There are good reasons behind Steam’s immense popularity as an online video game distributor.
The platform offers an extensive library of games with competitive pricing, seasonal and holiday sales, mini-events, and social features like profile customization, community hub, etc., which helps to bring the whole gaming community together.
That being said, Steam isn’t the only online game distributor available on the market. Even though it is pretty difficult to match Steam’s game variety and its features, there are some really good digital storefronts that sell curated high-quality and DRM-free video games.
So, if you also prefer to have diversified game libraries across multiple platforms, then these are the best Steam alternatives you can try:
- Epic Games
- Origin (EA app)
- Ubisoft Connect
- Xbox App
Keep reading to learn a bit more about the above alternatives.
The Epic Games store is the closest you’ll get as a Steam alternative in terms of game variety. Like Steam, EGS also offers a wide selection of video games with competitive prices, ranging from popular triple-A titles to underrated indie games (with the exception of platform-specific games).
The storefront is clean and minimal, with all the necessary features like game descriptions and ratings. But as of right now, it does lack the expansive community hub and review section like Steam.
The best part of signing up with Epic Games is the free games section and the holiday sales. Every week, they give away a couple of paid titles for free.
GOG (also known as Good Old Games) is a digital game distribution platform owned by the sister company of CD Projekt Red. Many consider this GOG one of the best platforms as it emphasizes putting gamers first by selling DRM-free games in their store.
Being a smaller company, GOG lacks the sheer amount of games like Steam. But it makes up for it quite nicely by only putting high-quality curated games on its platform, ranging from classic retro titles to modern triple-As.
And although you dont require a client application like the Steam client app to download games, you can use the GOG Galaxy 2.0 client application for added features like game library management, community hub, friends list, etc.
If you enjoy and love playing games from Electronic Art Studio (EA games), then Origin can be your go-to alternative to Steam. The storefront only hosts the classic and modern games developed by Electronic Arts.
EA developed this platform to provide a similar service to Valve’s Steam. It has implemented all the handy features, such as profile customization, friends network, game overlays, in-game achievement system, streaming service connections and integrations, etc.
As of right now, Origin has been discontinued for Windows and is only available on macOS. For Windows users, you’ll have to use the EA app, which offers a similar experience to the Origin application.
Like Origin, Battle.net is an online game distribution service developed by Blizzard Entertainment Studios.
It serves as a storefront where you can buy games ranging from classic Blizzard-exclusive titles such as Warcraft, Diablo, and Starcraft to modern games like Call of Duty, Diablo IV, World of Warcraft, etc.
Being a Blizzard-owned storefront, it does lack a wider selection of games like Steam. However, the ones that it offers are very popular and mostly exclusive to this platform.
Although users heavily criticized the platform for being poorly optimized and buggy, it has been getting better steadily with updates and patches. It now includes features such as friends list, trophies, achievements, platform linking, etc.
Ubisoft Connect also provides a subscription-based service that lets players beta test and give them day-one access to all the latest Ubisoft titles.
The Xbox App is Microsoft’s in-house game distribution storefront, which can serve as a good alternative to Steam. The app comes pre-installed on Windows 8, 10, and 11, and it offers all of the popular titles available on the Windows and the Xbox console.
In addition to giving you complete access to the Xbox network, the app also offers features similar to Steam, such as an activity feed, friends and chat features, recording and saving replays, achievements, and trophies, etc.
It can also serve as a game launcher where you can bring games that you’ve purchased from different storefronts (Steam, Origin, GOG) to one place.
Furthermore, you can also get the Xbox game pass, a subscription service that gives you free access to a selection of games every month, along with exclusive day-one access to all the latest releases.
This platform is solely designed for indie developers to publish their games independently (without restriction from big game publishers). This is why you’ll find many fun and creative ideas implemented in a variety of free and paid games.
Furthermore, developers can enable the name your price feature, where gamers can decide how much they want to pay for a particular game. The platform is online web-based and lacks the client application version like Steam.
Game Key Sellers
Aside from the above game distribution storefront, you can also purchase games from key sellers.
While they do get a bad rep for their questionable history of selling illegal keys from the gray market, there are also some genuine key distributors that sell official keys in collaboration with Steam.
Here are some safe options for Steam key distributors that I personally use.