Steam - FAQ

Steam - FAQ

Postby Leonardo » Mon Apr 15, 2013 7:45 pm

Reposted from BSF by Gstaff about the FAQ's for Skyrim Legendary Edition.

Note: If you already own Skyrim plus some of the add-on content, you will to to re-activate on Steam before all 3 add-ons before DLC is installed.DLC is installed in your game.
To re-activate Skyrim on Steam then look for a keycode at the bottom on the back of the thin Skyrim manual in the retail box. Just type it in where you activate a game in Steam Client. Once you do that a quick update via Steam will finish the installation of Skyrim Legendary Edition.

How do I install content for The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim: Legendary Edition?

You must insert Disc 1 and follow the installation prompts (if autorun is active) or run “Setup.exe” on the disc (if autorun is not active).

Note: You will be prompted to enter the provided Steam code during the installation process; this will be included with the game’s packaging. Steam activation is required.

Are my save games from my retail version of Skyrim I already own compatible with this version?

Saves should be compatible with the Legendary edition. There might be some compatibility issues dependent on if you have a user-created mod installed when the save is made/loaded.

For more help with Skyrim, visit

Originally posted by Gstaff.

If you bought Skyrim from your local game store or preorder from other web sites than Steam then you have a retail copy of Skyrim. Valve has important information about installation of Skyrim from disc.

Using Steam launch options to install retail games from disc

Log in to Steam and click on Library.
Right-click on the game, select Delete local content, and confirm.
Insert the first disc into your computer.
Close Steam (Steam > Exit).
Press Windows Key + R to open Run
In the Run window type:

"C:\Program Files\Steam\Steam.exe" -install E:

Replace E: with the CD/DVD drive you are installing from if is not correct.
Replace C:\Program Files\Steam if your Steam installation is not in the default location.
Press OK. Steam will launch and ask you to sign in if you do not have your password saved. Your installation should continue from the disc.

If you are seeing the error, "This game is currently unavailable. Please try again at another time," there is a simple way to try and fix it:

1. Close Steam. Right click on its icon in the System Tray, and Exit.
2. Go to Steam's folder, by default it is C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam
3. Find the file ClientRegistry.blob and rename it or delete it.
4. Start Steam again. It will re-download the client.
5. You're fixed. Have fun.

I had the same problem with the 3rd one when I was installing Shogun2 TW from disc.

What is Steam and SteamWorks?
Steam is a Digital Distribution (DD) and Digital Rights Management (DRM) platform used to distribute, update and play games online. Its main purpose is to allow players to buy games online and download them directly to their PCs with the Steam client, but it's also used by games distributed on physical media, such as DVD discs. Games that use Steamworks, which includes Steam-activated physical DVD discs, are activated online using the Steam client, and can't be launched without the Steam client running alongside the game. Thus the Steam client is required for both physical DVD and digital installations; it will be installed automatically for DVD installations from the disc, and there is no difference in the resulting install whether Skyrim is purchased online through Steam or on physical DVD. See here for more information.

Do I need Steam to run Skyrim on PC?
Yes. Skyrim is strictly tied to Steam for both physical retail DVD discs and online digital-only purchases. To play Skyrim, you launch the Steam client and then launch Skyrim from the Steam library, leaving the Steam client running in the background.

Can I just run Skyrim without Steam running in the background?
No. The Steam client must be running to play Skyrim, and discussion on circumventing Steam by running Skyrim by any other means will not be allowed within these forums.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to activate Skyrim?
Yes. There is no such thing as offline activation.

Do I need to be connected to the internet to play Skyrim?
No. Steam is able to run in offline mode, meaning that you need to get online only once to activate Skyrim and install any required updates/patches, and don't need to be connected to the internet to play it. See here for the official guide, and the last entry in this FAQ for more detailed instructions on how to set the Steam client to offline mode so that it can stay offline for a long time. The Steam client is often updated, and the offline mode is known to be still a little buggy nowadays, hence it is advisable follow the latter instructions to set the client in permanent offline mode once you have activated Skyrim if you need extended offline time, and regardless of any further Steam client updates.

I have preordered my physical DVD copy of Skyrim; how am I supposed to install it? Do I need to install the Steam client first?
No. What you're actually installing when you completely install Skyrim from the DVD is the Steam client itself (as long as you haven't installed Steam in your system yet), which will then automatically copy the required game files from the DVD to your hard drive. You'll be asked to enter your Steam account name and password to log onto Steam authentication servers, then setup will start. If you don't have a Steam account you'll be asked to register one before installing Skyrim. Note that some of the files may be pulled from the internet through the Steam client to complete the installation, rather than all being on the DVD.

I want to order the Collector's Edition of Skyrim, but I don't have an optical/DVD drive. Will I still be able to install it when it arrives?
Yes, as long as you have a broadband internet connection. You can activate the DVD key of any SteamWorks game, including Skyrim, in your Steam client and download and install it over the internet without ever needing the DVD at all.

I have purchased a copy of Skyrim through Direct2Drive, GamersGate or some other digital download portal, not a physical DVD version. Won't that be different from the Steam version? Will they be incompatible for modding?
No. There will be no difference nor incompatibility. Skyrim is exclusively on the Steam platform. These sites are selling Steam activation codes for Skyrim, similar to the SteamWorks DVD key. When you buy a code, you will activate it in your Steam client, which will then download and install Skyrim, just as if it was bought through Steam. So, there will be no difference from a version bought directly through Steam itself.

Where am I supposed to install Skyrim?
Steam allows one to choose the location where the game will be installed on installation of the game.

What if an update/patch comes out? May I just download the patch and install it, with the Steam client still set in offline mode?
No. There will be no manual updates or patches available for download anywhere; the only way to update Skyrim is to get online and let the Steam client download the updates for you. Then you will able to get back offline and play Skyrim as usual.

I'm on a slow/dial-up internet connection. Can I still activate Skyrim when I install from physical DVD disc? Will I be able to download required updates/patches?
Possibly. You will be able to activate Skyrim on a slow or dial-up connection. Steam activation data files are usually in the order of a few megabytes, so should only take a few minutes to download. However, at activation time it is required to install any required updates/patches.

Will I be able to play Skyrim as soon as it releases?
Yes. There will be more details on preloading Skyrim via Steam closer to release.

I have a question or concern about Steam, or DRM in general, that's not answered here.
Then you're encouraged to refer to the Unofficial Steam/DRM Discussion found in the Community Discussion forum or visit the Steam Support Forums.

Thanks to dAB for helping put together this FAQ

All talk about how to circumventing Steam and still play games that requires Steam is an illegal activity.
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