Short on time? Here’s how to change your Steam country with a VPN in 2022
- Get a good VPN. My top pick is ExpressVPN — it consistently maintains low ping (how long it takes for an internet signal to travel from your device to the gaming server) on all servers to provide fast gaming speeds, offers excellent security and privacy features, and is very easy to use.
- Download and install the VPN. The process takes about 1–2 minutes — just download the VPN app from the provider’s site and follow the installation wizard’s instructions.
- Open the VPN app, connect to a VPN server, and log into your Steam account. That’s it! Now, you’re ready to start playing your favorite games!
I love gaming on Steam, but I often run into issues that ruin my experience. When I travel abroad, I sometimes can’t play my games because Steam only lets me play them in my home country (where I created my Steam account). And on weekends (when tons of other people are playing online games), my internet service provider (ISP) often slows down my speeds because I use up too much data while gaming. Also, I hate that I’m susceptible to Distributed-Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attacks, which force me offline — players who are sore losers sometimes resort to them to stop me from playing.
Luckily, a VPN is the best way to solve all of those problems. So, I tested the top VPNs in 2022 to find the best ones for Steam. Unfortunately, many VPNs are actually bad for gaming on Steam — they’re slow, hard to use, and don’t provide good security features. But I managed to find a few VPNs that provided me with an excellent gaming experience on Steam.
What Is a VPN and Why Do You Need One to Change Your Steam Country?
A VPN is an online service that lets you connect to different servers around the world. When you connect to a VPN server, it changes your IP address to a new IP address that matches the server’s location. The VPN also encrypts your traffic, making it unreadable.
Steam only lets you play some games in the country where you have an account. So, if you travel abroad, you may lose access to those games. But a good VPN like ExpressVPN can help you access your Steam games when you visit other countries. Just connect to a VPN server in your home country, log into your Steam account, and you’re ready to game!
How to Change Your Steam Country Using a VPN
To change your Steam country with a VPN, you only need to purchase a good gaming VPN, download and install the VPN app to your device, and use the app to connect to a VPN server location that matches your desired Steam country. Then, log into your Steam account and start playing your favorite games.
Other Benefits of Using a VPN While Gaming on Steam
- VPNs encrypt your traffic, which prevents your ISP from seeing what you’re doing online, including gaming. Since your ISP can’t see that you’re gaming (which takes up a lot of bandwidth), there’s less of a chance that your ISP will throttle your speeds when you consume too much data while gaming.
- By changing your actual IP address to a new virtual IP address, a VPN can protect you from DDoS attacks, which can disrupt your game and force you offline.
- VPNs let you securely access your Steam account when you use public Wi-Fi — they encrypt your traffic so nobody can spy on it.
- Using a VPN while gaming on distant servers might reduce your ping if you connect to a VPN server that’s in the same country as the gaming server — your traffic might only go through the VPN server and the gaming server, as opposed to going through 4 or more different servers without the VPN.
- VPNs change your IP address, so they can help you bypass IP bans (for example, when I received an unfair IP ban while playing Counter-Strike, I connected to a VPN server and got around the IP ban in less than 10 seconds).
Is It Legal to Use a VPN With Steam in 2022?
Yes, it’s completely legal to use a VPN with Steam. And I recommend using one because it prevents bandwidth throttling, protects you from DDoS attacks, secures your Steam connections, might reduce your ping, and helps you get around unfair IP bans.
But you should never use a VPN with Steam to buy games for a cheaper price or get around geo-blocks (to buy in-game items that aren’t available in your country, for example). If you’re caught doing that, Valve can terminate your Steam account. Also, check if the game you want to play allows VPNs — if it doesn’t (the developers might consider it cheating), you may get banned from the game.
Best VPNs for Changing Your Steam Country in 2022
Quick summary of the best VPNs for Steam:
- 1.🥇ExpressVPN — Best VPN for changing your Steam country in 2022.
- 2.🥈Private Internet Access — Highly customizable desktop app + good speeds.
- 3.🥉CyberGhost VPN — Easy to use with dedicated gaming servers.
- Bonus. IPVanish — Unlimited simultaneous connections.
- Frequently Asked Questions about Changing Your Steam Country with a VPN.
🥇1. ExpressVPN — Best Overall VPN for Changing Your Steam Country
ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN for Steam in 2022 — it has blazing-fast gaming speeds, provides excellent security features, and is very easy to use. It also comes with intuitive apps for all platforms — it usually only took me 5 seconds to find and connect to a VPN server to change my Steam region.
In my speed tests, ExpressVPN only slowed down my connections by 20% on average. I connected to games instantly while playing Dota 2 and Counter Strike: Global Offensive. Also, I never experienced high ping, not even while connected to distant VPN servers!
ExpressVPN provides industry-standard VPN security features, including an independently audited and verified no-logs policy. It also includes advanced security features like RAM-only servers (every server reset wipes all data) and perfect forward secrecy (changes your encryption key for each VPN connection to make sure hackers can’t compromise past or future encryption keys to spy on your gaming traffic).
I’m a big fan of how ExpressVPN supports cloud gaming, which streams video games to tablets, laptops, and other devices. ExpressVPN works with tons of popular cloud gaming services, including GeForce Now (you can sync your Steam library with GeForce Now to play supported games on it).
I also like that ExpressVPN has split-tunneling, a feature that lets you choose which apps use the VPN and which apps use your local network. I only sent Steam traffic through ExpressVPN and used my local network for general browsing, which increased my gaming speeds.
ExpressVPN allows 5 simultaneous connections and has several paid plans, which start at $6.67 / month. While ExpressVPN is a bit pricey, I think it provides excellent value (it consistently ranks as #1 on our list of the best VPNs in 2022 and is our #1 VPN for gaming). Also, it backs all plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥈2. Private Internet Access — Great for Steam Gaming on Desktop (with Customizable Apps)
Private Internet Access (PIA) is user-friendly and has highly customizable desktop apps, provides great privacy features, and maintains low ping across all servers.
I love how easy it is to use PIA’s desktop apps. The design is intuitive, the interface is very easy to navigate, and most features and settings have quick, helpful explanations. PIA also lets you change 20+ preferences in your settings — for example, I changed the encryption level from 256-bit AES encryption to 128-bit AES encryption (I still enjoyed strong security, but my speeds were 10% faster).
In addition to having an independently-audited and verified no-logs policy, PIA also has confirmed it doesn’t store logs via many court documents. Also, all of PIA’s apps are open-source, meaning anyone can inspect the code for security vulnerabilities. I’m also a big fan of PIA’s Identity Guard feature — it lets you check if the email you use with your Steam account has been compromised in a breach.
In my speed tests, PIA performed almost as well as ExpressVPN, slowing down my speeds by 25% on average. I especially like that PIA managed to consistently maintain low ping during all gaming sessions on Steam. Also, PIA displays the server ping, which helps you find the fastest servers.
And PIA provides very good support for gamers — all of the support reps I spoke with through 24/7 live chat and email were very knowledgeable about Steam gaming, and there’s even a support article that shows you how to reduce your latency in online games when using the VPN.
Private Internet Access allows up to 10 simultaneous connections, and it’s very affordable (the cheapest plan costs just $2.03 / month). PIA comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
🥉3. CyberGhost VPN — Great for Beginners (with Dedicated Gaming Servers)
CyberGhost VPN is beginner-friendly, comes with convenient automation options, has dedicated gaming servers, and provides good security.
CyberGhost’s apps are very simple to navigate and use (connecting to a server is a breeze). I also like the Smart Rules feature, which lets you customize your VPN preferences. For example, I set CyberGhost to automatically connect to the fastest server and open Steam when I open the app.
CyberGhost VPN has 90+ dedicated gaming servers in 4 countries (the UK, the US, Germany, and France) that provide faster speeds than its regular servers. In my speed tests, I always had faster gaming speeds and low ping when using the gaming servers — that said, CyberGhost VPN slowed down my speeds by 33% on average, which is slower than ExpressVPN and Private Internet Access.
There’s also a feature called My ID Guard, which helps you create strong passwords and alerts you if your passwords and email addresses have been compromised (I checked my Steam account credentials and thankfully they were secure). I also like how CyberGhost’s no-logs policy has been audited and confirmed and that it also releases a transparency report that proves it doesn’t share user data.
CyberGhost VPN allows 7 simultaneous connections, has cheap prices that start at $2.03 / month, and backs its long-term plans with a 45-day money-back guarantee (the shortest plan has a 14-day money-back guarantee).
Bonus. IPVanish — Good for Secure Gaming on Multiple Devices
IPVanish allows unlimited connections, meaning you can game on Steam on as many devices as you want (and everyone in my house reported fast speeds) — Steam games and large updates downloaded in 15 minutes, and I connected to gaming servers almost instantly. That said, I sometimes experienced high ping when gaming, unlike with ExpressVPN, Private Internet Access, and CyberGhost VPN.
IPVanish has advanced security features like perfect forward secrecy, and I also like that IPVanish comes with a free password generator, which you can use to create strong passwords for your Steam account.
IPVanish has paid monthly and yearly plans that start at $3.19 / month. IPVanish backs only its yearly plan with a 30-day money-back guarantee, and the yearly plan also comes with a free subscription to VIPRE antivirus (for Windows and macOS).
Steam is a great gaming platform, but it has some issues. For example, you can only play some games in the country where you have an account. Using a VPN for Steam solves that problem — if you travel abroad, you can still access your games with a VPN.
What’s more, a VPN also protects you from DDoS attacks and other threats and stops your ISP from throttling your gaming speeds. And it’s very easy to change your Steam country with a VPN — just follow our simple step-by-step guide.
All of the top Steam VPNs on the market come with industry-standard VPN security features like 256-bit AES encryption, a no-logs policy, a kill switch, and good leak protection, and many providers also include advanced features like RAM-only servers.
However, remember that Valve might terminate your account if you use a VPN to buy games for a cheaper price or bypass geo-blocks. So, I recommend using the VPN to secure your Steam connections and to access your account if you travel abroad.
FAQs — Changing Your Steam Country With a VPN in 2022
Is it legal to use a VPN with Steam?
Yes, it’s perfectly legal to use a VPN with Steam. A VPN is actually a great choice for gaming because it provides great security, lets you play your games when you travel abroad, protects you from DDoS attacks, and stops ISPs from throttling your gaming speeds (ExpressVPN is my favorite VPN to use with Steam).
But don’t use the VPN to buy games for a cheaper price from other countries because that will violate Steam’s terms. Also, remember that each game on Steam has its own rules, so check if the game you want to play allows the use of VPNs (if it doesn’t, you might get banned from playing).
What’s the best VPN for gaming on Steam?
My favorite VPN for gaming on Steam in 2022 is ExpressVPN — it provides blazing-fast gaming speeds, has excellent security and privacy features, and is very easy to use.
But the other VPNs I mentioned in this article are also excellent options — Private Internet Access consistently maintains low ping on all servers, CyberGhost VPN comes with dedicated gaming servers, and IPVanish allows secure gaming on unlimited devices.
How do you change your Steam country with a VPN?
If you travel abroad, Steam won’t let you play some of your games (you can only play them in the country where you have your account). But you can use a VPN to change your location, which will let you play all of your games when you travel abroad. And, it’s very simple to change your Steam country with a VPN — just follow my 3 quick and easy steps.
Can I use a free VPN for Steam?
I don’t normally recommend using free VPNs — they have slow speeds, limit how much data you can use, have buggy apps, and lack important security and privacy features.
That said, if you’re only in the market for a free VPN, Proton VPN actually has a really good free plan for gamers — it comes with unlimited data, “medium speeds” (which are actually pretty fast), and a cool feature called “VPN Accelerator,” which uses performance-enhancing technologies to increase VPN speeds on distant servers. But you’re limited to 1 device and access to servers in only 3 countries (the US, the Netherlands, and Japan).