When opening up your Steam client, your eyes may be drawn to the gold or yellow names that a bunch of your friends have, standing out distinctly from the usual blue, green and gray that you’re used to. But why are some names on Steam Friends list yellow?
Steam name color changes are generally a result of seasonal sales and special events. They are generally limited in time. Trying to achieve this through programs or editing files may get you banned or your Steam account compromised.
Let’s look at how the color changes on Steam profiles occur as well as how to get your own color on your Steam profile.
Why Do Some of Your Friends Have Yellow Names on Steam?
The Steam store offered the ability to turn your name yellow by applying a golden hue to it during the Lunar New Year Steam Sale and other seasonal sales.
This meant that not only was your name displayed in gold, but also your Steam profile and a gold border around their profile avatar.
These are not permanent and generally end when the sales end, or have a set time when they will deactivate. The total time these effects last for can also be modified depending on how much you spend or other mechanisms as Valve may set at the time.
This feature to change Steam profiles and names has also been available in previous auctions, which involved bidding on certain features.
The auctions are very limited and haven’t happened since 2014, but involved copies of games donated by the developers, or 100 copies of special profile customization. The profiles gave a gold name on top of snow and winter effects.
Some people have apparently used certain coding or changes to replicate this effect, but you shouldn’t try this as it will likely be met with a ban for exploiting.
This is not guaranteed but as news spread throughout Steam forums and other places like Reddit, it resulted in many of its exponents’ profiles getting banned.
It is not entirely clear if the color change was the reason for the ban.
Valve hasn’t released an official statement on the practice, but it is pointed out that some people who had the gold profile illegitimately also engaged in other bannable behavior that may have caused the ban.
How Can You Get a Yellow Name?
The promotion that offers golden and yellow name bling has already stopped as it was a limited sale. However, it was a very popular option for the last few sales and so you can be pretty confident that Steam will offer it again in the future.
That is not to say that it is impossible to get the colored name in Steam, but the only ways to do it are by using non-official ways which are almost certainly going to lead to your Steam account being compromised, banned or locked.
This is because compromisers and hackers know that people always want limited time features after they have finished, and will exploit this need to get access to your Steam account through malicious software.
Also keep in mind that certain people on Steam, like moderators, get special yellow, gold or orange names to show that they are moderators, so this is not accessible to non-moderator Steam users.
This won’t show up in the Steam app, but you will see it in places like the Steam forums. As always, never give out your password or share your Steam account to anyone as Steam will never ask for this type of information or access.
What Are Other Colors for Names in Steam and How to Get Them?
There are no other ways to change your name color for Steam. Steam has limited customization options and the name color changes are reserved for special events and sales.
There are many ways to change your name color for how it displays in certain games, notably Modern Warfare 2, but this doesn’t affect how your name appears in your Steam profile.
The only way to change your name color seems to be when Steam is having sales or auctions, and then depending on how the mechanism works you will be able to get profile borders, name color changes and other cosmetic differences.
So have a look out for the summer sales, winter sales, seasonal sales and the lunar new year sales as these have historically been when the features are offered.
The FAQ released during the sale will detail all these changes as well as showing what it will look like, so keep an eye on Steam news and releases around these times.
Steam summer sales typically follow similar times, so for example 2022’s Summer Sale was June 23 – July 7, 2022. The Lunar New Year Sale in 2021 was from February 11th – February 15th, 2021.
The Steam Winter Sale 2021 went from December 22nd – January 5th, 2021.
Look out around these times every year to see whether you can get the Steam profile name color change feature, frame changes or other profile customization.
Keep in mind that you have a lot of customization options that can be purchased using Steam points. The Points Shop has a range of profile options, including frames that can be applied to your Steam avatar such as colored borders.
This can also be accessed from within the Steam app by going to your Steam profile by clicking on your own avatar, selecting Edit Profile, then clicking on the Points Shop button on the left.
Can You Set Custom Colors per Status for Friends List in Steam?
Steam doesn’t offer a way to change colors natively using its client, as they like to save these features for when sales roll around.
Trying to mess around and configure the user interface may enable you to do this, but keep in mind that this is against Steam’s terms of service and you may find yourself receiving a ban if Valve finds out about it.
This is not too hard, as of course your Steam friends will see your name and the different color will stand out, making it more likely for them to be curious and ask around, bringing your profile to the attention of those who could report or ban you.
Unfortunately, the different colors for Steam profiles have led to increased instances of scams and frauds over Steam.
This is because scammers will find someone who they think is a newer user of Steam, message them and claim they are a moderator by the different color they have. This seems to make sense and they then allow their Steam account to be compromised by these people.
This resulted in Valve removing some of these color change functions from Steam as it became too hard to police and people were losing their entire accounts and not able to recover them.