How to Trade Games on Steam with your Friend



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Steam allows you to exchange games under certain circumstances. You cannot trade games from your library, only games in your inventory. You can also exchange various items from your inventory for games if you can persuade your friends to make a deal.

Steam refers to the traded versions of Steam Gifts games. These are additional copies of games created as a result of using a bonus, package, or promotional code. At one point, you could also get Steam gifts by buying a game as a gift and then placing it directly in your library rather than sending it to a friend.

You can view your inventory of gifts by clicking on your Steam username and selecting Gifts from the drop-down menu. If a Steam gift has a redeemable tag, it means you can redeem it. If it has a tag for sale, you can sell it on the Steam trading floor.

How to trade games in Steam

Before you start trading, you must ensure that your items are “traded”. All you need to do is click on an item in your inventory. The information field on the right indicates whether or not it is a negotiable item.

  1. Run the Steam application (or website) and log in.
  2. Hover over your Steam user name at the top and click on it to open the drop-down list. Then click “Inventory”. You can also click on “View” at the top left of the screen, and then on “Inventory”.
  3. On the Inventory page, you can see all the items you own by game and category. At the top of the screen, click Proposals.
  4. Start a new business proposal by clicking on “New business proposal …”. This will open your friend list, where you can choose which friend to exchange with.
  5. You will see a page with your inventory. Double-click or click and drag the items you want to trade, and they will be added to the “Your Items” fields.
  6. Once you have selected the items to send, click the “Your inventory” tab and select what you want from your friend’s items.
  7. When you have selected both options, check the “Click here to confirm the contents of the trade” box.
  8. Click Make a bid at the bottom of the screen.


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The exchange offer will be sent to your friend, who can accept or reject it.

Which transactions should I avoid?

  • Do not trade on what you cannot add to the offer itself. The most common examples of these scenarios:
  • Exchange items / gifts for money outside the Steam Community Marketplace. You cannot add wallet credit, PayPal, gift cards or any other form of money to the offer.
  • Goods / gifts for CDs. You cannot add a CD key to a commercial offer. The offered CD keys may be limited to other games, fakes, uses or regions.
  • Exchange items / gifts for free at the first exchange and expect to receive an item or gift at a later exchange. There is no reason not to trade everything in a single transaction. There is no limit on the number of items/gifts you can add to a single repurchase. A typical example of this is using an intermediary to facilitate one-way trading.

What do I do if I am scammed?

If you have been cheated, use the built-in Steam reporting feature:

  • Access to this user’s profile
  • Click the “Advanced” drop-down menu at the top right of the page.
  • Click on “Report Abuse”.
  • Select the violation (example “fraud attempt”) and click “Send report”.


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