Fix: Error Adding Friend on Steam

Steam is a digital distribution platform that hosts different games and applications. Steam is known as a pioneer in the gaming industry where it revolutionized the online-gaming category. Users can add friends and play multiplayer games together as ‘parties’.

Error Adding Friend on Steam

However, there might be instances where you are unable to add a person as a friend. Instead, you either get an error message ‘Error adding Friend. Communication between you and this user has been blocked’ or nothing happens at all. This issue has been in the platform for quite some time and is officially acknowledged by Steam officials as well. This might either be a temporary glitch in the application or some discrepancy in your account. Follow the workarounds listed below starting with the first case and move your way down.

What causes the error ‘Error adding Friend’ on Steam?

This error message is associated with numerous different modules and rules laid down by Steam. Here are some of the reasons why you might experience this problem when adding a friend:

  • The user is blocked: If the user you are trying to add is blocked from your account, you will not be in any way add him as your friend.
  • Limited Account: Steam has introduced a Limited account that cannot add friends recently. A limited account is an account that hasn’t purchased any content from the game engine.
  • Friends cap: Steam also has in place a mechanism that limits the maximum number of friends (added and requested) you can have on your account. If your number exceeds, you will not be able to add anyone else.
  • Friend system glitch: Steam’s friend system has been under scrutiny in the past for being very buggy sometimes. This is still true today and a refresh of core Steam functionalities may help remedy the problem.

Solution 1: Checking Blocked List

Steam features a blocking mechanism that you can use to block several people from contacting you or seeing your activity. The opponent account either becomes invisible to you or there is no information about that account (only profile picture is displayed). If you are trying to add a friend who is on your block list, you will not be able to do so. Whoever is in your block list is barred from communicating with you (which includes adding friends). We will go navigate to your Steam’s block list and check.

  1. Launch the Steam Client on your Desktop.
  2. Now click your Username from the top navigation bar and select Friends.
Checking Blocked Users – Steam
  1. Using the left navigation pane, select the option of Blocked. Here all the users currently blocked from your account will be shown. Remove the blocked person to whom you cannot add as a friend (if they exist).
  2. Save changes and exit. Restart Steam properly and check if the error is resolved.

Solution 2: Checking Account Type

Steam recently implemented a new policy where users cannot add other people as a friend unless they have done at least one purchase (minimum of $10). The accounts which haven’t done any purchase yet are called limited accounts. These accounts do not give access to all features which are otherwise available in the full account.

You can easily check if your account is limited using an XML file that opens if you are logged in Steam on your computer.

  1. Navigate to (this) address and make sure that you are logged into your Steam account.
  2. An XLM file will open. Click Ctrl + F launch the Search dialogue and type “limited” in the dialogue box.
  3. Now the following line will be highlighted.
<isLimitedAccount>0</isLimitedAccount>
Checking Account XML File
  1. The following are the meanings of the number which is in-between the limited account tags.
0: Your account is not limited.

1: Your account is limited.

If you find out that your account is limited, you need to make a purchase from the Steam and try adding your friend again after that.

Solution 3: Checking the number of Friends Requests

Steam has a limit imposed on how many friends requests a person can receive. This is done to make the interface less jumbled up and help users reduce the number of friend requests they get after reaching a certain limit.

Here we will navigate to your friend’s list and see if there are any pending invites. If they are, either approve or reject them to make space for new ones.

  1. Open your Steam client like we did earlier and click on your profile name using the top navigation bar.
  2. Now select Friends underneath your profile and then click Your Friends.
Checking Number of friends
  1. Now check if you have pending invites and either approve or reject them. Restart your client after making changes and try adding your friend again.

Note: The cap for friends include both, the friends added and those pending acceptance.

Solution 4: Blocking and Unblocking your Friend

Another workaround that seemed to work for several users was blocking and then unblocking the person you are trying to add. This behavior signifies that maybe there is a bug in the Steam friend system associated between you and your friend. Blocking and unblocking resets the mechanism and allows you to add your friend again with the error message.

  1. Navigate to the user profile of the person you are trying to add as a friend.
  2. Click on More and from the drop-down box, select Block all communication.
Blocking the user – Steam
  1. Now restart Steam so all the changes can be loaded correctly. Now navigate to the blocked list as we did in Solution 1.
  2. Now you will see the person who you just blocked listed there. Click on their profile.
  3. Now select More > Unblock All Communication. Restart your Steam client again and try adding the person as a friend.
    Unblocking the user – Steam

Solution 5: Using Steam://flushconfig

If all the above methods don’t work and you are still unable to add a person as your friend, we will try to refresh all the core features of Steam. The command ‘steam://flushconfig’ does this job without affecting any of your installed games or accounts. This command is completely safe and will not in any way erase your data. We are just refreshing configurations for Steam, just like we do for numerous other applications.

Using Steam://flushconfig

You can use steam://flushconfig but make sure that you are logged in as an administrator when you perform this solution.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: Error Adding Friend on Steam

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