Aug 072011

Ok, so you gave in to EA and installed Origin, and you caved and preordered BF3 after not letting yourself get excited about the game all Spring and Summer.  Well, maybe I’m describing myself a little bit here, but that’s beside the point.  So now that’s Origin is installed, it works just like Steam, right?  Mostly yes, but I noticed a few things that might be helpful to new users.

click to enlarge

First off, I made the assumption that the directory that I installed Origin in will also house all the games that I install through it.  Steam works that way, right?  In Origin’s case, this is actually false.  By default, Origin wants to install its games on to C:\Program Files\Origin Games (at least in my case).  For some, this may not be a problem, but if you’re anything like me (and most other PC gamers I know) you install your games on a different drive than your system drive.  This is especially important if you run a small SSD as your system/OS drive and have a conventional drive for games and applications.  To change this, click on the gear icon near the top right-ish of the main Origin window and click “settings.”  Right on the General tab you’ll see an option under “Downloaded Games” you can set to tell Origin where you put your games.  Keep in mind, Origin will not move any existing games installed, this will just take effect for new games downloaded — so do this now before you try to install BF3.  There’s also an option for keeping Origin game installers, but unless you feel a need to keep them, I don’t see why that would be worthwhile.

click to enlarge

One thing that Origin has that is Steam-like is an in-game overlay which at this point is pretty much just in-game chat.  Pressing Shift + F1 is the default setting here, not to be confused with Steam’s Shift + Tab. You can configure the hotkeys for that combination also in the settings under the “In Game” tab.  Only one obvious tip here; don’t set your Origin hotkey combo the same as Steam or anything else that you may have running while gaming.  I’m pretty sure something disastrous will happen.

Aside from those two things, there isn’t much else that Origin can do at this point that is worth tweaking.  I’m sure as time passes EA will build out their platform much like Steam has, but until then, it’s main purpose will be to serve as a BF3 delivery platform, soon to be followed by the exclusive place to get Star Wars: Old Republic when that arrives later this year.


I have been involved in both computers and video games since a very young age, cutting my teeth (literally) on an Apple IIe and an Intellivision. I've been writing about both for fun, off and on throughout the years, which eventually led me here -- still playing games and casually writing about them off an on. Follow @dab784

  5 Responses to “Origin Quick Tips”

Comments (5)
  1. My system has a small SSD for OS and Arma and a slave drive for the rest. I have Origin installed on F drive and have specified in settings -select were you want to install your games-F:\Program Files (x86)\Origin Games\. It reads exactly as the default except F is the drive. When I install, Origin is still installing it to the C drive and creating a new folder . I’ve restarted Origin and I’ve downloaded twice and attempted to manually move the file to the F drive default position but Origin thinks the game isn’t installed although I can trigger the game from the desktop icon. Not sure if this will be fixed by opening day or a problem waiting to happen. Before I uninstall Origin and try it all again I’m wondering if there’s a fix for this?

    • Curt,

      I can’t help you. I just have the one drive myself. Hopefully, someone else with more knowledge than I will stop by and provide an answer. I assume you have asked over on Origin’s support forums? I looked in the FAQ and didn’t see anything to help you.

      • Yes I posted at the forums but with the amount of posts coming in there every minute I’m going to have to keep bumping it till I get a answer to avoid complications when I get time to play. Thanks for your reply!

  2. Solution: Reinstalled Origin and chose settings-change default install path- browse (F) ProgramFiles x86 ( my extra drive). When BF3 install begins the installer adds a BF3 folder there. Originally I wasn’t sure if it would just dump the files in there. I also attempted to change the game installer path to the (F) drive the same way but it wouldn’t allow it (folder is already in use message) so I created a ProgramData in F-ProgramFiles x86 and it allowed that. This totally fixed my space limits on my OS (C) drive. I’m not sure how much space the installers are going to use on Game day if they’re on my space limited (C) drive. Something stupid like 20Gb might cache on my space limited SSD and that wouldn’t be cool!

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>