How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (2023)

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You bought a game made by Electronic Arts on Steam, tried to start it, but it doesn't work: even if you bought it legally, it still asks you to "activate the product" or something like that.

Now you're stuck: You can't run the game from Steam, nor can you have a product key "to activate" on the Electronic Arts software. Does that mean you have to buy it again, this time directly from the Electronic Arts store?



Fortunately, the answer is negative. The cause of the problem is a strange conflict that you can resolve with some software juggling. Let's see how.

Why can't an EA/Origin Client game run on Steam?

When you try to run an EA/Origin game from Steam, it may also need to run this client separately, either for user authentication or as a form of protection (AKA: Digital Rights Management or DRM for short).

Sometimes what should be an automatic and simple process fails. We can't say for sure what the cause of such problems is, but purely from a guess while troubleshooting, it seems that it happens when there is a version conflict between the version of the client expected by the older game and the newer one, that is installed, or local data corruption.

To clarify, we're not talking about not being able to log into Steam - check for thatour article on different ways to solve the problem. Instead, in this scenario, there is a "chain" that leads to the launch of the game: Steam must launch the EA app or Origin, and then it must again launch the game. The problem we're dealing with is that the middle link in that chain, the EA app or the Origin client, doesn't seem to be able to establish/authenticate your ownership of the game.

Fortunately, you don't have to wave goodbye to your legally purchased EA/Origin titles or use only the EA/Origin launcher. The following steps will likely solve your problem, as they did for us.

Author's note: In my case, the problem occurred with the title Unravel and the latest versions of the Origin client before it was replaced by the newer EA client. The article applies to both because older titles built before the EA client may still try to install Origin.

How to uninstall Origin/EA client

The solution we will see requires a complete uninstall of the EA app/Origin client from Windows and the problematic game from Steam.

  1. To uninstall the EA application/Origin client, as with any other software on Windows, use theBeginningmenu orsearchingsearchingAdd or remove programs, and when found, "open".
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (1)
  2. FindOriginthe client orEAapplication in the list of installed applications and click the s buttonthree dotson his right side. Chooseuninstallthat. Normally, you should only have one of these installed on your computer, as the newer EA app should replace the old Origin client. If for some reason you still have both, uninstall each one.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (2)

Automatically install the correct Origin/EA client and credentials

Although on the surface it appears that the issue we are dealing with is "I am running the game through Steam, nothing is showing on the screen" as we explained, it is not actually a "Steam related issue".

Using two separate clients, Steam and the Origin/EA app, the game needs to "work together" to work properly. And that means that even if Steam works fine, you need to make sure that the same is true of the Origin/EA app and that you're logging in with the correct credentials.

But instead of a long and complicated process to do so, it's easier to uninstall and reinstall the game you're trying to run. How is it?

One of the features of Steam that we take for granted is how it "simplifies" game installations. In the past, before Steam and similar clients, if a game depended on other technologies to run properly, like DirectX, in most cases you had to install them manually. Steam automates this process and ensures that everything the game needs is installed along with the game. And that includes the Origin/EA app.

So when we uninstalled the Origin client/EA app, by removing and reinstalling the game, Steam "pulls" the correct version of the extra software the game needs, configured as it expects.

  1. Launch the Steam client, right click on the game entry and selectControl>Uninstallfrom the menu that appears. When you're done, do the opposite, right click on the game and selectInstall, or visit his page in yourslibraryI click onInstall buttonin the lower left corner of the above inscription.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (3)
  2. Allow Steam to download and install the game and any required plugins. We cannot offer specific instructions for this as each title is different; follow the on-screen steps until the game and all add-ons are fully installed. If your download speed is slow, check out our guideHow to optimize steam download speeds.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (4)
  3. Just a little more and we're here: click ongameor run the game in any way. But as we'll see in the next section, you probably won't be able to play right away.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (5)

Note that if you have more than one game you want to remove, you should check our articlea faster way to manage your games with Steam Storage Manager.

Breaking Origin through the firewall

Check your firewall client if you didn't see the Origin/EA client tip. Your firewall has probably detected the newly installed version of the program as an "unknown" piece of software, blocking access to it.

  1. Each firewall has a different interface, so we cannot offer specific instructions for all available. This writer uses Malwarebytes' Windows Firewall Control Interface for the built-in Windows firewall, as we've previously seen how you canuse to customize the built-in Windows firewall. For the specific application, the process was as simple as visiting the connection log, right-clicking on the newly appeared EA application and selectingAllow this program.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (6)
  2. If the Origin client/EA app does not appear on your screen, wait for the game to return to idle mode in the Steam client. If it doesn't, manually quit Steam and restart it. Then try restarting the game. But even if the Origin client/EA application is running and can connect to Electronic Arts' servers, there's one more thing you need to do to use it: Sign in again. We also suggest that you enablekeep me logged infor convinience sake.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (7)
  3. Even the application today can be complicated because that process could also have failed – but this time we already know the culprit and the necessary solution. So if this happens, go back to your firewall and, as before, allow access to the newly created EA-related app you find there.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (8)
  4. After the last step, you should finally see the Origin client or EA app on your screen, be properly logged in, and have access to your library of all your Electronic Arts titles, including the problematic game we're trying to run.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (9)
  5. You should now be able to launch the game from your collection in the Origin/EA app or, as originally planned, directly from Steam. Try it to make sure it works: first exit Origin/EA completely and make sure it's not sitting idle in the drawer. Then try launching the game from Steam. Steam should launch the Origin/EA app and also "feed" it with the necessary arguments so that your game starts automatically without you having to perform any additional actions separately.
    How to fix EA Origin games not running on Steam for Windows (10)

It works again with Origin Games on Steam

The process we saw was more complicated than clicking Install on Steam and clicking Play when that part was done. It's worth noting though, as you may need to repeat the process in the future.

Steam tends to "split" the titles in your library to ensure that files from one game don't step on files from another. So a "fix" for one game may not be a "global" fix for all other titles that rely on the same non-Steam client.

So while it should be rare, don't be surprised if you have to go through the same steps to run another old, quirky title that relies on a third-party client via Steam.


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