Trade on Steam: How to Trade Games

Trading games on Steam is actually pretty simple

Valve has shown interest in providing players with a way to trade games on Steam, but Gabe Newell, founder, has admitted that the company is unsure how to approach a more trade-based economy within the platform.

In the meantime, Valve has enabled players to trade unplayed games through the gifting system. Here's how.

Buy the game as a gift

This sounds simple enough, and really, it is. When purchasing your game, in your cart, choose to purchase the game as a gift. On the next screen, you'll see this option:

By selecting it and completing your purchase, the gift will show up (uninstalled) in your inventory. Your inventory is not the same as your library--if you install this purchase on your account, you will not be able to trade it later.

Initiate the trade, and then send it on over!

Trade it away for any multitude of things: cards, other games, icons, backgrounds, whatever. Initiate a trade through the chat window like so:

There's no restriction on what you can trade these games away for. This creates a safe, easy way to trade within the platform, and you don't have to go through any shady third-party processes (trust me, they exist).

What if I change my mind?

See the button on the right panel that says 'Add to my game library'? In the event that you decide you actually want the game, you can choose to hold on to it. By adding the game to your library, you can now install and play away.

Cool! Where can I trade?

There are an insane amount of groups on Steam that are trading-focused. They exist for trading cards, games... you name it. Most of these groups are full of nice people, but some are full of spammers... so just be careful.

Don't stress about trading with strangers, either. The trade is set up in such a way that each party must approve any changes made throughout the process before the trade can go through. There's no real way of ripping someone off or being ripped off. Besides, I know you aren't that person.

Platforms Steam Tags trading
Published Jul. 25th 2013
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Featured Contributor
    I think a good tip also is, you should always get what you want before ending the trade, the other person should always put what they are offering for what you are offering in the trade, never gift as you may not get a gift back.

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