Steam Refund Policy

Steam is the biggest digital marketplace of video games with over 120 million monthly active players as of 2020. It is the place to go when you want to play games on your PC digitally and at a cheap price, you will get if you catch one of the numerous sales happening on Steam.So, let’s say you have purchased a game based on the screenshots, trailers, or after listening to your friend’s recommendation. Then you’ve downloaded the game, played it for a few moments and you’re not particularly amazed by it. It happens from time to time and you want your money back as you deserve a refund. Well, Steam has you covered. If you don’t like a game, you can return the game and get back your money in your Steam wallet. But that’s not as easy as it sounds as there are certain conditions in this deal you need to know about. Let’s learn about ‘Steam Refund Policy’.

Steam Refund Policy

Steam Refund Policy

How to know if I’m eligible for a refund?

To be eligible for a refund,  you need to apply for it within two weeks of purchase and have less than two hours of gameplay. If purchases are pre-orders, you can refund the game before it is released. After the release, the same two weeks of purchase and two hours of gameplay apply. 

If you have gifted a Steam game, you can also refund the game only if they haven’t redeemed the game. If they have redeemed the game, they need to do it themselves and the funds are refunded to you, the one who has bought the game.

Any other content like in-game purchases can be refunded. If it’s a Valve game, you can get your refund within 48 hours as long as the item has not been used or transferred. Any other third-party game will have its refund policy and Steam will notify if they allow refunds for in-game purchases. DLCs can also be refunded but in some cases i.e. third-party DLC, Steam cannot guarantee the refund and that will be marked as non-refundable on the page.

In the case of renewable subscriptions which are monthly or yearly access to games, you need to pay periodically. If the service is not used within 48 hours, you can ask for a refund i.e. not playing any game from the subscription.

How to refund your game?

Now that you know that you’re eligible for a refund, let’s walk through the steps. 

1. Go to Steam’s official support portal and log into your account. 

2. Then click on the option “Purchases”

3. On the next page, it’ll show all of the games that you have bought. Click on the game you would like a refund on and it’ll take you to the next page.

4. The details of the transaction and the game will be shown and there will be an option called “I would like a refund.”

5. After that there will be more details of the game and click “I’d like to request a refund.” again.

6. Next choose where you want your money to be received; that can be your Steam Wallet or the card you used to buy the game.

7. Then from another drop-down menu choose a reason for your refund and click “Submit Request.” Valve’s support team would receive the request and soon you would get back your money. 

Issues with the Steam Refund Policy

Even though Steam’s refund policy is a very pro-consumer policy as it allows consumers to try out a generous amount of the game and allows them to refund it. Many other digital stores like PlayStation Store or Xbox Marketplace don’t even have the option to refund your games which many have complained against.

However, Steam’s refund policy can be exploited by certain players and has made indie developers complain against it to Steam along with discouraging them. 

For example, Emika Games, a small indie game developer quit game development indefinitely. Their game, Summer of ‘58 is a short horror game that takes around 1.5 hours to complete. As it is within the two weeks/two hours rule, many people have refunded the game after finishing the game.

Even though Valve is very consumer-friendly, in the case of developers that’s not the case. There’s no official statement from Valve if they would in the future prevent the exploitation of games made by small indie developers.


So that is everything you need to know about Steam’s refund policy. If you buy a game that you don’t like, feel free to get your hard-earned money back. But please don’t do this just to exploit small indie developers.

  • When am I eligible for game refunds?

Before two weeks of your purchase and before two hours of gameplay, the game can be refunded.

  • Can CD-Keys be refunded?

No. CD-Keys can’t be refunded.

Steam Refund Policy

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