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How to Change Region on Steam without Getting Banned (2022)

September 3, 2022
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Home   >   Blog

If you are trying to access Steam’s awesome cloud-based library of games and content, it can be very frustrating to see this error message instead:

Steam error message

Oops, sorry! An error was encountered while processing your request. The item is currently unavailable in your region.”

Because Steam’s games are restricted based on your region, it can be nearly impossible to access the games you want to play if you are in a blocked Steam region.

Thankfully, there is a workaround that will help you access any games you want to play, no matter which region you are in a VPN.

A VPN can hide your IP address, which reveals your actual location and let you connect to a VPN server in a region in which your game of choice is available. This gives you an IP address that reflects that permitted gaming location, helps you get around Steam’s region restrictions, and hides your actual location from your Internet Service Provider as well.

On top of the benefit of unblocking any Steam games you choose, VPNs can also help protect you from some of the risks and cyber threats that can harm you while gaming.

Exact Steps to Change Your Location on Steam

In order to make gaming purchases from Steam stores in different locations, gamers will need to be using a payment method/billing address that corresponds to the desired Steam location (unless using a Steam gift card).

Change your region on Steam with a VPN — 5 Easy Steps:

  1. Choose and download a reputable VPN. We suggest ExpressVPN, at 49% off!
Link to download Express VPN

2. Connect to a VPN server in your country of choice.

Express VPN process to connect

3. Sign in to Steam for access to your Steam “account details.”

Steam sign-in

4. Click to “Update Store Country.”

update store account button

5. Update your billing address in a country you select and pick “Apply Country Change.”

Update billing information.

*Warning: If you change your Store details — i.e., changes in your billing address — too often Steam will flag your account and put it in what it calls a “Temporary Cooldown.”

In a Hurry? Here are the 4 Best VPNs for Steam

4 Best VPNs to Use with Steam (for Changing Region, Buying Games from Another Country, and More)

steam logo

Using a VPN is not just about unblocking games from a restricted location; A VPN can also help you get the best gaming deals so you can be sure you are always making a smart purchase whenever you buy games on the Steam site.

As is true with many businesses, the deals and prices on Steam are dependent on your country of residence. If you are accessing the site from the USA, you may see different prices than if you are accessing the site from the UK, or China.

VPN location

When you connect to a remote VPN server, your new IP address reveals to Steam that you are in whichever VPN server location you connect to — which makes Steam believe you are in that new country, and shows you the “local” price for your purchases in the place your IP address reveals — not your actual location. So, if you are in China, and you are blocked from accessing Steam, you can connect to a VPN server in the USA and access Steam as if you are in the USA.

So, which VPN services can effectively help you unblock Steam in a new county?

We have done the legwork for you and have come up with the 4 best VPNs for Steam that will reliably get around geo-blocks to help you access your game from anywhere in the world.

Devices compatible with ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is our #1 choice for accessing any game with Steam. With over 3,000 highspeed servers in 94 countries around the world, your connection speeds when using this VPN service will be consistently, reliably fast, and you will have no problem getting past site restrictions in any countries.

Express can help you access Steam content with no buffering or lag, and with consistently stable connections.

If you want to use a Smart DNS proxy with Steam, you can use ExpressVPN’s MediaStreamer to get even faster-streaming speeds when breaking through geo-blocks in blocked countries. This will make your connection speed faster for streaming, but will not give you the same VPN protection and encryption.

When put to the test, this VPN had no problem unblocking all of the gaming and streaming services we tested.

The VPN app will work on all main devices, including Mac, Windows, Android, iOS, PlayStation, Xbox, routers, Linux, Chromebook, smart TVs, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, gaming consoles, and others.

Since most households have many different devices under one roof, it is good to note that you can connect up to 5 simultaneous devices to one VPN account. If you want to allow other network users to connect as well, connecting your VPN to your router lets you connect an unlimited number of users to your VPN via your wi-fi.

As for privacy and security features, ExpressVPN offers all of the important things like militarygrade 256bit encryption, split tunneling, DNS leak protection, a verified nologs policy, a Kill Switch, IP leak protection, and OpenVPN across all platforms, so all of your information will remain private and secure at all times.

The one drawback of this VPN service provider is that it is one of the more expensive of the bunch. But, in all honesty, the few-dollar increase in price for an ExpressVPN subscription is completely worth paying, in my book, because those few dollars buy peace of mind knowing that my connection is always going to be reliable, fast, and completely secure.

From experience, I can attest that this VPN has some of the most responsive, most knowledgeable customer support around. I cannot tell you how many times I have utilized its 24/7 live-chat customer support feature, relieved to chat with somebody on the other side who could give me immediate, to-the-point, expert assistance.

In the end, if for some reason you are not pleased with this VPN provider, you can opt-out within 30 days for a full refund, guaranteed, so there really is nothing to lose.

Pros:

  1. Works great with Steam
  2. 24/7 live-chat customer support
  3. Easy to use across platforms
  4. Great privacy and security features
  5. 30-day refund guarantee
  6. Widespread server coverage

Cons:

  1. More expensive prices than other VPNs

2. NordVPN

Devices compatible with NordVPN

NordVPN is one of the best VPN services, ranking a close second for our best choice for accessing different regional Steam content. With over 5,400 VPN servers in 59 countries worldwide, NordVPN consistently delivers good speeds and reliable connections, even on long-distance servers.

Using the NordVPN SmartPlay DNS feature, you can automatically get quick buffer-free access to over 400 different services on top of your gaming platforms.

NordVPN has top privacy and security features with its AES 256bit encryption and OpenVPN and IKEc2/IPSec protocols that will keep your footprint hidden. It has a verified nologs policy and DNS and IP leak protection, and its CyberSec feature also provides an extra layer of protection from malware and annoying ads that may pop up.

NordVPN works with Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, smart TVs, routers, and Linux, so there should never be a problem finding an app that is compatible with your device; and you can use up to 6 devices simultaneously with a single subscription, which means you’ll be able to use a combination of devices without compromising your speed or quality.

NordVPN has stellar customer service, including 24/7 live chat support that you can use in case any problems arise, but if you are still not sold after a few weeks, you can opt out and take advantage of the NordVPN 30day moneyback guarantee.

Pros:

  1. Very fast streaming speeds
  2. Double VPN and obfuscated servers
  3. Works great with Steam
  4. Good server coverage
  5. Great privacy and security features
  6. 6 user connections on one plan

Cons:

  1. Slows down with advanced security

Devices compatible with Surfshark

Surfshark is certainly among our top choices for helping access games in any Steam country. With the cheapest pricing of the top VPNs, Surfshark is affordable, but also effective at keeping up with its more expensive competitors.

Though Surfshark’s speed does not compare to the top two VPNs, its servers are still plenty fast for streaming on Steam with hardly any buffering or lag and its locations are varied enough that you can even unlock Steam games before anyone else!

Surfshark has proven to be successful at unblocking the most popular streaming and gaming sites.

While streaming, you can opt to use Surfshark’s DNS changer, Trust DNS. this will let you stream geo-blocked content with even faster speeds, but it will not give you the encrypted connection a VPN connection does.

Surfshark has compatibility with pretty much all devices and platforms you use, including Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, Fire TV, Apple TV, and routers.

Surfshark passes all the tests for security features with its AES 256bit encryption, nologs policy, split tunneling, double encryption, Kill Switch, DNS, and IP leak protection, and its special CleanWeb suite, which blocks ads and protects against malware.

Part of what pushes Surfshark toward the top of the list of best VPNs is that it allows for unlimited devices to connect on just one account, making it ideal for a large family who wants to connect multiple electronics at once.

Surfshark also offers some great 24/7 live-chat customer support and a 30day refund guarantee, giving us all the chance to try this VPN for a few weeks without penalty.

Pros:

  1. Live chat
  2. No-logging policy
  3. Unlimited simultaneous connections
  4. Affordable prices
  5. Good server coverage
  6. Works great with Steam

Cons:

  1. Slightly slower speeds
  2. Split tunneling only on some platforms

Devices compatible with CyberGhost

CyberGhost is a great VPN for accessing all sorts of blocked games with Steam.

Its speeds are pretty reliable, with only some minor lags here and there, which makes it a good choice for unblocking streaming services and gaming platforms.

CyberGhost is compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, or iOSbased mobile devices, Amazon Fire TV, Amazon Fire Stick, routers, and more.

You can connect a pretty sizable 7 devices simultaneously to one CyberGhost VPN account, but if you connect your VPN to your router, you can connect an unlimited number of devices to your wi-fi, all of which will be connected to your VPN.

CyberGhost offers the standard security and privacy features that you will find in all of the top VPNs, like 256bit AES encryption, a Kill Switch, and a nologs policy. It also has a built-in ad blocker, which not all of the VPN services have.

Unlike the other VPN services, CyberGhost VPN offers the user a 45day refund guarantee, giving you a bit more time than its competitors to change your mind with absolutely no penalty.

Pros:

  1. No-logging policy
  2. Compatible with a range of devices
  3. Large server network
  4. 45-day refund guarantee
  5. Use up to 7 connections at once

Cons:

  1. Slower long-distance speeds

FAQs

Why are Steam games more expensive in Europe?
Strangely, there is a discrepancy between the cost of Steam games in the US Steam Store and the cost in the Steam Store in Europe.

Because there tend to be higher taxes in Europe, this hike in price is inevitable. But, take a look at this phenomenon from this perspective:

In the USA, there are both state and local taxes, while in Europe, they use value-added taxes (VAT), which are already calculated in the price for any consumer purchase. In the USA, the sales tax is added after the fact – not visible in the price you see advertised. This more clearly explains the difference in pricing between regions.

Conclusion

While VPNs are your only solution (short of hopping on a plane) to unblock Steam gaming in different locations, it is important to realize that Steam’s parent company, Valve, does not condone using this VPN hack to get around georestrictions.

In fact, the Steam Subscriber Agreement Valve states that you, the customer, agree not to use a VPN or proxy method to change countries, or access another region’s competing prices. The consequence for disobeying this regulation is the termination of your Steam account.

So, if you disregard Valve and use a VPN to access game content in another area, you are risking your account being blocked.

Nowadays, though, it impossible to expect Steam users to be satisfied with only the game content available for purchase in their location. So, if you are willing to take the risk, and if you want to change your Steam country so that you are able to get around region restrictions, this is pretty simple to do using a VPN.

20 Replies to "How to Change Region on Steam without Getting Banned (2022)"

  • Mark Stone

    are there any drawbacks to changing your steam region?

    • VPNBrains

      Great question. There can be a few potential drawbacks to changing your Steam region. First, some games are tied to specific regions and may not work if you try to play them in a different region. Second, if you’re switching to a region with a different currency, you may lose any balance you have in your Steam Wallet or be charged foreign transaction fees on any purchases you make. Also, if you frequently switch regions, Valve may limit the number of times you can do so in a given period of time.

  • Jamila

    What is the difference between a VPN and a proxy?

    • VPNBrains

      So a VPN and a proxy both allow you to access blocked websites, but they do so in different ways.

      A VPN, or Virtual Private Network, encrypts all of your traffic and routes it through a remote server before it reaches the internet. This means that your internet service provider (ISP) can’t see what you’re doing online, and it also makes it difficult for advertisers to track you.

      A proxy, on the other hand, simply forwards all of your traffic through another server before it reaches the internet. This means that your ISP can still see what you’re doing online, and it also makes it easy for advertisers to track you.

  • Andrew Stutzman

    Is it illegal to use a vpn to change your region on steam?

    • VPNBrains

      It’s not technically illegal, but it’s definitely frowned upon by Valve.

      You’re not supposed to use a VPN to change your region on Steam because it can give you an unfair advantage in multiplayer games. For example, if you’re from the US and you switch your region to Canada, you’ll get access to all of the Canadian Steam servers, which might have lower ping times than the US servers. This is unfair for gamers who are actually from Canada and are trying to compete with people from other regions.

      That being said, people are using VPNs to change their region on Steam. But it seems as a way to control this, Steam is limiting the amount of times someone can change their Steam location (even if you’re not using a VPN).

  • Shuvo

    how long does it take to set up the vpn?

    • VPNBrains

      A lot of VPNs are super simple to setup. And especially all the ones we recommend. Basically you just create an account, download the software and install it (which typically takes less than a minute).

      All of the VPNs we recommend are very newbie friendly, so even if you’ve never installed or used a VPN before, you shouldn’t have any problems with the ones we suggest.

  • Sachin

    is it safe to use a VPN? like can it hurt my computer or get me in trouble?

    • VPNBrains

      Yes, VPNs are safe to use. However, it’s important to choose a quality VPN with a good reputation. It’s just like most industries, some companies are more reliable and/or ethical than others.

      For example, if you use one of the VPNs we recommend, then you don’t have to worry about it harming your computer.

      Now realize that using a VPN isn’t something that would get you into trouble (unless using one is considered illegal in your country). It’s what you do with a VPN that can get a person into trouble.

      For example, let’s say someone wanted to download a movie that was copyrighted. Just b/c a VPN will keep your activity private (so that your internet service provided doesn’t know what you’re doing), it doesn’t mean that whatever you use a VPN for is considered illegal.

      It’s the same idea of robbing a bank. Let’s say you had the ability to rob a bank and not get caught. Does that mean robbing a bank is ok to do?

      So just because a VPN allows someone to get away with doing something illegal online, it doesn’t make that activity legal.

      Here again, it’s not using a VPN that get’s someone in trouble, it’s what they might use a VPN for.

      As another example, let’s say someone used a VPN to download a bunch of copyrighted material and they forgot to make sure the kill switch was turned on (or some VPNs don’t have a kill switch). So while they were downloading one of the movies, there was about a period of 5 seconds where the VPN suddenly disconnected. Because the kill switch wasn’t turned on, the internet stayed on and the movie kept downloading, but this time the internet service provider was able to see what they were downloading… even though it was only for a few seconds… it was enough time for their ‘illegal’ activity to be exposed.

      It’s a good questions and let us know if we can help answer anything else about that.

  • Denae Hermawan

    What are the benefits of changing your Steam region?

    • VPNBrains

      One of the most popular reasons is to take advantage of lower prices on games by shopping in a different country’s Steam store. Also, you may find that some games are unavailable in your region or that they’re only available in a certain language. By changing your Steam region, you can access all the content that’s available in other regions.

      Another benefit of changing your Steam region is that you can sometimes have a better gaming experience. They key here is finding out if the servers for the game you’re playing are located in a different country than where you live. For example, if you live in the United States but the game servers are located in Canada, your connection to the game servers will be faster if you switch to a Canadian-based server. And a VPN makes it VERY easy to do this.

  • Hariom balhara

    Are there any risks or can i get in trouble for changing my region on Steam with a VPN?

    • VPNBrains

      Yes, there are a few risks to be aware of. First and foremost, it’s important to be aware that Steam may ban your account if it detects that you’re using a VPN to abuse and gain an unfair advantage in games. Also, some games may not be available in certain regions due to licensing restrictions, so you may not be able to access all of the games in your library if you switch regions. Finally, it’s worth noting that using a VPN (especially ones that are lower quality) can sometimes cause slower download speeds and higher latency rates.

  • Lawrence

    can you still play games that are only available in other regions if you have changed your region on steam?

    • VPNBrains

      Yes, you can still play games that are only available in your region after changing your region on Steam. It’s not a permanent thing — with the VPN turned off, your VPN reverts to your original IP address and you’ll be able to again, play games that are exclusive to your region.

  • Matt Baier

    Can changing your region on Steam affects your gaming experience?

    • VPNBrains

      It definitely can! For example, if you’re playing a game that’s multiplayer-focused, being in a region with lots of other players will give you a much better experience than if you were in a region with few other players. The same is true for games that are heavily reliant on online features – if your game is constantly crashing because the servers are overloaded, it’s going to be a lot harder to enjoy the game.

      On the flip side, if you’re more interested in single player games or games that don’t have many online features, then it doesn’t really matter what region you’re in. In fact, you might even want to choose a region that has low population density so that you’ll have fewer distractions to deal with.

  • Gaurav

    how long will it take for my changes to take effect?

    • VPNBrains

      It’s tough to say, because it depends on a lot of factors – like how congested the servers are and where your computer is physically located. But generally speaking, changes to your Steam region should take effect fairly quickly.

      Generally, changes can take effect in as little as 10 minutes, or it could take up to 24 hours. But typically speaking, you should see the change reflected in your Steam library within a few hours at most.

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