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How to get a Premium Steam Account

Updated on September 19, 2012

Want a Fully-Featured Steam Account?

Are you tired of not being able to add friends, leave comments, or initiate chat sessions on the Steam gaming client? Want a Fully-Featured Steam Account? Then you've come to the right place.

Unfortunately, to get a full account on Steam, you will have to spend some money. The good news is, the amount you need to spend is minimal.

(Image: store.steampowered.com)

Why are some features of Steam not available to me?

Steam limits access to some features of new account as a means of protecting users from those who choose to abuse Steam merely for evil purposes such as spamming and phishing . Spammers and phishers are then reduced in their ability to send irritating invites and chat requests to strangers, which helps to protect legitimate users from annoyance and scams.

(Image: everystockphoto.com)

Option #1

1. Activate a retail Steam game

Probably the most common way to upgrade your account to full features is to activate a game you bought in a retail store (your local games store such as GameStop or EB Games , supermarket, mall, etc). When you buy any one of a broad range of games today, it will often come with a Steam activation code . When you install the game, simply enter the code into Steam to activate it. The activation will tie your game to Steam, allowing you to access lots of things, from servers to achievements. Just make sure you check the game out to see whether it does have a Steam activation code before you buy it.

Below are a few games that come with activation codes for Steam.

(Image: Activision)

Games that come with Steam Activation codes

Option #2

2. Buy a game from the Steam store

The cheapest option (probably)

Your second option in your quest for a fully featured Steam account is to simply buy a game on the Steam store via download. This is one of the cheapest options, as the cheapest games you can buy are often around 99 cents. As soon as you've bought a game on Steam, your account is fully upgraded.

Option #3

3. Fund your Steam Wallet

Another fairly cheap option is to fund your Steam wallet . This is when you add money to your account; you can then spend it whenever you choose. The smallest amount you can add is $5, and then you have a premium Steam account.

Option #4

4. Redeem a Gift or Guest Pass

Your final option is completely free! To you at least. If you have some really generous friends, just ask them to gift you a game on Steam. This will also qualify you for a premium Steam account. All you have to do is redeem the game, and viola! Fully featured account! :) Guess passes are when your friend can let you play a game they just bought on your account for a limited time, to try it out. However the full steam features may only last as long as the gift pass does, so it's probably not your better option.

Do you have a limited Steam account?

Do you?

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Adding friends now? :) - Which option did you choose?

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    • profile image

      Farhan 14 months ago

      i have STEAM account and i have Games but LIMITED account i have CS Go but how to get PREMIUM

    • profile image

      CreepthehissRB 19 months ago

      i bought 17.34€ of games and im STILL not upgraded...what do i do? help please i waited about a day...i got this inventory thing (might be from a game i bought) but i tried adding friends and such and it didnt work

    • profile image

      Leashers 22 months ago

      And if I'm gonna try your option to buy a paid game,does it really have to be 5$ or more to get your account to Premium or should I try a heavily Discounted game that is worth 90% off.....Does that count as paid game?

    • profile image

      ShadowPvP 2 years ago

      Well i activated 2 games worth 11 euro still I'm not premium

      btw its option 1 i meant

      Help me please

    • profile image

      NonPremiumsteam 2 years ago

      The thing is that i activated like 4 games but i didnt get premium weird?

    • profile image

      enonymous 2 years ago

      hey, i just won this giveaway and activated the game code, will this give me a premium account ?

    • profile image

      Great John 2 years ago

      I made acc at 03.01.2015 and im still limited user acc HELP!

    • profile image

      helmer-abrahamsson 3 years ago

      i just bought garrys mod but i can't add friends why?

    • profile image

      anonymous 3 years ago

      @anonymous: Sadly, that is not the case at all.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      if i gift some one a paid game, would the person get the premium account?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      These are some very good tips :) By the way, if you don't want to pay for your Steam wallet funds, you can actually get free vouchers from this site! Free-Steam-Wallet.com

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      For example i am waiting for a dota 2 key from their site and i enter it will i get full access on steam?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I added money 5$ bought tf2 premium 2 birds one stone booyah!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I added money 5$ bought tf2 premium 2 birds one stone booyah!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Correct. You use money from your steam wallet :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Correct

    • profile image

      brake_id 4 years ago

      If i get a gift copy of Dota 2 do i get premium account? Cuz it seems i don't really went premium.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Well receiving a game that cost money give you premium steam?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      if i buy an item in TF2 will i then be premium on steam?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      will activating a code from humble bundle work make it premium?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have 5 games that allow for CD codes before I even knew those existed. I'm going with Option 1.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Most likely because you don't have Steam Guard enabled. You have to have Steam Guard enabled for at least 15 days before you can trade.

      Hope this helps!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I got Dota 2 from my friend as a gift, but I can't trade items on TF2. Why?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      If I gift the "upgrade to premium gift" in team fortress 2 (price: 4.99$) to my friend and he used it to upgrade his tf2 account to premium, does that count as gifting a game to him, thus upgrading his steam account, too?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: no its a free game so it doesn't count

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      will giftied dlc games work?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      does downloading tf2 count as a game?

    • BlenderHead LM profile image
      Author

      BlenderHead LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: No, because it's free. You need to buy a game.

    • BlenderHead LM profile image
      Author

      BlenderHead LM 4 years ago

      @anonymous: No, they have to be paid games.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: yes

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: get a game

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Do free games work?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      yes thx for the help

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, but your account is automatically premium when you fund your Steam wallet.

    • profile image

      Cos-Player 5 years ago

      Wonderful and Helpful Lens! This Would have Been More Helpful when I had a Limited account. But you know, Why have Steam if your not going to get in on Amazing deals?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: no you bastard

    • BlenderHead LM profile image
      Author

      BlenderHead LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Yes, since TF2 uses your Steam money to buy items.

    • maytheforcebewi profile image

      maytheforcebewi 5 years ago

      I bought several games on steam.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Can I upgrade my steam account by buying something off of Team Fortress 2?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      My Parents wouldn't let me add money in steam because they are think that steam might take their password and those stuff informaton

    • BlenderHead LM profile image
      Author

      BlenderHead LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Trying buying something with the money in your wallet, and then give it a day or so to process. Even just trying to re-start Steam might work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hey I add $5 on my steam wallet but still don't have premium account :( HELLPPP!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      gonna try the gifted one :)))

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: you can now add friends onliine and such

    • allaboutdubai profile image

      allaboutdubai 5 years ago

      Despite the fact I don't like steam accounts much your lens was surely helpful

    • CherryTriggerCola profile image

      CherryTriggerCola 5 years ago

      Another reason to get a premium account is that it now has a mobile app in beta testing! I am a loyal steam gamer. Loved the article!

    • BlenderHead LM profile image
      Author

      BlenderHead LM 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Just make sure to re-start Steam, and then just try out one of the premium features. For example, if you go to the profile of someone you're not friends with on Steam, there should now be an option for you to add them as a friend.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I did options 2 and 3 but I don't know how to tell if I'm premium or not...

    • jadehorseshoe profile image

      jadehorseshoe 5 years ago

      Useful Lens.

    • shandigp profile image

      shandigp 5 years ago

      Thanks for the info. It doesn't matter to me personally--I don't use Steam--but I shared this with my husband who DOES care!

    • gamecheathub profile image

      gamecheathub 5 years ago

      I had to get a Steam account for my Civ 5 game and just found it to be very annoying. Not really into the Steam thing, but understand why it's there.

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Never got into gaming, but still interesting.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I bought a game off steam but it still says im a free account

    • dogface lm profile image

      dogface lm 6 years ago

      I chose 2: I bought Terraria. :) Nice info, thanks for sharing.