One of the features in Steam on Windows is that it allows you to add games manually, but it is limited to EXE based games which are not downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Now that Microsoft/Windows Store is one of the major sources for Games, it should make sense to add those games to Steam as well. However, there is no direct support for the games installed from the store.
Add Windows 10 Store Game apps to Steam
In this post, I am sharing a trick which allows you to do this. Before we start, make sure you have installed the game on Windows PC – and here I am using Age of Empires as an example. Remember, you will need admin privileges to do this.
Locate the Windows UWP Game
Games and Apps installed from the store are available as a package. We will need first to locate it. The path should like as below:
You can also type %appdata% in the Run prompt, and then go back one step to find the Local folder, and then enter into Packages.
Now look for the game package. If it’s difficult, but you can search by the name of the game. For Age of Empires folder is named as Microsoft.MSDallas_8wexxxxxxx.
Locate App Manifest for the Game
Next, we will access a hidden folder which includes all the games, and apps. It is usually located at C:\Program Files\WindowsApps OR <DISK>:\WindowsApps. <Disk> is applicable when you have selected a different drive for apps, and games. You will need to have admin privileges, and if you are not allowed to access it, you will have to change the ownership of the App folder from Trusted Installer to your account.
Once inside, look for the folder which the same name which we found above. In this case, it will be “Microsoft.MSDallas_8wexxxxxxx.”
Next, locate the AppxManifest.xml file in the folder, and open with a text editor. I would suggest using Notepad, and make sure not to edit anything, and save.
- Find this tag in the file. “<Application Id=”
- Copy the application id which in this case is only App. Note it on a separate notepad, and remember it.
Now on a notepad follow this template “shell:AppsFolder\PACKAGE!APPID”.
For Age of Empires, the package will be Microsoft.MSDallas_1.3.5292.2_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe and AppId will be App.
So the string will become:
Add to Steam
Here is where we will trick Steam. Add any EXE program like Windows Explorer or Chrome to the game library. Once it’s in the list, right-click on that application, and select Properties.
Remove everything from the Start in section, and overwrite with the text we created in the Target section.
In our case, it will be shell:AppsFolder\Microsoft.MSDallas_1.3.5292.2_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe!App.
You can also rename the name to the name of the game.
Post this; you will be able to launch Windows Store games from Steam directly. However, you will have to repeat this process for every game.
There are few drawbacks though. You don’t get full Steam features related to Steam here such as VR support. So you will not see any info from Steam like you see for other games which you had downloaded from there – but Steam will still manage to launch the game for you, and in most cases, the in-game overlay will be available.