The right way to add Uplay games to Steam

If you haven’t tried it, Uplay actually isn’t a bad platform. It has a limited selection of games compared to Steam, but they regularly run promotions for free games, and match a lot of titles you buy elsewhere. I own few games on Uplay, but when it comes to launchers, but it’s nice to be able to launch everything from one place, especially if you own a lot of games on Steam, or use a Steam Link.

A lot of websites will tell you how to add Uplay itself to Steam, and while that works, we can do better. I want to add the games themselves, complete with icons and grid images. If you have games on Uplay, and want to add them to Steam the right way, here’s how.


1. Find the Uplay URL for your game

The reason you can’t just add a Uplay shortcut directly to Steam is that Uplay shortcuts are actually URLs. They look like this: uplay://launch/273/0. The first thing you need to do, then, is get the URL for the game you want to launch.

Find the shortcut for your game, right click on it, and select properties. If you can’t find a shortcut, you can right click on the game in Uplay and select Create desktop shortcut, and a shortcut will be created on your Desktop. The properties window will have a URL field. Copy and save that URL – we’re going to use it later.


Uplay shortcut file properties


2. Add the new shortcut to Steam

At first, you aren’t going to add a shortcut directly to your game. Instead, at first, you’re going to add Uplay itself. We’ll make it launch the game itself later.

In Steam, click on ADD A GAME..., then select Add a Non-Steam Game.... In the window that opens after that, click Browse.... Navigate to where you installed Uplay (typically C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher), and select Uplay.exe. You should now see Uplay in the list. Click ADD SELECTED PROGRAMS. You should now see Uplay as a game in Steam.


Steam with Uplay shortcut


3. Make the shortcut launch your game

Now that you have a shortcut to Uplay, you can change it to launch your game instead of Uplay itself.

Find the newly added Uplay shortcut in Steam, right click on it, and select Properties. In the Target field, you should see the full path to Uplay.exe, in quotes. Just after that, add a space, followed by the Uplay URL from earlier, also in quotes. The full target should look something like this:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\Uplay.exe" "uplay://launch/2688/0"

Click CLOSE when you are done. If you open this shortcut now, it should launch your game directly.


4. Change the name, icon, and grid image to match the game

You now have a shortcut to launch your game, but it doesn’t look very nice. To look like a proper Steam game, we need to change the name, icon, and grid image. Right click on the game in Steam, and select properties. This is where most of the changes will happen.

First, change the name from Uplay to the name of your game.

Next, we need to change the icon. Look for a button called CHOOSE ICON....  next to the Uplay icon. When you click on it, a file selection dialog will appear. Find the directory your game is installed in. This is different for each game, but is usually under C:\Programs(x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\games. Then, you need to find the exe file that launches the game.

Again, this different for each game, and may take some hunting, but the file you are looking for will have the icon you want as well. As an example, Watch Dogs 2 is under WATCH_DOGS2\bin\WatchDogs2.exe, and Assassin’s Creed IV is under Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag\AC4BFSP.exe.

Look around until you find an exe file with the right icon. When you find it, double click on it to change the icon in Steam.


Uplay game with proper icon


Last, to look nice in Big Picture mode, or when using a Steam Link, you’ll need to change the grid image.

You can find grid images easily by going to SteamGridDB.comJinx’s Steam Grid View Images, or searching /r/steamgrid on Reddit. If you haven’t explored these sites, there are a lot of alternative grid images you can use, and they are made in many different styles. Find one you like, and download it.

In Steam, switch to grid view by clicking the icon in the top right corner of the games screen. Right click on your game, and select Set Custom Image. Find the image you just downloaded, and select it.

You should now have the correct name, icon, and grid image, making this game look and work like a proper Steam game. You wont get Steam achievements when playing it, but it will look good, the overlay will work, and you can play the game easily on a Steam Link.


Uplay game in Steam


As always, leave a comment below if you have any questions or comments, or just want to share your experience. Enjoy!


Michael Day is a web engineer, javascript junkie, video game enthusiast, and blogger. Hating how the big console makers were taking advantage of gamers, he made the switch to PC and set it upon himself to make a machine that did everything the more popular consoles wouldn't.