At the end of April 2024, Valveowner of the popular game store Steam, updated your refund policy to protect developers. Some of the changes include applying the 2-hour limit for refunds on early access games, which previously allowed you to play indefinitely before deciding to purchase.

The new rule seeks to prevent abuse of the system where players played extensively and still received their money back. Additionally, Valve will adopt specific labels for early access games, increasing transparency for consumers. The policy aims to create a fairer environment on the platform, so that refunds are not misused by players and end up harming game developers.

Read too
How to buy games in installments on Steam?
These were the best-selling games on Steam in 2023

Because of this we decided to make this complete guide explaining all the details behind Steam’s refund policy. You will understand the requirements for requesting a refund, when it applies or not, and you will also see detailed step-by-step instructions on how to cancel a purchase on Steam. So come with us!

Understanding Steam Refund Terms

getting money back

On Steam, you can request a refund for almost any purchase, regardless of the reason. Whether due to PC incompatibility, accidental purchase or simply because the game did not meet your expectations.

You can cancel a purchase on Steam as long as it is requested within the stipulated period of two weeks and as long as you have less than two hours of gameplay. While it’s important to follow the rules, all requests are evaluated. In some cases, exceptions can be made, such as in cases of defective games (Cyberpunk 2077 I’m looking at you).

O refund is made within one week, credited to Steam Wallet or original payment method. If this is not possible, the amount will go to the Steam Wallet. Below you can find a summary for each type of situation.

  • DLC: Returns within 14 days for DLCs on Steam, if the game has less than 2 hours played after purchasing the DLC and has not been used or exchanged. Restrictions for third-party DLC are posted on the store page.
  • Item purchases: Unused, exchanged or modified items can be refunded within 48 hours for Valve games; other companies may offer the same option. The possibility of refund is informed at the time of purchase.
  • Refunds for games purchased before release: For pre-release games, the two hours start counting after launch, but the 14 days only after the release date. For early access, the time played from the beginning is counted.
  • Steam Wallet Refunds: Credits added to Steam Wallet can be refunded within 14 days if unused.
  • Renewable subscriptions: Refund available for subscriptions not used in the billed period if requested within the first 48 hours of purchase or renewal. Cancellation at account details page prevents automatic renewal.
  • Hardware Steam: Refunds for Steam hardware and accessories are subject to hardware refund policy.
  • Refunds for sets: Sets on Steam may be refunded if not transferred and used for less than two hours total. Steam warns you about non-refundable items upon purchase.
  • Purchases outside of Steam: Products such as codes and gift cards purchased outside of Steam are non-refundable.
  • VAC bans: VAC ban voids the right to refunds.
  • Video content: Videos on Steam are non-refundable except when included in refundable sets.
  • Refunds for presents: Non-activated gifts are refundable within 14 days. Activated gifts follow the same refund rules as games.
  • Abuse: Steam’s refund system is intended to protect the consumer, not allow free play. Abuse may lead to loss of right to refunds. Asking for a refund to buy the same game on sale is not considered abuse.

Read too
The gamers setup: this is the most popular setup on Steam

Step by step: How to request a refund for a game on Steam

Now that you know in which situations it is applicable to request a refund for a game on Steam, let’s see how to do this in practice. You will see that there is no secret and the whole procedure is very simple.

Requesting a refund on Steam

  • Step 01 – Access your Steam account: Open the Steam app on your computer or visit the website and log in with your username and password.
  • Step 02 – Go to Steam Support: In the top right corner, click on “Steam Support”. This will take you to a page where you can resolve problems with games, software or any service on the platform.
  • Step 03 – Find the Game: On the Support page, look for the “Purchases” option and click on it. Here you will see a list of games you have recently purchased.
  • Step 04 – Select the Game for Refund: Find the game you want to return in the list and click on it. If the game was purchased less than 14 days ago and you played for less than two hours, you are eligible to request a refund.
  • Step 05 – Choose the Problem: You will have to state the reason why you want a refund. Choose the option that best describes your case.
  • Step 06 – Request a Refund: After choosing the problem, click on “I would like to request a refund”.
  • Step 07 – Fill out the Form: You will need to fill out a simple form, choosing how you would like to receive your refund (either to your original payment method or your Steam wallet balance) and providing additional information if necessary.
  • Step 08 – Submit the Request: Review the information and, if everything is correct, submit the refund request.
  • Step 09 – Wait for the Response: The Steam team will review your request and send you a response via email. This usually happens within a few days.

Did you see how easy it is to cancel a purchase on Steam? As long as you meet all the requirements, the refund is made within a few days without further questions.

Refund Requirements: What you need to know before requesting


If you are already in your 30s, you certainly remember the Telecurso 2000 classes. There was always the classic catchphrase at the end of the class “And pay attention! Check it out, it’s review time!“. So let’s summarize the requirements for requesting a refund for a purchase on Steam.

  • Game Time: You can only request a refund if you have played the game for less than two hours.
  • Refund Deadline: Order must be placed within 14 days of purchase.
  • Extra Content: If you purchased DLCs or other extra content, they must also be within 14 days and less than two hours of use.
  • Gifts: Games received as a gift can be refunded, but the money goes back to the gift giver, not the recipient.
  • Pre-sales: If you pre-purchased, you can request a refund at any time before the game’s release and up to 14 days after it is released, following the same two-hour game rule.

Please remember that Steam will review your order and may deny your refund if they think you are trying to abuse the system. They may also accept orders outside these conditions in special cases.

Frequently Asked Questions: The most common questions about refunds on Steam

I want my money back: learn how to request a Steam refund [vídeo] - TecMundo

How does Steam’s new refund policy affect early access games?

Valve implemented a 2-hour refund limit on early access games, aiming to prevent abuse of the system where players played extensively and still requested refunds.

How does the refund policy seek to create a fairer environment on Steam?

The policy aims to prevent refunds from being misused by protecting game developers from financial losses due to abusive refunds.

Are there exceptions to the 2 hour game play limit to request a refund?

Valve does not specify exceptions, but generally the 2-hour limit is applied consistently to ensure fairness in the refund process. But in cases of games with many bugs, exceptions may apply.

What should I do if I encounter a technical issue with a game after the refund period?

Although Valve does not detail this situation, it is recommended that you contact Steam support to report the problem and seek a solution.

How does Steam check if a player has abused the refund policy?

The exact process is not detailed by the platform, but Steam can monitor game time and other indicators to identify possible abuse. It is worth noting that asking for a refund for a game and purchasing the same title during the promotion is not considered abuse.

Is the refund instant or is there a waiting period?

Valve doesn’t mention processing time, but there is typically a waiting period while the order is evaluated and processed by Steam. But, in general, the entire process takes a few days.

More information: Steam


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *