Steam Account Hacked? Here’s How To Recover Your Games

Learn how to recognize Steam hacks and recover your account if you do get hacked.
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A hijacked Steam account is every gamer's worst nightmare. Hackers can steal your Steam games and items and destroy thousands of hours' worth of progress. They can also use your linked payment methods to make purchases.

If your account contains a lot of personal info or you often reuse passwords, a "simple" Steam hack can result in identity theft. The consequences of a stolen identity can range from financial loss to arrest warrants. Criminals can empty your bank accounts, get you in trouble with the IRS, and even commit crimes in your name.

Fortunately, you can learn to recognize such attacks and signs of account hijacking. Using a strong antivirus program is an essential second step. Keep reading to find out how to protect your Steam profile from hackers and what to do if they've already taken over your account.

In this article
Is your Steam account hacked? Here’s how to tell
How someone can take over your Steam account
How to deal with a Steam account hack
Steam account hacked FAQs
Bottom line

Is your Steam account hacked? Here’s how to tell

You can spot suspicious activity on your account if you know where to look. Here are some of the common red flags that could indicate unauthorized access:

  1. Unusual activity: Bold hackers will change your profile image, for example. They can also add new friends and chat with them. Maybe your endgame Tesladin in Diablo II: Resurrected lost all his gear overnight. Perhaps you’ve got email alerts about login attempts from unknown devices. If you see any change or activity you haven’t initiated, you’re probably under attack.
  2. Unrequested password reset emails: Hackers will try to change your Steam password and lock you out. If you receive such an alert, you should change your password immediately.
  3. Unauthorized purchases: Unrecognized games, Steam gift cards, and other items are strong indicators of a hack.
  4. Inability to log in: The end goal of every Steam hack is to lock you out and take over your account. If you’ve lost the race and can’t log in anymore, the account recovery becomes infinitely more difficult. The only way to do this is to initiate Steam’s recovery process and provide proof of account ownership.

Steam support chat.

How someone can take over your Steam account

Scammers can use different tactics to breach your Steam profile. Fortunately, most of them rely on phishing and need your cooperation to succeed. If you recognize these attacks in time, criminals won’t be able to trick you, and their scams will fail.

Here are some of the popular methods to keep in mind:

  • “Regular” phishing emails: Phishers will craft emails that look like official Steam correspondence. They’ll usually try to entice you with amazing discounts, free trials, exclusive game keys, and unique in-game content. Steam gift card scams are also extremely popular. The main goal is to trick you into sharing private info or taking you to a phishing website that can steal your Steam login credentials.
  • Fake tournaments: Scammers often send private messages on Steam inviting players to join tournaments with incredible prizes. They’ll set up tournament sites designed to steal your private info. Some fake tournaments could also have an entry fee, which is plain stealing. If you receive such an invite, check the sender’s profile on Steam. They’ll usually have a lot of in-game hours without any achievements.
  • Malware: Hackers will also try to trick you into installing malware. They’ll usually disguise it as a game mod, trainer, or other program. Once installed, it can steal info directly from your device.
  • Data breaches and brute force attacks: Cybercriminals can exploit info leaked in data breaches to take over Steam accounts. They can also “guess” simple passwords using a brute force attack.
  • Steam vulnerabilities: Finally, hackers can exploit Steam’s vulnerabilities to steal user info and take over accounts.

How to deal with a Steam account hack

As mentioned, a Steam hack is a race against the criminal trying to lock you out. We can’t overstate the importance of acting quickly in these situations. You should perform a few self-recovery essentials and initiate Steam’s account recovery process.

Secure your email

If a hacker manages to hijack your Steam account, they’ll likely target the linked email next. You can secure it by changing your password and activating two-factor authentication (2FA).

We recommend creating a complex password using a combination of upper- and lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols. A good password manager can create it for you and keep all your passwords in one secure place. 2FA will add an extra step to your Steam login process. So, even if someone has your password, they won’t be able to log in without the 2FA device of your choosing.

Change your Steam password

Once you’ve secured your email, you should protect your Steam account with a strong password. We also recommend enabling Steam Guard for extra security. This feature will add 2FA to your Steam account, and you can choose to receive login codes via email or your mobile Steam app.

Steam guard setup screen.

Run a malware scan

Phishing scams can also result in serious malware infections on your computer. We always recommend doing a thorough sweep to check for viruses and other malware. Note that only the best antivirus programs can deal with the latest threats.

The best antivirus programs to protect your Steam account

After extensive testing, we picked these antivirus tools due to their solid protection and their extras for gamers:

  • Norton offers a special package tailored for gamers. This plan comes with the Game Optimizer tool and a full-screen detection mode. They’ll maximize your game performance and turn off unnecessary notifications while you play. You’ll also get superb real-time threat protection, a secure VPN, dark web monitoring, webcam protection, a password manager, and more.

    Get Norton 360 | Read Norton Review

  • Bitdefender allows you to configure a game profile for uninterrupted gaming. This feature can block notifications, adjust visual settings, and pause unimportant background activities. Bitdefender also comes with top-level malware protection, a device optimizer, a privacy firewall, parental controls, and more.

    Get Bitdefender | Read Bitdefender Review

  • Kaspersky also includes a game mode that pauses all notifications and updates while you play. However, it doesn’t optimize system resources like Bitdefender’s game profiles. Kaspersky can also protect you against malware, phishing, and many other threats. Higher subscription plans include crypto threat protection, a data leak checker, a VPN, a password manager, and even identity theft protection.

    Get Kaspersky | Read Kaspersky Review

Initiate Steam’s account recovery process

If you can’t self-recover your Steam account, their support team may be able to recover it for you. This process can take a long time and ultimately fail, but it’s your only chance of getting your Steam profile back.

You’ll first need to provide definitive proof of ownership. We recommend providing as much info as possible — it will remove any doubt of ownership and shorten the verification process.

Steam account recovery.

Even if successful, this process won’t recover your lost items. Steam support doesn’t restore items that have left your account for any reason.

Steam account hacked FAQs


Can you recover a stolen Steam account?

Yes, you can either use Steam's self-recovery options or contact Steam Support to restore your account. The second option requires definitive proof of ownership, and we recommend providing as much information as possible. If successful, you should immediately create a strong password and enable two-factor authentication through Steam Guard.


What happens if your Steam account is hacked?

If criminals breach your account, they can lock you out and cut access to your Steam library. They can sell your items and use your linked payment methods to make purchases. Finally, they can use the available info to hack into your other accounts (your email, for example) and even steal your identity.


Can Steam recover stolen in-game items?

Generally, Steam support doesn’t restore items that have left your account for whatever reason. So, you might recover your hacked account, but your items are almost certainly gone for good.


Has Steam ever had a data breach?

Yes, Steam has experienced data breaches. The company usually addresses these threats quickly and recovers hacked accounts. However, affected Steam users can lose all their items and exclusive in-game content in these breaches. Such incidents highlight the importance of maintaining strong account security measures and staying informed about the latest cybersecurity threats.

Bottom line

Steam libraries with a lot of games and exclusive in-game content are prime targets for hackers. If someone hacks your profile, they can steal your items, buy things with your linked payment methods, and much more. Some criminals will delete all your games just because they can. The ultimate danger of a Steam hack is the potential for identity theft, which is possibly the worst thing that can happen to you online.

If you fall victim to cybercriminals, you have plenty of options if you can still access your account. If you fall victim to cybercriminals, you have plenty of options if you can still access your account. You can change the password, activate 2FA, run a malware scan, and lock the thief out. However, if you get locked out, you can only report the hack to Steam and hope for the best.

The best approach is to prevent hacks from ever happening. You can do this by learning to recognize phishing scams, monitoring whether your info was leaked in data breaches, and using a strong antivirus program.

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Author Details
Ryan Clancy is a freelance writer and blogger. With 5+ years of mechanical engineering experience, he's passionate about all things engineering and tech. He loves bringing engineering (especially mechanical) down to a level that everyone can understand.