How long does it take to get support from Steam?

I only have a handful of Steam games, but previously they played fine. Now, a couple of months past the last time I launched Steam, it no longer launches. I get the same error message every time. I googled it, found a wiki page that’s an official part of Steam support, found the offending message, and did everything I was supposed to, but no go. Steam will not launch and I cannot play any of my Steam games.

So I emailed their tech support. There doesn’t seem to be a phone number. It’s been almost 24 hours now, so I’m not upset about it. I know it’s a bit early, but how long does Steam support typically take to get get back to users? It’s not just one game, but every Steam title I have that is unplayable. It’s a bit annoying.

I’ve used them a couple of times. Generally it’s been a day or two before I heard back. The last time they actually didn’t even answer my question but sent me to a Steam forum where general issues with the recent upgrade were being discussed. Luckily people there were able to figure out what the problem was in my case.

They’ve always gotten back to me within 24 hours. Unlike Impulse, who took over 2 business days each time.

I paid them money for games that require their service to run. I did search for an answer first, found one recommended by Steam, and it didn’t work. I’m hopeful I will hear from an actual Steam rep. I don’t think good customer support means me having to ask other Steam users for help.

I don’t think I’ve ever had to wait 24 hours, but I rarely had to wait much less than that either.

About a year ago, took roughly 24 hours.

— Alan

I went back and looked. I submitted my question on a Tuesday night and the response came on Thursday morning. So I’d imagine that if you didn’t hear anything today, you should tomorrow. But it may very well be suggestion to go post in one of their forums and hope that the community can solve your issue.

one to two days in my experience.

When Civ IV wouldn’t work for me they took aboy 24 hours to respond… they weren’t very helpful, mind. (Soren Johnson however replied on this very forum within hours, although that wasn’t technical questions… I love this place)

Couple of years ago it took them 3 days to come back and refer me to their FAQ page.

I seriously doubt tech support will divulge anything we don’t already know about the client. Even though you prefer going by their shoddy tech line I recommend you describe your problem here while you’re at it. You never know who might have had similar problems :)

If Steam itself won’t launch, you might try uninstalling and reinstalling it. But first, move your games folder (it would SUCK to have to redownload all your games). Hah, i tried to give you a link to the Steam page about moving your folder, but apparently I don’t have 50 posts yet and can’t post links. How interesting. Er…anyways, if you google “Moving a Steam Installation and Games” you’ll get the link.

That happened to a friend of mine.
He spent 20 min crying, thinking about having to re-download all his stuff via 384k.
Luckily we bought similar games so he could get most of the backups from me.

tl;dr: Very important step.

Run as administrator usually helps

The day this amount of text becomes too long to read is the day I give up reading altogether.

I’m pretty sure of it.

No but it will be quicker. Do you really want to wait for the email, have tech support make a suggestion, you try it, it doesn’t work, you send another email, wait for their response, etc etc etc.

Any updates Mark?


No word back from Steam yet. It’s not exactly impressive customer service.

I’ll probably try to dig up an answer myself, try reinstalling, etc. I’ll give them one more day to respond. I’m not in a big hurry.

I wrote them regarding a CD Key question a few weeks ago and they got back to me within a couple of hours.

I hope you have a better experience than I did. However, my issue got resolved almost immediately after I made that thread though and I half-wondered if someone at Valve support happened to read QT3.