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Steam places more restrictions on country switching to prevent exploitation of regional prices

Valve has made things even more difficult for those looking to take advantage of Steam's regional pricing when they shouldn't.

Steam has implemented more restrict rules on changing a user's main store country. Although it has been difficult to do in recent years, this new update to the process deters an even wider group of players.

As spotted by Steam Database, Steam now requires users to make a purchase using a payment method issued in the country they want to change their store to. In other words, you can't buy games in Poland unless you have a Polish credit card, for instance.

Store country is a setting that dictates the content and prices Steam displays. Some in the past used this feature to change their country to one where games are cheaper in order to get a deal one or more purchases. In those case, users would VPN to those places while using their existing payment methods, which were issued in their actual country of residence.

"If you have moved to a new country, or are living abroad for an extended period of time, you can update your Steam country setting when you complete your first purchase using a payment method from that country," Steam's updated policy explains.

"If your location differs from your current Steam account store country setting you'll have an option to change your store region while you view your cart or as you complete your purchase."

A number of Steam users recently took advantage of Horizon Zero Dawn's cheaper price in some countries, which caused the game's price to rise in certain places, screwing legitimate customers in the process.

This type of policy is pretty standard for online stores, especially those with extensive regional pricing support. The Epic Games Store, for instance, locks your store country to the one where the first purchase was made.

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Sherif Saed avatar

Sherif Saed

Staff Writer

Whether it's news, reviews, or interviews - Sherif is always eager to tell you about video games. He plays shooters more than a sane person should, and occasionally has the skills to show for it.

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