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Trading and Gifting

Extra Copies

Extra copies are not given in most cases.

Only titles purchased in special promotions as outlined below are eligible for giftable extra copies


How do I receive extra copies to share with friends?

Extra copies will only be issued as a special promotion in the following specific cases:

  1. Users who own "Left 4 Dead" and then go on to purchase "Left 4 Dead + Left 4 Dead 2 Bundle" will receive an extra copy of "Left 4 Dead"
  2. Users who own “Half-Life 2” and go on to purchase “The Orange Box” or the "Valve Complete Pack" will receive an extra copy of “Half-Life 2”.
  3. Users who own “Half-Life 2: Episode One” and then go on to purchase the "Half-Life 2: Episode Pack”, “Valve Complete Pack” or “The Orange Box” will receive an extra copy of “Half-Life 2: Episode One”.
  4. Users who own "Dawn of War II"and then go on to purchase "Dawn of War II Gold Edition" will receive an extra copy of "Dawn of War II"
  5. Users who purchase the available four packs for specific Steam titles will receive three extra copies of that title to gift to friends.
  6. Extra copies may apply as a part of some limited time promotions. In that case, information on what will be included with your purchase will be listed on the storefront's transaction page.

These special promotions will allow you to send a gift pass for your extra copy to a friend who does not already own the game.

These promotion do not apply to any games other than those specifically listed.



“Half-Life 2” and “Half-Life 2: Episode One” are only eligible to receive extra copies once.

For example, if you own “Half-Life 2” and/or ”Half-Life 2: Episode One” and receive extra copies for your purchase of “The Orange Box”, you will not receive additional extra copies if you then go on to purchase the “Valve Complete Pack”.

Do all duplicate purchases on Steam work this way?

No. This special offer only applies to games or game packages listed above.


Giving away extra copies

When will I be able to give away my extra copies?

Your extra copies will be available to give away once the game or game package has been registered to your Steam account.

How do I know when I have extra copies available to give away?

You can always find any available extra copies on your account by clicking "Manage gifts & guest passes" under the "Games" menu in Steam. The extra copies will be listed in your Steam Inventory.

Furthermore, upon redeeming a bundle from your inventory when your account already owns one or more of the games you will receive a warning that explains which games you will receive an extra copy for before you add the bundle to your Library:

Will my extra copies expire if I don't give them out quickly enough?

While some guest passes are temporary, the extra copies you receive for the promotions listed above will not expire – you can gift your extra copies at any time as long as your Steam account remains active.

What will my friend receive when I send them my extra copy?

Your extra copy will arrive as a gift message. If your friend does not currently have a Steam account or you see an error when sending it to a Steam account, please attempt to send the gift to your friend's email address.  You can read more about how to send and re-send gifts here.

How can I tell if my friend already owns one of these games?

If you are sending a gift directly through Steam, users who already own this game will automatically be filtered out of the potential list of recipients.

If you are positive that they do not have this game, you can send it to their email. Users who already have a subscription to a gift they’ve received will not be able to activate it on their existing account.

May I Buy or Sell my extra copies?

No. This violates the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in all involved Steam accounts becoming permanently disabled.


Receiving Extra Copies

How do I use an extra copy given to me by a friend?

Please visit the following page for instructions on how to redeem an extra copy/gift.

I sent an extra copy to a friend, but that person never received it. What now?

Please visit the following page for instructions on how to re-send an extra copy/gift.

I sent an extra copy to a friend using their email address, but it turns out that person already owns this game. Can I give this game to someone else?

Please visit the following page for instructions on what to do in this situation.

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My Gift Has Been Revoked

This message indicates that a gift sent to your account has been revoked. The most common reasons this will occur are:

  • There has been a purchase error with the game you were gifted
  • The purchaser has filed a dispute over the purchase
  • The gift purchase was made using a fraudulent payment method


If you believe there has been an error, please contact the person who sent this gift.

The subscription to the gifted game is no longer valid. If you wish to continue playing the game without losing any game progress, you will need to purchase the game through Steam. 



Never accept a gift from someone you do not know.

Additionally, do not pay someone to gift a game to you.

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Steam Gifts

Steam Gifts


What is a Steam Gift?

When you purchase a game on Steam, we offer the option to “gift” the item to anyone you choose, whether or not the recipient is a current Steam user. The recipient will receive the gift as an attractive e-mail card with a personal message from you and instructions to redeem the game.

A Steam gift purchase is a one-time transfer—after the recipient has activated and installed the game, it is a non-refundable game in his or her Steam games collection. Also note that you may only gift new purchases—you may not transfer games you already own. That’d be like wrapping up and presenting the toaster you’ve used every morning for the past year.


How can I purchase Steam Gifts for a different Steam user?

To give a gift to a friend or family member, locate the game you would like to gift on the Steam Storefront and then click the "Add to cart" button. Upon checking out, select the "Purchase as a gift" option to purchase the items in your cart for a friend.


Selecting your gift recipient

You can send your gift to an e-mail address, you can select the recipient from one of your Friends in the Steam Community, or you can place the game in your Steam Inventory and send it via Steam Trading. If you are sending your gift to an e-mail address, please verify that you have typed the e-mail address in correctly. If the gift is not a surprise, we recommend verifying the address with the person you are gifting the game to in order to ensure that they receive the gift promptly.


How can I deliver the gift at a later date?

If you are interested in purchasing a subscription for someone as a gift but do not want it delivered until a later date, please purchase the game as a gift and add it to your Steam Inventory to send it later. As long as you do not redeem it, you will have a gift for this subscription on your account that can be resent at anytime.


Including a Special Message with your gift

You may take a few moments to add a special message to the gift recipient. When they receive your gift, your special message will be displayed for them in Steam and they will also receive your gift message via e-mail.


Payment Methods

Steam currently accepts the following payment methods. Once your purchase is complete, please print your receipt for your records and store the hard copy in a safe place. You will also receive an e-mail receipt verifying your purchase.

Gift Example


What happens after I purchase a gift?

Your friend will receive an e-mail message, including your personalized gift message, notifying them that they have received a gift. If you have selected to send your gift through Steam, your friend will also receive a gift message in the Steam application. If you have added the gift to your Steam Inventory you will be able to send the gift by doing the following:

1. Login to or click on Community in the Steam client

2. Click on Inventory under the Actions portion on the right hand side of your Community page

3. Locate the gift you purchased and added to your inventory (in the case below it is Defense Grid: The Awakening)

4. Click on "Send Gift..."

5. Choose whether or not you wish to send the gift via e-mail or directly through Steam. If sending by e-mail make sure you type the e-mail address correctly to ensure delivery.

6. Click on Next

7. Fill out the message box and click on Send


How will I know whether my friend has received their gift?

To check the status of your gift purchase, install Steam and login to your account.  Within Steam, click on "Games" in the main menu, then select "Manage gifts and guest passes...", and click the "Pending Gifts" tab on the right side of the window. Once your friend has redeemed their gift in Steam, the gift will move from "Sent Gifts" to your "Gift History" and the gift will be removed from your Steam Gift Inventory.

Additionally, you will receive the following notification in your Steam Gift Inventory after the gift has been sent letting you know your gift is being tracked:

Gift Status


How do I use a Steam gift given to me by a friend?

If you do not already have Steam, download and install Steam here. Once you have Steam installed, you will be prompted to create an account or login to an existing Steam account. If you do not have an account, please create one.

1. You will receive an e-mail containing a link that will open Steam to redeem your gift or in the Steam client you will receive a notification at the top right corner that says you have a new gift as seen below:

2. Clicking on "1 new gift" will take you to the following screen where you must click either Accept Gift or Decline Gift. Once you click Accept Gift you will have the option to add the game directly to your Library or to your Steam Inventory:

If you click on Decline Gift the gift will be returned to the original sender so they can re-send it to another user on Steam.

If you do not see your gift in your Steam Inventory please ask the gifter to resend the gift to you. Please confirm your Steam account or email address with them. They will be able to resend the gift to you from their Steam Inventory as described above.

If you receive a game that you already own then you will only be able to add the game to your Steam Inventory and send it to another user on Steam.

3. If you add the game to your Library will be listed in your Library > Games list in Steam, highlighting the game and clicking the "Install" will download the game to your computer.

If you add the game to your Steam Inventory and you wish to add it to your Library you will need to open your Steam Inventory, select the gift and click on "Add to my game Library..." as seen below:

If the game is already in your Library you will receive a notification that it is and you will not be able to add it.

If the game is not in your Library you will receive a pop-up notification confirming your actions, and if you have any duplicate games in a package you will be notified that you will not receive extra copies as seen below:

If you attempt to add a game to your Library that requires additional games that you don't own you will receive an error message as well:

Gifting Questions


Do gifts expire if they are not redeemed in a certain amount of time?

Gifts will not expire once they have been issued. Once the gift purchase has been activated, the game is permanently subscribed to the Steam account that it was redeemed on.

If you accept the gift and add it to your Steam Inventory it will be in your inventory indefinitely until you either un-pack the gift or send it to another user.


How can I tell someone else how to give me a gift on Steam?

To give a gift on Steam, simply create a Steam account online and then purchase your gift from the Steam store. For more information about purchasing games on Steam, please see this guide.

Do not allow someone else to use your Steam account to make a gift purchase.


What will my friends see if I send them a Steam gift?

If your friend does not currently have a Steam account, your invitation will be sent to his or her email address with information on installing Steam and accepting your gift. If you've chosen to send your gift directly to your friend's Steam account, your friend will receive an email and the user will receive a notification at the top of their client that they have received a new gift:


My friend is in another country, can they install the game at the same time it is available to me?

Not necessarily. Steam games are tied to the region's release schedule. If another user has a later release date for their country, they will not be able to play their received gift until that time.


Can I gift game packs?

Yes, you can gift game packs the same way you would gift an individual game. Four packs of games cannot be gifted.


How can I tell if my friend already owns the game(s) I would like to gift?

If your friends are members of your Steam Friends list, you can learn whether they already own the game you'd like to give. Your Steam Friends who already own this game will automatically be filtered out of the potential list of recipients. You can also visit your friend's Steam Community profile and click the link to "View all games" to view your Friend's list of owned games on Steam before purchasing them a gift.


I sent a Steam gift to a friend, but that person never received it. What now?

You can resend gifts in case your friend's email gift message was lost. If you are resending to a new (or corrected) email address you should be able to resend immediately. If you are attempting to resend it to the same email address the Steam system requires that you wait 24 hours to prevent the spamming of users. When you resend a gift the previously generated email will become invalid and the “accept” link within it will no longer work. Your friend must use the latest version of the email when accepting the gift.

If the recipient does not see the email, their email provider may be blocking our email. Please try having them use an email address from another provider.

Alternatively, sending it directly to their Steam account is another option.


I sent a Steam gift to a friend's email address, but that person already owns this game. Can I give this gift to someone else?

Yes, provided your friend has not already redeemed your gift using a different Steam account. To give your gift to a different friend, install Steam if you haven't already done so. After logging into your account, click on the "Games" menu and select "Manage gifts and guest passes". From your Steam Inventory locate the gift that has not been redeemed and click on Re-send gift.


Can I give multiple gifts at the same time?

You can give as many gifts as you'd like at one time, but only to one friend per transaction.


Can I gift games I no longer play to my friends?

You can not gift games that were previously purchased on your Steam account to friends.


The game I was gifted has been revoked

Please see this guide.


May I sell gift subscriptions?

Steam Gift Purchases can not be sold. Attempting to sell a gift subscription is a violation of the Steam Subscriber Agreement and may result in your account being permanently disabled. You can trade gifts using our new Steam Trading system and can read more about that here.


How do I share the Four Pack for [L4D, L4D2, Borderlands] with three friends?

To do this, simply purchase the Four Pack on Steam, and then refer to this guide to share your Extra Copies using the Steam client.


How do I view my gift history?

You can view your gift history by going to your Steam Inventory > Click on Pending Gifts > View Gift History:

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Steam Trade Offers

What is a trade offer?

A trade offer is a prepackaged trade that you can send to a friend. You pick the items you’re willing to give up from your inventory and what you’d like to receive from your friend, and then send it off. Your friend can then choose to accept, decline, or make a counter offer. Unlike regular Steam Trading, you don't need to both be online at the same time. Plus, trade offers can be sent and received using a web browser.

How do I send a trade offer?

You can create and send a trade offer from two places, the Trade Offers page off your Inventory and from a friend’s Inventory.

From the trade offers page select “New trade offer…”, select a friend from the pop up list, select items from both your and their inventory to trade, add an optional message, confirm the items and make the offer. Your friend will be notified of the trade offer in the green notification drop down at the top right of Steam.

To whom can I send a trade offer?

Currently you can send trade offers to your friends. Trade offers respect Inventory privacy settings, so if your friend has their inventory set to “Private” you cannot see their inventory to select items to send a trade offer.

What can I put in a trade offer?

Any tradable items in your inventory.

Note that you cannot include Steam Wallet funds in a trade or trade offer. If someone sends you a trade offer claiming to include Steam Wallet funds it may be a scam. You can report scammers using the "Report Violation" link on their profile.

How do I view my trade offer?

When you receive a trade offer you’ll get a notification in the green notification drop down at the top right of Steam. You can view pending offers and offer history from the Trade Offers page in your Inventory.

Are items in a trade offer temporarily removed from my inventory like the market?

No, items in a trade offer remain in your inventory until an offer is accepted.

Can I send more than one offer with the same items?

Yes, you can send more than one offer containing the same items. When an offer is accepted any other pending offers with the same items will change from pending to inactive and be moved into Offer History.

What happens to an offer when an item is no longer available?

If a trade offer contains an item that is traded away or sold on the market, the trade becomes inactive and can no longer be accepted. It will automatically be moved into Offer History.

How do I change or counter an offer?

You can change or counter any offer you have received. Open the offer and select “Change offer”, then change the trade however you like, confirm the items, and “Send Counter Offer.” The counter offer will be sent back as a new trade offer.

How do I cancel an offer I've sent?

You can cancel a pending offer you've sent from the Sent Offers area of the Trade Offers page.

What do I do if I’m unhappy about a trade I made?

All trades are final; make sure you really want to make a trade before confirming.

How long is an offer good for?

Trade offers automatically expire after 2 weeks. You can find the offer expiration date at the bottom of a pending offer.

Where can I see my trade history?

You can view your trade history from the Trade Offers page or from the “More” drop down in your Inventory.

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Steam Trading

How do I trade?

In order to initiate a trade you need to be logged into the Steam Community and connected to Steam Friends.

1. Open your Friends list, located in the lower right hand corner of the Steam client

2. Click on the small arrow next to the friend you wish to invite to Trade and click on Invite to Trade

Alternatively, if you are chatting with your friend you can start a trade from the chat window by clicking on the large arrow and selecting Invite to Trade:

3. Once accepted the trade window will appear where you can view your items, games, and coupons available to trade.

4. Select the appropriate backpack you wish to view from the dropdown menu on the left

5. Click and drag the item, game, or coupon you wish to trade from your backpack to your trade window. If you wish to remove an item, game, or coupon simply drag it back to your backpack from the trade window.

6. Click on Ready to Trade and wait for the other party to click on Ready to Trade.

7. Verify the contents of the trade are correct by hovering your mouse over each item and reading the item details.

8. Click on Make Trade - Once you click this button the trade cannot be undone!

9. The trade will finish processing and you will receive a confirmation window with what items, games, or coupons you received in the trade


What do you mean by trading Steam Gifts?

Any game you’ve purchased from the store as a gift, or received as an Extra Copy, can be traded to other users. They can be used to trade for other Gifts, or for items in games supporting Steam Trading. We’ve added a new checkout option to the Store when purchasing a gift so you can save it for trading or sending later, to support users who want to save games for trade fodder.


What restrictions are there on trading Steam Gifts?

Trading a Steam Gift is very similar to sending a gift to someone; just that once it is traded that user can then either trade it again, or open it for themselves. There are no restrictions on territory.


Why aren’t some of my gifts tradable?

Only gifts that are purchased on trusted accounts can be traded immediately; otherwise there is a 30-day cool down before the gift can be traded. Any account that has made any valid purchase from the Steam Store more than 30 days ago is considered trusted. This is to ensure that all games traded are valuable, and help prevent fraudulent purchases for the purpose of trades. If you do not make a purchase on your Steam account after being labeled as trusted within a year your status will be reset and you will need to wait an additional 30-days before being trusted again.


Does Steam Trading mean I can sell my used games?

No, only games that have been bought as a gift, and thus have never been played, can be traded. Once the Steam Gift is opened and added to your game library, you won’t be able to trade it again.


How do I see my Inventory on the Steam Community?

From your username drop down in the top Steam menu, select Inventory. You can also find a link from your profile.


Who can see my items?

Your Inventory privacy settings can be found in your Inventory, they are similar to the Profile privacy settings – public, friends only, friends of friends, or private.


Who can I trade with?

You can initiate a trade with anyone in a Group Chat or on your Friends List.


How is this different from trading in Team Fortress 2?

We’ve improved the display of changing which items are in the trade, and significantly increased the number of items that can be traded in one session. We hope these improvements will help with confusion or users trying to deceive others in the trade.


I have ideas for other things in Steam that can be traded. How do I give that feedback?

You can post feedback or suggestions in our Suggestions/Ideas forum as it is regularly read by our developers.


I think I just lost items in a trade! What do I do?

Please view our Steam Trading Policy for more information.


How do I add a game to my library after receiving it in a trade?

Go to the game in your Steam Inventory and click “Unpack gift…” to add it to your library.


What if a game I received in a trade is fraudulently purchased?

Please view our Steam Trading Policy for more information.


How do I purchase a game and place it in my inventory?

Purchase the game you want as a gift. Select the option "Store the gift in my inventory to send later". Once the purchase is complete you will be able to view the game in your inventory by clicking on the Community tab and then click on 'View Inventory' under the right hand column titled 'Actions'. Select the Steam tab and this will open the games/gifts that are currently in your Steam inventory.


How do you handle scams?

Please view our Steam Trading Policy for more information.


What does probation do to your account in Steam Trading?

Upon receiving a trade ban your account gets placed into probation as well. Probationary status allows other users to determine if a user has committed scams in the past so they can make better decisions about whether or not they want to trade with previous scammers. Probationary status does not prevent users from trading.


I can't trade! Why not?

There are different reasons why you may be unable to trade or use the Market. Please see the following Trading and Market Restrictions article for more information.

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Steam Trading Cards

The Steam Trading Card FAQ is located here:


A purchase for a free to play game is not granting drops

Any item that is listed as DLC in the Steam Store will not grant additional drops for a free to play, trading card enabled game. The only purchases that qualify are those that are completed through the in-game store.

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Steam Trading Policy

What are the best ways to verify a trade to avoid getting scammed?

  • Do not rush the trade. A common tactic by scammers is to force you to trade quickly so they can change items/gifts in the trade without you noticing. Take your time during the trade to avoid getting scammed.
  • Mouse over every item to ensure that the item/gift's properties are correct. Information about the item/gift will be stated here including the quality, name, description and any effects.
  • Pay attention to the trade log while making the trade. All changes, additions, removals and actions will be recorded in this box. You may also use it to communicate with the trader.
  • Do not trade items outside of the trade window. If another user requests that you do, they will likely scam you. Always insist to trade within the trade window in Steam. Wallet credit and money cannot be traded or added to the trade window.
  • Ensure that you are trading with the correct user. Scammers may try to impersonate your friends and other trusted traders. It is your responsibility to know who you are trading with.

What should I not trade for?

Do not trade for anything that cannot be added into the trade window within Steam. The most common examples of these scenarios are the following:

  • Trading items/gifts for money outside of the Steam Community market. You cannot add Wallet credit, PayPal, gift cards or any form of money into the trade window.
  • Trading items/gifts for CD Keys. You cannot add a CD Key into the trade window. CD Keys that are offered can be for a different game, fake, used or region restricted.
  • Trading items/gifts for nothing in return in the first trade and expecting to get an item or gift in a later trade. There is no reason to not trade everything in one trade. You may add unlimited items/gifts to a single trade. A common example of this is using a middleman to facilitate a one sided trade.

What is Steam's policy on returning scammed items/gifts?

Steam will not return any items or gifts that you feel have been traded unfairly. There are no exceptions to this policy. All trades are final. If you were scammed, you may submit a report from the offending user's profile, however contacting Steam Support will not result in the return of any stolen items/gifts. This does not include fraudulently purchased games that you received and were removed from your account. Please see the below question for how we handle fraudulent gift trades.

What if I redeemed a game from a trade that is fraudulently purchased?

If this happens, the account where the fraud took place will be suspended. Your account will not be suspended, however the game you redeemed/unpacked to your account will be removed. We will restore the items/gifts that were associated with the trade that you performed to receive the game as a one-time customer service gesture. If you did not trade any items/gifts for the game directly then we are not able to restore anything to your account (i.e. if the game was a gift). Please contact Steam Support if a game that you traded for is missing from your inventory or account.

What is Steam's policy on returning items that were taken while my account was hijacked?

The use and security of the Steam account is your responsibility. It does not matter if you let someone use the account, or if the account was being used without your knowledge. It is your responsibility to safeguard your account against such activities.

For information on how to safeguard your account, please read our Account Security Recommendations and Account Phishing FAQs.

Why will Steam not return items that were scammed?

During the trade process, Steam asks you to confirm your trade multiple times. It is your responsibility to review the items that you are trading. You first confirm the trade by checking the box that states, "Check this box when ready to trade". Once checked, you cannot add any items to the trade. If you remove an item you will have to re-check the box to confirm that you are ready. Once both users in the trade have checked this box, the final confirmation button will turn green. Both users must click this button to complete the trade. A log of the trade is also kept in a separate chat box within the trade window.

What do I do if I was scammed?

If you are scammed, please use the Report feature built into Steam:

  • Go to the profile of the offending user
  • Click the 'More' drop-down located at the top right of the page
  • Choose "Report Violation"
  • Select the violation (example, "Attempted Trade Scam") and hit "Submit Report"
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Trading and Market Restrictions


Steam Support cannot modify trading or Steam Community Marketplace restrictions in any case. This is regardless of the circumstances under which your account became restricted. Any Steam Support ticket that is submitted with a request to bypass restrictions will be referred to this article and closed.


Types of Restrictions


Steam Guard not enabled

We require Steam Guard to be enabled for 15 days to help protect your items and Steam Wallet funds from being misused by someone who may have illicitly obtained your password. If you have not had Steam Guard enabled for 15 days, you will be unable to trade or use the market. Accounts that currently have Steam Guard disabled will be unable to trade.


Recent password reset

If you reset your password, you will be restricted from trading and the Community Market for 5 days. If your account has not had any activity for more than 2 months, these restrictions will apply for 30 days. We do this to help protect users who lose access to their email account. Note that this does not affect password changes, only password resets.


Newly authorized device

If you are on a newly authorized device that has not been Steam Guarded for 7 days you will receive a 7 day restriction from trading and the Community Market. Any other devices that have been authorized for 7 days will be able to trade or use the Community Market.


Newly added payment method

Only items and games that are purchased with trusted payment methods can be traded immediately; otherwise there is a 7 day cool down before they can be traded. The Steam Community Market will also be unavailable during the cooldown. Any payment method that has been used on the account more than 7 days ago is considered trusted.


Current trade ban

You also may be unable to trade or use the market if your account has been banned from trading by Steam Support. Depending on the severity of the violation, you may receive a temporary or permanent trade ban.


Non-Trusted account

An account must be trusted in order to use the Community Market. To be trusted, the account must have a successful purchase older than thirty days, but not older than a year. The purchase of wallet funds qualifies for becoming trusted.


Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Trading

If a VAC Ban (for any game), cooldown or overwatch ban has been registered on your account, you will no longer have access to the CS:GO store, or be able to make trades for CS:GO items, and you will no longer receive item drops. You will still have access to your items that were acquired before the ban/cooldown.

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