Steam Adds $US5 Minimum Spend To Unlock Limited User Accounts

Valve already had a number of restrictions on new Steam accounts to curb spam bots and other mischievous behaviour. However, it appears the developer was unsatisfied with its current measures and has applied a new clamp to fresh users — a $US5 minimum spend.

Steam's FAQ on limited user accounts was recently updated, as Reddit user "KillahInstinct" reports. If you head over to the page, you'll see the requirement has been added as the article's second question:

How do I gain access to these features?

You will need to spend at least $5.00 USD within the Steam store.

Some examples of purchases that grant access to these features are:

  • Adding the equivalent of $5 USD or more to your Steam Wallet
  • Purchasing game(s) that are equal to $5 USD or more from the Steam store
  • Adding a Steam Wallet card to your Steam account
  • Purchasing a Steam gift that is equal to $5 USD or more from the Steam store (Receiving a Steam gift from a friend doesn't count)

Each Steam purchase total will be tracked in USD. If your Steam store's currency isn't in USD, it will be tracked and converted to USD automatically using daily exchange rates.

Previously, limited accounts could be upgraded by purchasing any game, activating a Steam gift or completing a micro-transaction. As of now, you'll have no choice but to spend money to access all of Steam's features, most notably posting on forums, adding/chatting to friends and voting on Greenlight.

Limited User Accounts [Steam, via Reddit]


    Hopefully this will cut down on the bots who spam people with links to or who try to imitate legit accounts for middleman scams.

    Saying that, this doesn't impact existing accounts apparently, so they'll be around for a while.

      Hopefully cut down on hackers as well, cause as a TF2 server admin, I see endless streams of hacker accounts sometimes now that TF2 went Free to play and making new accounts isnt difficult.

        Which servers/community, if you don't mind me asking?

        It wont. Any man and his dog can still make a account and play.
        If you're admin install a anti cheat that bans in real time. Unlike VAC.

    10-30 new invites and 1-5 spam comments everyday. The limited accounts should be unable to comment on other public profiles.

    Yay, I see no problem with this. Maybe soon I can start trading a not receive invites from 20 different bots with all the same picture of a girl.

    Or maybe this 1 girl really wants to trade and has made 100's of account.

    While I appreciate Steam's efforts to protect users it's also bloody annoying. When I moved overseas I decided to load up Steam on my laptop to play some games, but because it had been x months since I used the account on my old PC I got locked out of the marketplace and trading and stuff like that for a month right when the steam summer sale was on. A whole freakin' month!

      Condolences. I had that happen in a Christmas sale - fortunately, my PC change-over probation ended with a couple days still left in the sale.

    Although this would decrease the amount of bots, would it affect the amount of bots for CSGOlounge aswell?

    I wonder if this will actually work. Organisations pay spammers to spam their products using the botnets and technologies at their disposal so the surcharge may only prove to be a deterrent for the smaller networks who can't afford to keep opening new accounts after existing ones get shut down. I guess it depends on the ratio of opened accounts to those shut down and whether it's still profitable.

    If I know anything about those kinds of people though, it won't be long before they figure out a new vector or workaround.

      My bet is you'll start seeing lots of people trying to sell $5 game keys to validate their own accounts. I could add $5 credit, buy a game, do my hackery, gift the game to my "master" account, sell that game to someone legitimate.

    Cant see any issue with this, because who has a steam account with no intention to purchase games?

      (1) You might just want to play "free" games
      (2) You might want to play a game redeemed via a Steam code from Humble Bundle, GMG or similar. Redeeming Steam keys is not mentioned on the list.
      (3) You may want to discuss a bug in a game that you've bought at retail and found that the most active support community is Steam.
      (4) A game may be available exclusively via Steam, and you created an account exclusively so somebody could gift it to you (or it may be a retail game requiring Steam registration)

      I could probably come up with some other examples, but that's a reasonable start. Steam is no longer just a platform for buying games (in fact it never was - HL2 at retail required Steam registration.)

      That said, it strikes me as a reasonable policy.

        Indeed, particularly when the sales come around. $5 at a Steam sale gets you something quite nice.

    I think it's a reasonable policy, apart from the restrictions on chat. I know a few economically-disadvantaged folks who play the free games, and I'm happy to spot them a few bucks Steam gifts when I know they have their eye on something, but not everyone's so lucky. If all someone wants to do is play TF2 or other free games with friends, I understand locking down the functions which make spam-bots so annoying, but it seems unfair to make them pay to be able to have friends.

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