Steam Policy Limits What Low-Spending Accounts Can Do


Valve is finally taking action to help stop and prevent spammers from using their beloved Steam platform for their malicious purposes. A new policy seems to have been implemented that might help curb spam-like activity.

Valve implements a new policy on Steam that limits the actions of accounts that have spent less than $5.

In order to hinder the ability of spammer and other malicious people from using Steam, they have created a policy that requires accounts to have spent $5 or more in order to be active in the community. Those accounts can also have a minimum of $5 actively in their Steam wallet in order to take place in the community.

What features are unavailable to me?

Limited users are prevented from accessing several features on Steam, including but not limited to:

  • 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

Activating a game on Steam, playing demo's, any free-to-play game or activating gifted games won't unlock your account, either. You'll have to actually purchase something on Steam itself or transfer money into your wallet.

What will not grant me access to the above features?

The below actions will not remove limited user restrictions:

  • Activating a retail game on Steam
  • Playing free demos
  • Adding a non-Steam game as a shortcut
  • Adding/playing promotional trials like Free Weekends
  • Free to Play games (Examples: Alien Swarm, free versions of Portal and Team Fortress 2)
  • Activating promotional CD Keys from hardware or graphic card manufacturers

Valve's platform has been used as a spear-phishing platform to try to entice gamers to download seemingly innocuous and useful pieces of software but serving up loads of malware instead. Spammers did this by setting up a Steam page and using that page to host links to other more malicious pages across the Internet.

Will this new policy actually curb the problem with spam? Because of the limited number of ways to transfer money into Steam, it might actually have a positive impact. Those methods that are available can be tracked with enough dedication and they don't currently accept crypto-currencies, so the danger's and possibility of getting caught increase by an order of a magnitude. That doesn't mean it's not possible to transfer money anonymously, but that it's significantly more difficult. So we'll still see the dedicated spammers setting up the occasional page, but certainly not nearly as many.