Steam Restricts User Accounts Behind Paywall

Steam has implemented a new policy that restricts a bunch of features from users who have not spent at least $5 through the service.

Implemented to prevent the rampant spamming and phishing that has plagued the service, all users must now spend at least $5 on the Steam store to gain access to most of the service’s features. This following features are included in this restriction:

  • 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

To lift this restriction, you can spend your money a few different ways. Outright purchasing a game (or games) with a total price over $5 will do it, as well as simply adding the money to your Steam wallet. A Steam wallet card will also do the trick, as will purchasing a game as a gift for a friend, although receiving the gift will not break the restriction if applicable. Free demos, activating games, non-Steam games and activating CD keys will not help you out here either, so those looking for a workaround will have to look elsewhere.

Really, this is a smart move. I can see how people who rely solely on bundles and keys could be miffed by this, but $5 is a fairly low threshold, and hopefully this will help the entire community by stifling some of the unsavory antics that lead to this in the first place. You can read more about it on the official Steam website, and hopefully we will see the positive results of this action soon.