6 Places To Buy DRM-Free Games [MUO Gaming]

Matt Smith 23-08-2012

drm free gamesSince I’ve decided not to buy games from Steam Why I’m No Longer Buying Games On Steam [Opinion] Steam is now approaching 10 years old. Its impact has been undeniable. Millions of gamers enjoy the service’s seamless community services, low prices and excellent selection. I have been one of them – until now.... Read More , I need to find other sources. Many of them are actually worse than Steam itself. Ubisoft’s store is baffling and full of annoying DRM. Electronic Art’s Origin What’s The Deal With EA's Origin & Is It Really That Bad? There’s been a plenty of uproar, whinging and general dismay at EA’s decision to combine their online store and download client into one “Steam-beating” package: Origin. Since its announcement the software has been on the... Read More service is more functional and less distracting, but worse than Steam overall. And Gamestop has done an excellent job of ruining the Impulse service since it bought it from Stardock.


What’s a gamer to do? There are many games that are simply not available from a DRM free source. If you’re willing to pick and choose, however, there are some alternatives.


drm free games

Formerly known as Good Old Games, this site re-branded itself as GOG and now sells a variety of DRM-free game titles both new and old. It offers a large catalog that includes some of the best titles ever released for PC, and while many are old, some newer games have come to the site. You can buy Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry 2 and Alan Wake from the site – as well as notable indie games like Legend of Grimrock and Symphony.

Like most digital retailers, the pricing on GOG is reasonable. The majority of titles are available for $9.99 or less and only a few games are sold for more than $19.99. Games can be downloaded directly or via GOG’s download app.

Humble Bundle

drm-free game sites


The Humble Bundle The Humble Indie Games Bundle: Pay What You Want! Read More is a recurring, limited-time sale of indie games. It gained popularity because it uses a name-your-price scheme. Users input how much they want to pay, which means it’s possible to obtain a chunk of good games for five bucks. People love a good deal.

But the Humble Indie Bundle is also notable because it offers the games free of DRM. It also provides games across multiple platforms, when possible, so you don’t have to buy multiple versions of the game to run it on different operating systems.

So far there have been five different bundles for PC, two bundles for Android and a number of other smaller bundles that focused on specific indie developers. I suggest signing up for their email alerts, which will tell you when a new bundle is launched.

Indie Royale

drm-free game sites


The Humble Bundle’s success has spawned an imitator, the Indie Royale. It works the same way. You to name your price (though there is a minimum) and you gain bonus content if you pay a greater amount.

As with the Humble Bundle, the games are generally DRM free and cross platform. There have been games sold in the bundle which require Steam to use, but this is not generally the case. Games that require Steam are listed as such in the bundle.

Desura [No Longer Available]

drm-free game sites

Desura is a recently released digital distribution service which lets gamers buy titles via their website or client. If you want to use the client, you can, and you gain some community features by doing so. But it’s not forced on you.


Desura is DRM agnostic, which means that the service itself does not have any particular restrictions or requirements. Developers could include DRM if they want, but most are embracing it as a DRM-free alternative to Steam.

You can also participate in alpha-funding, which is the service’s equivalent to Kickstarter. You pay for a game in development and receive an alpha version as well as future updates. This is awesome for gamers who like to play ambitious indie games before they’re old news.


drm free games

If you don’t mind waiting awhile for the full release, or playing an alpha version immediately, Kickstarter is not a bad place to find DRM free games. There’s a wide variety of indie projects listed on the service and virtually all of them promise their games free of DRM.


You’ve probably already heard of the most successful Kickstarters, such as Double Fine’s adventure game and Wasteland 2. But there are a lot of other cool projects still in need of funding such as The Other Brothers and Shadow Remnants.

Buy Direct

Digital distribution platforms are the preferred method for many developers because they are simple and provide widespread exposure. The dev doesn’t have to worry about managing transactions or an online store.

However, some indie developers choose to provide a direct download option. Examples include 2×2 Games, Spiderweb Software and Introversion.

Spend a few seconds with Google before you buy an indie game. It may be available direct from the source. This sometimes costs more than if you’d bought the game elsewhere, but all of your funds will be going directly to the people who made the game.


Finding DRM-free games is not easy today, but these options provide a wide variety of titles both new and old – more than enough to satisfy the average gamer.

And, since the titles are DRM free, they will be with you for as long as you back them up. That’s an important distinction. Games protected from DRM may eventually become unusable if the DRM system is taken out of service, a problem that could erase entire games.

Do you know of a source of DRM free games that is not included here? Tell us about it in the comments.

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  1. noamineo
    April 27, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I've been using for a long time, it is excellent. Going to take a look at Desura, though I think its important to support companies that take a stand against DRM. I stopped buying Humble Bundles when they started including large amounts of steamworks-only titles.

  2. Kie
    March 6, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    2x2 Games ? Googled it, found nothing.

  3. Ursumia
    January 7, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    There some more Bundles, where you can get DRM-Free Games. These are the Indie Gala (, Groupees ( and Bundle in a Box (

  4. tarzan2001
    August 23, 2012 at 10:31 pm

    DRM is a problem that, unfortunately, we're probably going to have to deal with for a long time to come. That main issue in my opinion is that video game develops charge way too much for their games. What they don't realize is that there are actually many, many people out there that are willing to legitimately buy games, but can't because they don't want to pay $60 for a 6-hour campaign of CoD, with some multiplayer features that can't be accessed without paying even more money. Imagine if they sold the newest CoD game for $15-20. Everybody and their dog would buy it!! They would make so much money simply because of their massive sales numbers. Community servers could handle the load of increased players, and they could set up pay-for-play servers owned by the developer to host official tournaments, with actual prizes awarded at the end. So many people would be happy to pay for the tournaments, and everyone else would be happy to play the game itself. And the whole time the company would be making tons of money. This is just an example with CoD, but even for other games, people would be more willing to buy them and take a risk for new, unknown titles if they didn't have to risk so much money in the initial purchase.

    • Thor
      March 1, 2017 at 8:09 am


      If only most of the gamers would see the same and actually say and do something about it. Some of the crappy games are outrageously expensive for what they claim to offer.
      Anyway, considering nowadays the quantity of games that are being produced (nevermind the quality) we are more easily finding good games (by this I mean big titles) for free. One just needs to look around a bit and be lucky to look in those days when the games are being offered for free :)

  5. Juan Carlos Espinosa Agudelo
    August 23, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Thank you for posting this! Too bad I only didn't know Indie Royale.

    The service I've mostly used is Desura, so here's my opinion on it:
    I downloaded an amount of games on it, but before that, my laptop wouldn't connect to the servers, so I couldn't download the games for a long time. At some day I decided to try again and they magically started downloading without a problem, so maybe this was just a temporary downtime.

    Also, call me cheap, but I searched for a list of free games on Desura, so for those wanting to try the service out without payment, here's a list you can use: [Broken URL Removed]

    • April Eum
      August 27, 2012 at 7:40 pm

      thanks for sharing, i want to try out desura since you have provided me with it!

  6. Yang Yang Li
    August 23, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    The Humble Bundle V was packed insanely full of the best games. Cross platform is a blessing, it is very difficult to find good games for Linux. As a bonus, after one is done playing the games, there are FLAC soundtracks from the games to listen to. High quality uncompressed tracks are as difficult to find as Linux games. Name your own price makes it affordable to everyone as well!