Can you play LoL on Steam?

Every day there seems to be more and more unique gaming launchers to install, and many League of Legends players have long wondered if they could forego the Riot Games Launcher and simply install League on Steam.

While that would certainly make it easier to hit Play for another ranked game, the answer will be disappointing for anyone looking to keep things in one place.

Is League on Steam?

No, you cannot play League on Steam. The only way to load up Riot’s popular MOBA and play games is through the official Riot Games Launcher, which houses all the company’s titles⁠—including VALORANT, TFT, and League.

League did originally appear on Steam for a short while when it first launched, with interested players able to buy the Digital Collector’s Edition on the Valve platform. This included 20 champions, free runes (for the old rune pages), and an exclusive Black Alistair skin that’s not been rereleased.

The bundle, which cost around $20 USD, means if you haven’t updated your Steam page in some time you could still have League in the program.

Why Riot removed League from Steam

The reason behind League’s removal from Steam is very simple⁠—Riot wanted to make its own digital platform to keep gamers in its ecosystem.

The title originally appeared on Steam due to a partnership with the company’s European distribution partners (handled by them completely) but once League’s player count began to spike, Riot made the call to part ways.

More recently, it allowed Riot to add Vanguard to all its games.

Several League of Legends minions attack a turret in LoL's first design.
You have to go back a long way to see League on Valve’s launcher. Image via Riot Games

There have been questions raised about whether Riot will eventually double back on this stance considering Riot Forge titles like Ruined King and Mageseeker appear on the storefront, but studio head Andrei “Meddler” van Roon has since been relatively clear on that topic⁠—there are no current plans. “Forge games are a pretty different offering since they’re single-player, completable, aimed at being accessible to an audience that hasn’t necessarily played League.”

Though it’s no longer possible to buy the Riot MOBA on Steam, around 12,000 gamers do still own the title on Steam and can hypothetically play today.

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