Steamworks Documentation
Distributing Source Engine Games

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Q. I wish to distribute a Source Engine Mod through Steam. Should I fill out the paperwork?

    A. Yes, please complete the digital paperwork to get signed up as a Steamworks developers. All information is required, including bank and tax information and app fee even if you intend to distribute your mod for free.
  • Q. Is there a licensing fee for using the Source Engine?

    A. There is no fee for using the Source Engine for your free mod, but there may be licensing fees for included tools if you charge money for your game.
  • Q. Can I sell my Source Engine game on Steam?

    A. Yes, but there are a few requirements:
    • You will need to complete an additional agreement for distributing a paid Source Engine product on Steam.
    • If you are using the RAD tools included with the Source SDK, you will need to contact RAD for information and cost associated with licensing Miles and/or Bink.
    • For any Source Engine game that charges money, Havok needs to be paid a licensing fee of $25,000 for the physics engine. You will need to pay this fee up front before making your game available for sale on Steam.
    • You can only sell your Source Engine game via Steam unless you get a full Source Engine license.
  • Q. I’ve got a Source mod that I want to distribute via Steam. How do I prepare my mod under my app ID?

    A. You'll need to copy the exe and content from the Valve Source Engine game you have built your mod off and wrap that up as your application.

    While you should include all the necessary Source Engine dlls and content from the base Source game that you need for your mod to run, Source Engine mods must be configured to require ownership of the base game in order to play. This needs to be configured by Valve.
  • Q. I wish to use Steam achievements in my mod. How do I do that?

    A. Use the CAchievementMgr class included in the Source Engine after configuring achievements in your App Admin page on the partner site. For more details, please see the Stats and Achievements documentation.
  • Q. How does the dedicated server work for my game?

    A. You will need a new dedicated server app ID so that you can create depots that are for a dedicated server. Once you've got an app ID for your base game, you can create your own dedicated server app ID. From your app landing page in Steamworks, click "All Associated Packages, DLC, Demos, And Tools" and then click the "Create New Tool" button in the Tools section.
  • Q. Can I use Valve IP in my Source Mod?

    A. Yes. However, please make it clear on your store pages that your mod is a mod and not created by Valve. Commercial games and mods that include Valve IP such as characters and story-lines need prior approval from Valve.
  • Q. Can I use multiple Valve IPs in one Source Mod?

    A. Yes.
  • Q. Where can I learn more about Source Engine development?

    A. The best place to start is on the Valve Developer Wiki.