Gaming

How do I get a Steam refund?

Steam refund
Valve makes refunds a two-minute process

You’ve splashed out £50 on the latest blockbuster video game, but something’s wrong: maybe your PC can’t handle it, you accidentally bought the wrong title or you simply don’t like the gameplay. But, never fear – Valve, the company behind Steam, makes it surprisingly easy to get your money back. Here’s how to get a Steam refund.

Steam refund: the rules

Naturally, Valve has a few criteria you have to fulfil. You can still try to get your dosh back if you don’t meet the criteria, but it will be more difficult.

The most important rules are…

  • It must be within 14 days of the purchase
  • The game must have been played for under two hours 

Refunds also apply for the following – although there are the usual caveats…

  • Downloadable content, or DLC (if the base game has been played for under two hours since you bought the extra content)
  • In-game purchases (within 48 hours)
  • Preordered titles (within 14 days and with less than two hours of gameplay)
  • Steam hardware (within 30 days after delivery)
  • Bundles (if the usage time is less than two hours and nothing has been transferred)
  • Steam Wallet (within 14 days, if none of the funds have been spent)
  • Unredeemed gifts (within 14 days and with less than two hours of gameplay)

Note that, if you’ve been naughty and have been banned by the Valve Anti-Cheat system (VAC) for a certain game, you automatically lose your right to a refund. Tut tut.

Steam refund: the process

To begin, head to help.steampowered.com and enter your Steam login details.

You will then be given a list of your “Recent products” (namely, games). Click on the one for which you want to get a refund. On the page that appears, scroll down to the following menu…

Steam refund

Select “It’s not what I expected” and then “I’d like to request a refund”.

Steam refund

Valve will then display the amount of time you have spent playing the game, when you bought it and how much you paid. This makes it easy to see what the chances of you getting your money back are – if you fulfil the criteria above, they’re high; if not, they’re not.

Then it’s simply a case of selecting a reason from the dropdown menu. We like the simplicity of the “It’s not fun” option…

Steam refund

After that’s done, click the “Submit request” button and wait for Steam to get in touch via email with the good, or bad, news. If you’re successful, you’ll get your money back within a week of approval. 

READ NEXT: How can I back up Steam game files?

About the author

Max Figgett

Max has written for numerous websites and magazines over the years. Whether it’s about ancient hardware or software secrets, no Big Tech Question is too obscure for him to tackle.

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