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The Steam Community

Addressing abuse, harassment and other misconduct on Steam

What Options Are Available?

There are different ways to address negative behavior from other players. You'll want to use the options that make the most sense for your situation. We are always interested in hearing about your experience, so if an option is missing, let us know.

  • Reporting Content

    If another player is hosting content that is being used in an abusive or inappropriate manner, we encourage players to utilize our reporting system. Reports are reviewed and typically resolved within 24 hours of submission. You will receive a notification if action is taken.

    Reporting content within the Steam Community

  • Remove Friend

    If you are Steam friends with the other player, you always have the option of ending that relationship. Unfriending will remove the ability for the other player to contact you via Steam, It will also prevent them from viewing any content that you have set to private, or friends only.

    To unfriend someone, navigate to their profile and select the unfriend option under the more dropdown. Alternatively, you can use the dropdown next to their profile name in your friends list, selecting the manage option.

  • Block Communication

    Blocking another player on Steam will prevent them from interacting with you in the following ways:

    • Sending you friend or group invites
    • Sending messages to you through Steam chat
    • Commenting on your profile or community items that you've created

    To block another player, navigate to their profile and select the block all communication option under the more dropdown. Alternatively, you can block players from your friends list, or from your pending invites list.

  • Adjusting Privacy Options

    You can adjust privacy options to manage who can view specific components of your profile, who can comment on it, as well as who can view your inventory.

    View Your Privacy Options

  • Invisible Mode

    You can set your Steam status to Invisible, which will cause you to appear offline to other users. You’ll still be able to view your friends list, send and receive messages and otherwise participate in the community. However, other players won't know you are online. You can set this status from your Steam Friends list next to your profile avatar.

  • In-game Resources

    Many games feature in-game reporting systems designed to mitigate player abuse within that game's community. Players are encouraged to utilize these systems and submit information via in-game reports.

  • Contact Your Local Authorities

    You can use all of these features to manage negative behavior within the community, but if you ever feel that you are in danger, we strongly encourage you to contact law enforcement in your area.

Best Practices

We always recommend that players engage in responsible behavior while using Steam. Doing so will decrease the likelihood of your account being the target of malicious activities.

  • Keep Your Personal Info Safe

    Many different types of malicious activity rely on access to your personal information. Never post personally identifiable information on Steam, even in private chats or other areas that you might think are safe. Someone else can always decide to make this content public.

    You should also review your Steam privacy options and be aware of what components of your profile are public.

  • Protect Your Account

    Account security is something that you can control. Take advantage of Steam's security features and never let other players access your account.

    You can find more information and resources in our dedicated Account Security Recommendations article.

  • Engage In Responsible Steam Behavior

    Make sure that you are following the Steam Rules & Guidelines and that you are not engaging in activities that violate the Steam subscriber agreement. Activities like this will potentially expose your account to other bad actors, making it a target of malicious activity.

  • Unfriending and Leaving Groups

    Don't participate in groups or befriend users that are involved in harassment, scamming, or other malicious activities. Associating with players or groups that are involved in inappropriate activity will increase the likelihood that you become a target.

  • Don’t Engage The Other Party

    Whether it's scamming, harassment, spamming or any other malicious activity, do not engage the party that is responsible. A reaction typically results in even more dedication to the activity by the other party. We recommend ignoring the behavior and utilizing the appropriate resources outlined in this FAQ.

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Error: Maximum Number of Groups Reached

Why am I getting a max group limit error when trying to join a group?

Once you have joined 1,000 Steam groups, you will be unable to join any more groups. This limit does not include groups that you have created or official game groups.

How can I join more groups?

To join more groups, please leave as many groups as needed to be below the limit. Navigate to your groups page and click "Leave Group" next to the respective group(s).

Remember, Official Game Groups that you are following do not count towards the limit - there is no need to leave or unfollow them.

Is this limit dependent on my Steam Level?

No, your steam level only affects your friends limit.

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Reporting content within the Steam Community

How to report inappropriate content

User Profiles/Avatars

  1. Navigate to the user's Steam Community profile
  2. Click on the large "More" button in the upper-right corner of the page
  3. Select "Report Violation" from the dropdown
  4. Select a category of abuse and enter a brief description of the abuse

Community Groups

  1. Navigate to the group's main Steam Community page
  2. Click on the "Report Violation" button in the right sidebar
  3. Select a category of abuse and enter a brief description of the violation

User Generated Content ( Reviews. Screenshots, Artwork, Workshop, etc.)

  1. Select the content that you wish to report
  2. Click the "gear" at the right side of the page
  3. Select "Report" from the available options
  4. Enter a brief description of the violation including any relevant context

Steam Discussions

  1. Navigate to the content that you want to report
  2. Click on the "flag" icon in the upper-right corner of the post
  3. Enter a brief description of the abuse

How to report abusive behavior

  1. Navigate to the user's Steam Community profile
  2. Click on the large "more" button in the upper-right corner of the page
  3. Select "Report Violation" from the dropdown
  4. Select a category of abuse and enter a brief description of the abuse

Learn more on how to address abuse, harassment and other misconduct on Steam:

What options are available?

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Rules and Guidelines For Steam: Discussions, Reviews, and User Generated Content

General Rules

Do not do any of the following:

  • Flame or insult other members
  • Bypass any filters
  • Abuse or encourage abuse of the Post Reporting System
  • Post personally identifiable information (i.e. name, address, email, phone number, etc.)
  • Bump threads
  • Derail a thread's topic
  • Post links to phishing sites
  • Post spam (i.e. +1, 10char, rickrolls) or Re-post Closed, Modified, Deleted Content
  • Repetitively post in the incorrect forum (example: trade requests belong in trading forum)
  • Openly argue with a moderator
  • Artificially manipulate the User Review system or voting/rating systems

Content Rules

Do not post any content on Steam containing the following:

  • Porn, inappropriate or offensive content, warez or leaked content or anything else not safe for work
  • Any discussion of piracy will result in a permanent ban from the Steam Community including, but not limited to:
    • Cracks
    • Key generators
    • Console emulators
  • Cheating, hacking, game exploits
  • Threats of violence or harassment, even as a joke
  • Posted copyright material such as magazine scans
  • Soliciting, begging, auctioning, raffling, selling, advertising, referrals
  • Racism, discrimination
  • Abusive language, including swearing
  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Religious, political, and other “prone to huge arguments” threads

No Backseat Moderating

Let the moderators do the moderating. Backseat moderating is when people who are not moderators try to enforce the forum rules. If you see a person breaking the rules, take advantage of the Report () button or simply ignore the offensive post(s), thread, or review. 

Report Posts to Moderators

Should you observe a fellow Community member breaking these rules please report the post or item by clicking the Report () button located on every item, post, and review.

Repeated Offenders

Repeated offenders of the above rules and guidelines will be banned from the Steam Community. Any moderator has the ability to ban a user for violating the rules at their discretion.

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Steam Community Avatars

Trouble uploading avatars

If there is extremely high traffic on the Steam Network or if the network is temporarily off-line, you may not be able to upload or change your Steam Avatar immediately.  Please wait a while before trying again.


Avatar Size Restrictions

  • The maximum file size is 1024kb.
  • The original image may be any resolution as long as the file size is under 1024kb.  Steam Community will automatically resize the image to a square 184, 64, and 32 pixels.

If your file size is too large, you will receive the following error:


The file you tried to upload was too large. Please upload a file smaller than 1024kb.




What images can I upload as my avatar?

You may upload any image as long as it is not offensive, vulgar, or specifically prohibited in the Steam Online Conduct rules.  Your avatar may be removed and you may be banned from the Steam Community if your avatar is inappropriate.


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Steam Community Groups

Group Creation & Management

Once you've decided to create a group, you can begin the process here.

Any non-Limited account can own up to 10 groups.

Changing Group Names

Make sure to decide on a unique name and abbreviation. Group names cannot be changed once the group has been created.

Deleting Groups

When all members have left a group, the group will automatically be deleted by the system. Groups cannot be manually deleted.

Transferring Ownership

When the current owner leaves the group, the oldest Officer (by join date) will be promoted to owner. If no eligible Officers are available, the oldest Moderator will inherit ownership. If there are no Moderators in the group, the oldest group member will be promoted to owner. The ownership of a group cannot be manually transferred.

Group Membership

There are three types of Steam community groups, each with different membership rules.

  • Public group – Users can join on their own or via an invite from a friend.
  • Restricted group – Users can join by requesting membership. They can also receive an invite from a user that has permission to add members.
  • Closed group – This is the most restricted group. Users can only join via invites. Users cannot request to join these groups.
How to change these settings?
  • Login to your Steam account.
  • Select GROUPS and click the Visit admin page link next to the group you wish to edit.
  • Select the Edit group permissions tab and click the circle next to the desired Group Type to change it.
Inviting Members

You can invite friends to your group directly from their Steam community profile. There is an invite option within the More dropdown button near the top-right.

In order to reduce spam, group invites are limited to friends of the invitee.

Requesting Access

Users requesting access to restricted groups will be added to the group's pending request list.

To manage pending group requests, group owners (or officers/moderators if given permission) can find the Manage Group Requests page from their Admin Tools section on the right-hand side of the group page.

If someone has been denied entry into a group, the only way for them to join in the future is to receive an invite from a member who has invite permissions.

Promoting Members

There are four levels of membership within each group: Owner, Officer, Moderator and Member.

Each member type has its own unique privileges that can be changed by the group's owner:

  • Login to your Steam Community Profile and navigate to your group homepage.
  • From the Admin Tools window at the right, select Manage Group Members.
  • Clicking the star next to users will cycle between the various membership levels.
Kicking Members

Members can be kicked from groups. This will prevent those users from accessing the group in the future without a direct invite from another group member.

  • Select the Manage Members tab and click the X next to the user you wish to remove from your group.

Group Permissions

Each group has permissions that can be customized for each type of member. You'll want to make sure that you check this page at least once, so that you understand what features are available to your members, officers and moderators.

How to change these settings?
  • Login to your Steam account.
  • Select GROUPS and click the Visit admin page link next to the group you wish to edit.
  • Select the Edit group permissions tab and chose which permissions you wish to grant to the members of your group.
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Steam Community Overlay

What can the overlay be used for?

  • In-game purchasing

    If a game offers micro-transactions, item purchases, or any other type of in-game purchasing, the Steam overlay will be required. The overlay enables the game to communicate with Steam and allow your purchase to be made while playing.

  • Friend, game & group invites

    You can access your friends list, Steam chat, as well as group/game invites while in the overlay. Some games utilize the overlay for party and matchmaking invites. If it is not enabled, the invites will not work.

  • Screenshots

    Steam allows screenshots to be captured in-game by using the default keybinding of F12. This feature requires the overlay to capture the screenshots. The screenshots can be accessed in-game by using the overlay as well.

  • Trading & Market features

    Many games with in-game inventory systems will use the overlay to allow players access to inventory features while in the game. If a game supports trading or market purchasing while in-game, the Steam overlay will be required.

  • Other community features

    The overlay interface gives access to most other features that are available through the Steam website. Along with access to these features specifically, the overlay has a built in web browser.

Common Issues

Overlay Not Opening

The overlay interface does not open when pressing its default shortcut (Shift+Tab).

The first thing you'll want to do is make sure that the Overlay is actually enabled and that your keybinding is correct. Specific instructions can be found below.

If the overlay is still not opening, make sure to follow all the Basic and Advanced steps in this article.

Overlay Freezes or Becomes Unresponsive

Because the overlay is a supplemental component of the game you are playing, it will be automatically closed should your system's resources come under heavy load.

You'll want to make sure that your system is in a good state by updating all major drivers, limiting the amount of programs running during gameplay, as well as updating your operating system to its latest version.

Detailed steps can be found in the troubleshooting sections below.

Enabling the Steam Overlay

Steam has a global setting that will enable or disable the Steam overlay:

Open the Steam client and navigate to the Steam > Settings/Preferences > In-game tab. Check the box next to Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game.

Additionally, each Steam game has its own setting for the overlay's functionality:

Right-click the game in your Library > Select Properties > Under the General tab, check the box next to Enable the Steam Overlay while in-game

Steam Overlay Shortcut Keys

The Steam shortcut allows the overlay to be opened in-game. You'll want to double check that you have it set correctly.

The default shortcut is Shift + Tab. To change the shortcut select Steam > Settings > In-game

Basic Steam Troubleshooting

The following steps will ensure that Steam is in a good state for the overlay to work. These can be performed with a minimal amount of technical knowledge.

Restart Computer

It's always a good first step to make sure that you restart Steam as well as your computer.

Restarting the computer flushes all kinds of system states and caches, while resetting other programs and releasing locks on files and other resources.

Verify Local Game Files

Sometimes files on hard-disks and other storage devices become corrupted. Some of these files may be associated with the way the game utilizes the overlay. Verifying local files can fix this.

Find Game in Library -> Right click -> Properties -> Local Files -> Verify Integrity of Game Files

Reinstall Steam

The Steam installer can be downloaded here and reinstalled to the same location where it is already installed.

This will ensure that all files required by the Steam overlay are in a good state. This process will have no effect on your installed games.

WARNING! Uninstalling Steam will delete all game content.

Advanced Troubleshooting

If the overlay is still working correctly after following the fixes outlined above, it is possible that something outside of Steam is responsible.

Because these are advanced troubleshooting steps, we highly recommend that you contact a local IT support specialist in your area for further assistance with these steps.

Investigate Firewalls

Certain firewalls may prevent Steam from communicating with the game that requires it. You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to ensure that the Firewall is not interfering. You may even need to temporarily disable it for testing purposes. It may be necessary to add exceptions in your firewalls for Steam.

Investigate Anti-Virus Software

AV software hooks very deep into user systems and can affect disk and network operations which will cause issues with Steam. Some games also use copy protection technology that can appear as malicious software to an AV scanner, resulting in potential false-positive alerts.

You'll want to work with a tech support specialist to ensure that your AV software is not interfering with Steam. You may even need to temporarily disable it for testing purposes. It may also be necessary to add exceptions for Steam in your AV configuration (for example, excluding Steam Library folders from live monitoring services).

Investigate Other Programs Interfering

Any software that modifies or monitors system, disk or network activity can cause issues with the Overlay's functionality. These programs and services can run in the background and are typically associated with software like Anti-Virus, ad-blockers, web-optimizers, firewalls, system cleaners, recording software, proxies, performance boosters etc.

You'll want to work with a specialist to ensure that no outside software is interfering with the Steam Overlay.

Upgrade Your System

If your system is at or below the required or recommended specifications for the game, the overlay may have difficulty functioning correctly.

You'll want to work with a specialist in your area to consider upgrading your operating system, or even the hardware that your system uses.

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Steam Friends List

Adding friends

While every player on Steam can receive friend invites, limited user accounts cannot send friend invites.

There are three ways to add friends - one directly from a profile and the other two from your friend management page:

  • Search the community for other players
  • Link your Facebook account to find friends on Steam
  • Navigate directly to another profile and select 'add friend'

Troubleshooting friend issues

If you're having issues adding another player as a friend, it could be one of the following issues:

Accounts not permitted to add friends

If your account is considered Limited, you wont be able to send invites

Pending invites not accepted

Once an invite is sent, the other player will have a pending invite in their own friends list. You should double check with the other user to make sure that they received it. You should also make sure that you are sending the invite to the correct player.

Someone is blocked

It's always possible that the other user has ignored or blocked your invite. If this is the case, it might appear to you that the system is not working as intended. You'll want to check with the other player to see if this is the case.

Steam Support won't bypass friend blocks, or even disclose if someone else blocked you.

Someone has reached max friends

If either player has reached maximum friend count, no new invites will be received or sent.

Keep in mind that friend count includes not only players on your friends list, but also any outstanding invites that you have sent. Cancelling outstanding sent invites will free up room for more friends.

How to unblock a user

If you've accidentally blocked someone and would like to unblock, you can use either of the following methods:

Unblocking via friends list

  • In the Steam application, click on VIEW FRIENDS LIST in the lower-right corner.
  • The blocked user will be listed at the bottom of your friends list in orange.
  • Right-click on the user and select "unblock."

Unblocking via your profile:

  • From your Steam profile page, select "Friends," and then navigate to the "Blocked Users" tab.
  • Check the user(s) that you would like to unblock and select "Unblock"
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Steam Guides

What games/software can I create guides for?

You can create a guide for any game or software that you have in your Steam Library.


Where do I find guides that I created?

There are two ways you can locate guides that you've created:

From your Steam Community profile:

  1. In the Steam Community, go to your profile. (Click "Profile" in the main Steam navigation directly below "Community")
  2. In the right column, you will see a list of links. Click on "Guides" to view your guides.

From the 'guides' section for a specific game/software:

  1. In the community hub for a game or software, click the "Guides" tab
  2. In the right column, you will see a section for "Your Guides" and a link to "Guides you've made"


Are there guidelines for what can and can't be included in guides?

For more information on this please click here to read the full Rules and Guidelines for Steam Guides.

You can also find more information on guides here:

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Steam Profile Privacy

There are three states of profile privacy: Public, Friends Only, and Private. Each state has additional subcategories to control how you appear to other members of the Steam community.

If you are logged in to Steam, you can change your Privacy Settings by navigating to your Profile Privacy Settings Page.

Alternatively, you can navigate to the Profile Privacy Settings page manually:

  1. From your Steam Profile, click the Edit Profile link under your displayed badge.
  2. Click the My Privacy Settings tab
  3. Select your privacy state
  4. Click the Save button
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You've been posting too frequently

If you are a limited user, you do not have the ability to create new threads. Instead, you can reply to existing threads (we recommend using the search feature to find an existing thread on your topic).

For more information on limited user restrictions, please see our Limited User FAQ.

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Your account has been blocked from participating in the Steam Community.

This message indicates that you have been blocked from using the Steam Community due to breaking the Rules and Guidelines for Steam or as a result of a lock placed on your account. If your account has been locked, please login to your Steam account and click on the red Steam alert banner for more information and for the length of the restriction. The block may be related but is not limited to:

  • The use of graphic or otherwise inappropriate avatars, screenshots, artwork etc.

  • Spamming the community

  • Inappropriate language

  • Harassing other users

  • Continuing to post moderated content

  • Posting content related to racism or other forms of bigotry

For more information, please contact Steam Support using the button on the right.

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