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VPNs Help You Get Cheaper Games – True or False

24 Oct 2020
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VPNs Help You Get Cheaper Games – True or False?

You’ve probably heard how VPNs can improve your gaming experience by now – no more DDoS attacks, lower ping and lag, getting to play on region-locked servers, and the ability to circumvent all IP bans.

But did you know a VPN can also help you get better deals when buying video games?

Yep, by spoofing your geo-location, VPNs can help you save money. But we know just saying something doesn’t make it true. So we’re going to test this claim to see if you can really get discounts or not.

If you’re in a hurry and already sold on this idea, though, click here to see a list of the best gaming VPNs on the market.

VPNs Help You Get Cheaper Games

So Can You Save Get Cheaper Games with a VPN or Not?

For this little experiment, we used ExpressVPN and servers from the following countries: the UK, India, Brazil, Malaysia, and Thailand. We tested the pricing for The Last of Us Part II on the PSN Store and Red Dead Redemption 2 on the Microsoft Store. Here were our results:

The Last of Us Part II

First, we checked out the game’s page on the PSN store with the British VPN server. This is the price we got: £54.99.

The Last of Us Part II

Next, we used the Malaysian server. We saw this price: RM 239.00. Converted, that’s around £43-44. So nearly a £10 discount!

We also tried our luck with the Thai VPN server and got this price: ฿1.890. That’s around £46-47, so still a pretty cool £8-9 discount.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Once again, we used the British VPN server to see what price we’d get. It was a pretty steep £59.99.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Then, we connected to the Brazilian VPN server, and saw a much better deal: R$ 249.00 (around £35-36, so a pretty big discount).

Lastly, we tried the Indian VPN server. The Xbox Store showed us this price: ₹4,000. Converted to GBP, that’s around £40-41, which is definitely more-budget friendly.

Conclusion

Yes, you can definitely save money when buying games with a VPN. It just needs to have a very large fleet of servers, so you’ll have access to tons of geo-locations. That way, you can test different servers to see which one offers you the best deal.

If you need help to find a VPN like that, click here. ProPrivacy has an excellent guide to the best gamer VPNs. Plus, they tested their speeds, so you’ll know what to expect.

Why Do Video Game Prices Vary Depending on the Country You’re from?

It’s due to something called online price discrimination. Basically, online merchants display different prices based on what country you are from.

How do they know where you’re from?

It’s thanks to your IP address. Any site you visit will see it in the connection requests you send. And it can reveal plenty of data – like what country you are from, what city you are from, who your ISP is, and what your ZIP code is.

Why Do Online Merchants Use Price Discrimination?

The first thing that comes to mind is profit. They likely know that people from countries with a high cost of living (like the US or Switzerland) are willing to pay more for what they’re selling.

At the same time, they realize people from less-developed countries won’t be able to buy their video games if they’re too pricey.

The exchange rate also has a big influence on a video game’s price. Like this old PC Gamer article explains, when developers submit a video game, it’s “locked in” at the current exchange rate. So even if your country’s currency loses value over the years, the video game will still have the same price displayed in your country.

Besides that, there’s also VAT (Value Added Tax). Some countries require digital storefronts to include VAT in the game’s price. So it’s obviously going to be pricier than in countries where VAT isn’t used.

How Does a VPN Actually Help You See Different Prices?

It “hides” your IP address from the sites you visit, essentially. Here’s how that works:

1. You subscribe to a VPN and download and install its app on your device.

2. You use the app to connect to a VPN server.

3. The two establish a secure connection between them.

4. From then on, when you visit a website, your connection requests to it will go through the VPN server. So it will act as a middleman between you and the sites you browse.

5. Because the site sees the requests coming from the VPN server and not your device, it will only see the server’s IP address. Your IP address remains “hidden.” And that’s about it. If it still sounds too complicated, here’s a visual example:

Let’s say you visit the PSN Store. Without a VPN, your connection looks like this:

Your Device  ISP Network  PSN Store

With a VPN, it will look like this:

Your Device  ISP Network  VPN Server  PSN Store

How Expensive Are VPNs?

Free VPNs aren’t suited for this because they often leak your IP address. So paid VPNs are the only option.

And since you’re looking to save money on games, you’d probably be interested in a cheap VPN too, right?

Well, you can start relaxing. VPNs are usually budget-friendly. On average, one would cost you around $5 per month ($60 annually).

If you get annual (or longer) plans, you can save even more money. You’d end up paying somewhere around $2-3 per month (so anywhere between $20 and $80, depending on how long the plan is).

Were You Able to Get Cheaper Games with a VPN?

If yes, which ones did you get? And how big was the discount?

Also, if you know other ways to save money when buying games online, please let us know about them in the comments.

Last modified on Saturday, 24 Oct 2020 19:50