How to activate & play (bypass) region locked games on Steam

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How to activate & play (bypass) region locked games on Steam

Postby Sethioz » Sat Jan 23, 2016 10:32 pm

BACKGROUND:
First few words about why one would even want to do this.
Games in russia or some other regions have completely different prices, for example games in USA cost a lot less than they do in EU and UK.
UK has highest prices usually, while in some other EU countries that use Euros, games cost less. For example game in UK costs 30gbp, while in other EU countries it costs 30eur and in USA it costs 30usd. Currency rates are different, so you end up paying a lot more in UK and far less in US. While if purchased from russia, you would only pay like 10usd.

HOW TO BUY FROM DIFFERENT REGION
on steam, you can't exactly buy from different region, because steam payment system is locked quite well. If your payment method is in a different country, then it is very hard buying from other countries. However you can always ask a friend to buy it as gift and send it to your steam, but you won't be able to activate it because of the region lock.

Easiest way to buy games from other countries is by using [urlhttps://www.g2a.com/r/best_game_discounts]G2A marketplace[/url]
Simply search for the game you want to buy and choose the cheapest region, such as RU (russia).
G2A is trusted site and i have purchased many games from there, they come either as cd-key / serial or as steam gift (link to steam gift to claim it).

IS IT LEGAL?
No, by steam terms, you are not allowed to bypass the region locks on games.
Steam can permanently terminate any accounts that are involved in such activity.
However it is very unlikely they do anything if you do it right.
* Steam also has a term / rule that you are allowed to use family share option, meaning if you live in EU, but your family lives in Russia, then you are allowed to share games with your family. Steam says that's allowed, but it also bypasses region locks, so no idea how steam deals with such cases, as steam terms go against eachother at this point.


TUTORIAL / HOW TO
Here's how to do it.
Once you have purchased a region locked game, you need a VPN software (virtual private network).
There are lot of VPNs available for free, one of the good ones is SoftEther - https://www.softether.org/

- Install a VPN

- Register a new steam via correct region VPN (do not use email that is being used by any other steam account). Using VPN to register the steam is optional, but strongly recommended.

- Once you have your newly registered steam, exit steam, enable VPN and make sure you use a correct region server (if you want to activate russian game, then make sure you use a russian server, ukraine and other allowed countries work too, they're listed in Steam / G2A sites, such as ukraine, belarus, russia ..etc)

- Now you are able to activate the region locked game on that steam account (as steam thinks you are logged in from that region).

- Once game is activated and available in steam library, click INSTALL and wait for the game to start downloading, now you should be able to turn VPN off (disconnect from VPN, do not un-install the software). Also do not log out of steam, just turn VPN off for faster download speeds. If by some reason steam stops downloading, just re-enable the VPN and let it finish the download.

- Once download is complete, click PLAY (Still using the VPN). You can continue playing via VPN, but there are few more steps which will allow you to play without VPN.

- Exit steam and disable VPN

- Log into your primary account, you should be able to see the region locked game in your steam library list, click PLAY and it should say "request access or I'd rather buy", click on "request access"

- Check your newly created steam's email and confirm the request.

- Now you should be able to play that game from your primary account without using the VPN

* If by some reason game is not playable, then check your newly created steam account, go into View > Settings > Family and make sure to tick the box for your other account name and click OK. If still doesn't work, then game is properly locked and only way to play is via VPN.
Some games allow you to disable the VPN after you launch the game, so launch via VPN and then disable VPN (for better ping in multiplayer).

In some cases you need to login via VPN on your primary steam to be able to access region locked games, while if you activate the game via VPN, then you no longer need VPN.
Not sure why or how it works, but sometimes it is other way around, that if you activate game on Steam1 using VPN, then you can't play it without VPN, but you can play it on Steam2 without VPN


NOTES - Steam terms say it is not allowed to bypass region locked games, so i'm not sure what happens if they catch you from doing that. I mean family share option is allowed, I'm not a lawyer and i don't know laws that well, but i think they have a hole in their terms, be cause family share is allowed.
So for example if you're from russia, but live in EU and your family member from russia gives you permission to play his steam games, then that's not against steam terms, but it also bypasses the region locks, so i have no idea if this is allowed or not. Steam terms go against eachother.
Either way, if you don't abuse this, then you should be fine. I've used this few times without issues.

I purchased russian Dying Light and actiaved + played it via VPN (I did not use family share, i activated it on my primary account with VPN). After 3-4 months the game was no longer region locked, i can now play the game without the VPN.
We also purchased russian Just Cause 3 and activated it on a different steam using VPN and then used family share to play it on 2 computers, i can play it without VPN on my primary account by using the family share.
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