Steam Is Increasing Restrictions To Prevent VPN Exploits

Valve has been already working toward resolving an exploit that allowed users with a VPN to buy games at regional prices. Recently, Steam has further increased its restrictions by preventing users from changing their main store country. 

The new restriction was spotted by Steam Database, which now requires the user to use a regional payment method when changing the store. 

Steam's store country is a setting that allows users to see content pricing in different areas of the world. Some people were able to use this feature to change their country to a region with cheaper pricing before making a purchase. To do so, the users would use a VPN to spoof locations while using their existing payment methods, issued in their actual country.

Legitimate users who move to a new country will only be able to change their store country after making a purchase using a payment method from the new region. 

Here's what Steam's updated policy states regarding the exploit: “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. 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.”

The exploit was recently noticed when certain users were able to pre-order Horizon: Zero Dawn for a cheaper price. This led to the increase of the game's price in certain regions, causing inconvinience to legitimate users. 

It is surprising to know that Steam did not already think about this exploit. A policy like this has become common for digital storefronts. Epic Games Store also locks your country once you make your first purchase.

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