One of the features of Steam on Windows is that it allows you to add games manually, but it is limited to EXE-based games that are not downloaded from the Microsoft Store. Now that the Microsoft 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 in the store.
Add Microsoft Store Game apps to Steam
In this post, I am sharing a trick that 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 be 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, you can search by the name of the game.
For Age of Empires the folder is named as Microsoft.MSDallas_8wexxxxxxx.
Locate App Manifest for the Game
Next, we will access a hidden folder that 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.
Once inside, look for the folder with 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. Open it with a text editor. I would suggest using Notepad. Do not edit anything there – and save is as a .txt file.
Now, find this tag in the file “<Application Id=”
Copy the application ID which in this case is only App. Note it down on a separate Notepad or remember it.
Now in Notepad follow this template:
For Age of Empires, the package will be ‘Microsoft.MSDallas_1.3.5292.2_x64__8wekyb3d8bbwe’ and the AppID will be ‘App’.
So the string for Age of Empires will become:
Please check what it is on your computer.
Add to Steam
This 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:
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.
Use UWPHook to add Microsoft Store games to Steam
UWPHook can add Microsoft Store games and apps to Steam with just a click. If you are wondering why this helps, if you are playing a UWP game, it will not display on your “Currently playing” status on your Steam account. But after using this, the status will show non-steam games. The app simplifies the process of adding UWP games to Steam it using a script via the app.
- Download and install the latest version of the UWPHook. You can choose to keep a different path.
- You will get the UAC prompt, and it will take a bit of time to configure the application for the first time.
- Once it launches, click on “load installed UWP Apps,” it will populate all the Store apps and games you have installed from the Microsoft Store.
- Check against the apps you want to add to Steam, and then click on the button that says, “Export selected apps to Steam.”
- Next, close UWPHook, and restart Steam. The games and apps will be listed.
- Launch the game from Steam, and it will show your current game on your status as long as you are playing it!
Ensure your status or gameplay activity is visible on Steam account for this to work.
Steam Account Status for Non-Steam Games
Here is how it looked like when I played Microsoft Solitaire Collection after adding it to the Steam app. It will put up the message as “In non-Steam game Microsoft Solitaire Collection.”
That said, here are two major problems that were listed by the developer as known problems.
- Steam’s Overlay isn’t working: Its a Steam Validation, and an update is required from the developers. He recommends DXTory overlay for UWP games.
- Steam Link launches the game, but the input doesn’t work: Another limitation which is being worked around.
UWPHook is open-source software and it is available for download on GitHub.
How do I add Microsoft Store games from Steam to Windows?
To add Microsoft Store games to Steam in Windows 11/10 PC, you need to locate the game first. IN most cases, you can find it in the AppData folder. Then, you need to find the manifest of the game. To access it, you need to have the correct permission. Following that, you must copy the Application ID and edit the manifest file like this: shell:AppsFolder\PACKAGE!APPID. Once done, you need to open Steam on your PC and add the game.
Can Microsoft Store play with Steam?
No, it is not possible as of now. If you have a game on Steam and someone else has it from Microsoft Store, you cannot link them. In other words, it is not possible to get cross-platform support from Steam or Microsoft Store.
TIP: You can also use UWPHook to add Microsoft Store games to Steam with a single click.