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It's well known that a small percentage of Steam games do not require the Steam client, as shown in the excellent Steam games you can play without the Steam client list. It's less well known that Epic Games have an even larger percentage (relative to the store's catalogue) of similar games. Since information for Epic Games DRM has been scattered across multiple topics which combined with a 'less than optimal' GOG forum search makes it hard to find, this thread will attempt to present it in a clearer format:-

Epic Store games you can play without the Epic Launcher:-
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16BjnaBO40vkt6kFVl0QWMWVh86UFnr-j_yWhQbASJ58/edit?usp=sharing

The spreadsheet format follows the "Steam games you can play without the Steam client" formatting, ie, "Win / Mac / Lin" = Windows, Mac and Linux. A tick = DRM-Free, a cross = DRM'd (requires the client), a ? = unknown / untested and a - (hyphen) = "unavailable for this OS" (for Mac / Linux). Notes = Anything that's important, related or a tweak that's required to run. If a game works client-less without any tweaking, this will be left blank for overall improved readability.

Valid Games for the list : Any game that runs 100% offline without any client, doesn't ask for login details, isn't locked to hardware and is "portable" post initial-download. Any game that has alternative means of running, eg, a game whose DRM can be sidestepped via a DRM-Free source port will be considered similar to how the above linked Steam list works.

Invalid Games for the list : Any game that requires any client / launcher (including 3rd parties such as uPlay, Origin and Rockstar), asks for login details, needs to connect to the Internet to function post initial-download or any game with 3rd party DRM (Denuvo, Arxan, VMProtect, etc). Online multi-player games will naturally be excluded, so no Fortnite, etc.

How to Test:-

1. Download a game via the Epic Games Launcher, then close the Launcher. Make sure it's not running in the background (no icon in the tray area or running in Task Manager)

2. Temporarily rename C:\Program Files (x86)\Epic Games\Launcher\Portal\Binaries\Win32\EpicGamesLauncher.exe to something else

3. Start the game directly via its .exe (usually in a sub-folder in C:\Program Files\Epic Games) to see if the game starts up. NB: The Start Menu shortcuts created by the Epic Launcher are actually URL's that call the launcher rather than proper direct shortcuts, so you will need to start the game either directly via its .exe or create your own proper Start Menu link. Ideally if you have 2 or more PC's, the games could be downloaded on one and tested on another to rule out any potential Epic Store equivalent of Steam's CEG (locking games to specific motherboards).

4. If it fails to start by default then sometimes a tweak may be needed, eg, try adding one of the two common command line switches -EpicPortal or /c=.. -AUTH_LOGIN=unused to your shortcut link and see if that works.

5. If it works without the Epic Game client running, and after checking it isn't already listed, just add a post to this thread saying, eg, "X game works perfectly with no tweaks needed" or "X game works but required the -EpicPortal command line switch", etc. If you are testing a non-Windows version (Mac or Linux), please state that to avoid confusion. Don't forget to rename the Launcher back.

No Politics:-

This list is meant to be a similar resource to the Steam version for those who already don't mind using the Epic Games Launcher to grab the files once and from then on, use / archive them in a DRM-Free manner (eg, you can zip the game folder up and unzip it at a later date on an upgraded PC / OS reinstall without ever requiring the client to reinstall / play the game again). This is particularly true considering the large amount of surprising high quality games that have been given away for free over the past year. I'd like to see this thread stay on topic rather than degenerate into Epic vs Steam flame wars, complaints about Epic exclusives, "what is DRM?", etc. There are other threads here for those debates.

Community Participation:-

Just like the Steam equivalent thread, I'd like this to be an ongoing community effort that won't "fizzle out" due to dumping all the workload on one person, so aside from welcoming as many contributors as possible to test & add games here, given the collaborative nature of Google Sheets I would also like to add a couple of trusted regulars here who regularly acquire Epic Freebies, test their DRM-ness and have a GMail account, to share the workload as maintainers / editors of the spreadsheet (which should be a lower workload than the Steam version anyway due to the much smaller catalogue size).

Thank you, and happy client-free gaming!
Post edited April 04, 2020 by AB2012
(edited because comment wasn't needed. Woopsy!)
Post edited April 05, 2020 by Crimson-X
One issue people might come across is games being updated to require the launcher. I know for example Tetris Effect did not require the launcher at first, but was updated to require it in a patch. So we'll have to be really careful and update the list as needed.

Last I played them Outer Worlds and Control did not need the client. Control briefly did, then after complaints on social media Remedy made it work without the client again.
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StingingVelvet: Last I played them Outer Worlds and Control did not need the client. Control briefly did, then after complaints on social media Remedy made it work without the client again.
I didn't even know either of them ran without it, until I saw the list.

I'll go through the games I own that are not on the list and report back, but in the mean time massive thanks for AB2012 for creating a list in the first place!
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RoboPond: I didn't even know either of them ran without it, until I saw the list.
Tetris Effect and Red Dead 2 are honestly the only games I have played off the Epic Store that required the client so far. Even though it's optional on Steam I'm guessing it defaults to yes, and the Epic Store defaults to no? Or something like that.
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Oh Hades cool :P I will make a backup when it will be out.

I guess it is pointless to test uplay games right? Those goes throu ubi login anyway.
Post edited April 05, 2020 by Orkhepaj
lol oops went and posted before noticing the Google link with the list already there.

Awesome to see Untitled Goose Game on there! Will have to get that!
Post edited April 05, 2020 by Crimson-X
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StingingVelvet: Tetris Effect and Red Dead 2 are honestly the only games I have played off the Epic Store that required the client so far. Even though it's optional on Steam I'm guessing it defaults to yes, and the Epic Store defaults to no? Or something like that.
It seems like it. If Outer Worlds and Control don't need Epic's client. (And you know they will need Steam when they get released on Steam) then it seems whilst Epic are going for exclusives they don't seem as heavy on their client as Valve.

Batman is another good example that's DRM free from Epic once installed, the only other way for that is Steam or GFWL neither of which are DRM free. (Arkham Knight is only on Epic DRM free of Steam locked to Steamworks.)
The remaster of Ghostbusters works, if you make a shortcut and add -EpicPortal after the executable. It's only for Windows.
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Orkhepaj: Oh Hades cool :P I will make a backup when it will be out.

I guess it is pointless to test uplay games right? Those goes throu ubi login anyway.
OP said he wasn't including any games which require 3rd party launchers, since they technically are not DRM free, and this list is trying to make note of those that are DRM free.

You can also look up PCGW which is expansive to show which games are DRM free, because some games are on one platform, but not others.
Post edited April 05, 2020 by TurdFerguson87
Can add Afterparty to list. Tested on Windows 7 and works straight away from the .exe
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StingingVelvet: Control briefly did, then after complaints on social media Remedy made it work without the client again.
Odd! I wonder, did that ever happen on Steam, the client requirement (DRM) being removed after complaints about it?
Anyway, that should be a good sign that Remedy would be willing to sell it on GOG after the exclusivity ends (I hope!).
Didn't check the spreadsheet...
Post edited April 05, 2020 by Acriz
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teceem: Odd! I wonder, did that ever happen on Steam, the client requirement (DRM) being removed after complaints about it? Anyway, that should be a good sign that Remedy would be willing to sell it on GOG after the exclusivity ends (I hope!).
Never happened with Steam that I know of. I would guess the difference is the Epic client is disliked, and maybe people were launching it through Steam, so there were a lot more complaints than usual. Remember, most people like Steam, we're the weirdos.
I don't know where you sourced this, but This War of Mine doesn't work anymore without the client. The application crashes on launch.
The intiial version offered might have worked, but more current versions simply don't. PCGamingWiki's data is out of date.

If you'd like confirmation for each of the Epic Freebies, included game versions tested, PM me