How to refund a game on steam? Steam is a digital distribution service for video platform games owned by Valve. Besides selling games, Steam works as a gaming community hub, with over 95 million users active on a monthly level. It also gives a set of tools and services called Steam works, meant for game developers and publishers.
Steam was originally developed for Microsoft Windows operating systems, but now it’s available for macOS and Linux users. Over the last ten years, Steam expanded to mobile gaming with applications for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
Even though Steam has a big gaming catalog, its services are not flawless. Maybe you bought a game that doesn’t work on your system because of hardware requirements, or you played it for an hour and decided it’s just not that great. In any situation, you might want your money back.
What Is the Steam Refund Policy?
You can refund most games that you buy directly through Steam. You can also refund games that someone has gifted you, with the money returned to the original buyer.
Steam has a refund policy, which it obeys to determine whether you are eligible to get your money back:
- You must request the refund within 14 days of purchase or 14 days of the game’s release if it was a pre-order.
- You must have played the game for less than two hours.
You can still request a refund even if your buyer doesn’t pass the two eligibility rules. Steam will manually review your request and decide, though it’s under no obligation to give you a refund. Therefore, it’s essential to provide as much detail as possible why you want a refund.
Getting a Refund on Steam
There are several cases when you might be in a position to ask for a refund from Steam, but the process is not so straightforward. According to their support, you can ask for a refund for almost any buyer. Still, some items are not refundable, and there is a time limitation on being suitable for getting your money back.
The good thing is that you can ask for a Steam refund for nearly any reason. There are two-time constraints, though. You are not fit for a refund if you don’t honor the return period, which is:
- Two weeks after the purchase
- Two hours of playtime
The time constraints apply to games and software applications bought on Steam, including pre-purchased titles, gifts, and downloadable content (DLC), with some limitations, explained below. Even if you had bought a game before it went on sale, you can ask for a refund and purchase it at a new price if you purchased it within two weeks.
Once approved, the money is returned to you through the payment process you initially used. If that is not possible for any reason, the entire amount will be credited back to your Steam Wallet. The following payment systems accepted on Steam support refunds in the United States:
- American Express
How to Refund a Game on Steam on Your Own?
In case you need to try to navigate Steam’s customer support web page, here is a step-by-step process on how to get a refund for your Steam purchases:
- Go to Steam Help and log in with your Steam credentials
- In the section under What do you need help with, (your profile name), click on A Purchase
- Find the purchased item in the list and hit on it
- When asked about the problem you have with the product, choose I bought this by accident
- Click I’d like to request a refund
- Fill out the request form where you can select your preferred payment method
- After submitting, you will get a confirmation email that your refund request has been received
This system is the only official way of requesting Steam refunds. The organization doesn’t offer any other options to contact them regarding getting your money back.
How Long Does a Steam Refund Usually Take?
If you request a refund for a Steam title 14 days after you paid for it or within two hours of playtime, Steam assures you that your request will be accepted. Once Steam agents confirm that you are eligible for a refund, you will receive an email stating that your purchase has been refunded. After that, you should have the money back in your account within a week. If you used an international payment system, the process might take a bit longer.
If you submitted a refund request and approved it within 24 hours of the purchase, this situation is not treated as a refund. Steam will cancel the original transaction, and the charge will pass from your bank statement. If it comes to this scenario, you won’t view a credit in your account, and the whole process usually takes up to ten days.
Asking a Refund on Steam Is Not Always a Smooth Ride
While Steam’s refund policy is generous, it doesn’t mean that the refund method is always smooth. Here are some common issues that you might experience when requesting a refund on Steam:
- Refunds for older purchases—While Steam encourages its users to request a refund even for older purchases, their policies explicitly say that there is no guarantee the refund will be approved. If the game were bought significantly out of the 14-day window, the refund request would be denied, even though they don’t specify what significantly means.
- Refunds for some DLC—Steam doesn’t guarantee refunds in the case of some third-party DLC (for example, if it levels up a game character irreversibly) or if the DLC is consumed, transferred, or modified.
- Refunds for in-game purchases—In the case of Valve-developed games, in-game purchases can be refunded within 48 hours unless the item has been modified, transferred, or consumed. In the case of third-party developers, Steam respects its refund policies.
- Video content refunds are not possible—Even though Steam is mainly a game store, they offer movies and series. If you buy a video through them and would like to return it, you won’t be able to get your money back
- Refunds for items that were not bought on Steam are not allowed—If you buy CD keys or Steam wallet cards on another website, you won’t be able to get a refund for them from Steam.