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How buying works

This guide is for sellers on itch.io who want to know what buyers will see as they go through each step of the purchase process. itch.io is an indie game marketplace that lets anyone sell their game instantly. If you don’t have an account or a game for sale yet you can create one now:

There are a few ways a potential buyer can initiate the purchase process. The most common is a game’s page on itch.io. Other options include the embeddable widget and the JavaScript popup API. All of these methods end in the same place on a successful purchase: the game’s download page.

In order to have a purchasable game on itch.io you must add a payments account. You can do so from the User settings page.

The purchase dialog

The purchase dialog is opened buy clicking the Buy Now button on the game’s page below the description.

itch.io's purchase dialog

The purchase dialog has some noteworthy components. The first thing you might notice is the input for amount paid. All purchases on itch.io are pay what you want above the minimum. The buyer is free to change this field to an amount they think is fair. If you've set a default price on the Edit game page then you'll see that filled in automatically.

Below the price input is the file list. The file list is a very effective way to encourage a buyer to pay more for your game if you have individually priced content. In the example above there’s a soundtrack if the buyer chooses to pay or above. If the buyer clicks the tier they want then their purchase amount is automatically increased if necessary to allow access to the file after purchasing.

Learn more about pricing

After the file list you'll see the tip buttons. These encourage a buyer to add a little extra to their purchase with a single click.

If the buyer wants to give the game as a gift they can toggle the gift checkbox.

Lastly we have the payment buttons. In this example two payment providers are shown. On your purchase dialogs only the payment providers you've configured will show up.

What happens next depends on who you select. Here are screenshots of the two providers:

Each path will step the buyer through entering payment information, then validate that the purchase has been completed. After completing all the necessary steps the buyer is then redirected to the game’s download page on itch.io.

Learn about payment options & VAT

After the purchase

The download page is the first thing the buyer sees after buying a game. Here is what it looks like:

itch.io's purchase dialog

At the top of the page is a detailed description of the transaction and any important information regarding how the download page works.

It reads:

This page has a unique URL for your purchase. You can always re-download the latest files from this page. You should have also received an email with a link to this page. If you ever lose the URL for this page you can request it to be emailed to you from the support page.

As it says, the user’s purchase gets them a unique URL where they can download the most recently uploaded files provided by the developer. If you need to send out a new version just upload it. You can optionally contact all the purchasers using the Send email functionality.

Learn about interacting with your fans

Below that is a list of files. The buyer just needs to click once to initiate a download immediately.

If your game has any Steam or other keys associated with it, then the key claim area sits below. External download keys are only distributed on demand when the buyer clicks the button the first time.

Lastly there are the Download and install instructions. This is an optional but highly recommended field on the game edit page. Here you can describe anything the buyer needs to know in order to run your game. You can also include contact information or links to any resources relevant to the game. This text is only available to buyers if your game is only available through purchasing.

The purchase email

After purchasing a game the buyer will also receive an email containing information about the purchase and a link to their unique download URL. It looks like this:

Thank you for purchasing ‘X-Moon’

You purchased ‘X-Moon’ for .00.

If you haven’t gotten the game yet, you can find it on the download page.

Your download URL is unique to your purchase. Please do not share it. If you ever lose access to the URL you can always re-request it on the itch.io support page.

powered by itch.io

Accounts and purchases

itch.io accounts are not necessary to make purchases. A purchase is associated with an email address. If someone has lost their purchase information they can request it to be re-sent to their email address from the support page.

Creating an account on itch.io is recommended though. It lets a buyer organize all their purchases in one spot. Purchases are found on the My collections page, and can easily be re-downloaded from there.

Start selling today!

Hopefully this guide clears up any questions about how purchases on itch.io work. If you have any questions or concerns then don’t hesitate to ask from the itch.io support page.