As Final Fantasy XIV is doing so well the game's listing had to be pulled off digital storefronts because every server was full, Black Desert Online is once again selling Steam DLC that players, after purchasing, are not actually receiving. If you're a Steam Black Desert player, be careful if you decide to purchase anything for the game off Steam.
In this article, we'll explain everything you'll need to know about the Black Desert Online Steam DLC redemption issues.
Black Desert's History of Steam DLC Purchase Problems
If you search online for problems with the Steam DLC for Black Desert, you'll find posts from since the game actually came to Steam. Some people never received the items they purchased; some people received some items but not all of them. Some struggled to figure out how to actually redeem their Steam items in-game.
A lot of this confusion and these problems stem from the fact that Pearl Abyss runs separate real-money marketplaces for Black Desert. On Steam, you can buy the game as well as purchase a variety of in-game content through the Steam store. You can also buy Black Desert stuff directly from Pearl Abyss.
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When you buy a Black Desert in-game item on Steam, it's considered DLC. It will appear in the DLC tab of Black Desert's Steam properties, and after you buy the DLC, Steam will download and automatically install it. Once this process is finished, you actually redeem yourself the thing you bought inside of Black Desert.
When in-game, you open up the menu and navigate to 'Redeem' where you'll see your purchased Steam DLC appear alongside a button that will either read "Redeem' or 'Used' to signify whether or not a particular Steam DLC has actually been applied to your Black Desert account.
This Steam method for buying in-game stuff in Black Desert is where the issues begin. For some people, there are problems with actually getting the DLC from Steam to get recognized by Black Desert such that you can actually redeem it in-game.
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Some people successfully purchase, download, install, and get their Steam DLC recognized by Black Desert but after redeeming the DLC in-game don't actually get an in-game mail with the DLC items they purchased.
For some, these missing items may appear in your Web Storage, which is connected directly to your Pearl Abyss account and can be accessed through Pearl Abyss' Black Desert website. However, this seems to be more of a fix for missing items purchased directly from Pearl Abyss instead of on Steam. If you're experiencing this issue, though, your personal mileage may vary.
In the past, users complained that they could purchase, download, install, and redeem their Steam purchase but that they either didn't get the items advertised on Steam or were given different items compared to what was advertised. These problems, however, do seem to be at the least much less of a concern today, being much more of an issue in the past.
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How You Can Fix Steam Black Desert DLC Bugs
The good news is that there are a few different steps you can immediately take to try and fix problems with Steam DLC in Black Desert. The bad news is that what you can try and what's likely to work will be very dependent on what your personal situation actually is, and for most people, it will be a wait-and-see game.
First off, make sure nothing went wrong on Steam's end. Confirm the purchase went through normally. Confirm the DLC is actually downloaded, and confirm it's enabled within Black Desert's Steam properties.
If everything looks good, boot up the game and load into a channel. Head into the 'Redeem' tab from the main menu. If your Steam DLC appears in the 'Redeem' window, whether it's been redeemed or not, this means that it's very unlikely there was a Steam-related issue.
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If you had an issue with the actual purchasing or acquiring of the DLC, then it would be likely to be a Steam issue. If this isn't the case, it matters because you won't be able to use Steam support, which is usually very good, as a resource. Ultimately, it'll be extremely unlikely there's anything they can do.
However, they can suggest you dispute the charge on your credit card, or they can, in certain instances, manually refund you. If your DLC is recognized by the game and does not appear as 'Used' (i.e. it hasn't been redeemed) then it's not actually attached to your Black Desert account. You can choose whether or not to get refunded by Steam or your bank if this is the case.
If your problem is that after redeeming the DLC in-game you don't have your items, your DLC will appear as 'Used' in the 'Redeem' window which means that it is attached to your Black Desert account. This means that it's extremely likely there's an issue on Pearl Abyss' end.
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If you try to have Steam issue you a refund or dispute the charge on your card after the DLC has been redeemed, whether you've actually got what you've paid for or not, you might end up getting your account banned. This isn't a hard and fast rule, but online searching will show you experiences other players have had with credit card refunds and bans.
It's entirely possible Pearl Abyss has some kind of automatic fraud protection built into Black Desert such that if it detects you trying to refund content already attached to your account, it might automatically ban you. To make sure this kind of system doesn't mistakenly target you, it's safest not to get anything refunded that doesn't come directly from Pearl Abyss.
The best thing you can do if you simply aren't receiving items you purchased on Steam is to open a support inquiry on the Pearl Abyss site directly. This is also a fantastic move even if you can use Steam's support because it's likely to be less of a headache if you can get the problem solved by the makers of the actual game you're trying to play.
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Support doesn't reply that fast, and they tend to reply at unusual times, so make sure to keep checking the page. And don't spam support, but feel free to open new inquiries to remind support you're still having the issue.