The Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator is a feature of the Steam mobile application. It provides an additional layer of security to your Steam account. The authenticator generates a code which you have to enter whenever you log into your account. The code changes every 30 seconds and is unguessable.
This system is also known as two-factor authentication. It is very secure and fool-proof because the codes change every thirty seconds and require you to enter the code physically on the computer instead of just granting permission (like most other applications do).
Valve also recommends that you add a phone number to your account. This can make the recovery of your account much easier if you somehow lose access to it or forget your credentials.
Recently Valve also added a requirement for the Dota 2 players where they have to link a phone number in order to play ranked matches. They hope that through this, players with multiple accounts will be cut off and provide more security and integrity to the system. While you are already adding a phone number to play, it is more than recommended to add Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator.
How do I add a phone number to my Steam account?
Before we can turn on your Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, we have to add your phone number to your Steam account.
- Open your Steam client. Click on your account name present at the top right corner of the screen. You can also open your account from your browser and follow the steps. It is the same thing.
- Select the option of “Account Details” from the list of options in the drop-down menu.
- Navigate to the tab of Account details (present at the left side of the screen). Here under the tab of contact details, press the button which says “Add a phone number”. If you have already added a phone number, it will show “Manage your phone number”.
- Enter your phone number using your country code. You can select your country from the drop down menu and enter the phone number. After you have entered the details, click Next.
- Now Steam will send an SMS to your mobile which will contain a confirmation code. Enter the code on the screen to verify that the phone number is correct and click Next Some mobile phones may get their code in their spam folder. It may even take one or two minutes depending on your service. If you didn’t get your code for a while now, press the button which says “Send the code again”.
- Your phone number is now registered with your account. Now we can proceed with activating the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator.
Setting up Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator
The first step is to go over to your phone’s app store and download the official Steam app. Always download the app where it is verified that the publisher is Steam. Many scandalous applications have popped up into the app store, claiming to be the Steam app and stealing your information.
You can email this link to your phone and open the application page directly:
Apple App Store: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/steam-mobile/id495369748
- Once you have downloaded the application and installed it, enter your credentials in the main screen.
- After entering, click on the menu icon present at the top left side of the screen to expose the whole menu.
- Once in the whole menu, select the option of Steam Guard (which is the first one).
- If you haven’t setup an Authenticator yet, an option will be available to add the Authenticator. Click on Add Authenticator.
- Next, you will be asked to enter your phone number. If you have already added a phone number to your Steam account, this step won’t be necessary.
- After confirming your phone number, Steam will give you a recovery code. Write this recovery code down so you never lose it. Losing this recovery code can be very problematic as this ensures that you regain access to your account even when you don’t have Authenticator available and neither the correct credentials. Do not skip this step.
- Now the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator will be activated. As you will be able to see on the screen, the code will change every thirty seconds to make your account more secure. The code is almost un-crack able.
How do I login using the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator?
If you have the Authenticator working, whenever you log into Steam, you will be asked to enter the current code present on your mobile screen. The code may pop up in your phone’s notification bar. You can also check it by going to the Steam app on your mobile screen and checking the current code.
Do note that you have to enter the code within thirty seconds as the code changes in that time period.
- Log in into the Steam client using your credentials.
- Now Steam will prompt for your Steam Authenticator Code which will be visible on your mobile screen. You can check your mobile for notifications and even open the Steam application and obtain the code from there.
- Enter the code on your computer and press Ok. Now you will be successfully logged in your Steam client.
I don’t have my phone, can I still use a Mobile Authenticator?
We cannot use the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator if you don’t have a phone. Developers suggested that stand alone authenticators are of interest but they are not yet available for the Steam community. We think that in the future, Steam will come up with an independent solution to authenticate our accounts without the restriction of a mobile phone.
What is the best way to use two-factor authentication?
First of all, you need to realize that even if you have activated the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator, it doesn’t give your account security superpowers. It just added a new layer of security where your mobile phone is also required to log in the Steam client. Here are some tips to keep in mind.
- Never share your mobile authenticator code and password with anyone else.
- Never type in your username, authenticator code or password in any website which is not monitored or run by Valve Corporation. Scammers often use clever spelling and use a very similar interface to trick users into entering their credentials. If you are in doubt, it is better to confirm first rather than to try.
- Steam support or Valve employees will never ask you for your Steam authenticator code or your Steam password. If you get a response from the community from anyone claiming to be someone else and asking for your credentials, report him immediately.
- Never download or run any programs which are sent to you through email or messages. They are mostly scams and malicious software.
- Never download any program which claims to clean, optimize, or fix your Steam client. Up to date, Steam has never developed a software meant to perform anything like this.
- Note down your recovery code as stated earlier and never show it to anyone. It is the sole method to recover your account if you don’t have access to Steam mobile authenticator. Do note that the recovery code is unique and never changes until you use it. Nor does the recovery code work in place of the authenticator code. These are two separate entities made for very different purposes.
How do I disable Steam Mobile Guard Authenticator?
You can remove the Steam Mobile Guard Authenticator using the Steam mobile app. Just head over to your app. Press the menu button present at the top left side of the screen and select the option of Steam Guard. It will be the first option present.
Once in the Steam guard options, you can select a different method of Steam Guard Protection such as “Get Steam Guard coded by email”.
Which devices does the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator work on?
The Steam Mobile Guard Authenticator is compatible with all iOS devices running iOS 6.1 or later. It is compatible with all Android devices running 2.2 or later. It also supports all Windows devices which are running Windows 8.1 or later.
I registered the in the Steam application but didn’t get my recovery code
It is very rare that during your registration, the application won’t show your recovery code. But not to worry, sometimes it does happen that your phone skips that part. You can easily note down the recovery code from your Steam application using the following method.
- Open your Steam application on your mobile. Press the menu icon present at the top left side of the screen to expand it.
- Select the Steam Guard Here you will see a button named My Recovery code.
- Click the button and you will be directed to another window where you will be shown your recovery code. Never share this code with anyone as it is used to confirm that you were the owner of this account if you misplace your mobile or forget your credentials. Believe us when we say it; it is your lifeline.
What are Backup Steam Guard Codes?
In case you logged out of your Steam and also your account, what would you do? When you log into the Steam application, Steam also requires you to verify yourself. In order to counter this and to provide you your second line of defense, Steam has an option to download Backup Steam Guard Codes.
These codes are one-time use codes.
- Open your Steam client and navigate to your account as shown at the start of this tutorial.
- Select the tab of Account details from the left side of the screen. Now scroll down the screen until you find the tab of Account Security. Click on the option which says “Manage Steam Guard”.
- Now you will be navigated to your Steam Guard settings. Here click on the button which says “Get Backup Codes”. This is present under the tab of Get Backup Steam Guard Codes.
- Now Steam will ask you to use the current Mobile Authenticator code and enter it in the dialogue box. Open your Steam application on your mobile and navigate to the Steam Guard section as described above. Enter the code you see there and click the button Generate Codes now.
- Now Steam will display all the Backup Steam Guard Codes. You can print them and keep them in a safe place. Don’t forget to tick them off as they get used. Like we stated earlier, all of these codes are meant for only a one time use.
How I lost my Authenticator. What do I do?
Okay so you formatted your phone or your phone crashed. Whatever the reason, you lost your Mobile Authenticator and are unable to log into Steam because of it.
- No need to panic, head over to the Steam help.
- Click the “I am having trouble signing in” option and select the option which says “I deleted or lost my Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator”.
- Now Steam will prompt you to enter your Steam account name. Now click on the search button.
- Now you will be given a number of options on how you want to recover your account.
- Select any one of these options which you have access to and follow the steps as Steam guides you through the whole process.
If you bought a new phone and have to uninstall the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator indefinitely, you can disable the Steam Guard Mobile Authenticator first to counter all the problem. Then you can enable it again when you install the application on your computer.