Return Games on Steam – Eligibility & Criteria Explained

How to take refund from steam

One of the problems with video games is we never know the game we are going to buy or Play we will like it or not until we buy it. There is a strict eligibility criteria for returning your game on Steam if you played more than 2 hours and more than 14 days. It won’t happen if you play a game for 100-hours and still want to be eligible for a refund.

Talking about two hours of playtime, Steam-powered is capable of counting every second the game application is open as playtime. Its timer always runs even when the game is not being played.

Although you’ve still bought a PC game via Steam and now you are regretting it immediately after your purchase, You do not have to be disheartened, there’s a steam refund policy that allows you to take your refund.

Step by Step Process For Taking Refund

You just have to submit a request, and the game will be taken out of your library, and your money will be refunded. Let’s begin with the step by step process for it.

1. Log in To Steam Account From PC

You will need to have access to any computer or laptop to log in to steam-powered account.

2. Go To Help 

After logging in to the steam account, go to the top-left corner of the screen there is steam support option click on it.

steam refunding step 1

3. Select Specific Purchase

Choose your specific purchase from the dropdown menu of the support page.

steam refunding step 2

4. Select The Game You Want To Return

In the beneath of those lists there will be your game name (if you are eligible for it) if you can’t see your game there, probably you have played the game more than 2 hours in the span of 14 days. Which is the refund eligibility criteria. Select the game if you found it.

steam refunding step 3

5. Select ‘I would like a refund’

In the dropdown field of “what issue are you having with this purchase” you will see an option for selecting refund, Click it.

steam refunding step 4

6. Select ‘I’d like to request a refund’

Steam will try to offer you some fixes on their hand to convince you not to take a refund, we assume you are here to learn the refund process. Click “i’d like to request a refund”.

steam refunding step 5

7. Select Payment Method

They’ll offer you two payment methods to take back your money. First is a steam wallet where you can store your amount to make more game purchases, Second is the card you used at the time of purchasing the game.

steam refunding step 6

8. Click Submit Request

On the next page you will be asked why you are demanding a refund, write any legit excuse or reason, if you just didn’t feel amused by playing it, it’s a totally legit excuse. Under this question you’ll see a “Submit Request” option, Click it.

steam refunding step 7

9. Approval Of Refund

After applying through the process the steam system will analyze your eligibility and criteria if you are capable of being refunded or not. They claim it can take up-to one week to receive payment after approval.

steam refunding step 8

Refund For In-game Purchases

Yes it is possible to get a refund back to the in game purchases, Until its consumed, utilized and modified. Non consumed amount will be given to you.

For Pre-Purchased Games

You can get your funds back for pre-purchased games at any time if the game is still not released. Usually a two week window applies following the release date of the game.

Policy for Banned Members

There is an publisher on steam called (Valve) they made a policy for banned members (Valve anti cheating system). If you got any ban on a specific game from (VACS – valve anti cheating system) You will not get any kind of refund. Be prepared and always prevent getting banned from that publisher.

How to Refund A Gifted Game On Steam?

You can also take a refund on gifted games. The criteria will be the same as above. You must not have played for more than 2 hours and from the purchase duration should be less than 14 hours. When you request a refund for the game your friend purchased for you, The money will be given back to your friend’s account.

What Happens When A Gift is Declined?

If you send someone a gift without letting them know, and they declined it. You will get your refund immediately. But when you send it from inventory you will not get a refund for that. It will remain there in the inventory, can be redeemed or re-gifted after.

Refund Policy For Discounted Games

Steam’s refund policy is user friendly even for the discounted games. If you purchased a game before any discounted sale which you had no idea about, You can still ask them for a refund by making an excuse of re-purchasing. After your refund has been given to you, You can simply purchase again at the discounted price.

Can Games Added As Keys Be Refunded?

No, if you feed the game to your store or library by using a key you have purchased from any third party website or any source, you will not get any kind of refund.

Only games purchased directly inside the steam-powered market store can get refunded. No game from the outside would be eligible for getting it.

What About Physical Products?

To return your hardware or physical products, you’ll need to cancel the order within 14 days of receiving them. Once you’ve canceled the purchase, you have another two weeks to send back the items.

You have to compensate them for their delivery and shipping charges. Still there will be one condition for getting back your money is the product you are sending back, Must be in finest condition as you received in the first place.

What If the Request Gets Denied?

If you feel like you are fully eligible and it seems to be a valid case for you, you can just re submit another application again. Your new application will be reviewed by another valve member. Make sure if you did not abuse their system else requesting for refunding after getting caught abusing will lead you to get banned permanently.

Eligible Products For Refund

As all the products we talked about above are eligible. Besides all of them there is a product called Downloadable content (DLC) in game content. If by chance DLC irreversibly changes any product, It would not be eligible to meet the criteria.

Remember DLC and in game content policies may differ to each other. Valve has its own policy of taking refunding requests within the 48 hours of actual purchase.

Games Which Are eligible For Refund On Steam

Steam has some amazing refunding structure unlike other gaming platforms. The valve (VAC) system allows users to return DLC(Downloadable content), redeemed gifts, in-app purchases, although the user has to fulfill some eligibility criteria to take on this.

  • Your purchase should not be from any third party website other than steam.
  • Your refunding request should be before 14 days and less than 2 hours of playtime.
  • You have initiated the refund request for in-app purchase and subscriptions within 48 hours of purchasing.

Where Steam Refunds Apply

Pre-ordered games
Downloadable content (DLC)
In-game purchases
Renewable subscriptions

Where Steam Refunds Doesn’t Apply

Pre-ordered games
Downloadable content (DLC)
In-game purchases


Steam has over 36000 games and brilliant customer support services throughout the years from 2003 when they started. The industry keeps increasing, and so does the games area.  It is not an easy task to satisfy every user.

If talking from the user’s point of view when purchasing a video game digitally or physically you never know what the game actually has for you. There can be many reasons for which you don’t like a game, and naturally. The game is not what you imagined, or have any lagging, or it is too hard for you, and so on. And you would like to take your money back.

The excuse does not matter to Steam, they will issue a refund as long as you fall within the given criteria of 14 days after purchase duration 2 hours maximum playtime. From purchased ones to pre-orders and subscriptions and in-game purchases. Steam is pretty furious when it comes to refunding.


You can request a refund for almost any purchase of any product on Steam for any reason. Maybe your PC doesn't meet the hardware requirements or you bought a product or game by mistake or you used the product/game for an hour and just didn't like it. You can apply for any reasons above of them.
No, You can apply for many refunds you want through Steam, But Keep in mind if Valve (VAC) believes you're dodging or abusing their system, it can nullify your right to request future applications of refunds.
Yes, As their policy stats you have to apply for refund within the allowed time. Somehow if you are slightly used more than the given period of time, you can write them email or contact support formally. Express them your issue transparently, There is high possibility they will accept your request.
You can submit refund request multiple times Keep in mind If it appears that you are manipulating abusing their system, They reserve the right to ban your access to this feature in the future.

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