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How to play From Dust on Steam without Uplay
You don't need Uplay, a Ubisoft account, or an internet connection to play From Dust on Steam.
Before From Dust was released back in 2011, Ubisoft initially claimed it would only require a one-time online activation in order to play. That was a lie[arstechnica.com]
When Ubisoft was confronted about it, they released a patch that allowed the game to run offline without any activation at all.
This offline mode is still available, but it is removed from the game when you run it for the first time, because the included launcher will connect to Ubisoft's servers and automatically update to the current version of Uplay.
Fortunately, it still works just fine if you use Windows firewall to block the Ubisoft launcher from using the internet. This is an easy process, and it only needs to be done once.
Uplay cannot be installed on your computer for this to work. If you play any game[pcgamingwiki.com] that uses Uplay DRM after applying this fix, you will need to repeat steps 1 and 2 below before you can go back to playing From Dust in offline mode. It only takes a minute to do that, but just keep it in mind.
In other words: This guide will be most helpful to you if you are someone who does not frequently play other Ubisoft games.
These steps are for Windows 7 x64 using the default Windows Firewall. I have never used Windows 8 or 10, but the procedure should be nearly identical for all three versions of Windows, based on what I've read online.
Step 1: Uninstall Uplay and the Ubisoft Game Launcher
1) Go into the Windows Control Panel and select Uninstall a program under the Programs header.
2) Find Uplay and the Ubisoft Game Launcher and uninstall both of them.
(You will probably only have one or the other installed. If you have both, uninstall Uplay first, then the Ubisoft Game Launcher.)
Step 2: Install the Ubisoft Game Launcher
1) Download From Dust on Steam if you haven't already, but do not run it yet.
(If you accidentally ran it already, repeat step 1 then continue from here)
2) Go to your From Dust installation folder, then go into the Support\Ubisoft\ subfolder and run UbisoftGameLauncherInstaller.exe to install the Ubisoft Game Launcher. Once it's finished installing, move on to the next step.
Step 3: Block Ubisoft Game Launcher from using the internet
1) From your desktop, click the Start button and type "firewall" in the search box. One of the results should be Windows Firewall with Advanced Security - select that to open it.
2) In the Firewall window, look in the far-left panel and click Outbound Rules so that it is highlighted.
3) Now in the far-right panel under the Actions header, click New Rule... to open the New Outbound Rule Wizard, and use the following options for each step:
- For Rule Type select Program and click Next.
- For Program select Browse... then navigate to the location where you installed the Ubisoft Game Launcher and double-click UbisoftGameLauncher.exe to select it for your new firewall rule. Then click Next.
(The default location is Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\)
- For Action select Block the connection and click Next.
- For Profile make sure Domain, Private, and Public are all checked, then click Next.
- Type "Ubisoft Game Launcher" (or whatever you want to call it) in the Name field and click Finish. The new outbound rule will appear at the top of the list.
4) Close the Firewall program.
Step 4: Play the game
That's all. You can now play From Dust anytime without Uplay or internet.
When you launch it from Steam, a window that says "Checking for updates" will appear for about 10 seconds, followed by a login screen. At the bottom-right corner of the login screen is a button that says OFFLINE MODE - click that and the game will start.
The firewall rule is permanent, so you won't ever need to repeat step 3 to use this fix in the future, even if you uninstall From Dust and reinstall it at a later time.
I hope this guide is useful to you and allows you to enjoy From Dust without needing to deal with the usual Ubisoft headaches. If you have any questions, post a comment and I will try to answer them.