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Steam and Steam Game Compatibility Thread


beansmuggler
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I hesitated to make this thread, but ultimately think the issue separate enough from the Latest Version of Software Running on XP thread (and the various Steam threads left hanging from recent history) to warrant a thread of its own since the Latest Version thread is mostly focused on productivity software and because I hate waiting half an hour downloading a game only to find that it doesn't even work.

Steam lost XP support in 2019. Since then, multiple solutions have come up with varying levels of success. After trying 2 other avenues, I used the method described in this video to install Steam on XP because, while it's uncomfortably unfamiliar (they say this Steam rebuild has multiple patches, but only name one of them), it's the only way I got games to download in-client. Another method from December 2020 in the comments of this post claimed to do the same, but it didn't work for me, though this may have been because of an error I made midway.

Anyways, this isn't for discussing Steam compatibility as much as it is for Steam game compatibility. Some games on XP claim to be compatible (or at least logically should be compatible) but aren't for a variety of reasons. Some games even used to be XP-compatible, but have somehow lost this after newer updates that, due to the nature of Steam, are entirely unavoidable. With this thread, I aim to create a more uniform list of what is and isn't working on XP in 2021 and beyond. So far, this is what I've found:

  • SteamVR is not compatible. Attempts to install will only restart Steam.
  • For all hl2-era games, your game may render itself sideways for some reason. If this happens, change your video setting to the lowest possible setting on 4:3 mode, then change it back to the resolution and aspect ratio you prefer to play at. Closing the notification you get about screen resolution from Windows is fruitless, since it comes back instantly. Attempts to change your in-game volume settings will not last after closing the game.
  • Team Fortress 2 is not functionally compatible. The game will run, but it doesn't connect to Steam, so you lose your overlay, your inventory, the store, and really everything in the game that isn't the main menu. Starting your own server ingame crashes before reaching the team choice screen. I'm going to try one last thing (getting a Steam invite and trying to join the game through that), but otherwise I don't know of any way to make it work that wouldn't require modifications. I guess if you wanted to take the commentary tour, you could try that?
  • Garry's Mod is not functionally compatible. After it flips your screen sideways, it gives you a bug warning in a standard MessageBox window about how to report bugs to the team. I may try some testing later with the facepunch common issues guide, but will wait on confirming things with TF2 first.
  • Half-Life is fully compatible, even online multiplayer.
  • Half-Life 2 is fully compatible.
  • Portal 2, afaik, is fully compatible.
  • Poker Night at the Inventory is fully compatible, though I don't know if it gives TF2 items due to aforementioned issues. Even though Steam overlay doesn't work with this game, you will still get achievements.
  • Audiosurf is fully compatible, though I haven't tested the login feature.
  • Crazy Taxi is fully compatible.
  • Lethal League is not functionally compatible. You can hear game audio and control the menu, but the game will only display a series of scattered pixels that don't move. I haven't tested to see if resolution adjustments or menu choices will remedy this.
  • Ultimate Custom Night, in a strange twist of fate, is fully compatible despite being released in 2018.

I have other games I could test, but those are all I've covered for now. If anyone has anything else to test, or weird workarounds that could fix any incompatibility with the above, do share. Also, a game that only works when cracked doesn't count as a compatible game. You're aiming for things you can download legally with the Steam client, and nothing else.

Edited by beansmuggler
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I have been able run few titles additional to those from steam

Original Farcry runs out of box

GTA San Andreas works without issue on XP

My Summer car runs BUT default one is 64bit one and you need beta code (look current one at steam forum). Then right click game inside client go to beta tab, enter code then select 32bit version and let it download. After it launch game like normal. I have tested it on AMD Phenom X4 945 and nvidia 8800GTS 512mb before got current rig at 1080p and run 30-70fps on golden eye mode

 

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I've been having a weird issue where a lot of games which should work with Windows XP won't launch because Steam insists Steamworks Common Redistributables needs to be updated first. I've tried the trick of copying over the entire Steamworks Common Redistributables directory from a Windows 10 machine as well as the corresponding appmanifest file. However, it's not been working. Has anyone had that problem and figured out how to fix it?

I've got a lot more games I need to go through at some point, but so far those are the ones I've played recently. If anyone's got advice on how to fix the Steamworks Common Redistributables problem, I really want to know. I want to play some Civilization V ...

EDIT FEBRUARY 09 2022: I think I solved it! After beating my head on this wall for months like a madman, somehow I got my copy of  Steam to download updates again, and it's currently redownloading Steamworks Common Redistributables. I'm not sure what the winning trick was, but it started working after I did the following:

  1. Copied the "CS" list of servers from the config.vdf file available in the comments of @spaztron64's Archived copy of Steam and completely replaced the "CM" list of IP addresses with it
  2. Marked config.vdf as read-only (which normally doesn't work as Steam just produces a temporary "async" version and uses that)
  3. Copy-pasted my last known working copies of packageinfo.vdf, appinfo.vdf, and localization.vdf (packageinfo.vdf had been run through PackageInfoConverter) into the appache directory and marked all three as read-only

While Steam still wound up producing an "async" temporary version of packageinfo.vdf, it still launched and started downloading updates! Hopefully this fixes my issues, but I won't know for sure until the downloads finish.

EDIT FEBRUARY 23 2022: Any time I close Steam I still need to copy the PackageInfoConverter'd packageinfo.vdf back into the appache directory because Steam downloads an incompatible version that prevents it from launching otherwise.

Also, I've encountered a new problem now that Steam has been updating my games. Some of the games no longer work with my copy of Steam because they downloaded a new version of steam_api.dll for that game which does not recognize my version of Steam and therefore claims that Steam isn't running if I try to play the game.

I'm going to update my list of games that I've played with the current status for each.

Ace Combat Assault Horizon still launches, though I haven't really played that yet either, so I don't know how it is to play the game online.

Aquaria still works, but I haven't done more than launch the game so far.

Awesomenauts has been doing some weird crap when I tried launching it. The game launches, but then it takes me to a black screen where I can hear characters repeatedly spawning, respawning, and dying.

Bastion still works with XP as far as I know.

Addendum February 23 2022: Despite a recent update the game still works, thankfully. I did make sure to copy steam_api.dll for this just in case.

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare wouldn't launch from Steam without Steamworks Common Redistributables updated, though it's also a game that can be launched outside of running Steam. If you do that, though, you can't join any online games. Playing offline with bots is hit-or-miss since most team objective/capture the flags maps aren't set up to properly instruct the bots on where to go for each objective or where the flag is and how to return it. Also, offline, any team objective maps whose final objective involves killing the "king" (highest scoring player on the defending team) automatically complete (probably because, again, bots are a bit daft in Chiv).

Addendum February 23 2022: Whatever it was I did to get Steam to download updates to games again fixed the issue with Chivalry not seeing servers anymore, but it took a restart of Steam to do it. So for now, I can play the game online again!

Crusader Kings II is a game that should work, but there was an update to the game that keeps it from running on XP now. At the time when I got the game back in 2018, Paradox devs suggested keeping an older version of the game, but I didn't have an older version to do that. XomPie ALMOST got the game to work, except it now insists that it can't find one of the DLL files XomPie points to (ws2_xp.dll).

Deus Ex: Human Revolution still works; messed around in it recently. I have The Missing Link DLC, too.

DogFighter still works, but even when I got the game back in 2011ish I never found any online games. The game does let you play offline against bots, but I imagine this would be a lot more enjoyable against other players.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim still works, but I have one of the original editions of the game. I DO have the Dragonborn DLC though.

Flotilla used to work, but it stopped working in 2019 after an update. I tried running it through XomPie, but now it crashes with a "this program encountered an error and needs to close, we're sorry for the inconvenience" type error.

Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition still works.

Gratuitous Space Battles still works.

Guns of Icarus Online/Alliance was affected by the Steamworks Common Redistributables crap, but after I got Steam to download updates again, I was able to launch the game and play the tutorials. I've yet to play the game online though.

GunZ 2: The Second Duel still launches, but I never actually tried playing the game.

Half-Life 2, including Episode One, Episode Two, and Lost Coast, all stopped working ever since I got Steam to download updates again. I don't understand why; unlike Team Fortress 2, the games will appear to launch and silently close.

Hammerfight still works.

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2 used to work during the time Steam wouldn't download updates ... sort of. I could launch the games outside of Steam if Steam was running, but I couldn't join online games. Now, however, both games have been affected by that steam_api.dll crap. They launch, but once I get to the menu of either game, they close with a message saying Steam needs to be running.

LISA: The Painful still works as far as I know.

Addendum February 23 2022: Yep, still works.

Machinarium used to work, until I got Steam to download updates again. This is another game that fell prey to the steam_api.dll update which insists I'm not running Steam. Maybe if I can get the previous versions of the steam_api.dll files from a backup I can get it to run again.

Metro 2033 still works.

NEStalgia also worked when I launched it, but I haven't really tried playing it.

One-Way Heroics still works.

Orwell is also XP-friendly from my most recent test of it.

Addendum February 23 2022: However, I can only get the game to run in Open GL mode. Doesn't really bother me much.

Osmos still works as well.

Portal still works.

Phantasy Star Online 2 never worked with XP64 even in its beta back in 2012; the game has some kind of ridiculous version check that prevents any executable from running specifically on XP64, be it the installer, the game itself, or the patcher. I never understood why Sonic Team did that because at the time PSO2 supported XP32 and Vista. I don't know if PSO2 still supports XP32 these days.

Sid Meier's Civilization V was another game affected by the Steamworks Common Redistributables crap. But once I got that fixed, the game STILL won't launch, even though it should support XP ... because now Steam says I've got an incompatible version. (By which it means operating system.) Palouser's an XP64 machine, so it may possibly be Steam needlessly forbidding XP64 from playing a game that supports XP32.

Saviors was a game affected by the Steamworks Common Redistributables problem, but once I got that sorted out I was able to play the game again.

SpaceChem stopped working for me, however, if you use XomPie the game will start working again.

Spiral Knights still works and I've played it some recently.

Spec Ops: The Line launched when I tested it, I haven't really played it yet.

Stronghold Kingdoms still seems capable of running, but I haven't played that game in years so I didn't do more than attempt to launch the game. (It's one heck of a timesink.)

Team Fortress 2 doesn't work anymore. The same problem that prevents me from playing FFXIV on XP ever since the Endwalker expansion is happening with TF2, but unlike FFXIV, I'm unable to pin down WHICH executable or DLL is triggering the SRW Lock errors.

VVVVVV still works fine.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine works with Windows XP, as does the online mode. I haven't tried playing the game with the Chaos Rising or Dreadnought Assault DLCs though, so I don't know if getting that DLC does something to the game to render it unplayable.

Addendum February 23 2022: Apparently my copy got upgraded the Anniversary Edition automatically and I wound up getting some of the DLC content, but the game still works. If you want to play this game online, though, it would be a great idea to join the Space Marine without Cheaters, Glitchers, and Hackers community. The few people who still play online tend to play in private or scheduled games, or in clan matches. They also have a Discord, you can ask to join on their chat room.

War Thunder stopped working for me, and I haven't had any success in XomPie making it work.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM: Enemy Within don't officially support XP, but it's all due to the executable calling functions not normally present in XP. Apparently Microsoft did release an API for XP that implements these functions, but XCOM's executables won't use them even if you do. However, there is a workaround available which involves editing the binary of the executables to point to a modified DLL which has those functions. I don't know if I can link to the Steam thread, but there's guides on how to do it there.

(XCOM is another game which should work and has worked for me using this method, but recently Steam has been automatically "fixing" the game's modified executables and keeping me from playing the game any time I try to launch it. I don't know how to make it stop.)

Addendum February 23 2022: I still haven't gotten this issue fixed. For some reason, Steam still refuses to let me play the game with the modified executable, refusing to launch if I make the executable read-only, and automatically replacing the executable with an unmodified one if I don't.

Edited by TrevMUN
I think I hit the jackpot, six months later!
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6 hours ago, TrevMUN said:

(XCOM is another game which should work and has worked for me using this method, but recently Steam has been automatically "fixing" the game's modified executables and keeping me from playing the game any time I try to launch it. I don't know how to make it stop.)

Does making the exe read-only work, or will Steam undo that and "fix" it anyways?

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What I need is a way to install Steam offline.

 

The problem is that the XP Sony (2001 VAIO) only has one USB port. In order to use the library WIFI I must use a USB Wifi stick (Panda Wireless). Using a splitter usually does not work very well.

 

I also want to install Steam on a USB stick since that laptop does NOT have much memory, only 40GB all total. Period.

 

Games that work offline (note that GOG is the best way to go, or other standalones) for an XP 2001 Sony VAIO Pentium 3:

 

Gingertip's "Foxtail"

Half-Life

Bejeweled 1-3 (for 3 hardware acceleration does not work for the VAIO)

Bejeweled Twist (no hardware acceleration but quite acceptable)

Sid Meier's Pirates! 2K but with certain issues (due to power limitations of the laptop)

Sanctuary Black. Also runs in Puppy Linux 5.2.5 Lucid with WINE, no problem

Fiber Twig 2

Tanglewood if Gens emulator is used. The needed file is there with the Steam download.

Brave Furries (works on XP Dell with GeForce mobile chip 2002)

Card City Nights (again on Dell, NOT on Sony VAIO (C000001D))

Tachyon

Roller Coaster Tycoon (oldie but goodie!)

Gemcraft Chasing Shadows and Catch a Duck are the Flash versions- but they work, so...

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36 minutes ago, GusCE6 said:

What I need is a way to install Steam offline.

 

The problem is that the XP Sony (2001 VAIO) only has one USB port. In order to use the library WIFI I must use a USB Wifi stick (Panda Wireless). Using a splitter usually does not work very well.

As a kid, I remember having a computer tower someone modified by replacing the ethernet port with an antenna (PCIE I guess) that let it connect to wifi. Either that or creating a wifi bridge with a raspberry pi is my best guess at getting that USB slot free (will need a second wall outlet at your library for the pi).

In unrelated news, I'm going to try ProxHTTPSProxy to see if running that somehow allievates the issue of some games being unable to connect to Steam. It probably won't work, but it's worth a shot. I just have to wait to for my antivirus provider to give the file the OK so it stops blocking it from running (I dont like hitting "exclude" on a file that may be good now but could be infected later)

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19 hours ago, beansmuggler said:

Does making the exe read-only work, or will Steam undo that and "fix" it anyways?

It used to work, I think. I just gave it another shot and now Steam gives me an error when I try to launch the game. I tried launching Steam with the -console launch parameter to see what might be going on behind the scenes. This is what it says when I try to launch XCOM with the file set to read-only:

Error: texture file 'graphics\new_button' does not exist or is invalid
Couldn't create IPolicyConfigVista: 0x80040154
ExecCommandLine: "E:\Games\Steam\Steam.exe -noverifyfiles -console"
IPC server is in my process - could/should be using an in process pipe
System startup time: 4.26 seconds
Crypto API failed certificate check, error flags 0x00000008 for '/C=US/ST=Massachusetts/L=Cambridge/O=Akamai Technologies, Inc./CN=a248.e.akamai.net'
IPC server is in my process - could/should be using an in process pipe
CEG response for AppId 200510, result = Corrupted or unrecoverable data error.
Crypto API failed certificate check, error flags 0x00000008 for '/C=US/ST=Massachusetts/L=Cambridge/O=Akamai Technologies, Inc./CN=a248.e.akamai.net'
GameAction [AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp changed task to Starting with ""
GameAction [AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp changed task to ShowingEula with ""
GameAction [AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp waiting for user response to ShowingEula "https://store.steampowered.com//eula/200510_eula_0"
GameAction[AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp continues with user response "ShowingEula"
GameAction [AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp changed task to UpdatingDRM with ""
CEG response for AppId 200510, result = Corrupted or unrecoverable data error.
GameAction[AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp failed with UpdatingDRM with "53"
GameAction [AppID 200510, ActionID 2] : LaunchApp changed task to Failed with ""

Also, here's what happens when I run into the issue with Steamworks Common Redistributables:

Crypto API failed certificate check, error flags 0x00000008 for '/C=US/ST=Massachusetts/L=Cambridge/O=Akamai Technologies, Inc./CN=a248.e.akamai.net'
GameAction [AppID 219640, ActionID 3] : RunGame waiting for user response to LaunchOption ""
GameAction[AppID 219640, ActionID 3] : RunGame continues with user response "0"
GameAction [AppID 219640, ActionID 4] : LaunchApp changed task to Starting with ""
GameAction[AppID 219640, ActionID 4] : LaunchApp failed with AppError_17 with "Steamworks Common Redistributables"
GameAction [AppID 219640, ActionID 4] : LaunchApp changed task to Failed with ""

 

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CS: source and HL2 deathmatch no longer work, they give this error "Steam Beta must be running to make use of Find Servers". Creating a local server doesn't work too, it complains about the cdkey not being validated. This all clearly means they got update again and don't work anymore. By the way, I am the author of this video: 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not trying to rub salt anywhere but does this not demonstate why being dependent on a platform like Steam is a bad idea? Buy from GOG, get your local copy, f*** those guys making you log in and connect to access your own software.

I was leery enough of GameSpy arcade, not that it wasn't very nice, and I am surprised at how badly its closure was managed, but when it did some games became unplayable - at least in client.

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2 hours ago, Hunterw said:

Not trying to rub salt anywhere but does this not demonstate why being dependent on a platform like Steam is a bad idea? Buy from GOG, get your local copy, f*** those guys making you log in and connect to access your own software.

I try get all games can from humble bundle drm free copies and gog.com. I mostly play portal 2 on steam that uses steam for multiplayer

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On 8/7/2021 at 10:34 PM, GusCE6 said:

The problem is that the XP Sony (2001 VAIO) only has one USB port. In order to use the library WIFI I must use a USB Wifi stick (Panda Wireless). Using a splitter usually does not work very well.

That notebook probably has a PCMCIA (CardBus) slot, right? Why not make use of it? 

For my Dell Latitude x200 i have a PCMCIA USB controller and couple WiFi cards among other things :P

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Something I forgot to add: I discovered the error involving the Crypto API doesn't happen if you run ProxHTTPSProxy before connecting to Steam. Unfortunately, that doesn't solve the problems with XCOM: Enemy Unknown not wanting to launch with the modified zernel32.dll executable, or games reliant on Steamworks Common Redistributables.

On 9/1/2021 at 2:04 AM, Hunterw said:

Not trying to rub salt anywhere but does this not demonstate why being dependent on a platform like Steam is a bad idea? Buy from GOG, get your local copy, f*** those guys making you log in and connect to access your own software.

Yes, Steam abandoning support for Windows XP and Vista and stranding a lot of games which are best played under those operating systems highlighted the issue. People used to praise Steam as "DRM done right" and, well, unfortunately many still do. Mostly those who aren't affected by these problems.

That being said, going to GOG.com for games is only feasible for titles you don't already own on Steam, unless you want to buy them all over again. So I've got an interest in trying to make the games I already own (many of which I owned long before Good Old Games was a thing) still work.

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  • 5 months later...

Earlier this month I was able to get my version of Steam (Steam API: v017, build June 7 2017) to download updates from the Steam servers again! I edited my initial post to explain what it was I did (or what I think I did) which fixed the issue.

While I've been able to test a lot more of my library since then, I've run into other problems that have caused some games to no longer be compatible. Some of them have fixable issues, others don't. So I expanded on my list and color-coded it depending on which games run fine, which games used to run fine and might be fixable/are fixable, and games which appear to flat out not work on XP anymore.

Regarding that, can anyone who might happen to have Sid Meier's Civilization V on Steam confirm if their copy runs on XP32 or not? Because if it does, I may be running into an issue of Windows XP64 being locked out specifically, as happened with PSO2.

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For Civ V, are you trying to open the launcher or the game directly? If my timeline is correct, the game used to open to a Civ V game menu, but after some update it opens a launcher which connects to the internet and shows ads, etc.

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On 2/24/2022 at 6:36 AM, Tripredacus said:

For Civ V, are you trying to open the launcher or the game directly? If my timeline is correct, the game used to open to a Civ V game menu, but after some update it opens a launcher which connects to the internet and shows ads, etc.

I've tried it multiple ways; launching from Steam itself, launching from Launcher.exe, launching from CivilizationV.exe. No matter what I try, Steam will pop up an error saying "invalid platform."

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