If you’re not happy with your newly purchased Steam game, you can get a refund. One of the problems with PC gaming is that it’s hard to know whether we’re going to like it or not until we buy and play a game. That’s why it’s good that Steam, the largest retailer of digital games on the market, offers refunds for purchases you’re not happy with. If you’re unlucky enough to experience dissatisfaction with the game shortly after purchasing the game, Steam will smoothly refund your money. All you have to do is submit a request and then the game you want to return will be removed from your library and your money will be refunded.
However, there are limits on how long you can play until you can refund a game. To return a game, you cannot own it for more than two weeks and play no more than two hours in total. If you try to refund a game outside of these limits, your request is likely to be denied. And when it comes to two hours of gameplay, Steam counts every second the game app is open as game time. The timer runs even when the game is minimized or paused. This is something to keep in mind if you’re trying to fix the game or return it in the early stages of your experience.
Steam game refund terms
You can return most games purchased directly on Steam. You can also return games that someone gave you as a refund of the money to the person who bought the game to you. Steam has a refund policy to determine if your money is eligible for a refund:
- You must request the refund within 14 days of purchase or, if a pre-order, within 14 days of game release.
- You must have played the game for less than two hours.
You can request a refund even if your purchase does not pass the two eligibility rules. Steam will manually review your request and make a decision without obligation to refund you. Therefore, if you do not fully meet the return conditions, it is important to give as much detail as possible why you are asking for a refund. After making your return request, you will first receive an e-mail stating “Your return request has been received”. You will then receive a second email about the result of your return request. Even if you do not receive an e-mail, you can see the result of your request in the Steam Support section.
Steam DLC, bundle and in-game purchase refunds
most of the rules DLC is similar for Request a refund within 14 days and you should have less than two hours of playtime in the base game after purchasing the DLC. Note that some DLCs are non-refundable, but Steam will display this on the Store page with a warning label.
Package or bundle purchases count as a single bundle, so you must have less than two hours of playtime on all games in the bundle. You cannot return individual games in a package. If the package you purchased contains a game that is already in your library, you are responsible for the games in the package that you do not own at the time of purchase. For example, I bought a package that had House Flipper and Farming Manager 2021 in it. I already owned the House Flipper game. That’s why I only paid for Farming Manager 2021. Then, while requesting a refund, I was able to request a refund for the Farming Manager 2021 in the package without any problems.
Valve’s cheat If the prevention system has banned you in a game, you cannot get a refund. Also, game keys purchased elsewhere and activated through Steam are non-refundable.
In-game purchases works differently. Steam will offer refunds for in-game purchases on any Valve-developed games within 48 hours of purchase, unless you consume, modify, or transfer to the game in-game. Third party developers may use this system and Steam will notify you at point of purchase; otherwise, the purchase is non-refundable.
How to refund a Steam game?
1. Make sure you’ve played the game less than two hours and you haven’t purchased the game more than 14 days or two weeks ago. Steam will show you the time you played the game when you select it in your library. Then there should be a “Help” option at the top of the Steam app (or at the top of your screen on Mac). Select it, then choose “Steam Support”.
2. Steam Support will list your most recently purchased games. If the game you want to return is not listed there, go to “Purchases” and select the product you want to return.
3. Then the Steam client will ask you what kind of problem you are having with the game. I usually prefer one of the ones I marked below. Choose a reason too.
4. Select “I want to request a refund”. Steam will offer to add the value of the game to your Steam Wallet or refund the transaction from the payment method you used.
5. Steam prompts you to list the reason for your refund request. Select your reason from the drop-down box.
6. Finally, submit the request.
7. Steam will provide you with a referral code and email you the results of your return request. In my case, the time between Steam receiving my request and giving my refund was approximately 1 hour.
After your refund is made, a record as below will be recorded in your account details.