Buying games from the Steam digital store is not the only way to get games on Steam . Some will find this surprising, while others will wonder if such clarification was necessary, and this reaction depends on whether or not the person knows about keystores and how they work. And it is that, as surprising as it may be to some, today there are still many people who are either unaware or have very distant knowledge about these services and what they offer.
Services like G2A, Eneba, Insta Gaming and others, have been gaining notoriety over the years , something for which they have depended both on their marketing and advertising actions, and on the way in which their own users have become a diffusion vector, especially in its early days, when they were not as well known as they are today. I remember, at that time, how many users ran, excited, to tell on social networks that they had obtained a legal license for the game of fashion at the time, but that they had saved 20, 30 or even 40% compared to the official price. I can’t think of a better advertisement.
Thus, over time it has become popular to refer to them as key stores , something that was completely correct in the beginning, but is no longer so appropriate today, since its offer has diversified. However, here we find ourselves again with what I mentioned at the beginning, that is, with the fact that there are users who are aware of this evolution, while others think that those of cheap games continue to be, that, key accounts. And this has given rise to a somewhat uncomfortable circumstance for the latter.
For some time now, when we search in these types of stores, we can find ourselves along with the games whose name is accompanied by “Steam Key”, others that to the right of their name indicate “Steam Account” . The problem is that, due to ignorance or lack of attention, there are quite a few people who buy a game with the suffix “Steam Account” without knowing what they are doing. And what they are doing, as you can tell from the text, is buying a Steam account (or access to it) that contains only that game.
Thus, if we buy a game in this mode, every time we want to play it we will have to log out of our Steam account and open the account with said title, although it is true that some sellers offer alternative means to avoid this, such as using the loan between accounts This means, in the first instance, that all the achievements we obtain will not be reflected in our personal account, we will not be able to share our activity in it, we will not be able to use the Steam functions to communicate and play with our friends (as long as this depends on Steam, of course, otherwise we won’t have a problem), and so on.
Beyond that, there are two more important problems. The first is that we will not have a 100% guarantee that the account will belong to us exclusively . On these platforms there are very serious and professional sellers, and their rating histories can put us on the track to know if they are more or less reliable, and the platforms themselves take measures to try to guarantee this, but we must not fail to take this into account. risk if we opt for a “Steam Account” instead of a “Steam Key”.
I have left the most important for the end of this enumeration of risks. If we review the Steam Subscriber Agreement (the conditions we accept when using the service), in chapter 1, section C, we can read the following:
« Your account, including all information linked to it (eg contact details, billing details, account history and subscriptions, etc.), is strictly personal. Therefore, you do not have permission to sell your account , charge third parties for the right to use it, or otherwise transfer it; You also do not have permission to sell your subscriptions, charge others for the right to use them, or transfer them, except as expressly permitted in this agreement (including the subscription terms or rules of use) or as specifically authorized by Valve. »
And what can happen if Valve detects that an account has been sold? chapter 9, section C:
« Valve may restrict or terminate your account or any subscription at any time in the event that (a) Valve ceases to provide that type of subscription generally to subscribers in similar situations, or (b) you breach any of the terms of this agreement (including subscription terms and rules of use) . In the event that Valve cancels or terminates your account or a particular subscription for breach of this agreement or for improper or criminal activity, you will not receive any refund or return any subscription fees or unused funds in your wallet. Steam. »
Given all the cons, why would anyone want to buy a Steam account that includes a game, instead of a code to add that game to their own account? The explanation is extremely simple, actually, and I bet that even if you don’t know these stores and/or this type of sales, you are already imagining it, but I will illustrate it with an example. I will do it with the more than popular G2A, and the reason for choosing it is that, in my experience, it is the platform that is most concerned with alerting users that what they intend to buy is an account, and not a password.
I haven’t played it yet, but I’m quite curious about Hogwarts Legacy, as both the reviews and the feedback I’ve received about it have been very, very positive. So, I go to Steam, and I see that the price of the normal edition is 59.99 euros, while the deluxe edition goes up to 69.99 euros . Since my budget is a bit tight, but I want to play it, I decide to try my luck in the key shops, and after a search in G2A, I find the following results:
As you can see, the savings of a Steam Account compared to a Steam Key is more than evident, with the first two search results offering us a 50% saving . We continue to see the results and verify that the two keys that are shown in the list offer us a saving of between 20% and 30% , which is not bad, but of course, it is not the surprising 50% that we have seen in the accounts shown at the beginning.
When accessing the file of one of the results of accounts, not of keys, if we review its content we will find a message that warns us, in case we had not realized when we saw the title, of the nature of this purchase:
Is it worth buying an account?
This question does not have a universal answer , since it really depends on the weight that each person gives to the pros and cons of said option. Obviously, the economic savings are spectacular , and some stores, such as the aforementioned G2A, seem to take the commitment to guarantee the reliability of these accounts quite seriously, in addition to actively and passively informing the user that they are in front of to a purchase of a very particular nature.
On the other hand, we already know that absolute guarantees do not exist . Either because the seller acts with evil intentions, or because Valve detects that the account has breached the user agreement and decides to cancel it, we expose ourselves to a series of risks that not everyone is willing to assume, logically.
In my case, I consider that it does not compensate me, I prefer the “security” (remember that everything is relative) that provides me with a key with which the game in question becomes part of my inventory, even if its cost is somewhat higher. Of course, in reality my favorite option is to wait for the Steam sales, or special offers from developers, to get hold of the game in question directly on the platform. However, I have bought keys in several stores and I have always done well with them , and on occasions they have given me a very significant saving, so they also seem like a highly recommended option.
What do you think? Do you think that the savings of the accounts compared to the keys justifies opting for the former? Have you bought an account? And if so, how has your experience been with it?