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Migrating Your EA Games from Steam or Retail to Origin
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by Rob Williams on October 25, 2013 in Gaming

A little known fact about EA’s Origin gaming platform is that most EA titles purchased outside of the service can be registered within it. The problem: EA doesn’t offer a good list of supported titles, preferring to leave it up to gamers to figure out. Thanks to that, we’ve been compiling our own list, and welcome submissions to help it become definitive.

EA’s digital gaming platform, Origin, received a major boost to its user base in late 2011 thanks to the release of Battlefield 3. At the time, fans of the series weren’t pleased. In effect, EA was forcing them into using a gaming platform which, let’s face it, was lackluster when compared to the competition (in this case, Valve’s Steam).

A lot of gamers don’t even care for Steam, or game launchers in general. But if you’re going to be forced into using one, wouldn’t it be nice if it delivered on modern expectations? Well, since its release, Origin has gotten a lot better, but compared to Steam, many would argue that it still has a lot of catching up to do (come on, EA, at least let us make simple backups of our games!).

There is one way to improve your Origin experience just a wee bit, though: Importing EA games you’ve either bought at retail or on Steam. Granted, this is going to have limited appeal, but there are a couple of perks. Own a game that supports co-op or multiplayer, but doesn’t require online access? Do I need to say more? Or, it could simply be that you need or want to install a game out of Steam for any other reason. Fortunately, if it’s an EA title, chances are good that you’ll be able to activate it on Origin and treat it as if you purchased it there.

Origin Game's List

Inside of Origin’s main menu, an option named “Redeem Product Code” can be found. As alluded to above, if you own an EA game on disc, the code found inside the packaging could be used (or rather, tried) here. Likewise, if Steam offers you the ability to snag your CD key for a given game, you can try that as well. This is a nice perk that EA offers here, but it’s worth pointing out that Valve offers much of the same thing – there, though, non-Valve developers can get in on the action if they choose to.

While Valve offers a list of games that can be imported into Steam this way, EA leaves the bulk of the guesswork up to you – or us, which is the purpose of this article. 

But first – how to acquire a CD key from Steam? If the game supports it, a “View CD key” option will be found when right-clicking it. In the example below, we can see that Crysis 2: Maximum Edition is one such title that does.

Steam View CD Key

Unfortunately, not all EA titles in Steam will offer a CD key, but a lot do. In the event that a game doesn’t, I believe the prospect of registering that game at Origin is a lost cause. Also, some games might offer more than one key; either two codes that do the same thing but are available in two formats, or extra codes for DLC. If a game is registered on Origin, it’s wise to test out the DLC code as well if one is available.

After putting a code into Origin that it accepts, you’ll receive a prompt like this:

Registering a Game on Origin

The choice here shouldn’t be made in haste, because as far as I can tell, there’s no going back. For some games, even if the code isn’t accepted, there might be a workaround. For games released in 2008 or earlier, another website (referenced below) might be required for registration. There, you simply put in your CD key and account credentials, and if all goes well, the site will confirm the title to be added to the account. If for some reason this gets you nowhere, contact Origin customer support (and good luck).

Here is a list of EA games / DLC and their confirmed status:

Game Title Success Notes
Alice: Madness Returns Yes Success
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Yes Success
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – Vietnam Yes Success
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 – SPECACT Yes Success
Bulletstorm Yes Success
Burnout Paradise: The Ultimate Box Yes Success
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Yes Success
Command & Conquer 4: Tiberian Twilight Yes Success
Crysis No Origin Rejects Key
Crysis Warhead Yes Register on Website*
Crysis 2 Yes Success
Crysis 2: Maximum Edition Yes Success
Darkspore Yes Success
Dead Space Yes Success
Dead Space 2 Yes Success
Dragon Age: Origins Yes Success
Dragon Age: Origins – Awakening Yes Success
FIFA Manager 09 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
FIFA Manager 10 No Origin Rejects Key
FIFA Manager 11 Yes Success
Gatling Gears Yes Success
Mass Effect No Origin Rejects Key
Mass Effect 2 Yes Success
Medal of Honor Yes Success
Mirror’s Edge No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Yes Success
Need for Speed: SHIFT No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Need for Speed: Undercover No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
SHIFT 2: Unleashed Yes Success
Spore Yes Success
Spore: Creepy & Cute No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
The Sims 3 Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: Ambitions Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: Fast Lane Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: Generations Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: High-End Loft Stuff Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: Into the Future Yes Success
The Sims 3: Late Night Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: Movie Stuff Yes Success
The Sims 3: Outdoor Living Stuff Yes Register on Website*
The Sims 3: World Adventure Yes Register on Website*
The Sims: Medieval Yes Success
The Sims: Medieval – Pirates & Nobles Yes Success
WARP Yes Success
* https://activate.ea.com/applyentitlement.do

Is there a chance that non-EA games can be carried over from Steam? To test, we cross-checked our available games on Steam with those available on Origin, aaaaand, the outlook is not so good:

Non-EA Game Title Success Notes
Age of Empires III No Origin Rejects Key
Alan Wake No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Assassin’s Creed III No Origin Rejects Key
Batman: Arkham Asylum No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Batman: Arkham City No Origin Rejects Key
Bejeweled 3 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Book of Unwritten Tales: Critter Chronicles No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Cities XL 2012 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Crusader Kings II No Origin Rejects Key
Darksiders No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Darksiders II No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Dead Island No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
DmC Devil May Cry No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Euro Truck Simulator 2 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
F1 2012 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
F1 Race Stars No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Far Cry 3 No Origin Rejects Key
Farming Simulator 2013 No Origin Rejects Key
F.E.A.R. 3 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Giana Sisters: Twisted Dreams No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
GRID 2 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Goodbye Deponia No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Hitman: Absolution No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
LEGO The Lord of the Rings No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Lord of the Rings: War in the North No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Metro 2033 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Metro: Last Light No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Omerta: City of Gangsters No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Remember Me No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Resident Evil 6 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City No Origin Rejects Key
Roller Coaster Tycoon 3: Platinum! No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Saints Row: The Third No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Sniper Elite V2 No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition No Origin Rejects Key
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Street Fighter X Tekken No Origin Rejects Key
The Walking Dead No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings No Origin Rejects Key
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Blacklist No Origin Rejects Key
Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction No Origin Rejects Key
Tomb Raider (2013) No Steam Doesn’t Provide Key
Trials Evolution Gold Edition No Origin Rejects Key
Two Worlds II No Origin Rejects Key

This is unfortunate, and something that EA should consider fixing. It could be assumed that it’s just not possible for EA to add support for games that it doesn’t own the rights to, but remember that Steam link from earlier? If Valve can do it, we’d imagine EA should be able to, too. In fact, there are some games that are available on both services, but only Steam allows you to activate them even though they were purchased elsewhere. Age of Empires IIIDarksiders, and F.E.A.R. 3 are a couple of examples.

If people could activate more of their games on Origin, we’d have to imagine that it would be a good thing, not a bad thing.

Because the Techgage team doesn’t own every EA game available on Origin, we welcome a heads-up. Own a game we don’t? Test out the import and let us know if it works!

Article originally published on September 30, 2011. Last updated on October 25, 2013.


  • poop

    Actually spore work for me bu sinse my mommy half no credic car i cant buy it :( :( :( :( :( it maiks my sad :( :( :( :( :( :(

  • Hugh Eddiot

    Your list is bullshit because the non-EA games which “Steam Doesn’t Provide Key” REQUIRE Steam no matter where they are purchased. So, redeeming those games on Origin is pointless as you still have to download the game from Steam (at least to get the updated version of the game files) and run Steam to play the game anyway.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Once a game is registered on Origin via the method above, Steam is no longer in the picture; it can be downloaded inside of Origin just fine.

      You might be confusing the method above with the “Add Game” option, where you’d search your PC for Steam games and effectively use Origin as a launcher.

      • Hugh Eddiot

        “Once a game is registered on Origin via the method above, Steam is no longer in the picture; it can be downloaded inside of Origin just fine.”

        No. Most non-EA games REQUIRE Steam regardless of where they are purchased. This is especially true of games from publishers like Take 2, Activision, Warner Brothers, etc.

        ” We mention the games that Steam and Origin share where you -can’t- register inside of Origin.”

        There is absolutely no reason to register games which require Steam on Origin. Therefore your list is needlessly long and pointless. And, you should have pointed that fact out in the article.

        “That’s kind of the point.”

        No, the real point is that you were wrong, and you are just trying to make Origin look like it is deficient when in reality it is not. Of course Origin doesn’t allow the registration of Steam game exclusives, i.e. games which require Steam, because there is no point in it just as there would be no point in registering Origin game exclusives on Steam.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          You’re correct – most non-EA games require Steam. You’re talking about the “Add Game” menu. I list games above that are available on both Steam and Origin, and mention which ones can be transferred over. It’s simple.

          “No, the real point is that you were wrong, and you are just trying to make Origin look like it is deficient when in reality it is not. Of course Origin doesn’t allow the registration of Steam game exclusives”

          All of the titles in the second table are on Steam and Origin, so where on earth are you getting Steam exclusives from?

          • Hugh Eddiot

            “All of the titles in the second table are on Steam and Origin, so where on earth are you getting Steam exclusives from?”

            Learn to read as I defined the term “Steam exclusive” in my previous post, i.e. “Steam game exclusives, i.e. games which require Steam”. Games which require Steam to install, update, and run regardless of where they are purchased are Steam “exclusives” in the same way that EA games like Batlefield 3 that require Origin to install, update, and run are Origin “exclusives.”

            Since there are no games available for sale directly by Origin or Steam that I am aware of that are not also available for sale elsewhere, i.e. at retailers or other digital game distributors, technically there are no games exclusive to Steam or Origin when it comes to sales. But, since many games require Steam or Origin to install, update, and run they are exclusive to one of these game services in that sense.

          • Hugh Ediot

            “I list games above that are available on both Steam and Origin, and mention which ones can be transferred over. It’s simple.”

            It’s not that simple, and as such your article is misleading. Just because a game is available for sale on Origin doesn’t mean that it should be available for registration on Origin. If a game requires Steam no matter where it is purchased as most non-EA games do, there is simply no reason to register it on Origin. So, listing such games gives the false impression that Origin is deficient in not allowing their registration.

            To further this example of your article’s bias, almost all of the games in Valve’s list at https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-WUSF-3601 require Steam, so of course those games can be registered on Steam via registration code if they are purchased elsewhere. Yet, your article makes no mention of that fact.

  • H@P

    Everything I have that shows SUCCESS above reports “This code has already been used.”

    Too bad.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Err – that’s a little bizarre. In the screenshot at the top of the page, only 2 games (the Need for Speeds and BF3) were actually purchased through Origin; the rest were from Steam or the EA Humble Bundle.

      • ClassicGamePlayTV .

        You bought them from Steam, but did you redeem them afterwards? I did that for Dead Space 2 and now it’s not letting me redeem it on Origins.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          What do you mean by redeem? The only time I’ve ever used these CD keys was on Origin (I didn’t register anywhere else).

          Bulletstorm is the most recent example of a game I activated on Origin no problem (right before this article was updated). Dead Space 2 is one I activated ages ago.

          • ClassicGamePlayTV .

            I mean install. I installed Dead Space 2 prior learning about this. I’m trying to redeem Dead Space 2 on Origins and it keeps telling me that the first guy is getting.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            That is… confusing. I have no problem installing any one of the games I activated on Origin; meaning: I can download and install the same game on both platforms without issue.

          • ClassicGamePlayTV .

            Should I try contacting EA? Funnily enough, in Dead Space 2, I am even logged in with the email associated with my Origins account.

            Did you installed Dead Space 2 on Steam already prior activating it on Origins?

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            I’m not sure, but honestly, it doesn’t matter. It sounds like someone else used your key or something… that’s all I can think of. As you can see from the screenshot in the article, I’ve activated a LOT of games on Origin that I had on Steam (the only games I actually purchased through Origin was BF3, Crysis 3 and the Need for Speeds), and I didn’t encounter an issue like this. It’s definitely worth contacting Origin’s customer service.

          • ClassicGamePlayTV .

            I was able to get another code for Dead Space 2 and I have it on my Origin account. With Crysis Warhead, they are going to add it to my account.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            Ironically, I can’t even play Crysis Warhead on either Steam or Origin because it’s been activated too many times (I think it has a 5-time limit). That is, unless EA got rid of that.

            Either way, glad you are getting hooked up and you’re account is getting fixed!

          • evilives34

            they did for a lot of games, there program that basicly lets you reset the limit as many times as you need, but it was on the old EA help site , that changed that site so i can seem to find it anymore

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            Ahh, interesting, I didn’t know about that. After my copy got locked-out, a game crack fixed the problem pretty easily. Pretty ironic to have to crack a game you bought through Steam, but whatever =/

          • RedBob

            Great article. Exactly what I was looking for. Origin won’t let you transfer over games after you’ve logged into origin/ea in game. Basically registers the game to the account, but not the game list. So for me, Mass Effect transferred no problem because I hadn’t played it. Thanks again for this article.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            I’m glad it helped! Thanks for the nice comments.

  • Hugh Eddiot

    “remember that Steam link from earlier? If Valve can do it, we’d imagine EA should be able to, too.”

    No, EA can’t do it because almost all of those games in Valve’s list REQUIRE Steam to install, update, and run no matter where they are purchased. So, of course Valve allows registration of those games via a code if they aren’t purchased directly through Steam. Registering them on Origin would therefore be pointless.

    “In fact, there are some games that are available on both services, but only Steam allows you to activate them even though they were purchased elsewhere. Age of Empires III, Darksiders, and F.E.A.R. 3 are a couple of examples.”

    Just because a game is available for purchase on Origin doesn’t mean that it should be registered on Origin. If a game REQUIRES Steam to install, update, and run, there is no reason to register it on Origin. To cite your idiotic examples, Darksiders and FEAR 3 REQUIRE Steam. Therefore, there is no reason to activate them on Origin because these games still require a Steam account.

  • Erik Knutson

    How about just letting me play my EA games through Steam.

    Origin is terrible.

    • James C Murphy

      tbh its fine and has fast dl speeds than steam to point of double the speed

      • asscunt

        origin is terribad, stop standing up for it fanboy

        • David Cameron

          No I quite agree, actually. Steam reaches my peak download speed, but Origin really does double it sometimes, it’s weird actually. I don’t have a problem with Origin at all. I have somewhere to keep all my EA games and everything else gets loaded onto Steam (over 90+games 0.0)

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            People just love to hate on Origin because they think it’s the “cool” thing to do. Especially someone with the name of asscunt.

            The fact of the matter is, Steam is far from perfect itself. Sure, it’s a LOT better than Origin, but there is still a lot Valve could do to make it better.

          • David Cameron

            No service is perfect. But I haven’t had any problems with either of them. Well, redeeming a product code from CD to Origin is a bit of a pain if it doesn’t work, then you have to ask customer service to do it for you. It took me 3 hours to get 2 games loaded up to my account from the live chat service (one other game didn’t work at all because it was too old, wasted my time with that)

            But I had nothing else to do and I wouldn’t have done it any other day. So I’m happy. Plus it’s optional.

            As for “asscunt” he clearly made his account just to reply to this. He has no other participation here at all. A troll, essentially. He must be full now.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            Well said, I agree with you completely.

  • evilives34

    if you go to the EA help chat, and give your mass effect CD key they will give you a origin key for it.

  • Anthony817

    I contacted EA technical advisers via live chat and they added my retail keys for Battlefield 2, 2142, and Crysis to my Origin account.

    I would have asked them to add my Battlefield 1942 and Vietnam keys but I grabbed the free BF 1942 version last year and Vietnam hasn’t been released for Origin yet.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      It’s great to hear that EA is rather flexible about this. I’ve contacted them in the past about lesser things and had a rough time.

  • mrKayne

    Well, BF:BC2 doesnt work. Just tried.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      I just tried it with that game again and it worked no problem. Are you using a retail key, or one you got off of Steam? (Mine was from Steam).

      • mrKayne

        Yes, it’s a key from Steam.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          Sorry to hear it didn’t work for you then. I have no idea what would cause that. Did you happen to have a Deluxe edition or something like that? Mine wasn’t, it’s just listed as “Battlefield: Bad Company 2″. I am not sure why mine would work but not yours :S

          • Smith Bob

            I bought the game on retail, and played it. Would it still work if i took the product code from PC DVD packaging and redeemed it? This is for Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            It -should-, so it’s worth giving it a go. As far as I’m aware, the CD keys available through Steam and those at retail are effectively the exact same.. so if a key from Steam works, so should the one from retail. I’d be interested in hearing if it works for you. And if it doesn’t, contacting EA support will likely fix that up.

  • Le Roux

    mass effect 1 works .. I installed it from the disk but it stil says I have to download it in origin

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      Origin doesn’t handle disc-based installs, so once a game is activated on the service, it has to be downloaded (meaning the disc-based install could be removed beforehand).

      • Aaron Boswell

        It should be noted that redeeming your Steam key for Mass Effect 1 *does* work on Origin. I successfully redeemed it and Mass Effect 2 on Origin with keys from Steam.

  • Epicfail

    It does not accept my Spore Key ID

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      A lot of people have had great success with contacting EA support and providing them your original key. I think they then give you a replacement key or simply activate the product on your account. It’s worth giving a try.

    • Epicfail

      It says it already been used

      • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

        Yup, that happens. It’s still worth contacting support about. I am not sure if EA goofed with duplicating keys, or if that’s simply an incorrect error.

  • Aaron Boswell

    Origin does NOT reject the Steam key for Mass Effect 1. I was able to successfully redeem both ME1 and ME2 from Steam on Origin.

  • RavRaz

    Here is my question: I bought the Sims 3 through Steam but just bought some DLC on Origin because they had a sale going on. I prefer to keep using Steam, but how can I transfer the DLC?

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      You definitely will be unable to transfer the DLC from Origin to Steam, since A) EA doesn’t give you the product code and B) Steam doesn’t currently accept any keys related to that particular game (https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=7480-WUSF-3601).

      • RavRaz

        Ugh, I was afraid of that. I guess I will be migrating over to Origin, however reluctantly. Thanks for your help.

      • RavRaz

        Follow-up question: Once I transfer the Sims 3 from Steam to Origin, will I be unable to buy DLC for the Sims 3 on Steam? It seems like I won’t be able to from what I am reading. I don’t anticipate Steam to ever have better deals than Origin on EA games anyway, but you never know and it would be a shame to lose the option of buying DLC from Steam.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          If the DLC you want to purchase on Steam is listed in the above table as being a success to transfer over to Origin, then you’ll be fine. You’d just purchase the DLC at Steam, pretend to install it, and then grab the CD Key. And then register it accordingly through EA to get it on Origin. This is not something I’d recommend doing without talking to both sets of customer service though, just in the rare chance one of them changed anything.

          • Angelina Lynn

            I can’t get my SIMS 3 to transfer to Origins, but I don’t know why

          • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

            You might want to email or chat to EA to see if they’d let you transfer the game over. You’d need your product key from Steam for proof.

  • PorkyPhill

    Can You go the other way. origin games on to steam account?

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      No, because Origin does not provide you with CD keys.

  • Johm Rambo

    Mine just says “This code is already in use.”

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      I’d contact EA support and explain that. It’s happened to others as well.

  • J smash

    Can you please help me? I can’t seem to find “view CD key.” Did steam remove that function? Here is a screen shot of what I see when I right click on any EA Steam game I own. I contacted Steam, and they said there is no way to view your CD key, nor do they give it to you.

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      You need to begin the install of the game in order to see that option. As soon as you get the key, just delete the game to stop it from downloading.

      • J smash

        Thanks! I it worked now, and I was able to transfer everything over.

        • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

          Nice, glad it helped!

  • Christopher Waling

    How about allowing Sims 1 complete, KOA Reckoning, heck I cant even convert all my old C+C games into C+C Ultimate because EA deemed that region 1 only…

    • http://techgage.com/ Rob Williams

      You might want to contact customer service and see if MAYBE they’ll allow you to register those games on the service. I’m willing to bet they don’t, but it might not hurt to try…

  • http://lucas200206.net84.net Lucas

    Dude, sorry if i’m late, but unfortunately Spore does not work with Steam. I was planning to move the game over from steam to Origin, as Origin is powered by EA, the main distributor of the game. Other great thing was that in Origin we have more languages and support, together with quick bugfixes. But, when I get my CD key from Steam, I get an error message saying: “This code has already been used.” The FAQ doesn’t shows anything about moving games on, but should I contact EA support?

    Maybe the problem is that when we start the game, it sends right the CD key to the EA servers, and it validates it.

    Well, I’m not wasting more R$19,99 (About $8,99 in USD).

  • http://www.deathbycone.com Jared Kotoff

    My Mass Effect keys all worked. 1 and 2 with all the DLC I had.
    My DeadSpace 2 key said it was already in use. I gave them a call and the tech support said he could see it in my library but nothing I did made it show up he manually added the game to my account somehow.
    So call if you have issues, the support i received was very good.

  • Farhad

    im looking for product code of origin . plz sme 1 give me i lose it