How To Refund A Game On Steam In 7 Easy Steps Today

steam logo with black background

We live in a time when all of our entertainment is stored in the cloud. CDs, DVDs, CD-ROMs, and even books get stored online. So it’s no wonder that Steam, the world’s largest cloud gaming library, is at the forefront of e-commerce. However, if you’re dissatisfied with a purchase you made online, you can’t simply go back and return the item. Steam doesn’t make it easy to get your money back. You need to know how to refund a game on Steam.

The important distinction about a refund on Steam as opposed to a refund on any other digital platform is that Steam games have time limits for how long you have used them. The system can track how many minutes you’ve played, so if you spend a few weeks trying the game out and then ask for a refund, you may find that you’re out of luck. That makes it difficult to test a game on Steam. You need to figure out whether or not you like it within the first hour of playtime. That’s just one of the hassles when you’re learning how to refund a game on Steam, but there are others.

All About Steam Games

Steam owns the largest library of games on the internet. They’ve got everything from 20-year-old classics to the newest massive multiplayer first-person shooters. They even have games for Mac and Linux! With such a humongous library, finding something you like is easy. Unfortunately, it also means you’ll end up finding low-quality games, as well. When that happens, you’ll be happy you know how to refund a game on Steam, because the way they’ve set it up isn’t intuitive at all.

I once purchased Hearts of Iron IV from Steam when it first came out. It was a $60 game, but as a strategy nerd, I was totally stoked to play. Unfortunately, my PC at the time was underpowered, and it couldn’t handle the game. It was laggy, and my ping rate was too low to join any online communities. Because I spent $60 on a game, I couldn’t upgrade for a while. I didn’t know how to refund a game on Steam, although I looked everywhere. Eventually, I emailed them, and they sent me back instructions.

Before you learn how to refund a game on Steam, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.

Why Do You Need A Refund?

Sometimes the game you thought you would love simply falls flat. Sometimes your hardware isn’t up to par, and the game won’t work. In rare cases, there’s a corrupted download, and you get a broken game. All of these are valid reasons to ask Steam for a refund. The great news is that, since 2015, you no longer need a reason to get a refund. The trick is trying to figure out how to refund a game on Steam.

Steam Refund Policy

Steam used to be picky about why people wanted a refund. Not liking the game wasn’t a good enough reason. Because there’s no way to test a game before you buy it, many people cried foul. Then Steam announced that they would accept almost any reason for a refund. Notice we said “almost.” If you download software which makes irreversible changes to a game, such as upgrading a character, then you won’t get a refund. Also, you have two weeks from the date of download to request a refund, provided there are less than two hours of gameplay used. Other than that, you can request a refund for any reason.

How Long Will It Take To Issue A Refund?

Once you’ve jumped through the hoops and requested the refund, it can take up to a week before you the money appears back on your credit card. Steam makes a refund determination rather quickly, often in less than 24 hours. They’ll email you that your refund is approved. One thing you’ll notice is that the game still displays in your library, alongside your other Steam games. However, when you click on it, the game won’t open, and you’ll be directed to re-purchase it.

How To Refund A Game On Steam

If you want to know how to refund a game on Steam, look no further than the seven easy steps we’ve laid out for you. If you follow these steps, you’ll complete the process in a few minutes, and all you have to do is sit back and wait for your refund. The fact that Steam will offer a refund for any reason makes the entire process stress-free.

Step 1: Go To Steam Support

steam support link

The first thing you need to do is mosy over to Steam Support. You can do this from the Steam app on your computer or right from a web browser. If you’re accessing Steam Support from the Steam app, find the “Help” menu on the top left menu bar. Click on it, and the first item on the drop-down list is Steam Support. Congrats, you’re in!

Step 2: Login

login process

If you access Steam Support from a web browser, you’ll need to login into your Steam account. That is easy to do because the first two large buttons you see in the middle of the screen say “Sign in to Steam” and “Help, I can’t sign in.” Enter your username or email and your password. That takes you back to the Steam Support page. If you access Steam Support from the app, you’re probably already signed in. However, if you’re not, just go through the same process to log in as you would from a web browser.

Step 3: Find the game you want to refund

list of game for refund

Next, you’ll need to find the game you want to get a refund for. Steam is smart. They know which games you own, how long you’ve played each one, and they can even guess what kind of game you may like to play in the future. It’s no surprise then that, once you log in, Steam offers a list of some of your more popular purchases. However, there’s a good chance that the title you want to refund isn’t here.

In this case, you want to click on “Purchases.” Some people may see “A Purchase.” Either way, clicking takes you to the issue screen. Choose the game that you’re getting a refund for. If your game isn’t listed, then it means that it’s not eligible for a refund. It could have fallen outside of the timeframe window, or you might have played it for more than two hours.

Step 4: Select A Reason

choose refund button

Now you’re going to select a reason for the refund. The next screen after you choose your game asks why you want a refund. There are normally two choices:

  • I purchased this by accident, and
  • Gameplay or technical issue

If you tried the game, didn’t like it, and want a refund, choose “I purchased this by accident.” However, if there are issues with the game or your computer isn’t powerful enough to play it, choose the “Gameplay or technical issue” option.

Step 5: Ask For A Refund

On the next screen, there are two more choices. Choose either “Help me fix this issue” or “I’d like to request a refund.” Because you’re here learning how to refund a game on Steam, the answer should be fairly obvious.

By this point, you need to be certain that you want a refund, because once you click the button your game will be disabled and the process started. If you have any doubts, such as “The game is okay, and maybe I can give it another shot,” then you may want to reconsider clicking the button. On the other hand, if you really want a refund and to drop this game like a bag of rocks, then go ahead and click.

Step 6: Fill Out The Form

Next, Steam will ask for some basic information concerning your refund request. Steam wants to know how to issue a refund, either to your Steam Wallet or your credit card. If you’ve never used Steam Wallet before, you might want to check it out. You can add funds for all in-app purchases, either directly with your credit card or by buying a Steam gift card. Because you may want to buy a different game with your refund, you can request that they drop the funds right into your Steam Wallet. If you just want the money back in your pocket, choose your credit card.

After choosing the refund method you prefer, Steam asks for some information about why you want a refund. Write them a brief explanation, such as “Not enough GPU RAM to run this game” or “I hate this game and never want to see it again for the rest of my life.” Then, click the “Submit request” button.

Step 7: Wait To Hear From Steam

steam wallet

Once you have submitted your request, you need to sit back and wait for Steam to review it and make a decision. Ever since they took on a policy that they’ll issue a refund for any reason, the approval rate skyrocketed. You’re pretty much guaranteed to get a refund now unless you’re outside of the eligibility criteria. When Steam makes a decision, they’ll deposit your refund and send you an email. If they reject your request for whatever reason, they’ll let you know by email.

Spend Your Money Wisely

Now that you have your money back, it’s time to figure what to do with it. We always recommend buying a new game. We’re pretty stoked about the Final Fantasy XIV Online Bundle, and Rainbow Six Siege — Year 4 Pass looks amazing, too. Just make sure that you have the power to handle whichever game you buy. If, however, you pick another title that bombs, you’ll know how to refund a game on Steam!

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