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Steam is making it harder to get cheap games from other regions

Steam Open World Sale 2021
(Image credit: Valve)
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Valve is making it even more difficult for region hoppers to nab Steam games at a cheaper price.

Steam's regional pricing means the cost of a game often varies from country to country, depending on the cost of living and other factors. It's still up to the publisher to set a price, but regional pricing is largely intended to make buying games fairer to those who'd normally have to pay out the wazoo. Despite its intent, it's long been used by people looking to cop a game for cheaper than what they would pay in their home country.

As noted by SteamDB (opens in new tab), the latest change means you can only change your Steam account's country once every three months. It's been an ongoing attempt by Valve to crack down on people exploiting cheaper prices in other countries. Last summer, life was made more difficult for VPN users (opens in new tab) when Steam began requiring a payment method registered at whatever country you were trying to buy from. Grabbing Half-Life from Argentina with a US credit card? No can do. 

It seems like a bit of an unnecessary addition considering how difficult it already is to change countries on the fly, but perhaps people were still easily circumventing the system. While it shouldn't affect most people—I can't imagine many are upping sticks to a different country over four times a year—it'll be a spanner in the works for determined bargain hunters.

Mollie Taylor
Mollie Taylor

A fresh writer in the industry, Mollie has been taken under PC Gamer's RGB-laden wing, making sure she doesn't get up to too much mischief on the site. She's not quite sure what a Command & Conquer is, but she can rattle on for hours about all the obscure rhythm games and strange MMOs from the 2000s. She's been cooking up all manner of news, previews and features while she's been here, but especially enjoys when she gets to write about Final Fantasy, Persona, The Sims, and whatever other game she's currently hopelessly fixated on. There's a good chance she's boring another PC Gamer writer about her latest obsession as we speak.