How To Gift a Game From Your Steam Library
These days, gamers love using Steam to keep all their titles in one place. If you’re feeling generous, you can even use Steam to gift a game from your library to a friend. This way, your friend can access the game as long as you permit them.
Initially, Steam allowed users to send games to anyone with an email address. The recipient didn’t need to have a Steam account either. However, this has changed, and today both parties must have a Steam account to access the gifted game or games.
Even so, creating a Steam account is very easy, and with the use of the Android or iOS versions, you can still receive games on the go.
There are three main ways to gift games, and we’ll take a look at the first and most common way – buying a new game as a gift to another person.
This first method allows you to buy a completely new game as a gift to your friends or family members. The recipient must also be friends with you on Steam. If not, send them a Steam friend request first.
These are the steps for gifting a Steam friend games:
- Ensure your friend has an active Steam account and is friends with you on the platform.
- Using either the Steam client or a browser, log in and search for the game you want to gift.
- Select the game and scroll down to the Add to Cart.
- Choose Purchase as A Gift if it appears.
- Choose who you want to gift by typing their Steam username.
- Add a personal message if you wish.
- When done, select Continue and complete the purchase.
- You’ll receive a notification if your friend accepts the gift.
You also have the choice of setting a scheduled delivery for the game. This feature is helpful for surprise gifts such as birthday presents or Christmas. Surprise your friends with a game they’ve always wanted.
How to Gift a Duplicate Game on Steam
Certain games, such as Half-Life 2’s “The Orange Box, Dawn of War Gold Edition,” and certain game packs, contain duplicate copies. These are extra copies that come with the purchase, designed to be shared with friends. To share them, both parties should have a working Steam account.
This is how you send duplicate games on Steam:
- Launch the Steam client on your PC.
- Go to the Games section.
- Locate Manage Gifts and Guest Passes.
- Find the duplicate games you want to gift to your friend.
- Select your preferred delivery method from the two options available.
- Select Next when you’re done.
- You can also send a personalized message at the end.
- You’ll receive a notification when your friend accepts the gift.
Gifting duplicate games can only be done on the Steam launcher. You need to have it installed beforehand. On the web version, the option to manage gifts and guest passes won’t appear.
Give a Steam Wallet Code
If you don’t know which games your friend wants, the option of a Steam Wallet Code is always available. It’s often called a Steam Digital Gift Card as well, as it is labeled on the Steam website. This is effectively sending a voucher so they can pick out a game of their choosing.
Steam Digital Gift Cards come in various “denominations” such as:
To gift a friend more than $100, you can always purchase more than one Gift Card at once. As always, these Gift Cards require a Steam account to work.
To send someone a Steam Wallet Code, please follow these instructions:
- On your Steam client or web version, go to the Steam Store.
- Find the page for Steam Gift Cards.
- Locate the Send Through Steam option.
- Choose how much you want to send to your friend.
- Sign in if prompted.
- Select the friend you want to send the Gift Card to.
- If desired, add a personal message for your friend.
- Select Continue when you’re done.
- The Digital Gift Card should be sent to your friend instantly.
Steam Gift Cards must be purchased with actual currency, and this makes Wallet funds ineligible for payment. You must use PayPal, Bitcoin, or a credit card to purchase these Gift Cards. If your friend doesn’t accept the Gift Card, Steam will refund you in full.
The Steam Gift Cards are also dependent on the sender’s currency and are converted to the recipient’s currency when accepted. You can check the exchange rate to find a good estimate of how much your friend will receive from you.
How to View Gift History on Steam
If you want to see your gift history, follow these steps:
- Open Steam and click on Games in the menu at the top.
- Click on Manage Gifts and Guest Passes in the dropdown menu.
- Click the three-dot icon in the upper right corner.
- Click on View gift history.
- View your gift history.
Here are the answers to more of your questions about sending gifts in Steam.
Can I gift games I no longer play to my friends?
No, you cannot. A game purchased for yourself cannot be gifted to another Steam user in any way. The closest thing you can do to gifting is to share access to your Steam library with your friends.
How can I deliver the gift at a later date?
When you’re purchasing a game to gift to a friend, you will find the option to schedule the game delivery. All you need to do is enter the date you wish to have the game sent to your friend. After you check out, Steam will take care of the process.
Can I include a message along with the gift?
All gift purchases already have the option of including a special message. You’ll be asked if you want to include one during the checkout process. In addition to the main body, you can also add salutations and other greetings.
The special message can be as short as you want or as lengthy as the system allows.
How will I know someone has received their gift?
When your friend accepts any gift you send them, Steam will notify you. The notification can be found on the dashboard or desktop notifications if you enable them.
The Manage Gifts and Guest Passes section also allows you to check gift statuses. You’ll know when your friend accepts or declines the gift.
You’ll also receive an email notifying you of your friend’s decision.
How can I activate a Steam gift?
To activate a Steam gift you received from a friend, you need to click on the notification. Make sure you accept it, or it will be refunded to the sender.
1. Launch Steam.
2. Check your notifications.
3. Click on the corresponding notification.
4. Select Accept Gift.
5. The game will be added to your Steam library immediately.
6. Go to your library and then locate the game.
7. Install it.
8. Once the installation process is complete, you can play the game.
Do gifts expire?
Yes, gifts do expire. You have 30 days to accept the gift and add it to your library. If you don’t accept the gift during these 30 days, it will be automatically rejected.
How do I know if a friend already has the game I’m purchasing for them?
If you’re not sure if your friend already has a certain game, then don’t worry. Valve, the developers of Steam, anticipated this situation. If you want to gift a certain game to your friend, you’ll find their username greyed out if they already own the game.
A Digital Present for You
Sending friends gifts on Steam is very easy, and now that you know how to do it, you’ll be able to surprise them on special occasions. Thankfully, if they don’t want the game, you get your money back. What’s more, Steam won’t let you send the game if they already have it.
How many games do you have in your library? Have you ever sent a friend Steam gifts before? Tell us in the comments section below.