Steam To Limit Free Account Access

Steam have chosen to limit certain features to accounts that have spent less than $5 in the Steam Store. They have chose to limit access to protect their customers from malicious spambots and phishing attempts. I’m sure many of you have experienced random accounts sending you friend requests and inviting you to trade. Hopefully these measures, while an annoyance to legitimate users, will put a stop to scammers.

The only issue I can see with Steam going down this route is the limitation to users who buy their games retail or users who only play free-to-play games. Unfortunately it seems that these gamers are in too much of a minority to be considered. Personally I know of a few people who this will effect and they will not be too happy at this news, however, it seems that scamming has gotten so out of control on Steam that this has become a necessary measure.

The features that will be unavailable to users who do not pay $5 on their accounts are as follows:

  • Sending friend invites
  • Opening group chat
  • Voting on Greenlight, Steam Reviews and Workshop items
  • Participating in the Steam Market
  • Posting frequently in the Steam Discussions
  • Gaining Steam Profile Levels (Locked to level 0) and Trading Cards
  • Submitting content on the Steam Workshop
  • Posting in an item’s Steam Workshop Discussions
  • Accessing the Steam Web API
  • Using browser and mobile chat

The only ways to grant your account full access are as follows:

  • Adding the equivalent of $5 USD or more to your Wallet
  • Purchasing game(s) that are equal to $5 USD or more from the store
  • Adding a Steam Wallet card to your Steam account
  • Purchasing a gift that is equal to $5 USD or more from the Steam store (Receiving a Steam gift from a friend doesn’t count)
  • Each purchase total will be tracked in USD. If your store’s currency isn’t in USD, it will be tracked and converted to USD automatically using daily exchange rates.

Ultimately this will¬†not put a stop to scamming on Steam – $5 isn’t exactly breaking the bank. I’m sure scammers will pay it to continue taking advantage¬†off of unsuspecting gamers. I’ve seen several comments from people wishing it was higher, along with several complaints saying this isn’t going to do anything in the long run. Only time will tell if this is an effective solution.

More information on the restrictions available at this location.

Andrew Brennan
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