Games for Windows - LIVE

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Games for Windows - LIVE
Games for Windows - LIVE cover
Developers
Microsoft
Release dates
Windows May 29, 2007
Games for Windows - LIVE at Wikipedia
Stores
Amazon
Battle.net
Bethesda.net
Discord
Epic Games Store
FireFlower Games
GamersGate
Games for Windows - LIVE
Gamesplanet
GOG.com
Green Man Gaming
Humble Store
Itch.io
Kartridge
Mac App Store
Microsoft Store
Oculus Store
Origin
Rockstar Games Launcher
Steam
Uplay
Viveport

Key points

Requires installation of the latest version to function on Windows 8 and later.
The Marketplace was closed on August 25, 2013 for new purchases; existing purchases can still be downloaded,[1] although the service is prone to outages.[2][3][4]
DRM varies; see the DRM section for details, or the list of games using GFWL. Some games have had it removed from certain versions, see the list of games formerly using GFWL. For a list of Steam games that use Games for Windows - LIVE, see The Big List of 3rd Party DRM on Steam.
Uses the same Microsoft account and gamertag across other Xbox services.
Only available in Xbox Live Countries and Regions; players outside these areas must use a local profile. Local profile support is listed beside the game when known.
Most games are region-locked on Steam, Latin America users cannot view or purchase these games.

Download[edit]

  1. Remove any existing versions of the GFWL Marketplace and LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Download and install the Games for Windows - LIVE software.

Games for Windows - LIVE[edit]

Creating a local profile[edit]

Local profiles don't need internet access.
Multiplayer, achievements, DLC downloading and in-game patching are unavailable (many games can be patched manually; refer to the individual game pages for details).
Local profiles can't be used for games that are multiplayer-only or always-online (e.g. Age of Empires Online).
Create local profile[citation needed]
  1. While in any game sign out of your existing profile (if you are signed in), then choose Create New Profile.
  2. Choose Create New Profile again.
  3. At the Create Gamer Profile screen, scroll down and click the "create a local profile" blue link.
  4. Name your profile and click Submit.
  5. Customize the profile now if you want to, then click Done to save your profile.

Backing up saves[edit]

Back up XLive folder[citation needed]
  1. Back up the game's normal save folder.
  2. Back up the XLive folder: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\XLive
  3. Restore everything to the same locations.

Moving saves between gamertags[edit]

If you rename your gamertag or switch to a different one your existing saves won't be shown in-game.[5]
Move saves to new gamertag
  1. Log into the game with your new gamertag and save the game to make the new folder, then exit the game.
  2. Go to the game's save folder, e.g. for Fallout 3 this is %USERPROFILE%\Documents\My Games\Fallout3\Saves\.
  3. Move everything from the old gamertag's folder to the new one, replacing all existing files.
  4. If it worked your saves will now show up in-game under the new gamertag.
Some games specifically block saves being moved between profiles so this may not work for all games.

Backing up installers[edit]

Installation files are normally deleted after installation is complete; you can back them up to avoid having to download them again.
Games reinstalled from backups will not show up as installed in the Marketplace client but will otherwise work normally.
You may also want to keep a copy of your game keys, accessible from the Marketplace client by going to the item and then choosing View Game Keys.
Backing up installers for games purchased through the Marketplace[citation needed]
  1. Download the game through the Marketplace client but do not install it yet.
  2. Go to the downloads folder, found in the following location by default:
    • Vista and later: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\GFWLive\Downloads
    • Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\GFWLive\Downloads
  3. Copy the installation files somewhere else then install the game normally if you wish.
  4. To reinstall the game from your backup extract the CAB file(s) and run the MSI inside.
Backing up patch update installers[citation needed]
  1. Allow the game to download the update in-game when prompted.
  2. Cancel the UAC prompt or installer window when it appears.
  3. Go to the updates folder, found in the following location by default:
    • Vista and later: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\XLive\Updates
    • Windows XP: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\XLive\Updates
  4. Copy the installation files somewhere else then allow the game to retry the update installation if you wish.
  5. To reinstall the update from your backup extract the CAB file(s) and run the EXE (or MSI if there is no EXE).

DRM[edit]

List of games using Games for Windows - LIVE.

There are two types of GFWL activation, Server-Side Activation (SSA) and Legacy (Per-Title 5x5). Both can also utilize Zero Day Piracy Protection (ZDPP) to prevent access to games before the release date. ZDPP protected titles are marked as such.

Server-Side Activation (SSA)[edit]

Server-Side Activation (SSA) include a unique product key with the game. The key is permanently bound to the Microsoft account, similar to Steam. These games have no activation limits.
If an SSA product key is bound to an account that is not in a supported region the key will be lost (and, consequently, access to the game).
Any game with Module Authentication (MA) disables the possibility of creating a local profile to play.

Legacy (Per-Title 5x5)[edit]

Simple product key check; requires internet access for online profile but does not attach the key to the Microsoft account.
Activation limit between 10-20 (usually 15) for online profiles; Microsoft support can help reset the limit but will not reset a second time and the game must be purchased again.

Zero Day Piracy Protection (ZDPP)[edit]

Zero Day Piracy Protection (ZDPP) is an additional DRM check used to prevent access to the game in retail copies before the release date. It relies on an online service to decrypt encrypted critical game files stored on the retail disc, and when the user tries to launch the game the Zero Day Piracy Protection Tool is launched instead. This tool connects and transmits the ID of the protected game to Microsoft's online ZDP service hosted at https://zdp.gamesforwindows.com/Zdp/Zdp.svc/. The online service looks up the release date for the requested game ID and validates if the date have passed. If so the service will respond with the decryption codes for the protected files which the local tool will use to decrypt the encrypted files, allowing the game to be played.

Issues unresolved[edit]

If you still have any issues with GFWL, use XLiveLess

Issues fixed[edit]

Crashes, errors, impossible to log-in[edit]

Reinstall updated client[citation needed]
  1. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace.
  3. Reinstall latest version.

Corrupted file error during ZDPP check[edit]

""Games for Windows – LIVE has encountered a corrupted file"
Run Zdp.exe[6]
  1. Go to the game's installation folder.
  2. Go into the Zdp folder.
  3. Run Zdp.exe.

Games not saving under Windows 8/8.1/10[edit]

Uninstall & reinstall client with Windows 7 compatibility and as Admin[7]
  1. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows – LIVE Redistributable.
  2. Uninstall Microsoft Games for Windows Marketplace.
  3. Reboot Windows.
  4. Download the latest version of the Games for Windows Marketplace Client installer.
  5. Right-click the above installer, go to Properties and click the Compatibility tab. Tick the "Run this program in compatibility mode for:" box and select “Windows 7”. Also tick the "Run this program as an administrator" box. Click Apply and then OK.
  6. Now run the installer.
  7. Once installed run your GFWL game and retrieve your Gamertag profile if necessary.

Sign-in problems[edit]

In-game interface does not open[edit]

Reinstall client[citation needed]
Make sure you logged in the desktop client at least once[citation needed]
  1. Open start menu/screen
  2. Search for Games for Windows
  3. Open the client and log in there
Install the Sign-in Assistant[citation needed]
These steps do not apply to Windows 8 and later.
  1. Install the Sign-in Assistant:
  2. Launch the game again and the interface should now open normally.

Notes

Fails to install if Windows Update service is disabled[citation needed]
Ensure Sign-in Assistant service is running[citation needed]
If the Sign-in Assistant is installed but not working the service might not be running.
These steps do not apply to Windows 8 and later.
  1. Go to Services:
    • Vista and 7: open the Start screen/Start menu, type services.msc and press Enter.
    • Windows XP: press Win+R, type services.msc and press Enter.
  2. Open the Windows Live ID Sign-in Assistant entry on the list.
  3. Ensure Startup type is set to Automatic.
  4. If the service is Stopped, click Start and wait until the Service status says Started.
  5. Close the Services windows and try again.

Code: 8015403A error[edit]

Try to log in website[citation needed]

Code: 80048821 error[edit]

If two-factor authentication is enabled, create a new app password[8]
Try "Sign in with a different gamertag" in the Windows Live ID dropdown menu[citation needed]

Password contains special characters[edit]

Passwords need to be under 16 ASCII characters[9][10]
Change incompatible password[citation needed]
  1. Go to https://account.live.com/Password/Change
  2. Set a new password that is 16 characters or less and has only ASCII characters.
  3. Try signing in with your new password.

Cannot connect in-game[edit]

Your Microsoft account might be able to log into other Microsoft services but not GfWL.

Attempt workarounds[citation needed]
  • "Sign in as a different user", then re-enter the same account credentials.
    1. Open an administrator-level command prompt.
    2. Enter netsh.exe interface ipv4 show interfaces and note the number it returns.
    3. Identify your Local Area Connection, then type in netsh interface ipv4 set subinterface 10 mtu=1492 store=persistent
      Replace "10" with the value for your Local Area Connection from the first command's results. This may need to be run every time you want to play the game.
This problem arises because GFWL tries to alter your network connection's MTU before using it.

DNS lookup failed to locate the LIVE servers[edit]

"Can't connect to LIVE. A DNS lookup failed to locate the LIVE servers."
These instructions are written with Windows 10 in mind but are probably largely the same for Win 7/8/8.1
Flush all DNS entries in cache & change default DNS servers to OpenDNS servers[11]

Flush the DNS entries from your DNS cache

  1. Press Windows key + X. Select 'Command Prompt (Admin)'.
  2. Type the following:- ipconfig /flushdns
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Type:- exit then press Enter to close the command prompt window.

Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers

  1. Open the Control Panel (press Start key and type control panel to find it).
  2. Under the 'Network and Internet' header click 'View network status and tasks'.
  3. Select the current network used for your internet connection (eg 'Ethernet' or 'Wifi 1'), right-click and select 'Properties' from the context menu.
  4. Select 'Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4)' from the 'This connection uses the following items' box. Click 'Properties' button.
  5. Click the checkbox labelled 'Use the following DNS server addresses:'
  6. In the 'Preferred DNS server:' box type or copy-paste in 208.67.222.222.
  7. In the 'Alternative DNS server:' box type or copy-paste in 208.67.220.220.
  8. Click 'OK' and then click 'Close' for internet connection's Properties window.
  9. Sign out of your Windows log-in or restart your PC for changes to take affect.

List of games using Games for Windows - LIVE[edit]

Server-Side Activation (SSA) titles

This section is automated; refer to the individual game pages to add or update entries.
Game Developer Publisher First release Local profile ZDPP
AFL Live Big Ant Studios Tru Blu Games 6 June 2012
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition Project Aces Bandai Namco Entertainment 25 January 2013
Age of Empires Online Robot Entertainment, Wargaming Seattle Xbox Game Studios 16 August 2011
Battle vs. Chess Targem Games TopWare Interactive 17 May 2011
Blacklight: Tango Down Zombie Studios UTV Ignition Entertainment 14 July 2010
Bulletstorm People Can Fly, Epic Games Electronic Arts 22 February 2011
CarneyVale: Showtime Singapore-MIT GAMBIT Game Lab Microsoft Game Studios 11 November 2010
Colin McRae: DiRT 2 Codemasters Codemasters, Feral Interactive 1 December 2009
Crash Time 4: The Syndicate Synetic DTP Entertainment 23 December 2010
Dead Rising 2 Capcom Vancouver Capcom 28 September 2010
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Capcom Vancouver Capcom 11 October 2011
DiRT 3 Codemasters Codemasters, Feral Interactive 24 May 2011
F1 2010 Codemasters Birmingham Codemasters 22 September 2010
F1 2011 Codemasters Birmingham Codemasters 20 September 2011
Fable III Lionhead Studios Xbox Game Studios 17 May 2011
Game Room Krome Studios Microsoft Game Studios 24 March 2010
Gotham City Impostors Monolith Productions Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment 7 February 2012
Lost Planet 2 Capcom 12 October 2010
Microsoft Flight The Coalition Xbox Game Studios 29 February 2012
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection Other Ocean Interactive Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment 1 February 2012
Ms. Splosion Man Twisted Pixel Games Xbox Game Studios 3 April 2013
Operation Flashpoint: Red River Codemasters 21 April 2011
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Slant Six Games Capcom 18 May 2012
Rugby League Live Big Ant Studios Tru Blu Games 11 February 2011
Section 8 TimeGate Studios SouthPeak Games 4 September 2009
Section 8: Prejudice TimeGate Studios 4 May 2011
Street Fighter X Tekken Dimps, Capcom Capcom 11 May 2012
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Capcom, Dimps Capcom 5 July 2011
Test Drive: Ferrari Racing Legends Slightly Mad Studios Evolved Games, Rombax Games 10 December 2012
Toy Soldiers Signal Studios Xbox Game Studios 27 April 2012
Tron: Evolution Propaganda Games Disney Interactive Studios 26 November 2010
Virtua Tennis 4 Sega Sega 24 June 2011

Legacy (Per-Title 5x5) titles

This section is automated; refer to the individual game pages to add or update entries.
Game Developer Publisher First release Local profile ZDPP
007: Quantum of Solace Treyarch Activision 31 October 2008
Batman: Arkham Asylum Rocksteady Studios Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Feral Interactive, Eidos Interactive 15 September 2009
Battlestations: Pacific Eidos Hungary Eidos Interactive, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, Square Enix, Feral Interactive 12 May 2009
BioShock 2 2K Marin, 2K China, 2K Australia, Iron Galaxy Studios, Digital Extremes 2K Games, Feral Interactive 9 February 2010
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Arc System Works H2 Interactive 20 August 2010
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition From Software Bandai Namco Entertainment 23 August 2012
Fallout 3 Bethesda Game Studios Bethesda Softworks 28 October 2008
FlatOut: Ultimate Carnage Bugbear Entertainment Empire Interactive, Strategy First 1 August 2008
Fuel Asobo Studio Codemasters, Noviy Disk 5 July 2009
Gears of War Epic Games Microsoft Game Studios 6 November 2007
Grand Theft Auto IV Rockstar North Rockstar Games 2 December 2008
Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City Rockstar North Rockstar Games 13 April 2010
Halo 2 Bungie, Pi Studios Xbox Game Studios 17 May 2007
Hour of Victory N-Fusion Interactive Midway Games 1 June 2007
Juiced 2: Hot Import Nights THQ Digital Studios UK THQ 16 November 2007
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men IO Interactive Eidos Interactive, Spike Chunsoft 13 November 2007
Legend of the Galactic Heroes Microvision Bandai Namco Entertainment 16 October 2008
Lost Planet: Extreme Condition Colonies Edition Capcom 27 May 2008
Red Faction: Guerrilla Deep Silver Volition, THQ Nordic THQ, THQ Nordic 15 September 2009
Resident Evil 5 Capcom Capcom 17 September 2009
Shadowrun FASA Interactive Xbox Game Studios 29 May 2007
Star Wars: The Clone Wars - Republic Heroes Krome Studios LucasArts, Disney Interactive Studios, 1C Company 6 October 2009
Stormrise Creative Assembly Sega 29 March 2009
Street Fighter IV Capcom, Dimps 3 July 2009
The Club Bizarre Creations Sega 7 February 2008
Universe at War: Earth Assault Petroglyph Games Sega 10 December 2007
Vancouver 2010 Eurocom Sega 18 February 2010
Viva Piñata Rare Microsoft Game Studios 6 November 2007

Games for Windows Marketplace releases[edit]

These games only had Games for Windows - LIVE when purchased from the Games for Windows Marketplace.
These versions are no longer available for sale following the Marketplace's closure on August 25, 2013 for new purchases.[1]

Server-Side Activation (SSA) titles

Game Developer Publisher First release Local profile ZDPP
Dark Void Airtight Games Capcom January 19, 2010
Mahjong Wisdom Creat Studios TikGames March 7, 2007
Tinker Fuel Industries Microsoft September 23, 2008
Where's Waldo? The Fantastic Journey Ludia Microsoft Game Studios September 22, 2009

Legacy (Per-Title 5x5) titles

Game Developer Publisher First release Local profile ZDPP
Osmos Hemisphere Games August 17, 2009
World of Goo 2D Boy October 13, 2008

List of games formerly using Games for Windows - LIVE[edit]

These games have had Games for Windows - LIVE removed from certain versions in favour of Steam or other services.
Name Notes
Ace Combat: Assault Horizon - Enhanced Edition‎ Steam version migrated to Steamworks. Retail product keys activate on Steam.[12]
Batman: Arkham Asylum GFWL and SecuROM removed from Steam version. All product keys activate on Steam. Non-GOTY keys are upgraded to GOTY version.[13]
Batman: Arkham City GFWL and SecuROM removed from Steam version. All product keys activate on Steam. Non-GOTY keys are upgraded to GOTY version.[13]
BioShock 2 Steam version migrated to Steamworks. All product keys activate on Steam.[14]
BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger Re-released without GFWL. The original version cannot be upgraded.
Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition Steam version migrated to Steamworks on February 16, 2015. All product keys activate on Steam.[15]
Dead Rising 2 Steam version migrated to Steamworks on March 17, 2015.[16] Retail product keys activate on Steam.[17]
Dead Rising 2: Off the Record Steam version migrated to Steamworks on March 17, 2015.[16] Retail product keys activate on Steam.[17]
DiRT 3 Steam version owners received DiRT 3 Complete Edition which does not use GFWL. Retail product keys activate on Steam.[18]
Gotham City Impostors Free to Play version does not use GFWL.
Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Steam version migrated to Steamworks. GFWL removed.[19]
Iron Brigade GFWL was removed in the Steam Matchmaking update.[20]
Ms. Splosion Man Steam version migrated to Steamworks on June 20, 2014.[21] Other versions are not affected. GFWL can be accessed if still desired[22]
Red Faction: Guerrilla Steam version migrated to Steamworks.[23]
Resident Evil 5 Steam version migrated to Steamworks. Retail product keys activate on Steam.[24]
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition Steam version migrated to Steamworks.[25] GFWL saves can be optionally imported. All product keys activate on Steam.
Toy Soldiers Steam version gives choice of GFWL or Steamworks (saves and achievements are separate for each). GFWL completely optional.[26]
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II GFWL has been removed.[27] All achievements that require matchmaking are discontinued.
Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising GFWL has been removed.[28] All achievements that require matchmaking are discontinued.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Wayback Machine: PC Marketplace closing | PC Marketplace - Xbox.com
  2. NeoGAF - Games for Windows Live purchases no longer downloadable from client [Edit: Fixed] - last accessed on 2018-02-26
  3. Microsoft Community - GFWL keeps saying there was an error retrieving your purchase history. please sign out and try again later. - last accessed on 2018-02-26
  4. Steam Community - There was an error retrieving your purchase history - last accessed on 2018-02-26
  5. PSA: If you change your Windows Live gamer tag name, all of your GFWL save games will disappear.
  6. Fix: Dark Souls Prepare to Die Games for Windows Live Zero Day Protection not unlocking | Screened by Slimm
  7. How to fix Games for Windows Live on Windows 8 Pro x64 (And Windows 10 too!)
  8. Games For Windows live marketplace Code: 80048821 - Microsoft Community
  9. Microsoft No Longer Accepts Long Passwords, Shortens Them For You | The Next Web
  10. security - Is it true that Microsoft doesn't allow more than 16 characters in their Hotmail password? - Web Applications Stack Exchange
  11. DNS lookup failed? I have no idea what this is or how to fix it. What do I do?
  12. Ace Combat Assault Horizon enhanced Edition title Update - Game for Windows Live functionalities replaced by Steamworks funtionalities. - Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: ACE COMBAT™ ASSAULT HORIZON Enhanced Edition
  13. 13.0 13.1 Important Batman Arkham Announcement - Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Batman: Arkham City GOTY
  14. News - BioShock 2 Updated
  15. HOW TO: Replace Games for Windows Live functionality with Steamworks functionality in Dark Souls™ Prepare To Die Edition for PC :: Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition General Discussions
  16. 16.0 16.1 Dead Rising 2 and Off the Record now on Steam, on sale - Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Dead Rising 2
  17. 17.0 17.1 Steamworks Migration / Troubleshooting FAQ (Updated!) :: Dead Rising 2 General Discussions
  18. DiRT 3 Complete Edition - Now Available With 100% Less GFWL
  19. Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet Goes GFWL-Free with New Indie Bundle
  20. Update: GFWL Gone, progress wiped :: Iron Brigade General Discussions
  21. Steamworks update! - Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Ms. Splosion Man
  22. https://steamcommunity.com/app/105420/discussions/0/522729358512938354/#c45350244936638030
  23. Red Faction Guerrilla Steam Edition LIVE - Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Red Faction: Guerrilla Steam Edition
  24. "Gold Edition" Content Now Available! - Steam Community :: Group Announcements :: Resident Evil 5 / Biohazard 5
  25. Just Updated with Steamworks - Super Street Fighter® IV Arcade Edition, 75% off!
  26. News - Toy Soldiers Product Update
  27. Dawn of War II Patch Notes and Updates :: Warhammer® 40,000™: Dawn of War® II General Discussions
  28. Dawn of War II - Chaos Rising Patch Notes/Updates :: Warhammer® 40,000™: Dawn of War® II - Chaos Rising™ General Discussions