If you are a Steam user you may know that Steam store offers may differ depending on the country you are living in. This becomes apparent when you compare Steam store offers as you may find that games are listed in some regional stores but not yours, are cheaper in other stores, or may be available as a different version, e.g. uncut versus cut. Another reason may be that you are an ex-pat, or someone living abroad for a while. Say you are from the US or UK living in Germany or Russia. You may be stuck with lots of German or Russian games in the Steam store that you can't play.
This is similar to how Amazon is making available digital games download, and we have revealed how you can buy digital games on Amazon.com even if you are not currently residing in the United States.
For Steam, things are different as you not only have to copy with regional stores, but also IP checks and payment processing issues. To buy Steam games on Valve's UK store we therefore need the following:
Now, the easiest way to buy Steam games that are offered in another regional store is to have someone buy and gift them to you. If you have a friend in the UK, US or another region with a Steam store, you can ask them to buy the games, gift them to your Steam account so that you can install and play them.
You need to use a virtual private network connection, proxy server, or other means to get an IP address from the UK when you are connecting to the Steam account. I'd suggest you connect to the Steam web store and not the Steam client to avoid complications with running two accounts from two different locations.
Here is how you add a new VPN connection to Windows 7. Consult the Best UK VPN website for other operating systems:
You can check your IP address before and after the connection on ghacks.net/IP/
If everything worked out fine, you should now be able to open the UK Steam store which you can verify by either looking at the game prices in the store. If they are listed in Pound, you are in the right store.
First thing you need to do right away is to create a new Steam account which you can do on this page or with a click on login in the upper right corner of the screen.
Fill out the information on the account creation page and make sure you use a valid email address for the sign up. Once you have verified the email address you can buy games in the Steam UK store.
Just add games as usual to your shopping cart, and on the next screen, select to gift them.
Select email my gift on the next page and enter the email address of your main Steam account.
If you have never made a purchase before, you are now asked to enter the billing address. You need to select an address from the UK here. You can use a friends address, a hotel or a virtual address. You also need to verify that you are currently living in the UK.
You then select one of the payment processing services. The one that seems to work best for the majority of users is Pay Safe Card which works similar to PayPal. Once you have made the payment your are redirected to the Steam store where the purchase is finalized. Log out, close the store and disconnect from the VPN / proxy.
Log into your regular Steam account and wait for the gift message to arrive via email. All it takes then is to click on the link in the email to have the product added to your Steam account.
You will run into several issues that I'd like to address in this section of the guide.
You can connect to regional Steam stores directly by following the links below:
Just change the country code in the url to visit other Steam stores.
This works with other Steam stores as well, provided that you can get a Pay Safe Card for that country. It may be easier to get someone from the country to gift you the game instead, as you won't run into any troubles with Steam in this case. There are probably forums and websites out there where users are kind enough to provide you with the service.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.