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What DLC is compatible with retail versions of what PC games?

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April 23, 2013 4:20:41 PM

I'm about to order the components for my first dedicated gaming rig and was curious as to what restrictions there are on what DLC is compatible with what version of a few games.

I have already discovered that I can't buy a retail boxed copy of say Borderlands 2 at Amazon and then expect it to be compatible with DLC I buy via Steam, which is why I'm planning on purchasing that title via Steam despite my slow internet connection. <Thus, I plan on using Amazon whenever I can and relying on Steam only when I have too.

However, there are more than a few games on my wish list that are not sold retail with all the DLC boxed inside, such as the Mass Effect series. So, could I buy the retail versions of the Mass Effect series through Amazon and still be able to download and use all the available DLC for each game via Bioware Social Network? Also, would I have to buy the digital version of a game that uses Origin in order for DLC compatibility or does Origin work differently in that regard than Steam?

Please try and bear with me here, I'm relatively new to PC gaming, having been a console gamer for years and now finally sick of the restrictions and limits of the aforementioned platform.
April 23, 2013 4:40:06 PM

I have been using Steam for a very long time and was happy to see Sims 3 on there. But I did some checking before I bought it and here is what I found.
I was able to buy a physical copy of Sims 3. It could not be registered on Steam but was able to register it on Origin by entering the CD key in Origin.
If you have Sims 3 on Steam you can ONLY download the expansions (DLC) from Steam and no where else.
If you have Sims 3 from anywhere else but Steam you can't buy and download DLC's from Steam.
If you have Sims 3 on Origin (physical or digital, doesn't matter) you can buy DLC's from GameStop, Amazon, and Origin then enter the CD key in Origin.
HINT... a lot of the time Amazon will match the sale prices on Steam.
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April 23, 2013 8:33:24 PM

If you buy the Mass Effect trilogy from Amazon, the physical disks will costs a total of $28.48 can't remember if there is free shipping. That's cheaper than buying the digital versions of the game. I guess whichever retailer has them is simply trying to move 'em outta the warehouse to make room for newer things.

I think I read somewhere that the physical disk for Mass Effect 1 includes both DLCs that were released for it. You will need to buy Mass Effect 2 DLCs from BioWare (unless it has been moved to Origin) and Mass Effect 3 DLCs through Origin.
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April 24, 2013 1:58:39 PM

jaguarskx said:
If you buy the Mass Effect trilogy from Amazon, the physical disks will costs a total of $28.48 can't remember if there is free shipping. That's cheaper than buying the digital versions of the game. I guess whichever retailer has them is simply trying to move 'em outta the warehouse to make room for newer things.

I think I read somewhere that the physical disk for Mass Effect 1 includes both DLCs that were released for it. You will need to buy Mass Effect 2 DLCs from BioWare (unless it has been moved to Origin) and Mass Effect 3 DLCs through Origin.


There is, or was as I'm not sure if they fixed it or not, a problem with the Mass Effect Trilogy, if that is you are referring to the recently released bundle that combines all three games together? Example of the problem some people have apparently been experiencing with it: http://answers.ea.com/t5/Mass-Effect-3/ORIGIN-WILL-NOT-...

I'm not aware of any version of Mass Effect 1 for PC that includes both DLC on the disc. If you know of a version that bundles the DLC with a retail copy could you give me a link or something? However, I am aware that if you register your Mass Effect CD Key you get a Mass Effect: Bring Down the Sky CD Key for free.

Anyway, back on subject, what you mean is that I can buy the physical retail copies of Mass Effect 2 and 3 and then expect them to be compatible with DLC bought through http://social.bioware.com/page/me2-dlc and http://social.bioware.com/page/me3-dlc ?

Lastly, does Origin have the same restrictions as Steam? For example, a physical boxed copy of a game that must be activated via Origin is not compatible with DLC for said game that is available through Origin?
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April 24, 2013 5:07:17 PM

No. I am referring to purchasing each game individually from Amazon. Click the following link for Mass Effect 1. Under "Frequently bought together" there is a button to add all three individual games to your cart. Act fast 'cause the price went up from $28.48 to $28.70. Tomorrow it might shoot up to $28.71.

http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Effect-PC/dp/B0015M0PYI/ref=...

Regarding the two DLCs bundled with ME1, I only heard of it. Not sure if it is actually true. The ME1 version in the above link does not seem to include them. Perhaps I confused that with Mass Effect Trilogy Box which does include the 2 DLCs for Mass Effect 1. Sorry if I got your hopes up.

The physical copy of Mass Effect 3 must be activated via Origin. Not sure about ME2, I bought ME2 long before EA released Origin. ME1 definitely not. DLCs should work as long as you purchase directly from BioWare (ME1 and ME2) and Origin (ME3). If EA updated ME2 to be activated via Origin, then I would say you need to buy ME2 DLCs from Origin.


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April 24, 2013 5:19:07 PM

In case you are wondering... Playing ME1 and ME2 means you need to have the disc inserted. ME3 does not require the disk to be inserted in order to play and you cannot play it without having Origin installed and the game registered via Origin.
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April 24, 2013 5:44:55 PM

Huh? i dont have to insert my disks with either game (1 or 2) and I dont have origin installed either.
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April 24, 2013 7:25:10 PM

From what I remember ME1 and ME2 required the disk. Perhaps you have the Steam version.

Mass Effect 3 requires Origin. Perhaps you didn't notice it was installed.

The only versions of Mass Effect 3 that does not require Origin are the ones which are not allowed to be discussed in this public forum.
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April 28, 2013 1:25:59 PM

jaguarskx said:
No. I am referring to purchasing each game individually from Amazon. Click the following link for Mass Effect 1. Under "Frequently bought together" there is a button to add all three individual games to your cart. Act fast 'cause the price went up from $28.48 to $28.70. Tomorrow it might shoot up to $28.71.

http://www.amazon.com/Mass-Effect-PC/dp/B0015M0PYI/ref=...

Regarding the two DLCs bundled with ME1, I only heard of it. Not sure if it is actually true. The ME1 version in the above link does not seem to include them. Perhaps I confused that with Mass Effect Trilogy Box which does include the 2 DLCs for Mass Effect 1. Sorry if I got your hopes up.

The physical copy of Mass Effect 3 must be activated via Origin. Not sure about ME2, I bought ME2 long before EA released Origin. ME1 definitely not. DLCs should work as long as you purchase directly from BioWare (ME1 and ME2) and Origin (ME3). If EA updated ME2 to be activated via Origin, then I would say you need to buy ME2 DLCs from Origin.




Ok, thank you for the help. Funny how the trade off goes: buy the components for and build a powerful rig, then be confused by the hoops you have to jump through far too often just to make sure you can play the version you want of the games you enjoy. Still, it could be even more confusing without helpful fellow gamers like you. Here is to hoping everything works out!

Oh, and on a secondary not: you say the last time you looked the highest price you saw for Mass Effects one through three was $28.70? I'm looking at it today and the price for all three is now only $24.19! Nice to see the price of something drop for once.

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