bnetlauncher games in Steam

Ever since steam allowed to add non steam games to it that it become my gaming hub having all my games there ready to be launched.

However every big developer/publisher has it’s own launcher these days which means trying to use steam as a launcher doesn’t always work as intended.

I originally discovered a solution in a reddit post, it worked but felt very clunky so I fired up Visual Studio to see if I could do any better.

The result was bnetlauncher. While not the most elegant solution it does work. and makes adding current and future blizzard games to steam a lot easier.

Additionally I have also the full source code under GPL for those who worry that this could be a malicious tool or are simply curious about what’s actually happening under the hood.

To use just add it as a non-steam game and put in the appropriate key code in front as a parameter like in the screenshot bellow.

Example bnetlauncher use

github repo (Source Code)
Older versions

86 thoughts on “bnetlauncher games in Steam”

  1. So as not to be one of those guys that fixes it and abandons it to leave everyone else in suspense, figured I’d post. I fixed it, in a way that strikes me as odd.. perhaps I missed something somewhere. But, I followed your original screenshots for setting it up; Placing the launcher.exe in the Steam directory and letting that be its place. Worked fine for awhile. Just to try to take a stab at this, I moved the launcher.exe to’s directory instead and adjusted my shortcuts. Has worked fine since with no issues. There permissions on both directories are identical, so I am at a loss to explain why this is.

  2. Been using the beta version (v17b2) for a few weeks now, works like a charm for Overwatch and HearthStone! If someone made an app like this (*hint hint*) that worked with Uplay, Origin and GOG Galaxy as well, I’d be happy to pay for it in honey, backrubs, money, beer – or any other currency that the developer might prefer.

    Anyway, thanks for all the time and energy you invested in this project. I’ll share your web page forever now <3

  3. You’re not the first to ask for Origin and I’ll say it’s very unlikely I’ll ever do anything with it, I don’t own any recent titles on Origin and the ones I do, battlelogium and Origin Requirement Remover already do everything a launcher could do only much better.

    As for uplay I actually already have a personal solution in the form of a powershell script that use for The division and The Crew, maybe I’ll polish it up for “public consumption”.

  4. That’s cool man. I’ll definitely check out the Origin related links, even though I actually don’t have that many games there. I do have quite a few GOG games, though, and it would be nice to use the Steam overlay and still get the tracking and achievements on GOG. But I guess there’s a point where you need to accept that some things won’t always be as streamlined as one would’ve wished. Not in this corporate run, DRM-filled world…

    However. I’m very, very interested in getting Uplay stuff to work with the Steam overlay. I’d say Uplay is probably the only place (except Battlenet) where I actually have “real” games I care about, outside of Steam. And with Wildlands, For Honor and a new WD coming up, a polished script solution (or really any solution) would surely be worth its weight in honey!

  5. Does the job thanks a lot! Had a problem with it crashing on launch but read the comments and reinstalled battlenet. Thanks!

  6. And the problem was…. MSI Afterburner/Rivatuner hooking up on overwatch before steam overlay could.

  7. Is there any way to toggle a region? For example, I want to launch the Overwatch PTR through this, but it keeps defaulting to the Americas region.

  8. I’ve followed the included instructions, but it fails to launch the requested program. Checking the logs, it doesn’t display an error.

    [2016-11-08 20:54:29.3360]: Launcher for Steam version 1.8.6156.2282 started
    [2016-11-08 20:54:29.3390]: OS: Microsoft Windows NT 6.2.9200.0, Runtime: 4.0.30319.42000
    [2016-11-08 20:54:29.3420]: Checking for other bnetlauncher processes
    [2016-11-08 20:54:29.3460]: No other bnetlauncher detected
    [2016-11-08 20:54:29.3510]: Got parameter: ow
    [2016-11-08 20:54:29.3550]: Got valid alias for game ‘Overwatch’
    [2016-11-08 20:54:30.0483]: client is fully running with pid = 6200
    [2016-11-08 20:54:30.0513]: Issuing game launch command ‘battlenet://Pro’ at ’08:54:30.0513′

  9. Try this, Click Winkey+R to open the run dialogue and then paste battlenet://Pro on it and OK, does it launch Overwatch? If not you may need to reinstall the client. Alternatively you may try to fix it my using this reg file but reinstalling will likely be there safer route.

  10. Is there any way to toggle a region? For example, I want to launch the Overwatch PTR through this, but it keeps defaulting to the Americas region.

    This is something I would like to make happen but so far been unsuccessful, I even thought I had figured it out recently but it turned out to be a dead end. So for now there’s just no way to do it, sorry.

  11. The code shouldn’t be hard to follow, almost all the functionality is in Program.cs. Just start in the Main function and follow the code down, if you just read the comments it should give you a general idea. Unless you want to know something more specific.

  12. Heartsthone not working now, battlenet://WTCG is changed after last hearthstone patch.

  13. Do you know what’s the new shortcut if any?

    PS: I just downloaded and tested heartstone and the shortcut seems to still function as expected.

  14. —————————
    Failed to obtain game parameters.
    Game should start but steam overlay won’t be attached to it.

    Any solution? ;(

  15. Now I don’t get error but the overlay doesn’t work :/, thx for the attention 😀

  16. I’ve used it previously without any issues but after a reinstall of Windows I have issues with the bnetlauncher. Sometimes it works fine but most of the time the launcher starts but doesn’t start the game and after a moment I get the error:

    “Couldn’t find a game started through Client.
    Please check if you’re using a valid parameter.
    Aborting process and exiting.”

    I can still launch manually and will see the overlay…sort of (Shift-Tab brings it up, I see the FPS counter but new messages are not visible in the lower right corner as it should).

  17. Are you using any overlay software like MSI afterburner? Are you starting as admin? Those are two things that could cause problems, other then that i’d need to see a log (see instructions.txt for how to enable it).

  18. No overlay software is used and I’ve never had to start as admin. I’ve e-mailed you a log file, hope it helps.

  19. Hey man, program’s just throwing an error window “bnetlauncher has stopped working” trying to run diablo 3. I’m assuming it’s something to do with the change from client to blizzard app. I thought it might’ve just been a name change, but seems like it’s something else.

    Any chance of an update?

  20. There hasn’t been any change that required an update at the time of the client name change. First thing I’d ask you to try is getting the latest version, if there’s still an issue comment again and I’ll try to help you.

  21. Great work! I can now stream Overwatch to my Steam Link!

    I’d actually started work on a tool to wrap non-Steam games and automatically apply any workarounds needed to get the overlay working. This is also a C# project.

    However, I was missing the trick of grabbing the command-line args which passed to Overwatch.exe, then killing and restarting it under the ‘wrapper’ application. Very, very good idea!

    My initial work on my version works something like this: (btw, I named it SteamBogie.exe – it’ll make most English-speakers chuckle, but it’s also a British English term for the wheel/axle/suspension assembly on railway carriages. Keeps with the Steam/Valve thing ;))

    So, perhaps, for games:

    SteamBogie.exe –launcher battlenet –command battlenet://Pro –client Overwatch.exe

    Then, for Origin, perhaps something like:

    SteamBogie.exe –launcher origin –game C:\Games\OriginGames\Titanfall\Titanfall.exe

    … and it’ll do whatever’s needed to get Origin games compliant. This seems to involve:

    * Quitting Origin if running
    * Launching the game EXE with the Origin EXE path added as an argument (that can be looked up in the registry)
    * Monitoring the process list to watch for the game EXE’s presence
    * Quitting and perhaps restoring Origin’s running/not-running state after the game EXE disappears.

    Certainly something to work on!

  22. Origin and uplay games can be started directly from the game exe, they will launch the client if needed and start running. The launch chain is a bit crazy tough, the game closes and launches the client which chain spawns a load of other processes which eventually launches the game for real (seriously check it with process explorer). So all you need to do then is monitor the game and close the launcher processes after it closes.

    It’s something I’ve thought about but been putting off due to not having any really clever way of doing it. For uplay I’ve already done something the “dumb way” with and I suppose the same core idea would work with origin too.

    Best of luck developing your universal launcher.

  23. Thanks for the info, daf. If I do end up releasing anything, I’ll be sure to credit you (and GitHub it, of course).

    Why am I not surprised that Origin is a bit weird?

    I did a little googling on uPlay. It seems to also use a URI handler (uplay://launch/) so that might be a good angle to attack!

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