I bought a game called War Game: Red Dragon, and I didn't really like it and I played for 30 minutes. I had to get a haircut and I was getting rushed out of my house so I didn't have time to exit the game. I was thinking and decided to get a refund so when I got back to my house, and I checked my time it said 4 hours(My barber doesn't have appointments and there were 4 people in the shop.) So I remembered that they said that they judge things on a case by case situation and I explained my situation to steam and tried to get a refund and they said I couldn't get a refund. So is it a bot that judges or is it a real person.

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    Without looking, if it is a case-by-case basis, I don't think a bot would be used. Mar 13, 2020 at 14:33
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    Does this answer your question? Is there any way to get a refund for a game bought from Steam?
    – arghtype
    Mar 17, 2020 at 20:34
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    @arghtype I do not believe that is a duplicate. That question is asking if a refund is possible, which the OP states they know how to do. This question is asking how the refund requests are reviewed, or something along those times Mar 17, 2020 at 21:27
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    @arghtype But it's generally not good practice to judge questions by their answers (see also here).
    – Joachim
    Mar 17, 2020 at 22:12
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    @arghtype This is a more extended discussion on the matter.
    – Joachim
    Mar 17, 2020 at 22:29

2 Answers 2


Given that these refunds do not automatically get released at the point you apply for a refund we can assume there what is most likely happening is a mix of a bot and human interaction.

The steam refund policy states:

Where Refunds Apply

The Steam refund offer, within two weeks of purchase and with less than two hours of playtime, applies to games and software applications on the Steam store. Here is an overview of how refunds work with other types of purchases.

What we can expect here is that this is picked up and looked at by a bot to make sure that once someone applied for a refund that you meet the 2 hour game time and less than 2 weeks old. Given the handling of refunds and money, that'll be passed over to a finance department to give final approval to release the funds.

In your situation I don't see why Steam would give you a refund, the ingame time will be over the 2 hour period and regardless of if you did something or not this isn't something steam will actually track so for argument's sake it won't be a factor in their decision. I'd suggest just taking this as a life lesson and next time you need to rush out alt+f4 or power the machine down.

  • Just my two cents: Quoting the same article, it says "even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look". This is the portion the OP reference by handling it case-by-case. Regarding your last paragraph, since there is a mixture of bots and humans reviewing these requests, it may also depend on the individual who reviews them on whether or not they'll continue with the refund Mar 13, 2020 at 16:15
  • @Wondercricket I agree, it is all dependant but OP was hinting to the idea that because nothing was done during their active time it shouldn't count, in reality, this isn't something steam could ever track and likely wouldn't be taken into consideration.
    – Matthew
    Mar 13, 2020 at 16:21

It's most likely a bot that does it initially. My reasoning is that the Steam return policy of "Played less than 2 hours, owned less than 2 weeks", can easily be done by a bot and people are probably returning hundreds or thousands of games a day. However, it is possible to contest a refund decision at https://help.steampowered.com. You can try that, but I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Source: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=4873-QOSK-5126

Occasionally, Steam will relax their usual "2 hours, 2 weeks" return policy for specific purchases. Some of them include:

  • Refunding a bundle of games. (This typically extends the amount of time you can play on one game before Steam refuses your return). I had this experience when I bought a bundle containing 3 games, played one of them for 3 hours, and then was able to return the bundle without any problems.
  • The game has widespread problems and/or backlash. An example of this is the initial release of "No Man's Sky".

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