Counter-strike without steam access?
February 23, 2009 6:41 AM   Subscribe

Can I (we) play the retail version of counter-strike: source on a local network (at work) where we don't have access to steam

Here at work we like to play games during breaks and after work.
We all have our personal steam account and various games and we play them at home.

The problem is that steam is blocked here at work, so we can't sign in and play our games.

If we buy the retail version (one for each player) of counter-strike: source, witch comes on a DVD can we play against each other without signing in to steam?

We are not interested in any illegal hacks, cracks or no-cd-patches.
posted by StephenMeldalFoged to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
This was one of the huge complaints about Steam when it first debuted. The game pretty much requires internet access to be played, even in single player or local network modes. As far as I know, there is no legal way to bypass this, since by definition, bypassing the copy protection would violate the DMCA.

Rather than bypassing the login, I would focus on a way to tunnel the authentication through the firewall. If you have a PC at home that is online all the time, you can set up an ssh tunnel through it to achieve unfettered internet access. Then the only trick would be editing your hosts file so that, when the game tries to lookup Steam's server (by DNS name), it actually points to and sends the data through the ssh tunnel.

Google turns up several hits on this topic.
posted by knave at 7:43 AM on February 23, 2009

We are not interested in any illegal hacks, cracks or no-cd-patches

Then I think you are out of luck, because as knave said, access to the Steam service is required, even for single-player, non-network play.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:23 AM on February 23, 2009

If we buy the retail version (one for each player) of counter-strike: source

(I'm not a huge gamer, so YMMV..) I bought Portal and Half Life a while back, and the DVDs were nothing more than Steam game backups. Your computer effectively "downloads" the content off of the DVD instead of from Valve's servers, but you still need Steam.
posted by niles at 8:38 AM on February 23, 2009

If I am not mistaken, you only need to access steam and install/validate once, and then you can simply run it in Offline Mode. However, as ArgentCorvid said, you'll need to do at least one quasi-legal workaround to make this happen.
posted by BenzeneChile at 9:12 AM on February 23, 2009

I don't think there is a way to do this beyond measures that involve pirating and hacking Steam, which even though you own the game is illegal per the EULA. Steam requires installation and validation for each game through an internet connection at least once before playing, simply porting the game over or installing on a flash drive will not work.

However...if you were to find a flash drive or external drive that you can install Windows, Steam, and CS:S to and boot from that, then validate it at home, that should work.
posted by Chan at 9:18 AM on February 23, 2009

Hi Guys...
Most of these things i knew.
The reason i asked in the first place was that i was at a games store buying other games, and i peeped at the back of a counter-strike: source package.

under requirements it said something like:

"LAN: one player per DVD"

I wonder if its a way to play at a LAN party where there is no internet access.

I hoped there where anyone here that had tried it.
posted by StephenMeldalFoged at 1:45 AM on February 24, 2009

Well, there is also offline mode, but it requires that people are bringing machines in from home, where they have access to the internet Steam servers. If you're talking about work machines that never leave the office, it doesn't help. In that case, my original response is your only hope.
posted by knave at 3:31 AM on February 24, 2009

Also, note that "Internet Connection" is listed among the system requirements, and this is consistent with everything I've read about the game (whether downloaded online or bought in store). I've never tried the DVD version myself, but I feel 99% confident that everyone in this thread is right: you're not going to bypass Steam by buying a physical packaged version.
posted by knave at 3:41 AM on February 24, 2009

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