How To Get Refunds For Your Digital PC Game Purchases

How To Get Refunds For Your Digital PC Game Purchases
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Sometimes you buy a new PC game and it just isn’t what you expected. Maybe the game isn’t compatible with your hardware or the gameplay just doesn’t click with you. Whatever the case, if you’re feeling buyer’s remorse over a digital copy of a PC game you just bought, you might be eligible for a refund.

There are several online marketplaces that sell digital copies of PC games, but we’re focusing on getting refunds through Steam, the Epic Games Store and GOG, since those are three of the biggest platforms. All three of these companies offer refunds on game purchases, but their money-back policies and processes for claiming a refund differ.

Steam

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, steampowered.com

Steam’s refund policy is straightforward: You can get a full refund on any Steam game within 14 days of purchase provided it has been played for two hours or less, while pre-orders can be cancelled for a full refund. This even applies to games sent as gifts to others, though the refund must be requested by the gift recipient. In-app purchases and some downloadable content (DLC) are nonrefundable.

Steam’s pretty strict about these rules, so don’t expect to get your money back on those unplayed games you bought in a bundle last year. That said, the company will offer refunds for games that you purchased more than 14 days ago and/or played for more than two hours in some rare instances—such as when a major game-breaking bug or other serious concern is uncovered and results in a game being pulled from the Steam store. Contact Steam Support for more help in those cases.

How to get a refund on a Steam purchase

  1. Go to the Steam Support page and log in with your Steam account.

  2. Under “What do you need help with,” select “A Purchase.”

  3. Click the game you want to refund. If a games you bought isn’t on the list, then it’s ineligible for a refund in this way.

  4. Click the issue you’re having with the game.

  5. Click “I’d like to request a refund.”

  6. Fill out the refund request and select where you’d like to have your refund sent from the drop-down menu. You can choose to have it sent to your Steam Wallet or back to the original payment method, such as your bank account or Paypal.

A refund request can take up to seven days to be finalised, but once it’s approved, the refunded game is removed from your Steam library and your money will be sent back to the payment method you selected in step 6—though the funds may take a few additional business days to appear in your bank account. Any in-game achievements or playtime stats you earned will still show up on your Steam community page.

You can read Steam’s full refund policy here.

Epic Games Store

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, epicgames.com/store

Like Steam, Epic will refund any games within 14 days of purchase as long as you haven’t played them longer than two hours (though some exceptions may be made in certain cases). You can also get a refund on all preorders for unreleased games, but this does not include paid early access or beta purchases, which are subject to the previous days/hours restrictions restrictions.

Epic handles in-app purchases and DLC slightly differently:

  • Epic refunds certain in-game purchases and DLC associated with a game so long as it was purchased within the Epic Store and you “have not consumed, modified or transferred” any of the in-game items.

  • Items like character skins, in-game currency or consumable items are non-refundable. Epic clearly notes any nonrefundable purchases on the product’s store page.

You can read Epic’s full refund policy here.

How to get a refund on an Epic Store purchase 

Some purchases can be refunded via a “self-service” feature in your Epic Store account’s settings.

  1. Go to the Epic Store website.

  2. Sign in with your Epic account

  3. Click “Account” in the upper-right of the page.

  4. Click “Transactions.”

  5. Select the game or product you wish to refund, then click “Refund” and follow the on-screen instructions.

If a game or product isn’t listed under the Transactions tab or you’re seeking a refund on a purchase that falls outside of Epic’s guaranteed money-back policy, you can try applying for a refund through Epic’s support page:

  1. Go to Epic’s support page. Scroll down and click “Contact Us.”

  2. Log in with your Epic account.

  3. Use the form to submit a refund request. You’ll be contacted by email with further instructions.

Once your refund is complete, the game will be removed from your library. Any repaid funds will be sent back to you through the payment method used in the original transaction.

GOG.com

Screenshot: Brendan Hesse, GOG Galaxy

GOG offers full refunds on games within 30 days of their original purchase, regardless of whether they’ve been downloaded, installed and played. This also applies to:

  • Games in Development titles (aka early access and paid beta releases).

  • Preorders, including up to 30 days after release.

  • Games gifted to you by another person. If you send a gift to someone else, you may be entitled to a refund if they run into issues, but the recipient has to initiate the refund request first.

(Note: “Virtual Goods” like in-game purchases or DLC bought through GOG are nonrefundable.)

You can read GOG.com’s full refund policy here.

How to get a refund on a GOG.com purchase

GOG’s refund policy is the most lenient of the bunch, but it also has a quirky loophole that makes it ripe for abuse: Unlike Steam or Epic, GOG sells games without DRM (digital rights management). That means that users have full ownership over the games they buy and download, and it also means that GOG cannot remove the game files from your PC after you’ve made a purchase. So, yes, you could buy something, request a refund and keep it anyway (if you have no conscience).

As a result, refund requests must be sent to GOG Support and are subject to approval. GOG also requests that users seeking refunds due to technical issues or bugs first contact GOG support to see if the problem can be fixed before requesting a refund.

Once your refund is approved, the game(s) will be removed from your GOG library. Funds will be sent to the payment method specified in the refund request. GOG is unable to send refunds to certain financial institutions, in which case the funds will be applied to your account as store credit unless you offer them another suitable option.

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