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How to Return a Game on Steam & Get A Full Refund

Have you purchased a game on Steam that you no longer want? Unsure of whether or not your can return it? In this post, we cover how you can return a game on Steam and get a full refund.

How to Return A Gaming on Steam
Steam’s refund policy is one of the best in the industry. Since its rules changed a few years ago, the digital storefront has been praised for providing gamers with a fair and straightforward process for returning games for a full refund. While there’s plenty of space for abuse that hurts developers—especially the smaller ones—there are legitimate reasons to return a game on Steam.

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Reasons to Return a Game on Steam

  1. Your PC won’t run the game smoothly or at an acceptable performance
  2. The game doesn’t match the expectations set by its marketing
  3. You found the game was a bit too challenging for you
  4. You bought the game by accident, i.e., because you thought it was a different title
  5. The game just wasn’t your cup of joe

The above list isn’t exhaustive by any stretch. If you genuinely have a valid reason to return a game on Steam, then you shouldn’t feel bad for doing so. There are, though, some limitations to keep in mind.

steam accidental purchase

Check if Your Purchase is Eligible

Before we look into how to return a game on Steam, it’s essential to know the rules behind the company’s refund policy. In short, a game is eligible for a refund if it meets both of the following criteria:

  • You bought it less than 14 days ago. In the case of pre-orders, the request needs to be within 14 days of its release date.
  • You played the game for less than two hours.

It’s important to note that the above criteria aren’t set in stone. You can still request a refund that’s outside of the above limitations. However, keep in mind that Steam reserves the right to decide whether or not they’ll grant your request.

steam purchase eligibility

If you want to return a game on Steam for legitimate reasons, but it isn’t eligible, you’ll need to provide as much information as possible to help guide their support team’s decision.

How to Return a Game on Steam Step-by-Step

Now that we know the rules behind the Valve-owned storefronts refund policy, it’s time to submit the request. The following steps will show you how to return a game on Steam.

Step 1: Go to the Steam Support Page

There are two ways to find the Steam Support page. If you’re using the Steam client installed on your PC, navigate to the top-left menu and select Help. From the dropdown menu, choose Steam Support.

get to support from steam client

If you’re using the website instead, you can quickly jump to the Steam Support page by using this link.

access support via browser

Step 2: Find the Game You Want to Return

Now that you’ve reached the Steam Support page, it’s time to find the game you want to return. There are two sections you can check. The first one is the Recent Products list. It should appear as the beginning of your list of options. Select your game from here to go to the next step.

recent products to find game

If you don’t see a list of Recent Products, you can select the Purchases option. This button will take you to another support page containing a list titled Last Six Months Of Purchases. The game you want to return should appear here. Select it to go to the next step.

select Purchases to find game

If all else fails, you can check your complete purchasing history on the main Steam Support Page.

Step 3: Select the Refund Option

After selecting your game, you’ll be taken to a new set of options. The top-most one should be a button titled “I would like a refund”. Select it to go to the refund page.

select I would like a refund

Here, you’ll need to select “I’d like to request a refund” once more. If your game is outside of the eligibility criteria, then a message in blue will appear denoting that your refund may not be granted.

purchase doesn't meet criteria

If your game is eligible for a refund, then the message won’t appear.

refund eligible no message

Step 4: Select Your Refund Method

Select the dropdown menu that appears. Here, you’ll be given two options. The first will send the money to your Steam Wallet. Selecting this option will mean you can only use the funds towards another Steam purchase. Your other option is to have the refund processed to your saved payment method (i.e., credit card, debit card).

select refund method

Select the method you want to use to return the game.

Step 5: State the Reason You want to Return a Game

Next, Steam will ask you to select the reason you wish to request a refund. Select the Reason dropdown menu, then pick the one that applies to you. There’s also a Notes text box where you can submit more information for Steam’s support team.

submit reason for refund

If your purchase doesn’t meet the refund criteria, you’ll need to use this text box to plead your case.

After selecting your reason and typing in your notes, select the Submit Request button below.

Step 6: Check Your Email for Confirmation

After completing the above process, you should receive a confirmation email from Steam. This message only confirms that Steam support has received your request. You’ll need to wait for another email that states the support team has issued your refund.

confirmation email

Step 7: Wait for the Refund

If the refund is successful, you’ll receive an email from Steam with the subject “Your purchase hasbeen refunded.”

refund successful email

Congratulations! You have successfully returned a game on Steam. Keep in mind that the funds could take 7-14 days to appear on your statement or for the charge to be removed. This delay is part of your bank’s process. If the money hasn’t appeared beyond the 14 days, you should contact your bank or card provider.

Whether you bought a game by accident or it’s just not working for you for one reason or another, now you know how to return it on Steam.

Yannis Vatis

Yannis is a veteran gamer with over 30 years of experience playing a wide spectrum of video games. When not writing about games, he's playing them, and if he's not playing them then he's definitely thinking about them.

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