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How to return a Steam game: Everything you need to know

Get back your hard earned money.
By
October 17, 2022

Steam is a hugely popular digital game store not only because it makes buying games so easy, but also because it gives you the option to return them. This is the same (or better) service that you would receive when buying a game in a physical store, but you can do it from the comfort of your own home.

Whether you bought a game just before it went on sale or just decided you don’t like it after a few minutes of play, returning games on Steam is quick and easy. Keep reading for everything you need to know about Steam refund eligibility, as well as step-by-step instructions on how to return a Steam game.

QUICK ANSWER

Return a Steam game by going to the Steam help page. Go into Purchases and select the purchase you want to return. Select the problem you're having and click on I'd like to request a refund. Select how you want to receive the funds and click on Submit request.


JUMP TO KEY SECTIONS

Steam refund rules

Steam stock photo 2 - Return a steam game
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

Before we get into how to return a Steam game, it’s important to ensure that your purchase is eligible for a refund. Note that even if your game doesn’t meet the requirements below, Steam may still approve the refund in some instances. Here’s a quick list of common questions for Steam refunds.

How long do I have to return a Steam purchase?

Steam game purchases are refundable within 14 days of purchase, as long as you haven’t played them for more than two hours. This includes both full games, DLC, and pre-purchased titles (starting from the release date).

In-game purchases are limited to 48 hours after the purchase, as long as the item has not been used in-game. Some developers may have disabled the option to return in-game purchases, which will have been made clear at the time of sale.

How much time does it take to receive my Steam refund?

Accepted refunds can take up to 10 days to get to your account, depending on your bank. You can receive the refund as Steam Wallet funds or through whatever payment method you used to make the purchase.

Steam banned me. Can I get a refund?

No. Players caught cheating by the Valve Anti-Cheat system (VAC) forfeit their right to refund that game.

Can I return Steam Wallet funds?

Yes, Steam Wallet funds can be refunded within 14 days of purchase, as long as you have not spent any of those funds on Steam games or DLC.

Can Steam take away my right to refunds?

Steam can revoke your right to refund purchases if it thinks you’re abusing the system. This is so that users don’t abuse the two-hour limit.

I just bought a game, and now it’s on sale. Can I return it and get the sale version?

Yes, you can. Steam doesn’t consider this an abuse of the system.

How to return a Steam game

Money Stock Photo 2 - Return a steam game
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority

As long as your game purchase meets the requirements above, here are the steps to return a Steam game or other purchase.

How to return a Steam game:

  1. Navigate to the Steam help page and log in to your account.
  2. Click Purchases from the menu.
  3. Click the purchase you’d like to refund. If it doesn’t appear, it’s too old to refund.
  4. Select the problem you’re having and click I’d like to request a refund.
  5. Select how you want to receive the funds from the drop-down.
  6. Fill out and hit Submit request.

Afterward, you’ll receive a confirmation email for your refund request. It can take up to a week for Steam to approve returns, but it can take up to 10 days for the money to appear in your account. For international payment methods, it might be even longer.


FAQs

You can return Steam games within 14 days as long as you haven’t played them for over two hours. You can return in-game content within 48 hours.

Players who’ve been banned for cheating lose their rights to a refund.

As long as your purchase meets the requirements, Steam should respect the return process. Yes, even if your reason is simply because you didn’t like the game.

Only games purchased through Steam can get a refund from Steam. Keys purchased elsewhere have no option for a refund.

Remember that even if your return is denied or the purchase was made more than 14 days ago, you can still send another request to have it reviewed by another person. To avoid so many returns, try out some of the best games on Steam.