I’ve written about how people save money by using VPNs while shopping. This is my guide on how to do exactly that with Steam (the largest PC games distribution platform).
Steam has been steadily introducing changes to make it harder. This year they added a limitation of only being able to change your Steam account’s country once every 3 months.
It’s still possible to use a VPN to save money on Steam, but there is one major hurdle: you must possess a payment method with the same currency to the country you’re spoofing.
While this certainly makes it more difficult, it is by no means impossible.
The preliminary step is still the same – to price check the game across the regions on SteamDB.
Reconnecting VPN & Steam
Firstly, I closed Steam. On my VPN I disconnected and reconnected to a Hong Kong server.
Reopening Steam, I added the item to my cart.
With the VPN on, my cart showed the option for ‘Country:’, where I selected the new currency I’d be paying with (HKD$).
You’ll need a payment method from the country that you’re spoofing – for this I used my HK credit card.
You’ll also need a billing address, but not all retailers place importance on verifying it. In other words, the address could be made up and the purchase may still be able to go through.
I haven’t actually attempted with cross-country cards, which may be a potential workaround:
Don’t Cry For Me Argentina: Mission Failed
The Hong Kong Steam purchase went through – no issues. But Argentina’s shop price was more attractive ($15AUD), a mere 1/4 of the Australian store price.
I wanted to try seeing if I could get my hands on an Argentine peso card.
I was able to create my account, which was essentially a Multi-currency account for travel. But I wasn’t able to transfer funds to it without a CUIT (Unique Tax Identification Code, basically a Tax File Number).
Of course, even if I had been able to transfer to pesos or find another method of payment, I may have been still prevented from purchasing with Steam’s 3 month restriction on changing countries.
Currently on my Steam Account I’m still set to Hong Kong as my region. The AUD currency option appears still, allowing me to change country payment method (no request to re-enter payment details yet).
I haven’t actually made a purchase with the Australian Steam store to test the 3 month restriction.
Really? No Other Options?
There are discords offering Steam Region Change Services (like this one), but I’d be wary of handing over accounts and risk leaking personal data.
Other more creative solutions to this include purchasing Argentinian Steam Accounts or Argentinian Credit Cards (definitely illegal).
Be forewarned with this side of the market though, accounts that have “transferred ownership” may have been stolen or hacked prior to ending up in your hands.
In any case, buying an Argentinian Steam account or using a region transfer service are both against Terms of Service, and you’ll risk losing your account (and all the games bought on it) forever.
In terms of risk, it appears that buying an Argentinian account make the most sense. This way you don’t risk losing your entire Steam library by attempting to change regions on your main account.
It’s still possible that the sellers somehow regain access to the account at a later point in time, and access your personal (or financial) information.