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PC Café and Site Licensing Program

Steam PC Café Program

The Steam PC Café Program allows licensees to offer Steam, SteamVR and select titles in their establishment(s). The program leverages a host of Steam tools that makes it easy for licensees to administer and manage the service. After successfully signing up, you will have access to hundreds of commercial game licenses through Steam; you will see what patrons are playing in your facility and use our content cache features to distribute game files across your LAN.

The program is suitable for any location that provides access to the Internet which includes but is not limited to Cybercafés, PC Bangs, retail shops, coffee shops, schools, libraries, hospitals, theaters, airplanes, cruise ships, buses, trains, subways, etc. They must also be registered as a non-profit, public institution, sole proprietorship, partnership, Limited Liability Company, corporation, or other organized group with a registration number. Click here for additional information about the specific program requirements.

Users of Steam within your facility will be able to log in to Steam with their own personal Steam accounts, download and access content that they personally own or is provided by your organization. This will provide your customers with the full Steam experience and allow them to use all Steam services including purchasing of content in-game items, collection of badges, achievements, game drops, trading cards, etc.

Program Details & Benefits

  • A license to offer Steam access to the public in your registered locations.
  • Access to purchase commercial licenses for content offered on Steam from participating developers/publishers.
  • Commercial license discounts and bulk purchase option.
  • Access to Steam PC Café Server software for every registered location. Inlcudes toolsets for user identification and license management.
  • Usage reporting so your organization can better manage the number of commercial licenses it needs to meet the needs of its location(s).
  • Content Cache in LAN for your PCs and visitors with personal laptops
  • Dynamic site license management based on concurrent usage. Licenses can be used on any PC that is permanently or temporarily connected to the licensee’s network.
  • Allows visitors of the location to connect their laptops to the network and its licensed content.

Support for Multiple Locations

If your organization operates from multiple locations you can identify each location during the registration process and share all of your Steam content across those sites. Steam handles the management of that content for you. All you do is run a local Steam PC Café Server at each location.

Understanding Your Customers

Steam provides analysis tools so you can see what games your users are playing. You can see if they are bringing in their own games or using the content that you provide. Additionally, you can:

  • See how long users are playing to better understand if they are just trying games out or are really interested in the content.
  • See how well utilized your content is to determine if you have enough license seats.
  • View when peak usage occurs and if users are denied access from lack of available licenses.

Requirements and Sign Up Instructions

If this is exactly what you're looking for, we recommend that you take a look at our license requirements page & sign up instructions.

Where do I find the commercial game licenses?


Commercial licenses can be found on the PC Café Games page on Steam. Here you can stay up to date with popular café titles, see what's being played in arcades around the world and access available special offers.

In order to view and purchase the commercial game licenses, you must be logged in with a Steam account that has previously signed the Steam PC Café Agreement. Commercial game licenses can then be found by visiting the game's individual store page - the license will be displayed right under the regular end user purchase option.

You can also search for commercial licenses in the Steam store by ticking the "commercial license" option under "Show selected types" or by clicking the link here.

Will I need to have a Steam account for each PC in my location?


Since you will be running a Steam PC Café Server to share your pool of commercial licenses, you do not need a Steam account for each PC. Instead you will need one commercial Steam account that you will use to sign up for the program and then one account for each Steam PC Café Server you will be running (generally one per physical location). We will require businesses to create a new Steam account specifically for commercial use. You will not be able to use your personal Steam account for these activities.

How will the pool of commercial licenses be handed out on my network?


When a customer visits your café they will go to the PC you assign them and login using their own personal Steam account. If they do not have a Steam account they will be able to create a Steam account while launching Steam. Once the customer is logged in they will see both the games they own and the games you are making available on their library screen. When they choose to play one of the games you are offering the Site License Server will notify the Steam backend service that a user is requesting a game license. When the user exits the game, the license will be returned to the site’s license pool for that game. Customers will be able to use site licenses for any given game until the number of licenses you own for that game are concurrently in use.

For example: Your café has 50 PCs available and you have 35 licenses of Left 4 Dead 2 in your license pool. Up to 35 customers will be able to play Left 4 Dead 2 concurrently on the PCs in your café. If a 36th customer comes into the café and wants to play Left 4 Dead 2 they will be presented with a message that there are no licenses available. If any of the 36 customers own a copy of Left 4 Dead 2 on their personal Steam account they will be able to play and that user will not pull a license from the location’s pool.

Will my location need to be online all the time?


Yes, the Steam PC Café Server and the clients need to be able to communicate with Steam for it to manage the licenses and allow users to play. We will not support “offline” mode within the program.

Will the pool of commercial licenses be usable across all the PCs in my location?


We will have no limit on the number of PCs that the pool of commercial licenses can be used across so as long they are all on the same network where the authorized Steam PC Café Server is located.

How do I set up the Steam PC Café Server?


Instructions on how to set up the Steam PC Café Server and frequently asked questions around it can be found here.

Can I purchase more than one commercial game license at a time and receive a bulk discount?


Commercial accounts will have access on Steam to purchase commercial copies of any game where the publisher is offering a commercial copy. During the purchase process you will be able to enter the quantity of the commercial game you wish to purchase and any applicable volume discounts will be applied at the time of purchase. Bulk discounts are set by the publisher of the game directly.

Am I required to purchase commercial copies of the games through Steam?


No, having a commercial account and agreeing to the commercial license provides the owner of the location with a license to use Valve's free-2-play games in the location. You are not required to purchase commercial copies of any other games through the site but only games purchased on the site or through an authorized re-seller will be usable with the Steam PC Café Server and added to your pool of licenses.

What if a customer brings their own laptop into my location?


If a user with a laptop comes into the location and you allow them to join the network running the Steam PC Café Server, then their laptop will also be able to access the games in your license pool. Any games they own on their personal Steam account will not count against your license pool.

Are all games on Steam available for commercial licensing?


No, only games where the publisher/developer has expressly included them in our PC Café program, whether they are available for free or with a charge. It is up to the publisher/developer to decide if they want to participate in the program and they are responsible for setting the commercial price. The regular Steam subscriptions are provided with a purely noncommercial, personal license (see our Steam Subscriber Agreement). This will not cover any kind of public use or making content available to third parties.

Does the program support locations configured with a central storage server to reduce Steam update traffic?


Yes, we support cafés that use either a central storage server or a remote mount configuration in their café. We understand the need to limit the amount of update traffic and have added features to the Steam and the PC Café Server to support these locations.

Can my commercial license be VAC banned?


VAC bans will be assigned to the account that was using the game at the time of the infraction. We highly recommend that the location owner discourages cheating as a high number of bans associated with accounts used in the location may result in removal from the licensing program.

Why can't I just let others access my own Steam games and account?


Regular Steam subscriptions are provided with a purely noncommercial, personal license (see our Subscriber Agreement). This will not cover any kind of public use or making content available to third parties. The Steam PC Café Program is designed to make it easy and affordable for you to allow your patrons access to all the great content and services that Steam has to offer.

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