PSA: You Now Need To Spend $5 To Use Certain Steam Features

Jason Winter
By Jason Winter, News Editor


Most of us have spent ungodly amounts of money purchasing games on Steam, but if you only use it to play free-to-play games, you might now be shut out from gaining full access to Valve's gaming platform.

In an effort to combat people who make and discard free accounts for illegal activities like phishing, Valve has now instituted a restriction on accounts until they spend at least $5 with Steam. Among the features you'll be locked out from include sending friend invites, participating in the Steam Market, voting on Greenlight games, and opening group chat. Activating a game on Steam that you purchased elsewhere or received as a gift will not remove these restrictions -- you need to spend money directly with Steam.

Valve's rationale for making this change is explained thusly:

Malicious users often operate in the community on accounts which have not spent any money, reducing the individual risk of performing the actions they do. One of the best pieces of information we can compare between regular users and malicious users are their spending habits as typically the accounts being used have no investment in their longevity.

Like I said, I'd imagine that just about every legitimate player using Steam meets the $5 requirement, but there will be outlier cases. Is this going to affect you?

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In this article: Steam, Valve.

About the Author

Jason Winter
Jason Winter, News Editor
Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.

Discussion (46)

Trok 7 years ago
steam = scam. you do not wn the game you buy, you cant reurn them even when they do not work, you can not sell them, trade them, cunstomer support is a joke, it is full with garbage free to play, facebook, early access scam games
censorship on forums, fake reviews , overpriced games = digital download even more expensive then hard copy etc.
steam is a joke

View 1 reply
ama8o8 7 years ago
People over react over $5 the hell...but idk if its enough....these people can easily make an account and spend $5 easily. I say they should make it like "spend $60 to use all features".

aegnosis 7 years ago
I want to play Skyforge because it seams kinds next gen mmo n i wanna try that so hard

Nashah 7 years ago
This seems pretty fair overall. People are making a big deal out of nothing. They are limiting you from doing what? Sending friend invites, using the steam market, using the greenlight feature (woopdedoo, in fact this may keep some underhanded developers from making multiple accounts and voting for their game), and opening a group chat.

I imagine the two most annoying things for most legitimate players would be being unable to send friend invites or opening a group chat. The thing is if you have friends you could just have them send you a friend invite or have them add you into a group chat. While this may be annoying this by no means will keep you from being in contact with your friends.

MMOGirl 7 years ago
Even steam went p2w now ! All going down the drain ! Dumb a-holes.

View 1 reply
Jellopy 7 years ago
Hate to say it but I 100% back valves decision, my account was hit for 240 bucks by one of these a-holes about four months ago. Fortunately it was resolved and the money put back in my bank but I am glad to see them taking action to lock them out for good.

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Lizzo 7 years ago
Its not like they stop you from playing the game, but then again five dollars doesn't seem like enough to fix the problem. Which kind of makes it look like a more of a ...... quick little cash grab. With that being said something definitely needs to be done about this problem, so all and all I agree with the idea.

commanderhavoc 7 years ago
Well as long as it leads to less of those annoying scammers and bots, then I don't see any problems with this at all.

cakabawz 7 years ago
Steam is the malicious user, not the people. If you pay attention, they introduced a gambling system where purchasing and playing games on their platform, unlocks virtual loot. In your profile inventory you can sell these items or play/gamble with them. By setting up a p2w internal gaming system, they invited this to themselves. THIS IS WHY PEOPLE SELL ACCOUNTS. Not because of your games or friendlist. Steam is a horrible over priced platform. Gamefly has less expensive games.

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E 7 years ago
Confused how adding this 5 dollars is going to help with anything. With the amount of money people make phishing information or stealing account or whatever, why would 5 dollars stop them? I don't get it.

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kori228 7 years ago
I don't like this at all. I haven't payed anything for any games but I do play games and yet I'm getting restricted. Sure I don't pay, but at least there should be a system for playtime or something for free players.

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click73s 7 years ago
i think it good plan
90% of steam users have spent money on games from steam
i also think it will cut down on scams ,fake invite, spam and so on
$5 buck to help stop this is worth it to me

View 1 reply
Chirpes 7 years ago
On average I get 5 invites from "[Unassigned]" bot scammers every single day, so yeah, anything to reduce that number without having to disable invites altogether is something I would pay any price for... Even $5. (Which has been paid for me waaaaay long ago.)

Let 'em pay $25 a day to contact me, I won't even be mad then.

View 1 reply
hawkfun 7 years ago
Well i dont see the problem with the $5 plus less cheap scammers adding trying something they wont get.

fromhelll 7 years ago
I seen so many dumb ass complains about this since the news came out a couple days ago, people just like to over react everytime any changes are made to anything, always coming up with some BS story about how the one thing that was changed was the only thing they actually enjoyed, and their lives will now be ruined because of it. Yes it may be fair for some (very few i suspect), but some thing had to be done to try to control the Greenlight voting, and the scamming, which honestly is really your own fault, i don't see how people get scammed with the way Steam trades are made, and if you're dumb enough to give out your password then you deserve to get screwed.
I've spent well over $5 so it won't affect me, I was pretty annoyed with all the random invites I receive each week, and with all the shitty games that get Greenlit so I think it's for the best. This may not end up fixing everything, but you won't know unless you try, it's better than not doing anything.

View 1 reply
Henry Lu 7 years ago
This will only punish legit players. Scammers will know just deposit 5 dollars into their account and keep on scamming people.

View 2 replies
idontlikemyname 7 years ago
What about the people who already spend more then 5$? before they set up this you will get full acces? or do you need to spend another 5$?

View 2 replies
Swiffty 7 years ago
I Started using steam back in 2009 since then i have spent well over 5 dollars maybe $500 lol anyways if its what they need to do to stop spammers and hackers on steam so be it. Plus i don't know how much more of those's fake friends invites i can take good lord .

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