Games purchased through Steam
Valve games purchased online through Steam do not include or require a CD Key.
Third party games
CD Keys are issued with many third party games. In many cases, Steam will display your CD Key when you first launch your game. If your game launches and asks for a CD Key you do not have, please try the following:
- Right-click on the game in the Library tab and select View Game CD Key. This option is not available for all Steam games and a CD Key is not required for all games.
- Verify your GCF files. Follow the directions in the Verify Integrity of Game Cache section of the Verify Game Cache Files (GCF) article.
- For Windows Vista users, follow the directions under Try Running Steam as Administrator in the Windows Vista Troubleshooting article. Then, verify your GCF files again and test the issue.
- For Windows XP users, on rare occasions you may need to properly set registry permissions:
- Exit Steam.
- Go to the "Start" menu, select "Run", type "regedit" and click "OK".
- Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\VALVE
- Right click and select "Permissions"
- Check the boxes for "Admin" and "System" to "Full control" and "Read".
- Restart Steam and then verify your GCF files again.
Games purchased through a retail store
If your game did not come with a CD Key where there should be one printed, please see the Contacting Steam Billing and Support topic for instructions to contact Steam Support.