How to Refund a Game on Steam

The largest PC gaming platform hasn’t had a refund policy for a long time. It wasn’t until 2015 that Steam introduced a streamlined way to return a game. If you are not satisfied with your digital game purchase, you can now claim your money back.

While Steam’s refund policy is relatively generous and easy to use, there are still a few things you need to know before making a request.

What games are refundable on Steam?

Compared to other gaming platforms like Xbox or PlayStation, requesting a refund on Steam is relatively easy. Valve allows you to return players, pre-orders, DLC, in-game purchases, and unredeemed gifts. However, these items must fall under certain parameters:

  • It must be a game that you purchased through Steam. You cannot receive a refund if you received a game through a third party website or otherwise.

  • You must submit the refund request within 14 days of purchase.

  • Each game purchased can only have two hours of play time.

  • You can request refunds for in-game purchases or subscriptions, usually within 48 hours of purchase. Such refunds will be made on a case-by-case basis.

Note that games developed by Valve offer refunds within 48 hours of purchase, but other developers must first enable the refund option. You also cannot get a refund for video purchases unless they were available in a bundle with non-video items.

As part of the refund process, you can choose where to receive your money. It can go to your Steam wallet or back to another payment method you have linked to your account. Steam can refund your money to Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, or PayPal.

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How do you get a Steam game refund?

For this tutorial I used my most recent Dead by Daylight purchase. I bought the game on sale but coincidentally I already have it on Xbox. To initiate a return, go to Help menu and click Steam support in the Steam client. You can also click Support button at the top of the Steam website.

There are a lot of options here, but you want to focus on the game you want to give back. If it’s in your latest games, it’ll be listed on this front page. If not, go to games, software, etc. and look for it there. Since I’m bringing Dead by Daylight back, I don’t need to look for it.

Steam Support Page

(Image credit: Carli Velocci)

You can report any issues you are having with a specific game in this next menu, but you can request a refund by clicking It’s not what I expected or I bought this by accident. (You can also permanently remove the game from your account, but you won’t get a refund.)

Game Support Menu

(Image credit: Carli Velocci)

Regardless of your choice, you will be directed to a second window where you will need to confirm your desire for a refund. You can then use the drop down menu to select where you would like the refund to be made. I have chosen my Steam Wallet.

Steam Refund Request

(Image credit: Carli Velocci)

You can then enter your reasoning and enter other comments about your purchase. Choose Submit request and you’re done! You will then be taken to a screen confirming that your request has been sent with a reference code for your ticket. You can write down this number, but you will also receive a notification to the email address registered in your Steam account.

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If the refund itself was a mistake, you can also choose Cancel refund request. You can also cancel at any time before the request has been reviewed by returning to Steam’s support page. That’s all there is to it. As long as your purchase meets Steam’s parameters, you’ll receive your refund.

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