Certain Steam games are restricted by country or region. Additionally, some countries have restrictive censorship laws that prevent you from accessing Steam altogether. These restrictions are collectively known as geo-restrictions.
For players who wish to access restricted Steam content, using VPN technology to change the region of your network may seem like a logical fix to geo-restriction… but it is not without its pitfalls. Let’s talk about the dos and don’ts of changing your region on Steam, including Steam VPN rules.
Change your region on Steam with a VPN– easy stepsDownload and install a reliable VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 72% OFF.Connect VPN to the server in the country you need.Log into your Steam account and click on “Account Details”.Click on “Update Store Country.”Enter a new billing address in the selected country and click “Apply Country Change.”
Steam requires you to select your region when you create your account and to verify that you are actually in that region.
This means that to change the region, you will need to activate a VPN to mask your location, then verify your eligibility to transact on Steam within the rules of that country. Luckily, the steps are easy:
Yes. The Steam VPN rules are very clear. Using a VPN is absolutely against Steam Terms of Service, Steam parent company Valve reserves the right to suspend or permanently ban your account if you are caught using Steam with a VPN.
But if you want to play geo-restricted games on Steam, a VPN is pretty much your only option. Just understand that you run the risk of an account ban.
If you’re going to risk it, it behooves you to pick the right VPN provider, one sophisticated enough to avoid a Steam VPN ban.
Benefits of using a VPN for Steam
As we mentioned above, some games aren’t accessible in certain countries. Some countries exercise heavy-handed censorship policies that limit the use of Steam altogether.
Additionally, some local area networks (LAN) may be armed to restrict access to gaming platforms like Steam. Examples include libraries, schools, hotels, and offices.
With a VPN, you can access Steam content that you would otherwise be barred from accessing based on your geographic location or LAN restrictions.
Some countries charge different prices for Steam games. If you activate a VPN in that country, you may be able to get the same game at a cheaper price than the one available in your current location.
Remember, to change the region, your billing address has to match the one on your payment information. Otherwise, you don’t get to change your region or access cheaper prices that might be available in other regions.
One possible workaround is to buy Steam gift cards and gift them to yourself. This is an effective workaround that doesn’t involve opening up a bank account or acquiring a credit card in the target country.
Browsing with a VPN has advantages over and above access to geo-restricted content. People have sacrificed a great deal of privacy by committing to regular web browsing, often without realizing it. VPNs allow users to reclaim some of that privacy.
VPNs encrypt your browsing activity, blocking it from prying eyes. Obviously, this means hackers and potential data thieves, but also government agencies, internet service providers, and Big Data companies that try to collect and then sell data about your browsing activity.
A 6-step guide: How to change your region on SteamGet a VPN subscription - look for a service with great speeds and lots of servers. NordVPN is a good choice.Download the app and install it.Connect the VPN to a server in your desired country.Log into your Steam account and click on “Account Details”.Click on “Update Store Country.”Enter a new billing address in the selected country and click “Apply Country Change.”
Note: your new billing address will have to match the billing address on your payment method. As such, you need a payment method with a billing address in the country whose geo-restricted content you wish to access! Hence—easier said than done.
Best VPNs for Steam
When selecting a VPN to use with steam, take into account the following considerations:Good speedUnlimited bandwidth, no data throttlingStrong encryptionServers in your desired countriesFree trial or money-back guarantee, in case it doesn’t work.
Here are the best VPNs to try and change your region on Steam without catching a Steam VPN ban.Based in:PanamaSimultaneous connections:6Servers/Countries:5,542 servers in 59 countriesCurrent deal:Get NordVPN,now 72% OFF + 3 Months FREE!
NordVPN uses military-grade encryption and a host of other features to keep your browsing identity private. It’s lightning-fast, with the option to get a dedicated static IP address for an additional fee, and no throttling or bandwidth limitations, so it won’t slow down your gaming.
It’s one of the most reliable VPN services, with over 5,700 servers in 59 countries. It also comes with a reasonable price tag and a 30-day, no-questions-asked money-back guarantee.
To learn more about NordVPN, see our NordVPN review.
ProsGreat speed test scoresSOCKS5 proxyP2P serversUnblocks NetflixSplit tunneling Based in:British Virgin IslandsSimultaneous connections:UnlimitedServers/Countries:3,200 servers in 65 countriesCurrent deal:Get Surfshark, now81% OFF!
Visit Surfshark VPN
For “team” gamers, Surfshark offers the advantage of unlimited devices on one subscription. You and a whole cohort of your friends can game together with one VPN subscription.
Surfshark boasts impressive speeds, unlimited bandwidth, over 1,700 servers across 58 countries, and a 30-day money-back guarantee.
For more Surfshark features, check our Surfshark VPN review.
ProsGreat speed test scoresLow subscription priceUnblocks several Netflix librariesUnlimited simultaneous connections
ConsLimited Mac appNo free version Based in:United StatesSimultaneous connections:10Servers/Countries:1,600 servers in 52 countriesCurrent deal:Save 65% OFFtheIPVanish 1-year plan!
IPVanish is a solid VPN capable that will make geo-restrictions a thing of the past.
With one of the lowest VPN prices in the market, IPVanish offers insane value. It’s compatible with torrenting clients, includes split tunneling, includes SOCKS5 proxy, and can obfuscate your traffic. That way, no one will even find out that you’re using a VPN.
No matter which plan you choose, you will be getting ten simultaneous connections. That’s plenty to cover all your devices.
Make sure to read our IPVanish review to learn about all the included features.
ProsP2P-compatible10 simultaneous connectionsConnection scramblingSOCKS5 proxy
ConsPrice increases after a yearFails to unblock some streaming servicesNot the biggest feature list
The 100-pound gorilla of PC gaming, Steam can be a fantastic and affordable platform if you are in the right place. But it can also be expensive and disappointing if you are in the wrong one. Certain countries restrict access to content or limit gamers to paying exorbitant prices.
This can be a difficult problem to circumvent — Steam requires your account region to match your billing address and the geography of the network you are using. This can also complicate things for gamers who travel and want to enjoy their favorite games on the road.
A fast, sophisticated virtual private network (VPN) can change the location of your server and allow you to access the gaming rules and prices of a different region. Use them — at your own risk!
Steam is committed to restricting users from accessing content and prices that are not available in their country of residence. This is for a variety of reasons, including government censorship and business deals.
Yes. Steam VPN rules are very strict. Using a VPN is against the Terms of Service that you must agree to in order to set up a Steam account. If Steam catches you using a VPN, your account could be suspended or earn a permanent Steam VPN ban.
Purchases made in certain regions may only be accessible in certain regions. For example, Steam purchases made in Russia are only playable in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan.
Steam itself does not impose price variations. Distributors have complete control over the prices they offer over the platform. Distributors also value customers differently based on spending power (among other things). E.g.: UK gamers are seen as more wealthy and therefore the distributor may charge higher prices to UK gamers.