How to Change Your Steam Country With a VPN (and Not Get Banned)
If you’ve ever encountered this Steam error message, you’ve been region-blocked. Since Steam introduced region-locking for its games, it has been harder to access global gaming content — but it’s not impossible.
All you need is a reliable VPN that can mask your true location, trick Steam into thinking you’re in another location, and allow you to play games from other regions. As the price of Steam games may vary depending on the country, you could also use a VPN to switch locations to get cheaper games. As a bonus, the VPN also protects you from cyber-attacks and privacy threats while you’re gaming.
Steam has a strict policy on VPNs and has the right to ban users caught using a VPN with its service. But if you’re willing to take the risk to play your favorite games, you should know how to minimize your risk of getting caught.
I’ll show you how to change your Steam country in just a few clicks, and also recommend the best VPNs that will help you avoid detection.
4 Steps to Change your Country on Steam
If you want to buy games from different region’s Steam stores, simply changing your IP address is not enough. Steam determines your location using your billing address, not your IP address. So if you want to buy games from other regions, you’ll need a billing address in the country you’re buying from.
- Connect your trusted VPN to the country you want as your new location.
- Then, log into your Steam client. Click on the “Account Details” button.
- Click on “Update Store Country”.
- Confirm the change from your old country and enter a new billing address. Click “Apply country change”.The new address should match whatever new payment method you are going to be using. If you’re using Steam Wallet or a gift card, then the billing address can be any address.
Once this is done, you can go to the Steam store and start making purchases from your new country!
Tip: Don’t change your address too often. If Steam detects frequent changes to your address, it will put your account in a temporary cooldown.
Now that you have successfully changed your country you will be able to make purchases from the “local” Steam store!
Quick Guide: Best VPNs for Steam
- ExpressVPN — Top-shelf security features and over 3000 server options for super-reliable connections while I game. Try ExpressVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee.
- CyberGhost VPN — Provides a static IP address so Steam can’t see you’re using a VPN, but servers in less countries compared to the other VPNs on this list.
Why You Should Use a VPN with Steam
Here are three of the top reasons why you should use a VPN with Steam:
1. To Maintain Your Privacy Online
You should use a VPN with Steam to maintain your online privacy. A VPN keeps your personal information and browsing data safe from the prying eyes of hackers, government agencies, and your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
By hiding your online activity, no one can sell your data to third parties and you won’t receive targeted ads.
This is also one of the only legitimate ways you can use a VPN with Steam. In this situation, Steam won’t really punish you for using a VPN because you aren’t using it in direct violation of their Subscription Agreement.
2. To Get Cheaper Deals
Different countries in the world have different Steam game prices. This means that you could find out where the cheapest games are, and use your VPN to connect to a server in that country to buy those games.
Of course, Steam doesn’t make it easy for you to change your location and get the best deals. In addition to following the steps above to change your country, you will also need a local payment method that matches the address created in Step 4.
If you don’t have access to a local credit card in the country you want to buy cheap games from, there is the option of buying a Steam gift card and gifting it to yourself. If you’re making payments using your Steam Wallet, note that Steam only allows one currency in their wallet.
Note that if you’re using a VPN to buy cheaper games in other regions, you would be violating the Steam terms of service and your account could be banned.
Be sure to use one of my recommended VPNs and follow my tips to minimize your risk of getting caught.
3. To Unblock Geo-Restrictions on Gaming Content
The only way to access all Steam gaming content worldwide is to use a VPN. If you’re traveling out of your own country, or currently in a country with censorship laws, or simply want to play another region’s games, you’d need a VPN to change your location.
Additionally, some locations in your current country may also restrict access to the platform. These could be places with public WiFi like schools, hotels, and offices. You’d need a VPN to help you get around these restrictions.
As I’ve already mentioned, Steam has the right to ban your account if you get caught using a VPN that breaches its terms of service. If you want to avoid detection, you need a VPN that can outsmart Steam.
Will Steam REALLY Ban You for Using a VPN?
If you want to access games from other countries, using a VPN is your only option. However, you should know that Steam (or rather, its parent company, Valve) doesn’t really like it when you use a VPN. The company’s Subscriber Agreement clearly states:
“You agree that you will not use IP proxying or other methods to disguise the place of your residence, whether to circumvent geographical restrictions on game content, to purchase at pricing not applicable to your geography, or for any other purpose. If you do this, Valve may terminate your access to your Account.”
With the above in mind, you should use a VPN with caution. If Steam catches you using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions or buy games at a lower price, they have every right to block your account.
The 3 Best VPNs to Use with Steam
If you decide to take the risk, it’s important to know that some VPNs are better than others.
Even our recommended Free VPNs don’t offer the same level of encryption as paid VPNs, so you’ll have a higher chance of being caught. They’re also not very good for streaming content or playing games because they don’t offer the same speeds as paid-for services.
This is why I always recommend using a premium VPN, like ExpressVPN.
When choosing a VPN to use with your Steam account, look for the following features:
- Blazing fast speeds
- Unlimited bandwidth and no throttling
- Servers in your preferred locations
- Multiple layers of encryption
Also, choose a service that offers a money-back guarantee trial period. You will be able to use this period to compare various services, before committing to the best one.
I’ve shortlisted the best VPNs for Steam that you can trial for at least 30-days risk-free. These VPNs will not only help you access global gaming content — their top security and privacy protocols also give you the best chance of avoiding detection.
- Great speeds for gaming
- Unlimited bandwidth and no throttling
- 3000+ servers in over 94 countries
- 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, OpenVPN
- 5 simultaneous connections
- 30-day money-back guarantee
ExpressVPN is renowned for its exceptional services including, but not limited to, impressive security features and incredibly fast speeds for uninterrupted gaming. It offers 256-bit AES encryption, a kill switch, OpenVPN default protocol, split tunneling, and a zero-logs policy.
ExpressVPN does not provide dedicated or static IP addresses because it constantly rotates its IP addresses in order to give you the best one available. This shouldn’t be a problem especially if you’re only using your VPN to stay protected while using Steam.
Try ExpressVPN risk-free with its 30-day money-back guarantee. There are apps available for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux, Chrome, Firefox, and routers. ExpressVPN lets you stay private and protected no matter what platform you use.
September 2021 Update! ExpressVPN has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $6.67 per month for the 1-year plan (you can save up to 49%) + 3 months free! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
- Fast speeds for gaming
- No bandwidth limits or throttling
- 3000+ servers in 90 countries
- 256-bit AES encryption, kill switch, static IP address
- 7 simultaneous connections
- 45-day money-back guarantee
With the longest money-back guarantee of any other VPN on this list, CyberGhost VPN gives you a ton of time to try it and make sure you like it for gaming.
VPNs normally utilize many different IP addresses, which can set off red flags in Steam’s systems. CyberGhost is one of the few VPN services out there that provides a static IP address for its users. This means that Steam will be less likely to detect the use of this VPN.
CyberGhost also has great security features. You’ll benefit from a strict no-logs policy, DNS and IP leak protection, an automatic kill switch, 256-bit AES encryption, and OpenVPN, L2TP-IPsec and PPTP VPN protocols.
September 2021 Update: CyberGhost has dropped prices for a limited time to a crazy $2.25 per month for the 2-year plan (you can save up to 83%)! This is a limited offer so be sure to grab it now before it's gone. See more information on this offer here.
In short, you can use a VPN with Steam, but it doesn’t come without risk. Despite the fact that you can access restricted content with a VPN, Steam has a strict policy against using one.
If you decide to go ahead and use a VPN with Steam, I’d highly recommend choosing one of the services I’ve listed above and using my tips to minimize suspicions.