Is Kinguin Legit for Windows & Game Keys? Our Kinguin Review

If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should purchase a digital code from Kinguin, in this guide, we weigh the pros and cons of using Kinguin and discuss whether or not it is safe to use as a marketplace.

Kinguin Review
What if I told you that there is a marketplace website at where you can get Windows keys for as low as $30? Your next question would probably be… is Kinguin legit?

Now, before we answer that question, we should probably define in what context you are using the word ‘legit’.

If, to you, legit means that buying a Windows key or game key is legal, then the answer is that Kinguin is mostly not legit.

If, to you, legit, means that you can get a Windows key or game key from Kinguin and it will actually work, then the answer is that Kinguin is somewhat legit.

I’m assuming that most people will side with the first definition of legit. And, if that’s the case, you’ll want to stay away from and simply get your games and copies of Windows in the traditional manner.

But for those of you who don’t mind the risk—or the somewhat unethical nature of it all—Kinguin can be an affordable way to get Windows or a popular game you’ve been wanting to play for a fraction of the cost that it would normally be.

How Does Kinguin Work?

Kinguin doesn’t sell games or copies of Windows themselves. Rather, Kinguin is a marketplace where people can sell their Windows keys or their game keys.

On their marketplace, you can find everything from Windows keys (both the Pro versions and Home versions), to World of Warcraft time cards, to CSGO skings, to game keys for popular games (like PUBG), all the way to software (like anti-virus programs and Microsoft Home Office.)

You simply find the product you want on their website and click on it. Then you’re taken to that product’s marketplace page where you can browse through the different people who are selling that product (or, rather, the key for that product.)

Kinguin Windows 10

You then choose the seller that you want to buy from (which will likely be the one who has some combination of the most orders placed and the highest seller rating) and then click on ‘Buy Now.’

After that you’ll go through the checkout process.

What if I Buy Through Kinguin and the Key Doesn’t Work?

The biggest problem with Kinguin’s marketplace is that Kinguin themselves do not check beforehand to see if their sellers’ keys are legit or not.

There have been many accounts of users who have purchased keys through Kinguin only to find out that the key was already in use.

In fact, check out this Reddit post in which that very thing happened.

The Redditor purchased a key for a popular game, but then when they went to activate it, it said it was already in use.

And, when pressing the matter to Kinguin’s support, he had a tough time getting them to honor the code he had purchased.

In the end, they did refund him the money, but if that user’s Reddit thread didn’t blow up, who knows whether or not they would have done the right thing?

If you want to see more instances of shady practices and users who have had their keys not work, just Google ‘kinguin review’. This Reddit user is not the only one who has had a bad experience dealing with Kinguin.

Kinguin’s Buyer’s Protection… A Pretty Shady Solution to Invalid Keys

Kinguin Buyer's Protection

Kinguin does offer Buyer’s Protection for their keys. Kinguin posts the following about their Buyer’s Protection…

You are protected against any quality faults of this products caused by the seller (invalid, duplicate keys etc.).

By disabling it the customer takes the full responsibility for any potential issues.

Or, in other words, if you don’t buy Buyer’s Protection through Kinguin, you have no protection if the key is invalid. Which is honestly incredibly silly.

Kinguin’s Buyer’s Protection varies depending on the product, but it is typically no more than $7 or so. And, so that takes the cost of things like Windows 10 from $30 to ~$37, which, in the grand scheme of things is still way less expensive than buying a copy of Windows from Amazon or Microsoft.

(For games, the Buyer’s Protection is less.)

But, the fact that you have to pay extra to ensure your purchase is protected makes the whole business model even shadier. You would think that you would be protected regardless…

They are essentially saying… “Our marketplace is shady and you’re probably going to get scammed, but if you pay us a few bucks, we’ll make sure to protect you from the shady dealers we allow onto our marketplace.”

In any case, the Buyer’s Protection does protect you and if you want to buy Kinguin discount codes, you basically have to add it to your purchase. And, even with the Buyer’s Protection cost added in, most products still cost quite a bit less than if you were to buy them through normal methods.

It’s just kind of ridiculous, though, that you have to pay them extra in order to have your purchases guaranteed.

Where Do Kinguin Sellers Get All These Free Keys?

There is some debate on where these sellers get all of these game keys from.

A couple of years ago, some hackers who had purchased Ubisoft game codes with a stolen credit card, turned around and sold those codes to buyer’s on Kinguin.

Ubisoft initially revoked access to those games from the users who got scammed with stolen codes. However, they reversed course and allowed those users to keep their codes.

In other cases, though, it appears as if sellers get their keys through sales or promotions and turn around and sell them on the marketplace.

So, some sellers are buying game keys in bulk when they go on sale, then hording them until the sale ends, and then they turn around and sell them for more than they purchased them for on Kinguin.

And, then other sellers are just regular users who get free game codes through random promotions who don’t want the code and, instead, turn around and sell them for a profit.

But, the problem is that you never really know where your key is coming from. Because, while there are instances where the keys may be more legit (like if a seller is simply unloading some free keys they picked up through a promotion), unfortunately there are other instances where you could be buying from a seller who obtained their key in a fraudulent manner.

Should You Buy From Kinguin?

ShrugUnfortunately, I can’t answer that question for you. have purchased a copy of Windows 10 Pro through them to test it out.

And, the key worked just fine.

Although, at first, the key was denied and I did have to spend some time chatting with support in order to get it working.

But, in my experience, their support was actually very helpful and they were able to get the code verified with Microsoft for me and it has been working ever since.

Now, to be clear, I often build PCs for others (especially for the winners of our PC giveaway contest), and I would never buy a Windows key from Kinguin to put on a computer that I was building for someone else.

And, the reason for that is that if that key were to become deactivated in the future, I wouldn’t want that person to have to deal with it.

However, for my latest build, I figured I’d try Kinguin out and see if it worked. And, so far I have had no problems.

So, whether or not you should buy from is all going to come down to whether or not you are A) okay with the ethical nature of it all, and B) are willing to purchase Buyer’s Protection for  your codes to ensure you don’t lose your money.

For me, I likely won’t purchase from them again. When I did go through them the first time around for my Windows 10 key, I wasn’t aware that I could be purchasing stolen codes. If I could guarantee that I could get codes from people who are just unloading free codes they got through promotions, then that would be one thing.

But, to potentially be supporting scammers and fraudsters is unsettling.

And, also, I wasn’t aware at the time, but it is against Microsoft’s terms to purchase a Windows 10 key from an unauthorized third party seller. So, while it is incredibly inexpensive to get a copy of Windows 10 through Kinguin, it really isn’t something that is supported by Microsfot themselves and I have since replaced the key I purchased with a key that I bought directly from Microsoft.

Ultimately, the bottom line is that Kinguin is a “grey” marketplace where you can purchase game keys and Windows keys for extremely low prices. There are, however, caveats to those low prices. Namely that Kinguin has had a shady business model and that purchasing products through them is unethical when you consider where the codes you are purchasing could be coming from.

So, you can buy from them. But just be aware of the potential pitfalls that could arise if you choose to do so.

Hey, I’m Brent. I’ve been building PCs and writing about building PCs for a long time. Through, I've helped thousands of people learn how to build their own computers. I’m an avid gamer and tech enthusiast, too. On YouTube, I build PCs, review laptops, components, and peripherals, and hold giveaways.

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40 thoughts on “Is Kinguin Legit for Windows & Game Keys? Our Kinguin Review”

  1. I’ve bought at least 20 games from kinguin. I received my steam key within seconds every time, and it worked every single time. Which is far more than I can say for other key marketplaces I tried.

  2. It’s all in the title really. Only had OEM version of Win 10 Pro on my daughter’s PC. Upgraded CPU and MoBo so needed another licence key. Saw Kinguin and thought they sounded legit. Took the money and sent me key, I payed extra for an online registration version.
    Went to install and got the “Currently in use” error message. Opened a ticket with Kinguin and have been on the roundabout for the last three days. They keep asking for screen shots of error message, to date I have sent three but still no response. I am getting refund via PayPal as I don’t trust them.

  3. Sorry for putting forward the truth so bluntly, but it is unfortunately a simple thing:
    Kinguin is nothing more than a Cheating “money machine”.

    I have come to know their business model, the hard way (getting scammed / loosing my money to them):
    – Kinguin is selling, what looks like the very cheapest licenses out there.
    – They copy the product-text of legitimate sellers – for instance “ESET Internet Security, 1 year, 5 devices”.
    – And, the buyer pays – thinking he/she has made a good deal.
    – Kinguin (or a lot of their ?fake? “sub-sellers”), then send an “add-extra device code” to the customer.
    – which of course makes the customer contact Kinguins support!
    – and, now “support” (through a slow “ticket-service”) demands from the customer, proof of what he/she is “claiming”.
    – that is, proof such as a screenshot of the License-Page.
    – which the buyer can-NOT deliver (because he/she can-NOT get to the license page, because it isn’t his/her license!)
    – And, Kinguin then “unfortunately” can NOT help, nor give a refund.

    What a Criminal organized well thought-out SCAM!

  4. Kinguin is NOT a legitimate site. They are clearly selling stolen/used keys, at least with Windows products. I purchased an Office key in February of 2022. The key did not work. Microsoft identified it as having already been used.

    What I will say is that I was able to reach someone through the chat, who made it work using the telephone activation schema, but it was clearly not a reputable activation — they must have a tool to generate fake phone activations codes — as the key was identified by Microsoft as used.

  5. I wanted to get a refund for my Purchase because it didnt work.
    I live in HK went to their office – there is no body working there seems like a scam.
    Didnt get my money back and wasted a trip there…

    • same thought here.
      I bought a “5-device license”.
      I only received an “extra-device code”.

      They are earning their money on online Criminal scams like this!

  6. Kinguin is not a reliable source for anything Windows. I have tried two different products from them and they both failed. Kinguin is not to be trusted as they sell these programs/advantages that don’t work and they will not work with you to find middle ground. Once you buy it, it will not work, but it is yours forever, might as well throw your money on the ground and burn it.

  7. There’s really no point in buying from Kinguin. They don’t add any extra protection and add a huge markup from their sellers versus buying from them directly. They claim to not sell already used keys, but they even have special instructions for how to call microsoft and spend hours on the phone when you inevitably get an error saying your key has already been activated.

    Complete scam.

  8. So far I’ve been tricked into a fraud using this site. I ordered a Windows OEM license for my custom-made PC, I’ve payed using the ‘bank slip’ (payable note) method, immediately after which the order was cancelled and I never got my money back nor a single response from any representative other than their automated bot. I sent numerous messages through their alleged “open your ticket for support” , all in vain, never had an answer. Lost my money.

  9. I built a pc and 10-7890K. Processor, FM+2 Gigabite MB, 1tb HD, I got a key from Kingwin for Windows 10 pro, I had no problem downloading it onto a 32gb flash drive, and went onto Microsoft and put it on the hdd 3 yrs ago still works mint. I also got a key for Grand Theft Auto V, and Dirt rally, the prices were mint, no complaints. I would buy from them anytime.

  10. I made a purchase of an Office 2019 license. No matter what I tried, it would not activate. Kinguin support asks me to do the same thing over and over after I wait for a week or so for each response. I wasted so much time trying to get it to work. So I payed $71.00 and received nothing but a bunch of wasted time, and a useless key. Feel lucky today? Give it a go. I’ve learned my lesson. Never Kinguin again.

  11. is NOT legit. The office key I purchased did NOT work. Not only that, I tried to contact them multiple times and they not respond at all. Nothing. Sure… they use language on the site that will put you at ease with your purchase, but the words are not true. You will lose your money, and be dismissed. Period. (that is my experience with

    • I use paypal, anytime I have an issue with a key I simply start a dispute. Out of the hundreds things I bought through the key sites the 12 things that did not work I got a full refund this way.

      Recurring activation/key are a different animal as you need to reapply it to reactivate when you have to reinstall an AV or windows or in Windows case add new hardware.

      The whole activation and key system indsutry wide is broken by design to destroy small publishers while bigger ones write off the losses, if a key was locked to an account then we could trade the keys, use the digital stores to sell them, users set the price 5% goes to the IP owner and the store can add a fee…but no the big IP owners don’t want you to own anything…

  12. are reselling used licenses! Total scam!
    I bought Windows 10 license for 28 Euro entered activation key and got a message that product key was already used on another device.
    Don’t use them!
    Contacted support for refund, but they asked me to call Microsoft.

  13. Kinguin is also very shady in the info they put up to keyselling aggregate sites. I was comparing prices for game keys for Borderlands 3 PC and Kinguin showed $19.95 for the key. Clicking on the link will send you to the PS4 version of the game where it is $19.95, while the PC version was still well over $30. They hope though shock and awe that you will just add to cart and buy, not knowing you’re buying the wrong version.

  14. I’d never use Kinguin again!
    I’m all for a bargain but their not worth it. 1st, while advertising Office 10 for $34, at check out they add 2 BS fees and the price goes to around $41. But worst, their access code did not work! I tried all 3 ways they suggested before reaching out to their Customer Service. Initial response was reasonably timely, 1/2 a day maybe, but instructions were not clear so I wrote asking clarification questions. After no response I had to hire a tech at $80 to get it to work. More cost than just buying from recognized places for $100, plus delay and aggravation!

  15. Kinguin Digital Limited sells bogus product activation keys, PayPal will not refund my money. DO NOT SUPPORT THE EVIL COMPANY

  16. Kinguin is unreliable and shady.. there is a Github repo with sources for a WordPress plugin, like what I have coded for a customer. Kinguin promised me they would sell my plugin on their website.

    But the truth is: on the Kinguin implementation part of their website, they are selling intergration for thousands of dollars. Even with sources at hand (made by themselves) on Github. But you just can’t get a key to use the API without paying them big bucks.

  17. So I got my PayPal account hacked and someone bought two copies od Red Dead Redemption and apparently used them. They misspelled my name and addresss in the selling data yet Kinguin wouldn’t let me deactivate the fraudulently signed up account or get my money back because “everything’s in working order”. And now I’m getting emails in a tone of “gimme my money back or we will sue”. My bank successfully gave me the stolen money back, Kinguin will get none of it, screw off, you band of greedy fucks.

    • I am going through the exact same thing at the moment, several emails from them threatening legal action. Like you my Paypal account was compromised but they at least refunded my money which means PayPal worked out it wasn’t me who made the purchase. Hell the product they purchased is for some game on XBox, something I have never owned nor ever will. I think the last computer game I ever played was space invaders back in the 80’s.

  18. This is one of the most irresponsible articles I’ve read in a while. Kinguin is a well established rip off. I’ve seen you on YouTube. I won’t again.

    • He literally stated it in a very profound way of his experiences, and that’s only your opinion since there has been others who have had correct experiences to deem it as not a rip off, just having a lack of minor morals.


  20. I purchased a Windows 10 key from this outfit only to find it “INVALID”. Several attempts at getting a good key were completely ignored. I filed a complaint with PayPal but they denied it saying the product was delivered.


  21. I have bought ‘several’ Windows keys in the past, and have ‘never’ had an issue. They have all lasted until i upgraded the mb etc etc. Seems to me some people might be posting negative experiences that never actually happened to them…..AKA ‘trolling’

    • yet it hapened to me 3 times. I can show you all the tickets if you want to lol. Never gonna buy from them ever again

    • OEM windows keys are tied to the motherboard (OEM is what is on Kinguin). You need a retail key that’s tied to your microsoft account for it to transfer between mb upgrades/computer replacements. This is not a Kinguin issue, you just don’t know how W10 keys work.

      • I just got a key from them said it was active on another machine. A quick call to microsoft and the issue was resolved. Kinguin even has instructions with the keys to try before going to their support.

  22. Good to know. I just used Kinguin for the first time to buy a ridiculously low priced game and didn’t do my diligence and research them first.

    Needless to say after reading your article it’s the last time I’ll ever use them.

  23. Kinguin burned me with a W10 key.

    When I entered the key they supplied, Windows said “the key has already been used”.

    Multiple e-mails to Kinguin with no responses.

    I disputed through PAYPAL, and PAYPAL voted for Kinguin stating that they supplied “a key”; therefore, no refund for me. In the dispute I had clearly stated that they supplied a key that was already used, and i included screen shots from Windows showing this. It was as though they didn’t even read my case – just black and white, the seller sent me a key – case closed.

    Apparently you can just sell any 25-digit numbers calling them Windows keys and PAYPAL is okay with that.

    Beware of these guys.

    • I bought a Kinguin Windows key. I had a similar issue. I contacted Microsoft at the phone number provided for authentication problems, and it worked with no issues. If it is already in use, it is not my problem. I paid for it. If you read Kinguin’s return policy, they state that you have to attempt to validate your 25 digit code through Microsoft if you have a problem, then if that doesn’t work, they will help you.

  24. Additionally some of the keys (IE Windows) would be a “Volume License” keys or OEM keys which can not be transferred to another PC. A lot of sellers will have a “WARNING” that you need to activate the license within x hours. I’ve had a key from a different marketplace which “expired” after 3 months. By expired I mean it wasn’t valid on exactly same PC after I wiped windows. No hardware changes were done. The key was marked as “invalid” by the MS licensing.

  25. As the article says, the site is legit but the keys might come from wherever. There is risk involved but generally, and this is from personal experience as well as from people I’ve talked to, the big sellers with high ratings and tens or even hundreds of thousands of sold games are professionals who rely on that rating. I’ve purchased a handful of games and only had an issue once. I believe this was before they introduced the buyers protection and they did actually refund me with no major issues. They did want screenshots though.

    As stated above, it’s all about your morals, and though some of the keys sold there are almost certainly stolen somehow, most of them are from people buying in bulk and/or buying from a country with much lower steam prices and reselling them for a profit.

  26. It’s a complete scam. Their methods to activate don’t work, and the method to get a refund requires screen shots from chat …but MS doesn’t have chat anymore. You’re fucked if it does not work

    • Agreed, just got scammed out of $35.xx USD. Didn’t work – had been used elsewhere.

      Trying a Paypal dispute, but that will probably go nowhere.

  27. I would argue how “buying keys on kinguin is illegal”. The act of buying isn’t illegal, but the key comes with no license, so if you don’t have license for the software you activate, it’s piracy.

    But, if you have the license, but, for example, the label wears off and you can’t read your key, then it’s legal to buy and use such.

    Though, another thing about the sellers, who generally violate the EULA by selling the key.

    And, today, I’d say the purpose of buying/selling keys has changed a lot. The first websites like this, were not marketplaces, but webstores. And, the purpose was not necessarily to give discount. 15 years ago, digital distribution was not that obvious, and therefore, in order to buy a game, you sometimes had to go to the game store, or order a box to be shipped – while some games would let you just activate full version by putting the key into their demo/shareware – without the need of a disc. Therefore, the main purpose was to save time and money on shipping.