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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:

 

AppID

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

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.

 

Clientregistry.blob

The Clientregistry.blob file saves some account-specific settings (corruption of this file or outdated information may interfere with installing and updating Steam games).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.

 

Console

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.

 

Favorites

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

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.

 

Steam.dll

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.

 

Steam.exe

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

 

SteamApps

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

 

SteamID

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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Community Market FAQ

General Questions

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 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.

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 Steam Store.

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.

Who is eligible to participate in the Community Market?

The account must have a successful purchase older than 30 days, but not older than a year. Also, Steam Guard must be enabled for 15 days.

For a complete list of Market restrictions and requirements to use The Community Market, please view our Market and Trade Restrictions FAQ.

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. Steam Support is unable to modify items in your inventory to allow them to be sold on the Community Market.

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. You must be signed into your Steam account to view the correct currency. If you do not see your local currency on the Community Market this is likely due to never funding your Steam Wallet on the account. You can find out more how to fund your Steam Wallet by visiting the Steam Wallet FAQ.

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.

Restrictions

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.

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 price for any particular item is $400.

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.

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. You may use the funds to purchase Steam gifts to send to other users.

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. Additionally, newly purchased Dota 2 treasures are not marketable or tradable for the set amount of time noted on their store page.

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 all of the restrictions that can block me from using The Market?

Please see our Market and Trade Restrictions FAQ for a detailed list of restrictions.

Fees

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 is currently 5% (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 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 Fee is currently set at 10%.

What is the "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Fee"?

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

Taxes and 200 Item Sale 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 uses a third-party validation service (currently, Compliance Technologies International (CTI)) to receive and validate this additional documentation. The third party will not be 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.

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.

Why do I have to provide additional documentation if I haven't reached 200 market sales?

We request this information early on so that you have time to fill it out accurately. Validation by the third party can take time, if you hit the 200 limit without the form validated you will not be able to sell additional items until validation is complete.

What if I choose not to provide or fill out the additional documentation?

You are not required to provide the additional documentation, however if you do not provide this information and reach 200 Market sales you will not be able to list additional items. You will still be able to purchase items from the Community Market as this form does not affect buying on The Market.

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.

Buy Orders

What is a commodity item?

A commodity is a kind of item where all the items are identical, and can be traded interchangeably. There aren't individual listings for commodity items on the market; instead you place an order to purchase, and an item is selected for you. This is very helpful when trying to buying items that are very frequently traded, and item listings can appear and disappear very quickly.

What is a buy order?

When buying a commodity items, you specify the price you want to pay, and when an item comes available at that price the purchase completes. If there isn't an item available immediately at that price, then that request to purchase stays active until an item listed at the right price comes along. This request to purchase is called a buy order. The buy order price is the maximum amount that will be spent; if an item comes along for a cheaper price, you'll only pay that lower price.

How many buy orders can I have active?

You can have up to 10 times your current wallet balance in buy orders active at any time. This is so you can place low-priced buy orders on a lot of items that you're interested in. If you don't have enough money in your Steam Wallet to fulfill a buy order, that buy order will be automatically cancelled.

How can I see my buy orders?

You can see the list of all buy orders you have active on the front page of the Steam Community Market - http://steamcommunity.com/market/ . You can cancel any of your active buy orders from here.

How long do buy orders stay active?

Buy orders may be cancelled by the system at any time including but not limited to the following reasons:

  • if something about the item changes
  • if there are any issues with your wallet balance
  • if there are issues with trying to complete a purchase
  • if something changes about your Steam Account
  • if the buy order results in a purchase

You can check on the status of your buy orders at any time by visiting http://steamcommunity.com/market/.

How do buy orders help me?

Buy orders are helpful in making it easier to buy items - since you don't have to choose individual listings, you can choose your price, and you can specify how many of the item you want to buy with each purchase.

Buy orders help with selling, as you can see what other users are willing to pay for an item, and you can choose if you want to do a lower price to sell immediately; or go for a higher price and wait.

How do buy orders choose which listing to buy?

When you place a buy order, the market first looks for all the cheapest items that can fulfill your order. Then the oldest listing (ie. the seller who has waited the longest) is selected and purchased. If the items are listed in multiple currencies, the amounts are first converted into your currency before being selected (ie a 0.03 RUB listing has no priority over a 0.03 USD listing)

Credit Card Verification

What is credit card verification?

Credit card verification allows you to remove market restrictions associated with using a credit card that has seen an increase in use on Steam. After a successful verification, you will regain Market capabilities.

How do I verify my recently used credit card?

After using a credit card on Steam to add Wallet funds, please go to the Credit Card Verification page and choose the card you wish to verify. Two pending authorization amounts will be sent to your bank account. These authorizations may take 1 to 3 days to appear on your statement. Once they appear, you must enter the exact pre-converted amounts into the two fields on the verification page. Please note that you only have three attempts.

What happens if I use all three attempts to verify my credit card?

If you fail to verify the card after 3 attempts, you will have to wait the normal 5 day period to use The Market. Steam Support cannot override or remove this restriction.

When will the authorizations be removed from my credit card statement?

The authorizations will be removed from your credit card statement in 5-10 business days, whether you successfully verified your credit card or not.

In what currency do the amounts need to be entered in and how do I get the original pre-converted amounts?

The verification authorizations are sent to your bank in the currency that your Steam Wallet is in. If the bank converts these to your local currency, you must contact them to request the original amount before any fees assessed by them or conversion made by the bank. The phone number for most banks will be on the back of your credit card.

Are virtual online credit cards supported?

Self verification does not currently support virtual credit cards. You must wait 5 days to use The Market each time you use a virtual card on Steam.

What do I do if I used PayPal to fund my Wallet? Can I verify PayPal?

PayPal cannot be verified through this system. If you fund your Wallet with a PayPal account you will have to wait 5 days to use the funds on The Market.

What do I do if I only see one verification charge?

You are likely seeing the initial Wallet charge which was made to fund your Wallet balance. This is not the verification amount. Your bank may not support our verification system or the charges may not have appeared yet.

What do I do if my bank is unable to help convert or provide the verification charges? Can you help me find them?

If your bank cannot provide or assist you with finding the correct verification amounts you will have to wait 5 days to use The Market. Steam Support cannot assist with verifying the funds or provide you with the verification amounts.

Once my credit card has been successfully verified through our verification tool will I ever trigger this restriction again?

Once you have successfully verified your credit card through our tool you will never trigger this restriction on your account again unless you use a new unverified payment method or PayPal account to fund your Steam Wallet.

Which payment methods will trigger this 5 day payment restriction?

Only credit cards and PayPal currently trigger this restriction. We recommend using another payment method to purchase Wallet funds if you do not wish to incur this restriction, especially if you are not able to verify you credit card successfully.

Why do I keep triggering this 5 day payment restriction when adding funds to my Wallet?

This can happen if the credit card you are using has not been verified on your account yet. If you are not able to successfully verify your credit card, we recommend using another payment method to fund your wallet such as Steam Gift Cards.

Will my credit card and/or PayPal account become 'verified' once the 5 day restriction ends?

No, the only way to verify your credit card is through our verification tool. If you do not successfully verify your credit card through this tool you may hit this restriction again in the future.

How do I verify a gift card that has a limited amount of funds?

In order to complete credit card verification, you'll need between $3 and $4 USD remaining on the card. In 5-10 business days, the money will be returned to the card. If you cannot complete credit card verification yourself, you will have to wait five days until the restriction is removed automatically.

Still Have Questions?

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?

Academic Licensing

SourceU accounts are no longer provided by Valve as all of the tools needed for the program are now available for free.

Each student should create a Steam account using the link below:

Create an Account

https://store.steampowered.com/join

Students will also need to download Team Fortress 2 from the store page for assets:

Team Fortress 2

http://store.steampowered.com/app/440/

The Source SDK can be found on the Valve Developer site:

Source SDK 2013:

https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Source_SDK_2013

The SDK source code can be found on Github:

Source SDK 2013 source code:

https://github.com/ValveSoftware/source-sdk-2013

If you will be using the Portal 2 Puzzle Maker students will need to purchase Portal 2 on their Steam accounts:

Portal 2

http://store.steampowered.com/app/620/

NOTE: The Portal 2 Puzzle Maker is not intended as a replacement of Hammer.

 

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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 games on Steam

What is a free to play game?

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?

You can find a complete list of free to play games on the Steam Store here:

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Game Update History Pages

Game Update History Pages

Steam News

 

Note:

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

 

Surveys

Steam Hardware Survey Page

 

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How Can I Get My Game on Steam?

Steam Greenlight

Detailed information about Steam's Greenlight feature can be found in the official Steam Greenight FAQ:

 

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

 

Steamworks

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

Additional questions or inquiries about Steamworks can be directed to steamworks@valvesoftware.com

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How do I find bonus content, artwork, soundtracks or additional content?

In most cases, bonus content can be found within the products's downloaded files:

To access this content please do the following...

  1. Right click the product in your Steam Library and select "Properties".
  2. Under the "Local Files" tab, select “Browse Local Files”.
  3. Within the product's local files, locate a folder that has a similar name to the content you are searching for.

Please note, the folder containing the bonus material may have a different title, but should be identifiable as the location for this content. All Soundtracks should be in MP3 format, while Art Books should be a PDF or ePub.

Where can I found Soundtracks within Steam?

Some soundtracks are automatically integrated into the Steam Music Player after the associated product has been completely installed. Please visit our Steam Music Library and Player FAQ for more info. Soundtracks that are not automatically added can be found using the instructions above.

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Information for New Users

If you are unable to create a Steam 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 http://store.steampowered.com/about
  • 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.

Steam...

  • 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
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=subscriber_agreement

Rules of Steam Online Conduct
http://www.steampowered.com/v/index.php?area=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 http://ipt.intel.com/.

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MetaCritic

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

 

Metacritic.com

http://www.metacritic.com/

 

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Platforms supported by Steam

PC

Steam is currently supported on the following Operating Systems:

  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows XP

Important:

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

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

 

Mac

Steam is currently supported on the following Operating Systems:

  • OSX 10.5.8
  • OSX 10.6.X
  • OSX 10.7

 

Linux

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 https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Valve.

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

The best source of information on this product is the Steampowered.com 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:

http://storefront.steampowered.com/download/hldsupdatetool.bin

 

More information on Dedicated Servers

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

http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?forumid=19

http://list.valvesoftware.com/mailman/listinfo

 

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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 are the features of the SourceU program?

Educator Features:

  • 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 Features:

  • 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 sourceu@valvesoftware.com for information on including SourceU in your game development program.

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Steam Broadcasting

How do I watch a friend's game?

From the Friend's List - From the drop down next to a friend's name, select "Watch Game".
From a friend's profile - Below the "Currently In Game" text, select "Watch Game".

Who can watch my games?

The first time a friend requests to watch your game you'll be presented with the broadcast privacy settings. To make a change at any time, access the Steam Client's Settings panel and select the Broadcast tab to view your privacy settings.

Available settings:

  • Broadcast is disabled
  • Friends can request to watch my games (default)
  • Friends can watch my games
  • Anyone can watch my games (public broadcast, can be found in the game hub)

What video is recorded and included in my broadcast?

By default, Steam will only broadcast video recorded from the game you are playing. If you switch to another program or your computer’s desktop and Steam is unable to record video from the game you are playing while it is not active/in focus, viewers will see a placeholder graphic until Steam can again record video from your game.

You can optionally enable recording video of applications outside of your game through the Steam Client settings menu. Please remember that your broadcast viewers will be able to see any open windows when enabled.

What audio is recorded and included in my broadcast?

By default, Steam will only record audio from the game you are currently playing. You can enable recording a microphone or all audio played through your computer’s default output device (any audio you hear out of your PC’s speakers) through the Steam Client’s Settings panel.

What are the account requirements for broadcasting?

Accounts that meet the following requirements are able to broadcast games:

  • Have made a purchase on Steam and are therefore non-limited accounts
  • Are not currently Community Banned

What are the browser requirements for watching?

Steam Broadcasting is currently supported by the following browsers:

  • Steam Client (beta client)
  • Google Chrome (version 39+)
  • Apple Safari (version 8+ on OSX)
  • Internet Explorer (version 11 on Windows 8; not supported on other versions of Windows)

What operating systems can I broadcast from?

Steam Broadcasting is currently supported through the Steam Client on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Support for Linux, OSX and Windows Vista will supported in the future.

Where can I change my settings/privacy?

To make a change to your Broadcast settings, access the Steam Client's Settings panel and select the Broadcast tab.

Whose games can I watch?

You can request to watch friends' games, or simply start watching if they have allowed for that. You can also find public broadcasts from the Broadcasts tab on the Community Home page or on any game hub.

Will people watching my game also see my desktop?

By default, Steam will only broadcast video recorded from your current game. You can enable broadcasting of all applications and your desktop through the Steam Client’s Settings panel.

What kind of content is restricted?

As a Steam subscriber, you agree to abide by the Steam Subscriber Agreement, the Steam Online Conduct rules, and the Steam Community Rules and Guidelines. You are responsible for the use of your Account and for all of the communication and activity on Steam that results from use of your Account. Your online conduct and interaction with other subscribers should be guided by common sense and basic etiquette. Some of the things that could get you banned include:

  • Porn
  • Discussions of piracy, cheating, hacking, game exploits
  • Threats of violence or harassment, even as a joke
  • Broadcast of movies or television shows
  • Racism or discrimination

How do I report a broadcast?

From the broadcast window/page, select "Report Broadcast". When a broadcast is reported, Steam may save some or all of the broadcast for review.

How do I start a broadcast?

You don't need to. If your settings allow your game to be watched, then you start broadcasting when someone starts watching. If you select "Anyone can watch my game" as your broadcast privacy setting then your broadcast is visible in that Game Hub.

How do I end a broadcast?

Exiting your game will end your broadcast. Alternatively, at any time you can press "Stop" from the Broadcast panel in the Steam Overlay.

How can I get my broadcast to show up in a Game Hub?

If you select "Anyone can watch my game" as your broadcast privacy setting then your broadcast will be visible in that Game Hub.

How can I see who is watching my game?

You'll receive a toast when a friend either requests to watch or starts watching your game. At any time you can see a list of viewers from the Steam overlay broadcast box, or if you're watching your own broadcast, from the top of the chat.

Can I save my broadcast?

No, broadcasts are currently live only. However, if a video is reported for review, Steam may save some or all of the broadcast for review.

How can I share my broadcast?

You can invite friends to watch your game by selecting "Invite to Watch" from the drop down next to their name in the Friend' List.

Why am I getting the message "Broadcast unavailable?"

During the Beta period broadcast capabilities are limited on a first-come, first-served basis. There may not have been adequate bandwidth available from the nearest Steam server when you connected. It's also the message you'll see if your friend doesn't respond to your request.

How do I change the bit rate, video dimensions, microphone, and desktop settings?

For advanced Broadcast settings, access the Steam Client's Settings panel and select the Broadcast tab.

Have more questions or need help?

Check out the Steam Broadcasting Group Discussions to read more and find out answers to other frequently asked questions.

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Steam Coupons

When can I 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 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.

 

Notice:

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 Music Library & Player

How do I add music to my Steam Music library?

Using the Steam Client, go to Settings -> Music -> Set Up Music Library. There you can add a new folder on your hard drive for Steam to scan for MP3 files. Once scanned they will be ready for your listening pleasure in your Steam Library.

 

How do I add the soundtracks that I’ve bought on Steam?

Soundtracks purchased on Steam will automatically be added to your Steam Music library. However to include these files in your library, you must have the base game installed on your hard drive. After you have installed the game, Steam will automatically list its soundtrack DLC in your library. You can also manually rescan your music library to detect the new files, which is done via Settings -> Music -> Music Library -> Scan Now.

 

What music file formats do you support?

Currently we only support MP3 files for listening. We hope to support additional formats in the future.

 

I still can’t find my Steam soundtracks. What should I do?

  1. First, be sure the related base game is installed. To install it, select the Install button or double-click the game in your library, and complete the installation steps.
  2. If this doesn’t add the album to your Music library, be sure the game is up-to-date. To check whether a game requires an update, visit Downloads in your Steam Library. An installed game requiring an update will be listed there, and can be updated by moving it into the queue.
  3. If this doesn’t add the album to your Music library, right-click on the game and select Properties, then DLC. Here you can verify that you do own the soundtrack DLC and see its current installation state. If the Install box is unchecked, check it and repeat step 2.
  4. If this doesn’t add the album to your Music library, right-click on the game and select Properties, then Local Files. Here you can opt to Browse local files… to verify that the soundtrack has been downloaded. If the files here are not MP3 format, Steam Music is unable to discover and play them at this time. Please contact the game’s developer and request that MP3s be released in a directory containing the name "soundtrack" or "OST."
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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 purchased 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:

Mac

Linux

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Steam Workshop: Artwork

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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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 http://list.valvesoftware.com/

 

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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 cafe.steampowered.com 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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