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Developer Valve
Type API
Platform PC PC (Internet)
PlayStation 3 PlayStation 3 (some games, such as Portal 2 Portal 2 and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive CS:GO)
Home steamworks.png


Steamworks is an API intended to help with developing and publishing a game or mod.

  • With Steamworks your game can use the same platform that supports thousands of PC game titles.
  • With no licensing fees and no charge for bandwidth, keep your customers up-to-date and together with a unified system.
  • Plus, Steamworks does not interfere with your creative and business decisions—your game and its future are yours to control.

Game Services

Persistent identity framework

Achievements, leaderboards, profiles, and avatars can be used to make your game come alive, building your community and providing a strong incentive to play more and recruit others.

Pic sw gs 01.png

Multiplayer matchmaking

The same robust back-end that brings players together for Counter-Strike: Source, Team Fortress 2, and Left 4 Dead. You can customize these features to create specific matchmaking and lobby functions.

Pic sw gs 02.jpg


With true cheat detection, keep cheaters from ruining it for the rest of us. Extend the life and sales of your game by making sure that the game plays as you intended it to when you shipped.

Access from any PC

Customers can sign in and use their game from any PC. Access to their games is based on a customer account, not tied to a computer. Plus, with built-in offline mode your customers can play on laptops when traveling or anywhere else.

Voice chat

With built-in voice chat, players can talk to each other both inside and outside the game.

Publishing services

Unlimited bandwidth use

When you can ship updates to customers as often as you want, product support becomes a proactive force for customer satisfaction. When you have access to real-time sales data immediately after a game's release, marketing decisions move light-years ahead. Steamworks also addresses grey marketing, player authentication, and piracy, so you can focus on the business of simply making great games.


Be confident that all of your customers are running the most current version of your game. Update and expand your game as you see fit. Your community stays current, and your support burden will be significantly reduced. With no certification process, you're in control. Update as much as you want, with as much as you want—there is no charge for bandwidth.

Real-time sales data

Log on to your personal sales and data tracking site and see your product’s statistics up-to-the-minute. Don’t wait for weeks to find out where and how your game is selling. Real-time, worldwide activation and use reports give you the detail you need to make informed decisions about marketing and retail conditions when they need to be made. Pic sw ps 01.jpg

Encrypted retail media

Protect your day one release by shipping encrypted media to stores worldwide. No worry that your game will leak early from the manufacturing path, because your game stays encrypted until the moment you decide to release it.


End-to-end anti-piracy solution. Steamworks provides both a wrapper to protect your application and online authentication. Your game is associated with a single customer account, which is used for multiplayer authentication (no more “shared” key lists on the Internet). Plus, the ongoing benefits of customers being current and connected on Steam make piracy an unattractive option.

Territory control

Open up new markets. Games can be set to authenticate only in specific regions, allowing you to go day-and-date worldwide without the worry of grey marketing of products intended for specific territories.

Key-based authentication

Easy, known, and proven path for customers to authenticate their game. Keys are the backbone for inventory control and sales data. Keys can be customized for region, content, language, and SKU.

Free Weekends and Guest Passes

Hold Free Weekends (or any length play period) to entice customers and promote your game. Then securely and efficiently turn the game back off at the end of the period. Also available is guest pass technology that allows you to promote your game through your community. Let friends give free, limited time passes to their friends. Proven tech that has been used with our games and third parties.

Games Currently Using Steamworks



External links