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Advanced Steam Components

Steam is a digital content management system that provides content delivery, component revision control and data security to developers of such content. Steam is embedded within a Steam-enabled application giving it a virtual file system from which it can obtain "resources" (not files) from a local cache, CD, or the Internet.


Files and variables used by Steam:



Each Steam game has a Steam AppID which can be used when setting Steam launch Options to automatically start the game when loading Steam.



Choke occurs when the server, factoring in your rate setting, determines that it can't send you an update yet because doing so would start to flood your connection.



The Clientregistry.blob file saves some account-specific settings (corruption of this file or outdated information may interfere with installing and updating Steam games). This file can be found (by default) under your Steam installation folder.



The developer's console allows you to enter commands in Source-engine games which are sent directly to the game engine. The console is a text-based input/output interface to execute commands or change global settings in a game.



Steam allows you to store a game server's information as a Favorite when browsing internet servers - thus allowing you to easily visit the server to play again.


Friends List

The Friends List stores a list of contacts you have authorized to message you over the Steam Friends network.


Game cache file (GCF)

Game cache files (GCF's) store encoded game content after it has been downloaded through Steam. These files (by default) may be found in the SteamApps folder.



HL2.EXE is the Source engine's executable file. This file is used to launch nearly all Source engine games created by Valve.


Offline Mode

Offline Mode allows you to play games through Steam without connecting to the Steam Network - this is particularly useful if you do not plan on playing over the internet and would prefer not to download updates for your single-player games.


Steam client

The Steam client or Steam client application is the program which connects to the Steam network for game registration, updates, and multiplayer gaming.



The Steam.dll file contains general functions which Steam and Steam games use to perform common tasks (such as connecting to the Steam network). The majority of error messages referencing Steam.dll are firewall-related.



The Steam.exe file is the main executable for launching Steam.



The SteamApps folder stores downloaded game content, user settings for games, and custom maps and sounds downloaded from game servers.



Every Steam Account has a unique SteamID. This identifier allows server administrators to manage bans on servers and perform other administrative tasks without knowing a user's account username.



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On most Community Hubs you can find an Artwork tab where you can post or discover all kinds of artwork associated with your favorite Steam games.

How do I add artwork to Steam?


To upload artwork, go to the related Community Hub's Artwork tab and look for the "Upload Artwork" button at the top right.

What artwork is acceptable to upload?


The artwork you post must be your own creation. Do not post the work of other people. Instead, please encourage them to post it.

It must be directly related to the game you are associating it with. Random gifs and unrelated imagery will be removed.

Note: Respect your fellow community members by not posting any inappropriate artwork, including but not limited to, racism, sexual content or nudity, or gore. This work and any copyright or stolen material should be reported and will be removed.

Why has my artwork been marked as incompatible?


If your artwork has been marked as incompatible that means a member of Steam Support found it to be unrelated to the hub or inappropriate in some way. It will no longer be seen on the hub, but will remain viewable to you and your friends from your profile.

Why has my artwork been banned?


If your artwork has been banned that means a member of Steam Support found it to violate the Steam Terms of Service. It will no longer be seen on the hub, and will be viewable only to you from your profile. Commonly banned items include: offensive content (e.g. racism), pornography (e.g. pornographic sprays/decals), stolen artwork, etc.

How do I report a piece of artwork?


From the hub, click on the artwork to open the pop up window and select “Report” from the options drop down (the gear icon on the right.)

From the artwork’s detail page, click “Report” in the bar directly beneath the image.

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Becoming a Steam Content Provider

Valve Software is always looking for more content providing partners. Before we get started, please review the following list of requirements:

  1. You will be required to sign a hosting agreement.
  2. You must meet these minimum system requirements for the content server:
    • 64-bit dual or quad core CPU, 2.0 GHz or greater (Intel or AMD)
    • 16GB RAM (32GB RAM ideal)
    • 2TB HDD space free (4+ TB ideal)
    • HDD notes:
      • 7200RPM SATA disks are sufficient, no need for FC/SAS
      • If using a "striped" RAID level (5,6, or 10) use the largest stripe-size your controller will allow (1MB is ideal)
    • Gigabit Ethernet network interface
    • Windows 2008 Server 64-bit English
  3. Your network will need to allow outbound TCP connections from ports 27030 -> 27045, plus 30100, and inbound TCP 3389(for RDP), 27030, and 27031.
  4. Sustain a minimum available Internet conductivity for the server at 100Mbps.
  5. Provide a remote desktop username and password into the machine with admin privileges.
  6. Provide the contact name, email address and phone number of the person to contact if we need to call someone.
  7. Provide the geographic region of the world where the server is located.
  8. Provide justification and a CIDR list if the content server is restricted to a set ISP community.
  9. Provide the name you want the content server listed as under the Valve Content Server Stats page.
  10. Provide the URL which the title of your company on the status page should link to.
  11. Provide a banner image and a URL to your website for the image to show in the Steam UI. For example: Sample banner image


If you are interested in becoming a Steam content hosting provider and you can satisfy these requirements, please contact HostAServer for more information.


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Big Picture Mode

What is Steam Big Picture mode?

Big Picture is a mode of Steam reformatted for use with your TV and game controller, so you can enjoy your Steam games from the comfort of your couch. With the press of a button, Steam displays a new full-screen user interface which has been completely redesigned for readability and interaction on TV.

Big Picture is currently available in a beta version of Steam. This beta is available to all users of the PC version of Steam running on Windows Vista, 7, or 8. Read on for a full list of Big Picture beta system requirements.

To opt into the beta, go to the Steam menu and select settings. From this screen, you can click the change button under the Beta participation heading and select the "Steam Beta Update." Once you’ve committed your selection, Steam will prompt you to restart the application. Once it’s back up and running, you’ll find a BIG PICTURE button near the upper right-hand corner of Steam’s main window. Click this, or if you have a game controller up and running, press its center button to enter Big Picture mode.

To read our list of frequently asked questions, catch up on beta user discussions, or share your feedback, visit our Big Picture Steam Community Group.

For more information about Big Picture mode, visit

What platforms does Steam Big Picture mode support?

The Big Picture beta update is currently available on any PC running Windows Vista, 7 or 8, or any Mac running Mac OS X 10.6 or later.

On Windows, Big Picture mode requires DirectWrite. This is built in to Windows 7, and is available for Windows Vista via SP2 and the Vista Platform Update. These are normally delivered via Windows Update, but if your computer does not have them installed, you can download them directly from Microsoft.

On the Mac, a third-party driver must be used to enable the Xbox 360 controller. A driver is available from

Big Picture FAQ

More information is available on the Big Picture FAQ.

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Certain Steam issues may be corrected by renaming the ClientRegistry.blob and restarting Steam.

Windows XP/Vista/7

  • Completely exit from the Steam client.
  • Go to C:\Program Files\Steam (or the Steam directory that was specified during installation).
  • Locate ClientRegistry.blob and rename this file to ClientRegistryOld.blob.
  • Restart Steam to allow the file to be recreated.
  • Test the issue once more.



  • Completely exit from the Steam client.
  • Go to /Users/[Username]/Library/Application Support/Steam
  • Locate ClientRegistry.blob and rename this file to ClientRegistryOld.blob.
  • Restart Steam to allow the file to be recreated.
  • Test the issue once more.


It is not recommended to delete the Old.blob as it may be used later to determine recurring issues.

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Community Market FAQ

Don’t see your question? Check out the Community Market Group with user Discussions and official Announcements.

How do I put an item up for sale?

Eligible items can be either be sold from the Community Market home page or from within your item inventory.

How do I buy an item?


Clicking the "Buy now" button on any listing will start the purchase process. Please note that all purchases are final.


How can I reverse or cancel a completed Community Market transaction and/or get a refund?


All purchases are final – you will not have any right to a refund or a reversal of any Community Market transaction once it is completed.

Why are some of my items not eligible?

Items purchased from the TF2 or Dota 2 Store may take up to three days before they are eligible for trading or sale in the Community Market. Depending on how recently you began making purchases, these items may not initially appear eligible.


Who is eligible to participate in the Community Market?

The account must have a successful purchase older than thirty days, but not older than a year. Also, Steam Guard must be enabled for 15 days.

If you have had your password reset by Steam Support you will need to wait another 15 days with Steam Guard enabled before you can list items on the Community Market.

If a chargeback has occurred on your account you will be eligible 30 days after your next successful purchase.

If a password is reset on an active account, the market will be restricted for 5 days. If an account has not been active within the past two months, this restriction will last for 30 days. this does not affect password changes, only password resets.

Adding a new purchase method to an account will trigger a market restriction for seven days.


Why is Steam Guard required?

We require Steam Guard to be enabled for 15 days to help protect your items and Steam Wallet funds from being misused by somebody who may have illicitly obtained your account.


How do I add funds to my Steam Wallet?

Check out the Wallet Funds FAQ. Steam Wallet Funds can be added from your Account Details page in the Store.


Can I withdraw or transfer funds from my Community Market sales/transactions?


No. All Community Market sales and purchases are completed using the Steam Wallet. The funds cannot be withdrawn or transferred to another Steam account or to a bank/3rd party account.


Why don't I see all of my items when I try to sell something?

When selecting an item to sell on the Community Market, only items that are eligible to be sold will be visible and selectable.


How do I remove a listing?

All of your current listings are shown at the top of the Community Market home page. Any listing can be canceled/removed before it is purchased by clicking the "Remove" button.


What is the "Steam Transaction Fee"?

The Steam Transaction Fee is collected by Steam and is used to protect against nominal fraud incidents and cover the cost of development of this and future Steam economy features. The fee will be 5% during the beta period (with a minimum fee of $0.01). This fee may be increased or decreased in the future.


Who pays the "Steam Transaction Fee"?

The buyer pays the Steam Transaction Fee. The Steam Transaction Fee is calculated based on the item cost and is shown on the confirmation page before purchase.


What is the "Team Fortress 2 Fee"?

The Team Fortress 2 Fee is a game specific fee that is determined and collected by the game publisher. The Team Fortress 2 Fee is currently set at 10%.


What is the "Dota 2 Fee"?

The Dota 2 Fee is a game specific fee that is determined and collected by the game publisher. The Dota 2 Fee is currently set at 10%.


What kind of Steam Wallet and item listing restrictions apply?

Currently we are restricting Steam Wallet balances to $500. We also limit the maximum price of a single listing on the market to $400. You will be restricted from listing items for sale in the Community Market if the existing balance in your Steam Wallet, plus the sale price of the item(s), would together exceed the $500 limit. We may be raising the Steam Wallet balance limit, or otherwise changing this restriction, in the future. Note that, if you have multiple accounts, balances for all Steam Wallets associated with all of your accounts will be aggregated for purposes of applying this limit.


Why did I get an email notifying me that I need to provide additional documentation?

For non-U.S. citizens, in cases where you previously provided us with a U.S. address, we may be required to collect additional documentation from you to validate your non-U.S. status. Valve may use a third-party validation service (currently, for example, Compliance Technologies International (CTI)) to receive and validate this additional documentation. The third party will not permitted to use any information collected from you for any purpose other than validation of your documentation for Valve, and will be contractually obligated to keep any information you provide confidential and secure.


Is there a limit on the number of transactions I can participate in in the Community Market?

Currently there is no limit on the number of transactions you can participate in. However, the United States Internal Revenue Service, under Section 6050W of the Internal Revenue Code, requires us to collect certain information from you if you engage in more than 200 separate sales transactions in a calendar year. In particular, if you are a U.S. citizen or resident, you will need to provide us with your name, address and Social Security Number, and if you are not a U.S. citizen or resident, you will need to provide evidence of your non-U.S. status on an online form we provide to you. We will be providing a link to these forms and a process by which you can provide the needed information if and as you approach the 200 sales limit. We may use a third-party to collect this information. You can choose not to provide this information if you wish, but you will not be able to list any items for sale in the Community Market once you meet the 200 sales threshold, and any items listed will be removed. Note that, while we are required to collect this information from you, we are not required to share this information with the IRS under Section 6050W unless you exceed $20,000 in gross sales in the Community Market within a single calendar year. For purposes of calculating the number of sales you have made in a calendar year, all of your accounts will be treated as a single account.


Will you be providing 1099’s based on my transactions in the Community Market?

The United States Internal Revenue Service requires us to report gross sales for, and provide IRS Form 1099’s to, only those subscribers who are U.S. citizens or residents and who exceed 200 sales transactions in a calendar year and also exceed $20,000 in gross sales proceeds from those sales transactions in that same calendar year, from all of that subscriber's accounts. If you are a U.S. citizen or resident and exceed both of these thresholds, we will report the amount of gross sales to the IRS and provide you with Form 1099.


Do I have to pay income taxes on the proceeds of sales I make in the Community Market?

Different countries have different rules relating to the taxation of digital transaction. For U.S. citizens and residents, as discussed above, we are obligated to collect certain taxpayer identifying information from those who engage in more than 200 transactions in a calendar year, but no information is reported to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service unless your gross revenues from such sales exceed $20,000. Ultimately, the responsibility for determining any income tax liabilities, if any, which you may have rests with you, and so if you are concerned about the issue you should consult your own tax advisor.


Do I have any obligation to collect or pay sales, VAT, or other transaction taxes based on transactions I engage in in the Community Market?

Different countries have different rules relating to the taxation of digital transactions. Most jurisdictions do not require individuals to register for, collect or pay sales, VAT or use taxes in connection with occasional sales where they do not qualify as "professional" sellers. However, the ultimate responsibility for determining any tax requirements that may apply to sales you make in the Community Market rests with you, and so if you are concerned about the issue you should consult your own tax advisor. Note that, with respect to our administrative fee, if any sales, VAT, or other taxes are due on that payment, we will be responsible for paying those taxes.


Are there minimum or maximum sales prices for items in the Community Market?

Currently there is no minimum sales price, although we may decide to impose a minimum price in the future. Currently, the maximum sales price for any particular item is $200.


How are cross-currency transactions handled in the Community Market?

Sellers will always list items for sale in the native currency of their Steam Wallet, and buyers will always see Community Market prices expressed in the native currency of their Steam Wallet. For items listed for sale in a different currency than the buyer's Steam Wallet currency, we apply an exchange rate which we update daily.


When will I be able to sell/buy unusual items?

Throughout the beta period, we will be making changes with the hope of adding more item types in the future.


Why aren't all games on the Community Market?

It is up to the game developer to decide whether or not they want to participate in the Community Market.


Where can I see my Community Market transactions?

Your Community Market history is accessible from the top of the Community Market home page, as well as from your Account Details page in the Steam Store. A receipt for each transaction will also be emailed to you.


Don’t see your question? Check out the Community Market Group with user Discussions and official Announcements.


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DirectX Installs with every game

Why does DirectX install with every game?

Running the DirectX installer is not a matter of making sure your overall DirectX install being up-to-date. Microsoft has a helper library with D3D called D3DX. You'll find binaries for this like d3dx9_43.dll in your Windows\system32 folder. There are over 40 different versions of the D3DX library for D3D9 alone, and many more for D3D10 and 11 as well. Each game that uses the D3DX helper library is linked to a specific version. As such the game must run the correct D3D installer version that it was specifically compiled with to ensure the binaries exist.

Even if a later version of the binary is already installed, that version cannot be used, and even if your DirectX install is up-to-date because you've run a more recent version of the installer that is not guaranteed to have installed all previous versions. Even worse, if a version is installed for x86 it doesn't guarantee the same version is installed for x64, so 64 bit and 32 bit games may need to run the same exact installer version but targeting different platforms when run.

Furthermore, Microsoft's licensing terms prevent anyone from distributing the files directly, the only way to distribute them is to run the installer, that's also the only supported method from Microsoft to check that the correct version installed. Trying to manually check for the correct versions is extremely complicated because there are numerous files that must all be present and individual system configuration options like dll search paths complicate the situation. In addition, the dependencies and required checks may change in each new version of the D3DX runtime. The code to check correctly and repair broken installs all exists in the installer and running it is a guarantee that the correct binaries will exist when you run the game and prevents lots of bad cases where a game would fail to launch with an obscure error if a windows install was either missing the correct version or somehow corrupted in the past.


Why don't Valve's Source Engine games run the DirectX Installer?

Games which don't use the D3DX helpers (such as Source engine games) don't require running the installer on first launch as they only depend on major d3d9/10/11 versions being installed. However, games that do use D3DX must run it as it's the only way Microsoft has allowed for distributing and checking the version info on the files.


Where can I find more information on this topic?

More details can be found in jmccaskey's original forum post.


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Does Valve offer special licensing for Students?

Valve offers academic licensing only through institutions of higher education as part of the SourceU program.

SourceU is an academic licensing program designed to equip instructors and students with the real-world skills and knowledge needed to foster a successful and rewarding career in the games industry. The SourceU program offers a number of benefits for students enrolled in game development programs using the Source engine including:

  • Access to the complete catalog of Valve Source games.
  • Source SDK.
  • Student-specific user forum.
  • Community portfolio page.
  • SourceU community user group.
  • Extensive tutorial information on the Valve Developer Wiki.

What if my school is not part of the SourceU program?

Your school must be part of the SourceU program in order for you to take advantage of academic licensing. Please contact your instructor or the department head of your game design program to inquire about the inclusion of SourceU to your school’s curriculum.


More information is available here:

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Facebook FAQ


Are you going to sell my personal information to Facebook or a third party company?


No, we do not give or sell any personal information.



Why do I need to allow the Facebook Steam application to access my basic information?


We use the basic information, so we can retrieve your name, your profile identifier, your picture and your list of friends. This allows us to find more friends on Steam, and show enough basic information so your friends will recognize you and accept your invitations.



Why do I need to allow the Steam application on Facebook to access my data at any time?


This allows the Steam application on Facebook to retrieve your list of friends regularly and, over time, suggest new Steam friends as they become your friends on Facebook.



How can I remove access of the Steam application on Facebook to my Steam profile?


You can just unlink your Facebook profile from your Steam profile (go to your profile, click "profile edit", and click "unlink" in the Facebook section). Another way is to revoke access to the Steam application on Facebook from your Facebook profile (on Facebook, go to "Account", click "Privacy Settings", then click "Apps and Websites - Edit your settings" at the bottom left, the Facebook application Steam should be listed, click on it, and click "Remove app").



Are you going to post status messages to my wall?


Steam will not post anything to your Facebook wall without your permission.



If my Facebook profile is compromised, is my Steam account at risk?


No. Facebook, third party companies or the Steam application on Facebook does not have access to your Steam credentials. As such, if your Facebook account were to be compromised, your Steam account would not be at risk. Make sure to not post any personal information to social networks that might be used to answer personal security questions. More information on security recommendations.



Is my credit card information at risk if I link my Facebook and Steam profiles?


No. Facebook, third party companies or the Steam application on Facebook does not have access to your credit card information. Our secure servers are keeping your personal and credit card information secure with no external access.



Exactly what does Facebook know about my Steam profile?


Facebook does not know anything about your Steam profile. Facebook only knows that you gave access to the Steam application on Facebook to access your basic information at any time, and when the Steam application accessed that information. The Steam application on Facebook does not store any information; it is just a secure way to access your information from Facebook. Facebook and third party companies do not have access to our secure servers. Your Steam account information (name, password, or other critical information) are not known nor will be sent to Facebook.



Why can't I use Facebook Connect to login on my Steam account?


Facebook Connect allows an application to use Facebook authentication for login. For security reasons, only Steam authentication is used to log into your Steam account.



What Facebook information does Steam store?


To enable this feature, Steam currently stores the name of your profile on Facebook, your public Facebook identifier so we can display your picture and identify your Facebook profile, and a token given by Facebook, that only gives us access to your basic information through the Steam application on Facebook. In addition, we are only storing a subset of your friends list from Facebook.




It is very easy to unlink your profiles. In Steam community, go to your profile, click "Edit Profile", and in the Facebook section, click "Unlink".



If I unlink my profile, do you still keep my personal Facebook information?


When you unlink, your Facebook profile information is deleted from our servers (profile name on Facebook, public profile identifier and token). However, we keep the list of your Facebook friends that are also on Steam, so we do not suggest them later if you link again and they have been invited or ignored.



Can I link two Facebook profiles to my Steam profile?


No. At this moment, only one Facebook profile can be linked to a Steam profile.



Can I link my Facebook profile to more than one Steam Account?


No. The same Facebook profile cannot be linked to another Steam profile.



If I linked a wrong Facebook profile by mistake, how can I change that?


Just unlink your Facebook profile from your Steam profile. Make sure that Facebook auto-log-in is disabled, and log out of Facebook. Then link your Facebook profile to your Steam profile, you should be asked your Facebook credentials at that point.



After linking my profile, no friends have been suggested. Is that normal?


The number of suggestions will depend on how many Facebook friends linked their Steam profiles and are not already your friends on Steam. Some users will get several suggestions. Some other users will not get any suggestions. It is normal, keep your profiles linked and as soon as one of your friends link his/her profile, we will suggest an invitation to you. The more profiles are linked, the more friends we will be able to suggest to you.



Now that I invited my suggested friend, should I unlink my profile and link again later?


If you unlink your profile, Steam will be unable to suggest more friends.



Why did you raise the limit of friends to 300 when I link my Facebook profile to my Steam profile?


Only a very small number of our customers are reaching the limit of 250 friends. We felt that they should have the opportunity to utilize the Facebook profile linking feature without having to remove some of their existing friends first.




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Free-to-Play and Free-to-Play Games on Steam


Free-to-Play games are now available on Steam!



What is Free-to-Play?

Free-to-Play games are available to download for free and can be played without a subscription or a credit card. Your Steam wallet allows you to purchase items and content in-game to customize your gameplay.



Will I need a credit card to play?

No, there are no upfront obligations to download and play Free-to-Play games, however you will need a supported payment method to fund your Steam Wallet if you wish to purchase items or content for the game.



Will I need to fund my Steam Wallet?

If you wish to purchase in-game items or content, you will need to fund your Steam Wallet. Please see the Steam Wallet FAQ for more information.



Will my Free-to-Play account have limitations or restrictions?

Any Steam Account that does not own a purchased game or have a funded Steam Wallet is considered a "Limited User." We have chosen to limit access to some community features as a means of protecting our customers from those who abuse Steam merely for purposes such as spamming and phishing. For more information, click here.

Individual Free-to-Play games may choose to place limitations on accounts. Please see the respective games Steam Store page for more information.



Will I still be able to play and enjoy my game without buying items from the store?

You are absolutely under no obligation to purchase anything from the Steam Store in order to play and progress through these games.



What happens if I need technical support help but I only have a Free-to-Play account?

Technical support for in-game issues is provided by the respective game's Support department. For instructions on how to contact various Support departments, Click Here. For billing issues or issues launching the game, please contact Steam Support.

Not sure who to contact? Please Click Here to help determine who can best assist you.



What games on Steam are Free-to-Play?

The following titles are now available on Steam Free-to-Play:


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Game Update History Pages

Game Update History Pages

Steam News



Use the Search feature on the right side of the page to filter the results to just one game.

Server Update News

Win32 Dedicated Server
Linux Dedicated Server
Source Dedicated Server



Steam Hardware Survey Page


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How Can I Get My Game on Steam?


For information on Steamworks, please check out the Steamworks FAQ.

Additional questions or inquiries about Steamworks can be directed to


General Business Information

Interested in doing business with Steam/Valve Software? Please follow this link for more information about Valve's business development opportunities:

Valve Software -> Business


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Information for New Users

Unable to Create Account from Steam website

If you encounter issues when creating an account through the Steam Store, please try creating a Steam account using the Steam client/software:

  • Download and run the installer for Steam from
  • Click the "Create a new Account..." button from the Steam login page and follow the prompts


What is Steam?

Steam is a broadband platform for direct software delivery and content management. It is an integral part of all Valve software.

  • Allows you to purchase and immediately download games via the internet.
  • Allows you to register retail versions of Valve games as well as some third-party games.
  • Lets you access games from any PC that can connect to the Steam network.
  • Automatically keeps all of your games up-to-date with the latest available patches.
  • Allows you to chat with friends in the Steam community even during gameplay.
  • Makes it easy to browse and connect to online and LAN game servers for certain games.
  • Allows you to view which games your friends are currently playing and join them.


How do I use Steam?

First, please see the Installing Steam topic for instructions on downloading and installing Steam.

Once you have installed Steam, create an account and add games to it by Buying Games through Steam or by Activating a Product on Steam.


What games are available through Steam?

The list of games available through Steam is constantly expanding.

For a full list of games currently available for purchase through Steam, please visit the Steam Storefront.


How do I download games from Steam?

Once you have installed the Steam application, you will need to login to the Steam account you have added (or will add) your game to.  Your game is tied to this Steam account and cannot be re-registered to a different account.

Clicking Library in the Steam application will bring you to a listing of all games that have been registered to this Steam account. Double click any of these titles to install and run the game.


How can I protect my account?

NEVER give out your Account password to anyone over Steam. Please see the Account Security Recommendations topic for instructions on protecting your Steam account.


What is the Steam Subscriber Agreement?

For more information on Valve's policies, please see the Steam Subscriber Agreement and the Rules of Steam Online Conduct.

Steam Subscriber Agreement

Rules of Steam Online Conduct


How do I contact Steam Billing and Support / Steam Support?

Please see the Contacting Steam Billing and Support FAQ.


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Intel Identity Protection Technology

Intel® Identity Protection Technology (IPT) is a hardware-based security feature available with the new 2nd Generation Intel® Core™ and Core™ vPro® processors. An IPT algorithm runs on the chipset to generate a new numerical password every 30 seconds, integrating into the processor functionality that was previously only available on an external card or key fob.


Steam Guard is a new Steam account security feature offering two-factor authentication. Steam Guard, as demonstrated at CeBIT 2011, can leverage IPT as an additional factor of authentication so access to your Steam account remains in the right hands - yours. With IPT, secondary authentication is effortless, as it is provided by the chipset itself. IPT protects your Steam account against remote takeover, even if your login credentials have been phished, or accidentally shared.


For more information about IPT and the 2nd Generation Intel® processors which include this capability, visit

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Games available for purchase in the Steam store will display their Metascore® (from, which is a numeric measure of the game's critical consensus at a glance.


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Platforms supported by Steam


Steam is currently supported on the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP


Pre-release versions of Windows(betas, release candidates) are not supported

Attempting to run Steam on Windows emulation or compatibility software is not supported


Steam is currently supported on the following Operating Systems:

  • OSX 10.5.8
  • OSX 10.6.X
  • OSX 10.7



Steam for Linux is only supported on Ubuntu 12.04 LTS or 12.10 with the Unity, Gnome, or KDE desktop. Additional distributions will be examined for support as time permits. For more information on Steam for Linux, see

You can learn more about what we are working on here: Valve Linux blog.

The best source of information on this product is the Linux Server Forum:
Linux Dedicated Server

There is also an ADMIN Mail list for Linux that you can read the archives and join to ask questions:

hlds_linux -- Half-Life dedicated Linux server mailing list

If you wish to run the Dedicated Server under Linux, you can download the Server Installation tool:


More information on Dedicated Servers

Join the Steampowered forums or one of the Valve Server Admin Mailing lists:


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SourceU Program Information

What is SourceU?

SourceU, a new program from Valve designed to equip instructors and students with the real-world skills and knowledge needed to foster a successful and rewarding career in the games industry. This educational licensing program bundles Valve’s game development technologies and invaluable learning resources. By using Source engine technology in the classroom, educational institutions around the world can teach a variety of creative and technical disciplines, from 3D modeling and animation to game design.

What advantages are there to the SourceU program?

Educator Advantages:
  • Access to Source SDK tools with the complete catalog of Valve's Source game content.
  • Extensive Developer Wiki with support information & tutorials.
  • Access to Valve developers & trained support staff.
  • Educator's Private Forum.
Student Advantages:
  • Access to Source SDK tools with the complete catalog of Valve's Source game content.
  • Extensive Developer Wiki with support information & tutorials.
  • Access to a SourceU student forum where students from around the world can connect with each other.
  • Each student will get a Community Portfolio page.
  • Access to a student-specific forum.

Who can license SourceU?

The SourceU educational program is available to public or private schools of higher education starting with the 2008-2009 school year.

How can my school apply to the program?

Email for information on including SourceU in your game development program.

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Steam Coupons


When will I be able to use my coupons?

Steam coupons are valid through the specified dates that are on each coupon. To access your coupon to see theses dates please follow these steps:

- Log in to Steam

- Click the "View" tab and go to "Inventory"

- Click the "Steam" tab on the Inventory page to view your coupons

How many coupons can I use on an item?

You can use one coupon per item.


Can I use coupons on already discounted items?

Coupons are not valid on discounted items unless specified otherwise.


What happens to my coupons when they expire?

Expired coupons will be automatically removed from your inventory.


How do I know which products the coupon can apply to?

Coupons in your inventory will have a button marked “View Applicable Games” in the detail panel for each one. Following this button will show you a page with available products that the coupon can apply to.


How do I apply a coupon during checkout?

When you add a valid item to your cart, Steam will apply any of your applicable coupons automatically. Prior to clicking “purchase,” you can choose to save your coupon for later by clicking the “Change/Remove coupon” link for that coupon in your cart.


How do I know when my coupons will expire?

The expiration date is displayed in the detailed information for each coupon in your Steam Inventory.


Can I trade Steam Coupons?

Yes! You can trade your Steam Coupons using our Steam Trading system. For more information on how Steam Trading works please visit the following FAQ.


Can I give my coupon to another Steam user?

Absolutely. You can send your Steam Coupons to another user through Steam Trading. The user receiving the coupon does not have to send anything in return to complete a Steam Trade. For more information on how Steam Trading works please visit the following FAQ.

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Steam Levels and XP

Who can level up their Steam Community profile?

Anyone who is not a limited user will earn a Steam level based on their account's current badges and games. You must create your Steam Community profile to view your Steam level. Limited users do not qualify for Steam levels and will remain at level 0.


How do I increase XP on my profile to level up?

There are a number of ways to increase your profile level on Steam. These include:

  • Purchasing games
  • Earning badges
  • Crafting badges
  • Upgrading badges

For more information about your Steam level and how to increase it, please see the Trading Cards FAQ.


I have badges, but my XP is stuck at 100 on level 0. What is wrong?

Limited users do not qualify for Steam levels. If you are a limited user, your XP will not increase and your level with remain at 0. For more information on limited users and how to become unlimited, please see the Limited Users FAQ.

I bought a game, but my XP only increased by x amount. Shouldn't it be more?

The XP that you have earned is the correct amount. For further insight, you may try searching or posting on the Steam Discussions.



Steam Support is unable to alter your Steam level and cannot grant XP, badges, trading cards or other economy items.

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Steam Play

What is Steam Play?

Steam Play allows you to purchase your games once and play anywhere. Whether you have puchased your Steam Play enabled game on a Mac or PC (both Windows and Linux), you will be able to play on the other platform free of charge.


Which games support Steam Play?

Look for the Steam Play icon   or  when shopping on Steam.


What do I do when I get "Unsupported Platform" when attempting to play a game on Linux or my Mac?

A common reason for this error is that the game simply has not yet been released on the platform that you are attempting to play on. Additionally, please ensure there is not both a PC and a Mac listing for the title in the Library list.

For a complete list of available Mac and Linux titles on Steam, please click the following:



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Trading Cards and Badges

Official Trading Card FAQ

Steam Trading Cards - Frequently Asked Questions

Additional information can be found in this awesome user created guide: Understanding Steam Trading Cards

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Valve Mailing Lists

Joining a Discussion List

Server Operators and MOD programmers are an important part of Valve's online community. To help them help each other we have set up mailing lists that provide a forum for server administrators and MOD programmers to discuss issues that pertain to running a Half-Life dedicated server or creating a Half-Life MOD. We have also created a mailing list for Valve Dedicated Server release announcements, which is where you will hear first about upcoming Valve Dedicated Server releases and updates.

  • Click here to receive mail about upcoming Half-Life releases.
  • Click here for discussion of Windows server issues.
  • Click here for discussion of linux server issues.
  • Click here for discussion of Half-Life MOD programming issues.
  • Click here for discussion of Half-Life MOD mapping issues.

A complete list (including archives) can be found at


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What is the Valve Cyber Café Program?

The Valve Cyber Café Program is a commercial licensing program designed to allow game centers to present Valve and select third-party games to their clientel.

If you run a Cyber Café or other gaming venue, Valve makes it easy for you to bring games to your customers. Please visit for the details, and sign up today.

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Wishlist Notifications

We'll let you know by email or through our mobile app when the games on your Wishlist are on sale as a Daily Deal, Midweek Madness or Weekend Deal. Whether you're riding the bus, walking the dog, or stuck in a meeting, you'll know when there's a deal!

If you'd prefer not to be notified, it's easy to opt out of email or turn off mobile notifications.

For more information, Click Here.

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