Steam is one of the largest gaming platforms on the planet, hosting millions of users playing thousands of different games every day. With such a wide net of data being processed, error codes and other problems are a common occurrence when trying to use the service.
Just like with most games and live services, a majority of the problems Steam encounters have to do with a user’s connection to the platform’s server.
One of the main errors users will experience is Steam Error e502 l3, which can appear at any time when using Steam’s main interface. But it’s most commonly encountered when using the store or logging in. This typically means that Steam’s servers are being heavily taxed in some form, usually involving the store.
Users tend to see Steam Error e502 l3 pop up more during Steam’s big seasonal sales or popular game launches since thousands of people might be attempting to checkout at the same time. It can also impact a player’s ability to click into their library to access their games.
The most recent example of this is the widespread report of user issues and errors that popped up as soon as the reservation period started for Valve’s new handheld system, the Steam Deck. Just minutes after the pre-orders went live, Steam users were met with long waiting times and shared images of the infamous Steam Error e502 l3 screen popping up when trying to place their orders.
Since Steam Error e502 l3 is a server problem, you’ll likely just need to wait until Valve is able to stabilize its servers. But exiting or restarting Steam entirely can sometimes fix whatever issues you’re having simply by freshly relaunching the app.
You can also check the Steam community hub, SteamDB, for specific status information, including how many users are online, how different areas of the platform are performing, and more. This should give you an idea of how the platform’s servers are performing.