Alternative PC Game Stores to Steam
There Are Alternatives to Steam
Steam is one of the most popular ways to buy games for computers. Most people online seem to agree that this is the main way to buy games on PC. But Steam is not the only option around.
In this article, I am going to go over the other game clients I know that sell games.
Narrowing Things Down
No Steam Cd Keys
I am only including stores that don't sell Steam CD keys. There are plenty of places online to buy Steam CD keys outside of Steam, but this is not much of an alternative.
The Store Must Have a Game Client
I am going to focus on stores that have game clients. There are some online-only places to find games, but I am not including them in this list. I am also focusing on game clients that work on Windows 10.
Some of these stores may have Linux or macOS support though.
No Single Game Clients
Lastly, I am ignoring game clients that only exist for one game. There are many of these and chances are if you play that game you already know about the client.
The Home of World of Warcraft
Blizzard is a very popular video game company. Most people will recognize them from the online game World of Warcraft, but they have plenty of other successful games as well.
Blizzards’s game launcher is Battle.net. This is also the name of the website you can learn about Blizzard games as well. I have also heard this launcher called the Blizzard launcher, but Battle.net is the oldest and most recognized name.
Home of Some Activision Games
Activision added some of their games to this client as well. You can play Call of Duty: Black Ops III and Destiny 2 from Battle.net. There will be other Activision games added in the future.
Battle.net game list
- Call of Duty: Black Ops III
- Destiny 2
- Diablo 3
- Heroes of the Storm
- Starcraft 2
- World of Warcraft
The popular online chat service Discord at one time had a game store. There is not a stand-alone Discord game store anymore, and you now subscribe to Discord Nitro to get games. Supposedly developer can sell games on Discord chat servers.
I never got a chance to buy a game from Discord, so I don't have much to say about the service. It seems odd that this service was quickly closed down.
The Home of Fortnite
Epic released popular games like Unreal in the past. More recently they made the very popular online game Fortnite Battle Royale.
The Epic Games Store
You can download and play other Epic games as well. The game client looks nice and works for what it needs to do.
Epic Game Store Controversy
Epic Games has caused some controversy in the gaming community. They are paying developers to remove their games from other game stores and to release the game(s) only on the Epic game store. People are rightfully angry about this.
There have been cases of games being sold on Steam and Kickstarter backers and people who preordered the game(s) were promised Steam keys. Then the developers now say the backers are not getting keys on Epic games.
In addition to those issues, Epic games also tried to force developers to put their games on sale. Developers who were not happy with this removed their games from the store instead of selling them at a forced discount.
The Facebook Game Client
You might be thinking “You said no online-only games!” Well for a while would have excluded Facebook, but somewhat recently they made a game client for Windows. Facebook Gameroom.
Facebook Gameroom is basic. Its main function is to serve as an alternative way to play games outside of launching the Facebook website.
Facebook Has a Huge Number of Games
You can use this client to play the enormous library of Facebook games. I know some gamers don't think highly of mobile/web browser games. But many people like these games, and the mobile games market is growing.
An Indie Game Store
Game Jolt is an indie game store. Game Jolt has a game client in progress, and you can download and test it. Game Jolt has a client for some Linux Distributions. I have tested the client on Ubuntu myself.
Game Jolt Client Features
The client places a lot of focus on the interaction between game developers and players. Game Jolt encourages players to give feedback on what they think about games.
A Game Store Originally for Old PC Games
GOG originally stood for Good Old Games is an online game store. They are most known for restoring and making older computer games playable on modern computers. But this store has plenty of new and more modern games as well.
Gog Has DRM Free Games
GOG Games are DRM free. This means you download the game and install it without restriction. Some people support GOG because of this.
About Gog Galaxy
GOG has an optional game client called GOG Galaxy. The client makes updating and managing your games much easier.
About GOG Connect
GOG has an interesting service called GOG Connect. This allows you to transfer some Steam games to GOG. I find this very interesting. This makes sense to encourage people to use the GOG client and buy more games.
Another Indie Game Store
Itch.io is an indie game store. New developers seem to love publishing games on this platform. bigger indie developers publish games on Itch as well though.
The Itch Game Client
Itch.io does have a game client you can use. This game client also works on some Linux Distributions. I have used it on Ubuntu myself in the past. I have not used this game client too much myself. I cannot think of anything negative to say about it.
The Microsoft Store
The Game Store for Windows 10
If you have a personal version of Windows 10, you have access to a game store already. The Microsoft Store
The Microsoft Store Has Many Different Types of Games
Microsoft has released some high-profile games on the Microsoft store. The type of games I see the most on the Microsoft Store are mobile like games. The Microsoft Store to me feels like a lighter version of Google Play.
Notable Microsoft Store Games
- Gears of War 4
- Microsoft Solitaire Collection
- Minecraft Windows 10 Edition
- Quantum Break
About EA Games
EA Games (also known as Electronic Arts) is a company that sells many of its games on PC. The way to buy and play most of them is with the Origin game client. You can buy and launch games, and you can add friends.
Notable Origin games
- Battlefield games
- Mass Effect
- Star Wars Battlefront (modern versions)
- The Sims
Games on Twitch
Twitch is a very popular online streaming service. You cannot buy games from Twitch, but you download free games from being an Amazon Prime member.
The Streaming Game Client Is the Games Client
The Twitch Desktop client functions as a game client as well. This is a barebones game client as all you can do is download and update games. I am curious to see if Amazon/Twitch expands the client's capabilities in the future.
The game client for Ubisoft is Uplay. You can download and update games. You can also browse and buy new games.
Some of the Games on Uplay
Ubisoft is known for making the Assassin's Creed, Tom Clancy games, and Rayman video game series.
Questions & Answers
© 2019 Eric Farmer