DCS World Steam Edition

DCS World Steam Edition

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By [GCA] King Apo
This explains how to use the DCS:World-STANDALONE shortcuts to trick your DCS: STEAM version into thinking it is a standalone version. Use the Steam overlay features, tracked playtime features & most importantly fly your modules purchased outside of steam while still enjoying all the mentioned features.
IF YOU HAVE MODULES ON STEAM, PURCHASED AFTER M2000C, THIS GUIDE IS _NO_ SOLUTION FOR YOU, SORRY. :( If you have all your modules on Standalone or bought on Steam before M2000C was released, continue.

Mai 2017:
Note from the store to the Mirage 2000C release and the CD key changes that go in hand with that:

"Please note that the DCS: M-2000C, and all future DCS World DLC releases on Steam, will now use Steam Keys instead of Starforce keys. As such, these purchases cannot be activated on the DCS World e-Shop version. Previous purchases will not be affected." source: https://steamcommunity.com/app/223750/discussions/0/2741975115067023612/

For this guide, that uses the Standalone version, that means that Steam CD keys(for modules such as M2000C and ALL modules released after it) can probably not be merged into this version.

Ultimately I need somebody who owns a Steam only (m2000c or later) product to try to merge it with the standalone as described in my guide. There is still hope since Steam ALWAYS installs modules accociated with your DCS-Steam version and doesn't require the Standalone-Modulemanager.

Hoping for feedback. edit: 07/2018, if somebody could kindly try this in 2.5, the only feedback I have is from 2.1/NTTR standalone time, which might have been a different issue.
This is not EagleDynamics supported and might stop working any time. You are doing any modding on your own risk and neither I nor ED take any responsibility for issues that might arise!

*** With this method, in most setups, everytime there is an update you need to download it twice or atleast do the repair on Standalone. Since Steam will just overwrite any files you should always let it update first. Afterwards do the standalone repair, never hestitate to use repair function. If there was a DCS-steam-update or download, you can always use standalone repair to fix any problems. ***
What is it?
This guide illustrates how to use the DCS:World Standalone updater/repair files&shortcut's to mod your DCS: Steam version into thinking it is a DCS:Standalone version.

STEAM VERSION: can only use modules/keys purchased from the STEAM STORE and is able to use STEAM features.
STANDALONE VERSION: can use the modules/keys purchased from the EAGLE DYNAMICS store AND use keys purchased from the Steam store. Not able to use Steam overlay features such as game time tracking, community screenshots, friendlist etc.
STEAM-STANDALONE-BAST'ARD VERSION: able to use ALL the keys AND use the Steam overlay features mentioned above.

If you want to make that love child happen, you need to do the following:
Make a BACKUP of your "user"-folder, especially you want to save your config files. The default path is: "C:\Users\<YOUR USER NAME>\Saved Games\DCS\
For the OpenBeta: ..."\Saved Games\DCS.openbeta\"

Keep your old DCS: Standalone version for now, or if you have the space, making a backup from that is always smart. A 'real' backup of the DCS: Steam version made by the Steam client is also always a good idea. https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=8794-yphv-2033

Sidenote: This is the only way to ever get around downloading Steam-DCS when doing any kind of fresh Steam-Install.
Step by step installation
- Make sure STEAM-DCS is updated & patched.

- Deactivate user made mods if you use them. The new DCS install will want to 'fix' them and download additional data.

- Download the DCS 1.5 Standalone installer from: https://www.digitalcombatsimulator.com/en/downloads/world/stable/

- In the standalone setup select your STEAM version install path. By default this should be: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\DCSWorld"

-Start installation/download to create the short cuts for the standalone version. (repair/update)

- CANCEL THE DOWNLOAD (We already have all those files!)

- Use the newly created DCS Standalone startmenu shortcuts to REPAIR your 'DCS-STEAM-Standalone-bast'ard'-version.
After installation
NOW THIS IS IMPORTANT: Most of the time your DCS version has identity issues, and still believes it is still a STEAM version. You can tell that by looking in the main menu if the module manager is available. The actual difference between Standalone & DCS is only ONE (!!!) config file 'retail.cfg'.

- Just delete the following file in DCS-steam folder at:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\DCSWorld\Config\retail.cfg"

To be sure, do a DCS STANDALONE REPAIR and start the Standalone version once to make sure all files are as they should be.
Test everything
Start DCS and make sure you see the module manager at the top in the main menu. If yes congratz, you have been succesfull.

Check if everything else is allright, options (bindings, graphics, special&game), all modules start up without crashing and atlast of course install your modules you have waited on for so long. :)
First always disable your JSGME/similar mods before doing any updates. This is to avoid any unnecessary file downloads.

If ED update shedule allows it, update Steam version first, afterwards use the DCS Standalone update/repair function. Don't be alarmed if the Standalone version downloads a lot of files also, this is most likely due to having Standalone modules that are not on your Steam version.

Note: The DCS Standalone & updater will want to be patched to the new version. This is usually only a few mb's.
Note2: DCS standalone repair will always detect files that have already been downloaded by Steam.
- Modules that are not yet released on Steam work with modded 'DCS-Steam/Standalone-bast'ard-version'.

- Steam overlay works.
- Gametime tracking. (Needed to see playing DCS on the friendlist)
- Community screenshots etc.
- You might have to use DCS-Standalone repair after the Steam version updates and if you updated the Standalone version already Steam will have to download the patch anyway. This has three reasons, first if you have modules registered on the Standalone version which you don't have on Steam, those won't be updated by Steam.

Secondly Steam always needs to download the full patch, there is no way (that I know) to trick it.
Third the DCS_updater.exe itself from the standalone might want an update.

- Effort on your part! :P
- Not a true 'DCS-STEAM-version' While I have never had any issues related to this, there is no way to know what could break in future updates.

- NO SUPPORT, THIS MIGHT BREAK ANYTIME! Any issues coming up in DCS might be blamed on this. (even if unlikely)
You should now be all set, if you have any issues please let me know, if something is unclear or you think I talked to much at some point be sure to let me know. Harsh or direct comments are still welcome just be constructive. ^^

Please know this is my first guide and english is not my first language.


King Apo

P.S. Please don't make this a discussion why people want to go to all this trouble to get the Steam-overlay features. Just accept it. :)
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Glow Sep 4 @ 2:28pm 
If you just want to have Steam overlay in DCS standalone - it works. Start DCS from Steam menu. Good guide. Thx :thumbs:
[GCA] King Apo  [author] Jul 12, 2018 @ 8:43am 
@YamA No, sorry, with very high probabillity not. For Steam DRM: After the M2000C they stopped using Starforce keys (those that you can use on Standalone). Why etc. you can ready up in the Steam-forum stickys: https://steamcommunity.com/app/223750/discussions/0/2741975115067023612/

If you only own modules that were released before the Mirage, you could still migrate to Standalone.

You could still try the method in this guide, but from what I know, this will not work.
Yama Jul 12, 2018 @ 6:14am 
I have all of my planes on steam excepct for the M2000 :mirage: Would this still work?
[GCA] King Apo  [author] Jun 9, 2018 @ 10:02pm 
Pegleg1972 Jun 9, 2018 @ 8:19pm 
When i got into gui thing selected dcs install theres a page update to beta branch i sthat what i need to use it says change between available branches hope this is correct.Sorry for all the questions this is making me feel kinda stupid lol
Pegleg1972 Jun 9, 2018 @ 7:43pm 
So the community gui tool is all i need?Alot of work but will be worth it in the end i hope lol
[GCA] King Apo  [author] Jun 9, 2018 @ 6:00pm 
And to the previous question, as you have probably guessed by now, yes it does matter. If you use Steam Beta(!) and have Standalone Release(!), Steam beta will overwrite Standalone (older) files, and the otherway around. Basically it is very important on which version each branch is running on.

But in the end I think it's pretty self explanatory and you have done very well so far, so I think you will be on top of that. :)
[GCA] King Apo  [author] Jun 9, 2018 @ 5:56pm 
Hey, as you have guessed, first, you switch STEAM to Beta and let it download. Then you have to make your Standalone, into a Beta-Standalone version. Easiest and straightforward way is to edit a file in DCS world folder, but that requires some kind of text editor that can work with .lua files. If you don't have one, second easiest way is via community provided GUI tool: https://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=160053

1. C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps\common\DCSWorld -> Make a backup of the file "autoupdate.cfg".
2. Open backup.cfg in line 3 it should say "branch": "release",
3. Change it from:
"branch": "release",
"branch": "openbeta",
5. Save.
6. Repair via Standalone, Standalone Beta version should now recognize Steam downloaded beta files.
Pegleg1972 Jun 9, 2018 @ 2:51pm 
Have the stable branch working.If i wanted to do the beta branch on steam how can i do it with beta standalone directory is dcsworldopenbeta and steams is dcsworld thought it might clash or is it fine to do it with betas?Thanks
Pegleg1972 Jun 8, 2018 @ 10:02pm 
Does it matter if i use beta or stable branch if i use beta on steam?Appreciate your help