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Valve's refund policy applies to No Man's Sky, just like every other PC game

A Reddit thread that blew up over the weekend led Valve to restate its refund policy.


Over the weekend, a thread on No Man's Sky's popular sub-Reddit popped up claiming that Valve would issue refunds no matter how much time one had accrued playing the game. The thread garnered over 5,000 up-votes, gaining more than enough traction for Valve to restate its refund policy on the game's Steam page (via PC Gamer).

Per those guidelines, Valve will issue a refund on any game, for any reason, "if the request is made within fourteen days of purchase, and the title has been played for less than two hours." However, the policy goes on to state that "even if you fall outside of the refund rules we’ve described, you can ask for a refund anyway and we’ll take a look."

What that means, in effect, is that Valve invites you to try your luck requesting a refund even if you've sunk 30 hours into No Man's Sky or any other game.

That's where some confusion appears to lie. Whether because of the massive Reddit thread or myriad claims of technical issues with the PC port and false advertising on the part of Hello Games, players grew to believe that No Man's Sky was some sort of special exception to Valve's rules. It isn't. Some players simply found success appealing for refunds outside of guidelines, perhaps because of the game's popularity and glut of coverage, while others did not.

Editor's Opinion: It's easy to fall into one of two schools of thought on this issue: that Valve should make their guidelines ironclad, or that exceptions should be made for players claiming to have an issue that falls "outside of the refund rules," as Valve puts it.

While I'm more inclined to agree with the former way of thinking than the latter, PC Gamer editor James Davenport points out that what's good for the goose may not be good for the gander. PC games come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, and styles, with X factors like marketing and hype stemming from community fervency holding weight in the equation to determine if a game is worthwhile for each individual consumer. Instead of pre-ordering, wait for reviews from like-minded critics or streamers before putting up cash.

And if you've played 30+ hours of any game, you probably shouldn't expect Valve to dry your tears and give you your money back.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    August 29, 2016 1:41 PM

    David Craddock posted a new article, Valve's refund policy applies to No Man's Sky, just like every other PC game

    • reply
      August 29, 2016 1:46 PM

      Wonder if even Valve is pissed at them.

    • reply
      August 29, 2016 1:47 PM


      Seems like a lot of people put quite a few hours into it, then suddenly realized they are supposed to hate the game (because reddit told them so) and now they are bent out of shape that they don't qualify for a refund.

      • reply
        August 29, 2016 2:19 PM

        I don't think it's unreasonable for somebody to spend more than two hours on the first planet, then go somewhere else and see it's just the same thing all over again, and then feel a bit cheated.

        • reply
          August 29, 2016 2:20 PM

          People were returning the game with 30+ hours on the clock.

          • reply
            August 29, 2016 2:23 PM

            Yeah, and those people are clearly abusing the system. But 2 hours? Probably not a reasonable cut off time for this game.

      • reply
        August 29, 2016 2:19 PM

        I'm not saying you aren't right as well though. I imagine a lot of people have done just that.

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      August 29, 2016 3:00 PM

      I think the only time a refund after 2 hours is valid is when a patch drops that technically breaks the game and the developer shows no interest in re-patching. And to be clear, I'm talking issues like the game will not launch, FPS drops by 50%, or BSOD.

      NMS is more stable and performs better with every patch, so if you've played more than 2 hours, tough luck.

      • reply
        August 30, 2016 7:51 AM

        Another valid reason is when a game has a ton of cutscenes in the beginning, like where you have to watch one for an hour in Metal Gear Solid or Final Fantasy.

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