Steamworks Documentation
Bringing Mobile Games to Steam
Over the years, we’ve seen many games that were originally successful on mobile make the leap to PC through Steam. Some of these titles made the transition successfully while others flop. The key differences seem to be in how deeply the developer considers the PC audience and adapts the game for the format. None of the below are hard-and-fast rules, but are simply some observations we have from games we’ve seen release on Steam.

In addition to these suggestions, you might want to check out James Vaughan’s GDC talk about bringing the game Plague Inc. from mobile to PC:

Things to keep in mind


PC gamers appear to prefer longer-form experiences that they can sink some time into. Whether that is experiencing a story unfolding or getting better at a puzzle or hard level. The bite-size pieces of content that typically do well on mobile (because you can play while waiting for the bus) haven't historically done as well on PC.


Consider the format of the screen. Do your art assets hold up when viewed on a high-resolution desktop monitor? Is the game re-shaped to fill the aspect ratio of monitors and make use of the whole screen? Is your interface reasonably sized on various resolutions? Can customers adjust resolution to make sure it fits natively on their monitor? These are all options that are pretty standard in successful PC titles.


Most people don’t have a touch-screen monitor, so it’s important to consider how your input model changes and how you can make use of keyboard and mouse in a natural way. Game controllers are also often worth considering, and the Steam Input API makes it easy for you to write a controller integration once that works for a huge variety of controllers.

Business Model

Some key formats for monetization on mobile are not received very well by PC players. For instance, PC players seem less willing to put up with microtransaction configurations that hold back gameplay or progress unless you pay. We’ve seen some games that have had that kind of format on mobile switch to a premium model on PC where all the content is unlocked and unrestricted, which seems to work better.

Where it makes sense, there are options on Steam to sell additional content as DLC or expansions but the core game should be a full experience without requiring an additional purchase.

User Generated Content

The PC brings some great opportunities for integrating user-generated content into the gameplay experience. If you have ways that your players can create content that improves other players’ experiences, then you can create a tighter connection between players and benefit from a larger pool of content available in your game. This can range from simple things like encouraging screenshot-moments or much more complex things like a level editor or ship builder that shares creations to the Steam Workshop.