How do I gift a game on Steam? (A guide)


Steam has been a mainstay of the gaming community for a long time, almost a decade and a half now. The platform has a lot of cool stuff, but one of the best, and perhaps the most heartwarming, is the ability to give away games. Want to surprise a friend, you can find out how to gift a game on the Steam guide today!.

Before starting our guide how to offer a game on Steam, we must present the platform itself.

What is Steam?

Screenshot from Steam

Steam was created by Valve as a way to distribute video games through digital means. Usually, Steam was designed to be a standalone software client that Valve uses to update its games automatically. Specifically, they made Steam the way you update Half-Life.

However, Steam’s reach eventually expanded to include games from other publishers/creators. Today, Steam has evolved into a digital video game marketplace that does a multitude of things. These range from game sales, item trading, server management, digital rights management, social networking services and video streaming. On top of that, Steam also offers several community features including groups, friends list, in-game voice chat, and cloud storage.

Steam also gives users the ability to use an API called Steamworks, which allows developers to add most Steam features to their games. These include microtransactions, support for user-created content through their Steam Workshop, and most important of all, achievements. Previously, Steamworks was only made for Windows operating system, but Linux and macOS versions were released later.

All of this and a whole lot of creative management has made Steam the biggest platform for digitally distributing PC games. Steam now holds around 75% of the PC gaming market share in 2013. In 2019, Steam holds around 34,000+ games, nearly 100 million monthly active users, and earns USD 2-4 billion annually. Not that that’s stopping them from trying to do more, as Steam Deck looks poised to try and take over the market the Nintendo Switch has taken a foothold in.

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How do I add funds on Steam?

Screenshot from Steam

Buying games on Steam is quite simple, it’s making money in Steam where people might encounter problems. Fortunately, the methods to do so are quite simple, here is how to do it:

  1. Open Steam: Pretty self-explanatory. If Steam opens automatically but is minimized, just go to the system tray and double-click the small Steam icon.
  2. Click on your profile name: Your profile name is located at the top right of the screen next to the envelope icon that displays messages and notifications.
  3. Select View my portfolio: After clicking on the profile name, the View Wallet button will appear under the Store Preferences option. You will also see how much money you have in your Steam Wallet here.
  4. Choose how much money to add to the account: Once the user opens the wallet, they have a few options on how much money they want to put in it. By default, the lowest amount users can place in their account is $5. No more, no less, at least in the United States. It is different in other countries.
  5. Confirm the addition and start the transfer: After choosing the amount the user wants to add to the account, just tap “Add Funds” on the amount you want to add to the Steam Wallet. The user will then be redirected to a confirmation section where the user can review the transaction before accepting it.

Once done, simply go to the Steam Store to choose the game you want to buy.

How do I buy new games on Steam?

Buy games
Screenshot from Steam

After adding funds to the user’s Steam account, purchasing games is a fairly straightforward affair. This is how:

  1. Go to the Steam Store and choose a game: Fairly simple to do. Make sure you have a game you both like that you can buy with your current funds.
  2. Choose the version of the game to buy and select “Add to cart”: Depending on the game, it’s a safe bet that there would be different editions, DLCs, or additional items available.
  3. Rinse and repeat until you’re done: The shopping cart can contain many games for the user if he wants to buy several games. Remember to keep everything within budget though.
  4. Select “Buy for me”: There are 2 options here when purchasing. Buy for your use and enjoyment, or gift the games to someone else. This last option will be discussed below.
  5. (Optional) Click Delete All Items: If the user changes their mind, just tap “Remove All Items” to empty the cart of any games/DLCs/Editions they don’t like getting. The option is a small, almost invisible gray icon located a little to the right of the “Continue Shopping” button.
  6. (If Steam funds are insufficient) Choose another payment option to purchase the game: Steam usually has the user’s Steam funds as the automatic place where they get their money. However, if the user’s Steam funds are insufficient, they can also use credit cards, PayPal, etc.

How to offer the brand a game on Steam?

Next on the list is how to gift new games on Steam

  1. Go to the Steam Store and choose a game: As usual, the first step is to choose a game to gift your friend.
  2. Choose the version of the game to buy and select “Add to cart”.
  3. Rinse and repeat until you are done.
  4. Select “Buy as a gift”: The first change, the “Buy as a gift” option is right next to the “Buy for yourself” option.
  5. Optional) Click “Delete All Items”: As usual, if the games you’re buying for your friends aren’t right for them, just click this button to remove the items from the cart.
  6. Select friends to gift the game to After the “Buy as a gift” part, the user must then choose which of his many friends on Steam he wishes to give the game to. Note that if the user chooses several friends, he must buy additional copies of the game. For example , if the user wants to gift a $10 game to 3 friends, he must pay a total of $30.
  7. Personalize your gift with a message: After choosing the friends they want to give the game to, they can then personalize the gift with a message. Just add their name, a little gift message, and you’re done. You have now sent the game to the friend you want to send it to.
  8. (If Steam funds are insufficient) Choose another payment option to purchase the game.

How do I gift duplicate games on Steam?

Steam is used to allow users to offer duplicate games on the platform. Also, for clarity, offering a duplicate game means that you are offering a user a game they already own. This is no longer allowed however, and we’ll talk more about this restriction below.

How to offer Steam Gift Cards?

Finally, give a friend some Steam gift cards. These gift cards will give a friend, or friends of the user’s choice, a gift card for a certain amount of money. These cards can then be used to top up their Steam Wallet.

  1. Here’s how to give a friend gift cards on Steam itself:
  2. Go to the Steam store and search for Steam Gift Cards.
  3. Select Send via Steam and choose the amount you want to send.
  4. Choose the friends you want to gift the gift cards to.
  5. Send a gift note to friends you give Steam Gift Cards to.
  6. Verify payment information.
  7. Make the purchase.
  8. (Optional if Steam funds are insufficient) Choose another payment option to send Steam Gift Cards.

There are also real physical Steam gift cards that users can redeem to earn more Steam funds. Simply go to your Steam Wallet and then select the “Redeem Steam Gift Card or Wallet Code” option. Then the user just needs to enter the code inside the gift card to redeem the funds.

What are the restrictions when giving gifts?

There are a few restrictions to gifting games that make sense. For one, the user cannot gift their friend’s Steam games that their friend already owns. After all, it doesn’t make sense to have multiple copies of a game. The next restriction is regional, and if you’re confused about that, here’s a more practical explanation.

Let’s say a person from the United States has a friend in another country. This person knows that his friend likes 4X strategy games, so he gives him Stellaris and all his DLC for a birthday/Christmas present. The game’s ultimate bundle, including the 10% discount, is currently $202.35 in the US.

Now let’s say the reverse is true, and it’s the friend who offers Stellaris to his American friend. The current cost of the Stellaris Ultimate Bundle is $100.51 in some countries, literally half the price in the US. Steam doesn’t like this at all and will therefore prevent the Filipino friend from offering the game to his American friend. Why? Because of the price difference. After all, each region/country rates its products differently, and games are no different.

This, above all, is one of the biggest drawbacks of the service. But we’ll talk about that later.

Advantages and disadvantages of gift games via Steam

Screenshot from Steam

Last but not least, what are the pros and cons when giving away games on Steam? Well, it is quite simple, it is easy to offer games on Steam due to its optimization. Just pick a game you like, select the number of people you want to gift the game to, pay the bill, and you’re done.

However, it has its downsides, especially regional restrictions. Users can’t gift games willy-nilly depending on where they are on the planet because of regional pricing and all that. Other than that, there are no major downsides to offering games on Steam.

Gift a game on Steam to a friend today

In conclusion, if you have the money, you can easily gift games on Steam because of how quickly you can do it there. Other than regional restrictions, there are no downsides to giving gifts. So, give a gift to those Steam friends you love. That wraps up our guide on how to gift a game on Steam. Surprise a friend today by sending a gift via Steam.


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