Valve has added Steam Gift Cards to its enormously popular digital storefront. It’s now possible to send Steam currency to another user as a gift, giving them the option to buy whatever content they like.
In the United States, these gift cards are available in $5, $10, $25, $50, and $100 increments. If you purchase funds for someone in another region, they’ll be automatically converted into the appropriate local currency, according to a report from Eurogamer.
There are a couple of small caveats. You can only send a gift card to someone that you’ve been friends with for at least three days, to prevent any improper usage. The purchase page on the Steam strorefront also states that it’s not possible to use existing wallet funds to pay for the vouchers.
Even though digital game downloads are commonplace at this point, certain storefronts still have some rather archaic limitations when it comes to gifting content. For instance, despite how many users purchase new releases via the Xbox Store, it’s only this month that Insider program members have started testing out the capacity to gift software to a friend – and there’s no word on when the ability to send them a discrete sum of money might arrive, if there are even plans to enable that.
In many ways, Steam is ahead of the curve because it has been around for so long. That being said, Valve has continued to make changes over the course of its lifespan, because it’s far from a perfect service in its current form.
In May 2017, the company decreed that it would no longer be possible for users to send gifts to another user’s inventory, or to their email address. While this might seem like the opposite of a user-friendly gesture, Valve has a responsibility to ensure that resellers aren’t setting up something of a black market with Steam serving as the foundation – and in this case, that meant a little less flexibility when it comes to gifting.
Thankfully, this addition to the way that users can send gifts to one another makes things more accommodating, rather than less so. It’s always nice to receive a gift that someone has picked out for you, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to decide for yourself.