Steam is the biggest and the most popular video game digital distribution service by Valve. It was launched as a standalone client in September 2003. Besides being the popular video game distributor, Steam offers several features to publishers and developers that launch their games on Steam.
Steam has seen massive growth during the years. The service had over 95 million active users and over 34000 games by 2019.
One of the issues with video games, in general, is that you never know how the game would turn out after release. If you have purchased a game out of sheer hype, or you have issues running a game, or you bought the wrong game by mistake, or simply the game was not according to your tastes.
Whichever your case maybe, if you are looking to refund the game, fortunately, Steam allows its users to refund any game or DLC they have purchased. But it is not as simple as clicking a few buttons or clicking a few links.
If you are looking to refund a game you have recently purchased, you are at the right place. With this guide, you will be able to get a refund for any game on Steam in no time.
What Is The Steam Refund Policy?
If you have purchased a game directly from Steam, you are eligible for a refund, and you will get your money back. Users can also refund the game which they get from others. The money will be returned to the account of the person who originally purchased the game.
Before you start trying for a game refund, it is necessary to know the refund policy of Steam. There are several rules in the policy which make a person eligible or ineligible for a refund.
Below are some crucial rules of Steam Refund Policy:
The game is not older than two weeks/played for more than 2 hours
If you have any game that is not older than two weeks or the title has been played for less than two hours, you can request for refund and will be refunded. You will get the refund in Steam Wallet or through the same payment method that you used to purchase a game.
If any in-game content/DLC (downloadable content) is purchased from the Steam store, you can refund the DLC within fourteen days of purchase/two hours of playtime.
In the case of a third-party DLC (DLC that can be used to level up a character and is irreversible), Steam will not offer a refund for that DLC.
In case you have purchased a Valve-developed game, as long as the in-game item has not been consumed, modified, or transferred. Steam will offer a refund within 48 hours of purchase.
Steam Wallet Refund
If you have purchased the Steam Wallet fund, you are eligible for a refund for about 48 hours if you have not spent the funds.
These are some of the important policy rules which are necessary to understand in case a user tries to refund a game, DLC from Steam. There are other rules as well, which you can check from the Steam official website.
Steam is full of multiplayer and online games. If you somehow managed to get a VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat System) ban, you will automatically lose the right to a refund.
Steam offers its users to get a refund on almost every title purchased from its store. Refunds are designed to ensure that people do not feel at risk after spending their precious money on Steam.
If it appeared to Steam that a person is abusing the refund features, Steam will stop offering refunds for that person in this case. Steam does not consider it abuse to ask for a refund on a purchased title just before a sale and purchase the title again for the sale price.
When You Can Refund A Game?
If you only wish to refund a game, there are a few conditions to which the game needs to adhere to. Otherwise, you might not be able to get a refund.
As mentioned earlier, it does not matter what the reason behind the refund request is. If the request for a refund meets the Steam refund policy, you will get your refund.
A game is eligible for a refund within two weeks of purchase, or the game has not been played for more than two hours of playtime. This policy equally applies to software applications purchased from Steam as well.
If your game does not fall within the return period, Users can still make a refund request, and they might get refunded. Steam does not support refunding a purchase back to some payment methods available on Steam.
In such cases, the refunded amount will be issued to the user’s Steam Wallet. Lastly, If you received a VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat System) ban on a game and you try to get a refund for it, unfortunately, you will not be able to ask for a refund.
How to Refund a Game on Steam
If the game is purchased within two weeks and is played less than two hours of playtime, you will definitely get a refund. Here is how you can get one:
Step 1 – Open Steam Support
- Head over to Steam support, there are a couple of ways to do that:
- Open Steam client from your desktop or the Start menu.
- On the top of the client window, select “Help” and then click “Steam Support”
- If you want to open Steam support from your browser, then:
- Head over to the Steam support website by clicking the link down below:
- Sign in with your Steam account if necessary.
- Head over to the Steam support website by clicking the link down below:
Step 2 – Select the game you want to refund
- Find the game in the list under the “RECENT PRODUCTS” section.
- If you are unable to find the game, select “Purchases”
- You will be redirected to a new page.
- If you are able to find the game under the “RECENT PRODUCTS” select the “I would like a refund” and jump right to Step – 4.
Step 3 – Find the Game from the Purchases list
- After selecting “Purchases”, Steam will redirect you to a new page where you will see the most recent purchases that you have made on Steam.
- Find the game you wish to refund. If you have purchased the game recently, it will appear somewhere on the top of the list.
- After selecting, you will be redirected to a new page that includes details of the purchase.
Step 4 – Select the refund option
- Click the “I would like a refund” button.
- If you are having troubles running the game or are facing some technical issues you can select “Help me fix gameplay or technical issues”.
- Then select the relative issue, and you will be redirected to a new page with two options; Contact Game Support or I’d like to request a refund.
- In case you have selected the “I’d like to request a refund” options.
Step 5 – Mention the reason for the refund
- After selecting the refund option, Steam will check if you are eligible for a refund. You can select which payment method that you would like to prefer to get the fund back to your account.
- Steam will inform you that you are not eligible for a refund if the account is not eligible for a refund.
- However, as mentioned earlier, you can request to get a refund.
- From the “Tell us why” section, select your issues from the “Reason” section.
- Select your reason for the refund, and you may add comments about refunding in the “Notes” section.
- If you decide to add your comments in the Notes section that the issue you are facing is genuine, and you are not refunding for fun, you will very likely get a refund, even if the game is ineligible for a refund.
- When done, press the “Submit Request”.
Check your email for confirmation
When you will press the “Submit Request” button, you will receive an email from Valve confirming your refund request. Steam support will be the sender of the email. It will say, “Your refund request has been received by Steam”.
You will get your money back after a couple of days, or it can take up to seven days. It can take up to seven days for refund processing.
Your chances of getting a refund for a game within two weeks or have played the game for eight hours before you realized you should refund are extremely low. But it is worth giving a shot. You might get your money back.
How To Refund A Pre-Order game On Steam?
The refund period for a pre-order game is quite substantial for the refund period for a released game. If you have pre-ordered the game three months before release, you will be eligible for a refund for three months and two weeks after the game release.
The person will not get a refund if they have pre-ordered a game for more than three months, and the user will not get the refund to his original payment method. However, Steam may still refund the value to the person’s Steam Wallet.
The procedure to request a refund for a pre-order game is still the same as you would demand a refund for a released game. Below is an overview of you can request a refund for a pre-order game on Steam:
- From your browser or using the Steam client from your desktop, head over to Steam support.
- Find the game from the list if not, select “Purchases”.
- Find the pre-order game you would like to get a refund for.
- Then select “I’d like to request a refund”.
- Select your reason for the refund.
- Click the “Submit Request”.
How To Refund A Game For Its Sale Price
Now, if you have purchased a game and after a day or two, it goes on sale, you might get upset. Fortunately, you can refund the game and re-purchase it for the sale price.
If you think it may be risky to abuse the refund policy, rest assured you can request a refund even for its sale price.
The time frame which makes the game eligible for a refund is the same as any normal game that you purchase on Steam i.e., two weeks or two hours of playtime. If the game fails to fall either of these rules, you may not get a refund. However, you can still ask for one.
If you are not sure whether you will get a refund against your request, to be on the safer side, you can add comments in the “Notes” section, which you can find right under the “Reason” box where you select the reason for your refund.
Steam refund policy says you can request as many refund requests for any game. However, if a person is found abusing the feature, Steam may revoke such users to make refund requests in the future.
How To Refund A Gift?
Getting a gift is one of the best feelings in the world, whether you get it on your birthday, or your wedding anniversary, or even on Steam. If the gift has not been claimed, the original purchaser of the gift can request a refund from their end.
If you claim the gift but cannot play it on your system due to any reason and wish to refund that game, you can request a refund without any issues. Steam is pretty lax when it comes to refunds.
If you are interested to get a refund for a gift on Steam, here is what you need to do:
- Head over to Steam support by:
- Open Steam client and select “Help” and then click “Steam Support”.
- Select “Games, Software, etc.” under the “RECENT PRODUCTS” list.
- Find the gift that you have claimed from the list. If you are unable to find it, search for the game in the search box.
- Select the game from the search results.
- Select the “It is not what I expected” under the “What problem are you having with this product”.
- Then select “I’d like to request a refund for this gift”.
- Check the box right next to the “Allow the original purchaser of this gift to request a refund”.
- When done, the game will be removed from the receiver’s account.
- The original purchaser of the game would not have to request a refund for the game through their account.
How Long Does A Steam Refund Usually Take?
You have requested a refund on Steam, and you are eligible for the refund. When you submit a request for a refund, you will receive an email from Steam support as a sign of refund approval. Now, the question is, how long does a normal refund usually take.
Steam says approved refunds can take up to seven working days to appear in your account regardless of payment methods. If you have purchased a game via international payment methods, the refund might take longer than seven days.
If, after seven days, you still have not received the funds in your account, you should contact your bank directly and inquire about any pending funds for your account.
If you are still unable to find the refund, try checking out your recent purchase history, you might have spent your funds by making another purchase from Steam Store.
My Final Verdict:
Steam has been dominating the PC video game market as the top digital distributor. The service was launched as a standalone client in September 2003 and has been grown exponentially. Steam offers over 34000 games and decent customer support services.
The service keeps increasing, and so does the games catalog. There is one issue when purchasing a video game digitally or physically is that you never know what the game has in store for you.
There are several reasons which can make you dislike a game, and naturally, you would like a refund. The game is not what you expected, or have any technical issues, or it is too hard for you, and so on.
The reasons do not matter to Steam as the company will issue a refund as long as you fall within the return period. From purchased games to pre-orders and in-game purchases. Steam is pretty lax when it comes to requesting a refund.
You will surely get a refund regardless of your payment options. If you are looking for a refund, you are at the perfect place.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question 1: Can I refund a Steam game and buy it again?
Yes, you can refund a game on Steam and re-buy it again from the store. However, make sure that you are eligible for a refund i.e., the game you have purchased is less than two weeks old after purchase, and the game has not been played for two hours.
After successfully getting a refund for the game, you can again purchase the game from Steam.
Question 2: How do I refund a 2023 game on Steam?
You can request a refund by Steam Support > Login to your Steam account > Purchases > I would like a refund > Select the problem you are facing related to the product > click, “I’d like to request a refund”.
After following these steps, you will receive an email from Steam support as a confirmation of the refund process.
Question 3: Can you get a refund on a digital game?
Yes, any game purchased from the Steam store is eligible for a refund if the game is not older than two weeks after purchase and the game has not been played for more than 2 hours.
You will receive the full amount to your account, i.e. Steam Wallet or the original payment method.
Question 4: Can you refund all Steam games?
As long as the game is eligible for a refund, you can sell every game that you have purchased from Steam. If the games fail to fall within the refund duration (two weeks and two hours of playtime), every game in your Steam library can be refunded for funds.
Question 5: Can I get a steam refund after 2 hours?
If you have played the game for more than two hours, you will lose eligibility for a refund. However, Steam still allows users to make a refund request.
You can add additional comments in the Notes, which may increase your chances of getting a refund.
Question 6: Why do steam refunds take so long?
Games purchased with payment options other than Steam Wallet can take up to seven days to appear in your account. International payments can take even longer.
If Steam does not support a specific payment method that you have used to purchase a game, the funds will be transferred to the Steam Wallet instead.
Question 7: Can I call Steam support?
Steam allows the users to contact the Steam support via emails or the Steam support page from the Steam PC client, browsers, or from mobiles.
There is no way to call Steam support at the time of writing. In the future, maybe Valve will launch a system that allows its users to contact Steam support via calls.