Buying Cheap Video Games Online From Other Regions
With more digital stores than ever before, gamers are looking online for the best deals for their platform of choice. Whether it be the cheapest price for physical copies, or for digital keys, going online is a great way to make your money go further, and still play the games you want to play. In this guide, we’ll be looking at the different types of options available to you, along with the steps required to ensure you don’t pay any more than you need to.
Where to buy cheap video games online
It’s important to note, there isn’t a one size fits all approach to gaming, due to the different ways we all play. So, the first question to ask is where do you plan on playing? If you have a platform of choice, we’ll have a breakdown of each platform below, and the options available to you that may save you money on your next purchase.
Lucky enough to own multiple consoles? If there’s a particular title you are interested in, it’s worth comparing pricing across each platform you own, as there may be a sale available or promotion to take advantage of. hotukdeals members do a great job of posting when there's a cheaper price available, so be sure to set up some alerts via our app to ensure you don’t miss any!
Digital Vs Physical - Why Digital gets the deeper discounts
With internet speeds improving, and the added convenience of digital titles, more and more people are turning to digital to fill their gaming libraries. Digital copies of video games are slowly becoming more popular as the added convenience of not needing to have the disc/media in the console, and immediate access to the game at launch makes digital a much more attractive option.
Due to this rise in popularity, more retailers have opened their space for digital game stores, with the added advantage of sales and discounts to attract buyers to the platform.
Depending on who you ask, this may not be an attractive option as the digital purchase effectively only grants you a license that allows you to access the content on your chosen platform, rather than owning a physical copy of the game on a disc/cart. The fear is as time goes on, platform owners may not feel it is required to maintain your access to this content.
There is also no resale value on digital platforms as the content cannot be resold, unlike a physical copy where this can be resold, traded, or used in any way you see fit. No one can dispute the convenience of digital content, but it does come with the cost of restricting what is possible with your purchase, outside of playing it.
How to buy cheap games online using VPN
You’ve likely heard how Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can help you protect you online from prying eyes, protecting your anonymity, as well as allow you to bypass any geo-restrictions, allowing you to change your online location to access cheaper pricing in a different region. This same benefit applies to game purchases, allowing you to access cheaper prices outside of your home region.
This can happen in several ways, with you either using a VPN in the relevant country to make your game purchase, or using the VPN when redeeming your purchase. By tricking the digital platform into thinking you originate from that country, it allows you to redeem your purchase which was intended for a different country.
How to use a VPN for gaming
Whilst a VPN can be used in gaming, it is generally not recommended outside a few use cases. Due to how a VPN works, it will likely introduce some network delay as it effectively operates as a middle man between your computer and the host/server. The additional steps will introduce delay and will cause lag, which is not ideal when gaming.
Instead, it is better that a VPN is used for purchases, or perhaps to allow you to mask your location when waiting on a new game release, as typically these unlock earlier in some territories due to timezones.
Do I have to pay for a VPN?
When using a VPN for cheaper games, it is not necessary for you to use a paid VPN service. Your use will be minimal, and unless you are using the VPN outside of game purchases, there are free alternatives that will cover your needs without paying.
Some free options:
- Tunnelbear - A popular choice with 500Mbs of free and secure browsing (also offers unlimited paid plans)
- Windscribe Chrome Extension - 10GBs free per month (email signup) and access to Turkish VPN servers.
- Zenmate Free VPN - Free Chrome extension with over 74 VPN locations to choose from.
Do I have to use a VPN to buy cheap games online from other regions?
No! Some methods below only require you to buy credit from the relevant country, which can be obtained easily from UK based sellers, and then applied to the account for purchase. PlayStation workarounds usually involve this method and whilst there isn’t a use for VPN, the process can still be somewhat involved. Luckily, I’ve outlined the main steps below.
Methods (Broken down by Platform)
Preconditions - Using a VPN or other methods of workarounds to access lower pricing in another territory may be in violation of the platform holder's terms of service, meaning they could restrict access to this content, or in more extreme cases, disable your account. It is important to understand that whilst this may be a rare occurrence this is a risk and should be considered before proceeding.
How to buy cheap PlayStation games
Sony has dedicated PlayStation Network stores across the world, but pricing differs across each territory. To get a breakdown per territory on pricing, and to check where each game is cheapest, visit PSPrices who provide a breakdown per region. our resident expert, joeydeacon, also does a fantastic job at letting the community know when sales are live.
The most common method for cheap PS4 / PS5 games is to buy credit from the cheaper territory and apply that to a specific created account on your console to redeem it. The principles are the same for each region. The US is a popular example, so I’ll outline the steps below:
- Create a US PSN account.
You can do this directly on your console, log out and create a new account. The account creation is based on your address, so you’ll need to find a US address to use (preferably, one of the five US states that don’t have sales tax: Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, Delaware or Oregon.)
- Buy US PSN Credit
This can be achieved via a number of retailers including Eneba, CDKeys, Amazon and others.
- Redeem the credit on your US profile
Once logged into your US profile on your PS4 / PS5, redeem the code in the store to add your credit to your profile.
- Select the game of choice and buy as normal.
Provided you followed the above steps correctly, you should be able to purchase your game with the loaded credit.
N.B. In order to play the game on your original PSN profile, you need to set the PS4 / PS5 as the primary console. To set a primary PS5 on PS5, you have to hit X on the Settings icon located at the top of the UI. Look for ‘Users and Accounts’. Scroll down and look for ‘Other and Console Sharing and Offline Play’, then hit X again. On the screen, you will see a prompt that offers you a choice whether to enable or disable your PS5 console as a primary PS5. Enable, and you can play the game on your original profile as normal.
How to buy cheap Xbox games
For Xbox users, the process is relatively simple. To start, you’ll need to purchase the code for your game in your chosen territory (Argentina / Brazil / Turkey etc). One you have the relevant code, the steps below will allow you to redeem it. The example below will be for ‘Argentina’.
Enable your VPN and select the correct country (Argentina in this case).
Once connected, visit Redeem on the Microsoft store and log in using your normal Xbox / Microsoft account
Redeem your purchased code.
The game is then added to your account.
Provided you followed the above steps, the content will be added to your account, and you can play as normal. Note, the VPN is only needed for redeeming the code. Once the game is tied to your account you can play as normal with no additional steps.
Again, our resident expert joeydeacon does a terrific job of pointing out any sales worth paying attention to.
How to buy cheap Nintendo games
Thanks to Nintendo Switch's region-free policy on games, there’s a workaround that allows you to create accounts for each region's eShop, so that you can take advantage of any sales, not to mention gain access to the hundreds of titles via Japan which aren’t available via the UK eShop.
Initial setup is required for each region, but once it is done going forward you’ll have your choice of eShop regions ready and waiting thereafter.
A few caveats;
- eShops from other regions will refuse your UK payment details, meaning you’ll have to use gift cards instead.
- Due to possible currency conversion when purchasing gift cards from other regions, this can affect the total savings achieved (use a fee-free card where possible).
- The news tab on your Switch will populate with news from all linked eShop regions, possibly meaning a lot of Japanese text on your news feed.
eShop-Prices does a fantastic job at showing games on offer across eShop regions, helping you to spot where a saving can be made. As always though, make sure you have alerts set up on your hotukdeals app so you don’t miss any!
The process for creating an account is the same across regions, so for this example, we will be using the South Africa store.
- You’ll need a fresh email address that’s different from your main Nintendo account, it needs to be genuine as you will be asked to verify it. If you use gmail, you can add +SA to your usual email address and it will recognise it as a new address. For example, yourname+SA@gmail.
- Head to accounts.nintendo.com/and fill in the registration details for a new account, taking note of the Country/region of residence, Set this to the region you wish to access. In this example, that would be South Africa.
- Follow the instructions to verify the account using the email address you provided.
- Navigate to System Settings on your Switch, and choose the ‘User’ menu then ‘Create New User’.
- Pick a name and icon for this account, as you’ll only be using it to browse a specific region of eShop, you could name this ‘SAfrica’ for example for easier reference.
- Link the Nintendo account you created on the Nintendo website using the details you registered with.
Once verified, the next steps are to add the new region account to your Nintendo Switch. Each account on Switch has a separate store account, so please note that by adding an additional one, your main account will remain unaffected.
That’s it! Now, anytime you access the eShop you’ll be given the option of which account to use, therefore selecting the relevant region. You’ll now just need to buy the relevant region credit. Once you’ve bought your game and downloaded it, you’ll be able to play it from any account on the Switch.
Got a subscription to Nintendo Switch Online? You’ll be able to download the NES/SNES titles for the other regions at no additional cost.
Where to buy cheap video games online?
There are countless places to buy cheap video games online, but a good start would be to browse hotukdeals within your platform of choice to see what deals are available. Take a look at the hotukdeals pages for PS5 games, PS4 games, Xbox Games, PC Games, and Switch Games.
How to buy cheap games online using a VPN?
As covered above, sadly there isn’t a single approach to this, but by using the above guide for your platform of choice, you should have everything you need to use a VPN to help you save money on games.
How do I use a VPN for gaming?
A VPN isn’t really recommended when gaming, due to the latency that can be introduced during online gameplay. I’d recommend using a VPN only for the methods above, or to unlock any geo-restrictions that may be in place restricting you accessing content within the UK.
Where to buy cheap games for PS5?
The guide above will help you locate the absolute cheapest prices for PS5 games in other territories, but you can also check out our PS5 game category for the latest UK offers
How do I buy an Xbox game from another country?
I’ve detailed above the method for buying xbox games from another country using a vpn above, but you can also purchase xbox games from the Hungary, Czech, Norway, Iceland and Poland Xbox Stores by just using your debit card, no VPN required!