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Finding how to change region on Steam is getting harder due to the new restrictions from Valve. That means region-exclusive games and prices are out of reach for the everyday user. And while it’s possible to circumvent this geo-blocking with a reliable VPN, there still are some nuances you should know before changing your Steam region.
Oops, sorry! An error was encountered while processing your request. The item is currently unavailable in your region.
To stop seeing this message once and for all, you’ll need a VPN service. It allows you to choose from multiple countries and locations to avoid geo-blocking.
How to change the region on Steam: a short guide
- Get a Steam VPN. We recommend NordVPN, now 72% off
- Once installed, connect to a server in your desired country
- On your Steam account, select Account details
- Choose Update Store Country
- Enter new billing address and Apply country change
Warning! Don’t change your Steam region too often. Due to strict Steam rules, your account can be blocked. We recommend using only the top VPNs for Steam!
Why you need a VPN for Steam
A VPN for Steam is a beneficial tool even for those who don’t want to change their country. Below are the key reasons why you would benefit from using a VPN for Steam.
Unblock geo-restricted Steam content
Users already know that not all Steam content is available for everyone. Some games are blocked in certain regions, meaning you won’t access them without changing your Steam location. You may see that some games are labeled “Worldwide”, while others may have “US” or “Europe” tags.
In such a case, you’ll get a Steam error message saying that “Oops, sorry! An error encountered when processing your request. This item is unavailable in your territory.”
Other times, your favorite game might not appear in search results at all. For example, I check for Street Fighter X Tekken and only saw its various booster packs. As a matter of fact, you can’t buy extras if you don’t own the game itself.
However, after I changed my country with a VPN, I was able to visit this game’s page and finally buy it.
Furthermore, if you’re traveling abroad, even your own games might stop working. Actually, the same can happen in your country as well. That’s if you connect from public wifi in an airport or a hotel.
Luckily, a VPN can help avoid all these issues by changing your Steam location.
Access special deals and discounts
It’s great when there’s finally a discount on an item on your wishlist. However, waiting for exclusive offers can take a while, while there may be already active special deals in other countries or regions. With a reliable Steam VPN, you can change your location to access all of them and save money.
Additionally, you’ll also need to pay with a credit card from that particular location. Steam Wallet is also not an option because you can store credit in one currency only. Luckily, you can buy the game as a gift and give it to yourself.
Stay safe online
Using the best VPN for Steam is also a great way to stay safe online. To start with, it will hide your IP address and location. Next, a Steam VPN will encrypt your traffic, meaning that your Internet Service Provider (ISP) won’t see what you’re doing online.
Moreover, our recommended VPNs for Steam don’t keep any activity logs. Therefore, you can be sure that your personal data won’t be sold to third parties and won’t end up on some shady database.
A Steam VPN can also protect you from DDoS attacks, which is a big nuisance for games around the world. There are plenty of wrongdoers who will gladly interrupt your gaming so you can’t achieve your goals.
Finally, you’ll be able to access other geo-blocked resources, such as streaming services or local versions of websites.
Avoid bandwidth throttling
There’s one more great Steam VPN feature left to mention. They can help avoid bandwidth throttling from your ISP. Usually, it’s reserved for streaming and torrenting, but gamers are also attacked occasionally.
If an ISP detects that you’re doing one of these activities, it deliberately slows down your connection to save overall bandwidth. As a result, you end up with buffering, lower video quality, or spiked latency.
When you turn on a VPN, there’s no way to determine what exactly you are doing, meaning there’s no reason to limit your internet speed.
How to change your Steam location with a VPN: a detailed guide
Valve has a couple of limitations for changing your Steam location. First, you must have at least one purchase before switching to another country. Also, it has to be made not earlier than one month ago. And after making a switch, you’ll need to stay in your new region for 3 months.
But in the end, it all comes down to the following steps:
- Get a VPN for Steam. We recommend NordVPN, now 72% off.
- Connect to a VPN server in your chosen country. You can choose straight from the location map.
- Open your Steam account and at the top right, select Account details.
- Choose Update Store Country. This won’t be possible unless you’ve made a Steam purchase recently.
- Enter your new billing address and Apply country change.
That’s it! Now you can access regional prices and games that were unavailable in your location.
3 best VPNs to change the region on Steam
Top Steam VPNs should have a solid server list and provide global coverage. This way, you’ll be able to access games and discounts in other regions. Also, look for a service that can unlock geo-blocked content and avoid Steam detection.
Last but not least comes speed. All VPNs slow down your connection to some extent, but only the best VPNs for Steam will allow you to play without latency.
1. NordVPN – the best Steam VPN
There’s no real reason why you shouldn’t choose NordVPN, our top Steam VPN. It has everything you need – unblocking capabilities, security, privacy, and unparalleled performance.
With NordVPN, you’ll be able to switch your account region in 59 countries. Thanks to its Obfuscated servers, you’re chances of getting caught by Steam will be as slim as a reed. This VPN also sports an independently-audited no-logs policy, which means that none of your data is stored on any of their 5500+ servers.
When it comes to speed, you won’t find a better provider. NordVPN is the fastest service in 2021, and most of the credit goes to NordLynx, its proprietary tunneling protocol. As a result, expect low latency when gaming with this VPN.
NordVPN prices start from $3.30/month. There’s also a 7-day free trial on Google Play Store that works on all devices. You can use a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
For more information, check out our in-depth NordVPN review.
2. Surfshark – inexpensive but powerful VPN for Steam
The VPN industry is still confused about how Surfshark can offer so many features while asking for so little. That makes it one of the best VPNs for Steam in 2021.
Everything starts with its solid server fleet, located in 65+ countries. As you can see, the chances of you not finding that indie game are pretty low. Moreover, Surfshark’s Camouflage mode, available on all 3200+ servers, will help you avoid detection by Steam.
Surfshark provides excellent speeds, which can be attributed to the next-gen WireGuard protocol. Besides, it’s also the safest option when compared to all-over tunneling options. Speaking of safety, Surfshark has a strict no-logs policy and is located in the British Virgin Islands, a privacy-friendly jurisdiction.
You can get Surfshark for $2.49/month. There’s a 7-day free trial and a 30-day money-back guarantee. Most importantly, Surfshark gives you unlimited simultaneous connections.
Want to learn more about this service? Read our Surfshark review.
3. VyprVPN – security-oriented Steam VPN
It would be hard to find another VPN for Steam that has put so much into protecting its users. While being exceptionally secure, VyprVPN is also great for geo-unblocking, hiding from detection, and providing affordable prices.
VyprVPN has only 700+ servers. But don’t let the numbers fool you – this provider owns all of them, which adds extra security to an already safe service. Besides, VyprVPN’s 70+ countries guarantee global coverage that Steam fans look for.
This VPN offers WireGuard and in-house Chameleon protocol. Use the first one when you need maximum performance and the latter when you need to hide from Steam or any other service that detects VPN usage. As for privacy, VyprVPN has an independently-audited no-logs policy and is registered in privacy-friendly Switzerland.
VyprVPN costs $1.67/month. The deal includes a 5 simultaneous connections limit that can be expanded with a router. There’s also a 30-day money-back guarantee.
To learn more about this provider, check out the VyprVPN review.
Is it legal to use a VPN with Steam?
Let’s get it straight – it’s legal to use a VPN with Steam. However, that comes with a few caveats. One, you can’t use a VPN to bypass geo-blocking. Two, you can’t use a VPN to get better deals elsewhere.
If you do that, Valve has all the rights to cancel your account. Luckily, that doesn’t always happen straight away. Sometimes, if Steam catches you changing location frequently, it may offer a temporary cooldown period during which you’ll be locked to your current country.
In a further crack down on people buying games in cheaper regions, Valve added a limit on how often you can change your Steam account’s country.
Country may not be updated more than once every 3 months. Purchases can be completed using a payment method from your current region.
— Steam Database (@SteamDB) June 23, 2021
This can happen if you’ve changed the country during the last two weeks. The same cooldown applies if you’ve bought something from another country within the last 48 hours. However, if you pay with the local currency, you can change the country as many times as you want.
Steam in-home streaming over VPN
Some users are interested in using Steam for in-home streaming with a VPN. This can be useful if you have a powerful gaming computer available remotely. The feature, mostly known as Steam Link Anywhere, has been renamed Steam Remote Play.
Back in the day, you needed a manual configuration to make it work. From now on, Valve no longer requires to have both devices on the same LAN. Therefore, you only need a VPN if you’re playing a game from another region. For that, we highly recommend NordVPN, our #1 Steam VPN.
You can play on desktop and mobile devices because most Steam games are already optimized for touch screens. All you have to do is download Steam Link for your smartphone and connect to a device that’s running Steam.
You don’t need a mobile device to enjoy Steam Remote Play, though. You can connect your gaming rig to Steam, log in on another computer and start streaming.
Steam in-home streaming supports the following platforms:
- Android (phones, tablets, TVs)
- iOS (iPhone, iPad, Apple TV)
- Raspberry Pi 3 (and newer)
What’s more, you don’t need a Steam Controller – any popular Bluetooth device will do.
With Steam Remote Play, you’ll be able to play your favorite games on an unsupported platform. Also, it can be done from anywhere, provided that your gaming device has a fast upload and reliable internet connection. Of course, if both devices are in different regions, a VPN might be needed to spoof your location.
Should I use a Steam VPN?
Even if you’re not seeking top deals and rare games in other countries, we recommend using the best VPN for Steam in 2021. It will provide you with extra security by hiding your IP, encrypting your traffic, and preventing DDoS attacks. What’s more, a Steam VPN might even increase performance by disabling bandwidth throttling.
While using a VPN for Steam is restricted by Valve, the best providers won’t let you get caught thanks to the Stealth VPN technology. This feature hides the fact that you’re using a VPN, reducing the risk of getting an account ban. Finally, a Steam VPN can help you pay with the home currency while traveling.
How can I change my Steam country?
The first option is to physically move to that country and make a purchase using local payment options. Another option is to use a VPN, connect to your chosen country, and purchase it as a gift for yourself. Valve forbids the last option, so make sure you use a reliable Steam VPN.
Can I pay in other currency for Steam products?
Officially, you can only purchase with the currency available in your country. Otherwise, you need to change your Steam country settings. Another option is to use a VPN for Steam, which allows you to change your location without moving physically. Make sure you use one of the options above because Valve doesn’t allow using VPNs to find better deals elsewhere.
Do I need to change my Steam region if I travel a lot?
Yes, you do. Otherwise, you won’t be able to purchase anything with your home country’s currency. However, you can virtually stay at home and pay with a local currency if you use a VPN that has servers in your country.
We recommend choosing NordVPN, Surfshark, or VyprVPN, for that matter, as they are secure enough to minimize the chances of Valve banning your Steam account.
Why is Steam region-locked?
Since game distributors offer different prices in each country, Valve created Steam regions that group countries according to the purchasing power. This mostly applies to products bought as gifts that one can redeem only in the same region.
Before this, Western gamers bought cheaper products in Russia, which lead to a price increase for the locals. Now, unlocking your Steam region is possible only with a VPN. However, Steam VPN rules are strictly against such practices, so if you don’t want your account suspended or banned, use our recommended VPN providers.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Jan is the captain at the helm of VPNpro. He ensures that every crew member is practicing perfect digital hygiene and spreading only accurate pro tips about technology. Besides that, he is a frequent contributor on many renowned publications, such as Forbes, ComputerWeekly, PC Mag, TechRadar, and ZDNet.