It should not surprise anyone that Steam uses geo-restriction to serve different games to users based on their region.
They are not the only ones, it is a normal thing for games to have heavy region locks. In fact, there is a long list of geo-restricted games available on the Steam platform.
However, Steam users know to use a VPN to connect to their preferred country in order to access games that are not available in their region.
Some gamers also use VPNs to connect to get cheaper games and in-game items or play upcoming titles earlier.
Others use VPNs to unblock Steam in a country like China where there is strict government censorship.
But can using a VPN on Steam get you banned? Read on as we explain Steam’s VPN policy among other things you need to know.
Is VPN allowed on Steam?
Steam’s Terms of Service prohibits the use of VPNs, especially using a VPN to bypass geo-restrictions and purchasing games meant for a particular region at a discount.
Valve, which is the parent company, has all the rights to either suspend or ban your account permanently once they detect that you’re using a VPN on their platform.
However, there’s a huge difference between what their Terms of Service state and what they actually do.
This is because there is no actual report of them outrightly blocking players who access their service with a VPN.
Although they try to prevent users from using their platform through VPNs by blocking their IP addresses, and other preventive methods, they don’t automatically ban accounts as they’ve stated in their ToS.
Many gamers use VPNs on Steam and none report having had issues just because they used them. Plus, when you connect to VPN you get better privacy and potentially lowered ping rates in games.
Can using a VPN on Steam get you banned?
No, in most cases, Steam won’t ban you because of using VPN. If you’re an occasional gamer, your Steam account will be fine even if you use a VPN.
However, frequent use may cause Steam to detect your VPN usage in the long run and block your VPN server’s IP addresses, but not your account.
When this happens, you only need to switch to a different server and continue accessing your Steam account and games.
On paper, they do not allow the use of VPNs on their platform and have a strict policy against using a VPN or IP-proxying software.
They do not want gamers to change location or make gaming purchases at a cheaper rate.
However, after a long research process involving a review of posts on hundreds of gaming forums, there is still no concrete proof that Steam banned anybody for using a VPN.
This is not to say they’re not doing anything to curb the use of VPNs on their platform.
There are reports claiming that they block IP addresses that belong to certain VPNs. But there is no report of them outrightly banning user accounts.
This will help you trick Steam into believing you’re in any location you connect to.
In all, below are the different bans Steam applies on users’ accounts when they violate their terms of service:
- Account bans: For fraudulent use or other illegal activities
- Steam community bans: Temporary ban for violating community rules and guidelines
- Trading bans: Temporary or permanent bans for violating established trading rules or fraudulent activities.
- Steam store bans: For payment issues including chargebacks or disputed payment methods
- Game-specific bans: Bans from individual game publishers for violating their rules or policies
Can using a VPN on Steam get you banned? The short answer is no. Steam won’t automatically ban you for using a VPN.
However, one thing to note is that they may block your IP address. This is one of their measures to reduce the use of VPNs and proxies on the platform.
When this happens, you only need to disconnect your connection and connect to another server.
In summary, as long as you use a premium VPN that helps you to stay untraceable online, the chances of Steam banning your account are close to ZERO.