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Can You Change Steam Region Locations With a VPN in 2024?

It used to be that if you wanted a Steam game cheaper, all you had to do was use a VPN to change your region on Steam to countries like Argentina or Turkey. That doesn’t work anymore, but you can still get certain games cheaper, and it’s still worth using a VPN.

Andrej Hadji-VasilevSamuel Chapman

Written by Andrej Hadji-Vasilev (Writer)

Reviewed by Samuel Chapman (Editor)

Last Updated: 2024-03-09T21:57:00+00:00

All our content is written fully by humans; we do not publish AI writing. Learn more here.

At one point, a few years ago, Steam adjusted the prices and currencies it displayed based on the user’s IP address. Currency fluctuations and differences in purchasing power meant that changing your Steam region could net you significantly discounted prices.

Nowadays, things don’t work like that. Steam doesn’t care about your IP address anymore, rendering VPN usage ineffective for buying cheap games from the Steam marketplace. Now, you need your Steam region to be set to the country you’d like to buy from, and you’ll need a payment method from said store region.

Key Takeaways:

  • Changing your Steam location no longer requires you to use a VPN — you can do so by using a payment method from the country you want to change your location to.
  • Using VPN services is a great way to add security to your online gaming experience. A reputable VPN will get you both online security, and decent speeds while gaming.
  • ExpressVPN, NordVPN and Surfshark are all reliable VPN providers that you can use to game online with a secure connection.

You can change your Steam region without a VPN, but we still recommend using one for security reasons. A VPN adds a layer of encryption to your connection and protects you from things like DDoS attacks. Let’s look closer at how to change your Steam country and why you should still use a VPN with Steam.

Change Steam Region: VPN vs Credit Card Country

The “old way” required you to use a VPN. You would connect to a server in the Steam region you want to buy games from, then access Steam. You no longer need a VPN to change the region now, but you do need a payment method from the region you want to change to.

Why is this the case? Because you can easily get a new IP address with a VPN and enjoy cheaper games, which Steam considers to be gaming the system. Obtaining a local payment method from a specific country is much harder, though not impossible. 

Another reason the old trick no longer works: You can only change your Steam region once every 14 days. If you want to buy cheap Steam games from a different country, you’ll need to wait for two weeks before you switch again. 

Will My Steam Account Be Banned If I Use a VPN?

The Steam subscriber agreement doesn’t mention VPNs or changing Steam regions, so using a VPN won’t get your Steam account banned. This wasn’t always the case — at one point, Valve specifically prohibited the use of VPNs because of users who changed their store country to get cheaper games.

They no longer need to prohibit that, because Steam doesn’t care about your IP address anymore, which means a VPN won’t help you buy the same game cheaper. Nor will a VPN help you access geoblocked content here: Nothing on Steam is region-locked, except in very limited scenarios where the restrictions are clearly stated.

What a VPN can do is keep your connection secure and encrypted, and allow you to enjoy a huge server network that keeps you protected while you’re gaming. TL;DR, it’s a good idea to use a VPN when you’re gaming (even if it doesn’t get you cheaper games) and you won’t be at risk of a Steam ban.

Is It Possible to Change Steam Region Locations Now?

Yes, you can change your Steam region from within the Steam account settings. Note that you’ll need to purchase something on Steam using a payment method from the new region before you can change your location. 

If you’ve moved to a new country, you can use a credit card or payment app issued in said country to buy something on Steam. Alternatively, if you have close friends in the country you want to change your store region to, you can ask them to exchange payment information so you can change your region. Make sure it’s someone you really trust!

How to Change Region on Steam 

Changing the region on Steam is rather simple. You don’t need to use a VPN or any other tool to virtually change your current location. Instead, you change region manually and by entering a new billing address when you purchase something on Steam.

  1. Choose What You’re Buying

    Open the Steam store and choose the product you’d like to buy. It could be a game, or a DLC, or other software available on Steam. Add it to your cart from the Steam store product page.

    steamregion step1
  2. Continue to Checkout

    Then, click on the “cart” button and choose “purchase for myself” or “purchase as a gift,” depending on whether you’re buying for yourself.

    steamregion step2
  3. Choose a Payment Method

    The next step is where you choose how you’re going to pay. If you want to update your store country, you must choose a payment method from the country you’d like to update your region to. The billing address must match the new region. Enter the details and complete the purchase using the payment method you’ve chosen, then change your region.

    steamregion step3

Once you’ve completed the purchase with your new payment method, you’ll be able to choose the new region from your account settings. To do this, click on your Steam username in the top-right corner, and from the dropdown menu, choose “account details.” Then, click “update store country.”  

Why Use a VPN for Steam?

When you take into consideration that you can’t get cheaper games with a VPN anymore, you’re left with one huge reason to still use a VPN for Steam: security. A VPN will encrypt your internet connection and hide user data (like your IP address and the websites you visit) from the prying eyes of your internet service provider (or anyone else that might be snooping).

Many VPNs also add features like split tunneling, which lets you choose which apps use the secured connection, and a kill switch that will disable your internet connection if you disconnect from the VPN server.

That being said, using a VPN will always impact your internet connection’s speed and latency, two critical aspects for gaming. If you want said impact to be minimal, you want to use a VPN from our list of best VPNs for gaming — any one of them is an excellent tool for the job.

The Best VPNs for Steam

When you use a VPN for playing Steam games, you want to choose a provider that focuses on keeping speeds high and latency low, but doesn’t put security in the back seat. These three VPNs are all excellent choices for gaming. 

  1. ExpressVPN — Premium-priced VPN with zero compromises
  2. NordVPN — Secure VPN with excellent speeds
  3. Surfshark — Affordable VPN provider with unlimited simultaneous connections

ExpressVPN is our go-to suggestion when both speed and security are priorities. The VPN comes with all the security features you’d need — split tunneling, kill switch and a strict no-logs policy. It performed admirably in our speed tests, increasing latency by only 3ms when connecting to nearby servers. It’s expensive, but as we mention in our ExpressVPN review, it’s worth every penny. 

NordVPN comes in a very close second, with a strong focus on security, a large global server network and respectable speeds. The only reason it doesn’t take the top spot is the fact that speeds and latency aren’t as consistent as ExpressVPN on more distant servers — which we explain in detail in our NordVPN review.

Our third suggestion is Surfshark. Not only did we get excellent results during our performance tests, but Surfshark also checks all the security boxes, with a configurable split tunneling feature, kill switch and strict no-logs policy.

You also get unlimited simultaneous device connections, but as we mention in our Surfshark review, the monthly price is a tad high.

Final Thoughts

Even though you can no longer change the Steam store region to get cheaper games with a VPN, there are still ways to pay less for certain titles. You just need a payment method from the region you want to buy games from.

That being said, a VPN is still a great idea because it adds a layer of security to your connection and keeps your data away from prying eyes. Have you tried our method of how to change Steam region? Did you manage to get games at a cheaper price? Let us know in the comments, and as always, thank you for reading. 

FAQ

  • No, using a VPN to buy Steam games from another country won’t work. Steam no longer looks at your IP address to determine your region, and relies instead on your account details and payment method to determine the correct account country.

  • There is no need to change your Steam region if you travel a lot. Every Steam product is available worldwide, so you can enjoy Steam games regardless of where you’re traveling.

  • No, changing regions on Steam isn’t illegal.

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