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How To Get A Refund On Steam

Steam is a lawless frontier of gaming, with titles that vary wildly in quality. You may also find out that your PC can’t run the game you just purchased. Point being, when you spend your money on Steam, that’s no guarantee that you’ll like what you’re getting.

Good news, though: despite a few caveats, you’ll likely be able to get your money back!

The Caveats

It’s fairly easy to get a refund for a Steam game, but this luxury comes with a few hangups.

  1. You cannot play the game for more than two hours (this is likely to protect smaller experience games, like indies).
  2. The refund request must be made within two weeks of the purchase.

These rules also apply to pre-orders, and the time window to a refund starts when the game releases. You can also cancel a pre-order at any time if you think the game won’t satisfy you on Steam, like when you realize Spider-Man is a PlayStation exclusive for Marvel’s Avengers.

Refunds for in-game purchases are more of a tricky beast. For Valve-developed games, you have 48 hours to make a request, and the publisher of each game on the service can opt-in or opt-out of this service. This means you might not be get refunded on DLC; you will know whether or not it is applicable for a refund by a statement popping up before the purchase.

The Process

Now that you know all the rules, go to the Steam Support website. The game that you’re having trouble with will likely be right there on the page. If not, click on Games, Software, etc and then search for the game. While Sonic CD is an excellent game and shouldn’t be refunded under normal circumstances, let’s use this as an example.

Steam is surprisingly very flexible with this refund process. They will typically refund the game for any reason. Let’s click “It’s not what I expected.” It will give you the option to find fixes for the issues you are having with the game, like poor frame rate or being unable to run the program, or you can say, “I would like a refund.”

Once clicked, you can then pick if you want it to go back to your Steam Wallet or if you want to return it to your method of payment. In this case, it was PayPal. However, if the game was purchased more than 14 years ago, it will give you a warning saying that refunds for games this old are typically not issued. I guess I’ll have to keep Sonic CD!

For this demonstration, I’ve bought Top Trumps Turbo, which I’m sure is fun but may lack content if the card game is anything to go by. We can now see a detailed breakdown of where the money will be refunded and what will be removed from the account.

You now have to explain exactly what’s wrong with a variety of options, then click submit. No notes are required, though! You can cancel at any time afterward.

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