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

Steam Open World Sale 2021
(Image credit: Valve)

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, 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 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
Features Producer

Mollie spent her early childhood deeply invested in games like Killer Instinct, Toontown and Audition Online, which continue to form the pillars of her personality today. She joined PC Gamer in 2020 as a news writer and now lends her expertise to write a wealth of features, guides and reviews with a dash of chaos. She can often be found causing mischief in Final Fantasy 14, using those experiences to write neat things about her favourite MMO. When she's not staring at her bunny girl she can be found sweating out rhythm games, pretending to be good at fighting games or spending far too much money at her local arcade.