The refund policy on Steam is quite generous. If for any reason the game you bought through Steam isn’t fun or doesn’t run on your PC, you can get your money back.
If you’re not sure about a certain game, this function will persuade you to give it a shot. To get your money back if you return a game because you don’t enjoy it is always an option. It’s especially helpful now when very few games provide free demos.
When Can A Video Game Be Returned?
To qualify for a refund, you must meet both of these conditions: You can’t have played it for more than two hours and the game must have been purchased within the past 14 days.
Valve guarantees a full refund for any reason if you meet these conditions. Even if you don’t meet these standards, you can still seek a refund on a game, and Valve will consider it (but not guarantee) a refund.
Games purchased from other stores and added to Steam with a product key cannot be returned for a refund through Steam; instead, you must contact the original vendor for a refund. This feature suggests purchasing games directly from Steam if you are considering returning them, even though you may save money by purchasing Steam keys from a third-party game store.
It’s possible that Valve will stop honoring your refund requests if you return a large number of games in what they perceive to be an “abuse” of their refund policy. Valve’s policy states, “Refunds are intended to remove the risk from purchasing titles on Steam—not as a way to receive free games.” Even while Valve doesn’t define “abuse” explicitly, it’s safe to assume you won’t get in trouble if you don’t make a habit of purchasing a lot of games just to return the vast majority of them.
According to Valve, it is not deemed abusive to get a refund on a game and then buy it during the sale at a discounted price. You can return a $60 game and buy it again for the $30 special price as long as you haven’t played it for more than two hours, provided that the game was original $60.
You can choose to have your money refunded to the card or Steam Wallet you used to buy the game, or to another payment method. For more information on how refunds operate for Steam purchases, please refer to Valve’s refund policy.
A Guide To Steam Game Refunds
- Launch your preferred web browser and navigate to the Steam Support Portal to submit a refund request. Log in now if you haven’t already.
- Then, select “Purchases” from the drop-down menu of help topics.
- Choose the game you want a refund for on the next page.
- When you click next, a screen with the transaction details will appear. Take a look at the charge and then select “I want a refund.”
- The game’s purchase date and other information will appear on the next screen. Select the option “I would want to seek a refund” once more.
- The next step is to select your preferred refund method from the selection. Steam will credit your Steam Wallet or the original payment method used for the purchase.
- Once you’ve decided on a refund reason, click the button labeled “Submit Request.” After that, the request is sent to Valve’s help desk to be dealt with. The outcome of your refund request will be communicated to you as soon as possible.
Problems With Steam’s Money-Back Guarantee
The return procedure that Valve offers is undeniably fair and helpful to the customer. In this system, customers have a set amount of time (usually less than two hours of play) and can return a game if they aren’t satisfied.
It’s unfortunate that like any good thing, this refund policy is occasionally abused, as it has put many independent developers off finishing games they’ve started or made new ones. Emika Games, a modest independent studio, is a good example of this.
Friends! Thank you for your support! I'm leaving game development for an indefinite time to collect my thoughts. pic.twitter.com/q93NxWjyUI
— EMIKA_GAMES (@EmikaGames) August 26, 2021
The horror game Summer of ’58 by Emika Games is, like many independent games, short and can be finished in under two hours. Many players would play the game all the way through, then request and receive a complete refund if they were under the two-hour time limit.
Despite Valve’s customer-friendly return policy, some studios clearly feel shortchanged. Whether or whether Valve will modify its refund policy in the future to prevent the exploitation of these independent studios remains to be seen, but perhaps a solution that benefits all parties will be found as soon as possible.