Steam now limits community features until you spend $5

By Scorpus ยท 24 replies
Apr 21, 2015
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  1. Valve has made some changes to the way they handle user accounts on their Steam game distribution platform. From now on, if you don't spend at least $5 on the service in some form, you will have a range of community features disabled until you do so.

    If you've already spent at least $5 on games in the Steam store, or you have $5 or more in your Steam Wallet, the changes won't affect you and you'll still have full access to Steam's many features. As many people will have taken advantage of Steam's popular sales throughout the years, quite a number of users will see no change to their account status.

    However, if you fail to meet the new spending criteria, you will find yourself unable to send friend invites, post in discussions, vote on Greenlight games, or gain Trading Cards, among other things. Basically, your account is locked down and severely limited until you spend $5 through the service.

    Valve says that these changes are meant to prevent abuse. The company discovered many malicious accounts operating in the community hadn't spent any money on Steam, as they were essentially throwaway accounts. "Due to this being a common scenario we have decided to restrict certain community features until an account has met or exceeded $5.00 USD in Steam", the company said.

    Valve has also clarified that certain actions will not remove the limitations on a user's account. If someone activates a retail game or a game key through Steam, plays a free game, or redeems a Steam gift, the $5 threshold will not be met and the account in question will remain locked down.

    Permalink to story.

  2. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    Seems fair to me! I wouldn't care if they made it $20.
  3. I'm pretty sure I passed the 10 year usage mark as I am a steam user since day one of the half life 2 release. However I have not spent a single penny through the steam services in those 10 years. All my games are disc based or have been free downloads. So does this mean I will not be able to message friends soon I wonder? Probably not but I can't help thinking that a better way would have been to ensure that registered users had played say 50 or 100 combined hours of any of their games? That would surely have been a pita for any spammers having to make 100's of accounts?
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    This means nothing to me. I wouldn't care if they made it $5000. I only have Steam on my machine because I'm forced to have it for some of the games I own and in the 10 years I've been a member I've never once made any use of any of their features or spent a cent on them. My friends on Steam=0.
    The Chad likes this.
  5. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,668   +1,101

    while restricting even when you bought retail games does indeed seem weird and I'm against it, I'm sure you'll find a way to get 5$ in your wallet :D
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    Yes, even those with malicious accounts. So in the long run this will solve nothing.
  7. SirGCal

    SirGCal TS Maniac Posts: 365   +136

    This has been setup for quite some time. Well over a year. This is super old news. Perhaps whoever thought up the topic had one of the accounts with the middle access where they still had access for a while or something? Dunno. But got a new friend on Steam in the Christmas 2013 area and he had the same issues. So we bought something cheap. For steam nay-sayers... you're nuts. Don't cheat in your games and there is zero personal threat. I've only got a mild ~600 game count ATM, but also none of them cost more then $10. Most of them $2 or groups of them for $2 in bundles.
  8. BlueDrake

    BlueDrake TS Evangelist Posts: 378   +112

    It's a welcome addition to Steam though. Might be some reshuffling of things, to further restrict new accounts? Getting spammed by level 0 private accounts is annoying, when you can tell it's yet another scam account. Should raise the requirement entirely, and hopefully keep other things locked down also. $5 isn't much to some people, but across accounts it can add up. Unless you have ways of recovering said costs at least.

    It's been on a few other tech sites, so I'm wondering if things were recently shuffled. Or this was a slow news day, and happened to gain traction from some source. Either way it's a good thing for some people, to actually at least know of said limitations. :p
  9. lipe123

    lipe123 TS Evangelist Posts: 718   +236

    It is kind of annoying to be honest.

    I just convinced a friend to play game with me, I wanted them to register on steam and send them the game as a gift and couldn't.
    In the end I had to sign in their account and buy the game there before we could even add each other as friends.
  10. Experimentongod

    Experimentongod TS Maniac Posts: 269   +111

    I hope this helps eliminate the random level 0 scammers with private profiles that try to add you as friend for no apparent reason (I get about 3-4 a week).
    Adhmuz and Vrmithrax like this.
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    That would prove nothing when any game can be logged into without actually playing the game. Game play times can be faked. Even steam levels to a small extent can be faked, with little effort and without actually playing a game.
  12. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

    It also took me 7 years to pass 1000 hours played on my Steam account - and almost 600 of those hours were on an old MMO. That means as an avg it would take me 1-2 years to become an unrestricted account based on that criteria Guest. BTW - not having an unrestricted account doesn't mean I can't use Steam - it just removes some of the community features. I may need to come up with a plan to make sure my kids' accounts and my server account don't become restricted but we're only talking a $15 investment at most. I normally buy my kids' games and just gift them from my account but maybe next time I'll just buy their games on their accounts so they have some transaction history.
  13. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 2,108   +1,286

    It's going to make spammers think first before creating accounts. How many accounts can you really make if you have to spend $5 on each? If they are only going to last a short while, your business is no longer profitable.
    Vrmithrax likes this.
  14. YEs agreed! Should be more then 5.00!

    Get rid of the dead beats so they can go play with their consoles!
  15. m4a4

    m4a4 TS Evangelist Posts: 955   +515

    Considering Steam is a digital games purchase platform first, I don't see a problem with this...
  16. "Considering Steam is a digital games purchase platform first, I don't see a problem with this...
    Translation: "it doesn't affect me so I don't give a **** about anyone else"
    Surprise surprise.
  17. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,276   +461

  18. Forg0t2

    Forg0t2 TS Booster Posts: 147   +25

    Hmm, hope not. $20 won't really hurt me because I spend more on steam games but nowadays I mostly play free games on steam and I can imagine that some people only use steam because of free to play games. If they suddenly can't invite friends and stuff that would be annoying.
  19. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    Well retail games with cheap bundles everywhere doesn't make much sense, they can get those same retail games through scams, or who knows, everything can be bypassed BUT charging you, the only way they can is through steam wallet and I'm pretty sure this is the reason why you can't send wallet funds, to avoid fraudulent usage (Although you actually can "send" money through buying/selling overpriced items on the market, but Steam will get it's cut =P)
  20. CaptainTom

    CaptainTom TS Maniac Posts: 306   +132

    Good. Weeds out the bots and fake accounts.

    Console? No deadbeat can afford that! A true person who is slumming it will have a $300 budget build and only buy humble bundles and super-sale games.
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2015
    H3rmit and cliffordcooley like this.
  21. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    Hahaha, I had the same thought.
  22. H3rmit

    H3rmit TS Rookie

    Im cool with this. im tired of scamers posting links shady sites.
  23. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 3,286   +903

    Damned be those links to shady sites... so irresistible to click on'em...
  24. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,730   +3,703

    Yes it is irritating to be forced into watching your step as you walk through your own house, or risk stepping on something that could be hazardous to your health. Please stop acting as if this is not a serious issue that doesn't need cleaning up or at least attempted to be cleaned.
  25. MannerMauler

    MannerMauler TS Addict Posts: 183   +44

    Is this account value or steam wallet? I was gifted DST by a sibling, but haven't spent any money on steam my self.

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