VPNs are surprisingly versatile tools – especially for gamers. They offer lots of advantages (which we’ll discuss more in-depth in this guide), but can they also help you save money when buying games?
Yes, that is possible. When using a VPN together with Steam, GOG, the PSN store, and other gaming clients and online marketplaces, you can get some nice discounts.
We’ll tell you why in this article (and also show you how to use a VPN to get cheaper games).
So Do VPNs Help You Get Cheaper Games?
Yes, VPN can help you save money when buying online games. It tricks the platform into thinking you’re from a different country, so you’ll see prices that are relevant to that geographic region. If it’s a low-income country, chances are the prices will be lower.
For example, if you’re in the UK and use VPN servers in Asian countries like Malaysia and Thailand on the PSN store, you’re likely to get some discounts.
IMPORTANT: Don’t expect to get a discount every single time you use a VPN to buy a game. Also, don’t expect to save a ton of money (80-90% savings). At best, we got 10-20% discounts when using VPNs to buy games online. Even so, the surprise discounts were very welcome.
Why Do VPNs Help You Get Cheaper Games?
They’re able to do that because many online vendors use geographical price discrimination. That basically means they display different prices based on the country you’re accessing the site from. Usually, people from high-income countries will see higher prices because the merchant assumes they’re willing to pay more for their products.
That’s not set in stone, though – sometimes, you might see lower prices in high-income prices and higher prices in low-income countries. It’s due to import fees, taxes, and immigration laws.
Because the VPN hides your geo-location, it can help you trick the site into thinking you’re from a different country.
How Do VPNs Hide Your Geo-Location?
They do that by hiding your IP address. Your IP actually tells sites which country and city you’re from, and even reveals other information like who your ISP is and what your ZIP code is. So everything an online platform needs to see your geo-location.
To stop sites from seeing your IP, VPNs send your traffic through VPN servers that act as middlemen between you and those sites. Basically, the websites will think the VPN is the source of your traffic – they won’t know the traffic is actually coming from your device.
Due to that, websites only see the VPN’s IP address. If that IP is from a country where the merchant displays low prices, the site will automatically redirect your traffic to that country’s version of the site (and its prices).
How to Use a VPN to Get Cheaper Games
It’s surprisingly simple to use a VPN – you don’t need to do anything too complicated, so don’t worry about that. Here’s how you can start saving money on games ASAP in just a few steps:
- Get a VPN subscription – we recommend ExpressVPN.
- Download the VPN’s app and install it (just follow the installation wizard’s instructions).
- Use the VPN app to connect to a VPN server (pick a low-income country in South-East Asia, Africa, or Eastern Europe).
- Access the online platform you want to buy the game(s) from.
- That’s it – you should now see cheaper prices! If you don’t repeat step #3 but with a different VPN server until you get it right.
Why Else Should You Use a Gaming VPN?
So we established that you can get cheaper games with a VPN. That’s cool – but what else can you do with it? Here are some other perks you can enjoy:
Reduce Lag and Ping
High lag and ping are the bane of any gamer – no matter how skilled they are. They can ruin a perfect kill streak and take the fun out of any game.
Well, the good news is VPNs can help lower lag and ping. We can’t guarantee they’ll always do this, but we have experienced lower lag and ping on certain occasions.
Here’s why that happens – a VPN routes your traffic through a server that’s closer to the gaming server (if you use a VPN server in the same country as the gaming server, that is). It’ll send your traffic straight to the gaming server. Without a VPN server, your traffic might bounce through a few locations before reaching the gaming server.
But VPNs can also slow down your speeds, so keep these speed optimization tips in mind:
- Use fast protocols (WireGuard, IKEv2/IPSec, L2TP/IPSec).
- Use wired connections instead of WiFi.
- Connect to servers that aren’t overloaded (they should ideally be under 20-30% capacity).
- Use split-tunneling to only route gaming traffic through the VPN connection.
Avoid DDoS Attacks
A DDoS attack is when someone forces you offline by overloading your network with unwanted traffic. This happens often in gaming, and even sore losers with no tech skills can run DDoS attacks by renting them.
Here’s the secret, though – to be successfully, a DDoS attack needs your IP address. Without it, it can’t target your network to force it offline.
Well, a VPN hides your IP, effectively preventing anyone from DDoS-ing you. They can only DDoS the VPN server instead, though that won’t do much good since most top VPNs have anti-DDoS protection.
Avoid IP Bans
Unfair IP bans aren’t something unheard of – the ban system could target you by accident, an admin could think you’re cheating when you’re really just good, or an admin could be a sore loser and ban you because they’re jealous of your skills.
In any case, a VPN can help you avoid the IP ban. It hides your IP address, so the ban no longer applies. You can get a new IP ban, sure, but you can quickly evade it by just connecting to a different VPN server.
Did You Ever Get Discounts with a Gaming VPN?
Were you able to save money when buying online games using a VPN? Please tell us about your experience in the comments below.