The Quick Answer
Humble Bundle is a legitimate and authorized game distributor which means you won’t have to worry about purchasing dodgy or invalid keys. It has its fair share of customer service complaints online but our purchases there have always gone smoothly. Humble Bundle’s charity focus and unique offerings make it a compelling place to purchase games. But if you’re searching for the absolute cheapest deals, look elsewhere.
Dodgy business practices and illegally sourced keys are just a couple of problems you could encounter when buying games outside of Steam. Are these valid reasons to avoid Humble Bundle? Is Humble Bundle legit? That’s what we’re here to find out.
What Is Humble Bundle?
In 2010, Wolfire Games developer duo Jeffrey Rosen and John Graham launched Humble Bundle. The startup’s main gimmick was its pay-what-you-want game bundles that allowed buyers to allocate a portion of their purchase to charity. Since then, it’s been acquired by IGN and greatly expanded its offerings. But its philanthropic focus and game bundles persisted.
Humble Bundle has three main offerings: Bundles, the Humble Store, and the Humble Choice subscription program.
The Humble Bundles are themed game, book, and software collections with a tiered pay-what-you-want structure. Each bundle runs for a limited time and offers different unlocks depending on how much you pay. When you buy a Bundle, you can choose how much of your money goes to game publishers and a charity of your choice.
The Humble Store is where you can purchase individual games, from AAA blockbusters to DRM-free indie titles. Humble Choice is a monthly subscription that gives you free games every month. You also get up to 20% off games on the Humble Store and access to the Humble Trove, a catalog of more than 80 DRM-free indie games that are yours to keep forever.
Are Humble Bundle’s Keys Legit?
As we mentioned earlier, Humble Bundle is an authorized game distributor. The company partners directly with game publishers to provide exclusive deals and raise money for charity. While the source of each game key isn’t listed on their product pages like at Green Man Gaming, we haven’t heard of any controversies or complaints from game developers that would suggest Humble’s game keys aren’t legit.
The company’s history also works in its favor. We’d imagine the co-founders who were game developers themselves would be passionate about ensuring other game creators get paid. Their support documentation also seems to provide further evidence.
Game developers are instructed on how to submit their games to the Humble Store and manage their store pages, schedule discounts, and track sales. We don’t think a site selling illegitimate keys would bother courting developers and publishers in this manner.
Is Humble Bundle Safe?
All of our previous game purchases from Humble Bundle have gone smoothly and the purchase we made for this article was no different. We decided to grab Darkest Dungeon to show what you can expect from the purchasing process.
You have to create an account to buy from the Humble Store. You can pay with PayPal, a credit/debit card, Amazon, or AliPay. The checkout window will also show a “Humble Wallet credit” you’ll earn towards future purchases and how much of your money will go to charity.
Unlike with their bundles, you can’t alter how much of your purchase goes to charity. Note that some games aren’t eligible for Wallet credits or charity donations either.
After completing your purchase, you’ll receive the link to your game key(s) via email.
The email takes you back to a page on Humble Bundle where you reveal your key and then redeem it on Steam.
Clicking on the “redeem” link after revealing the key takes you to a product activation page on Steam with the code prefilled. After accepting the Steam Subscriber Agreement and clicking on “Continue”, the game should appear in your Steam library, ready to play.
If you buy a game with a DRM-free download option, you can download it directly instead of activating it on Steam. From our experience, most games allow you to redeem the Steam key and download the DRM-free version.
We don’t love the extra hoop you have to go through with the email. But aside from that, buying from Humble Bundle is a smooth experience.
If for some reason your key doesn’t work, you have 60 days to request a refund. Humble Bundle doesn’t state a clear refund policy but rather that each refund request will be handled individually. Note: games received as part of the Humble Choice subscription are non-refundable.
Again, we’ve never had any issues purchasing from Humble Bundle including today’s transaction, but it’s worth noting the company’s abysmal rating on Trustpilot. Most of the negative reviews we read through cited either inadequate customer support or disagreements with the way they conduct business rather than problems with redeeming keys.
Since reviews tend to be biassed towards negative experiences and ours has been trouble-free, we wouldn’t consider them a reason to totally avoid Humble Bundle. But you should take this into account before buying.
Is Humble Bundle Worth It?
It depends. Do you like the idea of doing good while adding to your game library? Then Humble Bundle is a great option. But if you’re not that concerned with philanthropy and are just looking for a deal, Humble Bundle isn’t as appealing.
Humble’s prices are comparable to other authorized retailers like Green Man Gaming. If you’re already a regular elsewhere, Humble’s prices alone won’t be good enough to convince you to switch.
One ace up Humble Bundle’s sleeve is its extensive library of DRM-free games. If you don’t like having your games tied to launchers like Steam or Epic, the Humble Store is your only option aside from GOG. And the fact that you get both a Steam key (when available) and a DRM-free download makes it an even better choice.
If low prices are your top priority, you may want to consider the third-party stores we recommend on our list of the best Steam key sites. You’ll find that prices from gray market sites are much lower.
So, Is Humble Bundle Legit?
Worry not; Humble Bundle is definitely a legitimate game store that sells authorized game keys. While we wouldn’t consider it head and shoulders above other authorized retailers like Green Man Gaming, it’s still a reliable and safe place to buy games from.
The unremarkable pricing on the Humble Store and customer service issues stop us from wholly recommending Humble Bundle. But if you like what it has to offer, be it the game bundles or charitable donations, there isn’t another storefront quite like it.