecuROM and FADE removed via patch. Game is DRM free.
ARMA II: Operation Arrowhead Link SecuROM removed via patch. Game is DRM free.
Assassin's Creed Brotherhood Link SolidShield on other digital distributors.
Batman: Arkham City 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.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Link SecuROM or disc check on retail. SecuROM removed from Steam version in patch 522175.
Bionic Commando Link SecuROM on retail.
Bionic Commando: Rearmed Link 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 Link SecuROM and GFWL removed on October 3, 2013.[9]
Blade Kitten Link SecuROM on retail.
Brothers In Arms: Road to Hill 30 Link StarForce on retail.
Brothers In Arms: Earned in Blood Link StarForce on retail.
Brothers In Arms: Hell's Highway Link SecuROM on retail.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Link SecuROM on retail, removed from the Steam version via patch.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising Link SecuROM on retail.
Company of Heroes Link 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 Link 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 Link There is no more Relic account from 7th May as CoH series completely moved to Steamworks because of SEGA's purchase of Relic.
Confrontation Link ACTControl is removed. There is still key for online play.[42]
Crysis 2 - Maximum Edition Link SolidShield on original Crysis 2 release and on Origin. The Steam version of the game contains Steam's "stub" form of DRM. It is not DRM-free.[43]
Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut Link SecuROM on GamersGate version; Steam version has only Steam DRM.[44]
Deus Ex: Invisible War Link SecuROM disc check on retail. SecuROM\Locale registry subfolder is a harmless error remnant; no SecuROM data is written.[45]
Dragon Age II (store page unavailable) Link SecuROM on retail.
Divinity II: Developer's Cut Link Game is DRM free. Free upgrade for owners of Divinity II: Ego Draconis or Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga.[40]
Dreamfall: The Longest Journey Link StarForce removed via patch.
Game of Thrones Link ACTControl on other digital versions.[46][47]
Grand Theft Auto III Link SecuROM on other digital versions.[48]
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Link SecuROM on retail and other digital versions.[48]
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Link SecuROM on retail and other digital versions.[49]
Grotesque Tactics: Evil Heroes Link SecuROM on retail.
GT Legends Link StarForce on retail. Relaunched Simbin digital version (Steam exclusive) is DRM free.
GTR – FIA GT Racing Game Link StarForce on retail. Relaunched Simbin digital version (Steam exclusive) is DRM free.
GTR 2 – FIA GT Racing Game Link SecuROM on retail. Relaunched Simbin digital version (Steam exclusive) is DRM free.
Hamilton's Great Adventure Link SecuROM on GamersGate.
Heroes of Might & Magic V Link SecuROM on retail, but was removed with the last patch. TAGES on GamersGate.
Heroes of Might & Magic V: Hammers of Fate Link SecuROM on retail. TAGES on GamersGate.
Hitman: Blood Money Link SecuROM on retail and GamersGate.
IL-2 Sturmovik: Cliffs of Dover Link SolidShield removed via patch.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Link 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 Link SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
King's Bounty: Crossworlds Link StarForce on retail and some other digital distributors.
King's Bounty: The Legend Link StarForce or SecuROM on retail (depends on market).
Medieval II: Total War Link Includes Kingdoms expansion. SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Men of War: Assault Squad Link SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Men of War: Condemned Heroes Link SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Men of War: Vietnam Link SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Manhunt Link SecuROM on retail and other digital distributors.
Miner Wars 2081 Link Always online requirement removed from single-player campaign.
Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit Link SolidShield on retail and Origin.
Neverwinter Nights 2 Platinum (store page unavailable) Link SecuROM removed in patch/hotfix 1.23.1765.
Of Orcs and Men Link ACTControl removed via patch.[50]
Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones Link StarForce on retail. TAGES on GamersGate.
Rayman Origins Link TAGES on other digital distributors. Steam and retail versions are DRM free.
Rig 'n' Roll Link StarForce on retail.
Rome: Total War: Gold Link Includes Alexander expansion. SecuROM on retail and some other digital distributors.
Sacred 2 Gold Link 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 Link TAGES on retail.
Secret Files 2: Puritas Cordis Link TAGES removed via patch.
Shank Link SolidShield removed via patch.
Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened – Remastered Link SolidShield removed via patch.
Sherlock Holmes versus Jack the Ripper Link TAGES removed via patch.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV Link Includes Warlords and Beyond the Sword expansions. SecuROM removed via patch. Retail version is DRM free.
Silent Hunter III Link StarForce on retail. TAGES on GamersGate.
The Sims 3 Link Includes all expansions (most recent: Showtime). SecuROM, disc check only on retail, 5 machine limit on other digital distributions.
Thief: Deadly Shadows Link SecuROM disc check on retail. SecuROM\Locale registry subfolder is a harmless error remnant; no SecuROM data is written.[45]
Spore Link SecuROM on retail.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Link SecuROM on retail.
The Testament of Sherlock Holmes Link ACTControl removed via patch.
Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory Link 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 Link SecuROM removed in patch 1.02a.
Trackmania Nations Forever Link StarForce removed in the "Forever" update.[51]
Trackmania United Forever Link StarForce removed in the "Forever" update.[51]
Wargame: European Escalation Link ACTControl removed via patch.[52]
Wings of Prey Link StarForce on retail, removed from Steam version via patch.
The Witcher: Enhanced Edition Director's Cut Link 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 Link TAGES removed from all versions in patch 2.5.[53][54]
Zeit² Link 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 Store Page Notes
A Valley Without Wind Link Requires included key to leave trial mode. Unlock process is done completely offline and installs nothing.[55]
A Valley Without Wind 2 Link Requires included key to leave trial mode. Unlock process is done completely offline and installs nothing.[55]

References

  1. Darkspore Forums • View topic - Darkspore Delist FAQ
  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. http://www.pcgamer.com/2014/04/10/old-battlefield-games-will-survive-the-gamespy-shutdown/
  7. 7.0 7.1 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. Blog | Age of Empires Online - The Rest of AOEO
  15. Marketplace close microsoft flight down? :: Microsoft Flight Support
  16. Kalypso Launcher: Information and FAQ (EN)
  17. When a fight starts the game hangs :: Demonicon General Discussions
  18. kalypso launcher? :: Demonicon General Discussions
  19. 19.0 19.1 Settlers 7 and Hawx 2 now playable in offline mode
  20. PROBLEM? CRASH? SOLUTIONS HERE! :: Damned General Discussions
  21. What kind of DRM is "9heads"? :: Damned General Discussions
  22. Anyone been able to play it? :: Ironclad Tactics General Discussions
  23. Beware of Uplay :: The Mighty Quest For Epic Loot General Discussion
  24. Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition on Steam - GUIDE :: Rise of Flight: Channel Battles Edition General Discussions
  25. Linux/Mac Support? :: Starlight Inception General Discussions
  26. Internet Required? :: Victory: The Age of Racing General Discussion
  27. 27.0 27.1 27.2 27.3 DRM! :: Dark Void Zero General Discussions
  28. which copy protection has this version ? :: Alone in the Dark General Discussions
  29. News - The Sims Medieval Update Released
  30. http://www.tagesprotection.com/activation.htm#revoke
  31. Twitter / UbisoftSupport: @LuckiestLion Yes, there is ...
  32. Solid Shield during Install + UPlay and Other Notes. :: Anno 2070 General Discussions
  33. 3SwitcheD won't start :: 3SwitcheD General Discussions
  34. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  35. Says I used my key on too many computers and will not work. - Steam Users' Forums
  36. Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM - Page 104 - Steam Users' Forums
  37. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  38. Why does steam not mention secuROM? :: Dark Messiah of Might & Magic Single Player General Discussions
  39. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  40. 40.0 40.1 Divinity 2: Developer's Cut and Anthology on Steam - Larian Studios forums
  41. Do this step before installing Risen :: Risen General Discussions
  42. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Unofficial List of Steam Games with DRM
  43. http://store.origin.com/store/eaapac/en_AU/pd/productID.248837800/sac.true
  44. Securom? Seriously guys? :: Deadly Premonition: The Director's Cut General Discussions
  45. 45.0 45.1 Help! Backing up my Steam backlog..., page 1 - Forum - GOG.com
  46. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Manual
  47. DRM... still intact? :: Game of Thrones General Discussions
  48. 48.0 48.1 Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - Do the games in the classic pack have SecuRom?
  49. Steam Users' Forums - View Single Post - San Andreas - Securom?
  50. 3rd Party DRM has been removed as of 7/2/13 :: Of Orcs And Men General Discussions
  51. 51.0 51.1 TrackMania#Copy protection system
  52. Wargame - Airland Battle • View topic - About DRM: No acpc.exe under my wargame ee folder ?
  53. egosoft.com :: View topic - X3: Terran Conflict 2.5 has arrived!
  54. Do the Steam versions of the X series of games have DRM? :: X3: Terran Conflict General Discussions
  55. 55.0 55.1 AVWW Buy