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The Ultimate Guide to Adding Cracked Games to Steam

Hi friend! As a fellow gaming enthusiast, I totally get the appeal of trying to add cracked or pirated games to Steam. I‘ve been there! But after digging into it, I realized there are a lot of risks, downsides, and legal issues that made me reconsider. So in short:

Yes, it is technically possible to add cracked games to your Steam library, but I cannot recommend doing so for legal and safety reasons.

I know, I know, not the answer you were hoping for! But stick with me, and I‘ll explain everything in detail so you can make an informed decision. As an avid gamer and Steam power user myself, I want to share my insights with you, friend to friend. Let‘s dive in!

Is Adding Cracked Games to Steam Legal?

Let‘s start with the legality question. The short answer is no – adding cracked or pirated games violates Steam‘s Terms of Service, and also constitutes copyright infringement under US law.

According to Steam‘s subscriber agreement:

You may not use Cheats, automation software (bots), mods, hacks, or any other unauthorized third-party software, to modify or automate any Subscription Marketplace process.

Cracked games definitely fall under "unauthorized third-party software" that modifies or hacks the Steam platform. So it‘s a clear violation of the TOS.

Now, you may be wondering if Valve/Steam will actually catch you or do anything if you add a few cracked games. Well, here are a few risks to consider:

  • **VAC bans:** If you play multiplayer on a cracked version of a VAC-protected game, you‘re very likely to get hit with a VAC ban. This will prevent you from playing ANY VAC-secured games online.
  • **Account bans:** If Valve somehow detects you are adding cracked games (say, you talk about it publicly online), they can ban or suspend your entire Steam account.
  • **Legal action:** Game publishers can take legal action against people pirating their games. Unlikely for small usage, but still a possibility.

Based on a recent Steam survey, over 90 million users actively use Steam. But Valve says VAC bans affect only about 1 in 10,000 users. So they don‘t seem very aggressive about policing piracy, but it‘s still definitely prohibited.

Why Steam Doesn‘t Allow Cracked Games

Steam is designed as a closed ecosystem managed by Valve, with features that cracked games would either break or circumvent. For example:

  • Cracked games can‘t leverage Steam‘s DRM protections.
  • No access to Steam Community features like guides, screenshots, etc.
  • Can‘t earn Steam trading cards or achievements.
  • Won‘t receive automatic updates pushed out by developers.
  • Can‘t support Steam family sharing, streaming, or cloud saves.

So in a sense, adding cracked games provides a poor experience compared to playing properly purchased Steam games. You lose access to a lot of features!

Steam wants to incentivize legitimate game purchases by adding benefits through their platform. So allowing cracks would undermine the whole ecosystem. Makes sense from their business perspective.

Options for Getting Steam Games Legally

I know game budgets can be tight! Here are a few legit and legal options for getting great PC games cheap or even free:

  • Add games to your Steam wishlist and wait for sales – seasonal sales can see discounts up to 90% off!
  • Check for free game promotions – Epic Games Store in particular gives away 1-2 free games every week.
  • Watch for giveaways on Reddit and gaming forums.
  • Try out excellent free-to-play games like Destiny 2, Warframe, and DOTA 2.
  • Use deal aggregation sites like IsThereAnyDeal to find the best game deals.
  • Trade games with friends or buy used copies – singleplayer games can be shared.

With a bit of patience and effort, you can build an awesome Steam library on the cheap legally! It just takes some savvy shopping.

How Game Piracy Impacts Developers

I‘d be remiss if I didn‘t mention how piracy impacts game developers. Most are small teams trying to turn a profit in a very competitive industry. Here are some stats:

  • Only around 5-15% of games break even or turn a profit.
  • The average Steam game sells only around 10,000 copies according to GDC data.
  • Game piracy rates can be as high as 80%+ in some regions according to an ESA study.

So you can see how even a few lost sales to piracy can really hurt a developer‘s bottom line. Of course, some piracy is inevitable and trying to stop it entirely is impossible. But avoiding it when possible is beneficial.

As gamers, supporting the developers who create our favorite games leads to more and better games for us to enjoy down the road. It‘s a win-win to buy legit!

Should You Add Cracked Games to Your Steam Account?

Hopefully this info helps explain why I don‘t recommend adding cracked games to Steam, as tempting as it may be. In summary:

  • It violates the Steam TOS and puts your account at risk.
  • You lose access to most Steam community features and services.
  • You don‘t support the developers who created the games.
  • There are cheaper and legal alternatives for building your library.

But each gamer needs to evaluate their own priorities and make an informed decision. I sincerely hope this guide gave you the facts to determine your own path. Feel free to ask me anything else! Game on!

Your friend,
Steven