Hidden Game in Steam

Do not spin around the bush, this hidden game within Steam is Space war. A title that is unlocked by entering a command line in Windows and launching a small multiplayer game initially intended for developers wishing to perform tests. A game that has however been diverted from its function by hackers, who now use it to bypass the protection system of Steam.

The Spacewar game running on a PDP-1. If you have good memory or a good video game culture, the title Spacewar must tell you something. And for good reason, this is one of the first video games in history , designed and released in the early 60s on PC, since a few years later on arcade.

Spacewar, a spatial and multiplayer shoot with summary graphics

What you may not know is that Spacewar is available for free on Steam. No need to look for it directly in the search engine or in the catalog, it is referenced nowhere. To install it, it is necessary to open the window “Run” of Windows (keys Windows + R) then to enter the command “steam: // run / 480”. Steam will then offer to launch a 10 MB download and add the game to your library.

The incredible graphic debauchery of Spacewar.

The game itself is of very little interest. This is a small, very basic space shooter in which players play small triangles that shoot at each other. No single player mode, this is only an online multiplayer game. First unusual fact about Spacewar: according to the various Steam games monitoring sites (SteamDB, Steam Charts or Githyp), it is not uncommon for Spacewar to see its number of players exceed 8000 at certain times of the day even 13,000 during his record of activity. Which makes it virtually one of the 100 most played Steam games of the moment. But then why is it almost impossible to find a server or a party when you launch the game?

By the time I launched Spacewar, only two game servers were available.

A way to discreetly bypass Steam anti-piracy protections

The reason is simple: Spacewar is not the multiplayer game that everyone has been secretly playing for months, but a way around the anti-piracy system of Steam. Since Steam is able to detect pirated games (by checking if there is any third-party cheat software installed in its directories and checking the licenses of the games), the crack developers hide them as Spacewar.

It’s unclear exactly why these crack developers have specifically used this game. Most likely because it’s a hidden game of Steam and it just never appears in the top 100 most games played the Valve platform. An appreciable discretion. But a quick search on Google (that you will be allowed to do because it often comes back to sites cracks) to understand that Spacewar is very often used to play multiplayer games or that necessarily require Steam to be launched.

If we stick to his attendance, Spacewar is regularly in the top 100 most played games on Steam.

Spacewar is a good way to measure the number of players who hack their games on Steam

If in your list of Steam friends you have someone currently playing Spacewar, then there is a good chance that he is not experiencing space battles in a game with simplistic graphics, but rather that he’s running a pirated game. Naturally, all players who launch Spacewar are not pirates. The game is actually used by real video game developers to build tests or even real players who want to pass the time. Fun fact, on the Steam forums, some players who actually play the game are worried about whether playing Spacewar could cause them to see their Steam account banned . Valve never responded, but it seems that is not the case.

The average number of players per hour of Spacewar since April 2015. Source:

Spacewar is also interesting on another aspect: it allows to know how piracy is currently on Steam, monitoring its audience. The Steam GitHyp statistic tracking site claims that the number of Spacewar “players” would have risen by 317% since April 2015. In other words, the trick is largely starting to get stale.