This one weird VPN trick will (maybe) let you play Fallout 4 right now

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 unlocks in ten hours! Maybe even less by the time you read this! But if you just cannot possibly wait any longer, there might be a way to get your hands on it sooner. As in, now. What's the trick, you ask? I'll tell you: Australia.

I'll start by mentioning (and emphasizing, and repeating for effect) that you do this at your own risk—at your own risk—and if you somehow break something, or get yourself banned from Steam, or suffer any other deleterious effects to your digital health or well-being, don't look to blame us. It's clearly against the Steam ToS you've agreed to. You have been warned.

Okay. The deets come by way of Reddit, but in short you're going to install a VPN service (F-Secure Freedome is recommended, but I'm not sure if it's mandatory), get out of Steam, point your VPN connection to Melbourne, and then follow a few more steps to kick your countdown timer into the magical, time-bending land down under. If you run into grief, this little tidbit involving WTFast seems to be helping a lot of people.

Some Reddit users are saying they've already got the game, and pish-poshing the risk of Todd Howard's vengeful spirit appearing like a pre-holiday Ebeneezer Scrooge to punish you for your temporal insolence. Take that for what it's worth, which is to say that you pays your dime and you takes your chances.

Because we care, and are foolhardy, we tried to test the trick ourselves. Unfortunately, we were unable to determine whether or not it works because the VPN service itself is busted, I'm guessing under the load of the bajillions of people who are trying to get their hands on Fallout 4 right freakin' now. If at some point we make it work (or, conversely, get an angry email from Bethesda), we'll let you know. Feel free to do us the same courtesy in the comments.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.