How to Return an Xbox Game Bought from the Microsoft Store for a Refund

Introduction

Maybe you were super excited for a game that didn’t turn out to be what you expected. Maybe you or someone else purchased the wrong version of a game by accident. Or, maybe you purchased a game that’s loaded with bugs that make the game unplayable. No matter the reason Microsoft makes it fairly easy to return Xbox games bought from the Microsoft store for a refund. The only rules to keep in mind are that you can only request a refund for a game within 14 days of the purchase date, and that you can’t have accumulated a significant amount of play time in the game.

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Steps to Return an Xbox Game Bought from the Microsoft Store for a Refund

  1. Open a web browser and navigate to Xbox.com. Log into the Microsoft account associated with the Xbox account where you purchased the Xbox game you want to return and get a refund for.
  2. Click your profile icon at the top of this screen, and then click “My Microsoft Account.” Your Microsoft account screen is displayed.

  1. Click “Payment and Billing” in the menu along the top of the screen to open a drop-down menu, and then click “Order History” in the list of options. The Order History screen is shown.

  1. Find the game you want to return in this list. If that purchase is eligible for a refund, you’ll see Refund Information associated with it. Click “Refund Information” if it’s available. The Request a Refund for Digital Games screen is displayed.

  1. Navigate down to the lower part of this screen where you’ll see a list of your purchases. Find the Xbox game you bought from the Microsoft store that you want to request a refund for. Click to place a check mark next to that game, and then click “Request a Refund.” A Request a Refund window pops up.

  1. Choose the reason you’re requesting a refund and then provide any additional details. Click “Next” after entering this information. The next screen will ask you to confirm the information you entered prior to submitting it.

  1. Review this information and then click “Submit.” You’ll see a message that your request for a refund has been submitted and could be under review for up to 72 hours.

You can check on the status of your refund request by clicking “Refund Information” next to your game, scrolling down to the bottom of that screen, and then clicking “Refund Status.” You’ll see the status of any refund requests you’ve made.

When your Xbox game refund request is approved you’ll see the status change to Request Approved. You’ll also receive an email from Microsoft letting you know your refund request was approved.

Reasons to Return an Xbox Game Bought from the Microsoft Store for a Refund

1. Accidental Purchase

Accidental purchases happen more often than one might think. With streamlined buying processes, a simple mis-click can result in an unintended transaction. Especially in households with multiple users or children, a digital Xbox game can be bought without the primary account holder’s knowledge. Such situations lead to immediate buyer’s remorse. There’s also the potential risk of mobile devices triggering unintended purchases when browsing. Protecting accounts with additional verification can help prevent these mistakes, but when they occur, a return becomes a logical solution.

2. Technical Issues

When gamers invest in a title, they expect a smooth experience. Technical issues, like glitches, crashes, or software bugs, can ruin the enjoyment of a game. Even with advanced consoles and development tools, some games get released with unresolved issues. Such problems not only frustrate players but can make a game nearly unplayable. In these situations, Xbox players understandably want a refund.

3. Misleading Information

Advertising aims to entice buyers. However, when game trailers, screenshots, or descriptions don’t match the actual gameplay, it feels like a betrayal. Gamers might feel they’ve been sold a product under false pretenses. Such misleading information can stem from early game development materials or overly polished promotional content. When the delivered product diverges from expectations, dissatisfaction leads to the desire for a return.

4. Preference

Personal taste is subjective. A game that appeals to one person might not resonate with another. Sometimes, even after researching and reviewing, a game might not provide the expected entertainment value. Whether it’s the gameplay mechanics, story arc, or character development, something might feel off. When an Xbox game doesn’t align with a player’s preferences, returning it becomes a consideration.

5. Performance Issues

Every game has optimal settings and requirements. Sometimes, even if a console meets the game’s basic requirements, the title might not run smoothly. Frame rate drops, long loading times, or graphical issues can detract from the experience. Players expect games to function seamlessly on their consoles. When they face performance issues, they might wish to reclaim their investment.

6. Duplicate Purchase

With multiple platforms and digital stores, it’s easy to lose track of game libraries. A gamer might unintentionally buy a game they already own on another platform or account. This oversight, while innocent, is frustrating. Realizing a game is a duplicate after purchasing underscores the need for a return.

7. Content Concerns

Every Xbox gamer has a personal threshold for what’s acceptable in content. Some might find certain themes, graphics, or storylines inappropriate or disturbing. Moreover, a game might contain unexpected mature content that parents deem unsuitable for younger players. When content concerns arise, the best solution often is to return the digital Xbox game purchased from the Microsoft Store.

8. Size and Storage

Modern games demand significant storage space. An enticing game might turn out to be a storage hog, leaving little room for other titles or updates. Not everyone can or wants to invest in external storage solutions. If an Xbox game consumes too much space or impedes other installations, returning it becomes an attractive option.

9. Online Play Issues

Online multiplayer modes are a draw for many games. Yet, server issues, lag, or matchmaking problems can hinder this feature. A game that promises seamless online play but fails to deliver can disappoint many. Players buy games expecting robust online experiences. When these fall short, they might seek a refund from Microsoft.

10. Incomplete Content

Releasing a game with missing promised content feels like a breach of trust. Players anticipate a full experience, especially if they’ve paid a premium price. Whether it’s due to delays, development issues, or other reasons, incomplete content can sour the gaming experience. Players might opt to return the Xbox game in search of a more complete experience elsewhere.

11. Price Drop

Nothing stings quite like buying a game only to see its price slashed shortly after. Whether due to sales, promotions, or price adjustments, such reductions can make the original purchase seem overpriced. Understandably, some gamers might want to return their recent purchase and buy it again at the reduced rate.

12. Compatibility Issues

Gamers invest in various peripherals to enhance their experience. When a game isn’t compatible with a favorite controller, headset, or other accessory, it’s frustrating. This incompatibility can alter the gameplay experience or render the game less enjoyable. If players can’t use their preferred gear, they might consider returning the game.

13. External Influences

Opinions matter. Reviews, friends’ recommendations, or general gaming community sentiment can influence how a player perceives their purchase. Even if an Xbox game seemed appealing initially, negative feedback can taint the experience. If external opinions weigh heavily on a player’s mind, they might decide to return the game to Microsoft.

14. Promotional Issues

Promotions are designed to attract buyers with special deals or bonuses. If a gamer buys a title based on a promotional offer that doesn’t get applied correctly, it feels unfair. Maybe they didn’t receive the promised in-game content, or a discount wasn’t applied. Such promotional issues can lead to dissatisfaction and the desire for a return.

15. Impulse Buy

Impulse purchases happen. The allure of a sale, peer pressure, or mere curiosity can lead to hasty buying decisions. However, reflection might bring regret. Perhaps the game doesn’t fit one’s genre preferences, or the excitement wears off quickly. When the reality of an impulse buy sets in, a return is often on the cards.

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About Max

Max has nearly 20 years of experience working in IT across three different industries in project management and management capacities: publishing, telecommunications and healthcare. He holds the following degrees and certifications: BS Communications, MA Communications, MBA and Project Management Professional (PMP). His tutorial-focused YouTube channel earned more than 100,000 subscribers in its first four years, and currently has more than 160,000 subscribers, 110,000,000 video views and an insane 2.4 million hours of watch time. Max enjoys learning new technology, reading and collecting comic books, listening to audiobooks and playing video games.

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