Is CDKeys Legit & Fully Safe? Here’s What You Should Know

Key Takeaways
  • CDKeys is an online store that sells product/activation keys for games, gaming subscriptions, gift cards, and in-game currencies. It's known for offering these at competitive prices.
  • CDKeys is a legitimate platform but operates in the grey market, meaning it sources products from unauthorized means. It doesn't violate laws but does operate in a morally questionable area, especially concerning regional pricing policies of platforms like Steam.
  • CDKeys is safe to use and offers significant savings. If concerned about ethical implications, alternatives like Humble Bundle and Green Man Gaming offer similar services with more transparent sourcing practices.

With Black Friday here, you might have across several digital storefronts offering great deals on games and other gaming related stuff. One such store would be CDKeys. And while the sale deals may look appealing, you’ll find yourself asking; is this site even legit? Well, read on below to find out and score some sweet steal deals!

Who doesn’t look to save an extra buck when shopping? | Unsplash

What is CDKeys?

CDKeys is an online store that mainly sells product/activation keys for games. A product/activation key is like a coupon code that you enter on another storefront, to get a digital copy of that game. Besides product/activation keys, CDKeys also offers gaming subscriptions like the Xbox Game Pass, gift cards for multiple services, and in-game currencies for sale.

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Is CDKeys Legit?

Technically, yes, CDKeys is legit and a trusted place to buy games. However, CDKeys is what many call a “grey market site.” That means while the store itself may be legit and safe, their merchandise, in this case the activation/production keys, is sourced from unauthorized and illegitimate means. While the sources may not be illegal outright, they do lie in a moral grey area, hence the term grey market site.

CDKeys offers great deals that are sure to tempt any gamer

CDKeys has been around for 10 years and has acquired a loyal customer base. It has great reviews from users worldwide and is known for its exemplary after-sale customer services, although you might experience a slight delay when contacting them. Nonetheless, they are a great option to buy games, gift cards, and gaming subscription services.

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How Does CDKeys Operate?

To show how CDKeys works, we would have to take the example of Steam’s regional pricing. While some of you might not know, Steam offers games at different prices in different regions for the sake of keeping fair prices. Although the regional pricing feature was scrapped only a week ago, it had been around for many years.

CDKeys is supported in nearly all countries

CDKeys buys games from different Steam regions for cheap, especially when they’re on sale. They resell these games to a customer for a profit. While this may not seem all that bad, this goes against Steam’s Subscriber Agreement. The same goes for the other products they offer on sale. However, this does not mean that CDKeys is illegal.

READ MORE: Steam Community Market – The Ultimate Guide for Everyone ➜

Should I Use CDKeys?

Since CDKeys doesn’t break any laws, there’s no harm in using it. Here are some reasons why you would want to buy stuff from CDKeys:

  • Great prices on games
  • Further discounts make for steal deals
  • Caters to every platform; PC, PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo etc.
  • Cheap subscription services for sale
  • They offers in-game currencies for multiple games at great rates

Alternatives to CDKeys

While CDKeys is a great option to get all your games, if you’re worried about the ethical concerns, or just wondering if there are any other options, here are 2 of the best alternatives to CDKeys:

Alternative 1: Humble Bundle

With Humble Bundle, you can donate to a charity of your choice when buying a game

Humble Bundle is another storefront that resells games, subscription services, software, books and more. It has been around for 13 years and is a great, and safe, place to buy game keys. Unlike CDKeys, Humble’s merchandise is completely authentic and devoid of any shady sources. Humble offers great deals on a wide variety of stuff, but it does have quite a limited collection.

Additionally, when you buy anything on Humble, the amount you pay is divided into 3 shares; one pays for the game, one goes to the developers of the game itself, and the last share is donated to a charity of your choosing. So, when you’re buying a game, you can buy one knowing that your money is also being used to help someone else in need.

Alternative 2: Green Man Gaming

Green Man Gaming (GMG) is another popular store that has also been around for 13 years. Like Humble, GMG is also an official reseller of game keys, with the keys directly sourced from the developers. It should be mentioned that GMG only sells PC and Xbox game keys.

Green Man Gaming’s steal deals make you question whether it even is an authorized reseller

To make up for the absence of PlayStation and Nintendo offerings, GMG offers a wide variety of PC and Xbox games, including some overlooked indie titles. Their prices are nothing to scoff at either; they’ve got some unbelievable deals that will have you why you even bought games directly from the Microsoft Store/Steam/Epic Games Store before. Overall, a great option if you’re looking to steer clear of CDKeys.

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Even though CDKeys stands in a grey area, the fact that it offers such great prices cannot be ignored. And since it is not outright illegal, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t buy from them. They have great customer support, so if you encounter an error of some kind, you can just ask for a refund or a replacement key.

That said, it’s better to use PayPal for transactions like these, thanks to PayPal’s policy of issuing a return of the amount paid within 180 days. This will allow you to back out of your purchase in case an error occurs, and you decide to buy the game from the official store. At the end of the day, it’s up to you where you buy your games from.


Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.