How to Access Geo-restricted Games Using a VPN?

How to Access Geo-restricted Games Using a VPN?

If you are a regular gamer, then it is highly likely that you have experienced the pain of not accessing a newly released game just because it is geo-restricted. Geo-restriction can happen to either PC, mobile and PlayStation games.

However, for diehard gamers, geo-restriction is not enough reason to miss out on a long-awaited game. There exist several ways to go around these restrictions and enjoy the full features without breaking your budget.

The most popular and easily accessible option is the use of a VPN to mask your real location and trick the game distributor to believe that you are within the limited region. A typical VPN software cost ranges between $5 and $14 per month. This post presents a step by step guide to using VPNs to access geo-restricted games.

But first things first, let us look at the reasons why some games are geo-restricted and how VPNs approach the situation.

 Why are some games geo-restricted?

Gaming companies often restrict games to regions for economic purposes as well as for security and political reasons.

Regarding economic reasons, people may opt to buy a game in another geographic region even when it is available in their area if buying outside is cheaper.

For instance, a person in the U.S. may find that buying a game from China or Russia is cheaper than buying locally due to factors such as purchasing power, currency strength or tax reasons.

To protect local gaming businesses, gaming companies often restrict games accessibility by region. This means that games bought in a specific area are only playable in that region.

In countries such as China, local authorities may prohibit certain types of content for political and social reasons. For instance, games such as Grand Theft Auto series and Football Manager 2005 are not allowed in China.

Gaming companies may decide to restrict these regions in a bid to adhere to local regulations.

 How do VPNs work in gaming?

A VPN, short form for Virtual Private Network, masks your IP address by rerouting your internet traffic to a remote server before directing it to the intended destination. The IP address shown to the end recipient is one of the remote servers.

Some VPN services allow users to choose the location of the server they want their internet traffic rerouted.  This means that you can access region-restricted games from different countries using one VPN.

Apart from allowing accessibility to geo-restricted games, VPNs also offer protection against DDoS attacks. If you are very much into online gaming, there is a high probability that you have been a victim, or you have heard about this type of cyber attack.

Given how easy it has become to launch a DDoS attack nowadays, rogue online gamers are using them to bring down competitors.

Case in point, the winning team of this year Deadman Autumn Invitational, an online gaming competition with a cash price of $20,000, got disqualified after it emerged that they were using a DDoS bot to weaken their competitor.

Having your IP masked means that DDoS botnets attacks cannot identify your real location and therefore cannot direct attacks to you.

 A step by step guide…

If you are using Steam to shop around for games, there are some steps that you should follow to access geo-restricted games using a VPN.

Please note that these steps are also applicable to most digital games distributors. We will be using Steam in this case since it is among the most popular platforms with PC and mobile gamers.

Before everything else, purchase and download a VPN of your choice and ensure that it is working correctly. We recommend that you buy a VPN with a variety of different servers located across the globe.

Also, pay attention to the connection speeds and the security of the VPN. The best VPN is the one with faster connections and ensures user privacy. It is essential that you read other gamers reviews before settling on a specific VPN.

Before you start downloading the VPN software, make sure that you have logged out of your Steam account and closed the browser.

Once you have downloaded the VPN, open it and select your desired location. Ensure that you choose a country where the game you want to play or download is not restricted. Check the new IP by searching “my IP address” on google.

When all is set, open the Steam website and log in. Open the account details tab and update the new country. For the changes to effect, you will need to refresh the page, login and update the billing forms. You can get a fake billing address of your country of choice through a simple google search. Please note that you will need a payment option for that country for this method to work.

 Is using VPN to unlock games Risky?

Most digital games distributors including Steam consider bypassing geo-restrictions to access games as a violation of their user account policy. This means that you risk having your account banned if they discover that you are using VPN to access restricted content.

You may get busted if you fail to follow the masking process to the letter or have a leaky VPN.  Such a VPN cannot go undetected since it keeps changing your location. We recommend that you only go for VPNs which have been verified to unlock games in specific distribution platforms.

While the above step by step guide should give you an idea of what to expect, it is not cast in stone. You will need to do further research to determine how to effectively use a VPN to access geo-restricted games on given distribution platforms.

 Bottom line.

Geo-restriction is not enough reason to prevent you from enjoying games if you can shop for the best VPNs and identify the right implementation guidelines.

A VPN not only enables you to access restricted content but also protects you from DDoS attacks when playing online games. The best VPNs are those with remote servers in different parts of the world and have high speeds.

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1 Comment

  1. | All the Reasons to Get a VPN
    September 14, 2022, 15:46

    […] The most common place this happens is when trying to access TV shows or movies on streaming platforms like Netflix. What’s available to you at home may be unavailable when accessing it overseas. You may also have the same problem with geo-restricted video games. […]

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