Valve Restricts Steam Service Features to Users Who Don’t Spend At Least $5

/ 2 years ago

Steam Logo

If you’ve ever been bullied or targeted on Steam by spammers or phishers, then you might be excited to know that Valve has set some restrictions to its online service. Valve stated on their Support Page that they are adding this security measure to deal with the latter problems.

Therefore, if you would like to have full access to Steam as a new user or even as an old one who used the service only for Free-to-Play games, you need to spend some money to get the full features.

Valve says that if you add at least $5 on Steam Wallet it should get you access, regardless if you actually buy anything or not.

Other methods of unlocking your account(s) include purchasing games that are equal to at least $5, adding a Steam Wallet card to your Steam account or purchasing a Steam gift.

If you think that you can do something to get around this, you are out of luck. Valve says that activating a retail game, playing free demos, adding a non-Steam game, adding/playing trials, free-to-play games or activating promotional CD keys from GPU manufacturers (like the ones found on AMD cards) won’t get your features activated.

Now, moving to the thing that really matters. What is actually restricted? Well, the company seems to restrict pretty much every social communication in the service. You can’t add friends, open group chat, vote on Greenlight/Steam Reviews/Workshop, take part in the Steam Market or post often on Steam Discussions.

In addition to that, you can’t send anything to the Workshop, post in Workshop Discussions, access the Steam Web API, use the browser and mobile chat and on top of that, your Steam Profile will always have its level locked at 0.

Now the real kicker. Though Steam said a minimum of $5 (that is USD currency by the way), how will it work in other non-US regions? I’ll let you read their response below.

“If the Steam store isn’t in USD, we will track the purchase amount in USD by converting each purchase total made on Steam using daily exchange rates. Once you have made the equivalent of $5.00 USD or more in total Steam purchases, you will gain access to the restricted Steam features.”

So why do non-US countries have to pray for the US dollar to drop in value to not spend more than others? I mean, why not do this for all the currencies once you thought about adding the restriction? Let us know if you consider this fair or not in the comments below.

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  • TheBeard

    I live in non-US region and I gladly approve it. I’m sick of blocking 0 level spammers every day. It was time for this to be done.

  • Imran


  • Danpapua

    Thanks Steam team. Been blocking those idiots every day.

  • Noctale

    That $5 converts to £3.34 here in the UK, which wouldn’t even buy lunch, so it’s a pretty small ask from Valve and entirely reasonable. The currency conversion based on daily exchange rates is as fair it can be. How else would they ensure that all accounts are unrestricted after the same value of purchases? I’ve only ever had a handful of friend invites from level-zeroes, but other people seem to be targeted regularly. Let’s hope this will put an end to it!

  • zane1981

    $5 isn’t that bad, but rather it be $10.

  • Ravi Parekh

    So wait… I buy games for my brother and gift them to him through Steam, this means he won’t get to use the features either?