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Publishing a game to Steam

Open an account on Steamworks and prepare your product page.

Register on Steamworks using your Steam account (or create a new account if necessary).

After registering and paying the fee for a single app/game, you will be able to create a new product and start setting up the product page.

Integrate Steamworks with your game


While not strictly required to publish to Steam, it is strongly recommended to integrate your game with Steam and add Steam achievements to your game.

Follow this guide to connect your Steamworks App ID to your game, integrate your game further with Steam's platform, and optionally enable Steam DRM.

Preparing your game for Steam

To start the publishing process, export your game for desktop:

  • For Windows, export as a ZIP file.
  • For macOS, export as a ZIP file too.
  • For Linux, build as an AppImage and extract it - or build manually as a zip file.

Upload your zip files in "depots"

In Steam, you must create a "depot" for each platform (Windows, macOS, Linux). Each "depot" is a place where you can upload the zip containing your game for the given platform.

You then configure a "Build" that is using the "depots". You can use the web interface to upload the zip files for each depot:

Issue when uploading a macOS build

There is an issue making the macOS application not working after uploading the macOS zip file (this is because the Steam web uploader breaks the symlinks). Instead, you must use the steamcmd command line tool to upload your macOS files.

  • Start by extracting the macOS zip file somewhere. Use Linux or macOS - Windows will break the "symlinks" when extracting the zip file. Extract the files in a folder called mac. You should have a single folder, "Your" inside this mac folder.
  • Create a Build Config file called steam-upload-config.vdf. Put it next to the folder called mac. This is an example:
    "AppID" "1234560" // your AppID
    "Desc" "Script to upload files" // internal description for this build

    "ContentRoot" "." // root content folder, relative to location of this file
    "BuildOutput" "./output" // build output folder for build logs and build cache files

        "1234562" // macOS DepotID
                "LocalPath" "mac/*" // all files from contentroot folder
                "DepotPath" "." // mapped into the root of the depot
                "recursive" "1" // include all subfolders
  • Install steamcmd.
  • Using a command line, run steamcmd: steamcmd +login <username> <yourpassword> +run_app_build ./steam-upload-config.vdf +quit

The steamcmd utility will upload the macOS app that you extracted in the mac folder, and it will now work correctly when you install it on a mac from the Steam client. You still need to configure the Launch Options - see the next section.

Configure "Launch Options"

In Installation > General Installation menu, you can configure the "Launch Options". The executable are:

  • "YourGame.exe" for Windows (replace YourGame by the executable name - check in the zip file if necessary)
  • "yourgame" for Linux (replace yourgame by the executable name - check in the zip file if necessary)
  • "Your" for macOS (replace Your by the folder name - check in the zip file if necessary)
  • If you need the Steam Overlay to work, you will need to add --in-process-gpu --disable-direct-composition in the "Arguments" section of each launch option.

Publish the game

Your game should now be ready for publication. Check again that all metadata has been correctly set, that there are no typos anywhere, that you have uploaded all the promotional art, etc.

Once you are ready, all that is left to do is:

  1. Click the tab called “Publish”
  2. Click “Prepare for publishing”
  3. Click “Publish to Steam”
  4. Enter the secret confirmation code “STEAMWORKS”
  5. Click “Really Publish”

You should see a message similar to “Congrats! Your changes are now live.”. With that, your game should be published on Steam for you to play.