Steam is a great digital site for buying PC games for many different reasons. One of these is because Valve lets you return a game, even if you’ve played some of it.
If you’ve ever bought a game on Steam and then regretted it later because it was broken, bugged, or just didn’t live up to the hype, this is the feature for you.
Steam’s return policy is also very forgiving since you can play a game for up to two hours and still get a refund on it. Follow our guide to find out more about how to return a game on Steam and get your money back.
Steam’s Return Policy Says
There are a few things to keep in mind before you ask for a return on Steam. Theoretically, you could make a request for any game you’ve bought on Steam, as long as you got it less than 14 days ago and haven’t played it for more than two hours.
So there’s no point in trying to get your money back for games you bought a few years ago but never played. They’ll always be part of your Steam library.
But Steam says that it will still look at some requests even if they don’t meet those requirements, based on the reason. Carefully ask for a return from Steam.
Even though Valve is pretty easygoing about Steam refunds, you could still be rejected a game refund if the company thinks you are abusing the system.
So don’t keep asking for refunds or try to use the system to speedrun games and then ask for a return. Your right to ask Steam for a return may then be taken away, and you won’t be able to do it in the future.
Can You Return DLC and In-Game Items on Steam?
As well as Steam games, you can also get a refund on things like downloadable content and in-game goods.
As with games, you have 14 days to ask for a return on DLC as long as you haven’t played the game it goes with for more than two hours since you bought it.
There are some instances, like if the DLC completely changes the game in a way that can’t be undone.
For in-game material, the rules are a little different. If it’s a game made by Valve, you usually have 48 hours to ask for a return on in-game purchases as long as the purchase hasn’t been changed, used, or given to someone else. Games from other makers might be different.
What if You Have Been Banned?
Valve has a strict policy that bans players from getting returns on Steam. If you have a VAC ban (the Valve Anti-Cheat system) on your account or on a certain game, you won’t be able to get a return on that game.
Can You Return Games Given to You on Steam?
If someone else bought you a game on Steam and sent it as a gift, but you hate it or can’t play it for some reason, there’s more good news.
It is possible to return a gift game through Steam. You need to meet the same requirements first: you can’t have played it for more than two hours and it can’t have been in your account for more than 14 days. If you meet these requirements, you can ask Steam for a return.
If you ask for a refund on a game that a friend bought for you, the funds will go back to their account when the refund is handled.
What About Cheap Games?
Another good thing about Steam’s return policy is that it also works during sales. So, if you bought a game before a Steam sale without realizing it was coming, and now it’s on sale for a lot less, don’t worry, you can still get a return.
So long as you meet the standard requirements Valve says that you can get a return for the full price of the game you bought and then buy it again at the sale price.
How to Get a Return for A Game on Steam
To get a refund for a Steam game, you just need to take a few steps:
- Open up Steam and click the help menu on the top left of the program
- Click on Steam Support
- Find the game you want to refund under “recent products” or click on “games and applications” to see more games
- Click on the game you’d like to get a refund on
- Then select the reason you want a refund
- Choose how you’d like a refund
- Select either to refund into your Steam wallet or directly to the original payment method you used
- Gameplay or technical issues
- DLC or bonus content is missing
- I’m having trouble with my retail CD key
- It’s not what I expected
- I purchased this by accident
- I want to permanently remove this game from my account
If you have chosen one of the reasons and have a chance to say why you want a refund, we suggest that you do so. Especially if there’s a problem with the game, like crashes or other problems that other people might also be having.
If you’re not on the computer where Steam is loaded, don’t worry, you can still ask for a refund. Just go to the Steam Support site, log in, and then follow the same steps.
Once you’ve sent in the request, all you have to do is wait. Your request will need to be looked at, and Valve says that the acceptance process can take up to seven days. You should get an email when it is done.