You can get working game and software keys from SCDKey. However, mediocre pricing, misleading stock indicators, and a poor user experience mean it’s one of the worst places to buy your keys. We recommend you look elsewhere. There are plenty of better game key sites.
Gaming is an expensive hobby, and it’s not getting any cheaper. That’s where sites like SCDKey come into the picture. They offer an alternative to official storefronts, with the potential for cut-price deals on new and old games. But what if SCDKey’s prices have you asking, “is SCDKey legit?” That’s what we’re going to find out with our SCDKey.com review.
What Is SCDKey?
SCDKey is a digital videogame and software key retailer, operating halfway between authorized retailers like Green Man Gaming and third-party marketplaces (or gray market sites) like Kinguin. We say this because while SCDKey seems to sell its own stock of keys directly to consumers, the source of its keys is unverified.
SCDKey focuses exclusively on PC games and software, with dedicated Steam, Origin, and UPlay categories available. No Xbox Live or PlayStation titles here, sadly. There’s a decent selection of game codes on the site, but prices and availability aren’t as good as other retailers.
SCDKey’s software selection isn’t that impressive, either. You get many options for Microsoft products such as Microsoft Office and Windows, but choice is limited for other product categories such as antivirus software. The latter, for example, is missing the ever-popular ESET Internet Security or Avast Antivirus Pro.
SCDKey doesn’t have a dedicated software section, so you can’t browse to see what’s available. You’re stuck with typing products into the search bar to see whether they have it for sale, which isn’t great.
Are SCDKey’s Products Legit?
SCDKey is ambiguous on the legitimacy and legality of the keys it sells, which isn’t uncommon once you move beyond the realm of fully-authorized retailers like Humble Bundle. You can get working keys, which usually would be enough for us to call a site “legit.” However, SCDKey has many issues that make it hard for us even to call it remotely legitimate, even if the CD keys work fine.
Is SCDKey Safe? We Find Out
Is it safe to buy keys from SCDKey? Is there anything to watch out for? Let’s find out.
Product pages on SCDKey are basic but provide all the crucial information you need. It’ll list the platform the key activates on, the regions in which it activates, genre tags (which aren’t very helpful), and the stock status.
That stock status indicator is particularly problematic, as it doesn’t always align with the stock status when browsing games. You’d expect in-stock items to say “In-Stock” on the product page and out-of-stock items to say “Out of Stock,” but that’s not what SCDKey does. Instead, in-stock items say “In Stock” in green text, while out-of-stock items still say “In Stock” but in black text. It’s unintuitive, misleading, and likely the main reason why so many Trustpilot reviews complain about not getting keys.
This is a huge red flag, especially as there’s no way of immediately knowing this unless you take the time to compare in-stock and out-of-stock items. There’s no reason to do this, either, unless the retailer is actively trying to scam customers. And that’s precisely what this feels like.
On top of that, a reputable shore shouldn’t let users purchase an out-of-stock CD key. We tried purchasing an allegedly out-of-stock game and could proceed to the payment step without any warnings about the stock status. We opted against completing the purchase, as we didn’t want to deal with having $30 stuck in a refund hellhole. But there’s definitely something fishy going on here.
If you find a game in stock, the checkout process is at least straightforward. You won’t have to deal with any iffy opt-out add-ons such as subscription services. SCDKey also clearly lists any added costs you’ll incur due to your chosen payment method, which is appreciated.
SCDKey doesn’t offer instant delivery, but we received our Steam key for Arx Fatalis within a couple of minutes at most. You access keys in the “My Purchased Orders” section of the User Center. Like most gray markets, SCDKey doesn’t provide an activation link, so you’ll have to copy the code and activate it in the appropriate launcher.
SCDKey says you can contact support if you have any “after-sales problems,” but we didn’t have to as our key activated fine. Given the site’s poor track record (more on this later), though, we wouldn’t expect much even if we did have issues.
So, you can get a working CD key from SCDKey. The question of whether you should buy a key from SCDKey is a whole other matter, though. We’ll discuss that in the next section.
Is Buying From SCDKey Worth It?
To cut it short, no, SCDKey isn’t worth your time. Let’s run through some of the site’s glaring issues to show you why.
First up, it’s worth repeating the site’s terrible track record of failing to deliver supposedly “in-stock” keys. While we don’t think Trustpilot reviews are the be-all-end-all, a 1.7-star rating from nearly 6000 reviews isn’t a good look. Especially not when the majority of negative reviews involve allegedly in-stock keys that turn out to be out of stock.
It doesn’t help that SCDKeys makes it so hard to get a refund, too. It regularly delays refunds even though there’s no reason to do so.
Again, this is entirely SCDKey’s fault. Listing out-of-stock items as in-stock is a forgivable mistake once or twice. However, it’s wholly unacceptable when it’s such a consistent and long-running issue. Combine that with purposely ambiguous stock indicators and delayed refunds, and you have good reason to avoid giving them your money.
As if that wasn’t enough, SCDKey’s pricing isn’t all that great, either. Let’s take Ubisoft’s Far Cry 6. SCDKey sells an EU-only key for $55. That’s not far from the $59.99 MSRP for a global key on a site like Fanatical. That’s not a good look, especially not when the $55 price is after a 15% discount.
The issue here is that you’re paying Steam-like prices without the reassurance of genuine legitimacy. If you’re only after a good deal, you may as well buy from a cheaper gray market like Eneba. If you want guaranteed-legal keys, you could purchase from fully-legit retailers like Fanatical for not much more money.
This mediocre pricing makes the poor user experience even harder to accept. You don’t have any way to filter games beyond hiding out-of-stock items. There’s no way to limit your browsing by genre or platform, nor can you even sort by price. It’s a shoddy site, and you’re paying close to full price for the “privilege” of using it.
And, while we’re at it, here’s what you get if you scroll down a bit through the product listings:
This looks terrible and certainly doesn’t inspire confidence in SCDKey. It doesn’t even look like it’s trying to conduct legitimate, honest business. We shudder to think where else SCDKey cuts corners if it can’t even source images for its product listings.
To top it all off, SCDKey’s game selection isn’t great. It’s missing some big-hitter titles, both new (Hogwarts Legacy or Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered) and old (Cyberpunk 2077). Combine all these issues together, and we think it’s better to look elsewhere if you’re after affordable game keys.
So, Is SCDKey Legit?
SCDKey is one of the few key retailer sites we’ve looked at that we wouldn’t consider “legit.” While you can get working keys from the site, its horrible layout, poor pricing, purposely misleading stock indicators, and poor customer support track record make it feel like one giant scam.
We’ve generally been gracious with third-party retailers and grey markets, accepting that they serve a purpose for budget-conscious gamers. But it’s impossible to overlook SCDKey’s issues, and we recommend avoiding the site entirely. Instead, check out our list of the best Steam key sites for trustworthy places to buy your games.