Steam, Valve’s game distribution service, is the place many people go when it comes time to purchase PC games. But what if that game you chose doesn’t turn out to be what you wanted?
To keep customers happy, Valve makes it extremely easy to get a refund on Steam, as long as you meet a couple of requirements outlined below.
The criteria for a refund on Steam apply to both full games and DLCs; It also applies to in-game purchases, albeit with slightly stricter restrictions. (The window for refunds on in-game purchases is 48 hours and you cannot have used, modified or transferred the item in question.)
Valve’s refund policy is so generous that some developers have raised the alarm. After all, not all games are 20-hour epics, and short experience creators have occasionally been disappointed by people who buy a title, quickly review it, and then get a refund, whether they enjoyed it or not. Please don’t be that person – you’re just making developers poorer and less likely to create additional games.
Still, there are legitimate reasons to request a refund. Did you buy a game by mistake? Didn’t you check the specs and find out that it malfunctions on your computer? You just didn’t like it? All of these reasons are fair game for Valve, so this is how you get that cashback on Steam.
How to get a refund on Steam
For the purposes of this tutorial, I purchased one of Valve’s own titles, Half-Life: Source, and then returned it. Here’s how to get a refund on Steam.
1. Go to help.steampowered.com and log in.
2. Once you are logged in, Steam will display a list of the games you have recently purchased or played. Select the title for which you want a refund.
3. Steam will ask you what the problem is, so select the most precise reason from the list. Not all of these routes offer a refund option, but saying that it’s not what you expected, that you have gambling issues, or that you want to remove the game from your library, they do (assuming you meet the requirements outlined above).
4. Select “I would like to request a refund.”
5. In the drop-down menu, select the method by which you want your refund to be paid.
6. A confirmation screen will appear. There is an optional explanation box that you can complete that can support your case, but it should not be necessary while you are within the reimbursement period. Press “send request”.
7. Done! If you realize you’ve made a terrible mistake, press the button labeled “cancel refund request.”
It may take a few days before you receive a response, but you will know the outcome of your refund request by email either way.