How to Check DRM on Video Games

Both publishers and programmers believe DRM and discounted cd keys are the answer to virtual piracy. Some anti-virus applications detect when DRM systems are observed on your PC; it isn’t, but they don’t want to accept it. This fact leaves the consumer who doesn’t need to promote DRM with a bit of a problem: there are now many games that use some form of DRM, so how do you find out what games do and what DRM they use?

Check the Game Box

gamesUsually, when you take a look at the trunk of a game box, and then it’s likely to say that an internet connection is required. This usually means that the game is probably activated on Steam, Uplay, or Origin (although DRM, for example, SecuROM, may also order activation via the internet). This probably doesn’t cover any third-party DRM. Some retailers take the trouble to put this information on the front of the game packaging with stickers.

Inspect the Product Page

Sometimes a retailer’s website will indicate if a game employs a type of DRM. This act can be a bit more common if you go the digital delivery route. A customer may be kind enough to point this out in a single product review, so be sure to read it. Check the game’s Wikipedia page; you may find some references to the use of this DRM. Wikipedia used to have a huge and handy group of games that used Steamworks, for example, but that was about it. Now it only covers the most recent games. If you look up the name of the game with the term “DRM,” you might find some implications. Gaming websites often cover these kinds of articles, so it’s worth sticking to some of them and being present on the topic.

Ask on Forums

gamesYou might try posting on gaming forums to see if anyone knows what DRM a particular game uses. But don’t be surprised if no one else takes advantage of it. Quite a few people don’t care what DRM a game uses, they don’t see it as a compelling reason not to pick up a title. So this is one of the least recommended routes to take. Due to the nature of and their DRM-free policy, you can try some countries or groups on Steam that discuss the issue.

Try a Browser Add-On

Many people find Steam to be a bit lacking, especially when it comes to logging what third-party DRM a game includes. It offers a variety of features that you can see when you visit the Steam website. People on Steam discuss the topic there anyway, so it might be a useful area if you can’t find the advice you’re looking for through the wiki. Or you can try SteamWiki, where you’ll find another list. The first predicament with these types of records is that they tend to incorporate newer games, along with the premise that earlier games don’t own DRM, which isn’t necessarily correct.

Contact the Developer

You can try contacting the developer of the game. There are many approaches you can take to achieve this. Steam usually has the developer’s email address on its website in the support. Third-party DRM is not an issue you want Steam to know about, regardless of the game’s developer or publisher. Otherwise, every studio worth its salt now includes a Facebook or perhaps Twitter account where you can contact them. If you don’t use social websites for whatever reason, then you can’t get this program.