PC gamers have the option of getting their money back on those disliked titles cluttering their Steam libraries. Before requesting a refund, there’s some fine-print that needs to be addressed.
PC gamers may have the luxury of gaming in 4K and beyond, having access to a near-infinite number of peripherals, and one of the largest digital marketplaces in the gaming industry, but this is only boast-worthy if it’s applied to a “good” title.
Where console users can simply return or trade-in an unsatisfactory title, PC users are typically stuck with a bad purchase, due to DRM and activation/registration codes. Fortunately, Valve’s cloud-gaming platform Steam now grants users the ability to refund games. However, there are some details that need to be brought to light, as not all titles are guaranteed a refund, due to the date-of-purchase or other variables:
- Users can only request a refund for titles purchased within 14-days prior, with a play time of less than 2 hours. However, all requests will be taken into consideration.
- Steam users may request a refund by contacting help.steampowered.com. If the request is approved, the user will receive a full refund within a week of approval.
- If the refund cannot be returned to the original payment method, funds will be transferred into the user’s Steam Wallet. Supported methods include PayPal, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and JCB.
- DLC can be refunded, as long as the request is within the 14-day period, and the hosting title was played for less than 2 hours since purchasing the DLC.
- Some third-party DLC items may not be eligible for a refund; these items will be labeled “nonrefundable” in the Store page.
- In-game purchases made within Valve titles can be refunded within 48 hours, as long as the items have not been “consumed, modified or transferred” by the user. Again, third-party purchases are at the mercy of the title’s developer or publisher.
- Pre-purchased games can be refunded at any point up until the title’s launch. Once the game is live, the “14-day/ under 2 hours” rule goes into effect.
- Complete bundles can be refunded, as long as the combined play time is under 2 hours.
- Steam will not grant refunds for movies, gifts that have been redeemed by the recipient, or games where the user is under a VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat system) Ban.
While the rules may seem restrictive to some, Valve’s refund process was designed to prevent Steam users from turning the platform into a “rental service”, or a way to get free titles.
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