Have you ever bought a game on Steam that you ended up not enjoying? Or perhaps you accidentally purchased the wrong game? Don’t worry – on Steam, you can request a refund on almost any game for any reason. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about getting a refund, from how to request it to when you can expect to see your money again.
How Does Refunding Work on Steam?
Steam offers refunds on games and software purchased on the Steam store for any reason, as long as you meet the following requirements:
- The game was purchased within the last 14 days
- You have played the game for less than 2 hours total
So if you buy a game and realize within 14 days and under 2 hours of playtime that it’s just not for you, you can get your money back through a refund request.
Some other key things to know about Steam refunds:
- DLC, in-game purchases, and season passes can also be refunded as long as they meet the 14 day/2 hour limit and have not been used or consumed.
- Pre-purchased games can be refunded anytime before release.
- Bundles are refundable if the total usage time is under 2 hours.
- Refunds go back to your original payment method or to your Steam Wallet if the original method is unavailable.
Now let’s walk through the step-by-step process of how to request a refund on Steam.
Requesting a Refund on Steam
Requesting a refund on Steam only takes a few minutes. Just follow these steps:
1. Go to Steam Support
In your web browser, navigate to the Steam support site at help.steampowered.com. Log into the support site using your Steam account credentials.
2. Click on Purchases
In the menu on the left side of the screen, click on the Purchases link. This will bring up your full purchase history.
3. Select the Game to Refund
Scroll through your purchase history and find the game you want to refund. Click on the game title.
If the game is eligible for a refund, you’ll see a box that says “I’d like to request a refund.” If that box is not there, it means the game is not eligible based on the 14 day/2 hour policy.
4. Choose Refund Reason
In the drop-down menu, select the reason why you want a refund. Common options include “Accidental Purchase” or “Game is not fun.”
5. Request the Refund
Click the button “I’d like to request a refund.” This will open a form.
Choose whether you want the refund credited back to your original payment method or added to your Steam Wallet. Add any other details in the text box.
6. Submit the Request
Double check that all the information looks correct. Then click submit to complete your refund request!
That’s it! After you submit a refund request, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Steam Support. Now let’s talk about…
How Long Does it Take to Get Your Refund?
Once you have submitted your refund request, it usually takes around 1 week for the funds to be credited back to your account or Steam Wallet.
Here is the typical refund timeline:
- Within 24 hours: Your request will be reviewed by Valve. If approved, the refund will be processed.
- Within 3-5 days: The refund should show up with your original payment provider. So if you paid with a credit card, you would see the credit on your statement within a few days.
- Within 7 days: If the refund does not show up by day 7, contact your payment provider (credit card company, Paypal, etc). The funds may be pending on their end.
- Up to 10 days: For international payment methods, it can sometimes take up to 10 days for the refund to fully process.
So while it may take about a week, you can expect your Steam refund credited back fairly quickly as long as you meet the eligibility requirements.
Refunding Gifted Games
What if you purchased a game on Steam as a gift for someone else – can you still get a refund? The short answer is yes.
If a gifted game has not been redeemed to someone’s library yet, it is refundable within the standard 14 day/2 hour policy.
If the gift has been redeemed, the recipient can initiate a refund on the game the same way, as long as they meet the playtime and timing criteria.
In either case, the funds from a refunded gifted game go back to the original purchaser – so whoever bought the gift gets the money credited back to their Steam Wallet or payment method.
Getting a Refund After 2 Hours of Playtime
The standard Steam refund policy is 14 days and under 2 hours of playtime. But what if you go over the 2 hour limit but still want a refund?
There are a couple things you can try:
- Submit a request anyway: Even if you are over 2 hours, submit a refund request through Steam support. Valve says they will take a look at cases over 2 hours on a case-by-case basis. So it never hurts to ask.
- Point out technical issues: If the game had critical bugs, installation problems, or hardware compatibility issues, mention that in your request. Steam may make an exception in cases where technical problems prevent you from properly evaluating the game.
- Ask the developer: Some game developers allow refunds even if you are over 2 hours. Check their website or forums to see if they have their own refund policy. If they do, point this out in your Steam refund request.
While over 2 hours lowers your chances, it can’t hurt to submit a request anyway on the off chance Valve makes an exception.
Can I Refund Games Repeatedly?
Is there a limit to how many games you can refund on Steam?
Technically no – Steam does not impose any limits to the number of games you can refund, as long as each individual request meets the eligibility requirements.
However, Steam does keep track of frequent refunds. If it appears you are abusing the system, such as refunding every game you buy, then Steam may revoke your refund privileges.
The lesson here is that Steam refunds are for occasional use, not as a way to “demo” games. As long as you make refund requests in good faith, you should have nothing to worry about.
- You can refund almost any Steam game for any reason within 14 days and under 2 hours playtime. DLC, pre-purchases, and bundles also qualify.
- Request refunds at Steam support website. Process takes about 5 minutes.
- Refunds typically process within 7 days back to your payment method.
- Gifted games are refundable by either sender or recipient. Funds go back to purchaser.
- Games over 2 hours can sometimes be refunded, but not guaranteed. Still submit a request.
- No limit on number of refunds, but frequent refunds may lead to revoked privileges.
Got all that? With this guide, you can now request Steam refunds with confidence. Game on!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some common questions about getting refunds on Steam purchases:
How many hours can I play a game before it is no longer refundable?
The limit is 2 hours of total playtime across all users on the license. As long as you don’t go over 2 hours, you can request a refund.
What if I purchased a game just before a sale and want to rebuy it at the sale price?
You can request a refund and repurchase the game during the sale. Steam will not consider this refund abuse.
Can I refund a game that I bought over 6 months ago?
Unfortunately, no. Steam only allows refunds on games purchased within the last 14 days.
If my refund request gets denied, can I ask again?
Yes, you can submit a new refund request and ask Valve to take another look at it. The key is providing new information or reasons that may change their decision.
Do achievements and playtime carry over if I rebuy a refunded game?
Yes! Any achievements, playtime, or progression you made in the game will still be there if you choose to repurchase it later on.
Can I refund a game that I purchased from a different site that gave me a Steam code?
No, Steam can only refund games that were purchased directly through the Steam store. You would need to contact the original retailer for a refund.
How do I actually get my money back – through my credit card, Paypal, etc?
Refunds go back to the original payment method. If that is unavailable for any reason, funds go back to your Steam Wallet instead.
What happens if I refund a game that is part of a bundle?
You can refund the entire bundle, as long as the total playtime across all bundled items is under 2 hours.